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February 2011

The "Moveable Feasts" Page (regularly updated)


In Mythic Arts circles, the term "Moveable Feast" is used when a number of different bloggers choose to address a common topic. Moveable Feasts tend to occur in a spontaneous fashion, and all are invited to join in -- either by contributing a dish to the Feast in the form of a blog post, or by joining the conversation via the Comments section on each participating blog.

The name "Moveable Feast" is a nod to Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast," his memoir of the time he spent among writers and artists in Paris in the 1920s. Whereas Hemingway and Fitzgerald and their colleagues once met up in Paris cafes for conversation, a circle of bloggers can meet up on the Internet despite living in different locations all around the world.

Here are Moveable Feasts that this blog has participated in (updated as the Feasts occur):


The Desire for Dragons: What Brings Us to Myth & Fantasy?

* "The Desire for Dragons" at Myth & Moor (Devon, England). Also: "Shaping Stories and Being Shaped by Them," "Finding the Colors Again," and "Dreaming Awake."

* "Dining in the company of Dragons" at Chest of Delights (Nottingham, England)

* "The Trouble With Dragons" at Posterous (Devon, England)

* "why i write the way i do" at Knitting the Wind (New Zealand)

* "Gift for a Dragon" at Omniscrit (northern England & central Italy)

* " dragon-wise" at The Drafty Garret (Troy, Ontario, Canada)

* "Dragon Decanter" at It's Crow Time (Sydney, Australia)

* "Desiring Dragons: On Facts and FairyTales, Science and Myth" at Omniscrit (northern England & central Italy)

* "The Blue Chamber" at Tea and a Notebook (The Blue Hills, North Carolina, USA)

* I come (to Faerie) because" at Sideways-In (North Carolina, USA)

* "Scafti (a dragon carving for a carousel)" at Carousel for Missoula (Missoula, Montana, USA)

* "Painting the Marvelous" at Small Offerings (Suffolk, England)

* "Why Do We Desire Dragons? A Dragon-Seeker's Quest" at Untraveled Worlds (Sydney, Australia)

* "I Desired Dragons" at I Saw the Angel (rural France)

* "The Windings of the dragon track..." at A Mermaid in the Attic (Perth, Australia)

* "Of Dragons and Devils" at Tea and a Notebook (The Blue Hills, North Carolina, USA)

* "Red Hibiscus and Dragon Wings"  at Makua O'o (Langley, Washington, USA)

* "The Place of Myths" at Wildspell (Mineapolis, Minnesota, USA)

* "wings of story" at Beneath the Bracken (Munich, Germany)

* "The Desire for Dragons" at Spinning Straw Into Gold (Florida, USA)

* "The Desire for Dragons" at Seven Miles of Steel Thistles (Oxfordshire, UK)

* "The Desire for Dragons" at Mused by Magdalene (North Texas, USA)

Related articles and posts: Tea Obreht's "High-school Confidential" in The New Yorker (2011); Lev Grossman's "What Fantasy Does Best" at (2011); "Trading Stories" (and the Jhumpa Lahiri article it links to) here on Myth & Moor (2011); my "Fairy Tale Reflections" at Seven Miles of Steel Thistles (2011); Midori Snyder's "The Monkey Girl" in The Journal of Mythic Arts (2002); and Helen Pilinovsky's "Spells of Enchantment" in The Journal of Mythic Arts (2001).

Am I missing anyone in the Feast list, or do you have a related article to recommend? Please let me know -- and don't be shy, all are welcome to add a dish (or dishes) to the Feast. This is a community after all, so please join in!   


Mother Tongue:
On the entwined subjects of land, language, art, and storytelling

* Here at Myth & Moor, my contribution is a series of posts quoting various authors on the subject (Terry Tempest Williams, David Abram, etc.), beginning with "When Women Were Birds" (Sept. 4, 2012) and on-going through the month of September. (And a number of the August posts on animals relate to the subject too.) Many of these posts contain beautiful new poems from Jane Yolen, in the Comments. (Location: Devon, England, for me; Scotland & western Massachusetts for Jane.) 

