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, April 30, 2008

oooh la la!

I'll be on the missing list this weekend. I won't be here, in other words. But I won't be lost, because I'll be with my two sisters and one of my favourite young people in the world wandering around Paris. We expect to be seeing wonderful things , finding wonderful places, eating wonderful things, finding wonderful things, hearing wonderful things, perhaps buying wonderful things, sharing wonderful things, and I expect to be sharing some of it (not the gateaux... so sorry!) with all of you when I return.

..............À bientôt.....

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Poems! Poems!

Today is 27th April. Am I right? And April is National Poetry Month. I've been to, and really appreciated the blogs of quite a few dedicated poets and poetry-lovers this month, had a fleeting thought of "Must do something about that!", but to my shame, I haven't, have I? Maybe the fact that it's not International Poetry Month made me feel in some way that there really was no onus on me to do anything. I'll confess my poetry-life has been in the doldrums lately. There's so much else going on. When I've gone to my twice-monthly writers' group meetings over the past few months, I've been rooting around in my archives and notebooks, hauling out likely prospects written in months and years past, resurrecting them, brushing them down, and bringing them in for feedback. They've been well-received, but still, that hasn't given me the impetus to get back to writing regularly.

We had a wonderful weekend retreat, during which I did write, but it still didn't kick-start me into the day-to-day time I used to spend with notebook and pen, but something's happened over the past couple of weeks that I've hardly really noticed until today. - I have written poems. The evidence is in my notebook. There's one on 15th of the month, another on 17th, and yesterday, and again today, more poems. It's not a flood, but it's a start. It's not the 30 poems that some people are aiming to produce this month. But it feels good. So I want to thank January, Jillypoet, Inland Empire Girl, Cate (who frequently shares glorious poems on her beautiful blog), and all of you who have been writing or sharing poems during this month.

Just this weekend, I happened to finally actually go to the blog of Patti Digh - 37 Days, and found, among a wealth of articles that are enriching, life-affirming, encouraging and empowering in many, many ways, that she has been marking this month by sharing a poem, and thoughts on the power of poetry in our lives each day this month. Go over there. Browse. It's wonderful!

One of January's poem's was titled "Funny Poem". Something about it was the impetus for me to start a poem, so I'll share here:


.........This is the poem that lost the way.
.........It was headed home,
.........with all the right words,
.........the perfect apology for its long absence,
.........when it got waylaid.

.........A stray notion pulled it aside,
.........and that was the end of THAT good intention.

........This is the poem that spent the money
........that was meant for flowers
........on seven pints, a round for the lads,
........a doner kebab(*) on the way home.

........This is the poem that just plain forgot:
........Sometimes there is no home after that.
........Sometimes - as the barman says - really DO have no home to go to.(**)
Cultural References:
(*) Doner kebab : Traditional Irish food, commonly consumed after a night in the pub
(**) Common phrase uttered in plaintive tones by barman at the end of the night, when patrons show no indication of plans to leave the pub, even after lights have been turned off, and a bell repeatrdly rung: "Come on, now, Gents, have yiz no homes to go to?"


Friday, April 25, 2008

The Future of the Planet: Sunday Scribblings

FIRST: The E-Bay auction run by Bloggers for Jenni is up. If you haven't yet read my post about Jenni Ballantyne, please do. She's an incredible woman who needs help, support, caring, prayers, people to witness her experience of cancer. Or just go straight to her blog and wish her well. She is not without her fears, but she is oh, so very brave, and she appreciates every word and thought that comes her way. Thank you.

And now, for Sunday Scribblings....

Last week's prompt on Sunday Scribblings was "Composition". In my post, I spoke about the Sunday night business of writing 3 essays, or "compositions" for my weekend homework. In my time at school, I must have written hundreds, if not thousands of essays, stories, compositions on all kinds of subjects, but there is one which I recall in detail, and the results of which have had a lasting impact on me...

