My days well spent on a headland at the following coordinates, weeks melt like ice before fire. In less than seven days’ time, I shall taste again a degree of total freedom for a fortnight, away from bells and corridors…
Meantime, the very first month in –er also proved filled with whirlwinds & adventures of many kinds, shapes and colours.
September, as so well sung by Roland Orzabal from Tears For Fears, “month of miracles and tears”, tainted itself with wanderings through both dark & fantastic moments, as well as across the majestic twist into the bleakness of the isles.
Earlier on today, Paula giggled about the very fact I cannot get away from Mareel. TRUE. Since I first stepped inside this wonderful creative space, I must confess I do enjoy it to the full!
My very first opportunity dates back to the final weekend of Wordplay/Screenplay – respectively our local Book & Film Festival. I came to see and listen to two wonderful poets, Robin Robertson & John Burnside, as well as taking part in Rodge Glass’s novel writing workshop. Such rendez-vous in such a place can only generate inspirition. Furthermore, time to reconvene with familiar faces and smiles. Mareel’s Café was packed with friends & kindred spirits. Magic time.
As a cinema venue, Mareel was first tested with Pixar’s latest blockbuster in 3D, Brave. Radical change to The Garrison. We now have a 21st Century set of auditoriums! Sleek.
As a music venue, I was first privileged to enjoy a string of first class acts, as part of my school’s Gala Concert for its 150th Anniversary last weekend. Fantastic night that reminded of my old school’s end of year show cases. For a second, I found my heart time warped back to the BRIT School. Same atmosphere. Emotional.
As a creative space, I feel inspired by such monument. Mareel, in the Shetland dialect, means the phosphorescence of the sea. It truly shines by the Bressay Sound. Last week alone, on 4 October, Roxane Permar, commissioned with Nayan Kulkarni by Shetland Arts, led us around the building for its first illumination, as the culmination to their project entitled Mirrie Dancers. Friend & fellow artist-researcher-UHI Head of Tourism for Caithness Rachel Skene, intimately & creatively connected to Ruth Macdougall, witnessed the grand event, as part of her flying visit to my latitude. She too marvelled at the grandeur of both event & place. Unforgettable & magic moment 🙂
But September was also crowned by reconnection with a myriad of friends, whose homes feel a sanctuary at will, as well as a wonderful day-trip to Fetlar, the garden of Shetland, as part of our annual outing with my fellow local guides.
And what a day it proved to be! Robert, the local community officer, waited for us at Hamars Ness and led us through a an unforgettable day. We marvelled out the island’s hidden gems; Robert’s spirit and the warmth of the local community. I must confess it was a heck of a great end of season do!
On a more creative note, September also gave life to a very geopoetical venture with the University of Quebec in Montreal though a connection with a trio of Canadian academics: Benoit Bordeleau, Anick Bergeron (aka Victoria Welby) and Mym Bergeron, from La Traversée, Atelier Québéquois de Géopoétique.
Anick sent me a Titanic glued to an enevelope, as an invitation to contribute to their Dérive de Papier 2 – the Paper Titanic was born. My creative response was actually created at Mareel’s Café, as I sat with a hot chocolate, a blank page on my NetBook blended in a moment of contemplation at Hay’s Dock… le Titanic de papier quickly travelled back to the shores of the Saint Laurent without a hitch. What a fabulous maiden Stravaig across the North Atlantic. Later tweets from all three Canadian kindred spirits confirmed the success of our very first venture. Feels like a pioneering milestone, or rather a beacon.
Our connection on Twitter has now taken a new twist. Geopoeticians from both sides of the North Atlantic unite. I very humbly feel the father of Geopoetics, Kenneth White, would smile at such development. The duality of the tongue enables such stepping stones. Our next theme at The Scottish Centre for Geopoetics for Stravaig – our online Journal – is entitled Coast to Coast. How apt!
As we now wander through October, we begin to feel our gradual sliding towards Samhain.
Our crossing through the equinox amplified Hairst to a somewhat higher degree. As light
dimmers, the very fabric of my shore now weaves new shades. One notices a less precocious sunrise as opposed to a lazier sunset. We have to make do with shorter days. Soon, we shall carve neap (swede) into jack-o-lanterns and celebrate the darker times that lingers in between the living & the dead…
In a few days, Australian friends will land on my latitude.
In a few days’ time, we shall celebrate the magic of my northern realm.
Within a few hours, I will explore a corner of my Nordic shore with Paula and Magnie.
Time to end this blog entry.