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Showing posts from August, 2015

loving the ugly sister

This is what I believe. That although a woman may be ugly, although her soul may be stained with all the wrongs she learned at her mother's knee or through her mother's genes, a prince still comes for her.

Beats his way through the dark forest for her.

Battles dragons, trawls the aching wind, searches and calls and longs for her.

That's what Love does. It loves. And it doesn't ever give up, or else it wouldn't be love.

The old fairy tales are women's tales, told by women for the secret education of women. And have you noticed, women understand violence. (Not just the violence of a man killing his wives and hanging them up behind a locked door, but also of the beast who forces a woman to stay with him until she accepts him, and of the parents who sell their daughter into marriage, and of a stepmother's jealousy.) Fairy tales are all about women recognising danger and holding themselves strong against it until love finds them.

But I believe Love will find ev…

for the love and tender care of women

The other night I was reading an old book when a pressed flower fell from its pages. My heart leapt a little at the loveliness of it. I'd forgotten there were flowers in that particular book.

The thing is, I hadn't left the pressed flower for my own sake. I'd never expected to read that book again; it was for future children to find. I am not often tender in such a way with myself.

So many women seem to have inherited the memory of a million mothers saying down the ages, "be a good servant and always put others first." We have an instinct to deny our own hunger when there's only one piece of pie remaining and someone else is sitting at the table. This is really a beautiful thing, and I for one honour that women have taken on the burden and the blessing of ensuring that other people get care and loving consideration.

But of course you know what follows. We must care for ourselves also. Not just so we remain strong and nourished in order to keep on serving oth…

stories from the river

I've writtenbefore about how I am a sky-inspired woman, drawn to the evocative distances between things. I personally do not relate to earthbound water, with its depths and the darkness with which it enfolds its secret stories. But there's a photographer who tells stories in the language of water, and I love her work.

I love the soul and rich, mystical power of it.

Michelle Gardella says photographing women in the river is not a choice for her ... not an idea or inspiration ...

"This is my bones. This is the song of my soul. These are the stories I was born to tell the way only I can tell them." 
I have come to understand more and more over the years how imagery can tell stories just as powerfully as words do. The best photographs are not just reproductions, they whisper their subjects' tales, and incite the wordless heart-tales of their viewers too. I am not good enough for that yet. The photos here on my weblog are usually snapshots, although, behind the scenes,…

wayside poetry

Some blog post titles are like tiny poems, drawing me in to the post as if I have caught one thread of a ribbon that might just lead to a secret magical garden.

Here are some I recently saw and loved ...

A life full of rain and wildflowers
Fingerpainting the moon
In the centre of my heart a star has appeared
Tales of a half-tamed land
Seeding the new moon heart
Wildwood light
When words become a song
Ghost forest
Catching stars in your cloak
My winged and fire-souled heart
I wade in the dawn
Birth of a new moon
The blackthorn beeing

You yourself are a poem, whether rushing wild words or a subtle whisper; you are a lyric in the song of the world.

for the love of things

I understand the modern movement towards minimalism. It is mindful, anti-commercial, kind to the environment, and I can even see that it has spiritual value for those who believe material existence is a bind. But here is my confession: I love things.

Antique illustrated story books.
White cotton nightgowns.
Crocheted cushion covers.
Rose gardens.
Chiffon dresses.
Comfy couches.

This world is always tugging on us, trying to unravel us. We are constantly told what to do, what to think and believe. It may come from the government or as a motivational quote on facebook. Clothing stores (for those who don't shop online) only provide what is currently in fashion. Entertainment is shaped by popularity (although hopefully indie publishing will help to reshape this over time.) Even houses are built to a trend-driven sensibility.

In this domineering milieu, I like to surround myself as much as possible with things that reinforce who I am, or who I most want to be. They serve as spirit mad…

to write with wonder and wish-fulfillment

I do believe I'm a writer because I love reading books. When I write, it's like reading at a whole deeper level. I get to see the goings-on beneath the words and learn more about the secrets of the characters. More often than not I forget I'm actually writing and proceed instead in wonder, because the only way I can read the story is to reveal its words on the blank page by typing.

One of the first pieces of advice I got as a novice writer (other than that it was an impossible dream which would see me starving in an attic) was that I should write what I know. Usually, this advice came from non-writers; I didn't actually know any real writers until I began meeting them on the internet. But I appreciated even as a teenager with an arthritic typewriter that "write what you know" is unhelpful, especially for those of us who tend towards the fantasy genre, but infact for every writer - mainly because it's misunderstood. Write from your own emotional experien…

romancing the heart

Today was supposed to be calm, but rain shook out of the sky, and cold crept up from the white floor of the world, and I was left wondering why we ever try to do more than simply open our doors to Life and see what it has brought us in this moment, and then the next moment ... why we don't fall in love over and again with the magic that continually unfolds?

My current bedtime novel is by Julia Quinn. She is the only romance writer I read. I like her books because they are funny, engaging, and simply good-natured. This probably makes them sound like light entertainment, but I personally believe there's a lot of rich value to be gained from simple good-naturedness. Reading about one of Julia's Bridgerton heroes, or about her lovely and complex heroines, lightens my spirit and gives me a warm feeling towards the world. That's a real blessing. Besides, Julia includes a fair bit of darkness in most of her stories - cruelty, grief, realistic worries. Somehow, though, it makes…

when you lack self-confidence

Do you ever have days when you don't feel confident? When you're unsure of yourself, or fragile, or nervous? I wonder why that's always seen as something to be overcome.

I am beginning to think that the ideal of self-confidence is something invented by extroverts.

Imagine if we embraced our uncertainty. If instead of bolstering ourselves with the determination to be self-confident, we instead wrapped ourselves in self-care, and went forth slowly, gently, with mindful steps. Of course we want to trust ourselves, believe in ourselves. I'm not proposing that we turn away from that. But maybe, on those days when we're feeling doubtful, hesitant, shy, anxious, it is worth considering just dwelling within that lack of confidence for a while. Honouring it. Listening to what it has to teach us.

For me, allowing uncertainty can lead to me looking after myself more thoughtfully. Instead of building my self-esteem, I deepen my self-care. I wear clothes which comfort me. Avoid…

holding space, embracing self

I wasn't going to write a post today, but I read something this afternoon which was so beautiful, and so wise, I now simply have to share it with you. I was introduced to the link through pinterest, which I feel proves what a blessing the internet can be if you set it up to support and enrich yourself.

In the article, Heather Plett writes beautifully about what it means to hold space for someone. She then offers advice in another lovely article on how to hold space for yourself.

"What does it mean to hold space for someone else? It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control." - Heather Plett.

Heather's articles made me think about how, over the past few years, dealing with various disruptive energies,…

the bee-wing moon

The early days of spring are like chiffon drifting against the cold, wrinkled skin of winter. I feel a smile tug at me and then fade again as the new season dances in, dances out, until I feel like I am dancing too because I turn and turn again to find it. Like the Mother, the earth, I am in love with the restless god. I love him when he's old and firelit and we can never know when he'll knock at our door, dressed in storms like rags, grinning like a moon that has cut a beautiful, painful scar of light into the night. I love him when he's young and laughing, luring, dangerous finally in the moment he gets you into some warm deep shadow and you realise there's no getting out again - you're blessed now, touched with the honey fragrance of the wild, tumbled, snagged, in love.

I call this moon the bee-wing moon because it seems gauzy, dreaming, and yet it reminds me of the rich magic in nature that floats up to shimmer like pollen or golden glitter on the sunlit air. K…