I am almost 16, newly arrived in a school that promises a higher degree of academic excellence and attention to pupils' needs than my previous school. My mother is so happy that here, I'll be in an environment that will encourage me to knuckle down, and release the potential that all my previous school reports assured her was in me, and that if I would just "try harder", I'd be achieving really outstanding results.

I am enjoying the work. I like the teachers. (For the most part. There's Gladys, but every school has a Gladys, I'm sure!). I especially like Sr. Maura. Yes, in those days, there were still quite a few nuns involved in teaching, and Sr. Maura was relatively young, progressive in her thinking, and a delight as an English teacher after my previous experience. She encouraged reading material that wasn't actually on the curriculum. She advised us to read The Feminine Woman and The Female Eunuch and see how they compared. She was open and ready to think outside the box, and she assigned essay topics that I enjoyed; themes that could be explored creatively and played with a little. When I saw the topic she assigned us that Friday, I knew this was one essay I wouldn't be leaving until Sunday night. This was an essay I wanted to get to straight away. I had so much to say, back in the autumn of 1973 about

.......... "What will life be like in the year 2000?"

I had SO much to say. I had a vision of what life would be like on this little planet of ours. I believed - indeed, I felt that I knew - that within those 27 years, the world as we then knew it would be transformed. There would be no poverty, no starving children, there would be no wars. No-one would suffer because they were of a different race, colour or religion than anyone else. We would all have finally realised that we are indeed one people living on one planet; that we each have responsibility for all our brothers and sisters throughout the earth, and no-one would want to have more than their needs filled, while there was anyone who did not have their most basic needs seen to.

I described in great detail the care governments would take of the lowliest people in their nation; how leaders and politicians would see their work as a humble service and not a matter of personal pride; how women would take their place as equals to men in all fields of human endeavour. I wrote about how with our new awareness of the earth as one country, we would all be eager to be able to communicate with one another, and how one language would be chosen to be used in common by all, while local languages would then flourish, freed from the burden of being just one among a whole range of languages demanding attention in schools.

I had encountered the Bahá’í Faith during the previous year, and in the summer of 1973, it crystallised for me into the answer to so many of the questions I'd had about religion. My vision of the future of our world was drawn out of my deep conviction that the teachings I had espoused would be accepted widely by all people who thought about such things. It holds the promise of a world that is united in this way.

Back in that golden autumn of 1973, the year 2000 seemed such a long way off. SUCH a long way, it would surely be enough time for the world to come to its senses, and stop hurtling along towards destruction; to halt all wars and to begin to recognise the common humanity of all peoples. Now, I see what a short span of time that is, and still, still, I believe now, more than ever that the time is close when the tipping point is reached, the turning point. I see it in the enthusiasm of millions of people for books and programs like Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth". There is an urge towards unity. We are like a body divided against itself, and the time to acknowledge that we ARE one body will soon be upon us. Indeed, it is upon us now.

When I handed in my essay, I did it with a heart filled with delight that I'd had a chance to declare my faith in humankind, to lay out my hope-filled cards, and to say that "For all its sham and drudgery, it is still a beautiful world" (Desiderata). I was delighted to have been able to articulate my faith, to declare it, to offer it to Sr. Maura, not just as an essay for correction, but as a gift.


Her response came in red pencil. I have forgotten what the grade was. But the comment has remained engraved in my consciousness. When I visualise my inner critic, when I imagine the wet blanket that doused my enthusiasms in the worst way - there is Sr Maura, she of the red pen, and the caustic comment:

....." Interesting, but it's hardly realistic, is it?"

No? Well, my dear Sister Maura, my unrealistic idealism has held. I still believe this is a beautiful world, that people have an instinct towards good, and that sooner or later, humankind will be united; that wars will be a thing of the past. Whatever ideals brought Sister Maura to the religious life did not last. She left the convent. I have no idea how her life has been. Hopefully it's been good. Hopefully, she found it possible somewhere in her life to consider what might not be realistic, but that still, with enough hope, with enough positive energy, with enough faith, might still come true.

