Some more writing from Italy and home, 2006/2020

Here’s a little more writing, a first draft from 2006, reflecting time spent near Montevarchi, in Tuscany, and some recent exploratory notes from home.

Walk to Croce de Pratomagno 1,591m
All day. Starting at Gorgito then through the silent forest where every sound seemed to be muffled. I heard wolves howling in the distance, filling the silence, eerie, thrilling. Cool air, we enter pockets of earthy scent. It wraps us; we walk softly on thick carpets of leaves beneath thousands of chestnut trees. Climbing a steep route, C.A.(Club Alpino) No. 1. Paths, shrines, look-out spots over tiny Renaissance villages, yellow ochre and geranium red only; tiny gardens in corners, hilltop cemetery, water man with spring, mushrooms, springy turf, white long-legged cattle, violas, spiky sun disc thistle flowers, dianthus, refuge huts, eagle.

Red tree creature, tiny houses at Rocca, the Germans at the summit, they took our photo; the enormous hare, like a jack-rabbit, hopping slowly into the shadows, on the edge of that sweeping alpine meadow; horses, waterhole, potato fields, chestnut terraces, more horses, late return, becoming lost (way-markers, little red and white painted marks on trees – cut down!); missed the bus.

Blue trees with red necklaces and pink crowns. An old woman skinning a rabbit against the wall of a stone barn.

Pregnant Darkness (by Monika Wikman), p. 87
“any masculine spirit in us that thinks it ‘knows how it is’ can become the dominating thought form that kills experiential connection with the numinosum. The dominant culture can kill the most precious gift Jung pointed to – a felt, instinctual living relationship with the spirit of imagination…”

Creativity as when spirits enter. “As a mythopoetic symbol, then, the navel signifies that the centred ness of human existence is constructed over a gap, a fissure, a void.” The Knotted Subject by Elisabeth Bronfen.

Extracts from some new writing.
Your voice is an animal: brown as pelt. You step gently into my ear. I don’t answer; you speak again.
Charge me with your voice I say, with that very particular timbre, those notes. I tell you I want to suck the animal pelt into all my cells with my hearing. I want to survive.

I’m in bed again, with my books. It is night.

I’m a deep valley, with steep wooded sides in shadow; animals gather here, there’s a rounded pit where the boar lies, and a form for the hare; deer lie, forelegs folded, amongst the scrub; I hear hoglets squeak, and their mothers grunt. Ants have made a dusty tower; it gleams orange with moving eggs when the sun reaches this part of the wood. The river bed is wide; towering teeth broken from a great mouth have come to rest here. There’s a pale stream trickling down this channel, and a sense of yielding. I feel you rest there, dark, hairy, painting on my belly with your brush.

You are human and male. I, a shamaness.

I’m making a pale new land. A yellow snake stands up, joining earth and sky. It travels from between her legs, through her back, up the man’s belly before entering his heart.
The man is close behind the woman (I’d thought he was hiding, but now, I’m not so sure); she is bent over the dark horse, who is painted vigorously. Her hand rests on the horse’s back.

The new place she is breathing out: she’s forming it with her breath. It is cool, grey, featureless. In days ahead she’ll sit with him. Her chest will rise and fall. The birds will sing. She’ll wear a red cloth over her head.