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James Murray-White discovers in ‘Winged’, a new collection of words and images from fellow member James Roberts, a creative expression of the natural world’s ‘being-ness’ and a way for us to deepen our own presence within the more-than-human.

1,000 words: estimated reading time 4 minutes

Very very occasionally — and I really mean rarely — a piece of creativity or an aspect of someone’s inner world made tangible comes into our own perspective and halts us, stops the mental chatter, and becomes a tool to deepen our ways into the real earthly things inherent in our wonderful world.

Winged by James Roberts is such a collection of crafted joy. Words gathered, and images captured: a series of poems on twelve birds in flight, their presence observed and made art by this sensitive recorder and responder, and set loose again in the mind’s eye within this isle’s wild places. …


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“And we are put on this earth a little space that we might learn to bear the beams of love.”
William Blake

My time on Embercombe’s ‘Journey’ programme three years ago this Easter, gave rise to a whole new chapter of my life: a kind of unravelling into an beautifully spacious inner and outer rewilding.

If I needed to categorise this time, it would be something like — ‘searching for Indigineity within and without’, or ‘rewilding and resecrating myself to this land’. I love this word, ‘Resecration’ — first heard from my great friend Bell, an eco-therapist and soul guide, and the sense that it brings of returning to a sacred connection and appreciation of place, with our land. This sense of land as the holding space — our only deep and continuous physical connection in this human life — and that if we answer our inner calling though our life (or lifetimes), or as poet & philosopher David Whyte calls it; our “courageous conversation”, and “allowing ourselves to feel the troubledness of longing”, then that true calling is to land, and knowing by walking it, either on pilgrimage, perhaps in a voyage of renunciation of physical things, or deeply connecting by living in a forest, or a remote hermitage. …


James Murray-White reflects during the UK Lockdown on an extraordinary 15 years in film, as freelance, an Indie, and in Broadcast TV; shares some of his projects, and wonders what next, post corona-virus. This post has been initiated after a ‘emergency covid-19 grant’ from the BFI, funded by Netflicks.

“I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited”

“ A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own…


Rivers, Trees & Rewilding

RIVERS, TREES AND REWILDING:

Rewilding self and society on a stravaig about these Isles

First published in Stravaig, May 2020 :

http://www.geopoetics.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Stravaig-8-Mock-Up-Part-1-v2-5-May-pdf-3.pdf

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James Murray-White

SECTION ONE: FOX

Last night in Cambridge I felt lucky to see two foxes, maybe mother and son, at an outside bar. They came to scrounge around looking for human waste food — our throwaway, consumer-based society is destroying this planet, but in the process wild creatures like foxes are benefiting from our wastefulness. …


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James Murray-White reflects on the troubled times we find ourselves in under lockdown with Covid-19, and on what’s ahead for the Finding Blake film — and, with joy, to some extras we’re looking forward to sharing.

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Well, what strange times!

We know that Blake didn’t live through a pandemic, although he understood the coming of industry as the harbinger of the spiritual crisis in the West that started then and has brought us to this point today. …


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James Murray-White reflects on the troubled times we find ourselves in under lockdown with Covid-19, and on what’s ahead for the Finding Blake film — and, with joy, to some extras we’re looking forward to sharing.

Well, what strange times!

We know that Blake didn’t live through a pandemic, although he understood the coming of industry as the harbinger of the spiritual crisis in the West that started then and has brought us to this point today. …


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Filmmaker James-Murray-White shares his experience of some of the world’s desert places, and what the book Desert Quartet — an Erotic Landscape offers as a way into explorations of these places, of our sense of connectedness and self.

1,750 words: estimated reading time 7 minutes

“There is no separation between our bodies and the body of the earth.”
— Terry Tempest Williams, Desert Quartet — an Erotic Landscape

My partner Lucy is a child of the desert — indeed, we met in the Negev eleven years ago on a tour of Nabatean ruins (but that’s another story), and she’s recently returned from a top-up desert visit. Lucy has put me on to an extraordinary collection of writings and drawings: Desert Quartet — an Erotic Landscape, by Terry Tempest Williams and artist Mary Frank. A noted American nature writer, Williams — invoking the sensual lure and drama of the Colorado Plateau — dares to explore “what it might mean to make love to the land”. …


the Cambridge creative who’s grown a network of 7,000 rewilders James Murray-White is a Cambridge-based filmmaker and multimedia artist whose passion for rewilding resulted in his co-founding the Extinction Rebellion Rewilding Network last year, with nearly 7,000 members to date.

Growing up in Girton, James felt happiest in the edgelands, playing in the streams, fields, and wild spaces that used to be at the edge of this once rural South Cambridgeshire village. Now, he says most of those necessary edgelands, wildlife corridors and tree-full spaces are being built on as part of Cambridge’s relentless economic growth agenda.

“This growth agenda is pushing me out of the city I love,” he says, “but more important than that — the push to build upon every available bit of land, be it agricultural or brownfield site, like the once NIAB land and Chivers Orchard, now renamed Darwin Green, squeezes our human need to walk freely within the natural world, diminishes agricultural land and potential tree cover, as well as the very real threat to water supplies our local experts are talking about. …


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Finding Blake creator and filmmaker James Murray-White announces the completion of the film behind the project, reveals the trailer for the film, celebrates the inspiration behind this work — and asks what Blake would make of the changes we are seeing in the world today.

So — we have a film: a 90-minute feature doc, Finding Blake: meeting William Blake in the 21st Century, or — memorialising the vegetal ephemeral. It was completed, fittingly, on Valentine’s Day. And i t’s been a long labour of love — three years, and all my life and experience before that: poured into this.

It’s been a long wild ride. …


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To tell a tale of trees…..

I’m just back from a days hiking in the remaining sliver of ancient woodland in Somerset, Selwood Forest: it stetches from the Lion-imbued Longleat Estate down to the Stourhead Estate, and nudges on to the A303 at Penselwood and Zeals. It’s a mixture of different climate zones, and types of tree — large stands of beech sit on top of Roddenbury Hill, and at the other end spruce plantations dominate Witham Park and Gare Hill, with a few old majestic 19th Century red cedars at Stourhead, within falling distance of Alfred’s Tower.

I’ve been collecting ash and horse chestnut seeds, and just enjoying the space of the forest, watching and sensing. When I have my photographer/filmmaker hat on I watch how light falls, and today was a day for this, as the sky brightened and darkened, light fell at angles through branches, opening and closing what I could see and illuminating patches of bark, and shades of green, and one very vital yellow set of leaves high up in a beech. …

About

James Murray-White

writer/filmmaker: working on neuroscience & cognition, shamanism & natural world: culture & climate: http://sky-larking.co.uk

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