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.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

When you come to the End of a Perfect Day - Sunday Scribblings - "Wedding"

This Week's prompt from Sunday Scribblings, in honour of the wonderful Megg, who is being married soon, is "Wedding". How often do I begin my scribblings with a ramble about how I didn't think I'd be writing anything on that prompt, and then....? I really didn't think I'd be writing anything this week. Well... my marriage didn't endure, and so I'm often inclined to use the "F-word" about it... No, not THAT F-word. - But "Failure". After 19-and-a-half years, my marriage "failed".

But, but, but... it succeeded in so many ways. Our vows - the ones that mattered to me, the ones from our Baha'i ceremony - were not "til death do us part", but that we would abide by the Will of God. And for reasons I may never fathom, that seems to have been that we should be a couple for long enough to have our son, to raise him in love and unity, and that then, we should part.

Our wedding was on 30th July 1983. At the end of the evening, my father sang this song. [Listen to the YouTube version played on Victrola above]

A PERFECT DAY (1909).Words and Music by Carrie Jacobs-Bond (1862-1946), who resided in Iron River Michigan in the 1890s, until her husband died...

When you come to the end of a perfect day,

And you sit alone with your thought,

While the chimes ring out with a carol gay,

For the joy that the day has brought,

Do you think what the end of a perfect day

Can mean to tired heart,

When the sun goes down with a flaming ray,

And the dear hearts have to part?

Well, this is the end of a perfect day,

Near the end of a journey, too,

But it leaves a thought that is big and strong,

With a wish that is kind and true.

For mem'ry has painted this perfect day

With colors that never fade,

And we find at the end of a perfect day,

The soul of a friend we've made.

........................It was a perfect day. I married the man I loved.

We were surrounded by the people who loved us. My mother and his father, who have since passed away, were with us. For a very long time after our parting, I could not look at our wedding album, but I've just leafed through it and found myself feeling so happy for the joy we had on that day. There are tears too, but I have always cried at weddings.

Perhaps this might seem a strange way to wish a Bride and Groom well as they begin their life together - to reflect on a marriage that did not endure, but I hope that on their wedding day, Megg and Mark are happy, happy, happy. As happy as I was on ours.


There are more weddings over at Sunday Scribblings.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Scribbling: Coffee


Yes, please. No sugar. Just a little milk. Not foamed, whipped, heated or fussed with. Just cold from the jug. Non-fat at home. Low-fat if you have it. But if not, regular milk is fine. I just won't make the mistake I made during my first trip to the States - wondering why their half-fat milk tasted so creamy, so, so creamy. Half-and-half had found its way into, not just my coffee, but cereal too!

But back to the coffee.
Mine these days is half-caff at home before dinnertime, decaff after that. That's my compromise. If I'm away or simply not at home, I take caffeine just fine. I found that if I totally deprive my system of caffeine, then even a little sends me loopy, so to take it in moderation seems a better idea.
OK, OK. I do like me my caffeine, but I limit it.

It's just instant with me most of the time. If someone comes in, and I offer coffee, I'll make it in the cafetiere, but if it's just for me, it's usually instant. That's the coffee I first had. It's what I thought coffee was for a long time - and then I started to notice on TV shows or in movies, people would say "I only have instant (apologetically)... is that ok?"

See, we don't have a tradition of coffee-drinking in Ireland, really. Ah... now, of course there are fancy-schmancy coffee houses all over the place offering this-achino and that-iato, but no. We are a nation of tea-drinkers, really, and when I was growing up, we were still trying to figure out where coffee was to fit into modern life. And coming in granules from a jar worked fine for us. I was about 12. I took 3 spoons of sugar in my coffee then. At 13, I accidentally discovered that, if I eschewed the sugar, I could actually taste the tea in my tea, and I experimented with leaving the sugar out of my coffee too. Never looked back.

You might wonder, if there is so little caffeine in my coffee-intake, am I really an addict? Well, there is just something about the taste of coffee. There are times I stand at the almost-boiled kettle, and my hand hovers between tea-bags and coffee-jar, but 99 times out of 100, it's coffee that wins out.

There have been 2 lengthy periods during which I've forsworn coffee. My sudden aversion to coffee was one of the first hints to me that my body had indeed become host to a new life. I couldn't abide the thought of coffee throughout my pregnancy, and as I was nursing my son, I didn't start drinking coffee for a long time after the birth. In fact, I made a very deliberate choice one evening, when I was about to collapse from the exhaustion that chasing an active toddler all day will cause, to have some coffee for the pick-me-up factor.

