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.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sunday Scribblings. What's Your Sign? Sagittarius

The Archer

I once had a mug (was it a Christmas gift from my mother?) with the Sagittarian symbol on it, and a motto reading “The Archer whose bow is heavenward bent will not bow to a low or evil intent”. Glib, perhaps, but a phrase I took to heart in my teenage years. When I would find myself at times become activated over a question of justice – or worse, if my integrity was ever questioned – I’d recall that it just might be my Sagittarius nature that was operating here.

I’m a fair-weather fan of astrology. If it seems applicable, I’m impressed, and if what I read doesn’t seem to apply, I dismiss it. I’ve never gone about having my chart properly drawn up, and my knowledge of astrological matters has been derived from magazines, occasional books and friends with more enthusiasm for the subject than I have. What I do believe is that the popular astrology (magazine horoscopes, etc) bears no real connection to true astrology, for which I have some respect, even if I don’t have enough interest to pursue it for myself. I don’t like to think of myself as superstitious or easily duped, and I have seen, while studying psychology, how easy it can be to phrase something in ways that will persuede people will accept them.

Off I went just now to see what I could find via Google about Sagittarians. My horoscope for today includes the following:

As much as you would like to, you can't entirely dismiss this turn of events as random or coincidental. You know that you had a part to play in everything that went on. Now it's time to see what you can do next.

I can find many situations in my life to which I could apply those words. Could you?

Then at another astrology site, I found a lot of information about the Sagittarius nature. Strange that I can subscribe to the positive traits much more easily than the negative. But, really, here’s the negative traits, and I have to reject many of them as simply not part of my personality:

"The vices to which Sagittarius is prone are anger - they tend to flare up over trifles (Ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you, I very, very seldom lose my temper. I am known for my calm demeanour. honest!), and impatience - they want to rush every new project through immediately and can be too demanding. (Again, not me. I start slow, take my time, suggest that others take it easy. ) They are quick to jump on inadequacies of others while expecting full recognition of their own efforts. (Em… maybe there is some truth in this one. Much easier to see another’s mote than my beam) This is not to say that they do not deserve the recognition. In completing a major project Sagittarius will sacrifice everything else before it. (No. I don’t have the single-mindedness that this implies) Often, though, they can be exacting, and inconsiderate in their work life, while boastful and extravagant in their private lives. (I don’t know about the exacting and inconsiderate, though I hope that’s not how I am, but I have to reject boastful and extravagant. Totally!) The great achiever or the wastrel. There is also a side of the Sagittarian that is quite superstitious, and reading into signs and portents would not be uncommon. (Am I not casting a jaundiced eye on the superstition which is popular astrology? But ok, I’m a believer in synchronicity, and do watch out for symbolic happenings) The Sagittarius love of sports often leads to an indulgence in dangerous pursuits. (Ha, ha, ha ha. I never learnt to cycle cos it seemed too dangerous. I’ve never ice-skated or skied. I own walking-boots, but their soles are not worn thin! I stroll, don’t climb mountains… get the picture? Bungee jump? Never, never, never) Many centaurs are prone to accidents due to a tendency of taking too many risks. (maybe here I should – non-superstitiously – knock on wood, but I’ve never broken a bone, and am shamed to say the only sprain I ever suffered was when I lifted a heavy file awkwardly in my office and sprained my wrist! Risky behaviour? Not me!) "

See how much I quibbled with that? A LOT! When it comes to the more positive descriptions, I feel much more comfortable accepting the labels being applied, even the description of Sagittarians as modest. Yes, that’s me – and everything else! :

"Sagittarians are positive people; they have a bright outlook on life, are enterprising, full of energy and vitality. Versatile, adventurous and eager to expand their range beyond the comfortable and familiar. They enjoy travel and exploring, and their minds are continually searching for new experiences. They are ambitious, optimistic folk, and nothing seems to get them down. They are idealists, and this seems to keep them going even when life disappointments crop up and smash their plans. "To keep on, keepin' on" is a Sagittarian way of life. They have a tendency to get over zealous when they are interested in something. They are believers, and what they believe in, they are willing to fight for. They are both loyal and independent at the same time. They manage to balance both traits.

Sagittarians are usually modest and often spiritual, with strong values. They like rituals, and sometimes can get caught up in form, rather than substance. They are profound thinkers, and are gifted with foresight and good judgment. Witty conversationalists and story tellers, they do have the gift of gab. They are avid learners, love to initiate new projects and make great researchers. They are quick studies, with keen minds. They have an expectant attitude and a penchant for new experiences, which may account for the fact that Sagittarians are noted for their longevity. They are often intuitive and original thinkers. Better at adapting than inventing, they work well in collaboration with others. A strong-will and good organization ability combined with their other talents usually bring any project they undertake to a successful conclusion. They are generous by nature, but are quite resourceful in caring for and balancing their resources."

