Wednesday, 27 July 2011

~ Hmmmm ~

This is pretty much how my head~space has been for days...filled with cotton...bog cotton at that. I decided to not fight it for a change...just go with it. Letting the frustration go has been a relief, and so, I've been floating quite pleasantly through the week.....the tragedies of the week~end....well that's a different matter, and I have no way of conveying the intense feelings involved.


I enjoyed reading Lyndall Gordon's biography on Emily Dickinson. I only knew she was reclusive ~ Ms Gordon puts forward a convincing case for why she may have been so. Her brother's mistress made me want to rant and rave ~ she was so conniving and manipulative, ambitious and greedy....horrid little woman. Her one redeeming factor, for me, was that she was talented and tireless as an editor of Emily Dickinson's work.

Green Dolphin Country by Elizabeth Goudge let me escape to the Channel Islands and New Zealand in the nineteenth century.

Completely loved The Hours by Michael seamlessly he weaved his story of three women in three different decades....and, as I am fascinated by Virginia Woolf, I now look forward to watching the film too.

Yesterday I started Dared & Done The Marriage of Elizabeth Barrett & Robert Browning by Julia Markus which so far, is promising to be another enjoyable read.


One night, after five whole days of low cloud, the sky cleared and I joined my love in his observatory. He took me on a star~studded journey, where I saw an Eagle (Aquila), even observing the carbon star shining red in this constellation, a Swan (Cygnus), double~stars, double~double stars and bright, bright blue and beautiful. Finally we lay on the wooden floor and just gazed upwards......

My Man, Tilly~Dog and I went for a walk in our favourite woods....Ffynnone.

In our Welsh mythology ~ The Mabinogi ~ it's waterfall is the entrance to the Celtic Otherworld ~ Annwn, where Pwyll, who married my favourite Welsh Goddess Rhiannon, went through some rigorous trials for twelve months.

I like to think the face in the rock on the right is the Gate~keeper of Annwn.

It is one of those places that feels otherworldly.....hushed, even with the sound of the waterfall, with a charge to the air and a knowing that you are very close to the land of faerie.


  1. Beautiful and haunting place, I see the gatekeeper in the stone. I just posted about a magical woodland waterfall on my blog... it seems to be going around as there are a few waterfall posts up right now on blogs I follow. Someday I'll make it to Wales, I've just discovered that the ancestors we thought were Irish were probably Welsh - having taken the "boat" from Cork, they said they had "come from Cork" and so it was recorded that they came from there, but they were probably from Scotland or Wales.... lots in these ancestral stories. The Celtic lands are really calling me home, so, someday...

  2. I love reading books. I cannot imagine picking up a kindle and having the same experience. Do you know what I mean?
    We had the most wonderful, magical holiday , probably 4 years ago now, in Wales . I don't think any of our family will ever forget it.
    Love bog cotton!

  3. Hi Valerianna ~ thank you. Glad you could see the gatekeeper....I've seen a couple more faces since I posted that photo. I love your waterfall post.....a long climb up from this one there's a rock pool deep enough to submerge yourself in...not wide enough to swim in though. I used to go there as a teenager, but have not been for years....very few people visited the waterfall then, now there are always other people sharing in the enjoyment of its beauty. How lovely that you have a Welsh heritage...croeso mawr (a big welcome) :~))) I have a lot of Irish in my ancestry and it is time to visit that land. I do hope you get to visit these magical Celtic lands...they are really something...especially to someone like yourself who would ~FEEL~ them.

    Hi Trish ~ YES! A kindle doesn't even register for me! ~ goes straight over my head....whoosh :~) It will never have the tactile joy or olfactory delight that books give.
    I'm so glad your visit to Wales was so magical. Which part did you visit?

  4. Helen, you've been in the flow in a good way, I think. I want to read the E. Dickinson book you mention now and I think I might have that E. Goudge book on the shelf. The guardian at the waterfall is pure magic, yes. I trust what you feel. Keep on floating. See you in the middle of the air.

    Norway has made me speechless. I can't even touch it. I live where Columbine happened, a fraction in numbers -- but pain is pain.

  5. I love your post. I feel the same at Callanish - alway finding new faces and images in those sacred stones.
    I struggle with Emily Dickinson. I really want to like her work, but it eludes me a bit. Maybe if I understood her better - might look out for that book now.

  6. ~ Hi Peggy and thank you. It was your blog that reminded me to read E. Goudge again :~) I borrowed this one from the library...and picked up another two today. I cannot find my copy of The White Witch :~( so I borrowed that one and St Francis of Assisi. I LOVE 'See you in the middle of the air.'.....YES! :~)))
    I can't touch it either....

