Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Wied Il-Hanaq

Wied Il-Hanaq is a little known gem of a valley running below Xaghra towards Ramla Bay. The air was cooler at 6am this morning as Raffi as I set out along the path. The sun coming up over the hill cast long shadows making it a pleasure to stride out. Raffi darted from field to field sniffing excitedly as he went. The lush valley is lined with cane, waiting be harvested for making shade screens or wind breaks for the fields. Apple and plum orchards heavy with fruit flourish in the damp atmosphere. We breakfasted on the sweet deep purple plums over hanging the lane. 

Looking back up towards Nadur

I recently watched a film called Tracks, about an Australian girl who trekked from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. She took four camels and her dog. It seemed like a mad thing to do and really she bit off more than she could chew, but what an adventure. As I was walking today I mused about an adventure that Raffi and I could embark on. Maybe not something quite so dangerous but a trek around the islands appeals. Probably not in the heat of the Summer or with camels but an prolonged Autumn walk to collect organic materials for my dyeing. I have always had itchy feet but feel very content with life right now, here on Gozo. Walking is a fabulous way to discover what on first sight may seem a limited island, and I haven't even started on Malta yet. There needs to be a goal in mind, like a circumnavigation along the coastal paths. Or a walking meditation linking all the valleys.....I don't know, it requires some thought and a little planning in order to make it an art walk.

Artists seem to need a muse. An inspirational figure or a place or setting that affords the creative flow. I certainly feel that here on Gozo and walking silently with my dog often brings up new ideas and concepts. Having a purpose in my every step, making art as I walk is very appealing and my plant dyed works are a result of this. Books are also a great source of inspiration and I have many art books covering all genres. just flicking through them can spark an idea.  They are currently languishing in a barn in Essex. Little by little I am bringing a case of my 'can't live without' bits out here butI have made the decision not to have most of my 'old life' belongings sent out to Gozo. I have lived without them for this long and have decided I no longer need them. Though I have to say going back to the UK recently and riffling through the boxes I started to believe I needed some of that paraphernalia. No... all I need are some photos of my children and some much loved art, travel and cookery books. The rest my kids can have to furnish a house or flat when the time comes. It is very cathartic to let 'stuff' go. By clearing out the old one allows for the new to enter ones life. 
Have a good day x

I like this poem:


I glanced at her and took my glasses 
off -- they were still singing.  The buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then 
ceased.  Her voice belled forth, and the 
sunlight bent.  I felt the ceiling arch, and
knew that nails up there took a new grip 
on whatever they touched.  "I am your own
way of looking at things", she said.  "When
you allow me to live with you, every 
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation."  And I took her hand.

- William Stafford

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