Sunday, 21 February 2010

On the Road...


1. Travel Onward, 2. sky blue, 3. jelly jars, 4. l_26db85818e854ae94ef276bb09ccd248.jpg
Store wishes and truths, in jars between the coffee and jams, for those worst of days...

For a class in college recently I had to pinpoint my values, to live and work by, they boil down to these; truth, beauty, freedom and love. Far too bohemian (and yes clich├ęd) to be practical... and so I may add comfort; I don’t need riches just enough to put food on the table and heat in the rooms, there’s far too much more to happiness. But recently I’ve just been so restless, like a bird in a pretty cadge... Someday I’ll just get in the car and go, drive far away from here, drive ‘til I run out of land; the trunk full of books, knits and chiffon, poets and blankets in the back seats and long gone musicians on the radio, I’ll eat jam from the jars and stop somewhere off the map for tea, I’ll open the windows and catch sunlight in my hair and lie on the bonnet and count all the stars, and then when I can smell salt on the breeze and sand blows on to the road, I’ll know I’m there... Do you want to come with?

I’ve spent today rugged up in the warm, with tea, a stack of papers and silken thread. Today I love laughter and promises and loathe goodbyes and that sickening feeling of uncertainty... I love warm baths and rosy apples, I love poetry and lyrics; all words and rhythm and, as ever, I hate meanness. Today the woman I want to be is beautiful, inside and out, she knows who to trust and it’s oh so easy, she flies kites on the wind and never wastes daylight, she sleeps sound and she’s more than strong enough...

Friday, 19 February 2010

Black Magic Woman...


Raven hair and ruby lips...
-The Eagles

This morning I woke early to find a dusting of snow covering my world; still and beautiful, a blank day waiting to be filled. I've filled it, as always, with tea, with stitches in red; silk on velvet, drifts of paper and books; piled high and fluttering, and wish bones; delicate, white and chalky. I'm slowly reforming the old stories and isn't that how all the best tales begin; a needle and thread, red on snow, bones wrapped in silk and a wish... A spell cast without intent, woven with thread, weather and blood; and so it is that beauty is conjured, raven black, blood red and as white as that snow, and no good ever comes of it; the boys turn into birds and disappear over those woods, the girls choke on apples and are set in glass, those red paths are tricky to follow and anything made with blood and bone always comes with a price...

Today I love cups, heat held in both hands, and toast with raspberry jam. I love the snow but I love that sense of spring. I love daylight; cold and golden, and filtered through vines and glass, I love cake and keys and as always I can't stand thoughtless impatience. Today the woman I am wears red silk shoes, she makes hot chocolate as dark as night and can trace those red maps, she's fought for who she is, she now loves that song and she'll never be cadged...

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

A Life of Rain and Roses...


Save me for a rainy day

There exists, in the universe, a certain law that ensures whenever life smells like roses the wind picks up and the rains set in... The signs are there of course; the scent of something burnt and bitter amongst that heady perfume, bats in the bedrooms; unbidden and circling, the tapping at the windows that is something more than just weather, ignore them at your own peril. Once that wind blows in from the North change is in the air; it may be something best forgotten come back to haunt you, nightmares and starless nights, it may be some darkness carried in on someone’s breath and allowed to roost, merely biding its time. It's the past standing in the street as if it never left, its precious things becoming something lost, it's the wrong choice at the crossroads, the wrong words and the wrong time... When that North wind blows tie blue thread into your hem, stitch it to that lover’s shirt, stand still and wait for the calm.

Today I wish for sleep behind a forest of thorns, safe and long, if someone is brave enough they can wake me up, just give me some time... Today I love soft knits and silk on my skin, a beautiful defence from the cold. I love that my hair is as black as a curse or spilt ink and the gold and cream of my grandmothers cameo ring; all heritage and myth. Today I love the comfort of tea with family and as always I loathe selfishness in any form. Today the woman I want to be knows the way, she dances in the rain and doesn't tend those thorns...

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Earl Grey and Midnight Blues...


1. Me & You Show Sign, 2. unloved, 3. no. 11, 4. tutu-rose

Those in love do not always announce themselves with declarations and vows. But they are the ones who weep when you're gone. Who miss you every single night, especially when the sky is so deep and beautiful, and the ground so very cold.
-Alice Hoffman

I have to say I'm not a fan of valentines day, years in florists and jewelers and as a friend and a sister; watching men, always late, under pressure and worse, bullied, to buy what they are expected to, put paid to that... it's the everyday acts of love I adore; the notes left inside books, on the fridge and in the oddest of places, flowers for no other reason, cheap bunches of tulips, more beautiful than those long steams, little remembrances, evidence of thought and love; pebbles or a pear with steaming tea, shoes, not for themselves but because I'll dance, that song I sing learnt off by heart, sounded out in rhythm and string...

Today I love tulips and peonies, morning pink and as pale as snow. I love old friends and laughter with cake. I love early mornings wrapped in grey and long pitch blue nights, as always I hate those dreams that hurt like new... Today the woman I want to be isn't scared, she has dust on her boots and stamps on her passport, she can sing lullabies in a foreign tongue but she could find her way home blindfolded...

