Most of us today are as dislocated from wood as we are from the land. Our furniture comes flat-packed, made from chip board – just one sign of the technological, bureaucratic and consumer individualism that tears at our social and cultural fabric, and pretends that there is life without history, and without such time and resonant old names as are given us through wood.
This collection of prayers and poems has its roots in the Gaelic alphabet and in the tradition of understanding Christ as the Alpha and Omega, the Tree of Life. Alison Swinfen weaves these strands together with the history, qualities and lore of wood as it has been used traditionally in Scotland and across Europe. In so doing, she aims to bring us into a fresh relationship with the names, sounds and uses of wood and to reforest our imagination.
Alison Swinfen lives and works in Glasgow and is a member of the Iona Community. She is Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Glasgow where she is Director of the Centre for Studies in Faith, Culture and Education.