For many years, I felt bitter anger towards her for her crushing remark. During the remainder of my time in that school, I handed in meticulously researched, carefully crafted essays on practical topics that called for no imagination, no creativity, no wondering what might happen. That was what she took from me. But I have reclaimed it - my right to wonder, my right to imagine, my right to say what I think, what I hope; my right to say that I think - despite all the many problems and ills that beset it right now - that this planet has a glorious future.

If you'd like to read other Sunday Scribblings on the Future of the Planet, Click HERE.
I've finally done something to mark National Poetry Month. If you'd like to read, Click HERE

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Friday's Feast

Name something you would categorize as weird.
I must be wierd because I cannot think of anything I would categorise as wierd. ... Maybe the way spellings morph between what I'll have to call European English and American English? How does it happen?

What color was the last piece of food you ate?
I was going to describe the beautiful, healthy dinner I had with my friend, C, before we went out to see a movie this evening, but the truth is I had two chocolate-dipped flakemeal biscuits with coffee a couple of hours ago, and they were brown-and-beige.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy being alone?
In fact, I'm perfectly happy in my own company, so I'm probably 10 when I am alone, and 10 when I'm with people that I've chosen to be with. I love being able to organise my time and my space to suit myself most of the time, and that's how my life is at the moment.

Main Course
Fill in the blank: I will _________ vote for ___________ in _______.
I can't figure this one out. I think it applies to Americans. Or... "I will never vote for nuclear power in Ireland"?

Describe your sleeping habits.
I sleep in the middle of a double-bed, with two pillows, Egyptian cotton sheets, a lightweight duvet, and if the night is very cold, a crocheted afghan spread over the duvet. I sleep about 7 hours at night, but often (2 or 3 days a week) have an extended and very pleasant afternoon nap on the living-room couch, with gentle music playing, and snuggled in my favourite mohair or chenille throw.

If you'd like to read more Friday Feasts, go HERE.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Compose: Sunday Scribblings

They're right. It's an odd little word. Not one that passes my lips very often. I would never tell someone to "compose" themself, for instance, or when I write a poem, I never think of myself as "composing" it. Friends who write songs are song-writers, to my mind. When I put images together for a collage, that's probably the time I'm most likely to allow the word "composition" to enter my mind.

That makes it sound as though it's almost a forbidden word. That's not it. But it is a word which carries a weight of old, old associations and memories. When I was young, we didn't write "essays" or "papers" at school. We wrote compositions. In English and Irish. By the time I came to secondary school, they were called Essays, and on Sunday nights, I'd frequently find myself at the kitchen table, rushing to put together something in English, something in Irish, and something in French, too. And then, I'd think of them as compositions again.

Without turning to my dictionary (Yet! - I'm itching to, but will hold off until I've finished writing this piece!) I think the word "compose" means to bring elements together and to create one singular unit of them. The elements might be musical notes, thoughts and ideas, or pieces of a picture. The elements become a "compostition" then, and that's the aim. When I wrote school essays, I'd try to include a few aspects of the theme, and draw them together with some wonderful unifying thought. It usually worked.

Looked at the dictionary. Yes, among the definitions, there's something close enough to mine: To form (something) by putting it together.
This afternoon, some of my friends will join me here at home to make some SoulCollage® cards. We will gather images from magazines, photos, advertising flyers, each of us creating a bundle of pages which have called to them for known ("Oh... that looks like how I feel when I'm on holiday / mad as hell / thinking about what I have to do !") or mysterious ("That picture has a .... I don't know... a quality... an atmosphere... an aura that attracts/repels me... do I want to pull it?...") When we have a bundle of image gathered, we will spread out our images, move them around, moodle with them, try various combinations of images, consider how one would look as background to a variety of other images, and gradually the composition will begin to come into focus, and we will reach for scissors, carefully snipping around foreground images, cutting background pages to the size of the card on which we will be making our collage. As the cutting proceeds, the images are tried out, checked in relation to one another... Other elements might be sought out. ...

