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Showing posts from November, 2015

the wild language of selkies and forest-boned women

There isn't a place along the west coast of New Zealand where a small house sits in a dark, damp valley. I have never visited there, spending hours soaking up the old mouldering dreams of the woods and waters and slow brown river; I have not seen its stars crawl out of hill-gold to hound the moon.

But when I described this place in a story which never got finished, I knew it needed its own full story, because it exists somewhere, somewhen, and I longed to really visit there. That to me is one of the best things about writing. You can explore all the dream worlds.

art and ghosts

I believe in dream worlds. I believe they are places, and they are also languages - strange, feral languages we have never documented, of salted sea or forest shadow, or misty river valley. They can flow, hum, sing beneath the words of a story. They are visual languages, or languages of feeling, and they belong to the wild people, the selkies, the wind children, the riversouls. 

You may know some of those peo…

in the star-stained forest

The days have become hot and inescapably humid. I sit before the half-done loom of stories and try to breathe. Sometimes I can open the door to rain, moonlight, the exhalation of the sea. Sometimes I can smell forest in the air, and luminesence of what people call stars but I don't know - stars, planets, suns, I'm still not sure. I love how science can tinker with our bodies and our machinery, but its such a small thing to measure the sky, the inner skies, the forest and all its dark and light.

But I digress. Which I have been doing alot lately. Words constantly rambling away from the humid heart of things. Words clattering and tangling in a kind of silence. Now and again I remember - hush is more powerful and evocative than any sound.

source : balthazar bastien bux

Here are some things I have found and enjoyed this week.

On instagram, Andy Alexandre and Susan Tuttle. Today's post photograph is by Andy and can also be found in my collection of pictures which evoke for me th…

gathering tales along a long & brambled pathway

Despite the night, the old river valley was not sleeping. It heaved trees and stones like sighs into the darkness, and drew down silence to feed the earth that lay still beneath weeds, and hares, and moths : all the slow, wild leaping things. In the woods, a moon hung riddled with shadow branches and moth wing, but it might have been only the earth's memory of a moon, thrown up out of bioluminesence, stone, sorrow. It might have been not a moon of any kind at all but a lamp, shining in a small dark hut deep inside the benighted world.

After a year of storms and shadows, light and deep wild love, I am finally drawing close to announcing a new project to add to our ongoing fundraiser. My hope is that it will be finished by mid-December, which is not particularly good timing but then again maybe people will be interested in getting themselves a little storybook for the festive season.

It has been quite a journey for me though unkempt lands and forests ....

A road lapped against the to…

women gatherers

Sitting outside with dinner around twilight, I watched a sparrow-woman bring twigs to her nest hidden in the eaves of my neighbour's house. I wasn't giving her much thought, except that she looked cute with such a load in her beak as she hopped along the gutter ...

Suddenly, she stopped. A blackbird sat on the ridgepole above her nest!

For a very long time she stood there, holding on to her twigs, waiting and clearly wondering what to do. If the blackbird minded her, I do not know. I could tell a story of him, in his black coat and cold, smiling silence - but that would be slander. He did not move, and did not move, and the sparrow-woman waited with a growing sense of tension.

At last, her partner arrived. He flew tentatively at the blackbird, which did not stir even one feather. Calling then to his wife, he drew her away to a nearby aerial. They consulted together anxiously for a while. At least, he did all the talking, for her beak remained laden with nesting materials.