Monday, 25 May 2020
Waiting, Unwinding and Acts of Rebellion
This may be the last posting here before the printed, bound, finsihed copies of The Unwinding arrive, first in the hands of the publisher, then to my hands, and then to you.
Today I have skylarks to paint for someone who has waited far too long in these curious times. And I have been Unwinding. There is so much to do, and my list doesn't get shorter and I need to clear it so I can take some time off as I fear the breaking point and I need to take time, to feel sand between toes, to sit while the wind blows, to watch the shape of birds.
I have been making a film, which will be part of the Hay on Wye-fi Festival. To watch you need to book your place. It's free but if you can make a donation to the festival that would be good, and if you can't then we understand. These are hard times. Watch anyway. I hope it's good. I hope it helps you Unwind. There will be paint drying and gilding, a hare and the moon and the painting will be auctioned for the festival once all is over and the digital tents are put away.
Also Ben and Beth from The Bookshop Band made a short film with me, an offering to St Davids Cathedral Music Festival, of which we were a small part. It's a beautiful breath of fresh air and includes the first performance of an Unwinding song written for the curious Unwinding audio book hybrid creature that we are working on together. My fee for the making of this was donated to Help Musicians, and I have just finished the painting for their Christmas Card which is a continuation of Unwinding. She needs a story, the woman who rides on the back of the swan as the moon rises over the water.
And how do we fare as once again frustration and fear and so many things move over our land like a tidal wave of lies and disrespect? I will not meet this with hatred. In these times we need to take care of each other. I've a friend who has spent her last couple of months helping those who are dying and speaking with their absent loved ones, seeing her colleague fall ill with teh virus, working double shifts and tripple shifts to cover the absences. The way to survive this is to work together. When a few do not then it endangers us all. When selfishness and arrogance walk the corridors of power, to give and to care become acts of rebellion.
There are so many people struggling at this time, to put food on the table. I've been playing with proof pages of The Unwinding and selling these to rraise money for food and to raise money for books to be placed in food boxes in food banks. It is a drop in the ocean. But when government spits in the face of us all it feels like something that I can do. And while Rachel continues to care for the dying I will continue to do this. All of these will be for sale on my blog soon at prices between £120 and £350, along with, soon, an auction of sigend proofs from Robert Macfarlane of Underland and Ness and A signed Lost Words that has indeed lost its word.
This one below was made while doing an interview with Zool from Blackwell's in Oxford, their first Zoom event. I doodled my way through the hour. The money for the sale of this one below will go to put books into the food banks in Oxford.
This one, above, and detail ( below) has gold leaf ( moongold).
I've been working with birdsong only, radio switched off, immune to the endless babble of celebrity opinions, and politicians lies. The voices of birds are so much more beautiful. They have so much more to say. And I have been playing, wondering if I can type on gold leaf. And so I wrote this, and stitched it together with silk thread. ( you need to read all 4 sheets, but maybe each stands alone) So, new ideas, new play. It needs better words, more thought, but I was hungry to try and now I want to draw underneath, on top and around. I do love my typewriter.
Oh, and Mrs Noah's Garden came out into the world and our small corner of twitter blossomed for a while. Thanks to amazing indie bookshops she's doing quite well. There are bookplates signed by myself and by James. Tamsin Rosewell painted the bookshop window in Kenilworth and it looked amazing! I'm wondering if we can have a 'round two', a greening of twitter, helping to make Mrs Noah's garden grow?
And you can order signed copies from great indie bookshops and signed and dedicated ones from Solva Woollen Mill.
It's hard to stay positive, but if you can look to the light, and try to help others, and don't give in to hatred and frustration. Take care of each other. Be kind. Keep an eye on my blog. I will, believe me, let you know when the copies of the book arrive. And I have a new project beginning soon. Hand to Hand. Soon.
The Unwinding hardback
- first edition hardback
- exclusive bookplate