Friday, 12 February 2010

True Blue...


Somehow time keeps slipping away; the hours move on and turn to days, each one as blue and as cold as the last. Blue mornings, filled with tea in blue china cups, blue silks close to my skin, blue scarfs the colour of heaven, blue skies and deep blue nights. Blue for protection, for love and sorrow, blue for truth, blue music and boys in blue moods...

For college I've been looking at the blue of Marys clothes in traditional imagery, originally an economic decision which gave birth to countless pieces of superstition and folklore. I've also been looking at Blues at the Crossroads, crosses and suppers for queens and goddesses... It all feeds into that map in my mind, crisscrossing trails of information.

Today I love oranges that taste like sunshine and golden sunsets in at least six shades of blue. I love crisp cold air with a coffee cup in hand and peat-smoke which smells so much like home. I love movies; flickering in the dark and poetry; strange and new. As always I can't stand unfair actions. Today the woman I am has pin pricks on her fingers and still she can't sleep, she's been baking all week and is beginning to suspect it's just another charm, she still doesn't trust easily but she's surrounded by roses and thinks that maybe she should...

(Second image from www.sadieolive.com and that little portrait now hangs above my desk)

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Sleeping Beauty...


A brave man would have left them be,
appreciated them for what they were;
a wild thing, charmed and tousled.
As it was he cut and pulled and twisted
until all that remained were neat stumps,
brown and hopeless.


The days just keep disappearing; all grey and cold and I want to sleep for such a long time, wake me up when it's spring...
For college I'm attempting to reform the old tales, make that superstition and folklore something tangible, tactile, formed from the crafts of the tales themselves; I've been weaving fragile papers, sewing scarlet embroidery and tying in the weather. I've filled notebooks upon notebooks with words and rhythms, plans and poetry and I'm longing to fulfil it all... so much to do and not enough hours in the day. I took this photograph at the end of the summer, it needs redone but I'm a weather watcher always waiting for the seasons, the weathers and light... Sleeping beauty, briar rose, the sleeping princess; to me shes fierce even in sleep, all thorns and armour, hurt and lost, danger and beauty like her namesake. As usual I'm collecting things, pieces of rose folklore, variants of the tales, jars full of thorns, dried petals; brittle and dull, long twisted briars that seem to creep up my studio wall, I'm sure it'll all form itself into something beautiful some midnight...

Today is grey, dove grey with rain on the windows. This house feels as if the ground could shift under it at any second, it creaks to fill the silence. Today I love pebbles, like the summer I was sixteen, I love tea in the early morning, grey like the light. Today I love the twang of a guitar and laughter like my nineteenth spring, and I hate feeling oh so old. Today the woman I want to be is as free as those wild things, she doesn't mind a silent house, and she can pull beauty out of anything at all.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

House by the Sea



1. Storm in a Teacup, 2. The Newest Form of Transportation, 3. ., 4. one thousand mornings

I've been dreaming of love and of freedom...
-Iron&Wine

Have you ever stood on the edge of a cliff watching the waves below and wondered what the odds are of surviving the jump? That's how I feel right now... I'm standing on the edge of that cliff; that north wind blowing around me, it's carrying snow or salt or ash and it's tugging that thread from my pockets and whispering through the curls of my hair, my fingers are raw with ice and ink and pins but I can smell rain and strawberries and I wonder what my odds are...

Today has been grey; a strange half-light which smells like smoke, tea-filled, text-filled day, all talk and silence, red tulips and well worn cups and I'm so very ready for spring. Today I love the thaw and the green, I love blue ink and blue music and I badly miss my ring. Today the woman I am can read the signs, she can turn that straw into gold and she will sleep on pins or peas but she won't bring those wild birds home; brothers and princes should be free...

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The Red Map...



Oh where did the months go? It's been so long since I last wrote here, it's been a long winter; dark and white and so very cold. I spent it reading; tracing the fairy tales back along paths of bread crumbs, following silky red threads, attempting to find that cold house where they were born... and so my head is full of history and geography, narrative and folklore all layered along those paths, a strange map in my mind...

I loved the snow, I find myself missing it now, everything was so beautiful and still, like that moment before dawn lasting for days at a time. I loved the ice on the windows and the heat of the fire, the steam off my tea spiraling through the cold air, layers upon layers of blankets on the beds, like a fairy tale test... The cold and the snow make me long for blank notebooks, that sense of possibility. I've been filling them as usual with narratives and ideas, too many thoughts flitting around my head, I'm itching to make and write. I'll try to post more now, when I'm making; happy and inspired.

Today I love dustings of snow and pale blue skies, I love feather beds and low sunlight on beaten books, I love knitted scarfs and rolling conversations and as always I hate unfair actions, I've been eating oranges and pomegranates whilst reading my tea-leaves deep in the night, there's red thread in my pockets and a flurry of paper that follows me everywhere, my clothes smell like vanilla and I have cake burns on my hands... Today the woman I want to be isn't swayed by the words of others, she sleeps sound and her tea leaves change, she lives where the seasons aren't just a wash of grey and she manages to get through that stack of books waiting for her...