… nosing here, turning leaves over …

After many months of not really believing in the place, after ferry-boats and twisty roads, after a night in a twenty-first century cave where the dogs and Sharon and I slept fitfully but always with one ear open to the strangeness of the teeming world – I approached the Tullaghobegley River for the first time.

RiverwitchShe spoke only the once. Clearly enough. Clear in the way that some people have when they have no intention of repeating themselves. She said, matter-of-factly, mid-flow so to speak, “What are you? What will you do here?” I was a little taken aback. For months I had been imagining what I would say, how I would smile and be open. But not really open, I now understood. I had not expected her to be so simply in charge of our meeting. I hesitated. “Well, I can tell you what I have been until now, what things I have done.” (“Such things,” I thought to myself but did not say out loud.) The river flowed on, not even raising an eyebrow to my non-answer to her perfectly clear question. She had no intention of repeating herself. A river, as mankind has known for some millennia, does not repeat itself.

And so there I was on a riverbank. A bagful of irrelevant pasts. A present ‘dropped out of nothing’, asking, to echo Hughes’ Wodwo, “What am I, nosing here, turning leaves over…”

I turned to walk back up to the house that will eventually become a home. Rebuffed and a stranger, even to myself. Just then a wren appeared. It was very busy back and forth building a nest. It brought moss and bark and even a piece of wool. It stopped occasionally and queried my presence with a little bob. Have you ever wondered what the physical embodiment of a wink might look like? I think it might be a wren.

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6 comments on “… nosing here, turning leaves over …

    • Thanks for that. I’ve a post just finishing off in the oven right now – can’t believe its been a month since the last.

  1. Is the song the same for you and Sharon, or must it be different by the very nature of the fact that you are both a patchwork of different experiences from your pasts? fascinating

    • Hi Luffy,
      I’m thinking as I write (and thanks for the direction of travel)- but maybe it is something like this: there is a set of notes, or images, or places, or phrases, or sounds (vocal and not vocal) and Sharon is singing her new/old tune or weaving a tapestry out of them. While I am trying to build a poem or a picture out of the same colours and sounds and it will take its own time and will form at times more slowly and a other times more quickly than Sharon’s story. And when it does form it will be different from Sharon’s story but echoing it by virtue of the same colours, images, places appearing – but in different orders and in unguessable disguises. But then , but then – I tremble a little at the thought of the intricacy and excitement – Sharon herself is now one of the pieces, or notes, or images, or places by the river – and I am linked through them, and was before them, to her and her story and so we spiral around each other and sing our living stories to one another and appear in each other’s reflections. Different songs but eventually one song.
      Or something like that?

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