Thursday, December 30, 2010

And love you anyway

Written on the way back from wexford listening to James Horner's forest music and driving through the dark evening to home. 

Lets be snowflakes
intricately different,
perfectly the same
here for a day
or more.

Lets be light falling on Christmas day,
falling through on brightening day,
to the cold ground
that expects us.

If you like, we could even dance
in the dark cavern,
where winter's light shines
through the dusty space
in morning beams.

Lets flurry dance,
swirl in surrender to the season.

Lets be all in white then
like the snow falls in here
and out there too.
Out there on the craggy black mountain tops.

We could go as snow does?

We can Sing gentle songs up there
that would still echo
Echo across to the other side,
too and fro
in lullaby.

Ravens may lay on the drafts
and bring the black of the raveen up to white
they turn like autumn leaves
that escaped winter's hold
to listen

They call then
and our soft song is the same
not lost inside
Goodbye, hello they would say,
Lets be like the snow that comes and goes.
and love you anyway.

White light snow,
tarry though, just a little while before you go away.

Monday, December 20, 2010

In The Depth of Winter, I found within me an invincible summer - Albert Camus

As we approach the dawning of Solstice, of Christmas, of a new year, it seems the celestial light show shines ever brighter in the darkness. Here in Ireland we have the crispest nights with freezing zub zero temperatures. The most splendiferous exhibition sits above as I write, I know its up there.

Me and M, danced in the moonlight this evening as we returned from my Dads, having sadly said goodbye to my sister and her family who are returning to Sweden for the holidays.

I could see the reason for Madeleine's enthusiasm though, as we came into the garden, the moon shone right towards us, inviting us onto a sparkling lawn to play. I danced a little, but mostly watched the joy, in a swirling star child.

Given half a chance she is so fully happy, so fully alive. Half a chance, thats all she needs. And if she doesn't get it, how quickly she can find it.

In all this light talk it feels an excellent time to think of the darkness. After all, in just two days, the shortest day makes way for another year for us earth folks. How reassuring is that? Will we be glad of another year of free light: )
I remember distinctly the day I realized I am not 'doing time' anymore. Years, days, they could be one or none, it had become all the same to me. Somewhere between grief and joy, some subtle presence was becoming tangible suddenly in the realization that my sadness, my loss, was not a penance nor a sentence. A suffering yes, but a part of a life being lived and experienced fully. And, to fully experience this mysterious adventure, I was going to have to brace myself and get stuck into that suffering.

I have some good friends and guides and even tools with which to do that, Eft( emotional freedom techniques) being one, but my greatest help has been my heart. This big beating heart is showing me the way through the dark and the light.
It tells me now to open my heart to the possibility that Christmas is full of peace and thankfulness. Full of remembrance and not missing. That in the presence of Christmas is not dissatisfaction but richness. As I remember those I love, who are not here to see the sun rise, I can be glad of the knowing of them, and sad in their departure. Either is fine and neither wrong.

One is always free who stops to listen to the wild winds
One is always free who stands to feel rain knowing it will stop again
One is always free who opens the door when the sun shines in
 and keeps knocking on the door they cant get in. 

I read a wonderful article a few years ago by a writer called Jeannette Winterson. I love her writing. I am always sure to like it. She wrote that we were starved of darkness, not in her words now, as its been a while since I read it, but she more or less proposed that we were polluted by light. I loved it, the last thing you would think of really. But the darkness is so essential to being. Where would we be at all without the sunset, shadow, that blanket of rich velvet that coats us and allows us to rest. We must allow ourselves to close our eyes and let go so we can wake up again.

Winterson suggested that we, once a month turned off all electricity and allowed the darkness of an evening to creep in. Or is it settle in that it does? Settle around us and simply let the night be night.

I used to be afraid of the dark, and I still am in some ways. I don't like the garden shed on a particularly dark night. But I will happily close my eyes now and look into the deepest depths of myself even with the light off. Into every nook and cranny of myself I go. Because whenever I have and whenever I have been afraid of going in and allowed myself the opportunity to befriend that fear, I have found the brightest parts of myself I had not known, and therein was joy.

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious - C. G. Jung

Here in the middle of winter is this bright day. In the darkness there is light, Always.
Christmas is coming, the turn, the cusp, the edge, There is always more.

Do you know how many world religions all have the birth day of their prophet or leader on or around the Solstice/ Christmas? Its possible I imagine, that all religion has come from or been influenced by previous religions and come from something else before that, something perhaps less definable. What if it all began with some clear and universal truth, that this might be a very appropriate time to be very grateful for the sun that helps us all to be here and to remember most reverently the beautiful mysterious that some may call god, or the origin of being, or even light where life abounds. 

Time to be brave again and take another year I think. Be brave and enjoy it well.

To Celebrate; Christmas decorations here in our home

My tree is a live tree in a tub, a wonderful idea I think! My tree lives all year round at the home of Wandering Gardens  where it can be home and shelter to wildlife through the year. By having the same tree you are saving on masses of carbon from imported Christmas trees or just repeatedly buying a cut tree. This is the same tree we had last year, and was delivered to our door and will be picked up for us with its little tag with our name on it for next year. Madeleine has called it Lucy. And Lucy is allowed to mature and do her great job of cleansing the air as well as being our Christmas tree.

