As a brief Imbolc update the mid-winter period has been lucrative. Away from blogging here and the noise of social media (which I’ve left) I’ve been much more focused and creative. I’ve done lots of research and drafting for Gatherer of Souls and have also been working on a poetry pamphlet themed around magical encounters with the other-than-human world called April Dogs.
I’ve got a number of talks and workshops planned for the upcoming year and am working on a new performance with Guests of the Earth called ‘Like a Dragon Newly Woken’. (For further info see my events page).
Unfortunately this has been against the backdrop of the horrors of Trump’s inauguration and Cuadrilla unexpectedly starting work at the fracking site at Preston New Road. Local residents have been holding rolling protests involving walking the lorries every working day. Whilst I can summon the courage to go to the occasional protest I know that, as someone who suffers from anxiety and IBS, I’m not cut out be an on-site activist and would only get in the way and return exhausted and non-functional. Thus I haven’t been involved.
Of course, I feel guilty, but I also realise a world where we were all fighters wouldn’t work and there are equally valuable roles maintaining what’s valuable and creating alternatives. So I pick up litter, dig ponds, help run poetry events, deconstruct the mythologies of western imperialism and tell new stories; I write poems about birds and insects; I write to express my spiritual path and honour my gods; I focus on the snowdrops and candlelight and try not to let the bastards get me down.
I’d like to end by quoting these powerful lines from Lesley Marmon Silko’s Ceremony, which affirm not only the value but the absolute necessity of telling stories in challenging times:
‘I will tell you something about stories
They aren’t just entertainment.
Don’t be fooled.
They are all we have, you see,
all we have to fight off
illness and death.
You don’t have anything
if you don’t have the stories.
Their evil is mighty
but it can’t stand up to our stories.’