Exploring the Borders

Voices carried on this windy brow
with songs from yesterday for tomorrow.

I recently journeyed south, exploring the invisible lines between England and Wales. What a joy to marvel at the beauty of nature in this extraordinary pre-summer heat. Sun-glazed trees, hedgerows, and fields beamed with life, and every shade of youthful green fluttered in the gentle air.

My heart danced, watching sun and cloud paint an ever-moving picture on the cat’s back of Black Hill. Roads, seldom-travelled, were thickly populated with wild abundance. The earth felt solid here, unshakable, ancient, and infused with magic.

Swallows swooped before me. Buzzards circled high above. Crows beckoned me onwards. No longer was I following a map, but the compass of my heart.

Climbing higher, past nature reclaimed ruins, I found a church on a windswept brow between somewhere and nowhere. There was no one here – at least not living. The road was empty. No one came past. The church doors were closed. Yet I felt the presence of human life all around me in echoes of forgotten conversation and a tidal wave of emotion.  Voices carried on this windy brow with songs from yesterday for tomorrow. I listened closely to the stories, and added my own song to the collection of voices that lifted like the skylark against the tender blue.

Eventually, I found my way back into the everyday realm with its bustle and noise and irregular rhythms, sad to leave the rare, timeless places my heart and the birds had taken me to. But what a joy to find that there is still enchantment in these lands where nature thrives and where passing souls can be present for a while. Moments to be cherished.

Save

Share

Walks in Late Spring

Such a joy to be in nature’s domain, walking along quiet lanes in the late spring sunshine.

In wild green verges, butterflies and bees flit from one wildflower to the next, feasting on comfrey nectar.

Buzzards circle higher and higher, wings sun-glazed, oblivious to the tale of Icarus, while closer to earth, swallows swoop in fearless flight.

From the water’s edge, mayflies ascend with but a day of life to enjoy the gentle air.

This age-old scene of nature’s rituals and rich beauty fills me with poetry and song, and I dance along, pausing often to marvel at the miraculous.

☆~♡~☆

Share

Into Enchantment

Whenever I feel my creative nest is closing up around me, I find my wings and fly into nature.

I love writing and creating and sharing my soul’s gifts. It is one of the reasons why I’m here. Birthing new stories and breathing life into an idea brings me immense joy, but can consume the hours and my energy like nothing else. Too much, like too little, isn’t particularly soul nurturing, and so I turn to nature for equilibrium.

Being in nature is alchemy for mind-body-spirit. No matter how tired, how dull, how diminished we feel, nature restores us.

I have always lived close to the earth. No matter where I happen to be, I’ll find a natural place to visit where there is water, trees, wildflowers, wildhearts. This is home and sanctuary filled with sweet sighs and the joyful sense of belonging. Here is where magic happens.

Whether walking the poet’s path around Rydal lake, filled with words and song that brightens on the breeze; or stepping into the enchantment at Aberfoyle, where the woodland hides gateways to the beyond; or walking the sea-tickled shores at one coast or another, listening to the memories of water… here, in nature, I feel free.

Today, I went to my local park. February’s sun has the promise of spring in its rays, teasing everything it touches. This dream called life is birthed from light. Everything feels transient. In this moment, I am girl and woman and something else. Memories of past magical moments in nature become musical notes on my soul’s pages. It is a beautiful song.

Nature has played its part in the best I have written and created, and in everything that I am. Although just a visitor on the earth journey, star-braided and like a comet passing through, I feel nature’s sentience will remain with me long after my tour is done.

 

Why not treat yourself to Enchanted Lands?

Save

Save

Share

Video Channel

I’ve been editing some film footage to go on my video channel on YouTube. I can’t believe how many clips I have from past writing research trips and being in nature.

Video ChannelEven though my videos tend to be short, it takes time to edit, render and upload them, as anyone who makes film will know.

I thought I’d start sharing some of these little random, imperfect clips as and when I have time to do so. There’ll be some fresh material once I begin making progress on new stories.

If you’re interested, please view and subscribe to my channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/WriterStrange/

Share

Magical Portmeirion

It’s better to travel than arrive. This old maxim just doesn’t apply to the magical folly that is Portmeirion village. At least, it doesn’t for me. You see, there is an energy about this place that is positively alchemical, and being there feels like travelling and arriving all at the same time.

PortmeirionFilm

And, simply on the rise of a spontaneous feeling, I had an urge to be there. So Fen and I journeyed along the coast and through the Welsh countryside on a balmy September day to find Portmeirion and its multitude of pleasures.

Portmeirion14

The Italian-styled village, created by architect, Clough Williams-Ellis over a 50 year period between 1925 and 1975, sits snug on a private peninsula overseeing the Traeth Bach tidal estuary on the Snowdonia coast of North Wales. Its 70 acres of sub-tropical gardens, woodland, lakes, temples, colourful architecture, and gazebos are flanked by a rock-edged shoreline with ever-changing views across the water to the hills beyond.

