Metamorphosis ONE - the Luminate Festival 2019

Posted on 30th April, 2019

Day One 



Andrew Foley  - illustrator based in Scotland 's Southern Uplands



by Jean Edmiston


After the glass mountain --


Bear woke from a long sleep, some say a sleep of seven hundred years and she was spirit bear.

She looked out of her cave deep under the ice glass mountain, and everything was changing.


She saw still the marks where the woman with iron boots had climbed up, up and far.

Bear had watched the woman from her dreams deep in the ice, watched her through the blue ice glass that moved and moved.

She was strong that woman - working beside the blacksmith for seven years. 


The bear dreamed again for a moment. 


What a story that would have been, the woman and the blacksmith, fire and iron, and their cubs, many cubs looking after the forest, guarding the mountain. 

‘I don’t know where she went or what became of her, but a whisper trapped in the ice said she found her own true love and lived happily ever after. 


I do not know. But the blacksmith grieved for her - oh how he grieved that blacksmith. His cries of despair woke me from my sleep. 


The fire in the forge was cold now, and the blacksmith turned his back on the forest and the mountain and died. I gathered his bones and the iron. I kept them close whilst I slept.’


Bear shook away the memories and the dreams and opened her eyes. 


Bear came out of the cave and looked up, the ice glass mountain was melting, the forest was dying.


Bear broke off a piece of the ice glass, inside it she could see other spirit creatures sleeping as she had done. She swallowed the ice and drank the melt water and the creatures. Now they were safe inside her.


She pulled up the forest and wrapped it round her like a cloak. 


She pulled down a piece of the sky and placed it on her head like a crown. She wore a belt of bones threaded on iron around her waist 



Bear walked away from the dying forest, the melting ice glass mountain. She had to hurry now to find a new place where the creatures inside her could be free and where the forest could grow.


She passed the ruined castle where the woman and her black bull had lived out their lives. No dreams here. The land was green, there were walls and fences, no place for a bear and a forest, and on and on she walked, high into the hills. 


Now here on the highest place where there were only hares and lapwings, the song of the curlew, the bear laid down to rest.

She opened her mouth, breathed out and the creatures inside her emerged.        


The forest cloak settled and grew, spreading quickly and the creatures found their homes. 

The sky over them was filled with ancient stars.

The blacksmith and the bear woman built a cabin, and their cubs cared for the land and the forest.

The spirit bear smiled in her sleep, deep under the ground, dreaming again.
  Jean and Susie Howie will be telling stories and sharing experiences gathered over the years through Wigtown Festival's 'Give Voice' project at Wigtown's Spring Book Weekend - 4th May - 2.00 -3.00 pm in The Print Room. Free but booking essential. 




Embers Kelly Davis


The burning embers lying in a fire

Must all transmute to ash to feed the flame.

So humble bricks pile up to build a spire.

If no one loses, no one wins the game.

In life is death, the ghost within the child.

The mirror does not lie; the years will pass,

Through summers warm, and winters chill and wild,

Till all that is becomes no more than grass.

You may believe you are a special case,

The rules of time do not apply to you.

That might seem true when youth glows in your face

But later on you’ll find you’re in a queue.

For what, you ask? One hopes, a peaceful death,

And – say it soft – an easy final breath.











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