The Green Cathedral

The Green Cathedral is a place, a series of places, a philosophy, a feeling, a mind-set, a movement, a lack of movement, a meditation. Many meditations. It is walking and running, sitting and seeing.

It is a phrase I find myself returning to and which, over thousands of miles of wandering, has risen from the subconscious to become a recurring motif in the novels, poems and short stories that I have published over the last half decade or so.

The Green Cathedral represents the sacred places, the silent spaces. It elevates the natural landscape to the respectful position it deserves.

It replaces doctrine and dogma. The Green Cathedral recognises the ruins of the past as part of present and future narratives. It attempts to recalibrate the senses and reconsider time. It celebrates the joy of the rural reverie. It is in all countries. It is open to everyone.

These images and words attempt to fleetingly capture the essence of The Green Cathedral.

Screenshot 2015-07-06 at 11.19.29

Out of the wood:
shot like a bullet
from the gun
of history –
a hare.

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Screenshot 2015-07-08 at 10.15.03

Everything
begins and
ends in fire.

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.

 

Screenshot 2015-07-08 at 10.16.55

Forever alive
in the corner of your eye
a salmon spins
the air.

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Screenshot 2015-07-08 at 10.18.37

Chisel
beats
digital.

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Screenshot 2015-07-08 at 10.20.10

Go nowhere
and
stay there.

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Screenshot 2015-07-08 at 10.22.07

‘All of us have a place in history.
Mine is clouds.’

– Richard Brautigan

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Screenshot 2015-07-08 at 10.24.25

A neighbour, a woman of maturing age, tells me of a childhood lived on
the edge of the moor. ‘Strange things happened up there,’ she says.
‘Once I woke to a circle of stagmen dancing around my room.
I can still see them now, as clear as day. Men, with the
heads of stags. Their breath in the air. Their feet
on the floorboards. Moonlight. Dancing.
The moors are strange.
The moors are
special.’

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Screenshot 2015-07-08 at 10.26.20

Borders and boundaries
mark only impermanence.

Wires rust. Walls fall.
Fences become futile.

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Screenshot 2015-07-08 at 10.27.27

‘Oh, the water, how it enfolds –
the salt, the taste,
the gorgeous undertow…’

‘Carrion’ – British Sea Power

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Screenshot 2015-07-08 at 10.28.43

A soft summer
pine-drunk
sleep
in
the
green
cathedral.

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Screenshot 2015-07-08 at 10.29.58

Climbing trailing
creeping binding;

Hedera helix
poison ifig

bindwood
lovestone.

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Screenshot 2015-07-08 at 10.43.48

…and in the cromlech,
the bones of England…

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Screenshot 2015-07-08 at 10.44.50

One day
all will
be moss.

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Benjamin Myers is an award-winning writer. His novels include Beastings (2014), Pig Iron (2012) and Richard (2010). He lives in the Upper Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, UK. www.benmyers.com

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7 thoughts on “The Green Cathedral

  1. A simultaneous tingling and stillness of awe enveloped me as I experienced your photographs and poetry. I am grateful.

  2. Greetings from Todmorden – I felt like there was something vaguely familiar about some of the things in these pictures, and it turns out that it’s probably the Calder valley air!

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