REACH Dorset 2009 PDF version

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REACH Dorset …

REACH Dorset

As practising artists - Rosie as a writer, Marc as a painter and composer - we were excited about working together on a project which would let us convey our passion and conviction about the transforming power of creativity. Between April and October 2009, we ran small weekly groups at Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset, devising exercises and activities to trigger the imagination and encourage new ideas and skills. We wanted to create a safe environment where people could experiment and explore with words and images in ways they had not done before, using the natural world as a stimulus and subject matter, sometimes involving walks to woods and on the coast.

Our main purpose was to catalyse inner change, to enable everyone to take hold of his or her own creativity in a positive way. Since this process was more important than results, we encouraged practices to loosen and inspire, such as associative writing or drawing with the eyes closed. And we were delighted so many participants described their experiences as liberating and affirming, freeing them from conventional expectations and inner critics and letting them view their lives from new angles and perspectives. Sharing work, talking and relating together also built self-acceptance, confidence and trust. We later progressed to more sustained pieces, including a personal `tree of life' design.

The outcome of this has been art and writing of remarkable quality, some of which we are presenting in this volume. Poems, prose fragments, pencil and charcoal sketches, paintings, photographs, stained glass, 3-D, textile and paper work, all evidence of the remarkable inventiveness latent within everyone. And between the lines, making them all the more valuable to us, are the moving personal stories, the compassion and humour we also shared together. Indeed, the fact that all this work was done in the midst of people's struggles with huge inner and outer challenges - stress, depression, bereavement, anxiety, panic, job loss, ill-health - confirms our belief not only in the power of art but in its sheer necessity on our human journey.

All the work is reproduced anonymously, but with the artists' permission.

REACH Dorset developed from an initial partnership between Bridport Arts Centre and Bridport Medical Centre that was brought about by Alex Coulter and the regional REACH initiative. We are deeply grateful to them and to Arts Council England South West, Dorset Primary Care Trust, Dorset Mental Health Forum and all the course participants who made REACH Dorset possible. The original project groups are now continuing their creative journeys independently, successfully demonstrating a sustainable legacy for REACH Dorset. We hope this volume will help foster more projects of this kind inspiring REACH Dorset members and others to continue working creatively as a major step towards well-being.


Rosie Jackson & Marc Yeats

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  • 1. REACH Dorset the healing power of art and nature
  • 2. As practising artists - Rosie as a writer, Marc as a painter and composer - we were excited about working together on a project which would let us convey our passion and conviction about the transforming power of creativity. Between April and October 2009, we ran small weekly groups at Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset, devising exercises and activities to trigger the imagination and encourage new ideas and skills. We wanted to create a safe environment where people could experiment and explore with words and images in ways they had not done before, using the natural world as a stimulus and subject matter, sometimes involving walks to woods and on the coast. Our main purpose was to catalyse inner change, to enable everyone to take hold of his or her own creativity in a positive way. Since this process was more important than results, we encouraged practices to loosen and inspire, such as associative writing or drawing with the eyes closed. And we were delighted so many participants described their experiences as liberating and affirming, freeing them from conventional expectations and inner critics Rosie Jackson and letting them view their lives from new angles and perspectives. Sharing work, talking and relating together also built self-acceptance, confidence and trust. We later progressed to more sustained pieces, including a personal `tree of life' design. The outcome of this has been art and writing of remarkable quality, some of which we are presenting in this volume. Poems, prose fragments, pencil and charcoal sketches, Marc Yeats paintings, photographs, stained