A parliament of owls
Telling the story

The community of storytellers

Tilly at the Fairy Spring

From "Nine Beginnings" by Margaret Atwood:

"You learn to write by reading and writing, writing and reading. As a craft it's acquired through the apprentice system, but you choose your own teachers. Sometimes they're alive, sometimes dead.

"As a vocation, it involves the laying on of hands. You receive your vocation and in your turn you must pass it on. Perhaps you will do this only through your work, perhaps in other ways. Either way, you're part of a community, the community of writers, the community of storytellers that stretches back through time to the beginning of human society.

Black dog, golden leaves

"As for the particular society to which you yourself belong -- sometimes you'll feel you're speaking for it, sometimes -- when it's taken an unjust form -- against it, or for that other community, the community of the oppressed, the exploited, the voiceless. Either way, the pressures on you will be intense; in other countries, perhaps fatal. But even here, speak 'for women,' or for any other group that is feeling the boot, and there will be many at hand, both for and against, to tell you to shut up, or to say what they want you to say, or to say it a different way. Or to save them. The billboard awaits you, but if you succumb to its temptations you'll end up two-dimensional.

The trees of the Fairy Spring

"Tell what is yours to tell. Let others tell what is theirs."

The water of the Fairy SpringWords: The passage by Margeret Atwood is from "Nine Beginnings," published in The Writer on Her Work, edited by Janet Sternburg (Virago Press, 1992). The poem in the picture captions is from Allegiances: New Poems by William Stafford (Harper & Row, 1970). All rights reserved by Margaret Atwood and the Stafford estate. Pictures: Tilly at the Fairy Spring on Chagford Commons.

Comments

This comes along at just the perfect moment for me. Thank you.

I'm glad. I first read Atwood's essay years ago, but this section of it is perfect for me right now too.

"The billboard awaits you, but if you succumb to its temptations you'll end up two-dimensional." words wrought to such exquisite point, just finished "The Heart Goes Last", a disturbingly dystopian book that could easily be our next tomorrow

Grateful for this post too, Terri. "An insane wind" does seem to hold the hills in this country. Grateful this morning for my warm cup of moccha, my wooden desk, these small keys that let me connect with this beautiful community you have made. <3

Thank you, Beth, Mo, and Edith, for being part of this community.

"Tell what is yours to tell. Let others tell what is theirs."
This is a lovely thing. And exactly right.

Thank you from me as well, for this lovely community. I have been here under a couple of different names (blog associated names) for many years, and it is one of the joys of my life, to come in and spend a short bits of time here.

The most generous and gracious of new years for you and yours, Terri. With much gratitude.

I wonder if you ever found a satisfactory cop of 'A Day in Fairyland"? I recently began looking for it as a childhood memory and discovered I'd need close on $500-$900 for a genuine copy. I wish I'd known the illustrator was still alive in 2010 because her fairy pictures were what saved a very troubled little girl from a fate I can now only shudder to contemplate. However, the fairy mantra and visions I used then have stood me in good stread for 70 years and I'm now a happy and content old lady :-) (also an artist and writer if you want to Google me)
With love
Lynda

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