Welcome to Harvest Moon, a place where the creatures and landscapes of my imagination take form and meet the world. Nestled in beneath the wild craggy tors of Dartmoor inspiration comes on chilly winds from moonlit landscapes of other realms which share this rugged, ancient land of gorse and granite. Living here I sometimes feel on a bridge between worlds and ages as the land speaks from spluttering streams and wind-beaten tors, telling stories of folk and beast, but only in snatches before the endings are whipped away down the valley with the broad river and out to sea. So here I will share these stories and characters and they can dwell in your own imagination, continuing their stories with infinite outcomes. This is how they live, enjoy them!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

building walls....

funny, as I write the title to this post I realise that the phrase 'building walls' is usually describing barriers; hindrances to connection and communication. I was thinking of quite the opposite after reading the poem 'Scaffolding' by Seamus Heaney. I chose the poem - an all time favourite of mine, as a reading before dinner at the end of a 2 week residential permaculture course last week. It is amazing the level of closeness the groups gain after only a fortnight in each others company. We hold 4 courses a year with around 20 places on each, and each time observe a group of total strangers become collegues and friends.

We create a temporary community where the students have to cooperate with chores, share sleeping areas, eat together, work together and learn together. It's intense and educational on many levels! The courses are so much more than learning permaculture design techniques; they are truly enriching experiences which many past students say they always remember and cherish....some say it changed their lives. What a privilege to be a part of such a thing. If nothing else, it is a constant source of inspiration to be surrounded by groups of people, with all different backgrounds and knowledge, who want to make positive changes to their own lives and that of their community. Each time I find myself saying "what a great group of people", and each time it is true. I think its because of the subject which has drawn them together. Permaculture attracts people who care.....if they didn't care, they simply wouldn't bother!

So as another course ended I was reminded of all the lasting connections with previous students from over the years, of the great friendships, relationships and projects that have germinated from the courses and I was moved to share this beautiful poem. I feel we are building foundations here for the future, and upon the foundations, some 'walls of sure and solid stone'.

Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney 

Masons, when they start upon a building, 

Are careful to test out the scaffolding; 

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points, 

Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints. 

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done 

Showing off walls of sure and solid stone. 

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be 

Old bridges breaking between you and me 

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall 

Confident that we have built our wall.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

doodling again

It's so nice to be doodling again. I allowed myself an afternoon of papery liberation; no objective, no required outcome, just letting the pencil drift around the page as it likes. It makes me think of improvised dance or spontaneous singing; just letting go into something, allowing the creative impulse to flow through you. This makes me think of meditation. A teacher's words stick in my mind from a retreat I once sat....'all meditation is, is learning to stop yourself getting in the way'.

We spend a lot of our time getting in our own way. Hoping or fearing for the future, pining for or regretting the past. As a well-seasoned worrier I spend a certain amount of time anticipating things, and it never ceases to amaze me how the actual event of something pales into insignificance relative to the anticipation that precedes it. My drawing shows me this too. When I allow myself the freedom to let the pencil do the work, and I am able to slip into that dreamlike zone of being a passive link between the world and the paper, beautiful and surprising things emerge that I could never have conjured in my mind before hand. Likewise if I can focus my mind on a clear image and have the patience, care and concentration to see it through, something beautiful can be created. But when I am too fixed on the end result, and lacking in patience and focus.....well, pages are torn out and used for kindling.

Here is one of the surprises from my dreamy doodling day.....