Tagged: back to the garden

farmers drain fields 48/72

working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Shubun’ / autumn equinox, 23rd September – 7th October
Micro climate ‘insects hole up underground’ 3rd October – 7th October

My brief, for myself, for this blog, was to use this Japanese micro-climates project, within Treesisters, to bring together my art/spiritual practice and creations, by documenting them as a fuller journal, through my blog….and I am still committed to finishing this marvelous project, as it actually DOES connect me also, physically, to my immediate environment in a deeper way!

Recent, professional, feedback on my blog has been ‘It’s too dense’, ‘Where’s your art?’, ‘I could not find the shop?’….not exactly encouraging….

Life is not easy to navigate.

And the richness of days spent in pure observation, gratitude for what already is and dreaming, paddling, in pools of deep thought and taking the Time to share resulting expressions/experiences in images, already very difficult to edit!

This blog is what it is. It cannot be anything other, without ‘trying too hard.’

A bit more than just consumable ‘art’ …. not really easily digestible….or navigated….or linear…a kind of calendar of one life….moving through space and time in conversation with the world around….and finding inspiration and real beauty in that.

Jumping from flower to flower.

A Rolling Om Production….some might wish it loaded faster….not me!

Something wild is growing in my artden.

I am not sure I understand it fully. It ‘grew’ from a larger, pencil, squiggle experiment.

This is what I saw in it.

I am beginning to add colour using ‘treeblood’, (sap of alder pigment), collected from local trees. This home-produced pigment has such a powerful medicinal smell to it too. Quite addictive!
I have sown many tiny, alder, trees this year (that are now due a re-pot). I am enjoying the layering process.
I hope to plant them out in a couple of years to have a sustainable supply of their remarkable bark and increased shelter to the East.

Now I need black ink to finish this piece.

I am researching making my own ‘ink’ out of oak galls or, perhaps more readily available, charcoal powder, sourced from the charred remains of my old yurt! I am awaiting some gum arabic powder, through the post,…to try this….

Some poetry in this use of ‘yurtle‘s’ old frame.

And as I work I send my energetic support to all on the streets of London.

To Extinction Rebellion and all those moving now to change the world.

I listen to the radio and search the internet for news.

This is my meditation.

I feel only half-here.

I tell the trees about it all.

They whisper ‘thank you’ on the autumnal breeze.

I also played around with this pumpkin skin mandala…the colours scream ‘autumn’ to me.

pumpkin skin mandala

I see so many exciting ‘totems’ in its, artificially, reflected joins (image below created from the mandala above, running it through Photoshop effects)….it might be fun to ‘draw them out’…the stories pumpkin told me….

I found myself re-working this original poem of mine too….

Like an Awakening (Part 2).
It’s coming around again, much faster than expected.
Again, too fast, the need to keep grounded and breathe is overwhelming.
Hard to tell if this is personal, accelerated, hard-won healing,
Timeline’s artificial, chronological, self-programming
or really a more global, evolutionary phenomenon….

Observing these returning  tides.

Déjà vu.
The world delights and enlightens, disgusts and shames, with even deeper intensity.
Perceiving all, even more clearly, even more poignantly, yet still struggling to express,
due to the speed and force with which these bass understandings rise up and stand before.

So many branches of this human ‘Tree of Life’…. bursting into blossom…into colour…
such a contrast against the creeping grey.

The entire journey has never made more sense than it does now, in its frictional, spiralling, motion.

We are ‘circling the square’.

Colouring the grid.
The box-like, prison, that was once a solid cage, has now become
a sanctuary, a studio, an echo chamber, a lover, a life’s work, a sky, a canvas, a page….

the boundaries dissolved….

Still happiest alone and re’a’sonating wildly,
The fearful self-isolating exile has now morphed

into that immense gift, of Time and Perspective,

Embrace artistic alchemy and balance that with mother.
Uniquely prepared for this journey. All is in place.
Learning to balance using meditation and immersed in OM.
Chanting in the face of fear,

Finding grace in offering hands

and asking that same awakening force
to guide them, true, into actions,
Informed only by
For where there were, previously, too many paths to choose from,
a terrifying labyrinth of choice and fear,
There is now only one, holistic, mysterious way.
Continue to proceed with immense care and consideration,
Learning how, this time with wholehearted dedication,
To be mindful,
Less most definitely more.

