Wild Patience Diaries: Stories of Our First & Last Rooms (After Chōmei)

“I am…an old silkworm spinning his cocoon. It is not a hundredth the size of the house of my middle years. As I complained my way through life, each passing year has added to my age, and each move reduced my dwelling.” Kamo no Chōmei After living through fire, famine and earthquake, Kamo no Chōmei (鴨 長明,Continue reading “Wild Patience Diaries: Stories of Our First & Last Rooms (After Chōmei)”

Wild Patience Diaries: Wrestling Trees (After Whitman, Following Illness)

Dear soothing, healthy, restoration-hours––after three confining years of paralysis––after the long strain of the war, and its wounds, and death. Specimen Days, Walt Whitman After each hard and slow return to the world I’ve had to make after serious illness, I turn always on my first days back up (as again now, after ten daysContinue reading “Wild Patience Diaries: Wrestling Trees (After Whitman, Following Illness)”

Wild Patience Diaries: The Romance of Maintenance

A decade after the cluster-bomb of events that shattered my early thirties, I think now that what saves us – once medics have healed our bodies, and friends or social care systems have supported us through a sudden loss – is neither what we own nor even whom we love. I think our essential survivalContinue reading “Wild Patience Diaries: The Romance of Maintenance”

Wild Patience Diaries: Wise Guides to Slow Time

I call it The Slow Time of Accidents: what happens when – through loss, illness or emergency – our sense of time stretches and slows, both immediately and in the long-term. Cut off or cast adrift from the routines that make our days tick past, we arrive unprepared by the tempo of modern life intoContinue reading “Wild Patience Diaries: Wise Guides to Slow Time”

Wild Patience Diaries: Lists of What We Love

On his lifelong practice of list-making, prolific author Ray Bradbury said: Why did I put this word down? What does it mean to me? Why did I put this noun down and not some other word? Do this and you’re on your way to being a good writer…I tell people Make a list of tenContinue reading “Wild Patience Diaries: Lists of What We Love”

Wild Patience Diaries: Beginner’s Mind

Creative writing teacher Natalie Goldberg calls it ‘The Dead Year’: the time when – at whatever age – a person decides that they want to be a writer so bad that they are prepared to begin. To draw up some sort of regular schedule and attempt it. To a friend who embarked on what sheContinue reading “Wild Patience Diaries: Beginner’s Mind”

Wild Patience Diaries: Creative Practice Prompts…

  “A wild patience has taken me this far…” Adrienne Rich At the start of my late and strange life as an artist, I spent two summers beside England’s oldest lido determined to write a mile on scrolls of paper as long as the pool. In the aftermath of my sudden near-death a decade earlier – whenContinue reading “Wild Patience Diaries: Creative Practice Prompts…”

Wild Patience Diaries: Exercises for a Nature Writer

The urge to observe and write about the outdoors has come up through every setting & circumstance of my life. Even when chronic pain and the care of small children have kept me house- and town-bound, I have still made notes on birds, weeds and wildflowers. And yet my finest times are when I can –Continue reading “Wild Patience Diaries: Exercises for a Nature Writer”

Interview with Wealden Literary Festival

Tanya Shadrick, writer-in-residence for the 2019 Wealden Literary Festival, recommends essential texts and other tips for aspiring writers… Is there one work of writing about the natural world that has had the biggest impact on you? After my near-death at 33, the book that became talismanic was Matsuo Bashō’s 16th century travelogue and haiku collection TheContinue reading “Interview with Wealden Literary Festival”