So i begin with a last call out for the Westcountry School of Myth's up coming weekend Feb 11th to 13th (170 pounds, residential Fri 7pm to Sun 4pm) - on Grimm's initiatory fairy tales for men and women - 'The Six Swans' and 'Iron John', up in the mossy climbes of Dartmoor at the cosy High Heathercombe residential centre.
We will explore the ancient stories and their multiplicity of association, and also include a brand new session on the business of mythtelling itself- from both practical and esoteric perspectives. The food will be excellent, company beguiling and the fire always hot. Please ring 01364 653723 TODAY (not tomorrow) to book a place by the fireside.
We will explore potential differences between myth, folktale and legend and then promptly ignore those differences and let the images do their work. Time allowing we will also look at three very different perspectives on how myth reveals itself in the early 21st century. So a weekend rich in story, theory, fellowship and the wildly experiential.
I have been back about a week in the UK and shaken off the jetlag. Last bit of the trip was also terrific- great to get a blast of a truly cold, truly snowy winter - thanks Minnesota. 50+ plus men gathered in the wonderfully named Mound and we thrashed through old Nordic tales, Bardic poetry and some simple but profound ritual. Robert read from his soon to be released new book of poetry 'Talking Into the Ear of a Donkey' and raised the whole weekend to a new level of poetical excellence. Thanks to Tim Young and the Minnesota Singing Men for their organizing and general soul-crafting - it was good and punchy.
I dived into a snowdrift to check if it was a metaphor - it wasn't- and received a lovely little ritual cut to the forehead from the Ice. Looked exactly like i had been bottled, which made for interesting discussions at customs. So i am sensing the first little
buds hear and there, and the first occasional scent of a spring breeze. This means we must make the most of what's left of the hibernatory winter. I am surrounded, SURROUNDED by half open books working on my Parzival text- revolving around shame,
medieval courting rituals and the paralysis of the erotic imagination - should be some read i hope.
A few interesting reads from the study: SAVAGE GIRLS AND WILD BOYS: A history of Feral Children by Michael Newton, OUR MAGNIFICENT BASTARD TONGUE: the Untold History of English by John McWhorter, SAVING THE APPEARANCES: A Study of Idolatry by Owen Barfield (One of the Inklings), ORIGINS OF THE SACRED: The Ecstasies of Love and War by Dudley Young, THE LAUGHTER OF FOXES: A Study of Ted Hughes by Keith Sagar.
Hope to drop in some new essay chunks and ideas later this week or soon - in the meantime i must put my Headmasters hat on and say gruffly 'ATTENTION ALL COMING TO ROBIN WILLIAMSON, MARTIN SHAW WEEKEND. DESPITE YOUR MANY E-MAILS OF ENTHUSIASM, ONLY DEPOSITS ENSURE A PLACE - DON'T BE DISAPPOINTED- PLACES REALLY ARE LIMITED' Good-that feels better - i like giving Saturn room to roam.
See you on Friday by the fire......