I walked the land this morning, with The White Cat and The Grey Dog. As we walked I thought. It’s easy to think in the company of animals.
I thought about the work I have to do, and I thought about other things and these, as we walked the beautiful land together, are some of the things I thought.
I thought of how if you share your life with animals you will at some point learn about the nature of grief, but of how I would not wish to have my life empty of these beautiful beings to save myself from mourning.
I thought of how as humans when we love we often learn that harsher grief that comes with the ending of a relationship, the losing of a lover, often tinged with green envy, heart sharp, ripping, dark grief. And yet I would not save myself from this by never loving.
And I thought about the difference of the way I love this land beneath my feet, and how animals, lovers, might come and go but the land, this land would always be here. How it fills my soul. Home.
And then, then, I thought, no. Not always. What if it was taken away. What if people, who thought differently from me came, with guns and bombs and violence and took away my home and destroyed my land and drove me out? I thought of all those people whose homes have been crushed by bombs, who have been driven from their homes and their land and their lives by circumstances beyond their control, beyond most people’s control. Through no fault of their own forced out to live in camps and wander the earth as what was familiar is crushed to dust. Taken. Those people who have risked everything as faced only with despair they have tried to move to a place of greater safety, refugees in a foreign land where they have been greeted with more violence, hatred and suspicion.
What can I do? Not much, but something. First I can call them refugee, not migrant. Because names are important. I can try to make those people who reach our shores feel welcome. And then I can try to raise money, to help. Such a small thing, but better than nothing.
To find out something more, beyond what you hear in the news, listen to this wonderful programme about food, from The BBC Food Programme. Hear people from Syria talk about their experiences. It’s worth half an hour of anyone’s time to try to understand.
So, I am going to auction the proof pages for The Wild Swans. Because there are so many pages, and I have work to do, I will do this a few at a time. All money raised will go to either
- Doctors of The World: They have a special appeal for Calais, where they are working in the camps providing medical attention for refugees, and also work worldwide to help provide medical care for vulnerable people.
- MOAS: Moas sails the Med trying to save refugees from drowning. With winter coming the death toll will only get higher.
- Hand in Hand for Syria: This charity is one of the few getting aid into those still left in Syria. Medical help, food, clothing, medicines. And they also run a campaign to knit and crochet for Syria. Something so simple can maybe save a life.
You choose, if you win the auction, which of these you prefer to donate too.
To begin I have just put up 1 piece. These things take up so much time and I’ve so much work to do. Starting price for each piece is £30. They are proof pages, NOT original artwork, but there are only 1 or 2 of each piece, and they will frame up nicely. Because they are only proof pages I will put an upper limit of £250 on each piece, so, first to £250 gets the page. Happy to sign if required. Each piece is as seen.
If you want to see what will be coming up in future get a copy of the book from the library, your local bookshop or Solva Woollen Mill. It seems fitting that these pages work to raise money for refugees. To understand why take a look at the article in The Guardian magazine online.
To bid, click on the picture and leave a comment ( all comments have to be actioned by me) I will contact you by email if your bid wins. Then you can pay the charity of your choice and I will post you the picture.
Another coming very soon. This image is used in The Wild Swans. Image size 28.5 x 17.6 Proof page. Sold as seen. To bid click on the image and leave a comment.
Auction for this piece now closed.
The auction on this item is now closed.