glass, 3-D, textile and paper work, all evidence of the remarkable inventiveness latent within everyone. And between the lines, making them all the more valuable to us, are the moving personal stories, the compassion and humour we also shared together. Indeed, the fact that all this work was done in the midst of people's struggles with huge inner and outer challenges - stress, depression, bereavement, anxiety, panic, job loss, ill-health - confirms our belief not only in the power of art but in its sheer necessity on our human journey. All the work is reproduced anonymously, but with the artists' permission. REACH Dorset developed from an initial partnership between Bridport Arts Centre and Bridport Medical Centre that was brought about by Alex Coulter and the regional REACH initiative. We are deeply grateful to them and to Arts Council England South West, Dorset Primary Care Trust, Dorset Mental Health Forum, Dorset County Council and all the course participants who made REACH Dorset possible. The original project groups are now continuing their creative journeys independently, successfully demonstrating a sustainable legacy for REACH Dorset. We hope this volume will help foster more projects of this kind inspiring REACH Dorset members and others to continue working creatively as a major step towards well-being. Rosie Jackson & Marc Yeats
  • 3. Beneath the trees the bluebells grow, While up above bright green leaves appear, Broken boughs lay scattered, rotting, as shy roe deer Stand ghostlike in the depths. Earthy browns vie with powder blue for our attention, And vibrant greens play their part. The gentle morning sun peeps through the leaves Casting a soft glow, penetrating the dusky gloom. All is still, nothing moves, silence shrouds me. The deer stare, ears are pricked, poised for flight Velvet noses scent the air. The heady perfume assaults the senses, Provoking nostalgic thoughts of childhood. While all around tree trunks stand like sentinels With soft frothy flowers at their feet, And overhead leafy boughs create a secret world. I hold my breath, transfixed, time suspended, Then all at once the spell is broken, Birds begin to sing their welcome to the day, And time resumes its relentless toll.
  • 4. green snot, fingers, mould, envy, sick, what remains, apple, pea. solace, graveyard, beetle, khaki, scarf, alphabet, cardigan, me. stagnant, dragon, parsley, mint, spring, tasty, turquoise isn't. .
  • 5. and by the by ... right time, wrong time, out of time, empty, full.
  • 6. the tree and I I am still alive. I still move and breathe and capture the sun in my arms. I am still alive. The sun has not abandoned me, though it was eclipsed all winter. The birds still sing, hope still rattles the chains trying to tie our legs under the table. I am still alive. I can still walk over dried earth and moist, though my legs are sometimes as heavy as in dreams, knotted in the blanket. I am still alive. I can still summon faith in myself, even if God has walked out of every church and every heart, we can tolerate his absence. I am still alive. Oranges still juice on citrus trees, and trees pull up water from the earth even when there is no well in sight for miles. There is still hope. I am still alive. Leaves are well tended in their veins and skeletons as my bones and flesh. Insects still live on bark and sap, the tree does not shake them off, does not have allergies. The tree is tolerant and hopeful. The tree has been standing here for three hundred years. The tree will outlive me, will not blink when I die, will receive the news with nothing more than a tremor of its branches. Even the wildest storm will not unsettle it. The tree knows without studying, speaks without saying, holds its bliss without striving, is neither good nor evil. The tree and I are still alive. .
  • 7. hawthorn Also known as May `I keep coming back to the Hawthorn. It has a wild small beauty, a quiet resilience which I have probably always loved…' . I'm not always a stand-alone tree, you may find me all over the place, often where the earth is considered of a poorer quality. I thrive where the topsoil is thinner, where stones and flints are close to the surface, on steeper climes unfit for the plough. Scrub land, Moor-land, the Downs, chalky and windswept. When late spring slides into early English summer, my branches are heavy with arcs of creamy white blossoms, a peasant girl's bridal bouquet, soft yet heady scent, only noticed at close proximity. My companions tend to be what others call weeds - although a weed is only a flower in the wrong place - dog rose and scabious, orchid and vetch, sheep's bit, bramble, ivy, moss, lichen. I'm a small tree. But put me alongside blackthorn, ash, field maple, hazel and together