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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Home again, Home again, Jiggity-jig!

Not that I've been away, but I've been having such trouble with my computer / internet links, it seemed I'd been cast out of the country of Blog-people, and now, mysteriously, strangely, today, all is working. I heard a whisper that lots of people were having trouble because Mercury was retrograde, or something like that. Howsever, today I've been able to book my flight to go to Barcelona for my nephew's summer wedding; I've been able to drop in on a few (unfortunately not all) of my blog-pals blogs to see what's new. People are reading Finding Water. People are beginning new spiritual practices. People are feeling the tug of spring, sprouting new ideas and plans.

I'm feeling up-beat. All my slow, slow, work at getting my house in order is finally beginning to really show. My lemon-and-cream living room was somewhat spoilt by the continued presence of an old, stained pink suite, but as of last Wednesday, now the room sports two sleek, cream leather couches, low tables, silky drapes. It feels elegant, but it feels warm. My couches are dressed with rich brown chenille and mohair throws and cushions. I'm happy, happy, happy there. Pictures? Maybe later. When I've found the perfect lamp. Sorry. Not while there's still a pink lampshade there. It just won't do. But when I sit there, I have my back turned to the lamp, and can just appreciate my room.

Next week, I'll have the pleasure of calling a skip (dumpster) to come around and haul away all the old, broken, finished stuff. Yay! Then there will be more space, more light. What I've been waiting four years for. Hurrah!

And this came in the same week as I had my first proper job-interview since 1979! And the interview went well. I don't know if I'll get the job, but I do know that I was entirely myself there, and that if I do get the job, I won't have to pretend to be anybody but me, and that feels good. It felt good to prepare for it, to travel to it (in the company of a wonderfully supportive friend, who came along on the 4-hour journey "just for fun"), and it feels good to know I can do that.

And this came in the weeks after I'd begun a project I couldn't have conceived of a year ago. I was asked to teach a psychology class. And I said yes. This is the 3rd week! ! !

So, maybe it's as well the internet wasn't letting me in. My life was keeping me plenty busy anyway. So, in the coming weeks, my presence, even for Poetry Thursday or Sunday Scribbling may be intermittent, but I'm here, and I'm loving all the signs of spring we are seeing - little irises, crocuses. Birds hauling giant twigs into still-bare trees. Life is good.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday Scribblings - Crush

This week's theme from Sunday Scribblings is "Crush".

I would like to pretend, in my 50th year, that I am now above all that; that I am beyond the reach of those crushes that used to catch me unawares, draw me in, and spin a web of fantasy and daydream that would consume my every waking moment, fill my every dream. I had more than 20 years of immunity, safe in my marriage, when notions would be fleeting, and dismissed as quickly as they would arrive. They were never given time or space to settle in, and I had no reason to believe that I would ever again be struck by the sudden, heart-stopping realisation that HE was, – irrationally, without any shred of evidence to back up the conviction – he WAS the one.

So it took me by surprise, that day, idly musing my way through a fairly dull class, with a lecturer I’d known for years – a popular, kind, amusing man, running to a little bit more flesh than is attractive; wearing his hair a lot longer than suited him, when one moment I was noting his words with a weary knowledge that they might be useful in an exam at the end of term, and in the next moment, (no shaft of sunlight illuminated his face, in that windowless room; no violins played; outwardly everything stayed the same), across my mind flashed a thought: “I could fancy him!” I almost jumped up in my seat, shouting “Who said that?” I certainly blushed. I checked the idea out – preposterous as it sounded – for veracity. Could I? Could I really? Oh, my! It seemed I could.

Ooops. No! He was not married. And while technically, I still was, there was no-one who might have objected, but no, no, no. This was so sudden, so new, so TEENAGE! Dear reader, I avoided. I took to sitting in seats out of his line of sight. I chose a different coffee-spot than his accustomed place. But I stayed acutely attuned to the mention of his name, to the sight of his back as he did that two-steps-a-time dance up the stairs, to glimpses of female students entering or leaving his office. On the day of my graduation, there were all the lecturers who had seen me through my years of study, many offering a congratulatory kiss, but the one absent one, the one I’d been so looking forward to seeing, for some reason, wasn’t there.

It was a crush. It has passed. (OK. I would blush if I met him, so it’s not entirely gone). But it was wonderful. The paralysed heart came to life. Rational or irrational, something in me said “Yes, there could be another one. It might even be him!”

Go to Sunday Scribblings to find more Crushes!

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sunday Scribbling - Yummy!

This week, Sunday Scribbling offers a delicious theme - Yummy!

I stood at Blogger's door, begging to be let in, for hours, a waif, with my little basket of goodies in my hand, and finally, it looks like I may be able to post while it is still Sunday!


These things – today’s yummies – anything with pineapple or coconut, or both. Ice-cream or curries, scones or dips. Gimme pineapple or coconut. Gimme smoothies. More of the same, but with mango and raspberries too. Give me raspberries a-plenty. Let me have them with ice-cream, with yogurt, with custard. In jam – real jam, oozing fruit.

Childhood yummies – Mammy’s bread, Mammy’s apple-tart – no-nonsense, thick-crust, full-of-a-roasting-tin tart. Rice with custard, vanilla-scented scones. Fish-in-sauce with mashed potato.

Sensible yummies – things I feel virtuous eating – aduki bean stew, black lentils, all things beany and lentilly, warm and filling. Sweet potato soup, mulligatawny, lemon sorbet, no-meat chilli, pomegranates, spinach and orange salad.

Yummy outside the tummy – flowers, hyacinth-scent, jasmine, Trixie’s silken head, all the good things in Jacqui’s new shop – crystals, incense, fabrics, goddesses. Woodsmoke, open fire, warm mohair blanket.

