Where are you now?

 

I

I came across a similar quote to this quote a few years ago. Today I found this quote and it resonated with me.

Personal growth is so important but not something that perhaps we put enough effort into. Life happens and we can get caught up in the minute of everyday living. That is grand.

However, there is a need to give time and space for ourselves and for our growth. Assessing where we are at, and perhaps finding that one is in  the exact same spot as a year ago can be very demoralising.

Now I am not talking about monumental changes but changes that aid our personal well-being both mental and physical. There is a need to take stock. In my very first blog post I wrote about my five-year  clear out. It has been very cathartic. However the need to look at me personally needed a yearly “look at”.

Like  Kerry over in http://fabuliciousfifty.com who has written about “Word of the Year” I also used to choose a word for the year. However Kerry has brought it to a higher level. http://fabuliciousfifty.com/category/word-of-the-year/

For the last few years I have chosen my word of the year and the first day of each journal begins with the word for that year. The words have ranged from courage to smile, from start to accomplish. and so many other words in between.

By focusing on one word I have found that I have developed on a personal level. I can honestly say that the above quote is not me anymore. I am definitely not in the place I was this time last year nor this time 10 years ago.

Having the courage to change and the stamina to go with that change is incredibly empowering and once started on this journey there is no turning back.

 

Dance

Today April 29th is International Dance Day.

I enjoy watching people dance.  It is magical to see people effortlessly glide across a dance floor, or dancers performing intricate choreographed moves of a ballet.  The national dance of a country can inspire a sense of belonging.

I still am mesmerised when I watch a film with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.  So many musicals have wonderful dance sequences and usually I am left just dumb struck after watching them.

Let me tell you a story.  Many moons ago I attended a dance workshop.  A London West End choreographer was taking the workshop.  The workshop was based around the musical “The Boyfriend”.  The first day was difficult in fact that was an understatement. It was impossible but I persevered.  First thing on the second morning we were divided up. I was put into a group which started to work on the very first dance we had learnt. The steps were modified but the work rate was still intense.  It was exhausting but exhilarating when finally we were able to get through the dance routine.  However, as the day finished I was taken aside and the choreographer told me that I epitomised the term “two left feet”.

Naturally I was disappointed but truth be told I knew that although I had the rhythm in my head for some unknown reason it never quite reached my feet.  I think it is knowing that my dancing is pretty terrible that I am in awe when I see spectacular dance moves or see a couple effortlessly gliding around a dance floor.  I also know that what seems effortless is in fact many hundred of hours of practice and more practise.

Knowing that technically I can’t dance doesn’t prevent me from dancing in the kitchen when a certain piece of music comes on the radio.  Or when that foot tapping music starts which just invites one to dance.

 

 

Dance – Poem by Tatianna Rei Moonshadow

I’ll dance all night
I’ll dance the pain away
I’ll dance until the morning sun
Graces us with day

I’ll dance until I’m numb
Until I don’t feel anymore
I’ll dance until I’m gone
And don’t remember what I’m dancing for

I’ll dance until you love me
I’ll dance the rest of my life
I’ll dance until you return
By the moon’s gentle light

I’ll dance to the music
Of my shattering heart
I’ll dance until it doesn’t hurt
As you tear me apart

Suburbian Summer

A picture perfect azure sky with not a cloud to be seen heralded the first truly summer’s day of the year.  The temperature already was climbing into the 20’s and it was still early in the morning.

A small blue tit  is busily  having an early morning dip in the yellow bucket oblivious to the neighbour’s cat who is greedily eyeing it.  But, with a shake of his feathers the blue tit departs before the cat can even think of pouncing.  Disgusted the cat creeps back underneath the shade of the of the overhanging roof to await the next bird who would dare enter the garden.

Image result for free images of cat taking the shade

 

Neighbouring children are out playing, released at last from the confines of their houses.   Their imaginations running riot and soon they have found treasure or scored a goal in the world cup they are playing in.  Some have turned into princesses while others have moved Lego into the outdoors and continued to build what they have seen in their imagination.

