This piece was originally posted on The Dark Mountain Project blog. Thanks to Ben Myers for allowing us to repost.
The Green Cathedral is a place, a series of places, a philosophy, a feeling, a mind-set, a movement, a lack of movement, a meditation. Many meditations. It is walking and running, sitting and seeing.
It is a phrase I find myself returning to and which, over thousands of miles of wandering, has risen from the subconscious to become a recurring motif in the novels, poems and short stories that I have published over the last half decade or so.
The Green Cathedral represents the sacred places, the silent spaces. It elevates the natural landscape to the respectful position it deserves.
It replaces doctrine and dogma. The Green Cathedral recognises the ruins of the past as part of present and future narratives. It attempts to recalibrate the senses and reconsider time. It celebrates the joy of the rural reverie. It is in all countries. It is open to everyone.
These images and words attempt to fleetingly capture the essence of The Green Cathedral.
Out of the wood:
shot like a bullet
from the gun
of history –
ends in fire.
in the corner of your eye
a salmon spins
‘All of us have a place in history.
Mine is clouds.’
– Richard Brautigan
A neighbour, a woman of maturing age, tells me of a childhood lived on
the edge of the moor. ‘Strange things happened up there,’ she says.
‘Once I woke to a circle of stagmen dancing around my room.
I can still see them now, as clear as day. Men, with the
heads of stags. Their breath in the air. Their feet
on the floorboards. Moonlight. Dancing.
The moors are strange.
The moors are
Borders and boundaries
mark only impermanence.
Wires rust. Walls fall.
Fences become futile.
‘Carrion’ – British Sea Power
A soft summer
…and in the cromlech,
the bones of England…
Benjamin Myers is an award-winning writer. His novels include Beastings (2014), Pig Iron (2012) and Richard (2010). He lives in the Upper Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, UK.