August 2020

Soul land

It is a period of wrapping things up in a wider sense of the beginning of the harvest season. To me it makes absolutely sense and after all is said and done what is left is a simple life, gratitude, people that we love, fulfilling work and creativity in every day with self-awareness, but not analysis. We are now done with analysis, I feel, and shifted towards moment-by-moment daily values and really breathing life in as it comes. This year has brought so many improvements to the ways things run, which is applicable to individual lives and the collective, and it is good to be able to look back and be grateful for having arrived at this point in the year and see how things were and how they are now through our own personal creation, tweaking, restructuring and letting things fall away as needed. The difference is huge. I am excited to start reaping the fruits/rewards of the seeds that I planted back in March. I remember that period of confusion, trepidation and nervous excitement of the unknown. Planting season always keeps me sane and grounded. Here we are with my land bursting with fresh organic produce that ends up on my plate and in my body. Very satisfying, indeed.

This summer for the first time in many years I am not depressed. I get seasonal summer depression (SAD in reverse) every year with no fail, but not this time. Instead I have been happy and noticed how I enjoy everything, however small, and gratitude has gone up a level also transforming to this shining light that doesn’t go out, but just accompanies me in everything that I do. I am able to be more and for longer and find it a lot more natural, up another level. I have learnt to stay in one place and be okay with it. I am slower and more intentional and what has been the most useful change is simplifying everything even more. For years I have had up to three jobs and multiple projects on the go all at the same time. I slowly reduced and culled in that area and this year it is the final alteration, I hope, to the whole work dynamic. I actually want to have just one job from here onwards – this is alien as you can imagine, but necessary. As always my way of living and being has been 100% intuitive and I attribute satisfactory results to my intuition, which I have never distrusted. I don’t know any other way to live at this point and it has truly changed my life many years ago when I stepped into understanding that my inner voice is the one I need to follow. My intuition is my magic.

My trip to Scotland this year has been utterly different too. I did wonder in the last year if things were going to change following a lot of work done on it last year and struggles and turmoil last summer. It did change in a very natural and gentle way. My predictions were correct and my work paid off. As I drove on empty roads in Argyll on the way to the islands I was surrounded by pine forests and wild flowers everywhere. I saw a cloak of grief not being there anymore. The lump in my throat was no longer there. I felt free, almost flying. I could finally exhale with ease. Sadness, overwhelm and confusion cleared up, evaporated and all I felt was the land just being there, unchanged, unshaken and blooming as usual. Immense comfort entered me and it remained unchanged for the duration of the trip. I felt happy every single day. I reached some sort of completion on my journey of seven years. The number, I realised, was significant, as every grief that comes my way is always intense and lasts for seven years exactly. This was no different.

Today I can say that the feeling of contentment and calm is here within me and very welcome it is too. Being back home is like slotting into a place that holds me. It is comfortable, snug and functional. It might not be my soul home, but it is a secure base, something I created and share with people that I love. There is beauty in that for sure. I look forward to autumn and winter immensely and getting back to writing and creating.

She calls

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I can hear her calling. Hardly there like a whisper it is carried by gentle wind. There is no force or vigour in that call, just a brush on my being making awareness known that she is waiting, she is there. There is comfort in knowing somewhere hundreds of miles away there is a place that exists and willing to accept you just as you are. It comes as a song, as the land sings in tunes that can be heard amidst its beauty. Every time I am alone in the wilderness, particularly near water, the song comes alive on my lips. It is such a natural feeling that I can’t help but pick up a tune and carry it through the land. It is an act of participation in the land’s dreaming, in its being state just as it is. I feel belonging in a way I can’t explain. It is a modest, humble way of being present; behaving in a way that does not possess, disturb or claim any rights to it and that is how the land wants it. It opens up in ways unexpected revealing the simplest, but the most stunning corners of its soul, be it in a rain drop on a blade of grass or a blanket of mist over loch in early hours. It is truly feminine on the whole, I feel, particularly in certain places. It is so on the Isle of Mull where I am going. There is no rush or anything planned, it is in the flow of any given day that the land is there for me to participate in and there is so much to discover through being with her.

It can be overwhelming so I feel nervous once again as the day of reunion approaches. It is that feeling of meeting a lover, someone utterly dear to your heart that you’ve been separated from for a while. It is the feeling we are all familiar with when we finally step into their embrace and it is both ecstatic and overwhelming and it takes time to ground in being together in the same place. I never know what to expect and try hard not to have any ideas preconceived by past experiences. My mind creates these states due to nervousness within me, which is completely natural. It is hard not to rush into feeling either and get swept away with it before the journey even begins, but again, that is also natural when going to a place that although non-human is animate to me in every sense. It has a distinct smell to me and it sounds in a particular way. Visual alone is all consuming and touching its skin being it stones, moss, heather or a surface of a loch often threatens to swallow me up through overload of emotions. It is fully alive within me and it is no surprise containing it all within little old me is difficult, but year after year I go, I participate, I learn and will continue for as long as I hear the song distant, but loud within my heart.