Image result for free images of a vegetable garden

Another neighbour is working hard preparing garden plots for the new arrivals which he has ordered and are due to be delivered.  These plots will turn into a veritable dinning table of vegetables.  Peas climbing up bamboo poles, marrows grown for autumn harvest, carrots tenderly looked after to give that sweet taste and smell to summer dinners.  The soft fruit bushes have been protected from the winter frosts and are starting to bloom, with the promise of jam in the offing.

There is the sound of music.  It is not a radio.  The music is not familiar.  A beautiful bass voice begins to sing.  Yet again the language is unfamiliar.  The chords initially sound Image result for free images of music notesdiscordant but as the music continues, it gradually weaves itself into the life of garden suburbia.  Does this music come from central Europe?  Perhaps the Baltic?  Then again it could be eastern mediterranean.  It doesn’t really matter, it is part of this summers day.

Sitting beneath a large heavy linen parasol, hands  holding one of a number of daily cups of tea the sounds cast a soothing spell.  The stresses ease as the familiar and not so familiar sounds drift on the air. Yes, a summer’s day in suburbia can be just perfect.

 

 

I will try this book genre just one more time.

 

I love to read. I enjoy finding a new book on perhaps a subject I haven’t really looked at before and being drawn in.

There are books however that over the years I have detested.  Yes a strong word but aptly describing my feeling towards fairy tales.  Yes, fairy tales.  I can remember fairy tales being read to me, later reading them for myself and always being frightened by either the tales themselves or the illustrations.

Thinking back to those tales still sends a shiver down my spine.  I can remember receiving a book one Christmas entitled “The Stolen Child and Other Stories” by Sinéad Bean DeValera.  Although these were Irish based I was still scared.

Recently, I was given a bag of children’s books some first published in the 1970’s.  In among them  was a book ” Great Fairy Tales of Ireland” compiled by Mary McGarry.  After numerous pots of tea I finally finished the book but I never relaxed into the book.

I think I can safely say that I will not be reading any more fairy tales however, I would recommend any of the books by Sinéad Bean DeValera if you can find them.  Also “The Lucky Bag” a book of Irish children’s stories by various authors.

Another series of children’s books, set in County Wicklow and written by Cormac Mac Raois are “The Battle of Giltspur, Dance of the Midnight Fire, and Lightening over Giltspur”.  These are adventure books with gripping tales centred around three children Niamh and Daire Durkan and their cousin Rónán.  They are books which can be enjoyed by a reader of any age, yes even a sixty year old!

For those who are nature lovers then the trilogy “Run with the Wind“, “Run to Earth” and “Run Swift Run Free” by Tom McCaughren are beautifully crafted books with descriptive passages which immediately evoke images of the Irish countryside.

I am halfway through this wonderful bag of books and thanks to Marie, Sinéad and Trina I have many more hours of enjoyment ahead of me.

 

Education Ongoing

 

My knowledge of animals could be written on the back of a postage stamp.  I am not an animal person, never was and I don’t think I ever will be.  (Never say never though.)

I know cats are curious creatures by nature but I was always under the impression that cats hated water in all its forms.  Today I have been educated.

May I introduce to you Maggie, Ezra, Buttons and Bambi.  As you can see from these images these cats have proven me wrong. I was totally amazed while laughing at their antics.

 

My imagination went into overdrive………

 

tumblr_static_cat_silhouette_banner

“What is this white mass?” thought Maggie as she disdainfully surveyed her domain.  “She was the white goddess. Who had allowed her domain to be covered by this magical, white, soft slightly damp covering?  Where had it come from? Who dared to change her world?”, she fumed.  “Those humans were interfering again but, perhaps for once they have actually got it right.  But I will not let them know that,” as she smiled to herself.

