In a damp autumn moment in the garden I declared “I love watching slugs”, and for undending amounts of time I would. Playing with worms too, watching them throbbing and stretching out to find their next destination. It seemed kind at this point to place the worms back into the earth, as I had displaced them from the comfort of mulch in browing old leaf piles. Watching the worm burrow and slowly convulse into the deep brown, I felt envy. A desire myself to feel through the ground, to be enrobed in the dirt and wade through.
Inspired by a slip I had whilst walking near my home, falling into a viscous and syrupy puddle of mud, and being promptly in distress about the alarming amouts of plastic poking through the ground. Disgust prompted by how proud the plastic would lay there at my eye level. Disconnected. From organic colours, or shapes, or decay.
I’ve never witnessed plastic die in my lifetime and I probably won’t ever.
So if one family of cells refuses to break down, and is only crafted through the violent extraction of ancient cells, from before a time where our present agreements of decay were fathomable. What act of reckoning can acount for disrupting beings from times deeply far away? What gestures could even justly account for the resurrection from deep burial? The vibrations of vengeful ancestors past is an inexplicable experience. Whether we know their remnants in our below conscious reasoning and fears, or perhaps when we meet our ancestors in loud and explicit ways. Their influence is forever ready to be drawn upon in latent and uncanny ways. So I wonder, would I have wrathful lessons and enraged conversations with my own descendants? Would my dissolved essence carry a frequency in tune with different type of earth?
It sometimes feels like the only way I know how to connect with the earth is cannibalising it. Digging my hands through patches of grass, salivating at the prospects below the surface and feeling squishy clay like dirt. But the back garden of my parents home was never enough, a santistised space covered in lawn, and the woods filled with public paths to schools and roadside too polluted to even entertain.
My drawn out urban commute forces me to fetishise the vallleys and glacial ghosts which mark the trainline. There lies the moorlands. They hold aged mystery and horrors. A pulling force seeking new visitors and punishing trespassers all the while.
Walking stretches with friends and imagined lovers in tall grass, my mind sectioned off the deaths and the murders, wails from walkers who straddled too far, slowly decomposing under puddles of the bog. We were warned before we stretched our legs, not to veer from the seasoned path. Still ignoring all things sage, except for the herb, beliveing that what was trodden under our feet was what was to be conquered and discovered. How we were wrong…
Despite our feet endlessly veering, to try and escape from those absorbent pits in the grass, the land knew exactly how to allure you into her web. Keeping you trapped amongst the puddles. On a particulary sunny and picturesque yarn, Life and I created our own myths of land, provoked by the golden mushrooms we’d slipped by, and the murky resevoirs which just seemed a little too unsightly to dip into. Which spirits of the land had tricked simple humans like us in the past? Our curious children who exchanged their honest curioisity for the fertility of our patch? It was pretty fitting that we had fired out the baby names we lusted over, and how sage couldn’t simply be a namesake, but a protective spell from potential danger lurking under the peat.
I still hear those stories when I pass by on the train, rising peaks fog up the windows as we drive through the peninnes. But anytime I’m sleepy and suggestible enough, thats when I see the verterbates of the hills rippling, waiting to be truly awoken from slumber. What great gods I wonder are waiting under the blankets of moss, spread across the moors. When they say gods own country, do they mean that the vengenent gods of old testament? Satiated only by the blood spilled in centuries past. I fear we may run out of blood soon.
The last time I went walking in those hills, sitting and watching dancing blonded grass, I felt the peaks wink at me. Every warning sign that put up about the safer paths to take, leads to a gentle tap on the ancient god’s shoulders, reminding them to wake up and claim whats theirs. Fear is Hurston’s most divine emotion, and sheep just keep going missing. My legs quake everytime I think it’s my sacrificial time, so I pull out my mooncup and splatter blood across the landscape. Most of it hits the ground, but some stays on my fingers and I know that this alone isnt enough, the earth waits patiently for bodies of my children.