Monday, 30 May 2011

The Goddess Particle

A flash of green catches my eye as I wander in a shadowy wood... A shaft of light cutting through branches, illuminating fresh young elm leaves and paper-thin seeds... bright chips of stained glass folding discs of sunlight into translucent brilliance.... invoking a sense of awe and reverence in this woodland cathedral.

My eyes wander... gazing at the light through the seeds, constantly drawn to different parts of the tree, marvelling at the beauty, entranced by the stillness of the wood... captivated by the energy of this sacred alter.... words & phrases weave themselves into my consciousness... this seed.... i am the seed... breathes life... birth of future... conceive own birth... dark places... radiance... growing in my own womb... grow from the past... i am the strands of all matter.... 

For some reason i think of scientists searching for the 'god particle' and grin, thinking perhaps they should be looking for the goddess particle. 


Well, this is a first... the first recording of my voice since i was a kid, on the first slideshow i've made... and open to the public... with no edits, mainly cos i haven't worked out how yet! When i took the photos i couldn't decide which to use & thought 'hmmm, a slideshow would be good'. I was writing the last Festival of the Trees at the time, so thought i might get it done for the next one. I'd had so many thoughts whilst sitting in the wood and was mulling over the idea of how to incorporate them when, surprise, surprise this months submission asked "to observe our own engagement with trees, and record it—with video, audio, slideshow, or any other creative composition we can dream up"

Plenty of time, huh! Except i started working full time & haven't been at home on my own, then we moved again & friday was the first time i've sat down & thought about it. My plan was just to see if i could do a recording & how to add it to the slideshow... then do it again 'properly'.... but... to do it how i'd like it is going to take much longer & i'm actually quite pleased with the first draft, just the fact that I did it! So... if you have landed here hoping for some polished poetry & crack-shot editing... err...tough luck!!

I scribbled stuff down when i got home and added more as i looked back through the photographs later. And i do scribble... i write in all directions on a page, fitting in a thought following from another, not necessarily crossing out the line or phrase i've abandoned for something else, crossing out but then adding a tick to show i changed my mind back again.... i'm sure you know what i mean.... so, this morning i looked at the pages & sighed at how much re-writing, re-ordering & refining it needed & thought "i'll just see how much time this lot runs out at...."

And so... i can hear myself desperately scanning alternative choices to finish a line... i can hear my brain clicking over which bit should follow which in places... i've emphasised bits quite differently to how i meant.... and one word in particular screams at me to be changed... but, you know what? I'm leaving it just as it is.  If i don't tell you which bit, what word etc you probably won't realise... and everyone, including myself, can have an opinion on what to change or what to keep, but this piece is what it is... a one-shot that i'm happy with for what it is... when i have another go, it will be a different piece of work.
And this seed will grow into something else i'm sure.

It turned out that that was the easy part... actually getting the bloomin' thing uploaded took me 2 days to work out! whether it was me or dodgy internet i don't know, but i managed to post a blank box instead of a slideshow more than once! So i gave up trying to post direct to blogger & went to youtube instead... All part of the learning curve, eh?

Brenda has a lovely blog over at "Rubies in Crystal"  & she is hosting the June edition of Festival of the Trees. Thanks Brenda for giving me the incentive to get this thing started!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Hawthorne... the white & the red

Well, we have wandered down to South Yorkshire with our caravan as Steve is working near Doncaster.  Just outside our window are some gorgeous red hawthorn trees.

I've only ever seen the odd one here & there before, but this is a row of fairly young trees. The hawthorn is related to the rose, and these flowers do look like clusters of mini roses.

Gorgeous aren't they? Quite different from the wild hawthorn that I have usually seen, and i think these are much more 'rose-like' than the red flowers i have seen before.

Across the world there are many varieties but in the UK there is mainly the 'Common Hawthorn' & the 'Midland Hawthorn'.

 I have noticed some variations of the white flowers & leaves in some places... especially in hedges or areas that have been re-planted. It is the Midland Hawthorn that has the variety of colours, but they will cross-fertilize & many hybrids occur.

The leaves of the Midland are glossier & not so deeply indented as those of the Common Hawthorn. This is the main difference stated in many online resources, but i have also read that the Midland has a double head to the stamen, whilst the Common has a single one. (Any input gratefully received!)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Morning Silence

I love this...

Can you hear it?

 I really think you should pop over & read the rest of what Matthew has to say

Then, sit a while in silence while you visit
and contemplate the flow of life-giving water 
through the veins of the Earth...

Monday, 2 May 2011

Festival Of The Trees~ 59

In a magical land, long, long ago, trees grew freely with no fear of being harmed. Mystical beings roamed this land, and lived an existence that was peaceful & calm (even the trolls & dragons were pretty well behaved most of the time so long as you left them alone). Trees were respected, their wisdom revered, and all who lived there cared for the land. 'Twas a happy existence in this fairy-tale place, protected from "progress" that raced across earth. 

But there came a time, the inhabitants were worried. The balance of nature was going awry, more & more creatures & magical beings, were seeking safe harbour in this mystical place. Refugees from de-forested lands, were pouring in to seek solace. The elders & dryads conferred at length, then sent their kindred back out to the world. Their mission was vital, they must succeed... to infiltrate 'people' to spread the word, that trees were essential to the world's well-being.


