Friday, November 8

Alone In The Wood - A Writing Exercise for Lemurians

It was almost summer in the heart of the wood; and soon as I scrambled through the hedge, I found myself in a dim green forest atmosphere under eaves of virgin foliage. In places where the wood had itself for a background and the trees were massed together thickly, the colour became intensified and almost gem-like: a perfect fire of green, that seemed none the less green for a few specks of autumn gold...There was a great hush over the wood; and the vague rumours that went among the tree-tops, and the occasional rustling of big birds or hares among the undergrowth, had in them a note of almost treacherous stealthiness, that put imagination on its guard and made me walk warily on the russet carpet of last year's leaves. The spirit of the place seemed to be all attention; the wood listened as I went, and held its breath to number my footfalls.
Robert Louis Stevenson, from 'An Autumn Effect' Essays of Travel, 1905

Go into the Lemurian Wood alone, amid the sprays of delicate foligae, the colonnade of slim, straight tree-stems. Sit amid the circle of trees at the end of the gravel pathway . Listen to the vague rumours amid the tree-tops and join the gossip of these elders. Write letting the spirit of this place enter your page.

Some Responses

All alone am I amongst these tall, silent trees, whose canopies sigh softly, swishing from side to side as a breeze riffles through their summer-scented leaves, crisp, like starched linens rustling over my head.

I walk along the dirt track, crunching on scented leaves and pine-needles. My feet stumble over tree-roots, looking left then right, eyes straining for the presence of another creature.

It's too quiet, and I'm uneasily aware of being watched by scores of hidden eyes, for I don't believe for one minute I am the only living thing in this forest. A sharp rustle as something unseen scurries away unnerves me. The animal life hides itself in the undergrowth as I pass, equally watchful.

Sunlight glimmers on silvered ferns, shimmers on stones slick with water, bouncing and bubbling on its way to becoming one with the spirit of the waterfall. The muffled thunder of it penetrates the forest long before I catch a glimpse of the flying spray through the greenery.

Negative ions are here in abundance. I feel a surge of energy, a wild elation well up inside me. A huge volume of water roars white and foaming over the sheer drop and thunders to the pool below, swirling as if in confusion before finding its path again. It cascades over the slippery-smooth pebbles and rushes onwards through the dim coolness of the forest. Foliage and water-spirits dance in its healing spray, rejuvenated and refreshed.

The deafening noise obliterates all other sound. Within its comforting roar I let rip a cleansing rebel yell. The torrent carries it over the precipice and bears it downstream to be pummelled on rocks then sprayed into the air, finally dispersing it on the mossy banks.

Running down the bumpy trail through light and shade, dappled, following the insistent water-chant rolling, singing, smoothing the stones; wading through the rapids with sodden, squelching shoes; in a clearing I see another figure. A man, standing in the shadows, watching me, motionless.
Jenny Aarts
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Woods, always a place of mystery
Trees of different shapes and sizes
The light varies so much
Bright to dark to soft to piercing
Sounds of streams of wind in the leaves
Calls of birds to each other
That I try to join in, but my calls are human
Is there no one else here?
A fern frond brushes my leg and makes me jump
I thought it was a spider
And there I see one but high up
In his glistening web for the rain fell this morning
Softening the ground, making paths where no paths were
Pungent scents rise to refresh me
And I breathe deep and long
And then I saw it in the distance
A plume of smoke from a house or a campfire
Now that I know I can stay longer to explore
And anticipate the meeting later in the day.
Pauline Nolan

Whispering leaves of silver
touch her silken centre
and the long trailing branches
form a circle to shelter
a place secure
a place for my dreaming
a place to remember
and to listen
for the sound of your voice
Here, where I knew you
you come once more
to tell me
your music
will come to me
in springtime.
Fran Sbrocchi