Wondering Wednesday – drawn to Cornwall

 

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Scryfa is a collection of contemporary Cornish writing that I discovered at an art and craft exhibition on Bodmin Moor today. One of the authors, Liz Luck, writes about Cornwall in a way which is deeply resonant:
Why does Cornwall feel different? Why does my heart catch and lift when crossing the Tamar heading west? … Leaving aside the emotion – the loe and the pride – it is still possible to identify and rationalise the sense of difference that Cornish people feel about Cornwall. You can pick out its curious elements, echoes of which may have settled in the memories of people far away, people who have never been here. It has a different history; you can feel it even if you know nothing of Cornwall’s Celtic past, its ancient sea links with Mediterranean civilization, its sense of separateness from England, and its long resistance to Roman and Anglo-Saxon (and later) influences from over the Tamar. There are plenty of clues to be found today in the clearly un-English place names on every map and signpost; the mysterious saints that gave their names to isolated churches; the patterns of fields and hedges in lanes, stone circles, crosses and megalithic tombs, the black and white flag flying above public buildings. … Cornwall is nearly an island and everything, everywhere is affected by the sea. Up on Bodmin Moor you might be in the middle of the landmass, but you can see slivers of light on both coasts. Even when you can’t actually see the sea, when you’re down in a hollow or a deep, dark lane somewhere, you can still sense it nearby, smell its salt in the air; it lightens the sky and it stiffens the wind…

I appreciate the writing style – one of the things that is important to me as someone who enjoys writing a little is reading other people’s writing and learning from that too.

I don’t know why I am so drawn to Cornwall, but it feels like a thin place to me, I am refreshed and regenerated by being here – by the sea, the river, the moor…
However, I look forward to returning to Birmingham as that is home and the place I am meant to be…

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