Writing this bit is more challenging and daunting than writing the actual posts!
I am a . . . Nope, not this time.
I would describe myself as . . . No, that’s not quite right.
I perceive life as a Journey . . . Ah, that’s more like it.
For me the Journey of Life is one of continual being and becoming. I have not always been as aware of that as I am now, but it is the case, and that awareness increases with each passing day.
A vital part of that experience is living in communion with the Spirits of the Land, the Ancestors of Place and the Deities of Locality, and this I can do only here in the UK, where the Land is enchanted, literally singing to me, in speech and silence; where the Ancestors are willing to engage with me; and where the Deities are those who have made themselves present to me. Until I came to the UK I had never had this experience. These relationships are holy, sacred, and absolutely necessary for me to be alive at all. I could no more live without them than I could exist without food or water. And, again, I was not aware of what was missing, how empty I was, until these Essential Presences were there. They have claimed me. They communicate with me. They reveal themselves to me. They surround me their wisdom and acceptance.
Spiritually and religiously this reality is expressed and lived through Druidry, animistically experienced and practised in part using engaged journeying of the body to and in sacred places of these islands, some of which are sacred only to me, and of the spirit, through and in the lands and landscapes of the Otherworlds, which have become more and more accessible because I am rooted here and have grown from those roots in understanding and proficiency.
These realities in turn nourish and nurture the perceptions that emerge through me as poetry, lives sensed that I am beginning to shape into legends and memories revived in and through me that I am starting to understand how to frame as myths. These I write now and am called to write as I continue onward. These realities also nourish and nurture my service, part of which is creative expression and part more directly focused through my interactions with the land and those who inhabit it with me.
I love the woodlands, the seaside and the ancient sites of my ancestors that dot the landscape, reminders of what has been and how much we shall never know with certainty. I spend a lot of time walking. It is how in forge and strength my links to the Essential Presences. It is as good and necessary for my soul as for my body. And, I never leave home, not even for the local shop, without my camera, notebook and trusty Pilot pen.
I am a member of the The Druid Network, the Order of the Yew and British Druid Order. I completed the OBOD Bardic course. It took several years. I have not completed the Ovate course, because whilst the information is of interest, I find the structure limiting. My way of approaching and apprehending Druidry has changed markedly in the past dozen years, to something lived more than formally learned. The learning comes more directly now from the gods, ancestors and spirits of the land.
Although my hand writing is atrocious, I am calligrapher, but I prefer the single elegant illuminated and historiated letter to lots of text rendered with exacting precision. I think this interest comes from my academic training as a Mediaevalist or maybe it is the other way around.
I also have begun to experiment with textiles, working with and in colour, pattern and texture gives me the opportunity to express myself in a freer way than I tend to do either in my writing or calligraphy. It also lets me use another sense, that of touch, to create.
It is my hope that what I share here may convey in some way how I comprehend and experience the riches and richness of the Journey of Life, and that you will find some words or thoughts that resonate with you.