Writing my way into a wider dance
Greetings Dougald, it is more than an honor to be be mentioned here, in this way, by you. I'm thinking now that I signed up for your Homeward Bound course in part because of the way the Dark Mountain Project had pressed upon my imagination and also because I couldn't stop thinking about the words A School Called HOME. I was considering adopting--or at least trying on for size--the words Peasantry School. You continue to nudge me along in subtle, humble and mysterious ways. Thank you.
Just so! I feel this piece. For myself, I've come to being a writer after two decades of being a visual artist. Writing is one of the art forms I've practised the longest, but it was a private matter until a few years ago. Writing feels so right to me that sometimes I grieve I didn't do it sooner. But actually, I think I couldn't have: I wasn't ready. In my opinion, writing is not a young person's craft.
As for art-buddies: creative camaraderie comes from the people who are aligned with what you're doing, they may not be in anything like the same discipline- one of my best art-friends is a stone-carver, for instance- but the emergent experiences and ideas of practicing any art or craft deeply have commonality. I think of it as cross-pollination- I'll take creative solidarity from any like-minded maker.
Thanks for this, can identify myself in that phase of seemingly endless writing and knowing I need more practice and parts of me to gain experience and get knocked around by life a bit more. Inspiring to hear that it took a long time for you, who makes beautiful and lucid writing seem so natural...
I really enjoyed these insights. As someone with no classic training at all (I have a GCSE English and that’s about it lol) I’ve always felt a bit lesser than to others who have I guess. I haven’t been lucky enough to have feedback on my writings or advise to improve it. But similarly to as you quoted, writing to find myself and figure things out has been the most amazing way to ‘improve’ my writing and explore my voice.
Dougald, I'm honored, thank you so much for what you said and for sharing the Pollen Basket. It's lovely to connect again. And that poem, yes, didn't it just say everything? It's such a desperately sad and frightening time. Thank you also for your brilliant work and thinking and seeing and presence, exciting to have subscribed here. x
Oh God, that stultifying academic environment “full of unmarked doors, subtle handshakes, and taps on shoulders” is SO familiar! I’m thrilled that you escaped before it was too late. I’m thrilled that I did too...
Thank you for this insight Dougald, a helpful and timely read.
Sentimental poet vs. reality: https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2023/5/25/why-doesnt-europe-grieve-deaths-in-the-mediterranean
I would like to read a short story about what the Dougald who stayed with PPE ended up doing :)
I think you mean coming Tuesday October 24 and not November? Third paragraph....
Hi Dougald, I'd love to join the 5-week course, however, am away in a different timezone, with friends I'd like to dedicate all my time to in this day and age. Can I join for the last three weeks, and hope to contribute then? I would of course subscribe to the course like everyone else who does five weeks.
I've so been enjoying your writing, both on here as well as offline in book form. The possible directions of travel you unearth seem to be the beginning of a settling in the today. Thank you.