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Enchanted Forest

After a grieving heart and the unbounded confessional of my last blogpost, I was ready for some time off for good behaviour. And who better to behave with than my dear friend Bad Jo.
So with this in mind we headed off to Stroud’s Musuem in the Park for a little enchantment of a certain kind.

Here we found The Thirteenth Tree by Corrinne Hockley – a wonderfully visual fairy tale inspired by a train journey she took across the vast, snow silent Russian winter, from the majestic cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow and over the Ural Mountains to icy Irkutsk and primeval Lake Baikal.

Oh what gorgeousness…this rich tapestry of folklore and story telling was set around a birch tree forest that she had built right there in the gallery. A tale of the thirteenth fairy who was excluded from Sleeping Beauty’s story with disastrous results.

But this was no ordinary fairy of badness, for in this forest she was one of the helpful guardians or forces who remain in the shadows, preparing the way and singing over the bones as we reconnect with our own journeys. Sound familiar, all you witchy friends out there?

Far beyond time where few travellers go – the forgotten forest lies hushed in the snow
At its north edge in the fast fading light, a flickering village prepares for the night
Safe in her Dacha ‘tween mother and fire – Tanushka’s bright eyes were beginning to tire
From knitting fine socks and needlepoint gloves for the doll from her mother – a treasure she loves

This was exquisite enchantment with red threads enticing us through the trees. There were red dancing shoes, little Red Riding Hood, and stitchiness everywhere we turned, woven into the story with fable and magic.

And Babushka’s story of princess and witches was told to the rhythm of firelight and stitches
But thimble had fallen and hid from her eye – she pricks her forefinger – draws blood and a cry
Then later in bed with a small fever burning Tanushka’s moon shadow is fitfully turning
As three crimson drops and a tear are all seeping across her doll skirts, Tanushka lies sleeping

Did you notice the Princess and the Pea bed with lots and lots of mattresses? And the tiny key necklace and bones? There were a hundred sweet little details waiting quietly to be found. We didn’t know where to look first. Corinne’s work is simply beautiful and layered with ancient story threads and potent words.

Corinne’s story made me want to snip away all threads of responsibility that tie me to my life and pack up my crochet hooks, wool and notebooks immediately. Waving a cheery farewell to my little Stroud house, I would venture out into the world, by train, boat and gypsy wagon, bound for the quiet snowy whiteness of my own Russian winter, deep into Birch woods.

Well, some day maybe. It was the cafe that we bravely ventured to, as well you know me by now, dreams tucked secretly away in my pocket.



1 Mezzie { 12.05.12 at 3:24 pm }

WOW! What an incredible feast for the eyes. Thank you so much for this xx

2 suzy parker { 12.05.12 at 3:49 pm }

thankyou Jaine…soul food xxx

3 Angela { 12.05.12 at 9:10 pm }


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