Friday, November 18, 2011

Dutiful daughter


I remember years ago reading Memoirs of a  Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir. I might have been 19 years old, and was going through some big changes in my life. I was enthralled with it especially with a passage that I have never forgotten. I have no longer the book but will try to recount it as best I can: ) 

She writes of herself maybe about 6 years old, same as little M. She is playing in the Jairdins de Luxebourg in Paris. Her Nanny is watching over her whilst she is playing by the fountain( I have visited this fountain particularly searching for this spot ).
Suddenly, and compleletly out of nowhere she feels a sense of her own existence in the Universe. In a moment she is at once completely entranced, excited, overwhelmed and then finally terrified. She runs to her nanny's lap in tears. The kindly nanny thinks she has fallen or fought perhaps with another child and tries to comfort her, asking her what it is that has upset her so.
This little Simone cannot for the life of her explain what she feels. She doesn't have the words at six years old to express a bit of it, and simply wails. Somehow though within her little tiny self, she vows to remember that moment of feeling, and that when she is grown she will always remember that children can feel this way and have a real sense of these huge aspects of being alive, with no means to express it all.
She does all that just by feeling.

Sometimes I feel like little Simone De Beauvoir, about six years old and overwhelmed at being alive. All the majesty of mystery around me, not knowing what is next and what can change. Life is exciting to me now, and still a little terrifying. But its the terrifying bits that interest me most, they hold the nuggets of real understanding. I too have a feeling that everything is about to change again, and a new chapter is opening in my life. Maybe its just speculation, but I think I am finding myself in here. I never had a real notion what that meant. Perhaps I will once I am found: )Maybe whilst in the finding its just a feeling.

Fear is an amazing teacher. And it can be a good friend when viewed in a certain light, the kind of light that comes with a compassionate view of oneself.

night night dear reader

xx E


Friday, November 11, 2011

meeting with Henry David Thoreau finally.....and The Bio Regional Swap

.......I am reading Walden, I think it is some kind of critical point. I have seen so many quotes from it on other beautiful works that I knew one day it would pass into my hands. It will offer me something, I am sure.

I came home yesterday with a bundle of books from the library, some I had ordered, some on Rudolph Steiner ( looking for a deeper understanding) and others, part of a list of poets and writers I have made, that I thought its high time I looked into a little further.

 I am feeling very studious at the moment, having rekindled my love of reading. I am quite comfortable of an evening with a wee stack of books beside me, a pen and notebook. That would have been such a far away feeling for such a long time.

I feel all alight with excitement. I am applying for a bursary for my art, and I guess that means I am serious about what I am doing here. I yearn for the studio each day, and to accomplish something there. And at night I am reading and snuggling with my sleeping M.

 I feel I am engaged with the artistic process, which I think I am finally beginning to know, I guess I have mentioned that before. I need to write a whole post about that.

I am taking my place in the auditorium of this art/life, which happens to be in the woods, Great!
A student of Being and so willing am I now to be myself here.

I have come to realize that it is not that I didn't like to read since my husband died, but that I have changed so much, and so has the kind of book that captures my imagination, that has me smiling in the half light of night reading.
I want to read about life now in all its spectrum, of experience in nature, exploring the infinite depths of this reality in all its forms. Poetry about moments of being and feeling alive, its pain and joy, its tears and laughter. Right down to the depths of things and up to the breathy heights of lightness.
I am on road where my signposts are marked with inspiration. Each twist promises another experience, another chance to be alive and open eyed to the mystery, I hope to stay with it a while now.

Its morning now, I have returned to my home, having been away from it for a wee while. I have been staying with a friend who is unwell.
I come back in here, to cold, no heating downstairs for a week, its raining outside, but the kettle works and there is broadband.

So my orange teapot is beside me, and my bright screen in front of me, I had to write a few lines before leaving again for the studio an then to pick up little M.

I noticed when I came in the little things about my house, the way I had placed things, the colors seemed brighter, it all seemed strangely cleaner and new, a little time away is good for my perspective. I also noticed the things that Milla had sent, and how quickly they have become a part of my home.
Milla was my bio regional swap partner, It was Mary's bright idea, she had asked on her blog Terrallectualism, if anyone would like to take part, and we did. We all sent each other parcels from our bio region. My take on it, was to put a little of ourselves, where we are and who we are in there and to send it to someone far away, to share a taste of your place in the world.


