She blooms in your veins, she sings in your dreams, she dances on your skin like seed silk. She pulls you in beyond the edge, into the trees, into the quiet. The bark creaks, new wood twisting beneath its skin, the air shimmers mist and bluebells and sun and moon. Acorns and beech nuts constellate the floor, stars beneath unfurling bracken. She calls you, calls you in, to the cracks and the crevices, the burrows and the hollows, the homes of those that creep and crawl and slink and trot and walk and flap and fly. The sounds, oh, the sounds of her, the chirping, crunching, slithering, rushing breath of all that she is; you feel the memories flutter, a tantalising flicker of freedom. She draws you in deep, her roots finding yours, guiding them down, down through the rot and the mould to the loam and the worm tunnels, down to the map of mycelia and other roots, other beings, all connected, all one here. The flow is streams and waterfalls and rivers, veins and arteries that sustain all hearts as one. And just as you are melding into the tide you burst up again, through the surface, black with earth and berry blooded, unfurling, birthing, budding, reaching for the clear sky and the tender light. She is atomic and infinite, the spirit of the forest; she is everything, she is you.
“Have you ever seen it? The path, I mean? It changes and it moves, so it’s hard to find, even if you’re looking for it. Because you never really know what you’re looking for…”
In two weeks time, on the 16th September in fact, the path will lead to Thorncombe Village Hall where you’ll find The Faeries’ Bazaar.
It’s a mystical narrative of interlinking pieces that leads you through the Bazaar and introduces you to the various shopkeepers and characters to be found there. From the Apothecary to the Bookseller, the three sisters in the Sewing Room to Amily the street magician, each has a tale to weave around you.
My older son Jed has composed a beautiful soundtrack that laces all the stories together. He plays as I read; he is the Troubador.
Younger son Zack, who is a most excellent chef, is the Innkeeper, while my husband Brian is our troubleshooter and all round good guy.
All proceeds from this performance will go to The Word Forest Organisation, carrying out amazing reforestation and educational work in Kenya. Check out what they do here: wordforest.org
So, if you’re local (or even if you’re not) please join us for an evening of music and storytelling.
It’s Halloween again, the day when walking between worlds is easiest. Traditionally it is a day for remembering those who have gone before, as spirits of all kinds are that much closer. Speaking of which…
Tree of Life Carl Glover
Look over there. The tall figure in the red cloak who’s just settling herself on the seat at the fork in the road. That is Nixa – she’s the storyteller. We’re lucky; she travels far and wide collecting and sowing tales; to catch her is like catching the wind. She looks so young, barely more than a child and yet I have heard that she’s as old as the trees that grace the ancient land. Some say she was a tree once, a birch in the forest where the trees hear stories whispered by the breeze and sung by the birds, stories that fall with the rain and rise with new growth. The birch had a spirit which absorbed so many that it could no longer be contained in bark and sap. And so Nixa emerged, to wander the world recounting all the stories that the trees tell, and more besides.
Study her carefully. The air shimmers slightly around her like the liquid movement of leaves under the sun. Now the bubbles start to rise, iridescent as they catch the light. People gather as she begins to speak, draws the words from her core and gives them life once again. The bubbles float on the still air, lifted by the soft lilt of her voice. Inside each you may catch a fragment of the tale, a glimpse of a place, a character, a dream. But they cannot be held. Just like the words, they drift away and disappear, leaving everything as before and yet inexplicably altered, each person subtly changed by their own connection with the tale.
You may think that a story is a simple thing, to be taken or left at will. But Nixa would tell you that stories are vital. They are the threads that connect us to everyone and everything, celebrate our similarities and our differences, remind us of our shared experiences and our common ground. Some stories resonate more than others, some hold an element of recognition and familiarity, some move us beyond words. In the end, we are all stories. That is why they need to be told.
There is nothing quite like being outside wrapped in the warm blanket of not quite darkness on a summer night. Everything takes on a slightly mystical edge and there is that tingle of excitement or anticipation, But for what? The things that we can’t see? The things that might yet be? Who knows? It’s a magical feeling, whatever it is.
In the darkness made undark
By the clear pure moon
And the silence that is not
By bat flight and small rustlings
We lay, cocooned between
earth and sky
And heard the stars sing.
Candles have a magic all their own. From the time before electricity and gas when they were the light in the darkness, they have come to symbolize so many things for us now, love, reverence, remembrance, hope. They are used in celebration, relaxation, meditation and probably a few other -ations that elude me now, not to mention their importance in romance and their supreme usefulness during a power cut. Candlelight has that mystical quality that is comforting and a little eerie at the same time, so lovely as the darkness covers us earlier, and the clouds blanket us from brightness. Here is an ode to the candle, a spooky little poem in the run up to Halloween. Continue reading →
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