enchanted, frightened, in equal measure. eloi, eloi. edges of the wild, evergreens, powerlines. a little too old-fashioned, english girl impractically nostalgic. abalone shells as altar of eros, ink stained fingers planting tomatoes and irises. foxgloves, forget-me-nots, pressed into the pages of heavy books and forgotten forever. feed the hummingbirds before breakfast, they’ll hover about the kitchen window, sing the songs that appear as they wish. mint tea in a mason jar, mountain on my chest. eloi, eloi. march 2019: saturday evening. lemon drop daffodils, saint julian’s day, heavenly protector of wanderers far from home and looking to find safe lodging. old man’s beard, traveller’s joy. english pear scented candles crackle. shadow and glow. earlier this afternoon*, probably the last of this winter’s snow, although it was eleven degrees and i don’t entirely understand how. tonight, though, now, raindrops race one another from the top to the bottom of my apartment windows. lavender’s burning, lilac perfume. a spoonful of elderberry syrup, a two cup teapot, i fall asleep under stars on the ceiling. the next morning, and …
i have guarded my heart, as hortus conclusus – or, twisting trail of petals to tread. all the while, venus has been wandering above us, she’s been scattering patterns of stars overhead. a couple fall, then catch, on the canopy, the cypress ceiling, cosmic chancel, that shelters me. now a capiz crescent wanes watchfully, and the night sky is lapis lazuli.
the sound of scissors through cellophane, upon returning home from a saturday spent with your grandfather. hours hovering about the kitchen, heart of home, heart of life, boeuf bourguignon and clattering conversations about crumbling down chapels, to be visited, along with sleeper trains to the scottish highlands, south of france summertime memories, how distant they all feel now, and there was a lecture on single malt whiskey, too. unwrap two bouquets of the sweetest scented gypsophilia million star, and breathe it all in. stretch out the moment. flood senses. place both in their own vases on your dresser, magellanic clouds under an antique map of california. splash rose water on your face, pour sparkling wine into a portmeirion glass, it’s decorated with hand-painted sunflowers. attempt to give all of your thoughts away, for the rest of the day. smile, and pull down the calendar that is pinned to your wall. scribble a few notes, flip a page, it is a new month, and there’s an illustration of alqualondë, or, the haven of the swans. a song …
the sun is passing the sign of pisces, a snow moon is sinking into dangerous seas. well, a careful love was never enough for me, and it has been found again – eternity. it’s a spire shell tossed to a sacred well or a sailor’s prayer set to the song of hosanna’s bell it’s a red ribbon tied around a golden bough and the pale yellow crocuses growing in circles now. mariner’s way is an ancient track that sailors once used to travel across dartmoor. people aren’t quite sure where it was, exactly, but there’s probably some ancient scroll hidden away somewhere dusty, just waiting to be discovered. hosanna’s bell can be found at buckfast abbey, it’s a benedictine monastery, they’re famous for their tonic wine, too. i’ve not tried it. sharing honest writing is very difficult for me, even on this odd public diary/blog.
this is the gift of the soul, before the body surrenders, and like sunlight on saltwater, breaks into impossible colours. 07.02.19: a single new bloom wild daffodil grows at the top of vicarage hill. people used to believe that they would appear where once ancient temples, or monasteries, stood. holy ground, tread with reverence. muddy red clay paw prints meander about the pavement. there are mosses and mushrooms, too, growing along the shadowy banks of oak-shaded lanes. i’m thinking about how strange and splendid all of this is, how it’s already beginning to feel like the start of a new season. each day, increasing numbers of snowdrops and crocuses spring into their brief being. i can hear gulls, in the distance, they’ll be gliding around the harbour, over rooftops, between spires. a sea-birds’ choir.
diary 04.02.19 i am two hours out of london, now my train is speeding faster, now and the horizon stretches out vaster than it has before. there are rolling meadows, ancient hedgerows, mythical moors and snow-tinged distant hilltop tors. this is our inherited land. this is not at all what we had planned, but there are shipwrecked sunken boats and silver tidal sands shifting and settling like swept in stardust. last night, it stormed. i’ve got to trust that all of this is sunlight, transformed.
a pearl grey propitious first february morning and i’ve faith as a sundial or a sea-bird’s wing and like me, the ivy leaves are all shivering and there are silver bell snowdrops, each will ring in the spring. it is imbolc, brigid’s day, candlemas, a traditional beginning of spring, and i’m wearing inherited pearls and reading about stellaria holostea. i am the ‘flower of sorrow’ so they say no glory can i borrow from the May yet, starlike, mid the green my fragile flowers are seen so faith her steadfast eye lifts to the sky it’s a second hand charity shop book on plant lore, illustrated by rosemary wise and written by josephine addison. i’ve also a very old-fashioned book on traditional british cooking, and it’s just fantastic. summer pudding, fisherman’s stew, sand cakes, and stilton mousse (which sounds awful, in my opinion). tomorrow, i’m to finish my packing for the ukraine: – bobble hat, two – camera, two – lenses, three – impractical phrases scribbled on a piece of paper, three – …
he was stood at the brink of evening, honesty eyes open wide, each their own little lunaria full moon. it would be sundown soon, he knew, and so silently he watched, as the afternoon sky, which had been streptocarpus bethan blue began to sink into a darkness that would be lit only, that night, by stippled specks of starlight, silver ink and indigo. where i was, there was ivy hanging from the ceiling and i was thinking about iseult’s grief, and love everlasting, and how tendrils and vines will tie themselves in knots. in two terracotta pots, forget me nots.
approaching daybreak, and once again the snow that was falling has turned to rain and my hyacinth heart bursts from flower to flame, petals as blood, it is always the same. i’ve been reading about cladonia cristatella, and white-striped parasol scilla. in less than a month, i am going to be 28. i’ll either take myself to paris on a train, or else i’ll drive to see hopefully thousands of snowdrops, again, there’s a special walk you can do around the gardens of a grand old house near to where my father’s studio used to be, they’ve dozens and dozens of different breeds. things that don’t help me fall asleep: the silmarillion, valerian tea, worrying.
a capiz moon retires its light to a softening silver sea of first fog, and i am here listening to the sound of boiling water being poured through the little teapot that i’ll set in place next to the candle on my bedside table. lavender, valerian. somewhere north, this morning, there’ll be sunshine yellow guiding gorse petals glittering with frost. and, somewhere further, hopefully, there’s mycena luxaeterna, or eternal light, illuminating a very dark and hidden patch of some faraway forest, to be seen by noone. somewhere else, a family i know will be lacing up their already muddy boots, jumping in the car, dogs in the back, flasks-in-hand, they’ll be heading to dartmoor, i’ve been thinking about down tor, or else, to the beach. and in california, the southbound coastal starlight will have just reached los angeles, city of dreams, where reality and fantasy melt into one another in the heat.