The Burn Flows into the Sea was an online writing event for grieving and remembrance, led by artist and writer Jane Walker. It took place in early November, and was part of the To Absent Friends festival.
Since 2020, we have all become more aware than ever of absent friends – those who have died, and those whom we have been unable to see, for whatever reason. Jane facilitated this event from a beach, and guided online participants to write memories of absent friends, thinking about the elements of fire and water. Using their prompts, she undertook a simple ceremony of ‘letting go’, floating a flower down the river to the sea, writing down words to give to the fire, and writing the names of absent friends on stones to be left face down by the river.
Here are a couple of pieces written as part of the event.
This grief, like a chain; the heaviness and the connection back to all the loss and hurt and isolation and difference. The deepest well of sadness but not despair. It is tempered by the beauty of a being and shiny faithfulness of a spirit, totally connected to my soul and my tears. Nothing and no one will ever take his place, not even joy. But I have hope that happiness will enter into the chink of light that he has left behind. Walking forever by my side, I have no doubts that he has opened the door to so much love and dedication. He knew he was loved and respected. What more can we ask? Connected to timeless spirit, to devotion and faithfulness. A gift beyond compare that I will carry, that will make the chain less noisy and clunky – eventually. Carrying hope, carrying my boy.
To an absent friend
For all the good memories, you always live in my heart
You were an inspiration and the fire shall burn forever
I am privileged to have known you
May your light shine in eternity
I miss you every day, every hour, every minute,
every second I breathe
The air flows through my lungs, every inch
is a wee bit of you
You touch me in the wind
You make me feel I am not alone
Living my life!
Jane facilitated a similar event in November 2020; you can read work from that day here.