I last wrote in this blog back in May 2020, when the pandemic was just starting to hit its straps. Nothing much since has happened here on the blog, or elsewhere on my website. Meanwhile, much has gone on in the world.
Back then my archery practice had almost ground to a complete stop. Nine months later, that slide has definitely been reversed. I’ve moved from one neotrad archery tradition to one which is a little bit more actually trad. Out with the laminated American flatbows (a 20th century invention); in with things often (incorrectly) called ‘horsebows’ – Asiatic reflex bows made in the form of medieval Ottoman designs, but with modern material and techniques (laminated, some epoxy resin involved, reconstituted horn and sinew, etc.). Instead of the familiar Western (Mediterranean) draw with 3 fingers on the string and arrow on the inside (left side if you’re righthanded), now it’s thumb draw and the arrow is on the outside.
Suffice to say the time spent in learning the new ways and reading the rich philosophical and technical literature, translated from Ottoman Turkish, Persian and Arabic, has well and truly reignited my passion for archery. The other major benefit, as an aid to meditation, has helped me not go crazy during pandemic lockdowns, etc. Massively beneficial.
So now archery as a martial art with a philosophical and technical underpinning has paired up with the sheer joy I’ve always experienced of being out in the forest somewhere, at one with the bow and arrows, delighting in the sound of the bowstring as it launches the arrow. So simple, but so wonderful.
And photography hasn’t gone away. It just has to share the space … and the trad archery gear does look very photogenic … 😉
Images by me, unless otherwise credited; taken on either a Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 4a mobile phone (don’t tell my cameras !!).