Some of the nymphs, pixies & elves chose to resemble human beings (our s-elves) to get their message through. I think Jasmine could be one of them as she spreads her Natures Whispers, sharing her wanders in a forest of dreams, and of 'wakeful green'. Valerianna must have fae blood too, for she shows how forests can heal the soul and her paintings of Ravenwood Forest are magical to behold... be sure to scroll down & look in her side-bar for more artistic treats!

Those clever creatures from long, long ago, have so many ways of helping us see & two Rebecca's show us how... Rebecca In The Woods and Rebecca of A Year With Trees. It's not really hard to be inspired by trees when we open our eyes & open our hearts. Dorothee shows us in Virtual Notes, to look in all seasons at how beauty abounds, and Clytie finds a tree wearing its heart on its sleeve! Another who speaks with a dryads voice... is a Greenwhisper of love for magical forests & woodland trails, impossible to leave without feeling at peace. Debby has undertaken a fantastic project (at least for an artist that loves trees!) drawing & discovering the history of an ancient forest.


Many fairies & gnomes hid in legends and tales... making sure that grains of truth always remain, no matter how often tales may evolve. As stories do, they snuck into our homes & into our minds... adults may need some help to see, but all children know that magic is real!  Silvia, whose name is 'of the forest', is one who remembers the magic of childhood, she tells her tale at WindyWillow. On the subject of willow... young Cathy learned how to observe & pay attention with the willow from her grandmother... a  skill she learned well as her painting 'Forest Through The Trees' shows.


Fables do tell of good versus bad, carrying the torch of triumph over adversity, a theme that recurs in tales you read here. John compares his life with illness to a tree enduring a lightening strike... and these two curious trees demonstrate just how resilient & enduring they can be when lightening does strike. Gene shows some videos (worth watching all three) of a historic oak that was struck... in this case it was 'people' that got in the way of it's recovery (obviously they need some fairy dust!)
It is always sad to see a tree come down, but that is not necessarily the end... we can learn much from their spirit & tenacity as Barb explains.


Barry also speaks of the tenacity of trees & asks what we can do to help... perhaps he too has some elven blood, for he creates the most magical leaves (elves) enfolded with words that I know are spreading around the world. Those crafty pixies & co are taking their mission seriously, helping artists to weave subliminal messages into their work in diverse ways. Who could fail to be moved by a Song of Hope like this? And look at her name... Forrister... who can deny that sprites are at work here & now at the Free Spirit studio. This piece, a more abstract design, is inspired by the Tree of Life. Oh that Tree Of Life, as Stella says, 'the tree of all trees'.... inspiring our thoughts and the paths that we take. I reckon that spiralstone's sequence of events contains sprigs of that tree.


Of course, in that forest, long long ago, everyone knew that trees speak to your soul, and magical beings, right here on earth, are spreading the word for others to hear. "She Speaks" says it perfectly, as does "Songs of The Loving Earth", both stories told by Little Drum of The Dreaming Tree, accompanied by the most beautiful photographs. I'm sure you will see the tree spirits as you wander through this sacred space. Laura in her gnome-mound hears them, calling with the rain and she shares a tender blessing watching leaves unfold. Another Laura also feels them call, saying 'let me count the ways'... (laura, from the latin laurus meaning laurel, hardly surprising then that these two who share a name both sense the energy).

The energy of trees is enhanced by the moon, and at Moondreamin' we see moonlight streaming through trees... the words apply equally to moon & tree. It was a full moon that inspired a collaboration of poetic reflections between karyn & steve... the energy was certainly flowing from the first email to the final poem & image.


Sherry is following the progress of the dogwood tree, go see the poems she writes... of the dogwood legend; there's more as the month goes on & finally it flowers. Ash also keeps an eye on how trees progress, and has been known to undertake missions in top-secret places. His photos this month are a joy to behold. A couple of questions I just want to ask... Have you ever seen an alligator tree? (straight out of the magical forest it is!) And do you know your chestnuts? There's more in the comments on that one, fascinating to read. This month I've been photographing the progress of the elm and the sycamore if you want to see.... trees always inspire so many thoughts for me!

May 1st is Beltaine... an ancient festival celebrating the fertility of nature that is so apparent in the northern hemisphere at this time of year... Ambermoggie takes a stroll through the trees & shares her Beltaine Blessings & insights. For Kimberley at Oakmoon Studio, woodlands have inspired her to begin painting & writing again... oh, the healing energy of the trees works in so many directions! There are even trees planted to represent directions... the Compass Sycamores. Trees have inspired some of the greatest literature & Richard Horan set out to collect the seeds that inspired americas literary greats


Now, humans can be.... well, strange.... they don't like to be "told", which is why the inhabitants of forests of old have had to employ these subtle ways to coax & inspire.  They even sent a delegation to hide in the words of every nation... the word-sprites are found in language & text, weaving their clues through the words & phrases we use. It's true. Just look at the word "inspiration"... inspire... = spirit, sprite, surely you can't argue with that when you can see how everyone here is inspired? I know they've been reading & are secretly pleased, that so many people are inspired by trees!

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed & taken the time to write such wonderful material. It has been a pleasure to visit every branch of this festival.... may you continue to be inspired, and to be such an inspiration.

Festival of the Trees

did you spot any tree-sprites on your way through?
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