I don’t know how to write about today. Every time I’ve put something down I just sound like a wanker. Which is really unfair, but then philosophy has never been my strong point. I’ve eaten pies deeper than me. Frequently. A lot of them with custard.
I’ve just been to an online lecture entitled The Relationship Between the Traditional Crafts and the Perennial Philosophy at The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts. And yes, I had to look up perennial (see: everlasting) as my only frame of reference was Gardeners’ Question Time.
And it was a genuinely fascinating talk. The speaker, David Cranswick talked a lot about the need to engage head, heart and hand in the creation of work. And that the outer process is the expression of the inner journey. And my favourite bit, that rocks are just paintings in waiting, and ground up bones ultimately make black pigment (and not bread, as giants would have us believe). He showed us a beautiful cosmological alchemical map linking traditional pigments to the planets and their corresponding metals. And there was a lot about motivation and ritual and intention. And grinding; how pestle and mortar are the union between heaven and earth. Side note: now I feel a bit guilty for using my coffee grinder in various folkloric experiments.
In the moment, I understood a lot of the philosophical discussion, but looking back over my notes, I haven’t the foggiest idea of how to articulate what I heard. Although one of the points raised could definitely have been applied to Mr Miyagi and the Karate Kid. You see, shallow as an 80’s movie reference.
But despite my inability to engage with the philosophy using my words, I would definitely recommend checking out both David Cranswick and The Prince’s Foundation for further information about traditional practices, and/or their intersection with the divine. I’m now going to gaze at the rocks I’ve robbed off the beach and wonder what colours they’d give up.
The Everyday Lore Project has been running since St Distaff’s Day on 7 January 2020 and will run until 12th Night on 6 January 2021. I’ve been trying out all manner of things associated with folklore, belief, tradition, ritual, and writing about them so you don’t have to. Sometimes I can just rattle off a post, but others, like today take at least a tablespoon of peanut butter and several false starts to get my head round. There’s less than 50 days to go before the project ends, so if you fancy sharing my pain, please do subscribe.