we form a stock-proof boundary, our thorns hard and sharp, our branches supple enough to move with the wind, strong enough to not be easily broken. Bend me and I spring back. Cut me almost through and push me over and I re-shoot, grow stronger. Penetrable for small living things and the wind to whistle through. We grow scattered on scrubland, fit for little save sheep grazing. If you allow, we spread our branches and crinkled leaves to give partial cool shade to cattle, sheep, the harvest mouse and lovers, the hard and plovers. Over the summer our flowers drop away, confetti upon the sward, and as our haw berries ripen and swell, so do our nutty green crinkled leaves fade, crackle, dry and fall to the ground, only our grey thorns to protect our fruit. We hint at a severe winter when our branches are laden with those deep claret orbs. Clean air is indicated by the lichen growing on our pewter grey limbs. Our roughened trunk cleft in two a foot or so from the ground, mossy. We're not much good for firewood, so mostly you leave us alone. Our fruit is not much good to you either, so the native birds have a midwinter feast. But we do protect your livestock. We are the boundary to that which you choose to call owned, although we're there on the common land too. We have, some say, magical qualities. Me, I stand guard at this field's entrance. Away down the valley, there is the farmstead, sheep grazing contented on ancient ridged slopes, and beyond, the glimmering expanse of the sea. I don't need fertilizers or pesticides. I have sufficient. I grow in a beautiful landscape. I am part of this landscape. So do not uproot me. There is a beauty and a purpose, which interacts with the larger scale of things. And, when you get the chance, plant some more of me. I'm not difficult to look after, in fact, I'm mostly best left to my own devices. I'm a semi-shaded spot to lean against, lie beside and quietly contemplate. I'm tough, resilient in harsh conditions. There are ornamental versions of me, but I prefer myself plain and simple.
  • 8. west bay haikus unique beach of life overturning summer waves crashing, splashing stones speeding, random boat flying over the wide sea hurrying with force Thank God for nature Susan taking photographs of our still moment pointed tops of cliffs jagged lines of a heartbeat waves ever closer
  • 9. A vast distant plain ahead the light breaking through the dark clouds on the horizon a feeling of hope in the distance. teeth of honeycomb tracks of Jacob's ladder love's smudged history ever patient waves white lace undoing itself gulls and children's screams summer frolicking cold paddling, shivering feet happy, shiny faces smooth pebbles crunching slice of sea on horizon glimpse of paradise
  • 10. path dribbles down hill rough waves smooth and soak the sand summer hides autumn different each day a sand and shingle painting the sea applauds seagulls moult to show their love for fledgling offspring ragged feathers here there be dragons god's sketches in the pebbles alien message
  • 11. the feather `Our task was to write a poem or piece of prose as if we were a natural object… and the other morning as I walked down the garden, I spotted a dark feather lying, as if in waiting, on the grass…' I was lying there on the grass, waiting. I could feel the dew moist against my back. Then I caught her eye, was carefully lifted and caressed. I'm so soft, so tempting to stroke. Where have I come from? A blackbird in flight, perhaps, Its soft body no longer needing me, That hard quill that runs through me let go. Light and almost weightless, I fluttered and eddied to the ground, Black against green. But hold me to the light, And I'm a spectrum of shades, From pale to deep, deep brown. Small, but one of nature's many miracles.
  • 12. the buzz Where does the buzz come from? How do you get it? And how do you keep it? Can everyone get it? I haven't got it at the moment But, I'm trying really hard To find the missing link Between my life and a buzz.
  • 13. colours Round, red, rosy apples, ready to eat. Sucking a pink and yellow hard-boiled sweet. Watching a blue flame burning on the bonfire. Screeching, dark black, worn-out rubber car tyre. Crisp white towels in the hotel room. Brown bristle missing, rotten old broom. The look of an orange as shiny as can be. Yellow sap seeping from a great enormous tree. No colour can describe the soft calm breeze, But endless colours can describe fallen leaves. Looking at the world's colour is all free, The ones on the land and the ones on the sea. I think we take for granted what we see And don't count our blessings which we really should be. So, I'm saying thank you for every single one, For all the colours I've ever seen and the ones there are to come.