Little places and corners and stacks of things today, and here Gary Snyder's Poems on top, a book sent by Milla

 I will tell you this story of the day my package arrived!

Sunny day

I sat in the bright sunshine one October morning, I parked myself in my rocking chair, just inside the doorway of my home where the brilliant sun was warming the stone around and stretching itself long and bright in rays across the floor of my house.

M was ill with a cold and playing quietly upstairs.

I was feeling a little blue about things, remembering people I loved and trying to put those feelings in order a bit as I let the sun warm my face, eyes closed with birdsong soothing me.

A shadow came across the doorway then, I opened my eyes to my postman, smiling with parcel.

I signed for it, curious having not expected it so soon.

I realized it was from Milla, and called little M from upstairs. There was hardly time to get a camera out for the sudden rush of excitement but we managed a few shots at some stage. She was so excited, having helped me gather things for Milla's parcel, she has imagined what could be in it.

And so it was opened with a whole bunch of giggles and wonder, and an island poured out upon the wood of the floor. Pebbles and feathers, dried rosehips and teas, berries, dresses and books, a dreamcatcher and wee pretty cotton bags, Jams and peaches.

Blending into our home already!


We were enthralled, and there was love in there too, lots of it.



We felt so pleased. Milla had included a book of Moomin stories, a finnish series of wonderful tales for children, that any adult must read too. They are some of the best stories I have ever read, by the author Tove Jansen. One day I shall write just about her, but here are some picture of her, what a wonderful face, it may inspire you to seek out her work, if you have not already come across her.




There was a dress for me, covered in butterflies, that fit perfectly, now how does that happen without a bit of magic?



There was just enough heat in that October sun for me to flounce about in it for two days. Now it hangs on the wall in my bedroom and causes me to smile when I pass it in anticipation of a warm Spring day, when it will be worn again.

If you know the Moomin stories, you will understand me in saying that this whole thing was a very Moomin kind of moment. We had pancakes and raspberry jam for lunch, and sent hugs and kisses and thanks across the many miles of ocean to the shore of Milla's island, to her, her spirit, her husband, and her heart.................And to Mary.

A friend was round before the end of our sunny day to take this take this : )

So now off to the studio for a wee while, its chillier and chillier down there, hence my work is changing its colors and themes, my dear friends next door have left for the winter, so its quieter too. The sun doesn't shine in the eastern windows anymore in the morning since we changed our clocks, so its better now to go a little later in the morning when it shines from the southern side.

Here is a little look at what I am making there, I have made this pod drawing, unfinished yet, a woman in a pod for winter- deep under the fallen leaves staying warm and safe till spring when she will unfurl and uncurl like a great fern with a book of bright pictures: )  underneath is another painting in process of layers of leaves.



 And here is the Butterfly Girls almost finished!




Thank you dear readers, and for all your lovely visits and comments. It is wonderful to be communicating this way. I do always respond to comments though it does take me a while sometimes.

What a mixture of a post, I think its packed in as I feel like I just have this little time to be here. Its a catch up. I have other posts in progress, things I just want to explore and share.......................

I will come again soon and to catch up on all the others lovelies sharing their words and hearts, until then its off to Walden.

xx E

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Light going forward, thats certain....and to Occupy.



.... We began the day with pumpkin carving, little M has had the privilege today so it seemed to her, to draw out the face.

The pumpkin was a gift from Dad, grown in his lovely garden.

Like yellow jewels, we watched them form these last months, debating how much to water and when to feed them, which way to lay them, when to pick the smaller ones.

Golden!

We now have our lantern glowing and two large jugs of pumpkin puree in the fridge to make cookies with tomorrow and perhaps soup.

It is something, something is the only word.
How do I keep on describing this girls joy about things?  I will keep trying... I love trying: )

Her delight at making these this morning could only but put a smile across my face and bring me to some much more heart felt place beyond my morning grumpiness. I stayed up far too late watching a movie and this morning found myself pulled out of bed at sunrise, to get this pumpkin carved. I just about persuaded her to eat breakfast first.

 We ended up with a satisfyingly scary yet funny Jack' O lantern, that is for now the centre of Little M's world.


Other things to share with you for your halloween, and for entering what is the beginning of the darker months for us here in Ireland, 
Are these!




We made these lanterns last week. 

I hoped to post about it sooner. But here we are the night before the great event. 

