on being tranquil within storms and silences

Go calmly through life. The great spiritual leaders tell us this, and I see that perhaps I belong to the sect of wild fools, because I could not bear to waste this wondrous life in going calmly, detached, placid amongst the flowers and the gorgeous fury ...





I want to dance, and run, and thrown myself into starlit oceans and my own starlit soul, and weep when weeping is not called for, and laugh a long giddy laugh into the night, and welcome the fierce white poetry of rain on water. I want to be as thoroughly as I can inside life.

It feels like a gift and a trial to be here. I don't want to sit nice and quiet through one minute. Every scar adorns me. Every laugh lights me. I want to tumble finally into the otherworld with my hair all messed up and my soul filled with fabulous song.

This doesn't mean that I rave all over the planet, or even the neighbourhood. It may mean I sit in one place for a long, hushed time. Going as far down as possible into being. Feeling every breath like a hurricane.




And when they ask me of heaven, and why I want to involve myself in this illusion, this fallen world, (depending on your religion) when I could be focussing on the sacred promise to come, I will say to them that digging in the soil lifts you closer to the sky ... touching the heart draws you beyond ... and the more I experience this life the more its covers slip away like dead leaves, and I see all the fakery, and I see all the certainties, and I hear the faery song.

If I was calm, I would not traipse through nights listening to a low murmur of taniwha, watching a dance of stars that should not be moving, feeling the invisible beauty all around me, and I would be forced to believe - to have faith, sitting calmly in my well-cleaned living room or in my lotus pose - rather than going knee-deep, heart-deep, experiencing (without any need for naming) amongst the wild magical things that are rooted beyond the edge of the world.



(Some of today's photos were processed with Kim Klassen textures)

walking home in the afternoon

Late sunlight limned the clouds with gold. They were a promise of night. They were dark-breasted mountains; a kingdom that climbed out of a vast, windswept plateau. If you walked their steep and narrow roads, you might take your rest at a tea house which tipped slightly into the view, and you might drink spicy, creamy tea while sitting on embroidered cushions and listening to fine-boned harp music. In the thin, red-washed mansions nearby, old men read out-of-date newspapers and complain languidly to each other and dream of their magnificent pasts. On the rooftop gardens, bored girls write poetry on pieces of paper that they then fold into darts and send out, with no real hope, for the wind, the unseen dragons, to carry away into clouds.


wild sky writer

Most of my favourite authors have earthy, root-rich, forested voices. I wish to sound like them. I dig up old broken tales of winter hags and tangle-haired women and bone singers. I lay the words infront of me and try to work out how to fit them together with mossy dark conjunctives and beautiful sentences. And then, restless, uncertain, I seek inspiration from the woodlands and meadows and feral magics those authors write about.






But the truth I keep bashing up against, falling apart against, is that I am not an earthy woman. I don't live like one, parent like one, comprehend the world like one. And I don't write like one either.

If I'm being honest, I don't really find comfort in the forest, or sitting amongst wildflowers in long, fragrant grass. I can not abide the sea. What I want is distances.

The idea of the forest.
The silence between said things.
The space between text and understanding.
The faraway hills.

And the wind, the rain, the rivers in the sky, moving through those distances and suggesting stories that do not need to be told to be powerful




I don't mean that I am an edgewitch or that I live or work in the liminal spaces. Absolutely not. Infact, I believe they are sacred spaces in which the wild god dwells, and as soon as we step into them we change them - fill them.

I think its good for writers to understand about the timbre of our voices, but I also believe we need to consider too what we hear, and how we hear it. What kinds of conversations do we have with the natural world, the spirit-filled world? Does the earth drum up stories for us that we eat with wild acorns and medicinal weeds and teas of flower and smoke? Or does the wind drift poetry into our eyes and our hearts?

Never mind if all our favourite people are writing about earth and wonderful old fables that enchant us. Perhaps there are readers out there wishing to read about storms and dreamy horizons and profound night silences and what lies between stars and candlelight. If we know, we can speak it for them in a way earthy people can not.

I suspect it may be harder for sky-spirited writers to settle easily into writing, simply because of the nature of their kindred element. They are always being blown this way and that. They are always left feeling just outside of belonging. Earth writers have the advantage of being grounded. Perhaps that is why most windswept stories are actually poems. We catch their threads on a passing breeze and weave them quickly, instinctively, into words that do not often need composting or pruning. But oh, imagine the book that is a wild storm ...