Stillness IS my greatest, effective, 'weapon' of choice!

Like a creature
that avoids predation by becoming completely still
and blending, physically, into its surroundings.
Open and trusting,
Presenting spirit always humbly to the light, wherever it can be felt shining,
And learning to

Moment……until the next….

And learning how it comes around.
Kat Robertson 2019

And wrote this in an automatic frenzy…..

Soul Toll

‘Pay us to pray for you’.
We know you do not believe.
We know you think ‘religion’ when you hear that word.
It is so far from that limiting construct.
Let us play the conduits to wholeness.
We do not need your permission,
but when we cannot do our necessary work,
The whole suffers.
So pay us to say, for you, what you have, now, forgotten how to.
We exist in a larger, responsive, field.
We hold a bigger, reverent, view of life.
We do not yearn for riches beyond need.
We are, already, rich indeed.
We understand the potential of this moment.
Sit, comfortably, in its vastness.
You rush, stressed under the burden of its, rapid, passing.
You seem bound by your urgency to know what can never be known,
in your fight for immortality.
We beat our drums and mark its passing.
We make the Time to honour each breath.
While you just breathe.
Let us weep for you.
We have enough tears.
They are a gift that we are given.
Your eyes remain so dry and focused.
We pray you could relax your gaze,
And feel the salt-sea rising in your veins.
As we do.
If you cannot, truly cannot, find gratitude or grace, in all around you,
Then you are just living,
While we are alive.
So pay us to say, for you, what you cannot.
This rippling illusion, you experience, as you thrash and fight to stay afloat,
that dazzles and confuses, as you continually break the surface,
shines back the truth for us.
We take the time to sit still and, as it becomes calm,
and are guided to speak to everything we see reflected.
Contained, caught in that deep pool.
In the water, that we love, because we are, also, that water.
We give thanks as we remember.
You hold inflexible mirrors made of sand.
So pay us to pray for you.
This is our purpose here.
A purpose often lost in poverty.
There is, what you call, magic in our bones.
We see light and power beyond imagining in the very vastness that you fear.
We are learning now to harness this, in this,
Our Love.
Enable this sacred act by supporting us in kind and, by your own rules, showing, at least, this respect.
You would not work for no-thing in the world that you create.
So why do we?
Let us in to work for you.
We love you too.
We yearn to be seen by you.
So, we are humbly requesting,
Pay us to say what you cannot.
Pay us,
once again, as your ancestors used to,
to speak for you.
Or find your own voice.
We know it is there.
Let us help you find it.

Kat Robertson 2019

So….all in all…..quite a, uniquely, powerful few days.
Not ‘no thing’ at all….

I encountered this small wonder today while writing this….on a trip out to the compost, barefoot, with a moldy melon.
(One of those bought from a supermarket, that went from unripe to moldy, with no ‘ripeness’ in between)
This is hanging on tightly to my Earth mandala paper, now composting on the pile.
I cannot identify it at present.
It looks a bit like the common large white caterpillar, but lacks the obvious, yellow, stripe. Also rather like a Box-moth larvae…..could even be a sawfly…..?
I think it is anchored now to become a cocoon….it is stuck fast.
I moved it carefully, on its paper, so it will not be so obvious to passing birds etc…

I wonder what it will become?
Although the ‘knowing’ would not take away from its beauty.

Not sure how this connects to ‘farmers draining fields’….but can add that local flooding recently points to the need for farmers to do just that …. and for plans to relocate houses/industry/main roads to be initiated….

dew glistens white on grass 43/72

working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Hakuro’ / white dew, 8th September – 22nd September
Micro climate ‘dew glistens white on grass’ 8th – 12th September.

suninrainonrooflight mandala

Been dodging showers and counting rainbows as work on the tiny gallery continues….

I realized I had been over cautious with the initial burn of the cedar, so had to burn it all ‘deeper’ to achieve the full waterproofing advantage. It does look very dark now, but a few weeks in the elements will lighten it a lot…and when it reaches the right colour I intend on oiling it too, with boiled linseed. Rubbing love into the whole trailer after this scarring!
I am entranced by the way the grain takes on the effect of water in the light.
Wood + Fire = Water!

rice ripens 42/72

working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Shosho’ / manageable heat, 23rd August – 7th September
Micro climate ‘rice ripens’ 2nd – 7th September.