Soul Land review

From a Druid, writer and poet, Nimue Brown, the author of many wonderful books on nature-based spirituality, comes a review of my poetry collection. I am so pleased she enjoyed it.

I love how she framed them as Bardic songs, letters. So interesting, which makes it even more significant for me.

https://druidlife.wordpress.com/2020/07/19/soul-land-a-review/

SOUL LAND chapbook sale

Dear Guests and Friends,

Soul Land is available at a discount and author-signed paperback copies are available directly from me. Matching e-book price, which you can find on Amazon if you prefer ebooks.

soul land

ORDER HERE 

Soul Land – what people say

altar
Gratitude altar in honour of my soul’s work and expression

What people say:

“Thank you. Your book is so beautiful and a lovely read. Brave, raw, honest. You’ve got to me… I can’t stop thinking about Scotland. Your words are powerful. Thank you.” Christine, UK

“I have just picked up your book and just the first poem gave me shivers. That’s powerful and emotional. I am looking forward to reading more. Great work.” Roy, UK

NeonBooks Literary Magazine review: 

Review: Soul Land by Natalia Clarke

Publisher’s website reviews: 

Being a fan of poetry and also Scotland… (I live here) I had to read Soul Land.

Perfect for anyone who is after a quick read, who wants to find some peace and tranquil and who loves poetry and nature.

by Georgi


This poetry collection really was a love letter to Scotland and how the author feels about Scotland. There was some beautiful imagery and wonderful phrases that painted a picture of the wildness and beauty of Scotland.

I did really enjoy the poems and language, but wished it was a little longer. I would have loved to read more since I did feel it was a bit short. Still, a lot of the images inspired by her words were wonderful and definitely make you feel like you can see the landscape she’s describing.

by Deanne


I have just picked up a copy of Soul Land and just the first poem gave me shivers. That’s powerful and emotional. I am looking forward to reading more. Great work.

by Roy, UK


The book was a gift and is such a beautiful and lovely read. Brave, raw, honest. It got to me… I could not stop thinking about Scotland for days after. As I also love Scotland it resonated deeply with me and touched my soul. Powerful words.

by Christine


As an avid reader of poetry, I found this collection to be completely different from anything I’d previously read. This was my first time experiencing transpersonal poetry and at the very talented hands of Natalia Clarke, I’ve found it a most enjoyable one!

by Farah


I’ve read a decent amount of poetry, especially in the last couple of months, and Soul Land was very unique from all the others I’ve read. I really enjoyed how descriptive the poems were and the beautiful picture the author painted with each poem.

by Taylor


Calming nature poetry about Scotland that will make you want to pick up a walking stick and wander through Scotland’s beautiful landscape and relax your spirit.

by Hansruedi


Thanks so much for sending me a copy of your book!

I love your introduction and I can feel how much Scotland touches your soul through your words! I’m truly honoured that my painting connects with that feeling!

I love how you write! You write the way I feel!
Congratulations on your book and your poems are simply beautiful!!

by Ann Fullerton


Soul Land spoke to me and my love of Scotland. The pictures that Natalia Clarke’s poems paint in my eye made me long for a trip out into the Highlands.

by Sandra

Goodreads reviews: 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51458263-soul-land

Leave your comments on Amazon please, that would be wonderful

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B084SV6W29…

Isle of Mull whispers

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Isle of Mull, Scotland 2017

Outlines of Duart castle drew me in with its mossy and slate colours and ancient architecture. Like a hand of times long gone it stretched out to me across water standing in the rain on a ferry. Greens, pale blues and grey surround my senses and my heart leaps towards the land at a distance. I smell pines as I step off the ferry and quiet, oh so quiet. A bird tweets, invisible, and I catch the sound as a welcome home. My feet plant comfortably into the soil and I feel like running towards the forest, sea and be swallowed up by thundery sky overhead. I love the rain here. I barely notice it.

I know the place I want to go to, near Loch Don, not far, a piece of paradise silenced into simple yet magical beauty. A white cottage on a hill with deer surrounding it curiously poking their heads from behind its worn walls. Roses in the garden covered in glistening drops nicely quenched. I take my shoes off and walk towards the garden fence. Silence goes through me and I feel like flying. Next I want to melt into the place and become a stone, a blade of grass or a shell lying on a loch’s shore. Nowhere else I feel more a part of something beyond myself and deeply grounded in my own body. Here I remember who I am. That question gets answered every time the island calls and every time is like the first time I find myself again. It scares me how quickly I get lost when apart from this soul land and every time when it takes me back in I am born again. The process is both painful and ecstatic, distorted and transformational. It can be tiring too yet I wouldn’t change any of it. Wind’s gentle breath brushes my cheek and I inhale deeply the clean air from the land’s lungs. I fear to lose it, not to be part of it always, but I know that I find home here every time and that is hopeful, sweet, ‘balsam to a wound like’.

The house was to be sold and I am here to either say good bye to it or possess it for eternity…

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This came to me this morning just before Yule and I am so glad of it. There’s a promise in my vision.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your visions and intuitive glimpses during this beautiful time of darkness.