Friday, 21 October 2011

Igam Ogam up the Great Serpent

Llandudno.  Again.  Twenty years I’ve been coming here, to the place where the mountains meet the sea. 
This time I joined Adrian and James half the way there…at Telford.  Where a tiger smiled and showed me the way. No, really. He did.  You gotta love it when you're looking for the loo and a big guy dressed as a tiger points the way.  
Different morning walking here.  No hilltop fort, no wide open field, no strong wild river.  Instead, down to the seashore, to walk by waves.  But no. The tide was in. No beach. No halfway place – neither sea nor shore. No borderland; no liminality.
So, when a path is closed, you go another way, don’t you?  And that way led up, up, up. Up the Great Orme. The Great Worm. The Giant Serpent.  Too much symbolism there – let’s leave it be for the moment eh?
Igam Ogam, said the sign.  Literally.  Igam Ogam/Ogam Igam. Zig-zag/zag-zig up the ziggurat.  For every hill, every mountain, is a pyramid of sorts.  The wind so hard, so harsh, taking my breath away. Wishing I had tied my hair back as I could barely see.  And really, sometimes it is so hard to see clearly.  Even when the view is really wide, stretching way across the silver sea to the mountains beyond. Snowdonia.  Which makes me think. I must manifest a hair cut J ..and maybe a change…of colour. What do you think? 

I’ve been thinking about shamanism a lot lately as I edit my YA novel, Walker – a book about shamans, about signs, about earth medicine. Medicine? Signs?  Are they here too? Oh for sure (foreshore).  A narrow rocky path, steep, so steep, with perilous drops either side.  Gorse, so much gorse, snatching legs, pricking hands.   Gorse, the flower totem signalling despair, despond, hopelessness. For feeling useless.  Shit, shit, shit… No, seriously, literally - there is just so much shit all over the fading grass.  Why? Goats. Wild goats. There, there, there. Sea-goats. Capricorn. My sun-sign. My shit?  Probably.  Fish-goat-worm – ah, now there’s an interesting trinity of creatures. Christ/Satan/Serpent.  Ah hell, I promised I wouldn’t do this…

And there, hanging, totally still, a hawk. A kestrel.  How? How, when I am being blown every which way by the relentless wind, does that small bird just stay motionless, unaffected?  What minute shifts of musculature are holding its body, which weighs barely anything, so still?  Still. Hmm. Hate that word.  But anyhow.  How does it?  Is that the message?  Control? Balance?  And then, of a sudden…it drops. Clear, focused, controlled.
And here I am, right here and now.  In the pub.  Because it’s the only place I can get wifi.  My iphone has decided  not to play ball either. So I am out of touch.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel.  And see. With a hawk’s eyes?  Ah…wishful thinking.  J


Frances said...

Igam Ogam, what a sound those words make together!

Jane, it's been fun going along on your zig zaggedy walk while having my morning tea and toast.

Your sharing the view of that hovering hawk patiently pursuing its own breakfast, lunch or dinner was also very generous. I am reminded of the power of wings and vision and nature's sense of balance.

What hair color/s are you contemplating?


Zoë said...

Bet you still didn't make it down the bronze age copper mine though?

Atmosphere of that place sent chills all over me. You could feel the lost souls.

Can't imagine you anything but red - what takes your fancy now? I suspect you would look good with jet black hair too?

Anonymous said...

I used to go to Llandudno when I was little on family holidays. Feel as though I was back there whilst reading this post.

CJ xx

Exmoorjane said...

Frances: Isn't it a wonderful word/phrase? I hadn't heard it before...written on a sign on the Great Orme. Put me in mind of ogham, the tree alphabet, wonder if there's a link?
Yes, the power of wings..and nature's balance indeed. :)
Hair colour? I dunno... White? You're the artist - what you reckon?

Zoe: No, I don't choose to go down there. I don't like them... A good friend of Adrian's was instrumental in getting them opened.. I'm still not sure he did the right (rite) thing.
Dunno re hair - but not black. Did it once and I looked like a barrow wraith! Or a sub-standard Liz Jones. :)

Crystal: it's a funny place... the views from the Great Orme take my breath away, every time..something about seeing mountains across water.. and of course, the lost city under the water..