My needle felted santa is staying home with us for Christmas.
Madeleine and I made this decoration. Its a little hard to see, but is a banner that reads, REJOICE. She has made the paintings in between each letter, they are Christmas trees, stars and boys and girls.

Our growing crib.
Last year I made Mary and Joseph by needle felting. I was listening to a lot of music of Devendra Banhart  which may subconsciously have influenced Joseph's apearence; ) I intend to make figures each year to add to it. We put jesus in the crib on Christmas eve and add some more animals and other figures from Madeleine's playing. Its a lovely central point to our home at this time, and a story that Madeleine' really loves. Through her Steiner Waldorf schooling with its emphasis on Advent, this wonderful story has grown on me again too.

Its time now for snowglobes, Christmas trees, baking with cinnamon, cleaning house, frankincense and cards to make ( still not sent)  and to finish two crowns and two hats. I have been custom making lots of things, making them to suit a little character or a favorite color. Its been fun though my posture has taken on that of a crocheting grandmother, and I may finish up soon before I become a part of the arm chair in my living room . Its time for Madeleine too and her dreamy thoughts of Santa Claus coming with his generous spirit, and christmas fairies with their magic and happy surprises.

Happy Christmas dear Reader 
With lots of love xxx

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In the living of it

We have had a dear visitor come to stay with us, and took a little holiday ourselves, traveling with him to some rocky highlands of Dingle and then to some delights nearer to home. It's such a rich and rugged landscape here. Its all wildness around the edges and then its soaking, mossy, green gorgeousness in the middle. Ireland really is emerald and a jewel in many ways. I enjoyed so much to travel about in her graciousness again- hearing trad music in a pub in Dingle and watching this stormy drama of blue rolling heavily in over a low golden sun way out on the peninsula.

Its always good to travel with a loving friend of the spirit too, someone you can yap too all the way over the mountains and back, with a hearty laugh and a tear or two. Someone's hand to hold near the sea edge and share surprise smiles over the first snow of winter.

After all our excitement poor little Maddy was ill for a few days but has bounced back beautifully as she does. If only I could remember each time she is ill how strong she is and relieve myself of at least a little of the of the anxiety. Come to think of it I am more confident about my skills to nurse her, and in her own capacity to heal, its just been small steps. Ever vigilant regardless.

Today I found myself unusually alone and moongazing on a dusky walk. Its inspired me and woken up all my senses tonight.

Even here, in this pocket of light, a house amidst a dark garden, it is beautiful. I think about where we are right now, this moment, and its like a little tidal bay here too. I think I know just the one, somewhere off the coast of Connemarra ( Galway) with its white coral sand. A black rocky curve it is,  opening up to a great ocean with no means to know what will be and what will come. In and out this life goes on its strange and wonderful adventures. To be glad of the living of it, thats the trick it seems. Goodbyes and hellos.
I tell Madeleine who is often upset leaving a friends house that you have to say goodbye before you can say hello again. Sometimes she buys it, and maybe somewhere on some level she knows the truth, that we are all in ever changing cycles and tides. Impermanence is all that is certain. There is a lot of peace in accepting that.

Its three quarter moon and waxing its way to Solstice. The light comes back and the days grow longer, and everything will expand again. I have been finishing hats and arm warming cuffs today, three of them, and next I will make some more crowns. Creating, making, creating, making and staying warm for now. We will wait for our sun to get higher and brighter again and look back at this dark part called winter with its icy days and candle light and remember all this good busyness. 

Some cuffs/wrist warmers in a mixture of aran, donegal and handspun yarn from Italy.

A basket of work, hats crowns and ear warmers as in just below. With this, I feel like I should be off on my way with basket over my arm selling my wares.
There is something very ancient and kind of reassuring making handwork like this. It feels so right to do this work at this time of year.

Now its time to prepare for Solstice and Christmas. More work to do along the way, between baking and last bits of shopping, though we have hardly shopped at all and wont need to much, between handmade's and secret santa/kriskinlde in my family. And, did I mention there is a chocolate factory in my village. Wilde's irish chocolates- Me and M don't mind at all, another visit over there to the factory shop, if we have to.

Oh yes lists to be made..... and a blog in between, with a word or two on how Christmas is in this house and what me and Maddy have been up to with making Christmas decorations.... and our lovely live tree, that will need to be mentioned too, and the needle felted crib, my joseph that looks more like Devandra Barhardt........ and.......and that my work is selling...... and that this seems to be a good way to start being creative again.......and well......Happy Solstice..


Friday, December 17, 2010

view of the moon

Before the Snowman

I am walking to the woods and back before I go,
Three quarter moon, dusky clouds
snow laiden, ready
they flurry just a little now.

Every puddle is frozen and covered too,
I am cracking each in satisfying step as I go
but one
I am keeping this one for the way home.

White abounds
I am alone
just for today
I see up to the tops of trees, into skies, into pale light
a delicate sun sets behind.

I have remembered my mittens
my feet and hands, warm

I am alone in the dusk light
I am here in the moonlight
Just for now
Perfectly here
on this new earth.