Her thoughts were interrupted by Ezra.  “That stupid tabby” Maggie thought as she watched him trying to catch the snowflakes.  She wanted to try and catch snowflakes herself but there was no way she would allow anyone see her trying.  “A lady must have her standards” she mused.

Ezra meanwhile was having the time of his life.  He would get in some practise then invite the lads over for a game of Snowflake.  Some more time here on the steps then he would show them all tonight.  Ryecroft Rovers would trounce Hollybrook United and not before time.  Must round up the lads but first sustenance then a snooze.

Buttons stirred, whiskers twitched, something was just not right.  “Wake up Bambi something is definitely not right around here” as he prodded his sister.  Instantly alert Bambi looked around.  An eerie light was coming into the hallway.  “He’s right” she thought.  “It’s still night time” as she noticed the snores were still coming from the humans.  Stealthily the pair made their way down the stairs, through the kitchen and out into……

“What is this stuff” mewed Buttons while taking a sample.  “Not bad as he sampled a snowflake.  With just a look passing between the two cats they decided to make their way across the garden and up onto the food table where they would be able to survey their world. 

They took a step and suddenly the ground gave way. The two cats were covered by a cold wet soft ticklish something.  Bambi started to sneeze while Buttons butted at it, but to no avail.  They caught each other’s eye and started to laugh.  Trying to hit this white stuff was fun and rolling in it was making their coats turn white.  A fresh flurry of snow tired these two out. So, they crept back to the kitchen step shook their coats clear and silently made their way back into the warmth of the house: unaware that a little boy had been laughing at their antics and hoping that he could play with them tomorrow.

 

images


 

 

 

 

Warmth, Vanity or Just

“Baby it’s cold outside” as the song goes and today it is bitter.  We have had an unusally cold winter here in Ireland.  Perhaps in comparison to other countries it is not bad but for us it has been cold.

At the moment there is a severe orange warning for the country with below zero temperatures and snow forecast.  I am sure two of my friends one in Greenland and one in Germany are finding this very funny.  Especially when I think of the temperatures they both endure and the volume of snow that recently enveloped Greenland.

There is however a plus side to this weather.  Clothes shopping I see as a necessary chore.  In fact give me house work any day.  Now there are exceptions to any rule and for me hats, bags and occasionally shoes break that shopping chore.

While in Boston many years ago I splurged on a “Dr. Zhivago” type hat.  Then a few years ago I had hat made for me by Sarah McGahan, milliner,  in sheepskin.  Prior to this winter these hats were just too warm but now I have a choice of what hat to wear.

It is amazing how a hat can make one feel.  It is similar to that feeling one has while wearing those special shoes.  Suddenly I walk with a straight back, feel as if I can conquer the world and generally feel good.

 

IMAG0899[1]

 

With my Dr. Zhivago on  I am on top of the world.  My red Finish hat and I want to laugh and smile.  My Sarah Mc Gahan hat and I am an explorer heading out looking for adventure.  My blue closh hat and thanks to Úna I feel like a lady from the Art Nouveau period.

Being 60 has empowered me to wear the hats I love, even though to many hats are a thing of the past.  Together with the change in climate my love of hats can develop even further.

 

 

 

 

 

Found

My post yesterday entitled “Smile” featured an image of a sketch depicting a girl with an umbrella.  It was a very happy uplifting image but I hadn’t been able to find the artist’s name

Thanks to a friend of mine Kay I have now found out that the artist is Molly Hahn.

Molly Hahn is a catoonist based in California and she is known for her daily comic “Buddha Doodles”

She began these sketch doodles as a daily daily meditative practice and gradually found that people wanted to see more of them.  So she started posting “Buddha Doodles”on line at http://www.buddhadoodles.com

Molly Hahn has published a number of books including Buddha Doodles Gratitude Journal : Cultivate Love and Buddha Doodles Gratitude Journal: Shinning Your Light.

Even though it seems I am very late in getting to know Molly Hahn’s work , I am thankful to have found another inspirational artist. Where would we be without them?