There is always a place in any garden of mine for roses, because roses make my heart glad. But the truth is that there is little that makes my heart gladder than to eat something I’ve grown myself in my garden. To me, the perfect, most enchanted garden is a rather messier version of the classic French potager: flowers, fruit, herbs and vegetables all mixed in together – together with a few hens (we have five) and a bee hive or two. (Or three, in our case.) Read More
Myth is the language of psyche – of soul. And the psychology I’ve actually practiced down all the years (as opposed to the disenchanted, scientistic, experimental methodology I was taught early on) has always been about soul – and has always been founded on a deep immersion in myth. Above all, it’s been about working with the mythic imagination in order to understand, express, create soul. Read More
‘Post-heroic stories aren’t focused on individual glory; they’re focused on community. On diversity. It’s not about slaying the dragon, but about harnessing his special skills – making him part of the team. It’s about understanding, and valuing, the black, feathery, croaking wisdom of a crow. It’s about living with a half-empty stomach so you can feed some of your porridge to the hungry mice – who, if you are lucky, will help you to sort the wheat from the chaff. Post-heroic stories aren’t about winning the hand of the simpering, golden-haired princess: they’re about kissing the boar-toothed, blue-faced hag.’
Sharon Blackie, ‘The Mythic Imagination’
The reclamation of an abandoned garden – now there’s a project of the heart. It’s also very much a project of the mythic imagination, and as I wrote in my last post, it is already inhabited by a character or two from the Irish mythic tradition.
In a chapter of The Enchanted Life entitled ‘Coming Home to Ourselves’, I wrote about the ways in which we can deepen our relationship and sense of belonging to the place we live: specifically, to our houses – and to our gardens, if we’re lucky enough to have one. And I am. Regular readers of this blog will know that I moved back to Connemara around a year ago, after three years in Donegal. The rather strange house we now live in sits in the middle of what, once upon a time, might have been thought of as a garden. Here’s how I described it in The Enchanted Life: Read More
I don’t usually write book reviews on any forum, but every now and again a book comes along which makes me want to. So here is the first of what will be an occasional series, for sure: a collection of the small number of books which (often unexpectedly) really make an impact. Lisa Samson’s just-published Epitaph for the Ash is one such book.