The Unwinding

By Jackie Morris

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

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Making the best that we can, of everything.

Another week, and work has been hard, but on Monday Alison sent through new design pages and it's wonderful to see how The Unwinding is winding together to become the book it can best be. And it's also been a tough week for me as I watch politics turn more right wing, but this isn't the place for politics. This is a place for light.

It is such a delight to receive the work from Alison, to see how she is shaping the book. A long chat with Lizzie, then feedback sent back around the world and hopefully just before christmas there will be a bit more to see. 

My favourite bit so far is to see the Book Monkey has made an appearance.

And also the dream fish......swimming in that space between sleeping and waking. Alison and I had spoken, and some of the words in the book talk about dreams and how we perceive them. Black and white or colour or both, image or not image, and if not then what. 

Meanwhile, when The Unwinding publishes it will be released with a new edition of The Song of the Golden Hare.

This is a book that I made some time ago. And this week I received the most lovely poem from a young friend of mine, Betsi. Unbeknownst to her parents she had taken herself off to a quiet place and written for me this poem.

At the head of this post is Betsi, reading her poem. She is a star.

 

Song of the Golden Hare is a wild tale. The Irish Examiner declared it to be a:

" beautiful story and its superbly atmospheric illustrations is a book for keeps."

You can pledge for it now, and it will be available from bookshops ( and already is in many libraries now). As picturebooks go it's a long text, complex, dealing with big subjects if you read between the lines.

 

On Sunday, and again on Thursday, I spoke of The House Without Windows with Mariella Frostrup and Lucy Mangan

Now, I would like to ask a favour, and in return I offer a 'prize'. I've just found a copy of The White Fox in a pile of things in my studio ( there are soooooooo many piles of things it begins to overwhelm, but I cannot tidy until next book is done and dusted). What I would like is for those who read this to leave comment. Let me know what you think of how things are going. And if you can, or would like to then share The Unwinding page. There's still time for people to pledge and have names added, and the % rises every, well, most days. I will in about 2 or 3 days time take a look and pick one person from teh list of comments ( I will ask a cat to help so it will be random) and will send a small parcel or found things from my studio. So, just say a few words. It's cold today. And I want to hear from people.

Right, time to get on with things. More painting to do, but first a cup of tea. My hands are cold.

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Comments

Freyalyn Close-Hainsworth
 Freyalyn Close-Hainsworth says:

Somehow, we will get through this.

It's cold grey freezing fog outside today, but I'm at work and everyone's in a good mood. When I get home I'm on holiday for a fortnight (the longest Christmas holiday I've had for years!) and I shall knit more hats and socks and sweaters, spin some yarn in magical colours (some of it even with sparkles), run and walk with my dogs, cuddle with my cats, and make food for ourselves and others.

And this year I'm making more of a point than other years to share what we have (not much, but enough) with others.

Snow leopards and tales of snow and, perhaps, a white fox make everything better.

posted 18th December 2019

Claudia Unger
 Claudia Unger says:

Thank you for the beautiful update. Seeing your pictures is like going on a holiday into a world forgotten. Reading your stories makes me reconnect with that world and with myself. Thank you very much for sharing your gift.
It's been foggy and oh-so gray here, too (I'm writing from the Cotswolds), as I'm preparing the house, the car and the dogs for our Christmas trip to Germany (we leave at 2am tomorrow brrrrr).
Sorry, I have to rush - there's too much to prep yet; and we all need another good walk as well. Sending you much love and warm thoughts - and looking very much forward to the next update. Claudia, Watson and Hastings (the black labs)

posted 18th December 2019

Christine Meerman-Cooper
 Christine Meerman-Cooper says:

Today is a special day for me. It is our wedding anniversary. On this day, six years ago, my husband and I were married in a chapel intricately carved out of ice and snow, far above the Arctic circle, in Finnish Lapland. It was -27C and my father and I travelled together to the chapel in sleighs pulled by reindeer. I wore a glorious gown with no sleeves, and cowboy boots. Our reception was very simple, with just our families gathered in a warm and cosy room, underground, deep beneath the snow. We shared a traditional Sami meal, made all the more special by the elder who sang to us his hauntingly beautiful joik. The quiet and calm but utterly content feeling I felt that day, on my wedding day, is the very same feeling I experience when I read your books. You are able to perfectly portray and express a love for the wild and the Arctic that echoes my own. So, I just want to say a very heartfelt thank you for putting into such beautiful images and words what I cannot. I am collecting all your books for my tiny daughter, who I hope will grow to love your work as much as I do.

posted 18th December 2019

Rachel Burch
 Rachel Burch says:

The unwinding looks wonderful can’t wait to see it. Thanks for the magic you create.

posted 18th December 2019

Susan Metcalfe
 Susan Metcalfe says:

I originally pledged towards The Unwinding as a little treat for myself as in my enthusiasm for The Lost Words I managed to give a copy to both my daughters-in-law, my local library, the local primary school and the local primary in the village I grew up in, but neglected to buy a copy for myself! So it was to be my special treat to look forward to. Life though doesn't always go according to plan - earlier this year my darling neice, Carys, went missing in East London having suffered a massive mental breakdown, she was found and sectioned for a month in the Hommerton Hospital - she is recovering slowly & we hope one day that our dazzlingly bright & talented girl will shine again, but her journey will be hard. She's the one who will now be getting my copy when the book is published & I hope it will be a treasure she opens often and finds comfort inside its covers.

posted 18th December 2019

Stuart Beach
 Stuart Beach says:

Your work is inspiring and I love to get these updates. I'm very much looking forward to holding, looking at & reading The Unwinding when it's completed and delivered. I can't wait to share it with my family. Did you see the Arctic foxes as featured in Natural World - Iceland: Land of Ice and Fire on BBC4 on Monday?

posted 18th December 2019

Carolyn Smith
 Carolyn Smith says:

There is nothing quite as beautiful as your feeling for the wild world, as depicted in your art. You bring it all to life, right here in my living room. I share your passion, so this means a lot to me. The pages you have shared of your new book are so lovely. It is going to be a treasured possession, one of not than many. I write from a white world in North America.

posted 18th December 2019

Mark McBride
 Mark McBride says:

Before I even receive the books I feel like I've already had my money's worth with these updates. They are beauty, they are light and each one has been something to save to enjoy reading slowly and with proper attention, something to savour. In these dark days, literally and metaphorically, they are golden treasure, or at least its weregild glow of the great treasures to come our way next spring when the books arrive.

Is it May yet?

posted 18th December 2019

Patricia Michel
 Patricia Michel says:

I fell in love with the fox and the winter queen when I first saw it years ago. Since then I've loved seeing your other paintings and reading your words. The words are calm and quiet and soothing to me, a perfect companion to the paintings. Thank you for sharing words, paintings, and giving us a glimpse into your home which looks so cozy. I'm so looking forward to receiving The Unwinding.

posted 18th December 2019

Anna Bear
 Anna Bear says:

Thank you for being there Jackie - with your side words and books I can lose myself in. I'm frightened and and struggling to sleep, your words of comfort from a couple of years back still comfort me. I'm sure this will help me and the world at large. Comfort, soothing, calm, those are things things that keep us forging ahead.

posted 18th December 2019

Anna Bear
 Anna Bear says:

*kind words (I loathe,autocorrect!)

posted 18th December 2019

Lydia Ruffin
 Lydia Ruffin says:

I love your work, Jackie. Thank you for these updates that give a lovely backstage view of your process! I'm writing from snowy, cold, but sunny northern New Mexico where I have been enjoying a small bowl of kumquats, a wonder of winter.

posted 18th December 2019

Kathy Jones
 Kathy Jones says:

Hi Jackie. I’d like the white fox to meet the red fox and maybe like your cats in their clowder they would create a colourful magic all of their own.
Keep offering light please in dark times. Blessings to you and yours.

posted 18th December 2019

Anne Plowright
 Anne Plowright says:

Hello Jackie. I find it fascinating that your words and paintings are transported to Australia to be tweaked and designed into a book I believe will indeed be magical. It's almost magic going to Australia and back on the internet! I am often awake between 3 and 4 in the morning, so yes it will be so lovely to look through your beautiful paintings. I am now familiar with quite a lot of your work but to have so many together in this format will be simply amazing! Thank you.

posted 18th December 2019

Cathy Llewellyn
 Cathy Llewellyn says:

The unwinding brings a glimmer of hope in what seems to be a dark place for me at present. Despite where I am I can see the beauty of nature and hold the belief that it will be spring once more where hope and clarity lies. Creative dreams are the solution for dark days and reading your updates brings fuel to the hope of a blessed future.

posted 18th December 2019

Claire Bassett
 Claire Bassett says:

This has been a very difficult week in a horrible year, both personally and politically ........ All I can say is a heartfelt thank you to you Jackie ,and others like you , who provide so much to so many in terms of comfort , beauty , and , as shown by your young friend , inspiration to others. Your message is so beautifully conveyed , yet it also provides a moment of contemplation , of escape and a much needed antidote to these harsh and aggressive times we live in . It gives me hope to know that there are people continuing to create , to use their talents ,to communicate with others and to challenge the status quo . God bless you and your beautiful feline and canine companions xx

posted 18th December 2019

Linda Logie
 Linda Logie says:

Joined just a few days ago and so glad I did not miss Betsi’s wonderful reading of her poem about the Golden Hare. Magical!

posted 18th December 2019

Bärbel Gerdes
 Bärbel Gerdes says:

At home with a cold I keep myself warm with tea und candles and books. There is Virginia Woolf's Orlando with the Great Frost scene. There are poems by Mary Oliver and there are you pictures of golden hares, wild swans and tender foxes. I wonder if there is a book of you with pictures of wild geese? I love them and always stand open mouthed when I hear them and they fly above (over?) me which they do at the moment often in North Germany....

posted 18th December 2019

Joni Russell
 Joni Russell says:

I am so pleased with every update you post. The book is unfolding beautifully. It's most certainly a treasure. I've been proud to share this project on Facebook. Happy to let as many people know about it as I can. It's cold in Colorado, too. But a clean, crisp cold. Seeing snow on the mountains brings joy to my soul. Sending you warm wishes.

posted 18th December 2019

Paula Whyte
 Paula Whyte says:

Jackie we met you many years ago in St David’s Hall and I’ve followed your career and bought your books for my little grand daughter, Isabelle. I look forward to your posts and updates on the Unwinding, which I ordered some time ago. I love The Lost Words and have bought copies for good friends and now enjoy the cd and have the calendar ready for 2020. This year has been bad for me health wise but next year will be better I know and I just want to thank you for the utter pleasure your art work brings me. With love Paula x

posted 18th December 2019

Sally Basile
 Sally Basile says:

Thank you for continuing to bring light to a troubled world. You remind us all that we each have some light of our own to share and must do so with the same generous spirit.

posted 18th December 2019

Shona Fraser
 Shona Fraser says:

Jackie, your art really is a Light in this political darkness that we find ourselves in. The new pages are beautiful, heart-warming and above all remind me that there are people in this world who recognise the grace and wonder of our delicate natural planet. We all need to come together, and through sharing your journey of the creation of the Unwinding some of us can find each other and stay strong. Thank you.x

posted 18th December 2019

Charlotte Seden
 Charlotte Seden says:

It is cold, and very wet here too. I sat down when the winds were still gentling Autumn and only got up again a few days ago, for a spell. Everything has changed and there is a harsh edge to it this year. I enjoy these updates but it also makes me impatient, frustrates a sense of powerlessness and surrender I am not comfortable with in my current state. What I have seen is very beautiful though: I love the fish especially. I saw a print recently of a deep moss green pond with bright orange goldfish in it and it just held my soul and lifted it. I've been thinking about fish constantly since... though they're all deep in the mud at this time of year I believe. Warm flames, dancing fish and well-brewed tea Xx

posted 18th December 2019

Jackie Morris
 Jackie Morris says:

Not sure how to reply to an individual comment, but The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems has The Wild Geese by Mary Oliver....
and The Cat and the Fiddle has a more dreamy strange image for Grey goose and gander...

posted 18th December 2019

Charlotte Tefft
 Charlotte Tefft says:

To inspire a child to write a treasure of a poem, makes my heart sing. To see Betsi's own script is joy. Hearing her voice puts an image in my mind that will be revisited many times. My daughter and two grandchildren live in Wales. Years ago they gifted me "The Seal Children" and my collection began. I was able to visit this year with a wish to meet you. We went to the Solva Mill where I purchased Mrs. Noah's pockets to delight the kiddos that the Unicorns got on the boat. At St. Davids there was the music of gentle falling snow. The words alone drew pictures in my mind. The size of the book is fantastic for illustrations yet a bit heavy for my old arms. Still browse it before sleep to let go of the hard times and fill my dreams with enchanted travels. Jumped for joy when I spotted the van with signage "The Lost Words". Let the family go shop and I waited. Alas you did not come by but your "partner", never ask a name, did and I delayed him with my joy bubble. I have those words at home. Now gifted with a box of the cards, randomly pulling one out to sooth each day. Like you I do not care for most people and I live in the beautiful mountains of Northern California. A secluded spot where I keep my childhood alive by doing my textile arts and spreading inspiration to all that listen. Thank you so much for enriching my life. "Thank you" Two lost words in these modern times.

posted 18th December 2019

Charlotte Tefft
 Charlotte Tefft says:

Forgot to say, while in Wales a friend took me to a pop up art show. Several original pieces of yours were there!!! Eye candy!! Emma is so delighted to now have two Otters playing on the wall in her home. You spread joy to places you are not even aware of.

posted 18th December 2019

Sophie Midgley
 Sophie Midgley says:

Thank you so much for your beautiful words, which I so look forward to. I can’t wait to hold the book in my hands and to work on the blank copy myself. Thank you for your light in all this darkness, it is much needed!

posted 18th December 2019

Conifer Morze
 Conifer Morze says:

Hello--so very filled with joy to have found your work!! I always read fairy tales as a child and still reread Wind in the Willow every year---just bought three more of your beautiful books-this will be my Christmas present to "me"

posted 18th December 2019

Emily Chaplin
 Emily Chaplin says:

Ever since I first picked up one of your books in a lovely shop in Narbeth whilst on holiday visiting my family. I scanned through it I and became hooked on your art and writing, spellbound is probably the best way to describe how I felt. I am originally from Pembrokeshire and now live in the North West on the Fylde Coast. Knowing that you are tucked away in the beautiful little seaside village of Solva (i am most envious), a little extra magic comes with your books for me as I spent so much of my childhood along the coast and have ancestors from Nolton, Marloes and many more villages.

posted 18th December 2019

Angelika Luethi
 Angelika Luethi says:

Ever since I became aware of this book project I feel excited about it. I love your artwork and the way you are linked into nature, beach, and sand, water and air, dogs and cats and have and know about your own rhythm of doing things, of dreaming, of writing, sketching, drawing of being out and of being just by yourself. Creativity has so many layers.
I am so thankful to be part of this project and see and experience how an idea, a dream comes about and becomes a physical book.
Thank you for having put this opportunity out.

posted 19th December 2019

Mark Williams
 Mark Williams says:

I remain excited for this book to appear in the world, and look forward to the updates and progress as the book takes shape and becomes what it will be. I've enjoyed being taken along for the ride as the design process unfolds and appreciate getting some glimpses into your life and creative process. Thank you for all this.

posted 19th December 2019

Margaret Gorman
 Margaret Gorman says:

Hello from America, having traveled back for the Christmas holidays. It’s bitterly cold here in Indiana, but the sun shines down on the brown fields as the ice seals in the last of the open water, chasing down the last remaining geese south. Saw three swans together in one of the little ponds which dot this landscape...the couple and their yearling, about to make their own journey south. Me, I currently have hair colored pink and purple. Festive, and a hope for things to come.

