This is the beautiful landscape that has been inspiring us and our refuge
ideas and inspiration can well up and drift into being in response to an invisible melody …. a call and an echo …. a kind of whispering in the gallery of the soul.
How inhibiting. I feel as though I should be producing something really polished now instead of slopping lazily back into my bloggy writing!
I have been in such an elevating atmosphere and with such talented, unique people. By the end of our week the standard of our writing really notched up and when we read out our 1000 word pieces on the last night I think I can speak for everyone ….. it was a triumph. The sheer combination of such different voices will be the jewel I carry away with me, whatever my next steps.
Our tutors, Mairi Hedderwick and Chris Stuart were not only a very funny and endearing double act but also perceptive, sensitive and extremely hard-working mentors. They coaxed us into illuminating exercises and encouraged us to "find our own voices". Thank you both for all your support and insights.
From fast paced action-packed humour to lilting poetic and intimate description, I have been entertained, enlightened, touched and inspired.
I have tussled endlessly with words, phrases and structure and had fabulous conversations. My fellow participants have been on fascinating journeys and all have such gorgeous stories to tell.
I have come away wondering yet again how to go forward with all the material I have under my belt, but for the next week I plan to potter around in this stunning area while my brain calms down.
Yesterday I arrived in Beauly after quite a long ride from Kiltarlity via Eskdale. There were countless luminous blobs whizzing all around me and I was greeted by cheers and applause; my time was a very respectable 5 hours and 53 minutes. I was amongst the heroes and heroines of the Highland Cross, who had ridden 30 miles and walked or run 20!
Ok. I am a fraud. I had done a very sedate 25 or so miles with occasional battery assistance. My route was the most exquisite secluded lane along the river Esk and I just happened to arrive as the late comers in this famous event were ending their marathon.
The hills I scaled were actually very gentle compared to our shorter sharper Devon lumps, so I had charge to spare by the end of the day. I stopped in my tracks to enjoy 2 curlews trilling and circling several times overhead, which was thrilling and today I saw some old friends from Sweden…. strand scotters over there, but not sure what they are here. Can you help Phil?!
My note book is full of drafts and more drafts and I really wonder if I can transfer some of my musical and painting craft into words on a page. A whole new world is opening up.
Tomorrow I am heading to Kilmuir where I will be staying for a few days, then to Lindisfarne for 2 nights before coming home.
One of the many great things has been to leave my phone and iPad quietly on retreat. A very restful exercise and one I hope to put into more regular practice when I’m back!