Aaaah….how I love this letting go….this gathering in….the simple need to light a fire.

A change in the light.

Now privileged to rise with the dawn again.

I breathe in the open fear and controlled panic of those that are awakening and breathe out only LOVE.

She has succeeded, at last, in getting our collective attention.

My only duty now is to continue loving her.

Like the tiny wren, perched in the branches of this sprawling thorn singing out with whole body. Alert and quick. Responsive.

A ripe blackberry sits in my palm.

A fruit of many seeds. Clinging together in shining fullness. Packed with goodness and nutrients. The light bounces off it’s impenetrable dark skin, reflecting the sky and my skin tones. A gift. So many gifts! To be baked, or stewed, made into jam, processed, or simply popped into the mouth to savor, fresh and sharp.

It’s juice royally purples my hungry fingers.

And, as I gather, occasional thorns snag my jacket. I am learning to avoid them. Snaking my arm through those grabbing tendrils and using a stick to pull down the higher branches.

And I sing with gratitude as I pluck them to add to my humble basket.

A dazzling array of fruits, in different stages of ripeness, hanging on this veracious, sprawling, unthinking, rubus.

What once were innocent white star-like blossoms, replaced by almost sinful, dark, inviting, deep, sensational, fruits.

The rain their juice, the sun their sweetness.

“What distinguishes the blackberry from its raspberry relatives is whether or not the torus (receptacle or stem) “picks with” (i.e., stays with) the fruit. When picking a blackberry fruit, the torus stays with the fruit. With a raspberry, the torus remains on the plant, leaving a hollow core in the raspberry fruit.”

I find myself praying that the torus remains with the fruits of this awakening for all of our digestion and healthy nutrition!

Rather be a blackberry, my torus intact, than a ‘hollow’ raspberry!

One year ago I was engaged in a personal, physical, war with this veracious shrub. Protecting ‘others’, less ferocious, from it’s strangling shade….until I learned how it can be an effective, natural, protective, nursery for trees…..now I work with it….and rejoice in its bounty….and weep as I see my husband wield his strimmer, (so helplessly attached to fuel), feeling like he has won, at least for now….

All I now see, where he has been, is ‘less’…..

This is a tiny evolution….

Some other shots from this micro season…

‘Wren: The little king’

The wren has been very prominent in my awareness recently. Accompanying me often in my work outside. Darting around.

This wonderful, tiny, embossed paper artwork hangs in my artden.

Born from the rough hands of one of the most creative and ‘magically nature connected’ men I have ever met. A man who talks the language of changing seasons and who taught me to walk my bicycle up hills on those longer journeys. A real older ‘Dicken’ to my more youthful ‘Mary’, of ‘Secret Garden’ fame.

A hugely prolific local creative. A talented wood worker and enthusiastic communicator and teacher. Affectionately dubbed ‘Martin of Kilmartin’, so much did he contribute to that community, although himself an incomer, from Derbyshire.

But he is older now and seems to be suffering, due to the lack of love for nature (and each other) he witnesses around him. He appears more bitter, tough and, not a little , angry.

He has no access to the re-love-ution I witness here online. He does not deal in these illusions.

I miss seeing him on his exhaustive travels by bicycle and foot from a to b. But I send him love every time I see this tiny (3cm x 3cm) work of love (originally carved from boxwood) and hope he still has the energy in his old bones to pop up here (like he always used to), again, one day. Perhaps it is time to actively seek him out again….and let him know, personally, how I celebrate his existence.

He has written on the back ‘Wren: The little king‘. The link is to the old Celtic tale involving this tiny bird.

I read it now, not as ‘cunning and cleverness’, but as the ability to see the whole picture.

The feminine rising, through working with what is already there. Working with all that is provided to ‘beat’ the hierarchical, patriarchy….and who highlights this truth in flying higher and hiding deeper….the brave little bird who dares to try……

Inspired also to dig out this pendant he gifted me many years ago. He gave a few of these to people he cared about.
The wood is inlaid into a cross section of deer antler….I always see the moon in that ‘knot’ too….and the shape of a foot.