posted 19th December 2019

Kendal Craig
 Kendal Craig says:

To answer your question, i am at a loss. Generations of colonization have effectively brought this to now... It is astonishing that in spite of life's suffering is there yet wonder. The pup and i brave the black, blustery night as Wind gushes through the towering Spruce, and they thrash and bend and harmonize together in violent, elemental vibrato. The weather service forecasts -20f wind chill again and somehow those fragile, feathered ones (as well as all the others!) survive. This magic box near my desk utters enchanting, watery Ravel, and i give thanks for the wild world, for the creative impulses and expressions that connect people and place. That grow empathy and awareness. That inspire and empower the children and our own inner children. So much love for the storytellers and the stars.

posted 19th December 2019

Puller Lanigan
 Puller Lanigan says:

Dear Jackie, I fear, Winter's grip is upon us. Leaving us only to dream about warmer weather for a few months. As I went out to feed my wild friends this morning, I did not see Grandma Fox. She is an elderly blind fox I feed to insure she survives yet another year. I did not see her at her usual spot by the great old Beech and Japanese lantern. But I saw the young Todd fox, JB, who danced anxiously for a piece of chicken. I tossed him a piece and then heard stirring behind me in the azaleas. Grandma was nestled in her leaf bed, deep in sleep, but my voice must have stirred her. I tossed her a piece of chicken, which she grabbed and inhaled and another for good luck. And then moved on to feed the rest of the foxes hiding in the shadows along the driveway. Best, Puller

posted 19th December 2019

Kate Davies
 Kate Davies says:

This book looks amazing and I love the fox illustration. Betsi’s poem is superb and so beautifully written. It’s a cold, rainy day here so I’m enjoying my last day off while my son is still at school, ah the peace before the madness of Christmas.

posted 19th December 2019

Angela Townsend
 Angela Townsend says:

I feel your updates and book are like emerging from sleep, the dark outside and the bright glimpses of what is to come in your thoughts on progress. Discovered one of your otter works hidden in a gallery in Woodstock on Sunday. It was in an unexpected place and was like discovering a seam of gold. All good wishes for your work in this winter season and more clowders please.

posted 19th December 2019

Yi Pang
 Yi Pang says:

It has been such a dreamy, magical journey so far with The Unwinding process. I cannot wait to have its nearness near nearer still when the two copies ( + blank + the Golden Hare) join me and I can dream and dance the unwinding in earnest.

posted 19th December 2019

Mary Hyland
 Mary Hyland says:

Thank you for your wonderful paintings. They touch my heart deeply and magically transport me to my childhood. I loved books and especially having my mother read them to me. I am having a bit of a difficult time this season and picking up The Lost Words gives me gift of warmth and peace. Especially satisfying with a cat or two on my lap...
Mary Hyland

posted 21st December 2019

Penny Thomas
 Penny Thomas says:

I am loving following the wonderful creativity in this project, Jackie. It fills me with hope and joy in these dark winter months, and as for the White Fox, oh my. I adored reading it to my class last year. My 'cherish' in the otters of the alphabet hangs in my hall to remind me of the power of words, and the importance of treasuring them. I hope you enjoy completing this delightful collaboration.

posted 21st December 2019

Jackie Morris
 Jackie Morris says:

Thank you everyone. Going to send the parcel to Susan Metcalfe, Susan, will be in touch via Facebook for address.

posted 23rd December 2019

Jackie Morris
 Jackie Morris says:

Ok, so, I thought I knew a Susan Metcalfe from facebook, but the Susan who commented above is a different one! Can you email me, Susan jackie@jackiemorris.co.uk and send me your address. Many thanks.

posted 23rd December 2019

Stephanie Gornall
 Stephanie Gornall says:

I pledged towards the Unwinding after becoming spellbound and intrigued by your stunning artwork in a copy of the Lost Words. I intend your new book to be a celebratory gift on the birth my first grandaughter. Today is a dull cold miserable winters day but browsing through your sparkling illustrations make one dream of the warmth and light of spring and summer to come.

posted 4th January 2020

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