Friday, 27 May 2011

The colour of the leaves - the sound of the wind

Sun Yat-Sen

"When I sit down in the bamboo and look around me, I am immediately struck by how much I did not include in my writing this morning... Realising the gaps in my recall makes me look more carefully. I look to the bamboo stems, stunning in their clarity, and as I do so, I feel shocked by confronting the chasms in my memory."
~Caroline Brazier writing in Acorns Among the Grass
In her new book Acorns Among the Grass: Adventures in Eco-Therapy, Caroline Brazier has a section about using writing in order to connect with the world. Her book rests upon the premise that we have much to learn from the Earth, and that really being in connection with the Earth can be a healing experience. Our small stone writing rests upon a similar philosophy.
Writing can be a useful way to sharpen the mind and connect with the world, but it can also dull our perception, for we all too easily get caught in words and the familiar patterns of our thinking, preventing ourselves from seeing the real things around us...
...We need to keep asking ourselves, "Is what I have written true?" and, "Can I put this more succinctly, more accurately, in more detail?"
Acorns Among the Grass

We can ask ourselves these questions when writing small stones too: Have I fallen back into old ways of thinking? Am I writing a cliché? Can I put this more accurately?

Write down what you see and hear and then look and listen again, at the world if you can, or in your memory. Have you seen or heard what was really there?

It's impossible to remove the subjective completely of course, but these questions, and writing small stones, are designed to bring us into contact with what is real.

Even the act of intending to write can make us look more closely - when we go into the world we go with these questions in mind. What are we really looking at?

Go into the world, touch what is real and write about it.

Wedding small stones!

A reminder - Fiona and I are getting married on the 18th June, and would like you to help us celebrate by writing a small stone for us that day. You can also help by letting other people know about the wedding small stones by taking part in our blogsplash on the 1st of June. Click here to help us celebrate: Wedding small stones & blogsplash

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