“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
No, I have not forgotten you. Many things have been happening, some of which I am not too comfortable with sharing here, at this moment. Changes are happening, within me and without me – some are for the better, some are seemingly worsening my situation. However, I am handling things with a grace that I have rarely shown in the past. Is it true that, as you age, you get wiser? Where does that wisdom come from, I wonder.
Something I am willing to share at this point is my journey through education. I have chosen to put forth the effort of doing self-paced coursework. I believe I have spoken, briefly, of my Bardic studies – those are still being done. However, I have also added in a few other courses through an online seminary, as well as my own studies of Gaelic, English Composition, Maths, and Life Coaching. If you find yourself interested in reading about my journey, you can follow the link below:
I do promise that I have not forgotten you, my loves. I have just been rather self-absorbed. I hope to get back to normal in the coming weeks, but I cannot make any promises. You are forever in my heart <3
“…if one looks long enough at almost anything, looks with absolute attention at a flower, a stone, the bark of a tree, grass, snow, a cloud, something like revelation takes place. Something is “given,” and perhaps that something is always a reality outside the self. We are aware of God only when we cease to be aware of ourselves, not in the negative sense of denying the self, but in the sense of losing self in admiration and joy.”
– May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (Open Road Media. 2014)
It is painfully obvious that I have not been active on this blog, for which I apologise. I have been running around – both metaphorically and literally, as well as online and off. My attention has been focused elsewhere, on courses that I am taking to further my learning along this Path, on my children who will be starting school this Wednesday, on my mental health and everything involved with it, and every other little aspect of life.
As of 25 July 2018, The Call of the Sea (previously Aequoris) was finished. On 29 July 2018, I published the novella on Amazon Kindle, and it is currently available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. My head has been swimming in the cool waves of Idir na Farraigí for the last month, and my characters have taken their tale to a place I had not originally intended.
I have fallen in love with the mythology of this family and their island home, and my heart aches to be finished with this tale – however, my heart is also heavy with the experiences and deep emotions that I have written about, and I am finding it difficult to write much of anything, including posts and course papers.
I cannot definitively say whether the underlying, and apparent, themes of my current tale are to blame for my recent downward spiral, or if perhaps it is just life at this moment, but my own dark and cold waters have risen considerably over the last week.
I am one of those authors that always has a writing project ready to work on, primarily because I prefer to write when inspiration strikes, and it isn’t always any single piece – this means that I usually have a few tales started.
I began a very personal tale, one inspired, albeit loosely, by my childhood. It is just as heavy, if not more (due to its personal nature) than The Call of the Sea. I know how cathartic writing is, I advocate for everyone to write through their emotions and through their traumas, but I am terrified of writing this tale.
Perhaps I am not yet ready to face these shadows that have haunted me for so long, or perhaps I am just emotionally drained from my previous writing. For whatever reason, I am at a loss for words and it hurts me deeply that I cannot find them anywhere.
I had intended for this post to be something other than what it has become – however, as with most of my writing, my words often take on a mind of their own. I wanted to talk about absolute attention, and prayer, and other such things but there is so much weighing on my mind right now that it seems impossible to focus.
I will leave you with a quote that has me feeling a bit more human, a bit more me:
“The pale stars were sliding into their places. The whispering of the leaves was almost hushed. All about them it was still and shadowy and sweet. It was that wonderful moment when, for lack of a visible horizon, the not yet darkened world seems infinitely greater—a moment when anything can happen, anything be believed in.”
― Olivia Howard Dunbar, The Shell of Sense
It has been far too long since I last wrote here – granted, seven days is not a long length of time to have between posts, however, after posting multiple times a week for a bit it created a gap. I wish I could share with you all that I have been doing, but for now, most of it will have to wait.
I have surpassed my original goal for the tale I am currently weaving, and I have changed quite a bit about it, the most significant being the culture that inspires it. Originally, it had been Nordic in nature but there were far too many questions I had about the mythology. I chose to make the transition to Celtic mythology and cultural inspiration, partially because of my current studies as well as the tale better fitting the Celtic culture. I will, of course, include a pronunciation guide for the names.
I have also made the choice to move my books to Kindle. Writing has never been a monetary occupation – it is rather difficult to sustain life while on a small time author’s pay. However, I find that the larger platforms offer a wider audience for my work. Someone may not enjoy it, but they may know someone else who would. I hope that this does not deter anyone from reading them in the future.
