Friday, 18 October 2013

September sleep in the bed, and October - the bed in wood sorrel.

A sunny day, and the wood is green-carpeted with wood sorrel and speckled with bird song.  The wind is soft, and the tree trunks are also remarkably green.

Lying on the bed, it is difficult to remember the frost and snow of last spring.  The crows and ravens must be the same - their voices are above and beyond.  The flocks of long-tailed tits - if that's what they are - are playing amongst the trees. Sunshine plays with shapes that shake and flicker in the corner of my eyes.

I slept two nights on my own.  I was nervous - of what? - but had To Do It.  It was surprisingly peaceful - so very peaceful, to have the wood to myself and a few owls.  Hardly any wind, its breathe just reaching my face within my huddle of sleeping bag.  I slept lightly the first night, waking often, each time at peace with the hush and calm of a night where each creature is asleep, or hushed and calm so as not to disturb another if it is awake and busy.
The second night I slept more deeply.  I awoke once to a bright sky and a huge bright star shining on my face, until I realised that it was the waning moon creeping from around the trunk of a tree.  The sky was so clear compared to the darkness beneath the trees.  Their silhouettes were like giant bottle brushes, waving slightly, in the upturned sink of the sky.  I awoke again with the birds.

The bed in a reconstruction round house at the Avalon Marsh Centre, Westhay, Somerset.  July 2013.
The organisers asked if they could have the bed for a couple of weeks during a festival they were holding.  It would have looked great and looked the part, if it had had sheep skins piled on it!  Unfortunately I wasn't there - I was in the Italian part of Switzerland, not so very far from the mountains where a jade axe (made and used in the Iron Age) came from that was then found by the Sweet Track which runs past this Centre.

Monday, 1 April 2013

April, and the wind travels cold and free through the woods.  There is a space where the bed was placed, now empty.  A space where we lay, looking up at the trees as they swayed and gently crashed into each other.  Now any place could be this place - there is no longer a place of reference for looking up and dreaming, for closing the eyes and hearing just this sound, in just this way.
The wind plays freely between the trunks of the Sitka, their rough bark rasping the air.  It is so cold for this time of year.  The sleepers have gone, the bed has been dismantled, there is no more dreaming in this wood for a little while.

Monday, 11 February 2013

January in the woods
I couldn't resist walking up to woods in the snow.  The trees were frozen, and barely moved in the breeze, clicking silently, holding their white heads like crowns.
The snow on the bed lay like a quilt.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

first humans

I love the darkness in the woods.  You get to understand how to tread, and how the ground is formed of  soft spongy needles or piles of brushwood that's trying to trip you up.  The palest shade of grey is the path you were looking for, the sky above, even without a moon, is brilliant and full of colour compared to the shades within shadows of the wood at night.  I feel no fear.  Only the sense of myself wrapped in darkness, hidden from myself, and hidden from others.  Of course all the creatures around hear and smell and see me - no hiding from them as I crash around!  Oh well.

Places to Dream In

The bed installed in the wood just before Somerset Art Week 2012... a place in which to dream, when the wind rocks the trees above, and the odd bird twitters or croaks above.  Nervous of the rain, or a stronger brush of the breeze,  I will be snug beneath a duvet.  I will hear singing, the strings plucked from a harp or sounded from a fiddle, feel the heat of a fire, and maybe I will pick up my flute and sound a tune in tune with the birds that come my way.......

Sunday, 29 July 2012

I went to the wood this evening.
It was very still, with pigeons sounding in the distance, and long-tailed tits pipping somewhere up in the tree tops.  The suns was slanting in at a sharp angle, but did not penetrate where I stood.  Although the air felt still, as I looked up the trees were swaying as in a high swell at sea, and I wondered at the swaying of the slim trunks, anchored among the pine needles, and dancing like wild things far above my head.
I felt nervous.
Soon my bed will be nestled at their feet, and I will be an alien sleeping amongst the trees, in the darkness.  I have not yet asked permission from them - from the trees, the spirits that dwell here.
Should I do this?  Is this being a little....silly?  Or should I take this precaution, and show respect to the environment that I will be sharing the night with?
But how to do this?
And who is it that I am expecting to be in communication with?