The jewel in the crown

I have rather taken to wandering of late.  My time has been reconstructed as I am currently working with a cooperative of writers with the core group being American.  The outcome of that is that I wake to a rather full inbox which I deal with early and thus I have stretched time a wee bit.  I am probably working as hard as ever but in a different way and I must say that it suits me well.

In my wanderings today I ventured across the burn that runs to the sea and looked for beach treasure on the other side; virgin territory!  I am always on the hunt for the perfect pottery fragment which still eludes me.  These fragments are filling my new large glass vase well sitting alongside the perennial sea glass.  I am not disappointed with my finds so far this year but that perfect bit of pottery remains buried to be released by the tide one day soon.


Of course the absolute jewel in the crown does not belong to clay but to glass and the very rare glass bottle top.  To find one brings a rush of ‘dreams coming true’ and over the years I must have found about ten or so.  That works out as roughly one a year.  Sometimes the rush of perfection is slightly tarnished on close examination as wee chips are often found.  So, when a perfect one is found all is very well with the world indeed.

It is true to say that I do my best thinking when I am wandering but today I was in reflective mode as I remembered what I anticipated my 50s would look like; or more specifically what I would look like.  I had imagined a short neat haircut and timeless classic dresses and a Filofax permanently glued to my hand.   As I enter my 50s I can see my predictions were totally wrong and it rather made me smile.  My hair is the longest it has been since I was a child and just as determined to do its own thing as ever.  I shuffle around in jeans and lots of layers to keep out the cold and my wellies are never far from my feet.  I have no Filofax having decided that I don’t want to be that organised and have swapped that for a rather inspiring Earth Pathways diary. 

I must confess that I prefer the version that I am now as it is far more in keeping with a life-long strategy to stay on the edge of mainstream expectations and just be myself.  I do, however like to think of each year in my life as a new one and capable of offering me all that I could ever need or want.  I have long since learnt the power of positive thinking as something capable of delivering enormous riches in life.  So, in that sense life will offer up a reflection of such thoughts and, in thus I have some control.  Some time spent on the land today confirms the wonderful cycle of life as spring bulbs are pushing through everywhere.  It is comforting to rely on the constancy of the seasons as they signal that spring is, indeed, on its way.  It is just February and I am already out in my garden studio working with the enormous peace that brings.  Buddhism teaches us gratitude and that is a very humbling space to occupy.  I certainly have a whole heap of things to be grateful for so I just need to remember that going forward.


I have signed on the dotted line to take part in the island Open Studio event in August so I have finally decided that this is the year to focus on art.  Although only at the sourcing, gathering and sketching stage I have as strong sense of direction emerging but I feel the key is to do something every day.  My career as a writer opened up enormously after I had spent 2013 writing a blog post every day.  This will be why I am a failed pianist as I failed to practice every day; my Grandpa was right all along.  My underpinning philosophy for my art journey is the notion of ‘reclaimed.’  I have worked with reclaimed materials as a crafter for years so it still a natural path to tread as I take my first wee steps into art.


Although constantly aware of the aesthetics of art I do want my pieces to speak to people in ways that individuals can seek their own meanings.  This is, however, a bit ambitious but those of you who knew me back in the day when I wrote a dance degree and opened it to non-dancers know just how fearless I can be when I put my mind to something.  So, at the moment I am playing with form and structure but in ways that speak to the original space they inhabit.  The reclaimed piece of pallet wood that I am making into a canvas was once a tree and its personal history needs to be acknowledged.  I have been touched deeply by home school studies with Max on the Amazon rainforest and although distant from it I have always had a deep connection with trees.

This takes us back to our beach fragments and that perfect piece of pottery.  Trust me I will know when I will see it.  With each piece I find I try and work out what it once was acknowledging that it too was once of the soil.

So, in my wanderings on this day I found not one but two perfect glass bottle tops.  Of course I did.


Speak soon,

scottish island mum


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