Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2017

tea and a rose-smoked moon

the shape of you is not the soul of you

I sit in my little house near the sea, surrounded by old books of poetry, while in my heart I walk cold hills with Emma and Richard. Music is playing quietly and the air fills with rose-scented incense smoke. I want a Turkish rug; I want someone to bring me tea in the cup I got from a long while's wishing. Outside, the svelte white moon sashays up through stars. There's a lot of talk lately about planets but I'd rather know what habitable places you have in the darkness behind your own heart.

a new way of being creative

Let's start a new paradigm about creativity. I'm tired of being told, as a writer, that I must deprive myself of comfort, frighten my mind, challenge myself, trawl my own misery, write what disturbs me. and occupy my thoughts with conflict.

I want my creativity to nourish and delight me.

I want to write to enchant my mind and bring joy to my life. Instead of challenging myself, I want to consult my deep womanly wisdom,and create things that make me interested, absorbed, happy, fulfilled, not scared.

Perhaps it is our heritage of unrelenting war, or else our economic system that defines others as competition, but whatever the case we have a culture focussed on conflict and unease. No wonder writers and artists have so many little rituals they go through before they can begin work. I suspect it's not from superstition but a deep wish for safety, self-care, a little bit of comfort. Once they do begin the work, they must make themselves (according to most advice) frightened, s…

winter songs & silence

it's ok to shed your sleek waterskin awhile if you want
to breathe air, walk the dirt
even for love

it's ok to line your fingers with feathers
and your heart with skies
even to follow someone else

you are not a seabed
you are not a stone
it's ok to leave home, go home, make a new home
the only place you really belong is in your own soul

I am hungry for the white and the light, the grey and the silence. I feel I can't get enough of nothingness. I want to set up house in the sky and learn rain dialects. It seems akin to this craving I also have for walnuts - as if something, something, a mineral, a memory, is missing.

playlist for winter mornings

Lilium - Sorry
Lotte Kestner - True
The Narrative - Don't Want to Fall
Bree Tranter - Float Song
Allman Brown - Sons & Daughters
Matthew Perryman Jones - Amelia

winter solstice

The storm king is singing on this sacred day. His voice is the white-winged wind, his eye the light on the sea rising. He sings through the trees and the bones and into the very soul of me. He sings gull, dragon, thunder, rain. He whispers and roars, is smoke and the gentle breeze.

I don't want a god I need not kneel to, a god who will serve me. I'm not in this wild religion to find my own power or co-create anything. I follow my god into the longest night, unmooned and unsure, for the simple truth of love. What can I do? I am dirt, feather, sea, hill-bone. Every instinct draws me to him. Every moment. I breathe him in; I move through him. My words are rooted in the earth of me, but he gives them sound.

And he sings, he sings, love and storm, on this oldest day of the year.

art by andre alexandre

the difference blogging makes

A Mexican girl sits knitting
as the night spreads out in dreams,
and old women dream of Autumn winds.

She knits time to space,
warmth to cold, love to
alone, strength to innocence.

She knits moons to their orbits,
needles clicking with the certainty of stars,
webbing the known and unknown.

She knits sweet shadows
that breathe a calm to longing,
and drink the emerald waning of the moon.

Her darkness rounds the world with sleep,
past crouching walls of fearful lands,
with the graceful wave of parting lovers.

- Sean Lause

I was saddened this morning to read of the passing of Lin from A {tiny} Cottage In the Woods. She was such a treasure, and the sorrow her loss leaves behind for all of us who knew her only through her words and photographs proves that blogging is as valuable part of "real life" as the connections we make with friends face to face.

I want you to know, dear reader, that your comments, messages, thoughts and letters truly touch my heart. I've made real friend…


One of my favourite authors is Connie Willis. Her books are clever, witty, cunning, and a great deal of fun. She also writes romance beautifully, although in an understated way which somehow makes it all the more beautifully romantic.

I don't remember the first Willis book I read, but it was To Say Nothing of the Dog that charmed me into ensuring I got everything she ever published. The Doomsday Book was incomparable, and Blackout/All Clear is probably the most romantic story I've ever read, despite the hero and heroine being mostly apart. Infact, elements of it inspired Deep in the Far Away.

So I was very excited to get Willis' latest book, Crosstalk, and very disappointed when the first two or three chapters left me exhausted and frustrated. They were too much. Too frantic. Too many people imposing on the heroine, so that it was hard to get a sense of her actual character at all.

However, the book is about the over-connection our society has, not only with social media …

wonder woman

Hard days. Sad days. My heart aches for London, and for people all around the world who are suffering, just as people have suffered in so many ways for centuries. What is the solution? Well, it resides right alongside the pain : kindness, compassion, love and care for each other.