I think I might begin wearing it again.

deer antler and wood pendant

Next ‘act of creativity’ will be installing the wood burner in the Gaia-hut.

I spent yesterday sewing a futon to size as a cot-bed. It fits perfectly. Soon it will be a cozy retreat way from the box/cage-house, and I will be closer to the land.

Dreaming and weaving my shrill, tiny, song into this new narrative…..perched in a sprawling mass of fruit bearing thorns….

heat starts to die down 41/72

working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Shosho’ / manageable heat, 23rd August – 7th September
Micro climate ‘heat starts to die down’ 28th August – 1st September.

Heat is really dying down…but rain and wind factors are on the increase!
Could not beat the rain the other day so decided to play with it!
Got out all our metal pots and recorded the sound of the rain playing them.
Then made prints by rolling black poster paint onto a sheet of glass and letting the rain ‘paint’ them…taking mono-prints with paper.
Quite pleased with these and resulting video.
Clever rain.

rain print collection with rain sound track from Kat Robertson on Vimeo.

And right now…..it’s the wind….spun round to a new direction….from the North now…..currently 36mph, but predicted to go up to 45mph within the next couple of hours…..cannot settle to anything….have to keep checking the tent tipi ‘workshop’ …and watching out of the window….had to re-peg a couple of times already as ground is pretty soft….going to be an unsettling afternoon!

Gaia is testing me!

tentipi in 45mph winds from Kat Robertson on Vimeo.

The wee Gaia-hut is standing strong and stable though…..no problems there! Grateful we did not have this wind during the opening!
Here are a few more pictures of it, with a different ‘display’ for the 2nd weekend, and other random pics from this dramatic weather season and had to share this well-dressed caterpillar I caught basking in a quick sunny moment!

cool winds blow 37/75

working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘RisshO’ / beginning of autumn, 8th – 22nd August
Micro climate ‘cool winds blow’, 8th-12th August.

Getting behind with this project!

We certainly have been experiencing ‘cool winds’, or rather, sudden gales, on the hill, here in Scotland!

Punctuated with absolutely heavenly, blissful days of late summer, then back to gales and heavy rain the next day.

There has been thunder and I have had a couple of ‘feeling autumn in the air’ moments….the reddening rowan berries always bring it to attention…..

Such extremes of weather.

And the resulting fluctuating moods.

Time flying by.

Lots going on.

I was gutted when a fierce, Easterly, gale snapped the pole of my bird-feeder/willow experiment.

I had made many mistakes when I ‘planted’ this. I had glibly thought it would be fun to plant a few willows around the severe looking metal bird-feeder and train them in a spiral around it. It has been growing pretty happily for 5 years now and the birds and I have really been enjoying it!

Then, in the last two years, the weight of it’s leafy crown caused an immense ‘sail’ effect and the branches began snapping in these late summer gales. I have been giving it a severe, early, haircut to prevent this.

And now the pole itself has snapped….

The rigidity of the metal feeder had been robbing the willow of the flexibility necessary to survive these strong winds.

Supported by the pole it grew bigger, but weaker….then when the hollow, sectioned, tent-style pole snapped, the raw edge was scarring the trees in the wind, on the inside….

But, amazingly, the pole worked its way out and it (the entire installation) ‘fell’/bent under the weight of summer foliage.

The willows retained, though, the flexibility to lie horizontally across the lawn without breaking!

Scarred, but far from dead. All connected. Bendy willow.

Most gardeners I know would wonder why I just did not cut it right down and dig it out!

But I’ve actioned some possible solutions, in order to save it, by removing a section of the remaining pole (that had not ‘grown’ into the willow) from the ‘inside’, hopefully allowing a bit more flexibility, giving it all an even more serious haircut (to prevent wind blow) and providing a little support in the form of a string tied to the downpipe of our house!

Hope it re-grows stronger now….even with remaining, grown-in, metal appendages lodged in it’s crown!!

I see many parallels in this small story with our human relationship with nature.
Our attempts to push nature to our needs/whims. Artificial, so called ‘supporting systems’ making us all ‘grow bigger, but weaker’, all life threatened as rigid systems refuse to ‘bend’, how ‘it all falls’ when the systems themselves snap, only hope for survival of living things becoming to remove as much as possible of said ‘artificial, rigid, pole’, leaving only the best bits, the bits we know work, suffer some ‘cut-backs’ and use the experience to grow stronger, more resilient, having learned our lessons…..and with a little gentle, love and care….to come into right relationship….from better foundations.

