For the past few days I've had a niggling feeling to write a blog, and yet each time I've sat with paper and pencil in hand, all thoughts smudge into a vague distance.
That's not to say my mind has been idle. Stories and snippets of inspiration are constantly chirping at my brain. Finally I am trying to order them into a coherent blog.
The appalling events in America have fuelled many groups into action in one way or another, all showing their determination to make this world a kinder place. I was really lucky last week to attend a zoom guest reading by author Tania Hershman. She chose to read pieces of her work that were about how we treat each other. The monies raised were donated to supporting minority groups of writers that may struggle to make their voice heard.
Sometimes it is very easy to forget the ease, stability and privileges we have in our lives. I am able to read what I choose, write, go about my daily life, be safe, acknowledged and listened to.
In his book First You Write a Sentence, Joe Moran quotes Van Gogh
"What is done in love is done well".
Moran goes on to say, the purest form of love is just caring - paying someone else the compliment of your curiosity and holding them in your head, if only for a moment.
So thank you for reading this, you are caring by giving your time and curiosity, if only for a short while.
During lockdown, I have been inspired to write about the way nature has moved back into spaces that previously we had occupied. In her talks, Tania Hershman fired my love of flash fiction, where each word means something. Each word's rhythm and feel adds to the whole.
Here is my latest attempt at a (very short) piece of flash.
Black bird. Jet bird. Fire-flame beaked bird.
Nature's watchkeeper waiting.
Guardian of the door.
Almost silently the door opens, allowing a slither of soft dawn light to slice the inner dark.
Ghost lady leaves. Pale nightdress floating, flowing, caught quick in cold winter air.
Black bird views the open door, head cocked wisely to the the side. Views the space left gaping open, hollow and wide.
Hops down, tiny-talon claws clasping the edge of the unknown, the split between out and in.
Ghost lady out. Out and gone. Soft bare feet on cutting ground, she leaves no trace. Her heart gripped tight with search for long-lost need.
Ghost lady out. Black bird in. Guardian of long-lost times.
Spies with beady fire-halo eye, a shoe.
A nest? A home?
Neglected shoe. Abandoned shoe.
Reclaimed shoe. Rewilded shoe.
Guardian of the shoe.
Ghost lady lost and gone.
Black bird in and home.
Is nature just watching, waiting? Patiently ready to step into the void we would leave behind.
Jacqueline Bain writes
"If we reverse the roles and let nature walk through us, instead of the other way around, the results can be extraordinary."
So as I work on the farm I try to remember that I am here alongside nature, not trying to overcome it.
Here is the prettiest little flower, Corn Spurrey. Generally classed as a weed, but loved by bees so why should I stop it from growing?
As I swim, I keep in mind that I am moving through nature's world. I am a visitor. An intruder to the drifting kelp, the canopy of lush brown wrack, and the tiny slivers of silver fish that dart away from my shadowing figure.
Of course the world is our home too, but perhaps I shouldn't curse the gritty sand, the icy sea, the stinging nettles or the irritating fly bouncing at the window pane. For I am but a brief excitance in the natural world.
Love the natural world, be gentle, observing and kind. Compliment it by holding it in your head, if only for a moment.