  • 14. observations of a walk in a field sea of green glistening with the dew sparkling in the yellow sun above blue blue sky white puffballs floating along gentle breeze waving delicately over the sea of green
  • 15. black on black witch, cat, magic, sheep, bear, swan, oil, bird, mould, raven, hair. tar, head, pot and kettle, eclipse, Baskerville hound, Darth Vader, Batman, pirate ships. box, little dress, chimney sweep, hole, soot, clubs, spades, man, mole. thorn, ebony, jet, puma, pudding, squid ink, Guinness, humour. coal, diamond, plague, tie, widow, out, Gothic, eye. clouds, smoke, bin bag, fog, mood, soul, depression, dog. undertaker, cassock, habit, eyed-pea, Sabbath, hearse, prince, me!
  • 16. I'm a hard object I'm a shell, a hard object, with ridges reaching to the top and skirting out to the bottom. Underneath, I am hollow. I used to house a live creature, now this is all that remains. I acted as protector to this creature. All the ridges are part of how I was formed. Subtle colours, a white sandy beige, grey reaching towards black at the top tip and bottom skirt. Is there any more left to me? Underneath I am smoother. A different set of colours, warmer, orangey-beige, a grey off- white this time in hoops, a sign of housing something soft. I think I must have been attached to something to protect the underside of this soft creature. Now I am so hard and rigid: fit only for breaking or gazing at - `OO, isn't that pretty?' But my reason to be has gone, now the inside isn't here any more. An empty shell after all. I am still here, but I feel pointless apart from being something for people to stare at. Or I could reverse into matter and provide sustenance for new life. For I am made of calcium, molluscs and might be useful. I do wonder what happened to the live part that I was housing. Maybe it went on to make more shells like me… I don't know… I've lost my purpose and get passed around from one writing group to another. I am dead, aren't I?
  • 17. flint I am very old, was forged by nature and the forces of the earth in the depths in the heat. I have clear black centre covered in ivory. My shape is contorted and distorted, through my ridges you see my depth and when you to strike me, my soul would spark at the world. My weight is heavy and left out would become cold, if held tight I would radiate warmth. Though textured smooth and creased if broken I would reveal sharp edges and glass surfaces ... possibly some crystals! I sink in water to join my brethren and tumble in the tide. I might be bought back to the shore side? In my facets you might see faces, flowers. In my holding you might find comfort or wisdom. In my being I have supplied ample tools for mankind to forge a future. But for me ... I exist to ride the days as they come and when they come. You might find comfort in the knowledge that I exist or mealy use me to build a wall. You might walk past and send me skidding over the pavement. Moulded neatly to the hand like play dough of a bygone era A child's creation left aside to be found by many, admired by a few and cherished by one.
  • 18. starfish I am a starfish. My texture is pretty rough, I feel very dry, I should be wet, I have five points, but I'm very rounded at the edges. I feel like I shouldn't be here. I remember water, I am usually by the sea, usually by the beach or in the sea, there are usually fish swimming around me. It does feel so strange, what is that holding me is it another fish, this doesn't feel right; why am I here? I can hear strange noises; does it sound like waves? No, it can't be! Why am I here? Please get me out of here, I feel so dry, I shouldn't be. Where are the rocks? Where is the seaweed? It's so cold, alien, I feel like I am suffocating. I am lost. What can I do to get back to the sea? It's so strange here. I need to get back. I am scared here. I remember blue skies, children on the beach, other creatures. This is so alien. Maybe it's a bad dream, maybe I will wake up soon, perhaps I will, I hope. I feel so dry now, I don't think I can hang on for much longer. I just need the sea to rejuvenate me. I cannot last much longer…
  • 19. the sea - and just me I wander down slowly to the beach The sea so close to my reach Bare-footed to feel the stones Washed-up driftwood, seawood, cuttlefish bones. I ignore what's going on around me 'Cos today it's just me and the sea. It's shouting for me to come on in. I go further, right up to my chin. I look out to the vast expanse And thank God I'm given the chance To spend some time feeling calm With no worry, sadness or harm. My favourite place is the sea. The sea - and just me.
  • 20. I woke up this morning I woke up this morning And couldn't stop laughing. Why was life so much fun? Every night I go to bed And can't wait for the next day to arrive, Meeting different people, Experiencing new things. And laughing. Laughing till your sides ache And you have to bend over, Tears roll down your face And it's infectious. Someone laughing makes the next person laugh And soon the world is full of laughter. If only!
