from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

earth calling cyberspace

There are times – you know? – when all your means of communication fail; or at least there are problems with the technology associated with them. So my old computer had Tourette's when I posted on facebook, and was a little jumpy about whether it was going to allow me to access my blog pages, deciding on balance it wasn't going to make the effort. Firefox, meantime, was throwing a fit at my operating system on the old Mac, and threw me off every time I tried to access the internet; Google Chrome simply laughed at the age of my operating system, and I've had to resort to a very slow version of Safari with a laborious resetting of numerous passwords. Then, basically, the old and much-loved Mac took to its bed and remained more or less mute.

Simultaneously, I've had mobile phone problem after mobile phone problem. Oh yes - I remember why I went gadget-free on retreat... And how easily our stress levels creep up when we're so dependent on these machines. I simply can't earn without one.

So now, I'm the proud owner, courtesy of my beloved mother, of a gorgeous sleek silver new Mac laptop (shhhh - don't blow my non-materialist credibility but ohhh how lovely to have something aesthetically pleasing and fast) – which of course requires new passwords for everything, and still won't let me (yet) download the newer Firefox.

Mercury the trickster up there in the heavens must be retrograde (again).

So – excuse me while I salivate – ooops I mean 'slave' – a little longer over a beautiful if rather infuriating new screen before I post anything of worth.

Meantime, waiting for the data transfer, I took just a little time out: summer was here for a whole half-day yesterday, and I weeded the beans at last – displaced approximately 30 very fat slugs to their new home over the border into the scrubby field next door – and yes! – at last a few runner beans are forming, though the garlic and onion harvest has been dire; and we had just a dozen (albeit plump and pretty) carrots. The brassicas are bent nearly double under their mesh and will need releasing to the cabbage white butterflies' predations soon.

And on Sunday – bliss! – a whole day of Five Rhythms dance for 'women of a certain age' with my first and most inspiring dance teacher, Dilys Morgan Scott. I discovered this practice, with its particular ethos, in my late 30s and it has continued to inspire me. Like poetry, it's a way of staying alive. More on that another time.

Oh and some new people have signed up to follow this blog – thank you! I hope that you'll find something to inspire you here; and earth-to-cyberspace in this small corner of Devon will, hopefully, post something more substantial soon, though this week is a full one with my responses to the first assignments of the participants on the new 'intake' for the 6-month Elements of Poetry course.

Oh and a postscript: some of you will have seen my post earlier this month on 'Singing over the Bones: women writing the wild' (sorry guys) which, with Sharon Blackie of Earthlines, I'm co-leading next April in Scotland (20-27). We only pulled this together a few weeks ago, and already we're nearly full. There are just two places left!

And the same applies to my Isle of Iona 'Islands of the Heart' retreat the week preceding 'Bones' (14-20): two places left. This will be my 13th time offering this course, which is for men and women. I think there's a blogpost on this one too; if you're interested please do use the 'search' facility on the home page (towards the bottom), and contact Sharon or myself respectively.

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