I have managed to get some work done on the tiny gallery, but am really beginning to panic that it will not get finished….I always worry too much….it has walls to hang art on…and I am always up to something interesting! I can imagine that being a visitor that finds ‘artist’ swearing and building a door…. could also be interesting! And a chance to stop and have a cup of tea will always be welcome!

Here’s a wee gallery of this seasons best pics from the hill….autumn certainly does seem to creeping up on us….

paulownia trees produce seeds 34/72

working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Taisho’/ greater heat, 23rd July until 7th August.
Micro climate ‘paulownia trees produce seeds’ 23rd – 28th July.

Paulownia trees?
Loving, Living and Learning! (the 3 ‘L’s ?)
Had to look online to see what these were!

This is Paulownia tomentosa, the princess tree, or foxglove tree. Never seen anything like it around here. Lots and lots of foxgloves though!

The record UK temperatures are the most notable natural aspect in this season….this season of ‘greater heat’.

Here in Argyll this is accompanied by heavy humidity and unpredictable winds…..winds which carry an apocalyptic scent and that smash up my garden terribly.

Air that feels thin, lacking and ‘used up’, blows up from the south.

The contrast, the peace and lushness here, (and the unpredictable outdoors), has plunged me into a space of deep thought and re-evaluation after our trip to the city.

So happy to be able to return to this idyll in the hills. To escape the urgency.

But the very slowness of Time here creates a confusion.

“Settle down.” my consciousness whispers.

“Root again”

Back to walking barefoot, in the rain, around our house and garden. Back to having all my precious things around me. Back to that dreaming space……..back to eternal gratitude for all that surrounds…even my crazy family!

It is o.k. to rest a while……the tiny gallery build is going nowhere…it can wait a day or so more….

Besides…..it’s not as if I have been doing nothing the last week!
Here are some of the designs I have been playing with for Extinction Rebellion….

I have been automatic writing/journalling alot too, dealing with HUGE thoughts and revelations.
Key words this ‘micro-climate’ have been:

(I like how the verb and noun are the same….)

There are pages and pages of incomplete, skeletal, poems…

Also a brutal questioning of ‘right action’ in these times….my inner rebel is screaming at me NOT to affiliate with the protest/action, I can still support this Rising, but I am called instead to continue with my own curious, responsive, experiments of wonder and celebration, with even more intended focus and stillness….

I have been feeling pulled, stretched in different directions….time to ‘work’ again…

As a response to this ‘stretched feeling’ I created this, combining all the logos for my favorite ’causes’, as a way of bringing it all together again…..ONE Earth…..ONE LOVE.

And I have also begun this….painted in Chinese ink and now coloured with touches of pastel….I call it ‘Remember who we really are.’
It was inspired by one of my recent pavement art experiments….I felt it was worth ‘working up’ from the stone, as a large 2D piece…(this is nearly A1!)

It conveys better than words some of the deep melancholy I have been processing….

So……many ‘seeds’ produced, but none of the Paulownia tree!

irises bloom 29/72

working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Geshi’/ summer solstice, 21st June until 6th July .
Micro climate ‘irises bloom’ 27th – 1st July.

This will be a non-wordy post as I have ‘wasted’ so much time on playing with this idea.

Irises are blooming here! There are the beautiful, wild, yellow, flags waving everywhere around and I found this beauty struggling to shine in the lush undergrowth of my plot…now threatened by bracken, docks and and, a very lovely and loved, but invasive purple comfrey!
I must either move it or clear a bit around it.

I have always made my mandalas formed around ‘6’ (due to sacred geometry flower of life) and I do truly believe that ‘3’ is a magik number. The sheer syncopation of it, let alone the more ancient spiritual ‘patterns’ of it is enough to convince me of that!
So here is a flower that totally fits this contemplation.
A beautiful natural mandala.
I thought it might be fun to create a ‘perfect’ digital’ version of it, which turned out to be a very complicated thing to work out first time. I have learned how to do it now, but feel I have wasted precious time I could have used elsewhere….
Happy with the results, but forcing this ‘natural perfection’ into absolute symmetry has only highlighted how ‘perfection’ and ‘control over nature’ can never improve on our Mother’s exquisite, organic, forms.