Finally, I wanted to share a significant change in our lives – my children will be attending a local school starting in August. The choice was not an easy one, but a necessary one for our current desires and place in life. It is causing me both anxiety and heartache to know that I won’t be offering them the education I want for them, but I know that it will all be for the better, in the long run. We all need our own spaces, and I remember that, as a child, school was my escape. They are not babies anymore, and I can only hope that I have taught them well enough to manage and navigate the halls of social interactions and academic learning. I will always be there, to listen and help where I can, but there comes a time when every child wants to experience things on their own.
“A moth may be a poor cousin to a butterfly, but it is still beautiful none the less.” ― Anthony T. Hincks
It was safe to say that she feared moths – she understood that they would not harm her, but there was something about the speed at which their wings beat, their constant battering against the lights, and their tendency to favour her over anyone else. For as long as she could remember, she ran when a moth was present. She couldn’t stand how they got caught in her hair or behind her glasses or in her clothing.
It wasn’t until the night she met the Queen of the Moths that she learned why they had flocked to her all of those years. She appeared in a flurry of dusty wings, materialising out of the bodies of hundreds, if not thousands, of multicoloured moths.
They had been her calling card. She had been patiently waiting for her to answer and had a laugh each time she would scream and run. The Queen of the Moths rarely had the tolerance she exhibited with the young woman, but she had seen something in her all those years ago that had yet to disappear. The Queen had watched as the young woman sought after others that she had assumed were the ones calling her, and though it frustrated the Queen, she understood the nature of the process and chose not to back down.
Their exchange was silent, less a conversation and more an instant connection – the young woman understood, finally, and it had only taken nearly her entire life to find her way home.
The Queen of the Moths enfolded the young woman in her arms, covered her in the darkness that cloaked her, and warmed her at the fires of her heart. The young woman accepted her calling, accepted her place within the arms of the Queen.
“In the fields, she stopped and took a deep breath of the flower scented air. It was dearer to her than her kin, better than a lover, wiser than a book. And for a moment she rediscovered the purpose of her life. She was here on earth to absorb its wild enchantment.”
— Boris Pasternak
She drew in a deep breath, savouring the freshness around her. The familiar sting of salt air was not present in the fields and hills, and it was more than exciting to see the expanse of grass that spread out before her. There was no one, not a single soul, roaming the area within her vision – she was alone, and for the first time in quite a while, she felt at ease with the solitude.
She set out the thin blanket she had packed, along with her paints and canvases. There were four of them, their white surfaces begging for colour to be splashed over them. She had never feared the stark whiteness of a blank canvas – to be honest, Cora felt that it was more inspiring to imagine what could be, rather than what should be.
She went about squeezing a small amount of paint from each of her green tubes, then from her browns, and finally from the blues and her white. She had packed two small jars of clean water, which were now sitting in front of her, nestled in the damp dirt and beside them sat her paintbrushes, neatly assorted by size.
She had traded one sea for another, and as she painted, Cora imagined there were beings similar to Kallan that swam through the tall grasses and lurked just beneath the green surface of the fields. She could almost feel them, could almost see them through the haze of the inland afternoon. There, off at the other end of the field, she could just imagine being watched with curiosity by moss green eyes – or there, in that copse of trees to her left, down the hill, there could be a watchful stare boring into her, wondering what her purpose was for being in the secluded vale.
What was her purpose? Why did she feel the clawing need in the pit of her stomach to be far from the sea? She knew that her mother had noticed the small jumps and shrieks at the sounds of crashing waves, how Cora had shied away from the daily pilgrimages to their sacred beach, and how she had been less than welcoming of the salt air that permeated the house.
She couldn’t hide her aversion to the sea, not from Wilfred, not from Vivian, and definitely not from her mother. But, for all that she knew her mother could see, Nerissa hadn’t pried, which Cora was thankful for. She would come around, she knew that about herself – she never could stay far from the sea for long. But for now, she needed the quietness of the hills, the soft, tickling breezes that bent the grasses and rustled the leaves, and the sweet scent of wild-flowers that seemed to come from every direction.
I am inspired by the space between, the quiet moments of contemplation, the beginnings and the endings and everything contained within. My choice of subject comes from a place of intuition and inspiration and a desire to see the things that most people are unable to. I see the unknown as something to be celebrated, not feared; I see both the light in the shadows and the shadows in the light. I’ve struggled with my voice, but I feel that the path I am on now is the correct one – deep emotions, painful issues, darkness and light all painted together into one complex landscape of human interaction and feeling.
All words and images are copyright Victoria Anne Emslie (Victoria Manning). Please do not reproduce, pin, or otherwise copy anything here without first receiving my permission. Thank you