I watched the Wonder Women movie today. I almost never go to the movies, but had heard so many positive things about this one, I felt I ought to see it. I emerged with many thoughts.

Firstly, the cinematography was magnificent! Special effects woven through with genuine sentiment made my heart rise and my throat swell more than once. Secondly, I like very much what director Patty Jenkins has said about the importance of sincerity and beauty in storytelling, and I could see the effort that was made to bring morality to this movie, although I personally found those moments rather garbled. I also found that, for a feminist movie, there was an awful lot of emphasis on what women looked like : the heroine was sta…

quiet and small

I didn't mean for such a long time to pass since my last post here. Lately my writing has been quiet and small as I work on revising Deep in the Far Away; tinkering with words, with tone, reknotting the loose weave of the serial - it creates a macro focus in my mind from which it's hard to shift. So mostly my social media writing these days has involved tiny poems at instagram and on twitter.

To be honest though, quiet and small is where I am most comfortable anyway. I think there must be nothing lovelier than the peace of a garden, of a small green view, with little more to trouble you than too-short library loan periods & what to do about the caterpillars amongst your tomato plants. I've been thinking for a while now about how peace has become a luxury in this world, something it seems at times, and in some places, only the rich can afford. Even the peace of childhood - rambling barefoot through nature, not knowing how your mother got food to the table, reading adve…

a feminising of the world

In the replies to yesterday's post, someone asked me how I would envision the feminising of the world. That's a big question, and I don't know if I'll be able to give a full answer. But I can share a few of my ideas, and I'd love to know what ideas you also might have on the topic.

By feminising the world I don't mean making it more woman-centric. I'm talking about feminine and masculine energies, and I know those terms are unhelpfully gendered. It would be better to use terms like active and passive, or change and holding. Also, I believe very strongly in the importance of balance, so I'm not wanting to do away with masculine energy at all.

I don't believe a capitalist society can allow a balance. In such a society, a person's only value is what they can do for the market, rather than how they are as a human being and how they create space for others to be themselves too. This is the fundamental purpose of feminine energy - to hold, to nouris…

the protection of beauty

Some days I strive to remember that the world is generally populated with good people. The small unpleasantries that strangers sometimes inflict upon each other as they share a moment or a pathway ... the commonplace cruelties ... when I see this or have it happen to me, I am left shaken and reluctant to go out amongst people again. At these times, I try to fill my mind with images I have gathered of flowers, country lanes, gentle afternoons - which is why I often spend part of a morning browsing and archiving images. It helps to have beautiful imagery fresh in my imagination so I can use it like a shawl, or a wide-brimmed hat draped with chiffon or lace, when going out. Not a shield, but a softener.

I was delighted to find this book yesterday for a very low price. Afterwards, I sat in a tea house hugging it and every now and then smelling its old and dusty pages. I have Edith's visual diary, of course, and also the enchanting video series about her life, but I did not know her a…

with rose-lit eyes

My rooms are coloured with rose light from the rising sun. It is gentleness, it is love. I thought about all the things I could share with you today, which is Queen's Birthday weekend in my old English colony of a country, and that seemed the best of them : gentleness, light, love.

Some people say it's a grim world, full of destruction and pain. But what I see are flower bouquets on bridges and songs uplifted to give people hope. Some other people say it's the end of days, but outside my house the king of the world is standing in his old brown coat, with his voice full of sunlight and dew-bright grass, and if I look at things his way for a moment, then this is the beginning, always.

It all depends on what we choose to see. We can choose the speck of evil or the abundance of good. We can choose to say truth is 2,000 years old or we can consider the 4,000 years of thought, experience, and revelation before that. We can focus on flowers or insults. I believe that how we see …

a morning's weather

The old woman is unbraiding her sea-wild hair. And the air fills with rain, and salt like the tiny constellations of the ocean, and forgotten time. The birds sing shanties. The flowers in my garden open their petals like bright sails.

The old woman is watching from the white porch of the world. She has a string tied around her ankle, tied around my heart. It is the same with all her children. She knows my deep trench monsters. She knows the bottled messages waiting without hope in me. She can hold them all in the palm of her hand and still I am free.

When the wind comes from the north, the old woman smokes mountain ash and sends root-brewed dreams - for she is all the corners, all the depths. She is the storm and the peace.

Now the rain has eased. The grove is quiet, and covered in star-pinned water from the last of the night. The sky is all grey waft  and bulge like the sea. But gold shines through it - sun shines through it - the love shines through it, the love of the god for his …