As we work, a quiet concentration will descend on the group. There may be murmurs and occasional questions: "Anyone seen the whale I cut out? Where was that gold cup again?... Can I borrow that other scissors? ... " Time will slip by and then, one by one, we will begin to sit back, surveying the card we've been working on, holding it at arm's length, allowing the others to see what magic has taken place in the juxtaposition of a variety of disparate images. Some of the initial images will have been discarded. Some will go into (growing) piles of pictures we want to use sometime in the future - when the "right" image presents itself to join the first to represent some aspect of the self, some energy that is felt deeply, some archetype that has meaning in the life of the SoulCollage artist.
These "compositions" become precious talismans to us. Over the past 4 years and more, I've made more than 100. I know a woman who has only made 2, but those 2 sit on her bedside table, precious to her, because they are a part of herself. When my sister began to make her cards, she carried them everywhere with her, as you might a special journal or diary.

When I found the SoulCollage process and began to make these cards, I did not imagine it would become such an important part of my life, but it has become a way in which I get to know myself, to share parts of myself with others. My cards remind me of what is important to me; they offer advice and perspective. When I'm wondering what course of action to take about something, I might pull 3 or 4 cards from my deck, and consider how they relate to my question. I've usually found affirming and reassuring answers in my "reading" of the cards.

When I began to write today, I did not mean to write a "composition" on the subject of SoulCollage® ! But it seems to fit, so I offer it to those of you who are curious. If you'd like to know more about the process, check out the SoulCollage website of Seena Frost, originator of the process, (where you will see 4 cards chosen randomly for you, and a large gallery of cards) or Kaleidosoul, a resource site run by a MA facilitator and trainer. I blog occasionally about my cards and process at SoulFragments. If you have questions... I'd be glad to answer them!
Find other Sunday Scribblings on "Compose" HERE.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday's Feast

Name a color you find soothing.
I find lilac, lavender, mauve - pale shades of purple soothing. I also like the cream and pale yellow colours I've used in my living-room.

Using 20 or less words, describe your first driving experience.
I am pregnant, determined to learn. I hit the curb on a corner. I blow a tire. I freak out.

What material is your favorite item of clothing made out of?
Currently wearing soft cordoroy trousers in black. Comfortable. Probably favourite.

Main Course
Who is a great singer or musician who, if they were to come to your town for a concert, you would spend the night outside waiting for tickets to see?
Um... Leonard Cohen.

What is the most frequent letter of the alphabet in your whole name (first, middle, maiden, last, etc.)?
My name contains 4 "i"s, 3 "e"s, and 2 each of "m" and "a".
Bet you found these answers absolutely rivetting! Go see if other Friday Feasters made more of a banquet of this set of questions!


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sunday Scribbling: Fearless

I was sitting here looking at that word - Fearless - and pondering where the start might be. What was my way in to "Fearless" as a topic for Sunday Scribblings? Oh, I knew - more or less - what it was I'd want to say, but hadn't yet fixed on the entry point. This is not usual for me with Sunday Scribblings. Usually, I write the title and jump right in.

As I sat there, ruminating, my phone rang. "Where are you?" my friend, K, asked. "I'm at home. Why?" I responded. "I bought a house!" she says. A house! Well, I had to abandon couch, computer and home straight away to go visit, to walk around to see the house that last week wasn't even on her radar, and that today - all going well - is set to be her new home very soon!

Before I left my house, I went in search of a couple of really pretty cards I'd bought a while ago, chose one of them and wrote in it. "K, your courage and willingness to leap is an inspiration to me..." It is. K is not a fearless woman. She has all the fears that any woman in her 50's who finds herself, after more than 25 years of marriage, alone and responsible for all the details of her life - present and future - might have. But she takes the leap anyway.

