My friend Gary Baxter took this picture of the moon over Golden Cap from the back garden of my flat in Lyme Regis earlier this month. It was effortless for him – skilled as he is – to flick the dials of his digital SLR camera to exactly the right settings to capture the light cast by the full moon that particular evening.
The dance of light and shadow on the sea and the fragile blue lias of the crumbling cliff-faces of Lyme Bay is always changing and endlessly fascinating. This is “coast” not “sea-side” and the image reminds me of why I chose to live where earth, sea and sky meet.
In this liminal place of seagulls and songbirds, I open the french windows and my small flat feels infinitely large; I sit at the kitchen table to write and immediately feel myself connected to a much bigger world. Then my everyday home becomes a kind of sacred space dedicated to the expression of creativity, where ideas come and words flow.
Stephen Nachmanovitch (whose brilliant book Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art every artist and writer should read) likens such spaces to the ancient Greek idea of the temenos: a place set aside in which to honour the gods. There we can more readily encounter our unconscious (the deep wellspring of imagination) and more fittingly entertain the muse should she pay us a visit.
The lure of paid work as an organisational consultant takes me far and wide. It is good work and I am privileged to be able travel around the globe but I have been too long on the road and my writer’s soul aches for home.