Like somebody who sees things when he’s dreaming
And after the dream lives with the aftermath
Of what he felt, no other trace remaining,
So I live now’, for what I saw departs
And is almost lost, although a distilled sweetness
Still drops from it into my inner heart.
It is the same with snow the sun releases,
The same as when in wind, the hurried leaves
Swirl round your ankles and the shaking hedges
That had flopped their catkin cuff-lace and green sleeves
Are sleet-whipped bare. Dawn light began stealing
Through the cold universe to County Meath,
Over weirs where the Boyne water, fulgent, darkling,
Turns its thick axle, over rick-sized stones
Millennia deep in their own unmoving
And unmoved alignment. And now the planet turns
Earth brow and templed earth, the crowd grows still
In the wired-off precinct of the burial mounds,
Flight 104 from New York audible
As it descends on schedule into Dublin,
Boyne Valley Centre Car Park already full,
Waiting for seedling light on roof and windscreen.
And as in illo tempore people marked
The king’s gold dagger when it plunged it in
To the hilt in unsown ground, to start the work
Of the world again, to speed the plough
And plant the riddled grain, we watch through murk
And overboiling cloud for the milted glow
Of sunrise, for an eastern dazzle
To send first light like share-shine in a furrow
Steadily deeper, farther available,
Creeping along the floor of the passage grave
To backstone and capstone, holding its candle
Under the rock-piled roof and the loam above.
– A Dream of Solstice by Seamus Heaney
I look forward to the winter solstice each year just to reread the words above. I love the poem’s rooting in reality and the ancient magic it celibrates. Also it’s all downhill now torwards spring as the axis tilts in our favour, and before we know it snowdrops will be ekeing their way into the marginal light.
I am grateful to everyone who has visited the gallery in 2022 – Thank you. To anyone who answered these emails, thank you for your feedback. To buyers – thank you for supporting us and the artists we represent. To non-buyers – artists want their work to be seen so we are pleased to have you in the gallery. To all the artists whose work we have shown, I am really grateful for your efforts, thank you.
We will be attending the London Art Fair, 18-22 January, in Upper Street, Islington, exhibiting new work by Simon Allen, Akash Bhatt, Nathan Ford, Helen Simmonds, Beth Carter, Anna GIllespie, Anthony Scott, John Behan, Andrew Crocker, Anthony Scullion. In late February we will have a solo show of new paintings by Nathan Ford and new ceramics by Patricia Shone.
A couple of favourite poems to finish off the year:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Mary Oliver ‘Wild Geese’
When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry The Peace of Wild Things
Happy Christmas and New Year one and all.
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