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Showing posts from July, 2015

a flower-strewn diary

The peace of old winter is mingling with lovely little chimes of spring. I literally gasped when I entered a driveway I hadn't visited for a couple of weeks and found it queened over by magnolia flowers. The person who was with me smiled happily; they had known what I'd see, and left it as a beautiful surprise for me.

I managed to get one photograph before having to hurry along - because although the sky in the picture is bright blue ...

... right behind us was a thunderstorm.

(That image has not been altered to black and white.)

Small roadside bushes are also beginning to flower, and lately I've come home with stems of lavender and pink manuka and - er, other pink flowers whose name I don't know. Saturday is Imbolc, the quickening of the year. I've been bringing paperwhites in from my own garden.

It's still cardigan and coat weather, however.

Today I made cinnamon scrolls for afternoon tea. The recipe is very simple. I used one and a half cups of flour, 25g bu…

comfort and consolation

I am a visual person, so pinterest has been a wonderful source for me, not only serving me creatively but also therapeutically. I find myself going there when I am out of sorts, so that I may soak up the loveliness of my collected images. Afterwards, my heart feels softened and my body dreams it is gently dancing.

credits: 1, 2, 3, 4

I tend to move in and out of two moods, the subtle and the soft, the wild and the peaceful. But when I am feeling tender, it is always the soft, the peaceful, I go to for comfort.

It is the same (although slightly less so) with books. Last night, for example, I drew out my old copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel and luxuriated in a couple of scenes from it. The begads and zooks and the sweetness of Marguerite's dear little toes do annoy me, but really it is one of the most wonderful romances, and Percy is one of my favourite heroes, despite his inability to talk like a real man. (Don't you agree someone should make this book into an updated movie? Same …

healing our place in nature

I think I've said this before. I guess that shows I really mean it. What I've said : that I don't like being told to love nature. I don't think wisdom or healing lies that way. Yes, of course love nature because it's wild and beautiful and mesmerising - but not as a woman will hold up a crystal swan, or a book of poems, and love them. Because we do not hold nature; we do not look in at it. We ourselves, we are nature.

I think we need to stop visiting nature, admiring it, loving it, wanting to protect it. I'm talking here about language and perspective. I think instead we need to start communicating with our fellow elements of nature, reweaving our broken bonds, and balancing once again our place in the world. Not just as a community, but individually - spiritually, physically. (And not just as individuals, but in community too. Because people are a forest, after all.)

For me, I love what nature loves : the nourishment and guidance it gets from the sun and the d…

poetry and secret pound cake

The sky fills the world today, singing, raining. I am up to my elbows in storm and tea and story, so only have links and random thoughts to offer you today. I hope you find something here which brings you value.

As you know, I am wary of the gratitude movement, because although it obviously has benefits, and we of course should be more positive and thankful in our outlook, to make a daily conscious practice of it seems perhaps to focus overly on the self? I know I am the only person saying this, however.

Imagine if we all made THIS our daily conscious practice instead.

Inequality does exist.

Nineteen photographs of human impact on the planet. When I look at those cities and think of the individuals living within them, I wonder what voices are going unheard, what soul beauty is lost in the thicket of concrete and plywood.

If only we could talk to each other, make spirit roads for each other, inpoetry.

Did you know that mice sing love songs to each other? Did you know that vegetarian diet…

the sky behind my bones

I went out in the last light of the day, the time that always seems to me like a Robert Frost poem, lovely and just a little melancholy. I came home in the dark. Only two bright stars were visible, too bright for beauty. And the sky, so black and cold, was stiff with silence. I was glad to get home.

But at home I felt the darkness and the cold linger within me, as if I had a night sky behind my bones. And for all the river dragons and leshys that live on this plain, it seemed far too empty for comfort. The emptiness of wide spaces and the air above the sea.

I'd rather have an old hill sky, tumbled up with stones and forests, shy-eyed witches and gnomes; the sort of sky that has risen out of shadowy tree roots and secretive vintage storybooks. But I think for a while I'm bound to be dreaming of the sea and the silence. The dark side of peace.

(Have I shared with you the photography of Vivienne Mok? I can't remember. It's ethereally beautiful; reminiscent of David Hamilt…

at the start of the relationship

For me, there are two ways a story might begin. The first way, words tumble onto the screen without any thought of where your fingers have gone over the keyboard. I like that way. I appreciate the magic of it as much as the ease.

The second is slower, harder. You have to try every word carefully, with an uncertainty that is both frightening and beautiful, as if you're learning about a person by touching them bit by bit. I like that way too. I wish mostly to experience the first method, since it's almost effortless and I'm lazy. But the tenderness of the second, the moments when you realise you've been holding your breath and, as you let it out in a quiet sigh, the story begins to settle more deeply in your mind; and the moments when you shiver gently because the story has touched you in return ...

There is enchantment in work as much as there is in inspiration.

Outside my window, the world has gone to winter gold. Little birds are singing and scrounging in my garden. A…

in support of loveliness

Lately I have been soaking up loveliness, and noticing the influence it has on me in many ways. When the mind is full of beautiful images, charmed thoughts, it's easier to go contentedly through the world.

I wonder if all the violence and horror on tv creates stress for human bodies and their unconscious minds. I started watching an action movie the other night but it was so brutal, I had to turn it off. For a couple of days afterwards, I found myself alert for violent scenes in everything else I watched - including comedies. It made me question whether witnessing brutality over and again on tv traumatises people on some level.

I know many people think loveliness equates to weakness or silliness - as if a clever person couldn't possibly love lace and peonies, or a strong woman wouldn't ever wear chiffon. I've written about this before. I think it's sad some of us scoff at pretty gentleness, or relegate it to the sphere of the older woman, which is so misogynistic.