‘No land barer; and yet the moor was filled with untapped memory and story, locked away like the carbon stored within the peat…’
Very pleased to have a new piece of writing feature on Paul Scraton’s online blog Elsewhere: A Journal of Place. It has come out of wider work stemming from my recent residency on Lewis with Island Darkroom, and explores the legacy of the island through its impact on the work of poet Iain Crichton Smith. Click on the image above to read.
We are obliged to know we are global citizens. Disasters remind us we are world citizens, whether we like it or not. – Maya Angelou
The horrific events unfolding in the Ukraine show us how true Angelou’s statement above, is. Nowhere on this planet is isolated, no action that does not ripple through the world on some level or other, highlighting our interdependencies. I have no words that can convey the shock and sadness of what we are witnessing. All I can do is to join the many thousands of others calling for our own government to stop its hill-fort nation thinking and open its gates to the refugees of the Ukraine.
I had to share the latest post on The Clearing by Nicola Chester, introducing a what looks to be a really interesting and thought provoking series of responses to the themes of her book On Gallow’s Down, which I haven’t read but now must, having read Nicola’s introduction. This feels particularly important right now, encompassing themes that have been the preoccupations of my own work: belonging without exclusion, the meaning of home and place, and our relationship with the landscape and the natural world. I hope you’ll check it out, with some wonderful writers engaging with this series.
I drove to Calanais in the rain, looking for the stones. I found them there, standing tall in the mist, like a distant dream I had once dreamt but long forgotten, a silent memory. Did they walk this way those thousands of years ago? What gods and spirits did they dream of; what lost stories did they tell? Where do they dream now, long buried in the ground? Across Loch Ròg to Kirkibost the sleeping woman lies, and the Shining One waits in the west. Too many stories wait here, commodified even now: unreal place, resting in its unknown truth.