23rd August

Words.

A world of words arriving in my head like fragments of burning shrapnel. It is too much, at times – more than this poor soul can stand.

My sister on the telephone, Monday afternoon. She has quit her job. She is depressed because of her outstanding credit card bill, which she had hoped to clear before parting company with her present employer. This call was soon followed by another from my ancient aunt who wants only to discuss my moral transgressions, or so it seems. She, apparently, has seen Peedeel’s blog.

‘Filth,’ she declares. She promulgates such tedious opinions with ease. ‘The ungoverned libido,’ says she, ‘is bound to have a wrecking influence – ’

But that’s exactly the point of the blog: to challenge moral complacency. ‘And, anyway, auntie, things sexual by nature only appear at weekends, as a general rule. A time when most people are either partying or fornicating – not reading blogs! The remainder of the week, I’m hoping to introduce readers to new poets or new ideas. Culture – ’

The old lady gleefully paraphrases my life story from my disastrous first marriage through to my current ménage. She takes such delight in sleazy detail. Could there exist an element of jealousy in her recriminations? I can only quote Larkin in response:

“the wonderful feel of girls” is to blame –

‘It strikes me that you are easily propelled into stupidity by the passing of time, Peedeel – ’

And, yes, she is probably correct.

#

To the ancient Roman’s the hare was a symbol of fertility, abundance, sexuality, lust and excess.

In their myths and folktales the Celts believed the hare had links to the ‘Otherworld’, that mysterious place of spirit and the supernatural. They believed that the Goddess Eostre’s favourite animal and attendant spirit was the hare.

The girls have sown an image of a hare on my fancy-dress party outfit. Do they dedicate me to Eostre or to lust and excess?

#

I really do feel in need of a break. I’ve suggested a weekend away. The Gloucestershire village of Wotton-under-Edge springs to mind. The girls have never heard of the place. But the Ram Inn is considered Britain’s most haunted hotel! It’s closed as an Inn, but on occasion the owners give guided tours –

Oh, to walk those wonky floors, those steep narrow staircases, the bewildering, shadow-filled passageways, to look out of the cobwebby windows, watched over by the unseen residents! It is a possibility devoutly to be wished for.

We will see.

the edge of the dark

August 15, 2017

In Welsh mythology the otherworld is known as Annwn: the not-world, the deep. It is the beyond of adventure, the locus of alterity. Its landscapes are unstill, its deities and monsters have many faces. It is a source of beauty and terror, of awe, of Awen, the divine inspiration quested by the bards and awenyddion who crossed the edge of the dark to explore its depths.

The ways between the worlds are fraught with danger. Safe passage is only granted at a cost. Those who return from the otherworld are never the same. Thus they shroud themselves in the cowl of the edge of the dark.

Those who live on the edge see our precarious reign over the land and its myths is illusory. Tower blocks and elaborate street lamps are ephemeral as Dickens’ fairy palaces. Electric lighting is no defence against the edge of the dark, which seeps in because its memories are deeper than us, its darkness more permeating than headlights.

Lorna Smithers
The edge of the dark

of fairie and stranger things

December 10, 2015

First_Faery_Brian_Froud

I’ve always been aware of the otherworld, of spirits that exist in that twilight place that lies in the corner of our eyes, of fairie and stranger things still that we spy only when we’re not really paying attention to them, whispers and flickering shadows, here one moment, gone the instant we turn our heads for a closer look. But I couldn’t always find them. And when I did, for a long time I thought they were only this excess of imagination that I carry around inside me, that somehow it was leaking out of me into the world.

Charles de Lint
Memory and Dream