  • 21. reach out Reach out for the first time and go walking. Cast care to the wind and stop the talking. How aimless really is the orange tip's flight, Erratic and wild, flicking amber light? Flittering so, what can it sense and see? Creamy umbels that form star nebulae? Chestnut candles seeking love from a bee? Can it recognise human: you and me? What do we see on this day as we pass? Iron filing pollen packs on lodestone grass. The arum tips its cowl to chastely hide Its unripe berries, coyly sat inside. Sweet chestnut twisted in some frozen dance And a gaggle of people joined by chance.
  • 22. if only I could be a tree If only I could be a tree What would life be like for me? I would notice such a lot Firmly rooted to this spot! I'd spread my branches open wide, So little birds could nest inside. A roosting owl could spend his day, As night drew in he'd fly away. Squirrels would scamper out and in, While insects burrowed in my skin. Ivy creeping, climbing high As my branches claw the sky. Nearby a river wends its way, In the village life's dramas play. I'd watch the hares box at dawn, The mother roe protect her fawn. The farmer, ploughing face all red, Reaping crops to make his bread. Marshy meadows, cattle grazing, Lovers linger, star-gazing. Fashions come and fashions go As people pass to and fro, But I stand firm beneath the sky And watch the seasons roll on by.
  • 23. life is a beech I remember the beech trees dwarfing my garden and the small cottage where I lived: their silvery smooth bark, so good for hugging; their welcome shade, from the millions of leaves in the canopy, high above, green coolness, respite from those long, hot, golden summer days. Were those summers really balmier, or does memory just grow fonder? The trees were my friends, embracing and protecting. There were cold, crisp, starry nights and owls hooting from their lofty position high above. Then there were the storms, winds ripping from across the plain, and now my friends became menacing, a threat. I would lie in bed and listen to the timber creaking and groaning in the roaring wind, and I would pray that their roots would hold strong in the earth and that their mighty boughs would not split and come crashing down. I would sit by my crackling fire on those long winter nights and be thankful for the wood that fuelled it, and hope that my beautiful trees would see many more long years, grow many more rings, before they met the same fate. And the trees whispered in the breeze. They whisper still to each other. And I listen and smile and say thank you, thank you for the trees!
  • 24. oakend The oak, the oak, and now the end. The oak tree in my garden has reached its end. “Oakend” was the name of my first school - I loved, felt safe and secure there. The oak, the oak, the huge oak in the garden of “Wood cottage” Stood guard, and ever present. My brother climbed high into its branches. A swing was hung from one. Sally swung, fell and broke her arm. Oh so sad, was that when our friendship ended? Oak end, oak end, and now the tree has been felled to make space. Oak end, oak end, my childhood tree felled. “Oakend”, “Oakend”, my school bulldozed. Oak end, oak end, my friendship ended. Yet WAIT! - Good news They have used the timber from the oak tree To build the frame for the extension of “Wood Cottage”! Oak ended in a building of a new nurturing place. Oak ended in a new nurturing place.
  • 25. beautiful here Trees in beautiful morning sunshine I can see lots of different shades of green spiralling bathed in the morning light I can hear nothing but the wind blowing The light is streaming through the trees and the leaves are being swept away There are steep hills beyond in the distance towering over the trees below I can see a river running over rocks meandering back through the valley I am amongst this landscape because I love the early morning silence it brings It is cold here, the sun is rising higher and its light is changing Colours are getting stronger now, it is beautiful here. .
  • 26. the tree in my garden My sister and me in stretchy nylon swimsuits shrieking and jumping in and out of our old brown canvas paddling pool. My sister and me dressed as cowboys, she astride the rocking horse, me waving a gun menacingly, I thought. My sister and me, pushing our long-suffering baby-clothed dog in a pram. My sister and me, in our matching coats, burying each other in dry autumn leaves. My sister and me running rings around the bonfire, staring wide-eyed at the effervescing roman candles, sparklers held respectfully at arms length, writing our names in the inky blackness. My sister and me soaring to giddy heights on the swing our father made, ropes creaking on the outstretched limbs. My sister and me in our plastic bag covered woollen mittens throwing icy snowballs, soaking wet and freezing cold. My sister and me, watching warm inside as our mother dug a tortuous path to the tree for our beloved dog. My sister and me, bidding farewell to our childhood home unknowing of what was truly left behind.