Never looked back. Until 8 years ago, when I gave up smoking, and realised I had no chance of success if I continued to drink coffee, as the taste of coffee was so inextricably linked in my mind with the joy of cigarettes (!!! I know!!!). I'm not sure what it was that caused me to return to coffee. Boredom with tea, I suppose. Perhaps a bit of a dare-devil "let's see what happens if I take a cup..." But I've managed to cut the caffeine/nicotine link for myself, happily.

I don't really mind what kind of coffee it is. I can take it "au lait"... I discovered when abroad that it's often just beyond the comprehension of some people that I might want black coffee with cold milk, and it is simply easier to drink it "au lait", or "con leche". I can take an espresso, but seldom choose to. There was a night in a restaurant in Haifa, when after our meal, a pot of mint tea, and a pot of turkish coffee were put on the table. Most of the people in the group of 10 or 12 chose tea, and I sipped away at that thick, sweet, cardamom-scented coffee for so long that when we left the restaurant, I was almost drunk on the caffeine!

So here I sit, Sunday morning, no breakfast yet (at 10.30 a.m.!), but a mug of coffee sits cooling beside me, and just as soon as I've hit the "Publish Post" button, I'll be headed to the kitchen to switch on the kettle and make myself another cup of coffee!

Join me?

This is today's offering foor Sunday Scribblings. Go on over and see who else has a cuppa to share!

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Post Number 300!!! A list meme I've never done

Laume put this meme on her blog today. I've seen it around quite a few times, but today, for my 300th post here, I've decided to just do this. Would you like to join in? Let me know if you have!
(my comments are in italics)

Here we present a list. Highlight those tasks that you have accomplished in your life. And then add a new task to the list of something memorable that you've done that isn't on the list yet.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain – (Irish mountains aren't that big!)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s nappy
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten tipsy on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse of both the sun and moon
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states (3 down... 47 to go!)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk (the downside of not drinking alcohol!)
42. Had/Have amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland (since I live in Ireland, I guess that counts)
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke (once... La Bamba... excruciating!!!)
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class (Tai-chi counts, right?)
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced (well... almost there)
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest (I was SOME saloon-girl, I can tell you!)
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted a river
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone (I figure a riot-zone counts)
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in a Rocky Horror Picture Show
96. Raised children (singular, but that single one took raising too!)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a TV game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept 30 hours in a 48 hour time frame
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states (easy, when you don't live in the U.S..... England, Scotland, Wales, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel)
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school (B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology, age 48... Yay, me!!!)
131. Parasailed
132. touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read “The Iliad”
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life
151. Organized a HUGE event!
152. Seen something you can't explain with science.

And my addition...
153. Had a book published.

Seems there's still a lot to be added to my Bucket List... although there are many things on there I have no interest in accomplishing!

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday Scribbling: Miracle

Time passes. That is no miracle. That is what time does. Sometimes, the most mundane, ordinary things can seem like a miracle. Like, you can climb into a giant metal tube, sit in it for a couple of hours, and when you climb out, instead of leaden grey skies above you, you might see something like this: You lie down. You feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, soaking into your bones. You sigh. Many times. You begin to feel good. Really good. That is no miracle. That's what the sun is designed to do for us.

You spend days wandering from leisurely breakfast to poolside, to leisurely lunch to poolside - oh, with a trip to a beach for variety - and then out for leisurely dinners. You sigh contentedly. Many times.

You take clifftop walks, breathing in salt air, enjoying the cool sea breezes. You go visit an exhibition of sand sculpture. Now, this is a miracle! People who take sand and water and create...
scenes from all your favourite movies. There are so many, you can't photograph them all, and because it's almost sunset, shadows make it difficult, but you capture some interesting scenes

They were made in May. It's now August. That is a miracle - or where I come from, it would be for sure!


That is my offering for this week's Sunday Scribbling prompt of "Miracle" Find some other, (perhaps more real) miracles HERE

HERE'S a LINK to a gallery of great photos of the sculptures

And there are a few photos of the site, with artists at work OVER HERE

Oh... Where was I? Carvoeiro, in the Argarve, Portugal, with my sister. It was lovely.

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