This week’s number one yummy beyond all the others – three-week old baby Charlie – the touch of his cheek, his little fingers, his little toes, his sweet breath, his delicate tiny, perfect mouth, yawning, his eyes drooping into sleep, his trust in my arms, and later, the sight of him turning to his Mummy, the perfection of them together. Feeling blessed to witness. ….. Yummy.

Find more Yummy Things HERE

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Poetry Thursday.

Poetry Thursday have moved to their new site here. You have to check it out! The theme this week is Changes - being that there have been such changes in Poetry Thursday... and so on. For the past few weeks, I've taken the theme and dashed a 'top of the head' poem, a beginning, and I'm not sure whether it's laziness or bravery that has made me do that, posting something that in my notebook would be just a start, a jotting, but there is a sense of freedom in willingness to do that. In time to come, perhaps these pieces will become something else, but for now, here are my

Notes towards a poem on Changes

Out of the seed, the case, the shell,
out of the pupa, larva, chrysalis:
comes the bud, the sprout;
an emerging damp creature,
shaking sticky wings.

Unreeling bright petals
into the sunlight.

Out of the carapace of denial,
out of the place of ‘fine’,
out of the safety that is not safe,

out of the hiding-place that is open
to the world, she emerges.

Change’s necessary time is past,
time waiting in the cold,
time waiting for the flame that will burst
this case,
allow the beginnings of new growth,
the stretching of fragile wings.

Do click the link above to see what other participants have done with this week's theme.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hello Amaryllis

I've been enjoying the wonderful spectacle of emerging amaryllis flowers from a bulb my sister brought with her for my birthday in December. The flower-heads are so heavy, without support, the stalks can just snap off - but when that happened to one of the stalks, I got to enjoy the flowers in two rooms - one bunch in my living-room, and the other in a vase on the kitchen table.

When I read Fran's post about her beautiful amaryllis and the lessons she has learnt from watching it grow, I was reminded of my first encounter with these remarkable plants. After a summer working in Holland, one of the parting gifts my summer-boyfriend gave me was a huge, ugly bulb, with no wrapping, no indication as to what it should look like. Of course, it wasn't strictly legal to bring it back into Ireland, but I did nevertheless. I followed his instructions, and the amazement with which my family and I watched the burgeoning flower was incredible. They are commonplace now, but then they were something unknown in these parts, and it was such a wonderful gift.
This is such a wonderful gift. I just want to say Hello to my amaryllis. Hello to Spring. The weekend was about Goodbyes. This is Hello.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Goodbyes


I did not want to be asked to speak of Goodbyes this weekend, but Goodbyes have been on my mind. These have some small goodbyes: Last week, two computers, a dead microwave, a never-used sewing-machine gone to recycling. In bags to charity shops over the last months, Goodbye to too-small and too-big clothes, stained, strained and colour-drained clothes. In at least eight apple-boxes, books, novels that will never be re-read. In recent times, I’ve acknowledged my farewells to young skin, perfect eyesight, the idea that I’ll ever be a size 10 again.

In the last year, too many sad Goodbyes. Friends lost to long illnesses or sudden, swift death. My father sits in a sad silence, counting the friends he has lost in recent times. My mother seems to have chosen to leave us, retreating into a place where she has now forgotten the names of all the people she has had to say Goodbye to.

I am a woman holding a loss, hearing the echoes too often in my days of a Goodbye my husband did not speak aloud. Four years on – today – I still hear it, I still want to say “Wait!” – sometimes. Sometimes, it feels like the Goodbye has been said, like it is finished, and I breathe a sigh and say “That’s that, then. It’s finally over, finally behind me.” And later: a day later, a week later, a month later, a memory, an incident, a question, a movie, a song, standing stirring a stew, will remind me, will call him back, and the process of finishing that last Goodbye starts all over again.

You do not want to hear about those Goodbyes again and again. They fill my pages. They leak from my eyes. I have been trying to complete those Goodbyes by leaving go of the reminders. I have said Goodbye to the ugly curtains and ugly carpets that filled our home. I have sent away the bulk of his books and his stuff. Out the furniture and fittings that surrounded our life, and instead I am creating a home of my own, in shades of lemon and cream, filled with light and freshness.

But today, thinking about the Goodbyes, I don’t know if I can bear to read of many other Goodbyes and still, I want to honour and witness the losses and Goodbyes that I know are part of the life of all my companions on this road. If I do not comment on your Sunday Scribbling this week, please know that I am with you too. Blessings to you all.
Just a few hours later, I've read through some 50 Sunday Scribbling posts on the theme of goodbyes, and I have been touched, awed, inspired by the writings and the sensibilities of the wonderful community who come here to share each week. Far from making me feel sad, I've been given new perspective (or aided to regain perspective) and new understanding about the nature of life, and the fact that with each Goodbye, there is a Hello, and that everyone who has been in my life has been here for a reason (or many reasons), and for all of that, I am grateful indeed. Thank you all.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Mathematics


Age 5, he knew what Y should equal.
Instinct, or the X that was his father,
(the accountant) gave him a certainty.

I thought it was wrong –
setting a question like that to my baby –
until he answered, unerringly.

He wanted more.
More of those X and Y puzzles.
It was as amusing as a two-year old

who could say Pterodactyl
or name olives in Arabic. My boy
the mathematician.

And when we told him
we were dividing the sum of us,
back into its constituent parts,

My single self and his father’s:
he knew then, as he always had,
that nothing would be lost.

He holds the A, the B, the C
of us, carries it on, adds his own numbers,
Headed towards infinity.

I wouldn't have believed that I could write a poem with Maths as a theme. I didn't do exactly what Poetry Thursday asked of us, but it's something. If you want to find some equations and poetic proofs go HERE