A Tree Story
On Your Desk

Custodians of Time, Place, and Memory

Standing Stone by Helen Mason

"When we change the shape of the Land, we alter the contents and contexts of our collective, familial, and personal memories. Yet, stories can preserve both mythic and familiar elements of geography even when the physical features are forgotten, buried, or obliterated. And more than this: the stories can bring these elements back. If the Land can be preserved long enough for its stories to be told, and retold, perhaps we all -- as custodians of both place and memory -- stand a chance at real preservation."

  - Ari Berk (writer, teacher, mythographer)

Scorhill by Helen Mason

I met my old friend and brother-in-spirit William Todd-Jones for coffee in the village yesterday, and we were talking about how so much of the world we grew up in has vanished...except in our memories and in our art. (We were born within a week of each other, Todd in Wales and me on the east coast of the US.)

This reminded me of the quote above by our friend Ari Berk, who lives in Michigan these days but spends a lot of time on Dartmoor too. The beautiful photographs of Dartmoor standing stones are by Helen Mason, who lives in London but loves the moor every bit as much as we do.

The photo below, snapped earlier this week, represents the crossroad in time where we're all standing, making decisions about the planet's future that will effect our children's children's children. And for me, personally, there's symbolic significance in the fact that the signpost points towards my beloved Dartmoor village, where I root my life and art; and that it points to a footpath, not a tarmacked road: to life lived at a slower, less mechanical pace.

At the crossroads