I spent the summer in a state of entanglement. Bindweed has twisted itself around the roses. The dogs have been caught in burrows and brambles. We became embroiled in everybody else’s dramas and plans with no time to connect, to rest and read, to slow down.

My yarn and cabin were neglected, sitting in shadow beneath the trees.  By the close of summer, we were taut with fatigue and our little girl’s hair was so tangled we had to cut out thick dreads.

When I allowed myself to be convinced that I should become an ‘authority’ site, not a simple blog, I ended up with an illogical mess between two web platforms. I had only wanted help with SEO. But, it got me thinking about the purpose of the internet.  And about greed.  My conclusion is that it’s easy to lose our integrity here.  It shouldn’t be about self promotion but connection.

Today, possibly behind the curve, I discovered Theron Humphrey’s This Wild Idea.  http://thiswildidea.com His journey, (across America meeting a new person everyday, for 365 days) and his tender photographs and simple interviews transformed my day.  This man has got it right – he is forging real connection, telling people’s stories, celebrating the beauty and honesty of their everyday lives.

 

Disentangled
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 24 September 2012

When our children were babies, I didn’t often have time to read. So I kept myself afloat with snippets of poetry. Through those often lonely, early morning feeds, I would balance their small, warm bodies in one arm and a book in the other.

This summer I didn’t have time to write.  So I kept myself sane with the instant pleasure of digital photography and Instagram. The opportunity to see the texture of so many other people’s lives has been a privilege. It could be addictive.  Here are a few pictures from my feed.  I’ve put a link, above, for you to see the rest on line and discover more of the generous and creative Instagram community.

 

 

Snippets
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 19 September 2012

A narrow path lined with vetch, thistle, yarrow, salad burnet and low scrub led us to the beach at Cuckmere Haven. On one side was the rise and curve of The Downs. On the other, our usual route, the low, wide bed of the meandering Cuckmere River.

We arrived at an encampment of delicate white tents.  The evening sun kissed a soft blush on the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters. Dusk fell and we sat beside the sea eating dark chocolate and raspberries as each tent began to softly glow and murmur.

 

This was the same field where a company of Canadian airmen put up their marquees and bell tents in 1940.  As the sun rose, bombs fell on the South coast of England and they were killed. We remembered them as we wandered through the site listening to a haunting soundscape of love poetry, spoken fragments, folk songs, pipes, slow breath and snippets of the shipping forecast. Forties. Cromarty. Forth. Tyne. Dogger. Fisher. German Bight.

 

There was something respectful about the delicacy of the installation. This companionable cluster of delicate pods glowed orange and white on the gentle slope down to the beach. At seven other remote coastal locations on the British coast thousands of glowing tents huddled on windy shores and cliff tops, pitched to celebrate the Olympic Truce.

 

It was a gentle offering, a place that gave pause for reflection, invited quietude and connection. Silhouettes milled silently in between the tents stopping in front of one or another as if it might tell them a different story. But it was a single breathy incantation that filled the air. Listening and wandering in the dark, each one of us became part of the landscape – our breath, our quiet conversations, our stillness, holding hands and sleepy children.

When the sound subsided, we could hear the sea pulling the pebbles of the beach into the dark water. Rolling in again and again.

We left the beautiful glow to follow the path back to the car, turning around occasionally to catch a last glimpse of the small encampment murmuring out there in the night. Each one of us carrying a deeper peace and searching for the frayed corners of poems we half remembered.

 

Peace
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 24 July 2012

We packed the green van with quilts, sheepskins, beer, firewood, lanterns, strings of white lights, thick socks, candles and wellies. We rolled mattresses, found a fruit crate for a table and disappeared into a park of rolling hills and ancient forest. We were there to give – time, love, food, fire, kisses, music, energy. And to spank that dance floor.

With only ourselves to consider, we ate and drank when we felt like it – Manchego cheese and quince paste, apple juice, vodka, slices of warm pizza, dark sea salt chocolate, grapes, croissants, curry, fresh mint and darkly roasted coffee.

We found orange things to dress up in and danced through the nights.

Rain fell. The dance tents filled with water, hot bodies, mud and hay.

We floated from one space to another to find the right rhythm and each other. There were moments when we stood quite still in the middle of a heaving dance floor, feeling the music pulse through us and finding the beat of each other’s hearts.

It was so good to share that wonderfully wild weekend – fifteen of us for three days – a small family in a big, beautiful tribe. All there to celebrate, play, dance, expand, explore, give and receive; for camp fires, silliness, morning coffee, joy and communion.

Before the festival, we were sent an email that quoted Bede Griffiths:

“We become more ourselves as we enter more deeply into relationship with others. In our ordinary consciousness we are all separated in time and space, but as we go beyond the limitations of time and space we experience our oneness with others. We do not lose ourselves, but we lose our sense of separation and division and discover our integral oneness in the One Reality.  This is essentially a mystery of love”.

And the power of friendship, fire, privacy, trust, awesome tunes and the odd outstanding menu.

 

Give
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 12 July 2012
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