So for the next few seasons I will be travelling to the city, in order to accompany my son for a ‘not to be missed’ theatre summer school opportunity.
Hoping to use my time there productively (I have already connected with XR Edinburgh bods) and keep up with these posts…but believe they might have a bit of different flavour….

So farewell to my blooming garden (praying that my remaining ‘boy’ family will manage to keep it alive!) and farewell to my tiny gallery under a this huge mackerel sky.
Already looking forward to coming back and working further on it and the eventual big reveal….

Leaving this post with a wee slideshow of some of the beauty all around….some of which I have planted…lots of which is just what I leave and allow to shine in this heating up sun….(it really does feel quite a bit warmer this year)….

self-heal withers 28/72

working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Geshi’/ summer solstice, 21st June until 6th July .
Micro climate ‘self-heal withers’ 21st – 26th June.

What a great title for a micro-season!
My first response to this title was ‘What happens when we interfere with the planet’s ability to heal herself?’.
Answer ‘It becomes up to us to support her in healing.’

But Yes! to summer solstice and the longest day.
It intrigues me that the Japanese should celebrate such a humble herb in this way. It must be important to them.
A plant often treated as an undesirable weed here.
I went online to see what it was and realised that we have something very similar here!
I was taught that this flower is called ‘bugle’, (Ajuga reptans) and I always let it seed and grow where it likes…often in the lawn though so does get the chop sometimes….but on closer examination I am not so sure….perhaps this is self-heal (Prunella vulgaris)!
Of course it is possible we have both here….but whatever it is, I think it is the same species, just adapting to different conditions.

How privileged I feel to have either variety as both have powerful healing properties for wounds. Good to learn!

The cut on my thumb is healing nicely and needs no bandage now….but I am suffering, (what are my usual), mid-summer sinus and throat infections. The humidity here, coupled with the warmth, seem to bring all into mould.
My cherry trees always succumb to some kind of fungal disease at this time of year and all food has to be carefully packed and stored. My sourdough starter has gone off (not the mother though…the table top one for everyday use…thank goodness as my starter is now 7 years old!).
I used my neti pot this morning to clear out my face (and feel much better for it!) and need to step up my vitamin C……which is easy now, with all the elderflowers out, ready for making into a cordial and the plethora of ever-giving herbs popping up all around. Herbal salads will bring me round, I am sure, and I picked a huge bunch of rhubarb today.
Rhubarb ginger crumble calls!

On my search for flashes of purple on this plot I had an unexpected surprise! More orchids! Growing where I have never spied them before. Hidden at the base of my husband’s garage bund. The purple one might actually be considered quite rare, but I have not had time to identify it yet.
The one on the left is a Common Spotted Orchid, not rare, but I do find them utterly enchanting.

Work on the tiny gallery continues.
It was quite a significant day when I cut out the side hatch/window. I felt terrified as I approached it with the jigsaw! But all went well. Phew!
I have designed this so that I can pop the whole hatch out like this. A ‘hide’ or artist’s viewing window….serving hatch even, but also to use as a puppet show theatre.
A real piece of ‘found’, recycled glass is waiting to be inserted, as a window, into the pop-out bit, so light will still come through this wall, even when the hatch is in place.
Something lovely about opening up spaces to the great outdoors, letting the air through, my ‘intuitive build’ structure breathes too now.

I have been continuing with making time to thank the Earth and Gaia daily in meditation.
Asking for strength and guidance on this quest and connecting back into the OM of life. It always brings me back to here,the breath, and sets the intention for the day, enabled to proceed, mindfully, with the next step, stopping me from racing on. The message always ‘Slow down little one, slow down…’
I cannot imagine life without this ritual now….my disabling anxiety is becoming a thing of the past, that is, unless I do not do this!!
It really is very noticeable how this practise helps me to control my serious ‘time’ anxiety and general over thinking of everything. Thank you Gaia and trees for this breath!
This image has been popping up for me a lot so I thought I’d do a quick doodle.
When I lie in ‘child’s pose upon the ground, I often feel guided to widen my legs and become ‘frog-like’ against the soil. This image is born from wondering what that might look like from underneath!
At the moment it is called ‘Earth Touch’, but feel like there is a better title coming soon…..

