Goodbye Ms Le Guin

“Only in silence the word,

only in dark the light,

only in dying life:

bright the hawk’s flight

on the empty sky.”

From the Creation of √Ča

I read the first Tales of Earthsea book a few years ago and soon became obsessed. Desperate to stay in that world, I hungrily read everything I could related to the Earthsea universe.

I first came across the books after seeing the Ghibli film (which isn’t much like the books but still brilliant in its own way) I had also recently read Eragon and had read somewhere that it was inspired by Le Guin’s novels.

Once I had entered the complex, beautifully drawn world of Earthsea, there was no going back. Like Ged, once he was through the sacred doors of the school of wizardry, my world would never be the same.

The intricacies and the many colours of this world are revealed slowly, like a mural being painted as you walk by. I love that about good fantasy fiction, that anything is possible, dragons, magic rings, shadow monsters, could just be around the bend.

Ged himself is a complicated and fascinating character; we journey with him as a youngster until he is an old man. During the story, and as real people do, he changes subtly in many different ways. From the bright eyed arrogance of youth to the gruff but powerful old man. His life is so deftly written you feel he is an old friend.

One of the things that has haunted me since reading these books was the terrible wasteland which Ged and Arren venture into. They must close a breach between the Dry Lands and Earthsea as it leeches magic and joy from the world. Just thinking about this barren land now fills me with inert despair. Such a slow, bone-wracking sad vision of hell that will stay with me forever.

Each story is full of adventure and mystery; fierce dragons, arrogant wizards and brave princes but they are also so much more. The tenderness between the characters is what stays with you. You find yourself immersed in Earthsea and its characters; travelling with Ged throughout his life and the true, beautiful relationships he forges. It is a world that breaks your heart to leave.

“Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.”

And what an incredible story-teller Ursula Le Guin was and because of her, my soul is forever stronger, brighter and deeper.

Dolly Dresses

What better way to fend off the bloomin’ Blue Monday gloom than make pretty dolly dresses! I’ve had a bundle of fat quarters for a while now and had been wondering what to use them for so decided the girls’ dolls needed some sweet new threads! The fabric had lovely colours but frayed really easily so I used blanket stitch to tidy up the edges. I made a dungaree dress and a top- swish!

 

January Blues

I am not a fan of these first few weeks of the year. The days are dull and cold without any twinkly Christmas lights to cut through the grimness of midwinter. The hope of New Year soon dissipates with resolutions already broken days after they are made. Plus the telly is rubbish. Seriously, all these diet shows drive me to disappear head first into the Nutella jar.

Some twinkly highlights that have brightened up the January dinginess this week include watching Hunt for the Wilderpeople, reading Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali and La Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman and listening to John Martyn’s Sweet Little Mystery and Aiofe O’Donovan’s Jupiter. Also, lots of candles and cuddles, they always help. And of course chocolate spread by the faceful.

Little Wonder

Feeling her satin head
against my cheek
as she sighs with satisfaction. 

Tiny fingers cling to my shoulder 
her body sinking into mine. 
You soon forget how small,

how otherworldly
yet familiar. 
An old soul returned to me, 

Only to leave when fully nourished. 
The aching transience, 
the swelling then 

the breaking of hearts.



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Gods and Monsters

The silence of gods have released you,
You're no longer able to fall.
The dreams and wishes I once had,
Drip down the stained kitchen wall

If I lied in the end would you hear me?
Would you scrape my heart off from your shoe?
If we stopped they'd never believe us,
That nothing around you was true.

So I spear my own heart just to fathom
If the words you uttered were found,
In the depths of your own gaping eyesore,
To this darkest hole in the ground.

And each day we go through the motions,
In step with these monsters and ghosts,
We cling to imaginary heroes,
Only to lose what matters the most.