Chasing poetry in Scotland.

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What an extraordinary poetry filled trip through Scotland and Ireland. On Kathleen Jamie’s advice I visited the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh. We were in Edinburgh for the National Association of Funeral Directors Conference and being of the belief that every conference can be improved by an afternoon of poetry I headed into town for one of the afternoons.

Alas when I arrived for the discussion on Tomas Transtromer, the library was boarded up for renovations and despite my best efforts to find the group eventually abandoned the chase. Alas.

One day as she rinsed her wash from the jetty,

the bay’s cold grave rose up through her arm

and into her life.

This first verse is from Transtomer’s poem From the Island 1860 – hauntingly beautiful in the true sense of both words.

 I consoled my self in a bookshop and discovered Jamie’s essays, Sightlines and Findings, so all was not lost though my bag was a little heavier.

I wonder when Australia will have a poetry library.

Discovering Estonia

By | Inspiration, Travel | No Comments

I first encountered Estonia through the Funeral Industry. In my work as a Celebrant, I was invited to create a funeral for an older Estonian woman. The family was keen for me to create a ceremony that honoured the whole of this woman’s life particularly her harsh childhood and youth in Estonia and the passion for that country that stayed with her for as long as she lived.

I began researching; listening to the music, the poetry and the stories of Estonia. I became obsessed with this country and its story of triumph through terrible adversity. I was inspired by the passive, musical resistance that characterized the Singing Revolution. In 2013 I travelled in the north of Estonia, listening to the recollections of older people and the exuberance of the young.

I learnt about the beauty and traditions of the textiles and ceramics and the astonishing technological lead this country has taken. I sat in buildings older than I have ever been in and walked through kilometres of villages and wetlands. In this photo I am walking through the wetlands near Haapsalu; a beautiful way of encountering the locals and appreciating the reclamation work that has occurred here.