viridian_green: (cape hare)
The man the hare has met
will never be the better of it
except he lay down on the land
what he carries in his hand—
be it staff or be it bow—
and bless him with his elbow
and come out with this litany
with devotion and sincerity
to speak the praises of the hare.
Then the man will better fare.
 
'The hare, call him scotart,
big-fellow, bouchart,
the O'Hare, the jumper,
the rascal, the racer.
 
Beat-the-pad, white-face,
funk-the-ditch, shit-ass.
 
The wimount, the messer,
the skidaddler, the nibbler,
the ill-met, the slabber.
 
The quick-scut, the dew-flirt,
the grass-biter, the goibert,
the home-late, the do-the-dirt.
 
The starer, the wood-cat,
the purblind, the furze cat,
the skulker, the bleary-eyed,
the wall-eyed, the glance-aside
and also the hedge-springer.
 
The stubble-stag, the long lugs,
the stook-deer, the frisky legs,
the wild one, the skipper,
the hug-the-ground, the lurker, 
the race-the-wind, the skiver,
the shag-the-hare, the hedge-squatter,
the dew-hammer, the dew-hoppper,
the sit-tight, the grass-bounder,
the jig-foot, the earth-sitter,
the light-foot, the fern-sitter,
the kail-stag, the herb-cropper.
 
The creep-along, the sitter-still,
the pintail, the ring-the-hill,
the sudden start, 
the shake-the-heart,
the belly-white, 
the lambs-in-flight.
 
The gobshite, the gum-sucker,
the scare-the-man, the faith-breaker,
the snuff-the-ground, the baldy skull,
(his chief name is scoundrel.) 
 
The stag sprouting a suede horn, 
the creature living in the corn, 
the creature bearing all men's scorn, 
the creature no one dares to name.' 
 
When you have got all this said 
then the hare's strength has been laid. 
Then you might go faring forth— 
east and west and south and north, 
wherever you incline to go— 
but only if you're skilful too. 
And now, Sir Hare, good-day to you. 
God guide you to a how-d'ye-do 
with me: come to me dead 
in either onion broth or bread. 
 
- translated from anonymous Middle English lyric by Seamus Heaney
viridian_green: (Default)
Since I have never gone by my birth-name online (and almost certainly never will), over the years I've been known by various names in the collaborative writing communities and associated places where I've hung out. Many of those names were specific to a particular time and place and although I'll still answer to them (because nostalgia is my middle name) I grew out of them, or grew out of the person I was when I wore them.
 
Viridian Green was a name I chose for myself some 4 or 5 years ago as a baggage-free alternative to the pseudonymn I was best known by at the communities I was frequenting at that time - a tight and rather incestuous world whose appeal was starting to sour for me. I've switched to using it a lot more over the last year since it's become a name I feel comfortable with, a cross between a Craft name and a nom de plume/guerre.
 
At the time I first adopted Viridian Green as my pseudonym, I wasn't aware it was also the name of a design movement based on a bright green environmentalism philosophy*. Without even knowing they existed, I'd even unwittingly chosen the name for the same reason the Viridian movement chose it. Green is suggestive of nature and environmentalism, and yet viridian looks cold and not entirely natural. It's the colour of futurism and technology as much as it is of nature. It's the colour of sea serpents and cats' eyes, it's deep water beneath overhanging leaves along a river bank and C-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.
 
The Viridian Design Movement closed in 2008, but I am still here embracing my own personal manifesto.
 
 
* "We're Viridian Greens, the Viridian movement. That's because we're green, but there's something electrical and unnatural about our tinge of green. We're an art movement that looks like a mailing list, an ad campaign, a design team, an oppo research organization, a laboratory, and, perhaps most of all, we resemble a small feudal theocracy ruled with an iron hand by a Pope-Emperor." [http://www.viridiandesign.org/]
viridian_green: (Default)
I have been a proud dyed-in-the-wool atheist all my life, thanks to a father who believed religion was at the root of all the world’s ills. Unlike some atheists, while vehemently opposed to many traditional Christian beliefs and strictures, I don’t believe I was unduly bigoted about it – my best friend at school was devoutly Roman Catholic and I graciously succumbed to his mother tossing holy water over us both before we went out to play by the canal. Another friend became a Christian of the born-again tambourine-shaking Ned Flanders variety and I didn’t shun them. Growing up in a multicultural city, I was interested in the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim traditions of my friends and their families, but I never really got any spiritual cravings myself until much later, when dissatisfaction with the way certain aspects of my life were going made me realise I needed reassurance there was Something Bigger Than Me out there, some purpose to it all.

I dabbled with Wicca for a while, which was the trendy thing to do at the time. Wiccans have good marketing, but as a creed it didn’t suit me. I found the ceremonial aspects frankly theatrical (even, dare I say it, inadvertently comical) and I failed totally to relate to the earnest emphasis on goddesses and festivals and high magic. It all meant nothing to me personally.

What it did teach me was that I have no need for a structured religion. What I needed was a philosophy.

I have always believed strongly in some basic concepts. Nature, environment and heritage – these are things central to my personal belief system. I am not a blind follower of rules or teachers. Whereas some people find comfort and security in a religion that tells them exactly what to think, how to act and what to believe, personal choice in such things is important to me. I have an eclectic and enquiring mind, and whatever philosophy of life I follow must be an informal adventure that opens up a new world for me, not constrains the one I live in. It must look forward as well as back.

This brings me to the here and now.

I intend to follow the questing path – including all the detours and dead ends –  with an open mind and wherever it may lead me. No fixed destination in mind.

* Robert Louis Stevenson
** Maybe I should have named it Pathfinding for Dummies

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Viridian Green

April 2012

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