Saturday, 1 March 2008

Archive: Sacred space

I've been very lax in posting recently. Bad Seren. Naughty. *Hangs head in shame.*

I'm sure you've all been waiting in trepidation for my next post...

Anyway, all is well in the world of Seren.

It's been a very creative week all round. I've been decorating the hallway (boring off-white, verging on the dreaded beige, but it's about as much as the narrow space can handle, and the kiddie-proof range of paints is fairly limited anyway...), finishing off the bedroom, putting up the curtains and rearranging the camel cart bookshelf in the kitchen to fit in all the bits of clutter that were left over in all the boxes from the garage. I've made one of the shelves into a mini-microcosm, with plants, bits from the sea and a few more bits and pieces that are personal to me for one reason or another:

The plants might have to be relocated because the ferns are beginning to suffer already, I think they need a bit more light so I'll try to find something more suitable for the space because I like the foliagedness of it all even if it's in a fairly dark spot.

The metal plaque at the front belonged to my granddad - the only thing I have that was directly from him. It's from when he worked for Alvis, and designed a tank called a Scorpion (which apparently my aunt named, because the gun bit could flip over), and the plaque lists all the tanks in the series. My mum gave everything else back to Alvis when he died, for their museum, and the only other keepsakes she kept were my gran's, so that's all I have. To the left is a fossilised sea urchin, and the cow on the right was given to me by a wonderful friend.

The 'wand' is some driftwood I picked up on our last trip to the beach, which I was going to use as the slatag Bride for my Là Fhèill Bhrìghde celebrations, but I've found the applewood wand that I was sent (along with the aforementioned cow) and I shall use that instead. Seeing as this bit of wood came ashore during the storms, perhaps it's more appropriate for the Cailleach, anyway.

The red votive in the middle was bought by a childhood friend many years ago (so I hope you're impressed it's still in one piece!), and the pomegranate filled with tumbled stones to the far left was from a very nice man called Nick who used to run a gem shop in my hometown. You'd go in and he'd always know exactly what you needed, even if you didn't, but sadly he got sick and had to close up. I don't know what happened to him after that...But it reminds me of my independence in a way, because I bought it after my parents split up and I was taken in by an old friend. It's come a long way with me.

So there are lots of bits and pieces that all mean something to me and represent something to me in some way or another - gods, spirits or ancestors. I'd like to get some more bits and pieces for it, especially something suitable for putting offerings and libations on, because that's why I really made the space in the first place. I usually make them outside, and I'm hoping to get a bird table soon to make those offerings a bit more discreet from prying eyes, but experience is showing that you either have to be very brave or utterly insane to venture outside sometimes (as the storms of the passed week have demonstrated), so it seems practical to have somewhere to keep them until they can go out. I used to have a quaich, but we lent it to an am-dram society for a production of Macbeth before we moved up here, and haven't seen it since.

Things are taking shape now and it's starting to feel like home, which is making me feel a whole lot better, much more settled. The only downside is, I'm rapidly running out of excuses to not invite the in-laws round for dinner...

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