  • 27. memories of the ridgeway I am walking along the South Dorset Ridgeway. I love it here, it is away from everything I loathe. It's a quiet, tranquil open expanse I know will be here for me to explore. The trees are windswept from the prevailing south-westerly winds. I can hear skylarks, but most of all it is the silence I crave. I love the colours of the heathers around Hardy's Monument, they are a beautiful sight. There are numerous pathways to take. I think I'll go to Hell Bottom and sit down by the old shepherd's cottage, have a drink and something to eat. I love it here on my own. I think I'll take a few photographs. I will wait for the light, plenty of time. I really don't want to go home. I could live in this place, so isolated I suppose! There's an old track way over the hill, sheep are grazing in the fields around me. The old dry stone walls are in a bad state of repair now, yet they are beautiful in their state of decay. I can imagine how it used to be here, probably a busy place of work and life. I wish I could stay here and not go home, but I'd better return soon. I hope it won't change here too much before I come back. I feel it is my place, my place! Maybe I will come back one day, I hope so.
  • 28. the shell Hi. I'm a shell, well travelled, coming and going with the tides. I've been on the seabed with my fellow molluscs and now I've been washed up on the shore. I have a lovely shape, oval and rounded, smoothed by tossing in the sea, and although I've lost the other parts of me, together we resembled a butterfly. On the left side of my shell I have a chip where some human picked me up when I first came ashore and tried to prise me open. They have damaged me, taken away the heart of me, and discarded my other half. I'm tough, hard on the outside, but my insides were soft and vulnerable. I'm quite pretty, having dark stripes and a black tip where my other self joined. The inside of me is smooth and shiny, cleaned by the surf and water. I've a few other chips that have come from being tossed around in the sea, pecked at by seagulls, bashed against rocks. Here I live basking in the heat of the sun, feeling the cold rain and endlessly being picked up and discarded by humans, a piece of driftwood waiting for someone to discover my value. I may return to the sea one day, that is my home, but right now I'm in a good place on this table, with someone who values me.
  • 29. gold… dreams, threads, wedding, rings, heart, sunlight, not all that glitters, dust, digger, treacle tart. corn, harvest, flakes, moon, dish, yolk, watch, hour, pond, fish. blend, whiskey, syrup, disc, honey, crown, treasure, Olympic medal, nugget, money. rush, mine, fools, Midas, plate, Ferrero Rocher, champagne, phoenix, harp, gate. bar, smith, goose, dragon, Labrador pup, opportunity, handshake, chalice, Cheltenham cup. paved streets, lion, tan, oldie, platter, eagle, coach, coast, gun, crispy batter. SILENCE! seeing green on millennium green Here, ribbon-grasses dressed in see-through sunshine Rise up, then down in swallow-dive towards The plump-pillowed spread of plantain leaves stitched By comfortably lazy hands. And there New nettle leaves, tight-wrinkled from their births, Warn with their razor-wired zigzag repeat. The high gloss of these leaves will bat away Attack attempts, as flower-faded stalks Bear proud seed-torches, fierce as shooting stars. Holly sprouts globular clusters of green Tightness flushed with pink promise of berries. Slow drifts of dandelion clocks stop short Glued to cobwebs beside small studded flies. Green-feast glutted and gorged, the sky looks pink.
  • 30. yellow Sunshine laughter Happy warm sunflower Lemons custard, thick and warm, Egg yolks butter peppers corn. Cowslips primroses My golden Molineux rose, Creamy silky sand My wedding band. Harvest stubble Autumn leaves, Bright sunlight Harvest sheaves. Candle flames flickering Flashy tasteless bling. Nicotine stain Cowardice chain. rouge flush Roses fuchsias poppies Cherry raspberry strawberries Holly berries robins Christmas ribbons Rubies garnets Crimson scarlet Hot flames fire Anger love desire Heart blood Satan Danger warning temptation.
