Column: Isle of Glass

The sky has begun to purple above Glastonbury. The water from the White Spring has mostly dried from my body by now, though I doubt this pair of socks will ever really be wearable again. My friend Claudia, her son, and I stand now at the bottom of a very tall hill, one that looms even larger in the Pagan imagination than it does in reality: Glastonbury Tor. I tell Claudia that it amazes me to see how well the tor hides itself: the path to the top begins at the cobbled street outside of the White Spring, but nothing advertises the hill except for a few small signs. It occurs to me that in America, something like the tor would have much more fanfare about it, or at least a dedicated parking lot, rather than the gravel lot down the block designated for the Draper Factory to which we trusted Claudia’s car, hoping that nobody would mind us parking there after hours.

Column: Red and White

The water in the Chalice Garden stains the rocks red. It falls from a tap in the shape of a lion’s head down onto a stone dais, and flows from there down a series of channels down the hill – and it runs red for the whole length of its course. Someone has left a glass beneath the tap, and so I take a drink, and then another. The flavor, a strange iron musk, overtakes me. I restrain myself from a third glass – in part because I imagine the iron I’ve already drunk will cause me problems on an empty stomach, and in part because, as I realize only after the second glass, I have no idea how many other lips have touched that glass since it last saw soap.