This is what I wanted to say about Fearlessness. It's not a state to which I aspire. I have another friend who told me - and it has truth in it - that "Fear is in the future". If we live in the present, there is no fear. Fear is all about what might happen next, or later, tomorrow, next year, when I'm 70... But still, even knowing that on an intellectual level, during my early days of being alone after my marriage ended, I would find myself waking early in the mornings, my stomach churning, in terror of something, anything awful happening, and having no protector, no shield, no-one but myself on whom I could rely. I was full of fears. But they could not all be named. I was a ball, a bundle, a mess of fear, and compared to those days, I am now pretty fearless, but still, whenever I contemplate something new, something I have not done before, I feel that panicky feeling in my stomach, my breathing becomes shallow and tight, and I have to remind myself to calm down, to relax, to "B-r-e-a-t-h-e". And when I do, I can face the new, the unknown, and make it through, and then, I am thankful for the fear. Coming through it is part of the growth. If there was no fear, there would be less satisfaction in the achievement.

When I set off for Yosemite last year, I didn't think about driving up, up, up, mountains higher than anything I'd driven on before. I didn't - for some reason - focus on the fact that if you have really high waterfalls there, then you have to have really high mountains from which they can fall; and that you can't get there without driving up some mountainous roads. As I drove, and began to see signs reminding me of the elevation, I felt a flutter of anxiety grow into a flurry of fear and panic. When I had a chance to pull in, I did, and breathed, and breathed. And looked at the road. Up and down.

Other cars travel there. Other people are doing this all the time. Why should I be any different? My car isn't any different. I sat back in behind the wheel, and went on. My delight in that few days was all the greater for having overcome a fear, for having pushed through. Travelling alone - same thing.

I don't want to be fearless. I don't want to be paralyzed by fear. I want to be able to do what Susan Jeffers suggests: I want to be able to Feel the Fear, and Do It Anyway. When I was with K today, and we marvelled at how much has changed for her in the past year, she told me she thinks she might even be ready at last to learn to drive. She can see herself doing it now. She knows it will be scary, but she's done so many scary things now, and survived them, she is willing to try one more scary thing.

I say Go for it. If it frightens you, but other people manage it, then why shouldn't you? Fearlessness is much over-rated. I say if there is a fear, allow it to be, look it in the eye, and tell it its days are numbered!


For more Fearless tales go to Sunday Scribblings.

Friends, If you haven't yet read my post about Jen Ballantyne, please do. She's an incredible woman who needs help, support, caring, prayers, people to witness her experience of cancer. Or just go straight to her blog and wish her well. She is not without her fears, but she is oh, so very brave, and she appreciates every word and thought that comes her way. Thank you.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday's Feast

The regular chef at Friday's Feast is taking a week off, but another cook has taken over the kitchen just for this week at StoneGirlBlog, and posted a set of questions, so go on over there if you'd like to join in. Appetizer
What is your favorite vacation spot in the United States?

That is a question that is both easy and hard for me to answer. As I've only ever visited Northern California, parts of CoastalOregon, and a smidgen of Washington State, I'm not really qualified to judge where the best spots are, but from my limited experience, any of those places are wonderful - so much so that after my first visit in 2006, I went back again in 2007 to California, and when I go again this summer it will be to California and Oregon. Two places I particularly liked were Patrick's Point State Park, and wandering around the Sacramento Delta (which happened by happy accident last year, en route to Yosemite). Yes, I adore Yosemite too. And the Columbia River gorge is mighty impressive. Just transplant me anywhere in the Pacific Northwest!

If someone else (friend, co-worker, family) brings up a religious or political topic, how likely are you to join the conversation, on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = not likely, 10=very likely).

Religion about 8, if I'm in the mood, but not if the topic is contentious. Politics much lower. Have very little patience for party politics, but don't like to argue about it.