Portmeirion8

There is a beautiful hotel on the shore; colourful cottages with names such as Unicorn, Dolphin and Mermaid; a lightless lighthouse; a boat that never leaves the shore; a castle; statues of Hercules and Goddesses; a golden one-armed Buddha; and a shell grotto and hidden caves. These are just some of the wonderful finds, but it’s the landscape and nature’s presence that holds you enchanted here.

Portmeirion19

You possibly know Portmeirion for the 1960s surreal spy TV series, The Prisoner, which was filmed there. That’s how I first came to hear of the place. However, as a writer, I was intrigued to discover that Noel Coward wrote Blithe Spirit there in just 6 days! And, that does not surprise me. There is a potent creative energy here, born on the breeze and carried in by the ever ebb and flow of tidal waters. This energy rises from the sands and bedrock and, higher still, through soil and dense foliage. There is something spirited about this wild place, which permeates everything, despite its touristy overtones.

Portmeirion46-001

“An architect has strange pleasures,” Clough Williams-Ellis wrote in 1924. “He will lie awake listening to the storm in the night and think how the rain is beating on his roofs, he will see the sun return and will think that it was for just such sunshine that his shadow-throwing mouldings were made.”

Clough, who aspired to beauty- ‘that strange necessity’- built the tollgate, his last offering to the village of his dreams, in his 93rd year. His motto was “Cherish the Past, Adorn the Present, Construct for the Future.” Wise words from this wonderful wizard.

PortmeirionFilm-003

I aim to return to Portmeirion to write, to further explore and research, and simply to enjoy the magic that flows through this timeless place. No doubt, the experience of being there is already working its way into my writing as boldly as it has woven into my imagination.

Have you visited Portmeirion? Leave a comment and share your memories…

Love & Bright Wishes,

Save

Share

Born from Light and Shadow

Most mornings, I begin the day in bed with my notebook, crystals, and cup of Jasmine Green Tea. Usually, I’ll meditate for a while. Mostly, I write, read or sketch. Often, I look out of the window to be with nature and the trees and, always, I notice the ever dancing light.

Even on the gloomiest of days, the light finds its way in, energising me, and it creates moving pictures on the walls, flickering like the first movie-making ventures. Here’s a clip…

The light show reminds me of the zoopraxiscope, created by photographic pioneer Eadweard Muybridge in 1879, or the whirl of strobe lighting. There is something uplifting about this ever shifting light that moves me into a different way of feeling.

My attention is often drawn to the light and shadows in the ever changing landscape of my aqua-turquoise satin duvet cover. It is here where I see pictures and realise potential story threads, and I am always amazed by the figures, landscapes, and shapes that appear.

P1040343

Like others, I find it easy to see beyond what appears to be there. This is referred to as pareidolia -from Greek for ‘alongside’ or ‘instead'(para) and ‘image’ or ‘form’ (noun eidolon) -, which is considered to be vague and random stimulus being perceived in a different and usually significant way. Examples of pareidolia include being able to see the ‘man in the moon’ or faces, angels or galloping horses in clouds or seeing Elvis in a slice of bread, and is described as a type of apophenia, which involves seeing patterns in random data.

My duvet is the perfect backdrop for the imagination, and especially in the morning, when I’m still fresh from astral and dream-time. Curious figures and landscapes, born out of light and shadow, temporarily appear, and I attempt to capture what I see through quick cross-hatched sketches like these…

P1040345

P1040347

P1040348

Leonardo da Vinci wrote of pareidolia as a device for painters. He said, “if you look at any walls spotted with various stains or with a mixture of different kinds of stones, if you are about to invent some scene you will be able to see in it a resemblance to various different landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and various groups of hills. You will also be able to see divers combats and figures in quick movement, and strange expressions of faces, and outlandish costumes, and an infinite number of things which you can then reduce into separate and well conceived forms.”

Everything is open to perception and interpretation but, to me, these images offer visual prompts for stories, adventures, and other worlds, where events are playing out in some dimension or another. They are the beginnings of possibilities as transient as the moment.

See how the light gets into everything?

It’s where every moment begins and ends…

Share

The Sentience of Light

I’ve been playing in the light, bathing in rainbow rays that seem so much more intense these days.

P1030792

Kestrel, Crow, Buzzard and Lapwing have kept me company along with the first of the season’s butterflies. Both sun and moon have occupied the afternoon’s gentle blue, and all of life’s magic manifests in the stillness of being. Springtime is on her way, here in this little corner garden of planet earth, and nature knows this. ‘Tis a time for new beginnings.

P1030793
There is something dream-like about my walks and travels of late. I feel like I’m moving without moving, noticing the transience of the moment.

P1030803

I’m constantly reminded that I’m just a visitor here – as are we all.

P1030803-001

Such a reminder is a gift… a message to enjoy this physical journey, as our visit is so sweetly short.

P1030803-014

Breathe in bliss. Capture a moment.

What is more beautiful than being present in the light, surrounded by nature?

Share