Here be Midnight

Thursday, 3 August 2017

A sense of wonder

I love the feeling of wondering. That sort of light-hearted curiosity that happens when the Unknown is present. Just as the eyes twinkle before an adventure, it sets the imagination free. 

Painting  kindles my curiousity and I cannot help but follow the sparks of imagination as they fly through the endless sky of mind. Images and tales are born and some manage to find their way to paper and font.

 Sometimes I paint a little then write a little, then I paint some more. The wonderings and imaginings feed the painting and the painting feeds the story. Round and round it goes. 

Simple questions appear: "Who is this character?" "What is happening here?" "What lies beyond the land in the picture I can see before me?" Mind Scribbles become words until I feel satisfied that I know enough about that picture for that moment but there is still some space left for wondering if I'm ever in need of a little adventure. It's a lovely terrain to be in, full of space and potential.

Perhaps inside out and back to front, I don't know, but that is often the truth of how it all unfolds here in The Old Burrow..

So here is a painting and the fragment of that slow growing fable (Troll Song) that arrived a couple of weeks ago... I invite you to hide in the forest just beyond the painted glade and watch as a patch of story unfolds...

Unn entered the dark glade timidly, The Forester's eyes were closed but he had known she was coming - of course.

"Thirty days in this place" thought Unn nervously. Her skin shivered,  the air between the trees was full the kind of quiet that occurs just before a happening of great magnitude. It felt to her as though the Forest's unknown darkness might just swallow her whole. 

"She surely would leave here a different person to the one who had arrived - if she ever left at all. Something was going to get lost in here and it was probably going to be her." And somehow that was okay.

 She was both frightened and curious but still there was the sense of a small warrior within - and with this she stepped forward onto a low rock and looked up.

The Forester opened his eyes, they moved softly and deeply over Unns face. Such warmth and kindness, unlike anything in her life so far. Wild and rolling eyes were the kind she was used to. Or others covered by a kind of emotional cataract, cloudy and withdrawn. Eleven long years under their gaze but no more. She blinked herself back into the forest.

The gentle man of the forest produced a small and humble branch from somewhere. His movements were so mesmerising that like a master magician it was difficult to be sure of anything the eyes saw. Smooth and effortless gestures that were at once slow and swift. Just like everything that had happened since meeting the Troll it was as if Time was not the master anymore. Just a mere servant employed irregularly for the baking of pies and striking of beautiful clocks, admired but not cherished.

From the end of the branch a pale spider began to drop slowly along a line of invisible silk. Unn swore she could hear its tiny feet moving skillfully along the sticky thread. What she had taken for granted her entire life suddenly revealed itself as the magic it truly was. And then came another sort of magic altogether - a star began to form at the end of the thread. It hummed softly, the forest branches quivered with delight.

"What can you hear?" the Forester asked. His voice so normal, so unexpectedly genuine that it conjured up a deep feeling of trust.

Unn listened to the soft humming of the star as it rippled through the air but there was something much louder, much more obvious, an enormous, vast, penetrating silence.

"I can hear the sound that silence makes." the words left her lips all by themselves. They were new even to her own ears.

The Forester smiled. He sat upon the large boulder as though he had known it since it was a small pebble. As though they had known each other all their lives the boulder effortlessly and lovingly supported him. Wriggling his toes he tickled the rocks surface affectionately before standing tall amongst the night sky. And then, just as a fisherman casually retrieves a fish from his line so he effortlessly picked the star from its silk and popped it into his pocket. 

The spider crawled away into the forest.

Climbing down off the boulder, he reached for Unn's hand and they walked away from the glade, into the trees. The gentle glow of starlight leaked from his blue pocket - just enough to lead the way and not too much to disturb the night.

There was a fondness in the way they moved though the forest. Hands and leaves caressed each other as they walked amongst the branches. Feet fell into an embrace with earth at each step. A feeling of home began to grow inside her and shine gently like starlight from a pocket.
"Now lets see where those demons are hiding" winked the Forester.

* excerpt from Innan Tordid (a 30,000 year old book of wisdom from the Underworld)

Always smiling and rarely speaking the Forester is somehow more than just human. His movements are as effortless as the stars crossing the night sky and he is capable of curious magic if the mood takes him. His heart is kindness itself and occasionally he lets visitors find him.