Monday, 6 September 2010

Wild Dartmoor with the ladies who take tea.

A weekend has passed beneath the beautiful yet changeable Dartmoor Sky's, the first night in the company of the entire cosmos, shooting stars and flashing planets, the sickle hanging low above the towering fortresses of the moor, cold as ice yet invigorating for the soul. The second night thick cloud culminating in the orchestral cacophony beating its overture upon the canvas of our shelter, precipitation removing any hope of a good night's sleep.

Rivenstone, a small festival in the heart of the Devon moors, put together by Nigel Shaw and Carolyn Hillyer on a small farm which they have made their home for the past fifteen years, a truly wholesome place that these two have quite literally put their hearts and souls into creating, musicians and artists both truly in love with this piece of land, only too happy to share this adoration with others, Cairns, stones and even a reconstructed iron age round house, artworks subtly hidden down secluded woodland paths, so much to see and share, the spirits of the rolling landscape content within this sanctuary.
I was more than a little apprehensive with the Idea of spending the weekend with the Ladies who take tea, this tired remnant of the new age movement, the angel and crystal procuring people of the last century, I have never really seen the world as they do and the same can still be said.
However, As my tolerance has grown so has theirs, belief and methods not really discussed with strangers, only between Friends, as I sat upon the grass basking in the early autumn sun sipping my beer I could hear various conversations, on the eaves as it were, the crystal therapy women discussing which of the gurus they had studied with and the cleansing properties of the by products of Uranium mining, all at a festival to promote more sustainable living and how we can be in touch with the land, our land.
These Ladies were few and far between, often found meditating in places set up by the guardians of this farm, I found myself being "tutted" at several times for inadvertently disturbing a meditation in the roundhouse, missing the point a little I feel, as such a place is not a temple but a gathering point for Friends, family and clan, a place for song and story not for quiet thought at a festival, those were my feelings on the place anyway and I did not deliberately force my presence upon them, I just made my apologies and removed myself.
I have to say at this point that I did meet some fabulous people, the organisers and supporting crew were wonderful, as were many of the other traders, the public also were by and large.
Music,discussion, food, dance and the banging of drums, not exactly my cup of tea really but overall a successful weekend, we made money from the sales of our artwork alone and good money too.
I must also add something of an opinion of Nigel's and Carolyn's music, especially a piece called Dartmoor Symphony, These two people are not of the moors, or the west country for that matter, it would be easy for me to dismiss such a piece of music as a deluded attempt to understand an alien landscape, I cannot.
This one musical work alone demonstrates the connections to this land they have made, I am a west country man, the moors have always been and will always be my spiritual home, and this is true also of the writers /performers of this symphony, moving the Cunning man almost to tears, capturing exactly the sound and the very nature of the moor, its birds, streams, its stone circles and the way the wind moves, the noiseless aspects of nature are somehow even captured and through a musical alchemy transformed into sound, even the sun decided to throw his radiance down upon the performance at an appropriate moment.
As Far from being an insult to my beloved land as it could conceivably be, it is in fact a celebration and an act of love, perfectly executed, thank you, this landscape seems to have adopted you both as much as you have adopted it.
Their site can be found here.
Tolerance within some parts of the esoteric and artistic communities is winning through, we are looking more toward the common ground and excepting the differences between us, this is once again the ultimate goal on the path of understanding.

The rain is battering the windows of my home, a day to sort out one or two things then it is back to the restoration work tomorrow, this weekend has been good practise for next when T and I are up to London for the book launch, hoping to meet some good people there also, I don't know how we will fit in with the attendants of that event either.

There are people in this world that do share more common ground with us, those who will welcome us to their hearths relationships that are due to be cemented properly, but those connections fate has decided to postpone till next year at the latest, hopefully she might step up her schedule a little sooner.
Learning to communicate with others has always been a stretch for this one, acceptance and tolerance are my own personal demons, learning I am however, and I for one will be more prepared to take tea with the ladies, especially those ladies who like to enjoy the occasional beer.


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