Tag Archives: Scotland

Land of the free.

 

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We , that is my husband and I, are building up to the next adventure!  We have had a love affair with the highlands of Scotland for quite some time now.  So we have been brave and sunk our lifetime savings and some capital that will be our pension pot into a small place tucked away between a river and a mountain.

We live frugally now – by temperament we are both loath to splash the cash – and having brought up the young men to be of independent spirit, in mind and purse, we can finally begin to realise a  long dreamt of retirement. Retirement being in opposition to the facts of the matter – at least for me. I am in training to keep up! My pace is slow but steady and my mindset is positive.  I am restricted from running marathons, or indeed walking further than a few miles without severe impact, but the dream will still live.  I enjoy just being in the midst of all that ‘livingness’ of nature, so we will be trying a little wild camping too. When the sun shines.

So the next couple of months is putting everything in place , then here we go!  I don’t need to travel extremely to find where I belong – just to be able to absorb the sights and sounds of nature is a magical experience for me, and from where I derive my inspiration and my  energy.

 

The illustration is a digitally altered reproduction of an old sea chart showing the coast – and if you like it enough, you can find it on decor and product at my Society6 site and my Redbubble site. If you explore my menu, there are links to take you there.

History repeats its lessons

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Text written by 8th-century Chinese poet Du Fu, commenting on the political turbulence in his own experience.

Simplify your life and return to nature when you can – that is my ambition for the next part of our lives together – Scotland calls! The bigger picture is feeling increasingly absurd and we both feel most alive when in the midst of nature. I know we are not alone in this, and we are fortunate that we can reasonably easily frequent one of the most beautiful places I have experienced.

If you tap into my virtual reality you will see the influence that Scotland has on the work I continue to enjoy making. I don’t know, but I feel that can only continue.

If you want further inspiration to reconnect with the solace that nature can bring, why not visit ‘Walden’ by Thoreau – it is a read that stands the test of time.

 

Moments in time

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There we were – back in the Highlands of Scotland, the weather playing its part and cooperating with us, and it’s a trip worth sharing.

I stress fairly easily – my children will vouch for that – so I have had to find coping strategies over the years to help be from having a meltdown.  This is one of my best – to focus on something very ordinary, get right in and personal, look at it carefully, consider its history, its place in  the world. Photograph it. Suddenly you’ve opened up a whole door of perception – the perspective has changed, and the world has tilted just a little in your favour.

Sometimes its elusive – I can’t find the right key to unlock that stratagem, but it’s still a great player in my box of tricks. I suppose the modern parlance would be to call this ‘mindfulness’. I don’t mind that. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, call it whatever, I will keep it close.

I have made these images less than the resolution needed for printing so they don’t get copied and used by some nefarious villain willing to steal them,  but if you are really wanting to have them decorate your walls , then shimmy on down to Society 6 , link here Society6 page and you can navigate to various formats from there.

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The moon is no door.

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To introduce you to somewhere I go to renew my spirit – and I am off there within a few weeks.  It is definitely overdue – I am strung out and my reserves are all run dry.  I surprised myself by having a mini melt down on Friday.  It was a scary reminder of the landscape of breakdown, and I am keeping myself as safe as I can by reminding myself of all the positives in my life.  The greatest being the family relationships I have, but even these are unable sometimes to stave off the harsh reality of living with a fragility of mind that can be threatened by the stresses of everyday life. I know that to want to remain in the land of the living I need to renew my connections with people – the cruel paradox being that the feelings are strong drivers in the opposite direction. I want to run to the hills.

Actually, in the midst of it, I don’t want the hills. I want oblivion.

That’s the scariest part.  I grieve for all those like Sylvia Plath that were unable to access the help modern drugs can give – I know I am frightened to contemplate a reality without mine – perhaps one day.

The Moon and the Yew tree

“This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary.
The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.
The grasses unload their griefs at my feet as if I were God,
Prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility.
Fumy spiritious mists inhabit this place
Separated from my house by a row of headstones.
I simply cannot see where there is to get to.

The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right,
White as a knuckle and terribly upset.
It drags the sea after it like a dark crime; it is quiet
With the O-gape of complete despair. I live here.
Twice on Sunday, the bells startle the sky –
Eight great tongues affirming the Resurrection.
At the end, they soberly bong out their names.

The yew tree points up. It has a Gothic shape.
The eyes lift after it and find the moon.
The moon is my mother. She is not sweet like Mary.
Her blue garments unloose small bats and owls.
How I would like to believe in tenderness –
The face of the effigy, gentled by candles,
Bending, on me in particular, its mild eyes.

I have fallen a long way. Clouds are flowering
Blue and mystical over the face of the stars.
Inside the church, the saints will be all blue,
Floating on their delicate feet over cold pews,
Their hands and faces stiff with holiness.
The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
And the message of the yew tree is blackness – blackness and silence.”

Sylvia Plath

The Pantomime Part 1

Scotland 2014 Anne Corr

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.
From Wallace Stevens  ’13 ways of looking at a blackbird’

Dogwalking With Van Morrison

Dogwalking With Van Morrison

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Dogwalking With Van Morrison

October sun; blinding,high,
reveals night-shift silk
spun and caught in carpet
of crisp Autumn fall.
Van’s vision,and
I’m feeling his sense
of wonder.
Dog shares ecstatic
suspended moments,
appreciating too, the master’s
fiery vision bright;
and misses a squirrel
fancying it’s chances,
one too nonchalent
to care , sensing engagement
elsewhere.
Pete’s seen squirrels before;
he’ll see them again.
What matters is the now,
nose down in
unmentionable odours
too potent to ignore.
I did walk the dog this morning, though this time it was Digger, not Pete  as sadly he fell and never recovered the fall, breaking his back after sliding off a rock.  It was a loss, but we couldn’t help but feel it was the best way for a dog to go – living  a life full of joy and freedom, chasing after something that had caught his nose.
The photo too tells of  a different Autumn, a holiday in October taken in the Scottish highlands. Where better to be amongst the colours of Autumn. Off up there soon , cannot wait!

Rocking all the way home.

rock and seaweed Anne Corr

Landscape holds dominion here;

rock and light; half-light,

cloud  and shadow. Moving,

sweeping , ever-changing,

ever time-less.

I came here broken;

heart grieving life losses

(disconsolate, bereft).

Time locked down, moved on

Had gone elsewhere.  Here

I was still; silenced, petrified.

 

Rock, stone, light became as

near to enchantment as life.

The breath of the wind, and

flight of the mist kissed me,

mired in sadness, mourning for

what is not; fantasies

of a mortal mind.

 

All that has gone before;

here, remains. In heart of stone,

in the spirit of trees; blazoned

over sides of mountains,

gushing and rushing  in waterfalls

fierce as thunder.

 

I am rock, and stone; grass ,water,

sand and mist. Timeless, changed.

 

Here, and here, alone.

 

Sea and rock Anne Corr Rock and sea     Anne Corr

 

All creative endeavour here is by me, please do not copy or use it without prior consent.  Of course I mean the photos and the poem,  not the landscape itself which is its own creation and spectacularly amazing.

And if Dr Quack is reading the photo  below is for you; it proves the existence of giant mallards before they were all petrified – literally. this one is just keeping its head above water.

Giant duck of stone   Anne Corr