  7. ~ Hi Jacqui. Thank you.....I love your sacred stones :~)

    Oh! I ought to have said...I struggle with her too...that's why I wanted to find out more about her. I find the meaning of her poetry elusive...much like she was I suppose. I'm not giving up though....if I read her enough, I hope to have a huge aha moment, and there is a piece in this book that makes me really want that. I'll include it here:

    'Emily dickinson was an avid reader of Shakespear and took similar liberties with English grammar, as when she coins 'perfectness' to convey a uniqueness too intractable for standard perfection. In that poem on the impossibility of objective perception ('Perception of an Object costs') she transforms the passive voice of the verb 'is situated' into an ungrammatical active form, 'situates'. Each transformation has its rationale. 'Situates', like 'perfectness', conveys a wilful distance from definition - a disruptive energy crucial to her art. It turns the noun into a verb. Research on Shakespear's grammar, in particular his use of a noun as a verb (say, 'foots it' for dance), has demonstrated a measurable surge in the brain of his reader or audience. This research is still at an early stage, but one idea is that nouns and verbs may be processed in different regions of our brains, which means that when the usual connection is challenged a new path-way opens up. A 'surge' in the brain registers on an electro-encephalogram one six-hundredth of a second after we hear a novelty of transformed grammar.

    This surge is said to be a kind of syncopation. In jazz, the jolt of syncopation interrupts the glide of musical pathways. This rhythm, as vital to jazz as to Dickinson's start-stop lines, has made her appealing to composers, from John Adams's Harmonium with its marvellously objective choral treatment of 'Because I could not stop for Death' to pop stars who adapt her lines.'
    Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds by Lyndall Gordon

    Isn't that fascinating....

  8. Oh Helen I should remember to come by your blog more frequently, i love the words that you write and this explanation above about nouns and verbs and everything you said here is YES fascinating. It's funny how the brain processes things. There was a time in my past that I was under the great stress of my life and out of that stress there was lack of sleep and for what ever reason it seemed to heighten my creative brain. I actually for a time spoke in rhymes. I know that may sound crazy or a bit off but during that time I could read Shakespear and delight in the cadence of the words not that I can't still do that but somehow it's different. I wrote more poetry then and the world just looked so much more colorful. Perhaps it was a way for my brain to try to balance the pain I was experiencing at that time. Anyway .. so good to be back here at your blog this sunday morning! Soon I'm going to have to go to town to escape the heat that seems to be increasing by the minute! Oh and I love the gatekeeper to the faerie land and the other wordly place by the waterfall .. just lovely!! Have a wonderful day Helen..:)

  9. wish i could hear the beautiful waterfall. that gatekeeper!
    there was a time, college, when i had memorized a lot of emily's poems. i had played her in an oral interp production. for years i'd recite them while falling asleep. my sister took me to her home in amherst a few years back. she was/is fascinating.

  10. The comments here are as interesting as the post! I often get feelings a lot in nature, usually on a big stone by a river, where I know that the stone has been there a long time and seen a lot and has been known by native peoples and animals ~ and I'll gaze down the river (I know rivers change their courses but still...) and imagine what it would have looked like 100, 500, 1000, 5000 years ago. Panthers might have still been here ~ native gatherings of people ~ dinosaurs might have come to sip. For some reason I always imagine giant crocodiles and snakes in the water, perhaps because I'd love to see them there. I think I talk about this every time I'm by a river ~ just ask tim! It's so exciting to be on this earth and I always loved visiting Europe because the paths that men made, especially those long gone, are still there, and remembered. Not as much of that knowledge here. We do have earthmounds, though. :)

  11. ...this is one I want to visit:

  12. all so full of beauty and that cotton tuft..

    good to me to see a waterfall in my desert

    today the cotton in the pots began to change.
    just day two. same cloth in three pots under the Sun. in the copper, a greenish grey is
    coming, in the rusted cast iron an incredible
    violet smoke and in the aluminum, the least...
    not a lot at all yet. and in all three, the
    leaves from the Mexican Elderberry. tomorrow i'll try to take pics and post...they need more
    time, the "soup" of the leaves needs to deconstruct more and mingle with whatever it is that the pots give. but am thinking it might be good to document it as it goes.............
    and thank you for bringing me to your land with all the above...

  13. Hey's lovely to see you :~) It's so interesting what the brain is capable of...especially when pushed beyond its usual boundaries. I like what you say about balancing out the pain. Thank you for calling in, and I hope you are getting a nice cooling breeze now ~ rain here again tonight!

  14. Hi Cindy...thank you :~) So you really get her. How I would love to sit over a cup of tea with you and discuss Emily! We love visiting such places. We home schooled our son for a few years, and used to go on outings to interesting of them was to Dylan Thomas's house and Boat House. Virginia Woolf's Monk's House and her sister's Charleston are on the to visit list....which is quite long!

  15. Hey Brooke....aren't they though! YES! I imagine things all the time too....usually the little people and nature spirits. I do love that our area is so rich in cromlechs and standing much the same feeling as your Earth Mounds I think. The one you linked to (thank you) would take me off into realms of fantasy for sure. I would also love to see your ancient Medicine Wheels. Have you ever seen one?

  16. Hi Grace ~ I did take photos today....will post them soon. The pot is still in the greenhouse, so it does get some heat sometimes! I'm quietly hopeful about the colour that is happening out there, and the leaves are turning into a beautiful pale greeny silver. I am enjoying the process, and quite happy to leave it there for that magical chemistry to keep working :~)

    Thank you for visiting my land :~)