A round-up of everything I’m loving this week:

 

Howl:

 

This short film is just beautiful and raw and exquisite.

 

HOWL from Jaime Jhilmil Gianopoulos on Vimeo.

 

 

Sabat Magazine:

 

 

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I’m excited that the second issue of Sabat magazine is out. Sabat is a gorgeous magazine, described as fusing ‘Witchcraft and feminism, ancient archetypes and instant art’. The first issue was just so beautiful and I can’t wait to get my hands on this latest issue. Pick up your copy here

 

 

She Explores:

 

 

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The website and podcast, She Explores, is about the relationship between women, nature, and adventure. It’s a theme which has come up a lot lately in my life, and I’m so pleased to have come across this beautiful site. The site features gorgeous photography, artwork and essays by inspiring women. Also check out this essay Stop Telling Women Not to Go into the Backcountry Alone by Krista Langlois.

 

 

American Horror Story:

 

 

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American Horror Story season 6 is underway and I must say, I’m impressed so far. This season harks back to the mystery and the horror which worked so well in season one’s Murder House, but which was undermined in season 2 by the amount of weirdness crammed in, and the soap opera quality of Coven and Freak Show. I didn’t even bother with season 5: Hotel. I’m not sure the mockumentary style necessarily works – it’s more of a distraction – but so far I’m compelled.

 

I’m also loving this short comparison of season’s 1 and 6 from Nerdist. Warning: contains spoilers!

 

https://youtu.be/Oa91mY6Mf-I

 

 

Sisterhood:

 

 

Recently I was in beautiful Wales at The Wisdom Gathering, a magical retreat for women created by the lovely Jayne Goldheart of Sisters of the Wild. At the retreat, I learned to make Ojo de Dios through weaving, foraged in the fields and created my very own wonderful smelling smudge stick. I spent time with a fantastic group of women and really being part of that sisterhood community; learning, sharing, creating and singing. I loved it. As a writer, my days can be quite isolating, and I’m often a bit of a hermit. Spending time with a group of creative like-minded women is the perfect remedy.

 

Adventure:

 

 

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The Wisdom Gathering took place in a remote part of Wales, and the location was so perfect because just out of the site, there was a short walk to a largely secluded beach, with an alternate route including a woodland hike. Nearly every day, I would awake at just before sunrise and set off on my own with my camera and journal, enjoying the quiet time to myself, the rustle of the trees and the sound of the brook rushing by the path. At the beach, I would nestle into the rocks and just sit and think, listening to the crash of the sea on the shore and the sight of the clouds moving overhead. I wanted to go for a dip in the sea with all my being, but I kept putting it off, swayed by the intimidatingly large waves and the prospect of cold water. On the last day, I took off my shoes and socks and paddled a little. The sea foam bubbling over my skin wasn’t that cold, but it was refreshing. I saw a couple of seals, their heads bobbing above the waves. Whenever I see seals I always think of the Selkie tales I used to hear as a child living in Scotland.

 

I followed them, eager to get a closer look. One of the seals got quite bold and swam closer to me, eager to get a closer look at this strange being on the land. It got so close that I thought it would be washed up on the beach beside me, each wave sweeping it closer and closer to me. I took this as a sign, followed my fear and left my things on some dry rocks along with my clothes and threw myself in the water. Not at all gracefully I might add. I had to battle every huge wave which bore down on me, so in the end I didn’t exactly swim, but more reenacted what it was like to be in a washing machine on the spin cycle. I was so proud of myself for doing it though, and not letting the fear beat me! It was exhilarating.

 

 

Mary Oliver:

 

Sleeping in the Forest 
 
I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
 
from Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver
© Mary Oliver

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