Friday, 23 March 2012

Out of the Dust

I have been a bit lazy recently when it comes to blogging but I have still been busy. I may be a stranger to my laptop but my workroom and I are bosom buddies. My poor wife thinks she has been abandoned for my dusty mistress, but when the wood calls I am helpless to refuse.

Many an hour has been spent slowly turning a branch in my hands, lost in the intricate patterns of the grain. Many a day has disappeared in the blink of an eye as the spirit of the wood has slowly emerged and a pile of bark and shavings has appeared around my feet.

Clouds of sawdust and incense have diffused the light as I work. Flickering candles have danced to the music of the plane and saw and blade. Magic has been made.

And finally I have emerged from the dust to find that spring has crept across the landscape and the heady, intoxicating, sweet scent of green is returning to the land.

It was on a mist shrouded afternoon that we headed for the moors to renew our spirits and feed our souls.

And to take a few photo's, of course.  I even managed to persuade my lovely witch to model a few of them for me.
Hand Carved Staff
Hand Carved Druid Staff
My first attempt at carving a head. He's not quite right, technically speaking, but I like his character and I learnt so much from him.

A Witch, the moors, and a staff of twisted willow

Twisted Willow Staff with Carved Head
Weather Magic
Don't Mess with A Witch!

So now you know what I've been up to while I haven't been blogging.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Can I really be a druid?

It's a question I've been pondering quite a lot just lately. Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and ask 'Is that who you really are?' At first the answers seemed obvious, and the question silly, but over time it niggled away at me. Is 'Druid' what I really am?

I have often found it hard to reconcile my past with my faith today. My military career, a career that was in my blood, doesn't sit easy with the peace loving druid. From the moment I was born my Dad raised me to be a soldier, and although I fought against his brutality, and was released from any pressure or obligation by his death, a soldier is exactly what I became.

The things I was trained to do, the things I was expected to do, are not the things expected of a Druid. I was no angel. I fought hard, played hard, lived each day like it was my last. Hell, it could have been! I saw things no man should ever see, did things no man should ever have to do. I thought things I should never think, felt things I wish I didn't feel.  But I was a soldier, a warrior. I was loyal and true, and brave, and scared. Just like every soldier, every warrior, before me down the centuries.

Civvy street was not, is not, somewhere I feel comfortable. I was a fish out of water. I still stumble from day to day, still struggle to find my feet.

So can I be a Druid?

I am at odds with OBOD, or is it that they are at odds with me? Either way I don't fit that 'druidic ideal' that so many aspire to and feel comfortable with. I don't read the 'right' books and like all the 'wrong' ones. I voice opinions that make others uncomfortable and I don't conform to what others expect. I take my inspiration, and lessons, from the strangest of places. I don't observe things I should observe, I talk to the Gods in a manner some, most, probably all, would consider disrespectful, so, I ask the question again, Can I really be a druid?

But then I think Can I really be anything else?

It's me you see. It's the way I am. It's what is deep inside of me. It is the beating of my heart and the rising of my chest. It is my breath on cold winter mornings and my sweat under the sun. It's the light in my eyes as I gaze at the stars, and my whispered prayers in the dawn. It's the love I hold for my wife, for my children, my grandchildren, my fellow man. It's the trust I have in the Lady, the hope I have for each new day. It is what I was, what I am, and what I will be. It is everything. And more.

I am a warrior. I am a druid.

I am me.