April 27, 2017

talking of stars


Let's stay up late and imagine the secret philosophy of stars. We could compose something wild and lovely between the dark sky and the candlelight, you and I. We could forget about time. And when the dawn dragged down our eyelids, hiding our own intimate stars, we could fall into silence, while the world danced.

This morning a swan flew over me in the gentle, frosted sunrise. It called to where it was going, as if it cast its longing ahead of it like a path. I'm sure we all do the same, sometimes.

art by sulamith wulfing

April 26, 2017

if we were to go walking

If we were to go walking together, and talking in the quiet morning before stopping for tea and biscuits (perhaps throwing most of the biscuits to swans on the pond or sparrows in the wild grass), we might not say much that was special, because I am shy and cautious. But if we were kindred spirits, then we might talk about the poetry of light upon the landscape, the mood of the trees, memories of books, and what magical things we could see or almost see, and so much more besides. And we'd do a lot of not-talking too, gazing at skies or the smallest wildflowers - if we were kindred spirits. We'd each have a book in our bag of course, and paper and pencil for writing or drawing. We'd be in no hurry.

And it would be morning by preference, so there was the afternoon for remembering, resting, and letting the experience mellow into story.

illustration by jessie m king
quote by mary anne radmacher

April 25, 2017

the softness of autumn

Seen while cycling through the valley ...
Wild white jasmine on the fence above a river
Clematis unexpectedly amongst a neighbour's lavender
Banks of long grass glimmering with clover and dandelion
A secret grass path winding through flowering bushes and trees
Swans on an old pond

I thought they were going to destroy the wetlands, reclaim the land for factories. But it turns out they were expanding them. Sometimes people are surprising in the nicest way.

I love how autumn teaches me every year about the value of softness. It gives me wisdom such as soft moons like the big old swaying hip of the sky, ambling up amongst mist-plushed stars ... leaf-thickened paths ... soft blankets brought out from storage and layered on beds ... cosy slippers ... soft eyes and voices in nights that are candelit for no other reason than the gentle loveliness of candles' light. Of course, we need the shutters put up and the old fences bulwarked in preparation for winter, but just as much we need the softness inside. The old goddess stories remind us - Brigid within the Cailleach, a lush, warm seed brimming over with dreams of roses, deep in the heart of thin pale days scratched by bare branches and rain. And the old fairy tales remind us too - the disenfranchised ash girl saved by love rather than revenge; love and roses in the Beast's dark house; the huntsman's tender-hearted reprive. So often the greatest strength, and the best source for endurance, comes from softness.

art by dutch illustrator rie cramer