* "Song Without Words/A Day With the Mosses" at RavenWood Forest (western Massachusetts, USA)

* "Being Still" at A Mermaid in the Attic (Perth, Australia)

* "Animal Nature" at Makua O'o (Langley, Washington, USA)

* "Nettle-Eater" at Coyopa (Devon, England)

* "Drifting Veils of Morning" at Beyond the Fields We Know (Ottowa, Ontario, Canada)

* "Mother Tongue" at The Birch Grove (Houston, Texas, USA)

* "The failure of language part 1: forgetting" at A Mermaid in the Attic (Perth, Australia)

* " On Mother Crane's oral recitation of 'Goblin Market' by Christina Rossetti" at Tales of the Mythical Muse (Mount Savage, Maryland, USA)

* "Beginnings and endings...they are often the same" at Tales of the Mythical Muse (Mount Savage, Maryland, USA)

* "The failure of language part 2: transparency" at A Mermaid in the Attic (Perth, Australia)

* "Until we understand what the land is..." at Milagro Roots (south Texas, USA)

* "Telling Tales" at The Old Burrow (Hampshire, UK)

* "The King in Kensington Garden" at Unsetttled Wonder (Scotland)

* "The Ocean's Dream" at The Indigo Vat (Berkeley, California, USA)

Related posts: "Coming Home: Uncivilization & Sense of Place" at The Articulate Journey, discussing The Dark Mountain Project's recent Uncivilization Festival; "Silencing of Nature..." by Jay Griffiths at; and "Herman Hesse on What Trees Teach Us..." by Maria Popova at Brain Pickings.


On Artistic Inspiration:

* Brian & Wendy Froud discuss inspiration (and collaboration) on the John Barleycorn blog, and I respond here at Myth & Moor (Devon, England).

* "Turn the page and a few thoughts on process" at It's Crow Time (Sydney, Australia)

* "Giving them away" at Greenwoman Healing Arts (Western Oregon, USA)

* "Inspiration or madness...or both, Part I" at Mermaid in the Attic (Perth, Australia)

* Inspiration or madness...or both, Part 1 and a half" at Mermaid in the Attic (Perth, Australia)

* "Courting the Muse" and "The Madness of Art," a couple of small side dishes here at  Myth & Moor (Devon, England)

* "Intuitive Writing" at Sideways-In (North Carolina, USA)

* "Oh, the Mad, Magical Mind" at Temporary Reality (Göttingen, Germany)

* "Where go you get your ideas?" at Magical Moments (Jefferson, Georgia, USA)

* "The Spark of Madness" at The Drafty Garret (Troy, Ontario; Canada)

* "The Way of the Muse -- A Feast of Honey-dew?" at Bookish Nature (Bristol, England)

* "The Artist as Shaman, the Shaman as Artist & the Inspiration for Both" at Milagr0 Roots (Texas, USA)

* "Florence and the Mythic" at Temporary Reality (Göttingen, Germany)

* "You will stand in my danger" at Makua O'o (Langley, Washington, USA)

* "Of Otters and Words with Roots" at The Indigo Vat (Berkeley, California)

* "The Dark Woods" at I Saw the Angel (France)

Related posts: "On Reality" at Center Neptune (2012), "The Alchemist" at The Hermitage (2012);"Wooing the Poem" (2011) at Coyopa: Lightening in the Blood "Dare to be foolish" (2011) here at Myth & Moor; and "Artist as...shaman" (2009) at Mermaid in the Attic. Also, a related article: "Madness, Shape-shifting, and Art in The Wood Wife"  (2003) in The Journal of Mythic Arts. 


On Artisan Blogging

An interesting conversation on "artisan blogging" (i.e. blogging as an art form) began with Rima Staines, Howard Gayton, and Rex Van Ryn on the John Barleycorn blog, and then spread to:

* "Reflections on Blogging" here at Myth & Moor (Devon, England)

* "The Imagined Village" at  A Mermaid in the Attic (Perth, Australia)

* "The Moveable Feast in the Forest" at RavenWood Forest (western Massachusetts, USA)

 * "On Blogging" by Theodora Goss (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

* "The Imagined Self" at A Mermaid in the Attic (Perth, Australia)

* "Magpie Blogging" by Midori Snyder (Tucson, Arizona, USA)

* "To everything its time" by Erzebet YellowBoy Carr  (Papaveria Press, England)

* "Around the table with Rima Staines, Part II" at John Barleycorn (Devon, England)  

* "The Gate at the Edge of the Village" at The Hermitage (Devon, England)

* "Late to the Table" at 5preciousthings (southwest Scotland)

* "Gratitude" at Milkmoon (Wicklow, Ireland)

* "Reasons to be blogging, one, two, three" at Lunar Hine's Blog (Devon, England)

* "My pasta dish for The Moveable Feast" at Conversations with the Muse (southern California, USA)


On Artistic Influence:

* A conversation with French artist Didier Graffet on the John Barleycorn blog kicked this topic off, followed by...

