Tunes for a Monday Morning
As if by magic

We are storied folk

Nattadon Dawn

"I write to tell stories," says Finnish author Eppu Nuotio. "I believe that there are some professions in the world that will last forever: doctor or nurse, teacher, builder, and storyteller. I write also to become myself, more so day by day. Writing is a way to shape the visible and invisible, in myself as well as in the world." 

Here on Nattadon Hill, dawn shapes the visible and invisible...

Nattadon Dawn 2

telling stories of light and shadow...

Nattadon Dawn 3

while at the edge of a field, a small black dog listens intently. (Look close, and you will see her.)

Nattadon Dawn 4

Tilly translates the land's stories for me. She is a trickster, a boundary crosser, moving between the human world and the numinous landscape, its language formed of light, rain, scent, and time.

Nattadon Dawn 5

"Love and translation look alike in their grammar," says Argentinian writer Andrés Neuman. "To love someone implies transforming their words into ours. Making an effort to understand the other person and, inevitably, to misinterpret them. To construct a precarious language together."

Each morning, Tilly and I walk the land and construct a language, a story, all our own.

Nattadon Dawn 6

"We are storied folk. Stories are what we are; telling and listening to stories is what we do." - Arthur Kleinman


The caption of the last photo was:
"Why do writers write? Because it isn't there." - Thomas Berger

I think I understand what "isn't there."

I walked away from my storytelling, once. I tried very hard not to write, not to tell stories of any kind. I thought I needed to do that in order to fit in with the rest of the world, filling my life with work and sports and reality TV.

Instead, I found that I still didn't fit in, for different reasons, but now a part of myself was missing.

When I tried to return to storytelling, the stories slipped away from me, as unforgiving as a once-spurned lover. Now, years later, we are once again on speaking terms but the ease of our former relationship is long gone. Writing stories now is a joy admixed with sorrow, of visible new beginnings and invisible - but never forgotten - old wounds.

I think what is missing is the easy, comfortable connection we once had with stories before something got in our way, before we chose something else and let the stories go, however briefly. I think we write because we remember what once was, we seek to regain that lost part of ourselves, and we want to remind others what it felt like to love stories.

At least, that's how it feels to me.

'We are storied folk' - absolutely! Beautiful photos as always too.

Enjoyed this,lovely photos !

Oh my goodness Terri, the shots of Tilly in this post all look like they really could be shots of the Dartmoor panther (especially the first one 'listening intently'.

Maybe she is....

You live in such a beautiful countryside! It looks like you and Tilly are in a fairy tale.

My husband and I were just talking about what it means to really listen for a story, to really be open to it. We decided that it has something to do with giving life presence and honoring the small details. But it's still a mystery to me, how a story just appears one day. Sometimes it comes in a flash: an image, a name. That you can't leave as it is, you must listen until the full tale unfolds itself in your psyche. I can't begin to explain the power of stories in my life... they're as essential to my body as food.

The Grammar of Trees and Other Living Things

Grammar is the set
of structural rules
that governs the composition of clauses, phrases, and words
in any given natural language.

Soul and ear of the hound unbound
by brook or fence or wall of stone,
halt to hear the storied sound;
Salival syntax, grammar’d bone…

Morphology, syntax, phonology;
phonetics, semantics and style

Scratched in lines of light and shadow,
Whispered in wind-words, phonetics of flies;
The tale the tree tells to the meadow,
Thorn-thistle truth and honeybee lies…

Morphology, syntax, phonology;
phonetics, semantics and style

Writer and dog roam through the heather,
The season’s semantics structure the skies;
Constructing precarious language together,
Gentle and worldly and wilding and wise…

Morphology, syntax, phonology;
phonetics, semantics and style

With love,
Austin. :)

Beautiful beginning to my morning, again. Thank you Terri and Tilly. And the quotes especially this "Writing is a way to shape the visible and invisible, in myself as well as in the world," an action I relate to instantly.

I love the idea of constructing a precarious language together.

Translating and retelling stories; we do this in so many forms and media. What a wonderful world they make for us to live in.

PS: have spent the day teaching my class about telling stories using only sound. Like all the best stories it started life with my colleague and found it's new voice through my kids.

JMwandering, you do fit in here. Like many of us, we are different. I do not really
understand people who don't write. It seems weird to me. I hope to tell some of their
stories if I pay attention. Old wounds become compassion. It is a lifelong funny and
wonderful gift. I think it is most misunderstood by people who want to know about the money. I do not care. I feel as if I'm in game and when money comes from art, it is like
a nice shiny prize. I tried to get a good profession in academia but life wasn't interested
in that. It wanted me to learn so much more. Keep on keeping on.

Another fine poem. Musical and wise.

What I like about stories is that I never know what I'll write next. It's in there somewhere but I won't
know until I hear it. Poems, too.

That's similar to Theatre Games. When I volunteered to coach children I went to
a Theatre Game class and was only one jump ahead of the 5th graders. They loved it.
One technique is to make up a gibberish language, and try to keep a straight face. Just
sounds turned into something between ommmmm to a wordless opera.

"Whispered in wind-words, phonetics of flies. . .?

what a great line.

Fascinating poem. Thanks, Austin.


Thanks, Phyllis. I'm happy you liked it.

Hi Jane,

Thanks for liking that. That line was the trickiest to produce.

It is a bit odd this one isn't it? It's best when spoken.

A. :)

This was a such a moving post. Thanks, Terri!

Stories...I just keep coming back to stories. For a long time I despaired of ever being able to find the common thread between all my eclectic and seemingly scatter-brained artworks. Until I found myself trying to explain them to someone else one day and I found myself telling them that they were all stories, each and every one. And I realised it was true, and I had found the strand that held the web together.

*Exactly* the same for me, Christina.

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