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Where to look now?

There is a climate *insert your preferred word* happening. The word you choose will speak of your

relationship to these times, these experiences we are going through. But it will not be the last word. The prompt this season will, I hope, give you a way of slowing down and breathing, a way to just be and from there feel and maybe then write and think.

Watch your words: Look at the words you are using to describe the moment you find yourself and the rest of the global community in at the moment. Check the etymology of those words. Where something has come from can tell us something of where it might be going. And then let us look at the cognates and words with similar meanings in languages we know or rub up against in our lives.

Look around you: In the English language we regards the past as behind us, but this is not so in all languages. For a moment let us delve into texts from earlier times, many freely available online. How do writers speak of the environment? How do they describe nature? How do characters move around, experience the natural world? Can you choose words or phrases which resonate with you or which seem to be so alien to you and play with the energy these words generate in your work?

Be: If you can, take your body to a place you can sit and be. Is there something growing and alive near you? Imagine it is observing you. Spend time with this idea. Free write.

Texts which spring to my mind are Thomas Hardy's novels, the vachana of Mahadeviakka and Lal Ded, Beowulf, Cuírt an Mheán Oíche...but I am sure you have a wide variety you can delve into. There were once dense forests, teeming seas, thriving ecosystems. We cannot return to the past but we can imagine a future in which there is a life worth living for all of us.

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