And so the sun does set on the month of September. Clouds gather and the nights begin to close in, but still summer ardently clings on with all the anthropomorphised might it can muster. Twenty degree days see-saw with fog so thick it hides every facet of the world. Summer cannot hold on forever and soon we will find ourselves in thunder, lightning or in rain. Already I have seen the drifts of curling brown leaves begin to form in the nooks and crannies of the village. Whole armies of conker shells lie shattered upon the ground, their shiny brown charges spilled and exposed. The year edges ever onwards into its twilight and into darker times. Times where mystery, magic and the possibility of things distinctly other does not seem quite as far-fetched as it did at the height of summer. It is the time of witches, it is the time of The Crone.
When choosing this month’s image I couldn’t help but think of how it all started. A single, heart-wrenching picture of a young woman’s face. I wanted something in a similar vein. A picture that spoke to me in the same evocative way. In recent days the horrors of Syria have loomed large in our collective consciousness, as once again the west girds itself to plunge headlong and unthinkingly into war. It reminds us that the world is not a fair or safe place. That we are beset on all sides by danger, death, misery, inequity and wickedness. Yet somehow we find that tiny glimmer of hope, hiding in the dark. A hope that somehow lets us get on with our lives and keep on going.
The image itself isn’t from Syria specifically, but from Yemen and the anti-government protests of mid 2011. It’s an Associated Press photo taken by Muhammed Muheisen. It’s a face that has seen things and weathered the storm of life. And those eyes, so eerily blue, so piercing.
James Clayton – Crone Calls
The Rogue Verbumancer – Questions and Answers