I’m interested to see how many other Sags have posted, and whether there are some signs that seem to have more interest in this area than others. I feel much of this post was a “cheat”, borrowing so freely from the information I googled, but I couldn’t talk about this from my own knowledge (slim), so that’s it today for Sunday Scribblings. Others’ musings on the topic will be found HERE.

And.... later edited to add :

Having gone on to read other Sunday Scribblings posts on the topic, I have discovered that I am not Sagittarius. Being born on 1st December makes me actually Ophiuchus - the 13th sign (well, the sign that isn't included in the 12 signs of western astrology). Now I have more Googling to do, but already, I'm seeing the traits I can agree are mine (and those that I reject). Maybe my moon was elsewhere when I was born? Oh. Complicated!

Labels: ,

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A handbag full of....

Here it is - almost 2 weeks since I posted anything, but since I am now happily displaying a Blogging Without Obligation button, I won't apologise. I will mention that life has simply been very busy, and that the car (which was so recently serviced) began giving trouble again and that I have been ... um ... anxious at times, resulting in a panic-attack yesterday. Recovered now. I've talked enough people through it to know and understand what's happening, but the theory doesn't stop it from happening. I thinked it helped me get over it, though.

So here I am, and this morning I started catching up on reading blogs, wondering would I post something. What would I post? Bits and pieces? And then, I came to Caroline's blog, where she displays the contents of her handbag, and I thought... ok. I can do that. She was responding to Jo's post with her bag-contents. So here, for your curious eyes are the unedited contents of my handbag (OK. I confess. I left out the bits of grit and tiny balls of paper)

I forgot to include the actual bag in the photo. It's black, fake leather, sack-shaped and has too loopy handles I can slip over my shoulder. What's also missing from the picture is my camera, spare batteries and my second mobile phone. (although those are always in my bag). What is there is:

cheque book, credit union pass-book, 2 card wallets (mostly filled with store loyalty cards) magnifier, breath-freshener strips, dead clock-battery (so I'll know what size I'm looking for when I go to the shop), lip balm, Rescue Remedy, hand-cream, folding comb, apricot and almond bar (coated in yogurt! Healthy!), two wallets (one Euro, the other Sterling), mobile phone for use in Northern Ireland, box of Moo mini-cards, bottle of rose cologne from L'Occitane en Provence (Mother's day gift from Son), Diary (WeMoon diary. I love it), Street map book of Belfast (doesn't stop me getting lost and having panic-attacks, though, does it?), programme for upcoming Arts Festival in our area, leaflet on Crocs (bought a pair yesterday. Comfy, comfy). Pencil, pink highlighter, my silver Cross pen (which went missing for 3 years and inexplicably came back to me a few months ago), a small black notebook with rubber-band around it, and the case for my spectacles. Oh yes. There's a big wad of tissues there too. You never know...

And ... there's often a folding umbrella there these days too. I used to carry a screwdriver and tiny screw kit for repairing glasses, but I've lost it. There are often bigger notebooks (the ones I actually write in) shoved in there, or whatever book I'm reading at the moment if I'm going anywhere I anticipate waiting time. Sometimes I'm carrying paracetemol or ointments for my hands and feet (dry, dry skin). There might be sunglasses, though these normally live in my car.

I can't understand how anyone manages with a small bag. I can't. I've accepted this. I'm proud of myself for the fact that I didn't find 3 dozen supermarket receipts and half-a-pound of small change in the bottom of the bag.

Would you like to share your handbag contents? Come on, let's see! If you do, say so in the comments, and maybe you'd like to let Caroline and Jo know too. They started the game! (links above)

Oh yes... this is not the only bag I carry. The story of all my other bags is, I think for another post, another day!


Other things? I'm still sitting on the couch. It's 4pm. I need to get to town soon. But I also want to show you something my niece and my sister gave to me. Sorry... Blogger will not let me post the picture of the freesias and arum lilies that have grown from the corms they brought as a gift when they visited in march. My niece had arum lilies as her wedding-flower last year, so they are extra special for all of us. I am just thrilled to see this unfolding beauty. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get it in.

