It rained. Pretty much all weekend. We did manage a couple of forays out into the hills… but our aim was, on both occasions, pretty specific. With another book underway, we needed photographs. One jaunt saw us terrifying the local teenagers as they came upon a very strange figure… I am not at all sure that we haven’t added a new legend to the folklore of that particular village.
It is already an eerie landscape, particularly on a silver day with the constant drizzle deepening the lichens to a vivid emerald green against the rain-blackened rocks. Quite what the boys made of the whole affair I can only imagine, based upon their shocked expletives.
But, I can imagine some old gaffer sitting by the fireside, telling the paranormal experts fifty years hence, about the day that he and his pals came face to face with something that was half man, half beast, shuffling around the mysterious Druid’s caves…
I did try to reassure them, though I cannot be certain of how reassuring they found the wild-haired, black-draped figure that emerged from the rocks where ghosts and tales of black magic abound… Oddly enough, they didn’t hang around.
The following morning was a dawn foray to the highest point in the area, getting shots of the same, otherworldly figure against stone and sky. Freezing, buffeted by gale-force winds and wondering why we do this… all the while hoping the other photographer up there chasing the dawn was looking the other way.
We did get some good shots though…so hopefully a new book cover will soon be shared. Along with the blurb, that caused much hilarity and consternation… though that is another story. So much, we thought, for spring. The sodden landscape had already left thick mud on clothes and shoes and we had little desire to go out again. Except…
“We need a buffalo.”
Not the usual sort of thing on your shopping list. Or something you would expect to find in a city. Not even a city that has provided us with a number of foxes, a bellowing stag and the odd herd of deer. “There might be one in the park…” So, on Sunday afternoon, we went buffalo hunting in Sheffield. Sometimes I wonder if we live in a tangential universe…
“Couldn’t you make me into a Bull?” asked Coyote.
In a time before Man walked the Earth, the Great Spirit breathed life into the land. Coyote was the First. Playful, subversive, curious and sometimes comical, he and his fellow creatures shaped the world for those who were to follow.
Coyote is a Native American Trickster and hero of many adventures. Tales of Coyote were passed down and shared with the young to illustrate the dangers of being human. Wilful, headstrong and always in trouble, Coyote journeyed through the spirit worlds, stealing fire and outwitting Death.
When the Earth was loved as a living being, the rocks sang and the trees danced. Animals uttered Nature’s wisdom and the sun rose and set upon a wondrous world. The echoes of this magical landscape can still be found in the myths and legends of many cultures. They represent the weaving of the human spirit and the silent lore of creation.
‘An Imperious Impulse’ is the first book of the Lore Weavers, a collection of ancient tales retold in graphic form. All traditional cultures evolved stories through which the natural and supernatural worlds could be explained and approached. Beyond their entertainment and humour is a deeper layer of mystery and symbolism through which the wisdom of the people could be transmitted. Telling of a time beyond human experience or memory, these tales meld a knowledge of the natural world with the spiritual and moral code of their creators.
‘Be careful, Coyote, never perform this trick
more than four times in any one day.’
The essence of the human quest for an understanding of our role within creation has changed little over the millennia. From the Dreaming of the Australian peoples, to the Great Mystery of the Native Americans and the ancient Celtic myths, there is a common thread that unites humankind across time and distance.
It is in the rich tapestry of folk tales that we glimpse its multi-hued beauty. Long may they continue to be enjoyed.