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

Sunday 8 July 2012

eco-writing retreat in France part 11

I've a problem with blogger at the moment, which for reasons of its own (probably to do with the google empire) has decided not to support Firefox any more as a browser. I work on an old Mac that doesn't support blogger's browser of choice, Google Chrome. Sigh. Gnash teeth. Etc.

The upshot is that I wasn't able to either post the details of the eco-writing retreat nor add or delete anything after Firefox crashed. So below, in a minute, is the info I promised on my last post.

Before that, I wanted to add to my list in that post poet Kathleen Jamie (and there are many others).

First, some words of Gary Snyder's:

'How can ... writers manage to join in the defence of the planet and wild nature? Writers and artists by their very work 'bear witness'. They don't wield financial, governmental or military power. However, [they are] given, as in fairy tales, two 'magic gifts': one is the "Mirror of Truth". Whatever they hold this mirror up to is shown in its actual form, and the truth must come out. The second is a "Heart of Compassion", which is to say the ability to feel and know the pains and delights of other people, and to weave that feeling into their art. For some, this compassion can extend to all creatures and to the world itself. In a way nature even borrows the voices of some writers and artists...' who find themselves, like the shaman of ancient and some present indigenous and other communities, 'spokespeople for non-human entities communicating to the human realm on behalf of nature in the old way'.

So on this retreat we'll be looking for ways of speaking of and for the non-human world.

This is what the blurb on the flier says (there's more information on the Gardoussel website, as in 'abri' etc below; plus Sharon is extremely helpful about travel details and the like):

1-8 September 2012

Set in the lush Cévennes mountains of the Languedoc region, Abri Creative Writing is delighted to welcome Roselle Angwin for a week of writing and inspiration in a magical, unspoilt setting just 1½ hours from Nîmes and Montpellier.

Come and enjoy late summer sun, and writing… This retreat will focus on exploring and deepening our relationship to the natural world through our own writing and that of ‘nature writers’, in both poetry and prose. We’ll inspire this through being outdoors, quiet walking, reading/talking and writing via a number of exercises and suggested starting points. There’ll be time to ‘stand and stare’, and lie and gaze at the sky, as well as swim in the waterfall pool. We'll explore the art of paying deep attention with our hearts, senses and imagination, during time spent together and alone.

The course costs £595, which includes accommodation in a single room, all meals and tuition. Meals are delicious, vegetarian and organic. Swimming and massages available. Non-writing partners welcome.
email: sharonblack1969[at]
tel: + 33 466 60 16 78

2013: This is a previous course. The next retreat that I'm leading at Gardoussel is late August into early September 2013. Although the focus this time is not eco-writing specifically, a great deal of our attention and time will be spent out in and writing in relation to the natural world. See

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