And strangely, Blogger will allow me to post a picture in honour of Fairy Day, celebrated by Julie Marie at Celtic Woman. Only one fairy lives with me (though I have often hung Fairy calendars, and have many beautiful pictures of fairies). This little beauty came to me on one of the most special days in my life and lives in my bedroom. Her name is still a secret.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, sprinkled with fairy-dust.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday Miscellany

Sunday Miscellany is the name of a popular radio program here. I had a poem broadcast on it a few months ago. But this post isn't about that. This post is a miscellany because my attempt to write a "Spicy" piece for Sunday Scribblings turned out so bland and insipid, I just couldn't post it. I added cumin, ginger, cayenne, garam masala, and still, there was no flavour. Believe me! Maybe it's my taste-buds.

And maybe it's because there's too much other stuff going around in my head. I've had a good week, so here's :

.................What Went Well This Week

Work - in different places each day, some self-generated, some not, some beginnings, some endings approaching, but a sense of energy, a sense of being fully in my work.(I didn't mean to start with WORK, as though that is priority, and everything else is also-ran!)
Stuff (1)- when I realised my credit card had been missing for a week(!!!), and called the bank, I discovered that the last transaction was the last one I'd made (phew!), so cancelled it before anything sinister happened with it.
Stuff (2) - when I called the garage to say my car had been losing power, the nice man said "bring it in", and when I explained I needed it that afternoon, he said "no problem", and when I collected it (early!), he had done a full service on it - and washed it!
Son - He heads off tomorrow for his summer adventure in USA, and we've just had a really nice week together, not doing anything very special, but just chatting, sorting out stuff he wants to dump. He's been away for months at a time before, but still in the same country, so tomorrow brings with it a little anxiety for Mommy!
Sorting - Completed little tasks like paying bills, arranging dates for upcoming appointments and workshops, filed stuff... ended the week feeling there's less hanging on my shoulders.
Plans - decided to go home to see my Dad next weekend (Fathers' Day), to do some SoulCollage with sister and some friends; other sister sent me a link to this garden's site, and there are definite plans to visit there before this summer ends. My plans for July/August in California are moving ahead. Yay!
Health - After months of inactivity, I got to the gym twice this week (only once last week) and gave myself silver stars for going! So I'm moving in the right direction. Ate more fruit and veg. Feel good.

...............A Game

Deb of the Red Shoes posted a game on her blog yesterday, and I found it today, and decided to join in. Rules are easy, and if you decide to play along, go to her blog and leave her a comment saying you've done so. (Tell me too, please, as I'd enjoy seeing your responses).

each answer has to start with the same letter as the first letter of your name and if an answer is a place name it should be real, not fictional. If someone who answers before you has the same first letter, try to come up with different answers than they did. Now on to…

Scattergories 2

Your name: ....................Imelda
A Country: ......................Italy
A Song Title:.................... If
An Artist (painter, photographer, etc): .....Ingres (La Grande Odalisque)
A Reason to stay home from Work or School: ..........Infection
Something you’d see at a Zoo: .................Iguana
A Snack: ...............................Ice-cream sandwich (Yes! It is a snack)
A Character in a Book: ......................India Wilkes
Something Icky: .......................Icky things (Sorry!)
A Six-letter Word: ....................Irises
Something Breakable: .............Italian glass (well, Venice is in Italy, right?)
Non-Alcoholic Drink: ..............Iced coffee
Something you Whisper: ........I love you.

.......................A New SoulCollage card to Share

I've been wondering if there are particular cultural themes that would begin to turn up in the SoulCollage made by Irish people, and had an idea that it would be natural for Celtic gods/goddesses to turn up in the council suit, and naturally the landscape used for backgrounds to differ from that used by others. Last Saturday, I ran the 3rd of my public workshops, and again it was well-attended and well-received. In the course of the day, I found images that just called out to me to become a card. It represents Race memory of hunger. I haven't written about it yet, but will soon on my SoulFragments blog.

There's more this week, but I have to stop somewhere. Have to get out to the weeds that have been thriving in my absence from my garden. Have to get some recycling over to the bring-banks. Have to spend at least some of this day on my beanbag in the garden not thinking of weeds or recycling.

Have a lovely Sunday, and a great week.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Poetry Thursday. June

I'm sure the ladies of Poetry Thursday and all the marvellous contributors who have been writing articles and features deserve a summer break, and I'm hoping their summer will be wonderful, but I have to admit to feeling slightly bereft when I saw the gap there was going to be in my life. I've gotten used to the almost-constant presence of new poetry-stuff to read and think about, or not think about, but just soak in.

