The Unwinding

By Jackie Morris

A beautiful new pillow book, from the Kate Greenaway Award winning author Jackie Morris.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

How the time goes

The world where I live is beautiful, no one season more so than another, but now is the time when heather scents the air and fledge falcons call from the sky, begging to hang on to their childhood, be fed by their parents, not face the fierce world alone on fragile wings. Their calls tug at the heart of any mother, but the disregard of parent birds also is appreciated, from where I sit, painting.

Day after day I walk, I write, I think I paint, I read and I am never happier than when I am in conversation with paper. I love to write, as usually I do this on the hill above my home.

I grow older, and my ambition is to grow my hair as long as I can and for it to go grey and for me to learn how to weave it into a fish-tail plait. Meanwhile my daughter, who wanders the land like a seabird is returning today to her nest, no doubt with the appetite of a young falcon. 

She draws, my child, as does my boy. Both write and both read, but while Tom, like me, cleaves to home Hannah wanders like the shearwaters she grew up with.

This past week I have been painting, looking for words. I've a new book, dedicated to Hannah, coming out soon, events in Dulverton, Bath, Wigmore, Carlile in September and October. It's hard to focus, and I still have to learn the shape of the fox.

Beside me my type writer catches thoughts, and I still wander through the scent of snow, the colour of time, freedom.

This is what it says on the typewriter at the moment:

On the way to the foxes' wedding.

Snow. Unseasonal.

The moon pale and the snow, the light, bright.

Cold breath.

Warm blood, cold wings and the light from lanterns.

Hares beside foxes move through the world in peace.

Snow paints the sky in pale colours, soft movement.

Red fox fur glows like embersin the white, warm.

They move with the movement of music, the grace of dancers.


Just thoughts, fragments. Mostly I have been wrapped in spells. And I have discovered the most marvellous thing that is teh Unbound podcast Backlisted.

Writing is for me what George MacKay Brown called The Interogation of Silence. But when painting I love the deep involvement of interesting radio, which seems more and more to be found in the chaotic world of podcasts. I was led to this by Max Porter, as I was reading Lanny, the first book since Underland that has made me stop doing anything else, anything at all and just read. It picks you up in green coils and holds you and won't let you go, until the last page is turned. And even then you know you will be back.

So, I need to push against all the things that stop me writing, painting. I have just over a week left until I go to London. And I am so looking forward to the return of my child, whose birthday is 25th August, the day of The Lost Words Prom.


Back to project synopsis
Share on social


John Daniels
 John Daniels says:

The Fox is almost a Land Otter

posted 14th August 2019

John Atkinson
 John Atkinson says:

I wondered how your daughter was recovering from her surgery? I wish her well.

posted 14th August 2019

Cathy Fisher
 Cathy Fisher says:

Sending love to you and Robin and Hannah and Tom and Rosie and Ivy and Pi and Elmo and Fishheads and Whitecat and Angryfrogface and all the beings with wings, tails, legs, roots, rock, soil and salt water that surround you xxx

posted 16th August 2019

Jackie Morris
 Jackie Morris says:

John, Hannah has recovered so well that she is sailing again. Sailed back from the Azores in Song of the Whale and soon to cross the Atlantic to do research on Right Whales.

posted 17th August 2019

Top rewards