* Two posts on the topic (On Influence, Part I and Part II) here at Myth & Moor, followed by...

* Further discussion with British artist David Wyatt on the John Barleycorn blog.


Meditations on Home:

* "Homesickness" here at Myth & Moor (Devon, England)

* "The Things That Save Us" here at Myth & Moor (Devon, England)

* "Meditiations on Home" at Mermaid in the Attic (Perth, Australia)

* "Thoughts, Walks and Hares" at Moonlight and Hares (Wiltshire, England)

A related article: "The Folklore of Hearth and Home" (2008)  in The Journal of Mythic Arts


On Creative Burn-out:

* "Creative Blues" at I Saw the Angel (West Yorkshire, England)

* "Autumn Cleaning: On Creative Burn-out" here at Myth & Moor (Devon, England)

* "On Burnout" at Deborah Biancotti's LiveJournal (Sydney, Australia)

* "Descending into the underworld, the labyrinth, the abyss" at A Mermaid in the Attic (Perth, Australia)

* "On Creativity and Burn-out" at The Rabbit Hill (Christchurch, New Zealand)

* "Into the Mystery" at RavenWood Forest (Western Massachusetts, USA)

* "Return" at Amused Grace (New England, USA)

Related articles: The entire Winter '06 issue of The Journal of Mythic Arts on "Healing and Transformation" tales is relevant to this topic, as is the Spring 'o6 issue, on myths of "Death and Rebirth."


...If I've missed any posts related to any of these Feasts, please let me know in the Comments. The illustration above is by the great Swedish painter/illustator/designer Carl Larsson (1853-1919).

Tunes for a Monday Morning

Today's first tune is a live performance of "Ever So Lonely" by the exquisite Sheila Chandra, whose influences range from Indian, Irish, and other traditional musics to the exploration of drone sounds from cultures around the world.

"I think this whole orchestral thing and this pop thing with chords and everything is just this maverick offshoot," she says in a fascinating interview with John Schaeffer that ranges from drones to mythic crones to celestial harmonics. "Its kind of an upstart movement, isn't it? That has nothing to do with what our biology dictates, because we drone. As long as we're alive we drone. We emit frequency, from the stapes bone in the middle ear, where apparently we emit the average of all the frequencies that we are, and also the blood rushing in our ears, and I think that stapes bone thing can be heard late at night when you can't sleep and there's this awful high pitched drone which seems really, really loud? I think that's the one it is. So, drones are present so long as we're present, so long as the listener is present. So, it's almost true to say that drones are at the essence of our aliveness."

Below, Chandra "performs a piece of vocalised taal — a kind of really-old-school beatboxing used by Indian classical music percussionists to practice their parts without an instrument."

A lovely way to start the week and the workday, centered in the "essense of aliveness," of blood and bone and balance and beauty.

Recommended Reading:

Drawing by Rima Staines

First, we have a new course served in The Moveable Feast: "Around the table with Rima Staines, Part II," over on John Barleycorn, where Rima, Rex, and Howard continue to explore the joys, challenges, and dangers of living the artist's life. Good stuff.  

Second, over on the Publisher's Weekly site there's a good interview with Franny Billingsley (author of the richly folkloric YA novels The Folk Keeper and Well Wished), discussing her new novel, Chimed, and her writing process.

And third, a reading recommendation from librarian and author Els Kushner, who says: "For the past week or two, I've been following a blog called Lion's Whiskers that's discussing the importance of raising kids to have courage. One of the blog authors is a children's book author, and the importance of story is a continuing theme."

The particular post Els recommends is "Stories Made Me" by Jennifer Armstrong. Here's snippit: 

"Stories make us who we are. I spent hours and hours of my childhood on two occupations: making up stories to act out outdoors, and reading stories indoors....What counts, I believe, is that I spent hour upon hour with undaunted characters who persevered, who vanquished evil, who faced natural and supernatural challenges, who made sacrifices to a greater good. They were my models for every kind of courage. "

Drawing above by Rima Staines.