Second week of 2022 10- 14.01.2022

There is an abandoned jumper at the hatch, it is has been there a while, and I find it today laid out white on the mossing conglommerate, that place for the belly connection with the river, as it rushes over the mill race below. There are a scattering of crusts which animate the arm into one of the Winter Feeder. The hairy textile is collecting in its fibres offerings from the alders, and other matter released from the winter vegetation of the Glen; the scene presents a sense of a surrender and exchange; histories and micro worlds are being made constantly, here among the concrete-moss-paintskin-bread- knittedgarment, the water gushes beneath.


The next day – Wednesday morning – there was a hard frost, one of the few we’ve had this winter, the white jumper has stiffened into a cold embrace of the hatch, the crusts have been claimed, but the seed heads remain

Thursday 14th January

Walking the Glen with TC and the tree officer, and a small gaggle, looking at spots from TC’s map for planting trees. The council officer has been involved with many planting experiments in the city, and many attempts have been torn down by local people, she knows the hotspots and the hazards. We ask about the hedgerows and she explains, indicates the 2 metre border caused by using just the ‘one arm’ of the council path clearing machines…. its not just the machines, she says, all public walkways must have this edge for visibility and access…our minds fill, and we don’t speak of the attack and murder of a young woman runner mid afternoon mid week after her teaching day in her small town park.

ElRi and I mischievously speak of ditching the machines for scythes …and why not? it is not beyond the powers of imagination to envisage The Glen as a project for hand tools only…it is small enough for an experiment like this…getting bare knuckled with nature might then be a contact sport, and not a struggle for domination..

Rambunctious, twice today this odd word popped up, ElRi is reading a book on garden philosophy and she spoke of The Rambunctious Garden and then later today, while soaking in an orange bath, powered by a Vesuvius bomb I read about the wild old woman, in Martin Shaw’s Courting the Wild Twin, here, she is incarnate in flamenco dancers:

‘They bring the wayward nobility of aging clackerty-clackerty-clack on to the creaking wood of life’s rambunctious dance floor; a hundred horse skulls underneath to improve the acoustics’

on page 30

ram·​bunc·​tious | \ ram-ˈbəŋk-shəs marked by uncontrollable exuberance : unruly

this is what I want for the Glen, it’s there in the Willows, the Alders, the Oaks, the Gorse, the Brambles and the Bracken, the Buddleia, the Rosebay willow herb, the foxgloves, the Bulrushes… the Elders, the Hawthorns, the Hogweed, the Queen Anne’s Lace, the Yarrow, the Jelly ears and the Oysters all jostling and dancing their moments, and with a little help from her friends, gleann na phúca can keep being that way, if we go there seeking it.

I visit the jumper again, now waving submerged under the rippling shadows of the guardian Alders.

Published by @julforres

Julie Forrester, artist based in Cork City Ireland

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