At our Culture Collective Open Space in November 2022, creative practitioners were invited by facilitators Improbable to ‘call a session’ on any topic they’d like to explore with others. Artist Lesley Wilson – who works with Aiseirigh on the Isle of Skye, called a session entitled ‘The power of drift’. What follows is a note of the recollections of those discussions, written by Lesley.

Photo credit: Lydia Smith, Miss Lydia Photography, @misslydiaphoto


The Power of Drift, by Lesley Wilson

The undertow of shoulds and musts
threaten to divert
to distract and exhaust.
A drift prescribed by the state
A time to sit
At home
And do
Without concern for anything other than
Following the rules
Except for those who had to
And work
and work some more
with those who were forgotten
Whilst living in a garage with no heat
on an island with no trees.

But for some
A time to stop
To dream
To meet yourself
And breathe with ease
And choose to do
As you please.
To drift
And to believe that
like an island whose trees
were lost
the drift will return them
To the shore.
Smoothed by the wild caress of a sea unknown
Along with a scattering of sea beans
Whose magic so powerful
Possession named you a witch

Danger and beauty
Magic and homecoming
Change and shift
The urge to swim against the tide
To escape the strong pull of the undertow
To return to the shore where you came from.
But perhaps
like the jelly fish
Who goes with the flow
You can learn
to trust the drift

Drift is to an artist
as air
as soil
it feeds
and leads
It holds you still
as fragments of thought are born
they come and go
and travel with the flow
to the place they’re meant to be
the place where they will see
this island is a home.