Category Archives: 2010

Last of a Year

helping wind

Our world is made in such ways nothing remains still inside time.
On the last day of the last month, a hissing wind has awaken, and seems to help blowing away the final hours of a year I wish to carve so carefully and give away all rotten bits to oblivion… I like listening to the wind, irrespective of direction. Today, it sings W by NW, and if I trust the weathermen, it hardly comes empty-handed.
 So everything is now tidy around the house – fresh birdcakes adorn willow trees, like offerings to our angels… Larders re-filled in the name of defying fate, winter spirits may dance and jig in the garden, they will find food to share with blackbirds and starlings before they return to their cairns.
Today feels like time in transit, hands firmly gripped on door handles.

memorable 2010

 If I turn my head anti-clockwise, I will treasure the following:
gift of unconditional love
Love and care from all my angels, to whom I feel so much grateful. They bring me light when I feel lost; warm my heart with words of pure love, everytime I tread on cobbles in the night… Their presence is a gift of life and I know you’re always with me. You may be scattered in this world, miles away geographically, but whenever I lose myself, I always know how to find you. You are my light through those moments tarnished with tears, tricked by some unwanted shapeshifter. Every evening without fault, I light candles on our chimney mantlepiece and whisper words towards your hearts.

gifts from our world
The magic of our very world – those earthly, astronomical spectacles we can witness from our windows, patch of homeground… Every sunrise defines our days, every sunset colours our sky.
Constant source of inspiration, every wander’s a treasure trail. This year, I met with Kate Coutts from Unst. Inspirational kindred spirit, we began to walk that shared shore for a couple of days last October. Kate reminded me in her own way how vital our natural environment determines us; how we discover/re-discover our selves through such metaphorical journeys… 
Metasaga speaks the same tongue as Geopoetics.
Deeper questions, just like riddles imagined by Zen masters, invade our minds on such journeys. The process remains so simple – we allow ourselves time to think and embrace oneness with the world.
Thank you, Kate, and thank you, SIC! 
…And the world comes to the island.                      
What a fantastic summer of sharing with many eyes, hearts, cultures and adventurers’ spirits!
So many happy memories – moments of sheer exhaltation, 
here at our eyes, hands and our feet.
Thank you, Cat, and thank you, explorers.
gift of creativity

Linked to the world seen through the light, encapsulated in moments of sheer medecine to harm, this joie de vivre impalpable. 2010 might have postponed a few ideas, nevertheless, it has definitely flung new doors wide open. 
Through the world of blogging, words find their way in new places – relayed by friends I’ve yet to meet for the first time when time dictates. Meanwhile, fellow poets unite and celebrate majesty of our world. Thank you, dear Elizabeth, Juliet and Mason! 
Through the world of publishing: Stormday found its first home within this year’s Issue of Pushing Out The Boat, the Anthology of New writing for Scotland’s North East Writers. 
Thank you, dear Editors.
2010 is also treasured for four very enjoyable public readings, dear to the heart of the poet, for it gives full meaning to the spoken word. The first one took place at the Shetland Museum last early March and celebrated International Women’s Day. Orchestrated by Karen Mckelvie from Woman’s Aid, voices rose in the Boat Hall and the blackbird fluttered so happily. 
Thank you, Karen.
The second, through meeting, creating and sharing with Choman Hardi still crystalises magic deep inside and embraces the beauty of geopoetics, as cultures are inter-woven.  Thank you, Donald and Shetland Arts.
The third, through Power of Place, the brainchild of artiste Karen Emslie during this year’s Book Festival in Lerwick, nurtured by Shetland Arts. 
Thank you, Karen & Shetland Arts.
Fourth and final, not the least, orchestrated by another Karen, Miss Fraser, from the Shetland Library. Something Wicked celebrated Halloween in great style, with a myriad of talents. 
What a great night of fun and spook all had.
Thank you, Karen & the Shetland Library.
But then, in the eyes of the Visual Artist, photographs found their way through three separate events: 
Norway Liberation Day, celebrated last May for the first time in Scalloway and Lerwick. Norwegian photographer and event co-organiser Anita Orheim trusted my lens for such moment. On such occassion, strong bonds with the Nibakk Clan have been forged.
Tusen takk, Anita.
Hamefarin, celebrated last June throughout Shetland, as Shetland Forwirds celebrated the beauty of our isles through, notably, a photographic display at Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick. 
Thank you, Laureen.
Four Seasons in Shetland, a collective showcase orchestrated by the Islesburgh Photographic Club at the Shetland Museum’s Gadderie last September. Some impressive collection of photographic works captured by an eclectic group as we captured moments through our respective lenses. 
Thank you, Jim, Sidney and Martin.