What song do you listen to when you feel very sad?
Any Leonard Cohen; James Taylor "You've got a friend"; Sinead O'Connor "Thank you for hearing me"
(in fact, much of her work); Then, of course, there's Bridge Over Troubled Water. And "Yesterday" too. Oh.... and Janis Ian. Jesse's just heartbreakingly great, and In the Winter, too! And Don MacLean's Empty Chairs. .. and Vincent. It seems I have a neverending supply of feel-miserable music. I love it!

Main Course
Someone you really admire is coming over for a home-cooked dinner. What do you serve him/her?
Start with roast red peppers filled with goat's cheese and pine-nuts on a bed of rocket. Follow with Pam's lemon chicken on brown basmati rice with a spinach and orange salad. For dessert... I'm not a baker, but I think I'd like to fill lemon-shells with a lovely lemon sorbet and a spoonful of an avocado/lemon/date pudding I found in a Gillian McKeith book. Too much lemon? Ok. I'll serve chocolate cake too.

If the only form of transportation left in the world is by animal (horse, mule, camel), where would you live?
Well, much as it would break my heart to leave my friends, my home and my work here in the Northern tip of the island, if my only choice of transport was animal, I'd need to move back to live closer to my parents. If my sister's country cottage was available, I'd move in there. It's ten miles from the home my mother lives in, and not much further from my Dad, one of my brothers and one of my sisters. I don't know where my son would be living! Could be anywhere. Oh. I don't like imagining the choices I'd have to make. Once in every few months, then, I'd make the trek by horse-and-carriage to wherever he is. What if he's overseas? Oh... I don't like this idea! Not at all!


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Photo: Sunday Scribblings

This week, Sunday Scribblings asks us to consider ONE photo: Describe one, take one, or show us one! Talk about what seeing that picture meant to you or use the prompt to create a character. Who is in it? What are they doing? Why does that particular picture matter? When people have to decide what they would grab in a fire, after living things they nearly always say photographs. Why? And what is so special about that one?

My parents' wedding wasn't a big affair. By the standards of the day, it might have been a fairly big "do", but the guest list for the reception contained only family. Neverthless, this photo exists to show that the congregation in the church (cathedral, in fact!) had been swelled with a large group of my mother's workmates who came out on that August day to see Mary Eaton marry the man from Kildare with the killer quiff, Thomas Maguire. In the other photos of the day, you can see my paternal grandfather, my maternal grandmother and grandfather, aunts and uncles with "best" frocks and suits, flowers in lapels, standing stiffly and formally. In this photo, I can almost hear the giggles, feel the push and shove and scuffling that happened in the moments before the shot was taken. Some of the girls at the back are standing on tiptoes and still only have the top of their heads to be seen.

I love this evidence of my mother as a woman who was popular among this great crowd of women. They worked day in, day out, wearing rubber boots, walking ankle-deep in the chilled water that kept the factory floor cool. Their factory turned out milk products and confectionery and the workers worked hard and played well. And after a long, hard week, these women got up early on a Saturday and cycled or walked from all points of the city to witness Mary's wedding, to offer her a hug, to shake Tom's hand.

The picture has been reproduced in local newspapers a couple of times over recent years. It's part of the local history archive, really. The date: August 15th, 1953.


If you'd like to see some more photos, go on over to Sunday Scribblings.

If you'd like to see one of my poems featured as a Poem of the Month at the Virtual Teahouse, click HERE

Won't you pop in to see the Portrait of Trixie painted by Jessie?

And finally, and most importantly, If you haven't yet read my post about Jen Ballantyne, please do. She's an incredible woman who needs help, support, caring, prayers, people to witness her experience of cancer. Thank you.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

When the circle comes around

Some months ago, I did a Sunday Scribbling post about "Fellow Travellers". Within my meandering writing, I spoke of meeting K en route from Shannon, Ireland to New York on my first trip to the US two years ago. There was much synchronicity between our experiences. We fell into one another's company gladly. We parted in New York, where she connected with a flight home to Oregon, and I to San Francisco.

