I had a paradigm shifting week at the Inshriach Bothy Project in December last year, click the granny pine to see my images and text on the Bothy Project page. I have copied my summary of the experience and posted it below!
To escape… to escape the throbbing geometric city, to escape the patchwork of cultivated fields, to escape the shrunken islands of hemmed in woodland. Drive over the hills and far away to a northern place where the land’s ancient forest remains. Direct descendants of the first trees to arrive after miles thick glaciers gauged the earth goddess into her current form, forever changed from her forgotten deep time geography.
Alone in the birch and juniper wood, in a hut of warmth and solitude I had escaped what I wished to leave behind. Yet I could feel as the half moon rose and the cosmic night sky yawned wide open, that I had come to charged ground, a placeto confront myself and encounter something profound.
Oh mysterious majestic forest…Oh mysterious majestic…Emerald green glowing ember canopy, bathed by inner light. Sunburst orange trunks twisting and buckling tracing the Tao of time. Orifice puckered lilac lower trunks, eyes staring through layered amethyst bark skin. Coiled iron serpent knotted roots. Granny Pine wisdom tethered to the black earth mother. Deep pine needle carpet. Follow the wandering deer path and take me to nowhere, boulder clusters and heather micro landscapes. High hiss drones of stone carving streams …Oh mysterious majestic forest…Oh mysterious majestic!.…
Tree after tree I would stand and stare, beholding their comparative perpetuity, their old wisdom. Once I was startled from such a meditation by a whirring cheering sort of chant, I peered round the trunk warily. A dancing line of red and blue wee folk, then chains and chains of them dancing in mesmerising circles, clearly focused on the rhythm of their song. ‘They must not spot me’, I thought… But of course they did… Time stood still and off we went down and under a pine studded knowe… Vague memories… the deep bass throb of a belching engine, I was being shown around the elven city , details of a scaled surface, polished barbed interlocking surfaces, a three eyed coiled up wildcat ready to pounce, menace and ineffable beauty. The Celtic crone hovered over me, yammering away freely switching between Irish and Scottish accents. The air became dense with translucent filmy membranes, it was hard to breathe. The air, popped, hummed and fizzed. Unfettered ontolology blew away in the otherworldy wind… I awoke with a start, buzzards wheeling above, I found a hazel wand clutched in my hand.
A figure felt in the darkening woods. Phallic columns of the archaic temple arched up and over into fractal dome, an explosion of flame orange heavy limbs and green fire quartz…. Oh mysterious majestic forest…A crack of a branch ahead, then a thundering beat as the Capercaillie launches to fly heavily across my path. Clear crystal lochans, jewels on the majestic mountain. Forest walking by moon light, ‘the fear’ pushed through. More lochs with branches dipping into the reflected star encrusted abyss.
Finally a road, a road to somewhere, hopefully back to the start. I eventually look down across the pond to the farm yard and the familiar walk back through the Inschriach Estate. The Spey’s gentle roar cleanses me before I turn up towards the hut, I gather a few logs in the gloom to light a glowing fire, heat a meal and spend the candle lit evening drawing the days profound adventures.