Creative Wordshops November 2017 Writing Newsletter

STOP PRESS (see what’s on)

Pringle Bay Walking with your Story: A Creative Retreat Sun 22 Oct The Rough Writing Road A 16 week self-directed Online Journaling Course

Dear writer, storyteller, reader, traveller, lover of words, images, silences…

Of Rivers and the Craft that plough them

I do not know much about gods but I think the river is a strong brown god (T S Eliot)
This letter sings of rivers , without, within. And of the craft that surf them. As a child I learned to swim in a
river and rowed out into the tug of current. Once watched mesmerized as sluice gates opened up river
and a flood come roaring down. This poster speaks to me of the body as a river with arms as tributaries. Arms as oars. A boat race salute. Geographers talk of the river stages as it flows from source to sea – youth, maturation and old age, also present in this image.

In Sept I gave a lecture and wordshop in Basel on the Rhine at the Carl Schlettwein Foundation who
have supported my story and writing work in Namibia over many years. ‘Archie Shipanga of Space
Dimensions, Windhoek, graphically captured the potential of this creative work. His poster , part of a
’Projects become Posters‘ exhibition, ‘stands for the power of story work and the work with your own story,’
While there I crossed the Rhine in a ferry sans engine, attached to a pulley and cable . The rudder zipped us across. Days later visiting cousin Jennifer in Schwyz in central Switzerland, edge of the Alps we found this retired Rhine barge in a transport museum with a photo of Basel on Rhine as backdrop.

This image is from a ferry ride in a paddle steamer on Lake Lucerne.- the paddle like a mill grinding the water into spray. So many writers sing of rivers as mythic hic and dark places. Mark Twain. a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi. ‘mastered the language of this water.’ Here is an extract from ‘Two Ways of Seeing a River’:

A broad expanse of the river was turned to blood; in the middle distance the red hue brightened into gold, through which a solitary log came floating, black and conspicuous; in one place a long, slanting mark lay sparkling upon the water; in another the surface was broken by boiling, tumbling rings, that were as many-tinted as an opal; where the ruddy flush was faintest, was a smooth spot that was covered with graceful circles and radiating lines, ever so delicately traced; the shore on our left was densely wooded, and the sombre shadow that fell from this forest was broken in one place by a long, ruffled trail that shone like silver; and high above the forest wall a clean-stemmed dead tree waved a single leafy bough that glowed like a flame in the unobstructed splendor that was flowing from the sun.

Nov 2017 letter