Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Poetry Thursday.

Perhaps by next week, I will have written a poem that meets the suggestion for this week. This one comes somewhere towards fitting it, in that the title is a phrase I find myself using from time to time.


And if the season’s clock jams up,
and every day I wake expecting
buds to break, and nothing happens,

and if each evening while I’m fixing dinner,
I glance outside, waiting for the evening’s stretch
to start to show, and find that I still
can’t see the bird-table any more – dark
falling early, early,

and if I never get the chance again
to hang the laundry in the air,
feel the first stir of warmth, the new breath
of spring,

I would feel paralysed,
suffocated, buried in this space here
between winter and spring, locked in
a perpetual maybe, stuck in a place of longing,

with no release, pining
for a brightness I’d never see,
aching for a day when I could
turn my face up to sunshine, for a day
when I could feel the world
turn into summer.

More Poetry Thursday poems HERE.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Music - Sunday Scribblings

This week's theme at Sunday Scribblings is Music. Here is my 7-minute scribble.......

This is the music of my day today: Now, the washing-machine swish from the outside room; the hum of computer and the clink, clink sounds as my sister plays at the computer in the study; hiss of gas flame and rolling boil while the eggs cook for lunch. Outside, traffic is humming on its lazy Sunday way to the beach. The bells have finished ringing and I haven't heard a plane pass over in the last half-hour. But that will be part of the day again.

Earlier, in the garden, two passing herons called Aurk, Aurk at one another, a drawn-out croak that I knew wasn't a crow; little birds chip at the day, and my honeysuckle draws and shelters the hum of bees.

Any day will have the tap-tap of Trixie's claws on the floor as she does her routine patrol, sniffing out newcomers, new smells; and her grunts and snuffles, her occasional bark. My days are interrupted often with the chime of mobile phone, the ding-dong that tells me I have mail, the buzz and hum of technology as a backdrop.

Now, the chant of next-door's children rings out. Nonsense words, full of meaning, over and over, the song for hill-rolling, the song for bubble-chasing.

My life's music is a kaleidoscope shifting and changing. It is heartbeat and breath, nails tapping and the swish of fingers moving through hair; the scratch of pen on paper and the rustle of turning pages. it is the sizzle of food cooking; the clank of fork on stone as soil is turned. My life is never silent. My life is full of such music.

More Sunday Scribblings HERE

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Poetry Thursday......Love/Hate

The theme offered this week at Poetry Thursday is words we love/hate. I'm not sure about hating this word, but I know I have difficulty with it, so the poem I'm sharing this week is one about a word - END - which is included in the poem. I wrote it the day it finally became clear that my marriage was, indeed, over.

This is the bone of a word,
the knuckle, the marrow,
the bare white hardness of it:
___ END

This is the word I dare not speak
for fear of the flesh it might take on,
the way it might start to shamble
through my life:
____ END

This is the word I have feared,
though it has been rotting
under the floorboards of my life,
putrefying for years,
making me take the shallowest breaths,
the tiniest sips of air.
___ END

For more Poetry Thursday offerings, go HERE

Monday, June 19, 2006

One Deep Breath - Haiku

A garden path's crack

shelters one stray viola

today's perfect gift

More Haiku Here

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sunday Scribblings ..... Bed

This bed is an old bed now, yet it was not my bridal bed. For the first few months of our marriage, we slept in what had once been my Grandmother’s bed, arranging ourselves between the springs and lumps, and falling together happily into the well in the middle, shaped by years of single-body use. Then we bought this bed, orthopedic, modern, solid, and it served us a long time. We learnt to make love in this bed, really, over years and years, and then we learnt to be alone in this bed, too. I have lonely nights now, but none so lonely as those last nights we shared this bed.

Sometimes, I wake and there is a breath on my shoulder, and I think it is you. It’s just a draught, just some movement of air, but it reminds me of other nights. I have moved into the middle of the bed, now, begun to create a furrow like my Grandmother’s furrow. On hot nights, I lie spreadeagled, aware that my arms are stretched on “your” pillow.

I stripped my bed this morning, - blue Egyptian cotton sheets gone to the wash, freshly ironed cream Egyptian cotton sheets waiting to be laid across its surface. – My new indulgence, smooth, cool, beautiful sheets under fluffy duvets. But new sheets don’t make it a new bed. This bed holds memories, memories of all our nights and days together, and if I haven’t replaced it by now, it’s because there’s something I’m not wanting to let go of in it. There are memories of the three weeks it was my haven, holding and supporting me while my body and my womb fought out the battle to decide whether my baby would get to live. My womb won. My baby won. We won that time. This bed is the scene of victory, of passion and love, of sorrow and pain. This bed has given its all. Maybe next week, or next month, the replacement will be found. A bed with no memories. A bed with no story. A new bed, a place to begin to grow again.

For more Sunday Scribblings, go HERE

Life's Little Lessons

This week's lessons come from a variety of places in my life.

  1. When an eight-year-old says he wants a medium tub of popcorn, buy the small size. You're going to have a LOT of leftover popcorn to eat if you get the medium.
  2. When you get the urge to contact someone, just do it. Think how you feel when an old friend contacts you out of the blue... See?
  3. If something is lost, look for it. You know it's somewhere. Don't panic. Often a detached attitude - saying "It's probably for the best. I needed to learn to let go anyway" will miraculously make the lost object turn up. (I still haven't learnt if it works to fake that attitude)
  4. If you don't unpack the day you arrive home from a trip, you're likely to still be searching through suitcases a week later.
  5. When you have a success, tell people. - Give them the joy of celebrating with you. People like good news.

What have you learnt this week? Check out Life's Little Lessons for other learnings.