But, the good news is that through the summer, there will still be, as there always has been, a post on Thursday to which we can attach a comment with a link to a poem. So I realised it was up to me to put something here today. But what? What month is it? It's June. I trawled my past year's poems, and this turned up almost immediately. I'd forgotten about it, and now I'm glad I've found it again.

For Caroline

Our summer days, and you gone to the country,
to the sea. Back and forth the whole summer,
our letters, packets thick with happenings,
the kisses you got, sweet French words you’d heard,
and my pleas for more information.

Postcards wouldn’t work. We tore reams from school
copybooks, filled them up with girl-gossip
and mild bitching – why that one never wears a bra,
and when will you be home?

You were gone for good – banished – by the time I started
the trek to and from the high walls, through three gates
to cook a bland meal and home to sleep the afternoon away,
exhausted from the prison-strain, the being watched, the fear.

But then, and always since, and still, your first picture hangs above
my father’s reading-spot, great blobs and streaks of reds
and pinks – a vivid chrysanthemum world: one of a series
you churned out, more and more wild,
more and more colour, just before you went.

If I were to start a letter now, one of our girl-letters,
I’d have to tell you that it’s June, and there are
no kisses here, no sweet words, and there are
tears, more tears than I could leave on a blue-lined sheet,
more tears than I can even name.

And what might ease them?
A packet in the post, a tight wad of pages,
looped words, your cartoon-jokes,
a word from you. Your memory.


This week's offerings from other Poetry Thursday participants will be found HERE

Labels: ,

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday Scribblings. Town and Country

‘Town’ is a relative term, it seems. I’ve always thought of myself as not just a townie, but a “city-girl”, being reared in Limerick, at the mouth of the Shannon (see last Poetry Thursday’s entry). And yet, and yet, I’ve never lived anywhere that wasn’t within a 5-minute walk of countryside. Sounds pretty country to me. What it probably is, is my suburban self showing herself. So, on the edge of the town, with streetlights and proper footpaths, a convenience store within a short walk, but within a short walk in the other direction, there have always been the treasures of the countryside.

Confession: Not since childhood have I taken regular advantage of this. It’s a rare day that I come out on foot from my house, with my hands swinging, and turn right when I leave the estate, up the Thorn Road, rather than left on the walk to the shop or the town. If I did head away from town, I’d be skirting past the next housing estate, ignoring the bungalows built at one side of the road, and letting my attention be drawn instead into the hedgerows, where right now the May-blossom is giving the last of this years heady scent, falling among the brambles, allowing the trees to ready themselves for the autumn abundance of haws. If I kept walking, up, up the hill, past the curious cows and the rutted and pitted paths, I’d come to where, at the hill’s crest, I can look over the river. Depending on the timing, it will either be an expanse of mud with a single silver trickle running through its centre, or a wide and calm stretch of dove-grey silk, rippled with the breezes that continually blow along its shores. I could keep going, follow the loop of the road, that will eventually bring me onto the main road, with more and more houses crowding around, until I come back to where I live, back to the street-lights and the children playing on the small patch of green not far from my own front-door.

The country of childhood, I’ve described before. The back-field that was our summer territory, the place of sanctuary and magic; the enfoldment of aunties and my grandmother. There was another place in my childhood – a field that I found, on my own. I considered it to be my own private territory, and there, there was treasure. There, I found riches. I have no recollection of why I’d headed Singland direction rather than to the back-field that day, but I think I’d caught a glimpse on a group foray into this new area, and decided to return alone to check it out a day or two later. How old was I? 8? 10? Perhaps somewhere between the two. Life was as free then as we could not imagine now. I didn’t have to report to anyone what my movements were. It didn’t occur to me to let anyone know where I was going, but off I went, up through Parke’s estate and the new building sites, through the railway gates, and over to the other side, down almost to the stream we used to fish for pinkies in, and then through the gap in the hedge to my goal. I’d seen something pink there. Something pink and orange and peachy. Something high in the hedge between this field and the next. Through the long grass I waded, towards my goal.

It was there. Just as I’d thought. I was Sir Joseph Banks. I was Fuchs. I was the intrepid explorer that discovered exotic species and brought them back to civilization. I reached and stretched, finally managing to pull a long vine towards me, finally securing a bunch of the blossoms, finally succeeding in pushing my face in among those blooms and inhaling a sweetness I’d never before encountered. I grabbed and gathered, and returned home happy, happy, happy, with my armload of honeysuckle. I had gone to the country and found something to rival cowslips, to rival briar-rose. I had found the most beautiful flower ever to grace a hedge. I had discovered beauty. I was queen of the entire country.

Find more wanderings in Town and Country at Sunday Scribblings HERE

Labels: , ,