Tuesday, 3 February 2009

The Hidden

Last night F and I went for a walk. Only a little one to get some milk but we went the long way. We walked places we don't normally walk. I guess I had known it was there. One day as I walked along the wall, the door had been open and I had had the merest glimpse inside. I guess I also knew that there had to be a public gate on the other side, tucked up an alleyway. We found that gate last night and the yew trees glistened with snow and beckoned me. By this time however, F was cold and hungry and wanted to go home. He also had no desire to visit a cemetery at night.

I guess I can understand that. Doesn't hold for me though. I like graveyards. I always have. My parents are bell ringers and I found myself left to my own devices in many a church as I was growing up. Churches themselves and churchyards are pretty awesome places. Full of history. The churchyards are little nature reserves in their own right and have many interesting nooks and crannies to explore. Of course I am not talking about bleak modern cemeteries, they are something else again. I had no idea at that age that although I would turn somewhat from Christianity, that I would revere some of these places in a different way as I remember their pagan roots.

One of the events that stayed with me was as follows. I was a fairly disgusting sort of a child. I liked to get mucky. So when I was poking around in a corner of a church and found some vases with mould in the bottom, I of course picked up the mould. The mould gently shook itself in my hand and a head appeared. We watched each other for the longest time. I stood still in awe, not wanting to scare this little beast I held. Eventually he gathered himself and flew off into the growing dusk to catch an early insect. Not surprisingly, I have always loved bats and never felt even slightly scared of them. In Summer while at my folks I love to lie on my back on the grass and watch them fly overhead.

This morning I received the happy news that work was closed for the day and I had no need to brave the icy roads. I knew straight away that I would head for this churchyard. The Cornish of old can broadly be divided into three categories, miners, farmers and fishermen. There is no shortage of granite to carve and because of the mining links, there was no shortage of skill. It is no surprise then that the stones in this graveyard are so very intricate. There is a plethora of crosses and carvings of flowers. The Cornish gravestones are so very much more intricate than those where I grew up.

I have no idea how many times I have walked and driven past the graveyards far wall. Only one or two of the nearby houses have a view into the cemetery. Only the supermarket that has caused this little oasis to become a backwater has a good view from their office windows. I was the first there, fresh snow all around. I could see the last snow shower being carried off and the sky was shining blue.

As I was walking around I was thinking about my latest e-life venture. I have joined a group called creativity every day. To be more creative was one of the wishes I made for new Year which I encased in a seed and flung to the wind last night. It was one wish I made as I planted a sunflower seed at the Imbolc ceremony I went to.

Creativity for me is something I lost and have had to regain. As a child I wrote huge long imaginative stories, often with chunks missing as my hand struggled to keep up with my head. The need for spelling and punctuation and shorter sentences intruded and I slowly lost much of the raw passion I had felt for writing. I liked art but this too eventually died in me when I became ill. Art was a superfluous subject and as my load had to be lightened it went. Somehow there never seemed time for art after that and although it lingered in my life, by the time I reached University, this to had left me. I also wrote poetry as a teenager and I guess you can figure out what happened to that to.

I studied science and this has trained my brain to be logical and rational and reasonable. There was no time for art while studying hard to achieve a first in Environmental Science. There was no time for much else at all (except partying). Creativity died in my life. It slowly became apparent to me that I had lost something I valued and wanted back. I took a jewellery class and slowly gained skill with beads. I have been expanding my craft repotoire of late and have experimented with papier mache, modelling and silk painting. I want more! I don't want to just be crafty creative, I want to be arty creative as well.

I feel like my creativity is a little like the graveyard. It is there in the midst of the community but forgotten and lost. There is a gate but it is forgotten and little used. Craft has been a gate but I hope to make holes in the wall with art and bring my graveyard back into the community. Unfortunately the little graveyard will continue to nestle behind walls, mostly forgotten...

CED seems like the perfect opportunity. It has links to a huge variety of crafty, arty, creative people and their work is inspiring. I consider this blog to be creative and as the starter of CED says creativity can be found in even more mundane things such as cooking. This sort of ethos fits in very well with that of my hearth craft course as well, where the mundane can be magical. So some days my blog may be it, particularly after work but on other days I will try and cook creatively or something...

One plan I have is to use a couple of pack of blank postcards. Being small and white they are perfect for experimenting with colour and form in a small non-threatening way. If I can complete a card a day, I may find that my skill and creativity grows. I would love to gain skill at drawing and painting et al. I intend to scan these in and post them, probably mostly without comment. I also intend to post once a week on my creative activities as a summary. Word Wednesday will be my creative activity for Wednesday!


  1. I just followed you to CED...what a brilliant concept - I am SO in need of that!!!

  2. I stumbled across your blog today for the first time, and I really enjoyed this post...because I too am pagan, and I too love churchyards and cemetries, and bats. None have ever held fear for me either.

    blessings of Imbolc to you
    Leanne x

  3. Hi Leanne

    nice to meet you! Welcome to my blog and I am glad you enjoyed my post.