 I made something like them in Art collage years ago whilst trying to make little hot air balloons. 
I was reminded of just how lovely they can be over here on Moment to Moment. I do get a lot of inspiration there!!!
You will get a thorough description of how they are made there too. 

We did it slightly differently.
So, Here is how we did it. 

Its basically papier mache!

You need

Glue
paper
balloons
brushes

 {We used pva ( a water based glue) and water mixed half and half, you could also make a flour paste. Make Strips of crepe paper and tissue paper, (we used warm reds, oranges and yellows for this time of year and to really make your lanterns glow) }

* Blow up your balloon to the desired size of your lantern
*turn it big side up and place it in a bowl to secure it
*paint some glue onto your balloon and start to stick on your strips
*make about three layers, with lots of glue, and you can add leaves too as we did. If you add a leaf be sure to cover it with another layer of paper. The leaves really are beautiful.
*Once you feel you have enough on there with a last all over layer of glue, leave to dry, if you put near a heater, it will really speed up that process.
*when dry, pop your balloon and gently peel away from the paper.
* put a tea light an a wee plate or flat stone inside it and there you have it, a little glowing planet of light right in your home: )


As I was making these I thought  how beautiful white ones would be for Christmas, with little golden stars stuck in between the layers. I am will make some, maybe even a string of them across a room or over a fireplace. Ooooooh: )

Little M has been lantern making for the Mairtinmass festival in school, where we will have a lantern procession in the woods together after nightfall. Its just a couple of weeks away now. 
It was so dark and stormy last year, it was a task to keep our lanterns glowing, but all the more symbolic, carrying light and this spark of warmth glowing through the windy darkness. It was magic, and I am looking forward to it again, even as I hear the wind rushing around our doors. 

Tomorrow we will walk after dark hoping the stars will make a welcome appearance. 
I feel this year is yet another step further away from the more commercial aspects of our festivals, with school influences and my own sense of connection with the deeper meaning of these points of reflection and celebration.  

I feel a real excitement about these simple lanterns and firelight and the walnuts in my bowl, and the apple games we will play. With neighbors to visit for a song and a treat, walk in the dark with a little hand in mine, that will be grand.

That reiminds me, I look across the wide ocean now,  dividing me from the America I love, to Occupy Wall Street and their message. 
Its such a liberated one, check out Milla's thoughts here at her blog. She has written beautifully as always, about her feelings with Occupy. I have to say at this point I feel a well of good feeling about it. I would like to join them in Dublin at least for a visit. Every time I open a page on You Tube or The huff post, I see some placard with some profoundly truthful statement, without anger, just stating things as they are. Its remarkable what they are attempting to do. I intend to watch more closely and follow it, but I get caught up making lanterns and living my life here as Mom, by the woods. But to all those who are occupying, I am grateful.

 I wish them well with my heart, and imagine along with them a real live way of living harmoniously together. And when I IMAGINE this, I feel very good. 
Occupy for me, is all about trust in change, letting go of what is not working anymore, believing there is a truth that we can all live by, that we are made for a more loving way. And all the voices of doubt aside for but a moment, just the thought that it could be, is enough to make one see the light. That is realistic.

I believe this! 

What do you believe? 

















Wednesday, October 19, 2011

the life that shapes me.........





.......

I have had some great conversations lately with my neighbor and some other kindly folks one might meet at school or roundabout. Lots of food for thought. I have read lots more blogs as I spread my wings a little wider into that world, and am inspired by it all. I am coming a little closer now to understanding what I write about and why I am here, still exploring though. A curious soul I am. And it gets "curiouser".

 I try not to wonder so much that I miss the point of feeling alive in a mystery but its in the very essence of my nature to question the days pass, and the way of things. 

After I dropped off Little M to school today, I hung out the washing along the line. The sun was just above it, twinkling over the edges of my tea towels. I felt a feeling for meditation. 
Looking round to the half moon, I was inspired enough to do it too!

After a summer of no routine and a flu to beat the band, as we would say in Ireland. I felt like my meditation practice had disappeared, gone off somewhere down the garden path. Luckily it was there I found it again, one still Thursday morning, under the fig tree, somewhere near the compost bin. I do seem to have some good ideas there...must be all that transformation; )
It was in my sitting still that I noticed how quiet it all was but for the birds, sunny too. Finally a reprieve from the wet winds.

It put me in good order, as it was sure to do. Even the very effort of it seems to bring about a little peace. And if Peace is what I am after, which I am most definitely partial to, then this is where I begin. 