  • 31. shadows I want the people who appear like shadows in my dreams to reveal themselves. They hover on the edge of my consciousness vaguely familiar. I want to know if we met in some other life or are they strangers, lost, looking for a place to rest, a place of peace and belonging. I want to know.
  • 32. the ‘o’ word Is there anything to compare to the 'O' word? I personally don't think so. Lots of things come close. Special feelings, special moments, But nothing as explosive as the 'O' word. Some people go through their life Without the experience. But, I guess if you've never experienced it, You don't know what you're missing. Sometimes it's over really quickly, Sometimes it feels like it'll never end. Sometimes there's a long build up And sometimes you're literally caught unaware. I can't have the 'O' word at the moment 'Cos my meds completely take away any feelings. Medication numbs everywhere. But, one day it'll return, Don't you worry.
  • 33. the tree of death On top of a hill In the beautiful countryside Stands an enormous over-bearing tree It looks like a guard. It's guarding the hill And it's guarding over the valley. Families traipse up the hill Just to get to the tree. Children clamber on it And parents admire its size, Look up in amazement At the many branches. But, what they don't know Is the tree has a dark secret. It was a hangman's tree And many a man had died there. It had in the past been Where a man would least like to walk up to Where he'd hang until he died. How things change! .
  • 34. `I came to the group even though I was nervous. I had no other hope left, but I took that positive step. I made marks on paper and surprised myself. I made a group of friends. I laughed, but thank goodness I cried. I opened my mind to some very powerful new ideas.'
  • 35. `I did not start in a good place, but there was always hope and an inner strength that dragged me up from the depths and made me carry on… I am so much better placed now to carry on with happiness and joy in my soul.'
  • 36. the willow When we arrived, the willow was new, fragile and fresh, giving life to a darkly fenced corner. It grew up with us, though nobody noticed. We didn't measure it and mark it on a wall each year. Yet every year it gave us new games to play, new places to hide, new creatures to discover. A hedgehog found in the leafy mush, insects and bugs rushing everywhere, a busy dog. It was a place he would take things to bury - tattered teddies, luminous socks, lumps of wood - all left for future dogs to find. The tree took its time, but eventually won, hiding the world beyond from our sight - the grey concrete of worn-out flats, the modern church with no soul.
  • 37. `One memorable time for me was when it was too hot to do anything and we went to the beach . . . . . . . we got to know each other a little better.'
  • 38. dune seven A desert landscape. Sand dunes at the end of arid planes. Salt white flats and crimson rust dunes Early morning ... say 8 Wind rushing and sand skimming over the surface ... silence! Nothing but slow movement of sand moving dunes over many years The tree in the middle of the flats, a lonely beacon More of the same and possibly a single track road trailing away A dune board and me flying free over sand Thin clouds bring a welcome cool to the otherwise hot dryness A site of life as a gull flies overhead The bottom approaches at speed with a tumble The journey restarts ... silent and smooth
  • 39. `My creativity was very hidden. (Now) I've discovered new paths, new people… … I've started to look at a new way of just launching into a drawing or sketch, by taking my sketchbook on walks instead of a camera… (Now) I can express myself well through my writing and painting, and it is as important for me as breathing.' `the Tree of Life project proved an exciting labour of love… of re-discovering, of re-membering… all those parts of myself I had forgotten…' `I relate to nature differently now, seeing trees in a new way, relishing the colours and shapes and nothing between me and them - there's a new openness, a new transparency.' `It has been on the side of life, and that is what matters.' `…putting pen to paper is so therapeutic and when I look back at what I've written I can see that it is not all despair, it is not all bleakness…'
  • 40. chocolate I NEED CHOCOLATE And when I say 'I need chocolate' I mean I NEED chocolate. OK. The Co-Op is my only option And the children are out So it's up to me. It's on special offer I've seen it advertised But I can't find it. I don't speak to people I don't know So I can't ask anyone. I still can't find it. Do I need it badly enough To ask someone? Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no. Yes, I will. And do you know, I did. And it wasn't as scary as I thought. And I got what I needed. 'Cos I NEEDED CHOCOLATE.
