Rebecca Gethin, 8 – 22 December 2018

“I was aiming to work on the poems for my endangered species pamphlet but was worried that in December I would find few new ones to write about, but in fact I found several (overwintering) birds and watched them every day.  I looked deeper and deeper into the rock pools and found beautiful snake lock anemones, blennies, jewelled beadlet anemones, tiny fish and shrimp. I couldn’t understand how they all survive when the high tide waves lash their little worlds to smithereens.
The more I looked the more I found.  In fact, I began to question everything I saw because however much I thought I had the measure of something, I learned there was always more to find out. For example, paths would appear which I hadn’t noticed or the birds would surprise me or someone I met told me something about the area. What I began to feel was that the quality of my looking was never enough.  I became deeply interested in the geology of this coast and in the mines that riddle the cliffs, the lives of the miners and their families.
I admit I spent a lot of time being mesmerised by the huge waves and some more time worrying that whatever I wrote wasn’t good enough for me to deserve the privilege of spending two whole weeks of my life there.  The chance to do what I love most…being out and about in all weathers and having no appointments, specific times to do things was a delight.  When I left I knew this place would never leave me and that the writing space it gave me would always need to be factored in to my life.  Since coming home I have dreamed of the sea every night.  I am now working on all these first draft poems and going back through the journal that I kept and am hoping to fashion a new pamphlet of poems.”