To the woods then and a walk to the studio, with contemplation in mind. The sun had me melting into the trees. Deliquescing in the long shafts of golden light and scattering leaves, my worries and woes of these last few weeks drifted by.




 It being a year since I switched on this Elisheva Project, its also the week that I finally took the plunge and ventured to the big city with my paintings under arm( though a little uncomfortable, as some are quite large, I managed) to have prints made with the intention of selling and circulating my work. Its a huge step for me. Voices of doubt crawled and creeped and scared me all week, or weeks till I finally turned to speak with them!


The loudest have been my sense of value I put on my own work, and trying to make some kind of balance within me between the useful critic, that knows when something feels good or needs a bit more or less and the very irrational critic, that really doesn't like anything I do at all; ) but does gets very excited when I finish anything. Oh my fearful ego.
Its a trust issue, and one I have to work with.

It feels like such a different relationship with art, quite distant from the last, perhaps if this were a metaphorical globe I would be on the other side of art world. Its like day and night, from where I used to be. This time I feel I can make a mends. I may have come far enough along.

As I stood in the little white gallery out front from the printers in dublin, clean and white surrounded by framed work, new work, different work from mine, Oh so different. I took at look at myself on the inside and out. I wish I had a picture of meself there to illustrate.

My hands, big hands with very long fingers were shaking as I opened the package of my work, It was a little birth to bring them out, so new. A new way of working for me. Now I paint in a bright attic. I could say I have gone back to my roots, but I really would be speaking of the woody kind. So far back and deep down are those ones I don't remember where that began. But it feels so right, and that has been the truly guiding factor of this last year and my efforts to make art again. It kind of feels holy to me, and that little critic is enjoying some of it deep down, I know.

This art reflects who I am now.

Who is that then? 

Well, Tallish mother of one sparkling child, in green raincoat, brown hair, tweed skirt, unusual gray shirt with buttons sewn along the neck, a little make up, hair askew from the wind, and green shoes with mud all around the edges: )
And Inside .......A little tired because M has a cough that I have been listening to it for three nights, slight ringing in my ears from my flu thats not quite left me. And a heart healing with a kind of joy that seems to grow, finally. 
Also, Having completely fallen in love with a woodland in Clare, so much so its all I can do to paint about it and write, and talk about it!

I have lived here three years, and this environment has had such a deep impact on me, I am where I am, its become me, by osmosis, these rich woods and all they hold, this home and garden, my neighbors, this community full of happenings and workshops and festivals and people who choose to celebrate it all even if we are in the midst of very messy economy. 





This wonderful waldorf school and all the magic that offers and sense of occasion in life. The connectedness with the rhythms of the seasons that brings into my home, is a vital part of my way of living now and raising my daughter. 
The compassionate understanding of the different needs of each child, and the respect that emerges from that has taught me more about relating with people in the world then just about anything else I have come across. A day in the kindergarten, is a day spent with a whole spectrum of personality and emotion held peacefully and confidently by teachers who have a real pedagogy and vocation in their work. 

I had never thought how children as human beings that move and create, cannot be expected to spend half their childhoods sitting in a chair to learn. As the alphabet can come later, as most scandinavian and other european countries have chosen the age of six and seven to teach letters, waldorf schools hold on to that too, till a child appears ready to be in a formal class environment. As one Mom said to me, your child can be in education for a life time if they choose, but childhood doesn't last so long. When they are ready, they learn faster too! Can you tell I am enthusiastic about this.



I feel so touched by being Here, but I also know now that Here could be anywhere really, and was everywhere I have ever been. The difference being now I am open to it. I can be conscious or not of that, but it is something that has changed in me, my art could be about the seashore one day, that would be nice too, or the sun, don't get me started on sunshine. For now the forest is my love, I better tell Pj though I think he may have suspected all along; )
What shall I give back to the woods I wonder? And to this community?





Since coming to this village and growing into my motherhood, I have let go of parts of me that I don't need here and now, and I have gained others. Maybe its more like parts are resting whilst others are waking up. Just life really, and an intrigue about that, that I can't help but be eager about unfolding. Being present with it is everything. Its easier said then done, but a little goes a long way, and I can't tell you how hard it has been at times not to be aware of that, maybe sometime I can share that too. 



A couple of days ago, I met an american woman who is traveling here. We discovered quickly we were both EFT enthusiasts and spoke a little more about writing blogs, I told her about this post and then she recites quite brilliantly this poem. s She meant every word of it, and I had that lovely shiver down my spine!