Continuous creativity shared with friends from the Westside Group – with the Wird Group from Shetland Forwirds, as two distinctive projects grow.

Thank you, Westsiders, Donald and Laureen.
Flying haikus via Twitter since the autumn, as moments turn into gemstones… Precious, captured within three lines. They seem to tie my raison d’etre to the real world and taste like the seeds of the pomegranate. 
I still feel endebted to a kindered spirit based in Leith for directing my pirate’s heart to a Glaswegian boat builder. Thank you, dear Al! Since our meeting last August, Miss Macdougall and I have been sharing ideas, weaving lifelines and carving notions of geopoetics inside wood.

And if I turn my head clockwise, I see…


A year of adventures steaming ahead! Humblyband, The Tall Ship Races in Lerwick, return of da Nibakk – all smell kelp and salt, as boats will take to water! Geopoetics in action as hands grip oars, ropes on and off bollards!
Publication in several forms from either side of the Atlantic, Poseidon willing… Great projects are in the making and may 2011 grace each one of them as it will grace your own.
 my wish to you
May the forthcoming year adorn each of your days with beauty and light.
Happy New Year to each and all, wherever 
you stand in our world !
Renewed geopoetical flutters fae 60N
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Filed under 2010, 60N, atlantic, celebration, december, exhibition, geopoetics, home, images, review, spirit, winter, wishes, writing

Today’s overdose of blue

Although I haven’t checked Abby’s SHETLAND MY LOVE wonderblog since yesterday (hee-hee!), I too did not resist that overdose of blue to which we were exposed today.
If snow alternates with those wonderful shades of blueness, David and I packed up for an adventure around our neck of the heather … Hoswick, so close to us. 
Yes, I always use that catchphrase when guiding in summer – “magic Shetland!”… 60N indeed remains a magic latitude!
And never take it for granted. 
I still remember my first time, as a visitor.

Back in 1998, we pitched our 4-season mountain in Levenwick and I still treasure that early May morning marvelling at its white sandy beach and whispering, this feels just like Treasure Island! …The rest is history, however, tattoed on my heart forever. Our eagerness to live the dream propelled our will to leave the cityworld for good. Island life is priceless. Besides, I adhere to Kenneth White’s concept of being able to embrace an island in geopoetics. Interestingly, our archipelago offers a myriad of isles, islands and other big rocks! During a sabbatical from the classroom, I notably opted to work for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, hence blending my two passions: education & wildlife. For two seasons, I was priviledged to hop on several islands, enhancing my craft as an “upland” naturalist and sharing my love for the [natural] world with local pupils and visitors. I still remember walking the length of Fair Isle with Roy Dennis on a fine summer evening and ringing migrants with Derek Shaw… Or ringing Storm Petrels on Mousa with Dave Okill. …Pointing out orcas and other sea mammals to tourists & locals around The North Isles and Muckle Flugga on board Dunter II remains a lifetime gift. All in all, slices of life I shan’t forget… Yes, Kenneth is right and he too would LOVE to embrace Shetland the way I do!!!

Below and above is a selection of images I took this afternoon. Please note I have not over-saturated any colour… (Just toned down the final one for artistic licence).When the light reverberates on our world, it just shines this way!  As a photographer, I am obsessed with light and composition; as a poet, with the raw beauty of the land and its surrounding waterworld. Barren though never bleak, as the sun spends its lifetime playing with clouds! And since Shetland’s main(is)land looks like a chipolatta from space, we hardly dwell too long under semi-vertical or horizontal spells of rain. Clouds come and go, always hassled by the wind.
My heart is firmly anchored to this shore. Another meaning of north so close to my soul.
It might look cold to some of you, however, a Finnish proverb says: there is no bad weather, only bad clothing… How true!

..Right, better go and check out what Abby’s been up to today… 😉

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Filed under 2010, 60N, geopoetics, shetland, world

Walking into a new decade

Night.
Outside the wind is hissing high. Final moments of 2009. Candles are lit on window sills and everytime I look outside,  I feel might of our icy world. Our Moon will act as cosmic torch, friend in blackness, enlightener…
Before we slide into the dawn of that brand new 2010, I wish you well, follower-friends. May this new year strenghen our bond, kinship, spirit and share our world in which each one of us connect & celebrate the shore[s] we walk.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, BONNE ANNEE, WI AA DA BEST FUR 2010!
Blissins fae 60N
N XX

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Filed under 2010, geopoetics, shetland, wishes