Wild Occupy : Artist Takeover
Clare Donegan aka Wild Resonance
Greetings all, I have been invited by her good self – Ashleigh Downey to well um … takeover !
I personally though as honoured as I am with this invitation, prefer the word ‘occupy’, its root is the word capere from capacious- able to hold. One of the hats I wear is as a Nature Guide, this involves holding space for people to have whatever experience they need at that time. Resonating, healing and giving back to nature are some of the key themes that underpin my practise, both as a Guide and as a Creative Producer (and Mom!).
In a time of biophilic disconnection the big question on my lips is how can we be in partnership with earth, the mother?
“We protect what we love”– J Cousteau
So here are just a few sprinkles of offerings for you to check out, if you fancy. I am occupying this page with a collop of things. So without further ado, I give you please :::
Partnership. April 2001
I have been fortunate to kindle many relationships with beings across the landscape where I live. This be Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. God’s county! Rambling out, a couple of times a day, taking it slowly has allowed me to drop further into my body and become as a result more aware. A sense of mindful awareness can be cultivated when we drop into our bodies as we walk slowly along the lines of the land. From this place of being I find I can open up more to myself and the nature around me. The senses are enlivened … things are good.
Partnership and reciprocity go hand in hand. When Robin comes over to say hello, my body relaxes even further and I as a result open up to this other being. I listen in. I guess you could call this the gift of our attention. The more I practise this type of listening, as a result I deepen relationships with the more-than-human-world to coin the ecologist’s David Abrams term. Naturally then my care and love for this incredible planet booms. Home. The mother (ship).
“We are not separate from this Earth; we are a part of it, whether we fully feel it in our bodies yet or not.”– Sharon Blackie
Mothership. March 2021
March is a month I don’t tend to march into.
I tread extra carefully, as if I am avoiding the crocuses as they return from their hibernation. I feel I have good reason for this, March is a month packed with remembrances.
Both of my parent’s made their final departures in March. Then we have the celebration of us Irish folk, St Patricks. Finally there is Mother’s day right bang in the heart of the month.
The word Mother has its origins in ‘mater’ or ‘matter’. I have always looked at the Earth as a mother… or more like a mothership.
This term mother implies unconditional love, boundlessness, support, holding, rootedness, power.
Time spent amidst trees; forest bathing supports me. The trees are a constant reminder that the Mother is close by.
I consider once again how I can embody these qualities as a Mother and as someone who sees the earth as her truest Mother.
To be spacious is vast … a vast heart can hold everything.
I will leave you with one of my favourite Mother(ship) poems:
An excerpt from In Memory Of My Mother
I do not think of you lying in the wet clay
Of a Monaghan graveyard; I see
You walking down a lane among the poplars
On your way to the station, or happily
On a fair day by accident, after
The bargains are all made and we can walk
Together through the shops and stalls and markets
Free in the oriental streets of thought.
O you are not lying in the wet clay,
For it is a harvest evening now and we
Are piling up the ricks against the moonlight
And you smile up at us – eternally.
– Patrick Kavanagh
Unconditional. February. 2021
Nature has no conditions, nature doesn’t need to negotiate. Nature just is …
Here be a short poem I encountered of late, I love its brave and poetic resilience.
Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I gain the embrace of the universe;
Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.
Each condition I flee from pursues me,
Each condition I welcome transforms me
And becomes itself transformed
Into its radiant jewel-like essence.
I bow to the one who has made it so,
Who has crafted this Master Game;
To play it is purest delight;
To honor its form – true devotion.
– Jennifer Welwood
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and
though the voices around you
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to
though the wind pried
with its stiff finger
sat the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voice behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life that you could save.
– Mary Oliver
Like many of us I got seduced into producing some new sound based art during the last year of lockdowns, 2020. Interbeing is a journey through time, place, and the breath. It was mainly recorded through field recordings from my garden, the piano and the local woodland.
A special mention to my friend and collaborator Thomas Sullivan who assisted on the very tecky side of things ☺
TIME TO BE HORIZONTAL: mindfulness meditation
Now as we bring this occupation to a close I invite you into a period of mindful relaxation. Let go and perhaps lie down, if that feels OK, on your floor or sofa. Here is a body scan meditation for you. Enjoy ☺
I hope you may have resonated with this green wild occupation. If you’d like to chat with me about topics mentioned here and/or you have a fantastic creative idea to explore then just drop a message via the contact page on the website. With gratitude!
Nature is not somewhere we visit … it is our home– John P Milton