I subscribe to far too many newsletters, more than I can reasonably read. I do try to break up computer time by taking a moment to read ones that catch my eye and I’m so glad I read the latest post from Freya Rohn of The Ariadne Archive this morning.
“The yellow ochre amber leaves have left with the wind in the space of a couple of days. The tundra on the mountains turns more crimson with each hour it seems, lichens exposed in the higher altitudes lining the contrast. The chickadees, boreal chickadees, nuthatches, Steller’s jays, magpies, woodpeckers, and a squirrel are busier than usual, collecting the nuts I’ve laid out for them. The chickadees, looking like small feathered blooms on the ends of the now bare branches as they wait their turn to dive.“
Freya describes deciding to split the feelings they’re experiencing into two newsletters this week and I admired that. This post celebrates gratitude and beauty whilst acknowledging there are rage fuelled feelings present too. I can be very total in observing my feelings – it is all bad, unpleasant and difficult or it isn’t. This post reminded me of what I’m trying to practice of recognising feelings pass and also to have the strength to read about difficult things and the importance of bearing witness to them. Thank you Freya.
I was leant a copy of Folk by Zoe Gilbert and warned I would inhale it, rightly so. I was thrilled to find out hardback copies were still available because I knew it was a book I wanted to horde and re-read and re-read. I loved everything about this book. The separate but together stories, the links to the land and to animals and an indescribable tone that’s gentle, mysterious and thoughtful all at once. The names especially stayed with me: Ervet; Murnon; Iska; Shilla; Verlyn and Firwit. I’ll be buying friends copies of Folk for a long time.
“Dew Beater, Dew hopper, Layer with the lambs, Fiddle-foot, Light foot, Skulker in the ferns. Go-by-ditch, Go-by-ground, Yellow speckled one, Flincher, Snuffler, Dweller in the corn.”
I think this is as close as I can get to the softly energetic pleased with myself feeling I have today. A nice time writing, a return to Jayne’s pilates, mixed with really enjoyable reading (Helen Dunmore… more soon…) and finally buying a shed. I feel unfurled. This continues to be my go to dictionary for this series. I particularly loved these synonyms and related words:
One of those nice serendipitous things where Brain Pickings, a newsletter I enjoy, took me to The Poetry Business who had been recommended to me just yesterday, via enjoying Christy Ducker’s A Scientist’s Advice on Healing. I am happily now a member and looking forward to reading Messenger in full.
I recently finished A Room of One’s Own for the first time. There’s so much more to say than this initial post but in the midst of several funding applications I am reminded of two of so many phrases that hurtled towards me.
“That collar that I have spoken of… bowed my head to the ground.“
A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf (p.5, Vintage Classics)
This physical manifestation of worry or preoccupation is a concept I’ve ruminated on for some time. The Daily Journeys We Wear is an overarching concept for my present art practice. The notion being our lived experience can be manifested in wearable sculpture, portraits that enclose, cage, guard or amplify us.
I am developing a new series:
Worn: A Battleground. Exploring what we carry with us. Accumulated weight. An armour of sorts.
Worn Weft Weary. A trio.
Vestiges of an emotional battleground, artefacts.
I like the sense of a trio emerging here. They’ll be several stances forming a group I think. The W words are textural and a ripe starting place as specific words often are for me.
“A nugget of pure truth to wrap between the pages of your notebook and keep on the mantelpiece forever.”
A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf (p.4, Vintage Classics)
I loved this phrase from the moment I read it. That preciousness and the idea of a gift of words. A weightiness too though that can be burden like the previous collar. It is writing I want to write and the pressure I feel to find such writing when deadlines loom.
The wonderful archive activists Invisible Women bring archive to screen. Their research and writing are beguilingly rich, I’ve learnt so much about missing work in film history from them. Their particularly lovely recent newsletter features Rachel Pronger’s piece in Art Monthly on discovering Sandra Lahire. This essay is fertile in its description of the films during the particular setting of lockdown in March 2020. Rachel draws themes from the collected work with ease and gave me a physical sense of the impact of watching them.
“I felt a hand reach out across the span of dead time, one lone woman to another. A kind of connection in a disconnected moment. Alone, but somehow strangely still together.“
…This is the only way to describe the impact of reading N.K. Jemisin’sThe Broken Earth trilogy. Everything else is filling time until I can find my way back to the last book, The Stone Sky, again. I’m planning a Reading section on this site and will talk more about this trilogy then.
Emotion of the day number 20, with thanks to Be Manzini
… despite the blue skies and crisp air. Recovering from a deadline the day before and generally feeling the weight of things. Not helped by, in site related news, my Reading page still eluding me. I want a simple route to embed books without supporting amazon and the like and may have to resort to photographing covers myself.
Emotion of the day number 17, with thanks to Be Manzini