Landscape of the World


Landscape of the World

I have been jet-fuelled this past month since the first of April, which is April Fools after all. First, I had to finish a manuscript for Random House Canada, with a threshold of 50,000-70,000 words. The race ended with 64,300 and a heartthrob that my new baby was now delivered into the hands of strangers to survive in this cruel world.

A book is a creation. Words come from nowhere. Writing comes from the temple of the mind and to me is a sacred art. You do not write for yourself; you write for the world. That world could be very small, like the green ampitheatre of your garden, or it could be for the entire human herd.

This book, this new child of mine, comes distilled from the ancient world of Brehon – the bread and butter of the Celtic civilization. Brehon was a set of laws that bridged the oral culture of the Celts with the newly-fashioned written word. These words came from an alphabet based on sacred trees called the Ogham alphabet. This ‘lost’ alphabet of the Celts described as Indo-European is the parent to the Irish we speak today. My new book is about the words and thinking pattern of our ancestors. Its working title is The Celtic Connection.

On Friday, April 6th I was the keynote speaker for the 50th anniversary meeting of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. I stayed in Toronto at the Westin Harbour Castle hotel. I will admit that I had a wonderful time, even though it was short. It was not the food, it was not the hotel room – it was the people.

Here I will state my ignorance. I had never spoken to a professor before who mixed the sciences with art, and I have a raging fever for the arts. Everybody was so helpful, it made me sorry that I did not study landscape architecture myself when I was young. The Canadian Landscape Charter as a suite of documents is so impressive.

Call of the Forest was shown in Atlanta, Georgia and at Ryerson University. The film will be doing the rounds in the small towns around Ottawa in the next little while (visit for the full listings).

I really want to tell people that it is an urgent matter that we get as many people in-the-know about forests and climate change as possible. This is because I feel in my bones that we do not have much time left to fix our environment. So spread the DVD and the Tree Finder app. Share them amongst friends. 

My next port of call is the West Coast and Hollyhock on Cortes Island. Hold my hand – I will need your help. All of you.

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