The Lost and the Mysterious

I have no clue whatsoever why this happened, but yesterday, for some reason, my blog got lost. It disappeared. No matter how often or from what sideways direction I tried to approach it, it was not visible on screen whenever I tried to load it. Blank whiteness met me. I tried to sneak in sideways from other people's sidebars. No. There was nothing there. But when I went to an individual post (the Poetry Thursday post), there it was.

I jumped through many, many hoops trying to find the email address at which Blogger blythely invite you to "email the support team". There are many, many more frustrated blogger-users out there who have been seeking the answers to the eternal questions - Why can't I post pictures? How can I indent a line of poetry? Where did my blog go? - and I found an email address, but no answer.

However, as my other blogs were still there, and my dashboard would let me see posts, I thought this morning that I'd just try republishing my blog with no changes, and voila - It appears to be back.

See? Lost (and found).... and mysterious.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Poetry Thursday - Lost and Found

Over at Pomegranates and Paper, the theme for this week's List Friday is Things I have Lost, which reminded me of this poem I wrote some time ago. I'll share it simply because it came to mind today.

Lost and Found

Things I have lost:
A few umbrellas. I no longer carry one.
A silver ring - three strands plaited, a pretty thing,
my very first.
A poem sent to me by my friend.
Some memories. Now, I don't know which ones they were.

And found:
On Spiddal beach, among the stones, a pendant,
no chain attached, a fairy charm.
Late at night, a bunch of carnations, fresh
lying in the middle of our street.
In Strandhill, on my loneliest day, a pebble
with the imprint of a long-gone sea shell.

I'm looking forward to seeing what else has been offered by Poetry Thursday participants this week.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Homecoming

Now... here I am. I've done the little haiku-thing to ease in, I've created the visuals (isn't the slide-show a handy little thing?), so it's time to say something other than I'm Back.

"You'd think no-one ever went on a trip before! It's not unheard of, surely! So, just get on with it, now you're back!" That's what I'm saying to myself, and still, despite being back in the country a week now, and back home for 3 days, I'm still casting around for the things that will ground me and make me feel like I'm home, and of course, those things really involve touching base, making contact with the people who have been important in my life - who are important in my life. I've seen all my family, met up with most of my friends, emailed new friends to let them know I've safely arrived back, but I realise there are friends out there - in Blogland who have missed me. I've been reading a few blogs, and have been really touched to see here and there people say they noticed my absence. Aaaw. Well, I missed so many of the pals here that I can't possibly start to list them, but you all know who you are, and many of you were with me in strange ways - sights would remind me of something you'd referred to in a post, or I'd see something I knew you would appreciate.

So, my trip involved: (for those who don't know, I set off from my little corner of Ireland on May 16th for Santa Cruz, CA, to do a few days training in facilitating SoulCollage, and then spent a little over two more weeks visiting friends in California, travelling up the coast through Oregon, and on into Washington State, travelling back down the I5 (I love saying that, it sounds so exotic to me)). Travelling to the US, travelling solo (despite the fact I was meeting wonderful people all along the way, and had a companion for some of the trip), driving on highways and big roads (an automatic car, on the "wrong" side of the road), big distances - all challenges for me, all new for me. I travelled 1700 miles (which is like driving up and down the length of Ireland twice). This is what made the trip an oddyssey, and made it feel like more than just a holiday. The focus of the training, which involved deep soul-work opened me up in wonderful ways, leaving me sensitised to any and all experiences... and with everything (even the apparently mundane) being new to me, I was like a child in wonderland, marvelling at a squirrel, a supermarket shelf, a roadside snack-shack burritto (I did it! - Who's adventurous?)

What happened in the course of the three weeks was interesting, in that words became increasingly less important, and I simply soaked up impressions, images, being-in the place, so that I dropped my Morning Pages after about a week, then scribbled only a perfunctory journal-note of where I'd been each day, wrote only a couple of pages of poetry-beginnings, until by the end of the trip, the only writing I was doing was my nightly list of ten gratitudes.

Returning home to people asking How was it? Tell us all about it! - I was so flummoxed as to how to begin to capture the experience. Words like Wonderful and Fantastic keep coming out. I don't regret a moment, I'd say, and that is true. I set off with a loose itinerary (after the training), and followed urges, promptings and invitations that seemed to call me, and I feel I just went where I needed to be, met the people I was meant to meet, and was in the right environment for me right now. I'd just completed a hard block of work, just completed a draining and very difficult emotional task, and am at a point of new beginnings in my life. This trip was a soul-journey, something special for me, and one way I know it was so special is that now I'm home, it feels complete. There is no part of me wishing I'd gone elsewhere, or done other things, or ... it was as it should be, and it is complete.

And I'm home, and looking forward to being regularly in touch again with all my blog-pals.
Oh... yes, another thing to mention. Strange, there was an unformed plan to get together with a few blog-pals, and circumstances seemed to conspire against it. Part of me was frustrated with the "so near and yet so far" of that, and then, part of me felt maybe it's ok. The friendships made within this community ARE real and valuable, don't need to be reinforced with real-world meetings (nice as that would be), and maybe the fact that it didn't happen will leave me knowing that it doesn't need to happen. Make sense?

Enough for now.
Good to be home.
Thanks to all of you who kept the home fires burning (or the home air-conditioning turned on, whichever was necessary).

Slideshow of my Travels - Edited Highlights

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Return - a way back to BlogLand

I've been uncertain how after a month's absence, I can find the way to return. Where do I start? Then I noticed a new group doing Haiku (I'll slot in the logo later, if my brain will co-operate with the instructions, but it's at this site ) Last week (or is it this week?) the theme is meeting nature, and I wanted to share one photo from my trip, and see if there are a few words to capture this.

On Mount Diablo
we meet, Coyote and I.
No dipped heads: we look.