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Tag Archives: Book Reviews
As my broken shoulder mends (and the rate is ‘amazing’ and ‘astonishing’ to my consultant and physio respectively) and I am able to do more and more with my left hand and arm. (I’m a leftie, so it’s quite important!) I’m bit by bit picking up my creative threads. Spiritually and mentally, there are some exciting developments brewing.
Nonetheless, I’ve been feeling down in the dumps about my creative hiatus. My hands fell this morning on a little book I have* of extracts from the love poems of Rumi, described on the cover as, “The great Sufi saint who embraced God through the path of love.” I opened it upon words which resonated strongly with my present state of spirit – and body. Continue reading
The Amber Lake
This week’s word to contemplate from Hone Life, is yellow. (Do check out Hone Life for the complete collection of reflections on the word of the week).
Though yellow conjures up sunshine and spring – warmth, growth, abundance, renewal – for me it’s a difficult colour to work with as an artist – it’s a bullying colour – and I can’t go near the yellow of a rapeseed crop in full bloom; that’s a yellow that plunges hot pokers into my eyes. I was pondering how to write sympathetically about yellow while working on a little mixed media collage/assemblage. The penny dropped when coating the substrate with shellac. I was using amber shellac. I thought immediately of heavy water.
This is the heavy water Gaston Bachelard writes about in Water and Dreams: An Essay on the Imagination of Matter. It’s in reference to the poems of Edgar Allen Poe and Bachelard admits in his observations to drawing on the analysis of Poe’s works by Freud enthusiast and benefactor Marie Bonaparte.
Amber is fossilised pine tree resin, secreted in response to injury, to seal and sterilise. It is probably observation of this which led to medicinal uses of amber, which date back to the time of Hippocrates, and forward to the early 20th century. One could say then of amber that it is a yellow which heals. Continue reading
“But then why shouldn’t the British people have free access to the best bits of our own countryside? Many of our parents and grandparents fought for this country in the world wars. Some of my readers may well have served in more recent conflicts. Why is it deemed okay to be prepared to die for your country, but not be allowed to walk across it?” Continue reading
Reading the Anne series is proving profitable as a writer. I’ve cried and I’ve laughed over the exploits of the characters, who are all drawn so brilliantly. The voice of each is distinct. Rilla brings vividly to life, the ways in which people coped with having to watch their sons, brothers, friends, lovers, go off to war and with the acute awareness that they may never, perhaps, see them again.
Though, as I say, Rilla is the darkest book, it has its humour. Here’s an extract which brings together Susan, Anne’s long-time housekeeper/cook/maid and Gertrude Oliver, local schoolteacher and boarder at Ingleside. Continue reading
“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people know more … though I know that is the noblest ambition … but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time … Continue reading
Time speeds up even more and the flow of birds becomes “like an enormous plain sown with feathers;…” and “…along this plain, flickering through the bodies themselves, there now passed a sort of white flame, trembling, dancing, then hurrying on,…” As soon as he sees this, he knows the flame to be, “…life itself, the very essence of being.” Continue reading