Then there is this little musical experiment to share.
I do not know if anyone has changed the words of this familiar song before in this way, but it seems fitting in these times….I cannot stop humming this as I build….so I thought I’d have a play with myself again!

rotten grass becomes fireflies 26/72

(working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Boshu’/ . Grain beards and seeds 6th June until 20th June .
Micro climate ‘rotten grass becomes fireflies’ 11th – 15th June.

I LOVE this title.
Somehow it describes so much of my journey.
My gift is to turn the ‘burden into abundance’…..and never has this felt more valuable than now.
I live my life on the compost heap!
Examining every immediate layer, inside and out, forking it all over, letting the air in and letting it all break down into something new.

Working only with what I have already got. What presents.

And creating out of that a nurturing space for tiny, hopeful, seeds to grow out of what is ‘old’ and ‘past’.

I have been working so hard on my trailer that the days have blurred and I am 3 days late with this entry…

My core timeline these last weeks has become ‘trailer, trailer, trailer’….and it has to be so if I am to complete in time.

A time of self discipline and hard work.

So little space for creative dreaming.

But I did find time to write this this morning as part of another online conversation I am having….

“I also see a network of connecting threads around the planet and have experienced certain ‘lights’ getting ‘switched on’. As more and more ‘lights’ get ‘switched on’ the ‘grid’ of protection grows stronger. I believe this grid is getting stronger by the day as individuals tune in to these higher vibrations.
Perhaps this grid counter acts 5G? I hope so, as this IS happening!

My journey yesterday was a telling of the history of FIRE.
And how humans became hypnotised by its power and how, when our ancestors learned to use it, they just did not know when to stop and ceased to be in right relationship with it.
Forgetting to thank, to show respect, forgetting to use its power for good, with the advent of metal alchemy and the forge.
They forced FIRE into slavery to create weapons and jewellery to adorn our, now god-like, bodies….now almost everything that is bad for this world, plastic, transport, indeed, almost all the stuff we surround ourselves with, is fire-derived and we are still not thankful! Most of the time the majority are not even aware that this is the case, and totally disconnected from it’s essence!!
Significant ‘others’ control it and harness it to production.
FIRE was supposed to be about protection and now ‘we’ have taken the piss so extremely. Carried away with our childish delights and the power that it gave us over nature…..even at the same time controlling the fires that naturally regenerate the forests!
And so the WATER rises….as she re-balances….
I was left with the instruction to pay more attention and as I wandered around my home viewing ‘all that is home’. I saw each item ‘born of fire’ in flames!! My home was literally burning! Nearly everything! So I blew gently on it all (not to fan it but to ease it’s fury!) and visualised crying over it it all to cool it all down….and most importantly….showing respect, and I have to say, in this case, rather reluctantly, gratitude, for the FIRE that bore it.
I have the line ‘….after all…ALL our mothers warned us not to play with fire….’ running around my brain.
Happily, I also ‘see’ so many more ‘right relationship’ fires being lit.
People returning to the wild and truly appreciating fire for the warmth and light it gives us.
More sacred fires being lit. More prayer candles. And this brings hope….

On a side line it took me to examine more closely my continued addiction to smoking. 

Yes, one of those hypocritical environmentalists….wholly flawed and visibly conflicted…..I smoke rolling tobacco like an old Indian lady smokes her bidis in the Himalayas….it keeps the midges at bay when I commune with nature, or am working outside, and is my ‘last’ vice (other than being human!) and I hang onto it like a a strange ‘death’ raft!
I struggle with this enormously.
I can see all the destruction that the tobacco industry is responsible for, but I feel like I have to keep this connection with fire close to me.
I return each butt to the Earth with an awareness and a prayer.
(Rollie butts actually FEED the Earth and contain few harmful compounds to compost).
I also find that such a visible flaw feeds humbleness and connects me to many that find ‘the whole striving for perfection’ thing a bit much, so am enabled to take the whole conversation into some very unlikely places! I am trusted as I wear this badge of imperfection.
Sometimes I feel like I take this poison FOR the rest of humanity!
In full awareness…..
Potentially I am choosing how I die…..by fire ( if it was possible in the UK….I would also choose to be cremated under an open sky, Hindu style, in the event of my death ) 

Divine Timing, that wonderful instructor, came in finding smoking paraphernalia in my son’s school bag yesterday too…

I am listening….I ran out of tobacco this morning….but do not think I can fight it’s call….yet….not while I need to push on with my work.”

