The last few years I’ve been obsessed with giants. All manner of giants, all manner of potencies in regards to metaphors. There's something of the spectacle in them, but something bigger and vaster too, like a tide.
My giants have been more of the ruminative than the monstrous. I tend to think of them as redwoods, huge long-lived, wise. Not so much ponderers but focussed. A creature of the landscape so grand it is the landscape.
The word giant is an exercise in relativity of course. We are all landscapes immersed in landscapes, and it’s fatal (at the very least extremely diminishing) to think otherwise. We are all clouds, nested in bones and skin: a sort of vapour.
But giants are an amplification.
In my short story The Giant’s Servant, my giant lives in a tower that looks like a great mountain. The giant is intimately connected with the inhabitants of its home, but they give their servant the mission of surveying in detail the place they know intimately, but have also forgotten.
In The Giant and the Sea. The giant (a different giant) has been tasked with watching for danger. They know the sea intimately, and its threat of rising is relayed only after considerable contemplation. My giants do not rush into things which place them in a sort of Entish space; but not quite. The giant, despite its caution, is not believed and is banished despite its expertise.
Sometimes the truth is so unpleasant we would rather not believe it. Particularly when the world
seems pleasant and unchanging.
Finally, there are giants in the novel I am currently writing, and they are very much a metaphor for something altogether different.
I dreamt that night of a giant. Huge, bigger than the earth, the sea, the skies. But they were bound tight, crushed into themselves so that a knee was driven into a cheek, thighs hard against a chest. But for its titanic size it would have been unrecognisable. I stood some great distance away, and it began to rain. I touched my cheek and realised that it was blood.
I’m still working out what that something is.