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TITLE
'The Long Delirious Burning Blue' (2)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_SHARON_BLACKIE_02
DATE OF RECORDING
2008
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Sharon Blackie
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1443
KEYWORDS
audio
literary landscapes

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This audio extract is from 'The Long Delirious Burning Blue' by Sharon Blackie, published in 2008. It is read here by the author.

'The past clings to you, like a skin. The trick is to learn how to shed it. How to just sit back and let it happen: let the water rub your skin away; let the hot desert sun strip you back to the very bones. To the very essence of the story.

To the two of us, at last; alone in this tiny Cessna.

See the mountains stretching out there ahead of us, hard triangular edges protruding through the mist? See how they come into focus as we approach them - how they change from misty monocrome to full, glorious colour? They're so very different from the mountains around Pheonix. There are trees here, for one thing: geometric strips of forestry land stretching out across the landscape like great furry caterpillars. And there's water - lochans, scattered through the mountains like pieces of broken mirror, reflecting back the sky. Look down there now, as the earth slips away beneath us. Look at her; see how beautiful she is. See how she curves and bubbles and flows, raising herself up to the sky as she spreads on out to the west.

Yes, it's so very different from Pheonix. And it's Pheonix that is my home now, with its hard edges and hurting sunlight and everything crisp and clear. Home is no longer this green, milky, watery land. Pheonix and the desert and Jesse. That's my home and that's where I'll stay. Right where I crash-landed all those years ago, just one more stage in my perpetual flight from you. My exodus; my hejira. Do you see how far I ran that time? All the way to Arizona. Do you see, all those years, how I measured my progress in the distance I placed between us. Ah, but all that I was, I chose to become in complete opposition to you. Because it's a strong, tight cord that binds us together. And some connections can't be broken, no matter how hard you try.

We're right in the heart of the mountains now, and looking down into ink-blot lochs so clear you can almost see the brown trout playing on the bottom. But look over there - a solitary rain cloud. It floats in the sunlight, just like a mirage. Shall we fly on towards it, shall we fly, you and I, as we've so often done in the past? 'Cat,' you would say, your face drawn and suffering. 'I don't understand why you're always so angry with me.' Yes, the sky ahead is changing now, as it so easily does on this west Highland shore. And sooner or later the blue will transform to the colour of ashes as storm-clouds build up in the west.'

Sharon Blackie's roots are in the north-east of England and in Edinburgh, though she has travelled all over the world and lived in France, Ireland and America. She is now firmly attached to a lochside croft in the north-west Highlands of Scotland, where she lives with her husband, David - until very recently an RAF Tornado pilot - a golden retriever, a black cat, and a growing collection of livestock (including ten Hebridean sheep, three Roman geese, and thirty rare-breed hens).

Originally trained as a neuroscientist, Sharon has worked in a variety of corporate consultancy roles, practiced as a therapist, and is now a publisher, having established Two Ravens Press in November 2006. She has a degree in psychology, a PhD in neuroscience, and more recently she completed an MA in Creative Writing (awarded with distinction) from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Once upon a time in the American south-west Sharon struggled to obtain a pilot's licence to overcome a fear of flying. This experience became the foundation for her first novel, 'The Long Delirious Burning Blue' (2007).

Sharon is co-editor of 'Riptide: New Writing from the Highlands and Islands' (2007) and editor of 'Cleave: New Writing by Women in Scotland' (2008). She is also translator from the French of renowned Franco-American author Raymond Federman's memoir of and tribute to his friend, Samuel Beckett: 'The Sam Book' (2008).

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'The Long Delirious Burning Blue' (2)

2000s

audio; literary landscapes

Am Baile

Literary Landscapes: Sharon Blackie

This audio extract is from 'The Long Delirious Burning Blue' by Sharon Blackie, published in 2008. It is read here by the author.<br /> <br /> 'The past clings to you, like a skin. The trick is to learn how to shed it. How to just sit back and let it happen: let the water rub your skin away; let the hot desert sun strip you back to the very bones. To the very essence of the story. <br /> <br /> To the two of us, at last; alone in this tiny Cessna. <br /> <br /> See the mountains stretching out there ahead of us, hard triangular edges protruding through the mist? See how they come into focus as we approach them - how they change from misty monocrome to full, glorious colour? They're so very different from the mountains around Pheonix. There are trees here, for one thing: geometric strips of forestry land stretching out across the landscape like great furry caterpillars. And there's water - lochans, scattered through the mountains like pieces of broken mirror, reflecting back the sky. Look down there now, as the earth slips away beneath us. Look at her; see how beautiful she is. See how she curves and bubbles and flows, raising herself up to the sky as she spreads on out to the west. <br /> <br /> Yes, it's so very different from Pheonix. And it's Pheonix that is my home now, with its hard edges and hurting sunlight and everything crisp and clear. Home is no longer this green, milky, watery land. Pheonix and the desert and Jesse. That's my home and that's where I'll stay. Right where I crash-landed all those years ago, just one more stage in my perpetual flight from you. My exodus; my hejira. Do you see how far I ran that time? All the way to Arizona. Do you see, all those years, how I measured my progress in the distance I placed between us. Ah, but all that I was, I chose to become in complete opposition to you. Because it's a strong, tight cord that binds us together. And some connections can't be broken, no matter how hard you try. <br /> <br /> We're right in the heart of the mountains now, and looking down into ink-blot lochs so clear you can almost see the brown trout playing on the bottom. But look over there - a solitary rain cloud. It floats in the sunlight, just like a mirage. Shall we fly on towards it, shall we fly, you and I, as we've so often done in the past? 'Cat,' you would say, your face drawn and suffering. 'I don't understand why you're always so angry with me.' Yes, the sky ahead is changing now, as it so easily does on this west Highland shore. And sooner or later the blue will transform to the colour of ashes as storm-clouds build up in the west.' <br /> <br /> Sharon Blackie's roots are in the north-east of England and in Edinburgh, though she has travelled all over the world and lived in France, Ireland and America. She is now firmly attached to a lochside croft in the north-west Highlands of Scotland, where she lives with her husband, David - until very recently an RAF Tornado pilot - a golden retriever, a black cat, and a growing collection of livestock (including ten Hebridean sheep, three Roman geese, and thirty rare-breed hens).<br /> <br /> Originally trained as a neuroscientist, Sharon has worked in a variety of corporate consultancy roles, practiced as a therapist, and is now a publisher, having established Two Ravens Press in November 2006. She has a degree in psychology, a PhD in neuroscience, and more recently she completed an MA in Creative Writing (awarded with distinction) from Manchester Metropolitan University.<br /> <br /> Once upon a time in the American south-west Sharon struggled to obtain a pilot's licence to overcome a fear of flying. This experience became the foundation for her first novel, 'The Long Delirious Burning Blue' (2007).<br /> <br /> Sharon is co-editor of 'Riptide: New Writing from the Highlands and Islands' (2007) and editor of 'Cleave: New Writing by Women in Scotland' (2008). She is also translator from the French of renowned Franco-American author Raymond Federman's memoir of and tribute to his friend, Samuel Beckett: 'The Sam Book' (2008).