I've still got my ordered squares of linen I took to Birmingham to work on, but have done very little since except stitch them all down to the background. I have a Studio11 session tomorrow, and am feeling all squirbled because I have done no preparation and have no idea what I'm going to do at all, except take pleasure in the space to just be and perhaps ponder. I will at least put some threads together for the linen squares and take my Guild piece to finish!
In part I think it's probably down to some health issues. For several years I've had an intermittent nagging pain in my midriff. Having had some keyhole surgery go disastrously wrong a while ago now, I'd always put it down to aftereffects from this - you don't want to see the scars, I look quilted!! Then, in the week before we went off to the Lakes it got considerably worse for a number of days; so much so that we wondered if we'd go at all, but it settled down to bearable. Since we got back I've been for an ultrasound scan, always a fascinating process, such magical technology. It turns out, I have gallstones! A veritable constellation of them in fact, so my good doctor and I decided today that it's time to sort it out. Expect an announcement of surgery sometime in the future. Hopefully this keyhole will go right ....
Meanwhile I've been reading some treasures. A friend recommended both authors, first Kathleen Dean Moore
Then Kathleen Jamie.
Both write wonderfully about being in nature, in very differing ways and in very different places. I've been struck as much by the contrasts as I have by the pleasure of reading. The first, who is American, writes from a philosopher's point of view, and the landscapes she describes could only be those of her homeland. There is a particular quality in what she describes and perhaps also in the way she writes that belongs there; a sense of largeness, openness. I found myself wondering whether growing up in a huge continent with such immense scale somehow evokes a similar expansion of thought and aspiration.
Kathleen Jamie is a Scots poet, and my near contemporary. She has a poet's feeling for language and for the landscape and at times touches on her own past in such a way that I can almost feel myself in the same place and time, so familiar it is. She however, had the courage to follow her ideals; I was never so brave. I have nearly finished the second book, Sightlines; Findings came first, both borrowed from work, and will feel a sense of missing an almost friend when I take them back. Her writing is intimate, her focus often close and with a sense of the deeply personal about it, you feel you have been offered precious bits of her life to share.
I'd recommend them both