Monday, February 05, 2007

"As the light lengthens, so the cold strengthens"
Last weekend was Imbolc, the Celtic festival of new beginnings. Appropriately for a celebration about the growing power of the sun, Saturday in Glastonbury was a stunning day, warm as summer and with a vivid cobolt blue sky. A magic day, full of personal affirmations as we spiralled around the tor and revisited the holy thorn, which we found decorated with pagan tributes of mistletoe as well as a tiny corn angel. Perhaps this is St Brigid, who is patroness of fertility and poetry. As saints go, Brigid seems to have retained remarkable primitive powers. Everywhere she walked, flowers sprang up under her feet. A goddess of poetry, Brigid invented the Ogham alphabet, and on Brigid’s Night 'the sombre hag who took possession of the year at Samain is replaced by the smiling one of hope, full of virginal gaiety, beauty and promise.' Sounds good to me.
"I think I've finished book 4" Debby Holt says at our monthly meeting at Emily's. Book 2 - Annie May's Black Book - has only just been launched, and immediately rocketed into the top 50 best sellers, so this deserves celebration.
What else is new. On Monday the Frome Writing Self-Help Group met again, this time meeker and more mutually attentive. Having now come to heel like docile pups after a Barbara Moorhouse training session, we lolloped through the empty spaces of Wendy's projected programme, filling each date with themes and facilitators. The focus remains firmly on self-help; the general feeling is that the group will find its own direction and energy as it develops. Sessions are open to any interested writer but places limited: sign up at the Library to ensure participation. By contrast Frome Writers Circle, now a vintage group compared to the young wine of the FWSHG, in our Tuesday meeting were able to appreciate the advantage of a smaller group: just 4 (excellent) stories shared but with enough time for full discussion.

With my feet back firmly on Somerset soil (how thick and moist the grass looks here)- a contrastive moment from 2 weeks ago. Providencia, uptown Santiago. I'm scurrying across the busy road without waiting for the traffic lights' permission. Bus driver starts honking his horn. Other drivers join in, long fingers on the noisy pulse as they pass. I'm shaking. I wasn't doing anything that dangerous, surely. Why are these latino drivers such sticklers for pedestrian discipline? I find out about the earth tremor later - the horns are used as a quake warning. No wonder I felt shaky.

2 more fragments from my Chile journal:
An acrostic:
City girl, small town elder
Reading my friend, writing my life
Yet still unsure what it's all about.
Scribbling, scribing
Searching, hiding
Elusive answers. Maybe the question is the point.

The other is a line from Rilke:
"The future enters us to transform us long before it happens."

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