  • 41. bridport Beguiling, rustic market town Resting between rolling hills. Intriguing history and home to the Dagger; and who would have thought a Prestigious past port? Old ways, but new beginnings, this Rare Town ticks on.
  • 42. tortoiseshell tango cantaloupe amber tiger tiger's eye apricot people pekoe pumpkin pie birch bolete hawksbit zest juice chanterelle marmalade sunset tip mock tortoiseshell tango glow blossom carrot Cox pippin Penguin Books river peel flame mandarin OS maps Dettol Savlon Lucozade satsuma seville Sainsbury sunshade marigold goldfish ember chocolate kingfisher agent order Free State appetite Blenheim future squash saffron nasturtium clockwork tangerine neon
  • 43. the tree of life There it stands High above everything else Enormous. The tree is alive Ripe with love Elegant and Energetic Open branches call you over For it loves you Lie down and look up - Infinity and beyond - From the tree of life Endless pleasure.
  • 44. `it's been a very important three months for me… to help me move on, journey on to see myself more truthfully…'
  • 45. `maybe the best thing was the relationships with other people… it was that particular quality of sharing that mattered most… sharing, communicating, being heard… an organized and systematic sharing - listening - responding group of the Heart…'
  • 46. `The art was fun, the writing illuminating, and the walks were an opportunity to chat and generally enjoy ourselves.'
  • 47. `The course coincided with a period in my life when I was going through an enormous amount of change and uncertainty, which made me feel lost and without a framework… now I feel my creative side has been ignited. I have met some lovely creative and sensitive people who I'm keen to keep in touch with. Overall the course has been very enjoyable and challenging. I feel so much better than when I first started the course, so much more nurtured and nourished, as though I am at the beginning of remembering how to look after myself.'
  • 48. white…. dove, albatross, elephant, heather polar bear, sheep, unicorn, feather angel, star, lily, wedding, witch, rabbit, ivory, crisp bedding Pegasus, horse, clouds, pearly gates, collar, shirt, owl, dinner plates house, lie, wash, old age, Dover cliffs, surf, out, Dream Topping, blank page
  • 49. `I am glad I have experienced this day. My heart has felt joy again! I thought it was dead, but perhaps it was just dormant waiting for the right moment to start to grow and live, to enjoy and be enjoyed. Today, I have laughed - real, genuine laughter… There is too much sorrow - what has been and that which is yet to come, it is all around but that does not mean I must be sorrowful, sad and melancholy, depressed, miserable or low. There is joy and happiness all around, I need only open my eyes and my heart and let them take me… I thank Rosie, I thank Marc, your enthusiasm, encouragement and belief have rekindled hope, a glimpse of a new future, a path as yet unknown but one to be followed nonetheless, leading to a brighter happier life.'
  • 50. `I think my mood has brightened slightly - there is a fragment of lightness in my heart. The children are home. I have survived the leaving and the return - a million thoughts have come and gone, but one thing I know - for my children I can and will make it through. They deserve to be enabled to fulfill their lives, and with my capabilities I will do just that.'
  • 51. The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way... Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself. William Blake
  • 52. REACH Dorset 2009 can also be found on-line to view or download in PowerPoint or PDF formats. Visit http://www.slideshare.net/REACHDorset/reach-dorset-2009 For further information please contact: Rosie Jackson: writer & workshop leader www.rosiejackson.org.uk rosie@rosiejackson.org.uk Marc Yeats: visual artist, composer & workshop leader www.marc-yeats.co.uk www.myspace.com/marcyeats marc.yeats@btinternet.com Produced by REACH Dorset. Text edited by Rosie Jackson. Images edited by Marc Yeats. Original photographic images © Rosie Jackson . (except images marked indicating REACH participants). Design and layout: Marc Yeats. © Marc Yeats and Rosie Jackson 2009. © of original artwork and writing remains with REACH Dorset artists.