Sunday’s walk in the woods was amid a smell of wild garlic on the turn, very quiet with the River Frome drifting past in the heat.
On childhood holidays (always in summer sun) I recall fishing when the mackerel were in and shoaling in Galway bay.
Looking at the beautifully painted mackerel in Rob Pittam’s painting I feel like the poet (and the carp) in Ada Limón’s poem ‘The first fish’
(though the freshly grilled fish were tasty).
When I pulled that great fish up out of Lake Skinner’s
mirrored-double surface, I wanted to release
the tugging beast immediately. Disaster on the rod,
it seemed he might yank the whole aluminum skiff
down toward the bottom of his breathless world.
The old tree of a man yelled to hang on and would
not help me as I reeled and reeled finally seeing
the black carp come up to meet me, black eye to black eye.
In the white cooler it looked so impossible.
Is this where I am supposed to apologize? Not
only to the fish, but to the whole lake, land, not only for me
but for the generations of plunder and vanish.
I remember his terrible mouth opening as if to swallow
the barbarous girl he’d lose his life to. That gold-ringed
eye did not pardon me, no absolution, no reprieve.
I wanted to catch something; it wanted to live.
We never ate the bottom-feeder, buried by the rose bush
where my ancestors swore the roses bloomed
twice as big that year, the year I killed a thing because
I was told to, the year I met my twin and buried
him without weeping so I could be called brave.
Nathan Ford’s paintings large and small continue to enthral visitors:
His work is part of our exhibition Domestic Bliss which runs until 4 June.
We are also getting a very favourable response to the drawings of Akash Bhatt:
Anna Gillespie’s new sculpture is well worth a visit in its own right.
There are her one-off bronzes which use discarded and found wood and metal:
Pieces made from natural materials for casting into bronze:
Bronze editions cast from natural materials:
A roomful of Anna’s more adventurous works in plaster:
And show-stopping bronze editions:
In the long evenings I love how baby birds emerge from the foliage and awkwardly hop round the garden in their unkempt fluff.
To whit –
The gods are less for their love of praise.
Above and below them all is a spirit that needs nothing
but its own wholeness, its health and ours.
It has made all things by dividing itself.
It will be whole again.
To its joy we come together —
the seer and the seen, the eater and the eaten,
the lover and the loved.
In our joining it knows itself. It is with us then,
not as the gods whose names crest in unearthly fire,
but as a little bird hidden in the leaves
who sings quietly and waits, and sings.
–The Hidden Singer by Wendell Berry
Thank you for reading.