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Walking Through a Landscape

There has been a confusion, a disconnect of the senses and we can all feel it reverberate through the air. Bulbs protrude their sweet knowing heads as birds sing well into the evenings, the very ones who saw no cause to migrate. What am I harping on about? The weather of course; the season, the skies, the lands and how terribly British. How terribly relevant. For me at least, for it is the land that speaks to me as I pass through it. Motion and stillness, fill me when I stand in a field surveying the beauty, then there is the crash of sound. Birdsong intermingles with astonishing flight, rustling in the hedgerow thunders with anticipation and what can possibly be hiding in the tall grass yonder? The expectancy is palpable, how can there be peace with all this excitement and noise? But there is. One notices it as they listen to their heartbeat, at first it’s so very quiet, you could almost not have one, but wait, just wait a second more and you’ll hear it so loud that you think it will crash out of your rib cage. As the clouds above morph once more, you find that you are indeed listening to the world, you are surveying, you are being respectful and to write well, you must be humbled by all that has been created. This is not a religious awakening, although it may be for some. For me, when I am in tune with nature, I am in tune with the beauty that has allowed or given me the chance to write, and for that, I am thankful, in awe and utterly humbled.

There is no doubt that I shall be dragging my husband (who enjoys it really) at least three times a year to the countryside. I’m usually sitting on the couch or staring out of the window, deflated and tired from whatever life has thrown at me and suddenly I will announce, “Say, let’s leave London tomorrow, lets go to Sussex,” and just like that, the husband says “sure,” and packs a lunch the next day and two trains later, we’re in the land of renewal. Sussex is usually where I like to be closest to Virginia Woolf. Woolf is what I refer to as my writer spirit guide; Patti Smith is my other guide, it’s important to have one living and one from the past. It’s when I’m climbing the South Downs or walking along the river Ouse as seen in the picture above which I took last September, that I purge many thoughts and feeling and refill. I step away from life and plunge into another but there is always a point of return, there must be or we’re not participating in life, and if we are to write, me must participate and not be mere bystanders, what fun is there in that? Connection, there must always be a point of connection. Lock yourselves in the splendour of nostalgia but never throw away the key for what one gains from it has to be transmuted clearly.

The New Year had awoken many of us, alerted us to the work ahead. Work, how reviled a word that is, but work and love are why we are here, me must make good of ourselves, we must produce something that we are able to share with our fellow man, and it must be worthy. These are my preoccupations as a writer and they become more obvious as I evolve, as my mind and heart grow in unison. Illness and life has had a funny habit of getting in the way, but I have decided to have no more of these rude interruptions, for I have nearly finished my second book, which has had my attention focused on water for a good three years, as my protagonist is dangerously in tune with the waves. It’s a time to finish work, tie up those dangerously loose ends and make good of those hours spent in toil over the screen and ink stained fingers and smudges on the paper. It is not only my time which goes into my writing, but my husband’s as he knocks on my study door to say hello and ask what I fancy for dinner and my sister’s faith which has always propelled me along, and for my parents who worked hard for my education and fed my soul Leonard Cohen. Writing may be a solitary act, but it is also one in which we bring others down into that rabbit hole of wonderment. We are detached, yet so very attached, and I always think this as I stare up at the sky watching the parakeets make their second journey of the day back to their trees for the night and there I am, still at my desk trying to do good work, work that I hope to share, to transmute with others, for it is that closeness to another being in which beauty resides, in which creativity can continue to blossom. We must always return, to the land, to our loved ones and to the essence of our work.

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