The day I was so looking forward to, the day I cut out the original old roof, has passed with no fanfare…only onward. In a series of tiny steps. There is a rhythm to building. I am learning not to obsess about the next step until the step I am currently working on is compete. At least, with all this rain, I know that, at last, the recycled coffee table, glass sky-light is now water tight!

Each evening , after feeding the family, I collapse. My body exhausted.
But I feel happy and my head is full of the next days plans and tweaks and corrections and new ideas as to how to proceed.

My daily meditation practise is also evolving. This is what keeps me going and how I begin each day.

These rainy days mean I have returned to sitting practise inside more often, although often called to stand. This is what gives me strength.

I thought this month I would make a short video of the intuitive moments that are becoming a kind of yogic dance for me….they only form a small part of my 30 minute practise.
I am so empowered and strengthened by this self-styled ritual!
There are some mistakes in the captions and the angle is less than flattering…. I also do not normally wear jeans to meditate, but these are my work clothes…and this is what gets me up and out there!

Making the time to come to centre and connect in this way with our dear Earth, even if less tangibly, is keeping me on track and reminding me daily why I am attempting this…..this fulfilment of a long held vision.
In these simple moments I set and hold the intention.
A vision that few, but me can yet share, but, at last, I AM DOING IT! Hurrah for me!
Building my tiny gallery with a heart.

The garden is glowing….they say that through the cracks the light gets in…in the cracks between our paving such a glow has self seeded! My favourite kind of gardening.

The kind where it is more about what you leave than what you take away.

(The chair, and its matching blue companion, were found on the community dump! Such a waste and really quite trendy and comfortable outdoor furniture despite their plasticity!)

Solstice is coming fast upon us. That tipping point. I listened to my beloved Treesister’s Full Moon call and feel the power of light spurring me on.

praying mantis hatch 25/74

(working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Boshu’/ . Grain beards and seeds 6th June until 20th June .
Micro climate ‘praying mantis hatch’ 6th – 10th June.

The ‘wheel of wheels’ is greening up …

This is the closest to a praying mantis I find around me here!
Our indoor orchid has decided to push out one more flower after an amazing show over Yule.

Obviously this is not an insect pretending to be a plant, but a plant pretending to be….? Probably just the perfect bee platform, but wow….eh!?

This is the season of these beauties popping up in the meadow/lawn.
It always feels like a blessing. Just love them.
For a long time I thought these were Common spotted orchids, but now I do not think so. Now I believe these are Heath Spotted orchids,
Lovers of this acid soil. Something about them. These are fairly common, but here is a link to some of the other rarities that grow wild in the UK. I have seen Lesser Butterfly orchids around here, but not on this side of the peninsular. Something so sensual about them.

Seeing them made me wonder if this magic was happening out on the hill too, so I went out in the early morning, barefoot, to the ‘place of the orchids’.
They were everywhere….always feels special seeing this cheeky, short lived, display.

I began to notice some other quite ‘alien’ plant life popping out around here too….

Then there is this vetch….it seems to practically grow in front of your eyes…spiralling out is tendrils and seeking support from the grasses. Hanging on so tight, but not too tight. Heading for the light and catching rain.

Quite inspired to create some fantasy insects based on these plants, but all creative powers currently channelled into the exhausting, and mentally challenging, art-form of constructing a ‘hip-jointed, shou-sugi-ban cedar-lined, roofing-felted, corrugated tin, roof’ with a hand made window. Strong enough to go on a road and watertight.’

It is so harsh working with metal. I have not been having fun, and my learning curve is steep! Working up ladders for days…always leaving something up there, or down there.
Working somewhat intuitively, mainly in flip-flops, it is definitely going to look like I built it!
Getting excited about cutting out the original fibreglass roof of the box trailer, to get the whole feel of the trailer’s space, getting back to working with wood and having my feet closer to the ground….

A little seen track around these parts.