Category Archives: 06 Poetry

A Series of Unfortunate Events

“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.”
― Lemony Snicket

Today has conspired against me, all day. From the moment I got out of bed (late), to leaving and going back into the house twice for forgotten things, I knew was in for trouble. First activity of the day was turning out my latest moulded silk paper object, which has come out ok, but much darker than expected – perhaps this adds to the ‘oldness’ I was going for, but i’m not sure if just looks too grey. Getting this ready also made me miss the bus of course.

IMG_0318 Crone watches the Harvest Moon
Handmade Silk paper

After an event-free morning in the library, my discovery of David Poston cheered me up but got me back thinking about experimenting with weaving and spinning my own paper thread. Following my inner tutor voice saying “why do you want to do that”, I can’t quite decide if this is experimentation or a desire to ‘play’ with new things. Having been brought up on this already, I’m getting to a point where I am double-guessing every thought. Not sure this is helpful. After David Poston, I also came across the fibre artist Naoko Serino whose jute soft sculpture work I liked, and whose style is similar in feel to my current experiments.

IMG_0322

IMG_0323

IMG_0320
After a few more trivial but increasingly irritating annoyances, I bumped into Shane on the way out of college and we had a quick chat about things. I tried to explain how my ideas had been developing since our last group tutorial, but seemed to end up in a muddle again. Everyone seems to have a different idea of my project than I do. How have I got myself in this confused a position? The main issue is when people offer me ideas I can tell when they are not in keeping with what I want to do, but can’t immediately offer better suggestions on what I do want. Very irritating, but I’m sure I’m not alone in this? Perhaps I’m moving away from the specific idea of ritualised making, as it feels like is turning into a constraint I’m fighting against, not with. I came out of college with the impression that he and Maiko are worried about how well I’m getting on with the course. Hard to tell if this was true or a result of my projections of a bad day.

The only positive was that I shared a new poem describing my current theme which seemed to have the impact I wanted.

I am standing on the edge
Halfway into darkness.
A lone crow flies overhead,
then melts into shadow;
The flickering light of the crescent moon
unhelpful, and unwatched.
The silence in the wildwood
is absolute.

Angelique Talbot, Feb 2015

I wouldn’t normally dump all this stuff in once post, but I need to express the frustration I suppose. Days like this make you wonder what the point is, and whether you would be better off on your own without people’s influences or academic hoops. Lemony Snicket maybe offers a little balance to the mood…

“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.”
― Lemony Snicket

When the veil of reality grows thin

Happy Hallowe’en!

In long legends from across the British isles, Hallowe’en and the old Celtic Samhain festival which preceeded it, have marked the death of summer and the start of the cold winter season. All Hallow’s Eve was the night before the start of the winter season on 1 November; the night is in between summer and winter, not belonging to either but connected to both.  This liminality gives it potency, and is thought to connect the ‘ordinary’ reality to otherworldy realities. Due to this, people thought the veil between worlds becomes thin – thin enough for spirits, demons or the dead to come back through into our plane of existence.

This is why there are so many customs which are in fact old divination techniques – apple bobbing, throwing chestnuts into the fire and so on – as perhaps the veil becomes so thin you can see the future clearly. Ignoring the commercial nature of our modern Hallowe’en and the dentist’s joy of trick or treating, there is a real primal fear underpinning the Hallowe’en legend: darkness, winter and the fear of the unknown.  No-one really knows if spirits and ghosts exist or if what people feel are just experiences of something else which science cannot currently explain. Reality is what we construct around us; so we interpret the unknown in the only way our brains can process.

So…perhaps you should lock your door this evening and light a candle in the window.

40399-Jack-O-Lantern-Patch

To mark the day, here is a poem. Samhain by Annie Finch

In the season leaves should move
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn die to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil

that hangs among us like thick smoke.
Tonight at last I feel it shake.
I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
til they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother’s mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings

arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.
“Carry me.” She leaves this trail
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual gaze.