Artistic and Literal Ramblings
|Vesica Pool, Chalice Well Gardens|
So feeling brave, armed with a map, a change of
|A Slightly Hazy Long Man|
|Thank You Feet and Legs!!|
At that point I knew I was going to climb up the other 150 metres - however long it took me.
It took a while, but I did it, albeit red faced, sweaty and catching my breath. Elated and inexplicably smiling from ear to ear, I was rewarded with the wonderful sight of a beautiful Red Kite hovering
|I Did It!!|
Eating my picnic, I contemplated my small, modest achievement in climbing up this hill, ruminating on how much of that battle was psychological, how because I'd decided it was going to be done, that it was. How many battles do we lose before we even set foot outside of the door? No one would have known if I hadn't done it, if I'd wussed out, except me, my honesty and integrity and my Goddess. With this in mind I offered up some words of thanks to Goddess and vowed to trust my feet and heart to carry on when my brain fights back with all the bizarre reasoning and logic it can muster!
|Pulpit, St Michael |
and All Angels Church, Berwick.
After a leisurely descent, which took as long as the climb, I changed out of my walking clothes into a dress and sandals with the help of a kind random German lady, who stood guard whilst I swapped my attire behind half a brick wall. I'm way too tall and was far too hot and sweaty to attempt such a furtive manoeuvre in my car, I'd probably still be caught up in a sweaty, Lycra imprisoned contortionist hell now if I hadn't said stuff it! It was one of those days...
Freshly clothed and several litres of water later, I found the old church at Berwick, full of murals by Duncan Grant - part of the Bloomsbury Group, one time partner of Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf's sister, a refreshing sanctuary of divine coolness on such a hot day.
The guide to the church merrily told me that the window behind the Saxon font overlooks a pagan burial mound, indicating that this is an ancient site of honouring the ancestors, if not of worship. I also found it interesting that this tiny chapel displays
such a fondness for the art of the Bloomsbury Group that the parish was able to overlook the bohemian and unconventional lifestyles of it's founder members. I always have a funny five minutes in a church, as though I'm an impostor, expecting people to suddenly ask me to leave, or wondering if it's entirely appropriate for me to be there. When a lovely lady started chatting to me about the murals and flowers that I had admired, which it turned out that she arranged, I felt the wave of uncertainty rise in me until she showed me the beautiful cards to buy, all of butterflies, birds and flowers before she triumphantly and seemingly out of nowhere brandished a card of a beautiful cornfield at me. Sold! Thank you my Goddess for reminding me that spirituality is everywhere!
Whilst wandering through the churchyard I found this beautiful and simple inscription 'Jane Broster 1924-2010 Lively Gentle Empathist Sincere Friend' How beautiful and simple, what a tribute. How apt for such a beautiful mix of faith, spirituality, ideas and beliefs in a tiny church.
From here it was a short drive to Charleston Farm, the summer haven and home of Vanessa Bell and the Bloomsbury Group. No photos from inside as you're asked not to take them, but it was Fabulous!! The farmhouse was leased to Vanessa Bell and became the epicentre of the arts movement pre, during and after 2nd World War. They didn't stop at painting canvases, they painted walls, tables, window sills, chairs - you name it! A lot of Vanessa's contibutions to the decor included painted circle designs and patterns, potentially full of meanings; circle of life, death and rebirth, wholeness and completion as well as being obviously feminine. I've been doodling circles ever since! The beauty for me was in the simplicity and conviction of the art, it didn't matter that it wasn't necessarily aesthetically or technically perfect, but it was genuine and designed sometimes with a specific person in mind, so was heartfelt.
A timely message to me as I often wrestle with
Just in case I needed a further reminder, as I explored the beautiful gardens I found lots of busts adorning an old garden wall, all of them Goddesses. This one seemed to take pride of place and appears to be of Athena/Minerva - mainly and oddly known as a Goddess of both War and Wisdom, but also of inspiration, arts, crafts, handicrafts, courage and agriculture... Perfect !
What a beautiful and glorious day - topped back up with wonder, awe, ideas, strength, satifisfaction and gratiutude of all sorts of things, including myself.
Feeling inspired and full, I headed home musing on my continual journey of discovery, contemplating where I have been so far, all the places I am yet to travel, the people I have yet to meet and learn from.
Have a Blessed Week x x