The "K" stands for Krayna. Krayna Castlebaum. She and I have kept in touch by email sporadically since then. I was delighted recently to read about a project she had started called "Poem of the Month". She put a box in her front garden and posts a poem there. People can take away a copy. Recently, she sent me a link to a spiritual writing group in which she is participating online - The Virtual Teahouse, (engaging the spirituality of everyday life). I noticed today she's posting her Poem of the Month online, and went to see - and she's posted one of mine! I'm so honoured. Because I'd like you to meet Krayna - and because I'm delighted to see this happen, I'd really like you to go over and see the post featuring my poem, In Crepe Paper. She found it in the book I pushed into her hand as we parted in a baggage hall at JFK. And she begins her post with a beautiful poem she has written in response to mine. I'm doubly honoured!

It tickles me to see this because in all we spoke about that day, I don't recall the internet or blogs featuring at all, and yet, here we meet again, in cyberspace this time. There are also a lot of great people to meet at the Virtual Teahouse, so maybe you'd like to take a look.

Krayna! Blessings to you, my friend.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday Feast

FIRST: If you haven't yet read my post about Jen Ballantyne, please do. She's an incredible woman who needs help, support, caring, prayers, people to witness her experience of cancer. Thank you

Appetizer Invent a new flower; give it a name and describe it.
(That's hard: All the good ones have been done already!) Ok. I love tubular-shaped flowers, so I'd create some really sweetly scented white tubular-shaped flowers, growing on slender stalks, a little like harebells, delicate and pretty. It will be a surprisingly long-lasting cut flower, and as the flower ages, a pink blush will take over the white. I'll call it Evening Blossom.

Soup Name someone whom you think has a wonderful voice. Guy Clark can cause chills up my spine. Bob Dylan too.

Salad On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how clean do you keep your car? I'm afraid I come in at about 3. I don't go to the car-wash often enough. What I notice is that after I go to the car-wash, I always have to drive on roads that are being dug up, and the car just gets all dirty again. Inside, I keep it fairly tidy. Nothing goes bad there. But there might be a pair of walking boots thrown behind my seat. There will be a scarf or gloves somewhere. There might be parking labels scattered on the dashboard, and a coffee-cup waiting a couple of days to be disposed of. Ok, is that 1? 2?

Main Course How do you feel about poetry? I love poetry. I'm (ahem) a published poet. I wrote a poem about "Why I Love Poetry" and posted it HERE. I don't often read a book of poems from cover to cover. I love to dip in and out. For a while a great online group called "Poetry Thursday" was responsible for much of what happened on my blog. I still miss it. Sorry you asked?

Dessert What was the last person/place/thing you took a picture of? The photos I posted HERE after my trip last weekend around places I used to visit some years ago. The actual last picture was the one of the Celtic Cross.

Want to check out more Friday Feasts? Go HERE. Want to see the beautiful painting I've had made of my dog? Go HERE


Thursday, April 03, 2008


For the past six months I have been mourning and coming to terms with the loss of my companion of over 15 years, Trixie. A few months ago, when Jessie of Diary of a Self-Portrait announced she was beginning to do Dog Portraits, (Go see her website, Stray Dog Arts) something in me just YELLED out "Do it! Commission a painting of Trixie! Do it now!"
So I did. I cannot tell you the healing it has brought about for me to have this done. Jessie worked from the few photos I have of Trixie. Trixie hated having her picture taken. Most of the photos show her barking or arching her back, angry about the flash, or ... we never quite figured out what she didn't like about the camera. Maybe she thought it was stealing her soul.
Jessie has imbued this painting with Trixie's soul. My heart is overflowing with joy to see it. I am moved, touched, absolutely beyond any words by the wonderful love with which Jessie worked in order to bring Trixie back to me in this way. She will be home soon, but already in seeing this photo of the painting, I just feel such peace, such affirmation that the spirit of my precious Trixie lives on and can be felt, not just by me, but by others.
Thank you, Jessie. Thank you, my wonderful friend. Thank you.

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