Lost
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
David Wagoner



I have come across such wonder..... HERE too, online that is. Such awe inspiring writers and life lovers traversing each others days across these maps of words and pictures. These windows into lives we get here, with such authenticity and heart at times that it takes my breath away. The creativity in motion abounds, the sharing of art's work and the trials and tribulations impels me on in my own quest and supports my dream. Could I ask much more of this space? It seems I can. Its never ending....

Thank you dear reader
And a special thanks to my new neighbor, who has brought such heart to my doorstep, kindness and evening conversations, maybe even a little of that 'urban' me that I had left behind, that likes reading newspapers and going to cafe's: )


xx E









Saturday, October 15, 2011

Little M goes to market


Little M has the fine ability of making her dreams come true!

I try to help where I can. When she wishes for castles and ponies I do stop for a moment in time, and wonder could I, how? 
Some good people in my life taught me to think big. Think in the style of miracles!!!!
 But sometimes its a little overwhelming being Mom and looking ahead at all that needs providing for. More often then not though something wonderful comes along to make it all seem easier and give madeleine exactly what she wants: )


We went to the farmers market in early September as we do almost every sunday, the creature of habit that I am. And the kindly Cheese mongers namely, The flying cheese brigade, told us a children's market was coming up and asked would Madeleine like to have her very own stall for a day. Would we what!!!!!"Yes", we said straight away. 

Little M has dreamed of being a stall holder and has asked me numerous times could she, and when, and what could she sell. And then the list of all the things she would like to sell, And the excitement grows. That and to be a musician on the streets has been her leading aspiration of these last months, bringing stars in her eyes, shining up at me with pleas.

The enthusiasm became far more heightened this summer. When making elderflower cordial with our lovely friends in June.
M and her little friend, seeing the amount we were producing and just how yummy it was, quite literally had dollar signs in their eyes as they planned a cordial selling stall on the edge of the street here in the village. And what about the profits??? They decided it would be puppies that they buy with all the money they made: )

 She invited her friend to join her and with some help from Moms and Grandad, it all came true.

Here she is, on that very morning, dressed for the part and feeling like a big girl, another theme running with us these days.



And here is their stall!






We made a lot of cookies!!! mainly ginger bread men and stars, which were a great seller, and flapjacks. Little M is gluten intolerant so everything we made was GF. I am giving you my gluten free secret recipes at the end of this post. I have really just been waiting to share them: )




My dad also got on board with us, making toffee with the girls full to the brim with cashew nuts! and providing beautiful organic eggs from his chickens, and some jams he had made.


M's friend brought the most wonderful little bundles of kindling for the fire, tied up with string, they are parked there in front of the stall in her little red trailer. Some heather bundles too, other edible delights and some old toys and books. M had been adamant that she was not parting with any of hers.

It really was so amazing to see them live out this play, that they had had. To see them making it real, with their little till and counting their money. They charged all kinds of prices, Madeleine sold a stone from the woods for €3.50 to a little boy, who just loved it, and totally saw what she saw in it. I tried not in interfere too much, but when she was charging €10.50 for jam, I intervened a little.

There were all sorts of other fun things for children there, including a very funny clown, who had us all in fits of giggles.



Here they are on their break from commerce, whale watching apparently. Though its hard to find whales in lake water, they were quite sure about it.



What a wonderful memory for them, and for us Moms too. And we were were welcomed with open arms from the market. For our girls to have an experience like that so young is really something special.

Other things happening here soon, are Feile Eile  , a festival for childrens with lots of workshops and events and music that is going on over the next three weekends!
And the 26th of October is the second Festival of Lights , we wont be missing that. 

Ok so here is a great recipes for delicious gluten free cookies that work beautifully. I have also made them dairy free and they have worked a treat.


Gingerbread men and stars or whatever shapes take your fancy!
we make these at all time of year adjusting shape an decoration for the season. At Halloween , we make headless gingerbread man; )

2 cups of all purpose gluten free flour
1 cup of rice flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ginger( you can add a bit more if you like them more spicy)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp xanthum gum ( this will make a real difference)
1/2 cup of butter or dairy free margarine
1/2 cup of raw cane sugar
1/3 cup of mollasses
2/3 cup of honey
i large egg

You can use any decorations you like. We use chocolate chips and raisins and jellies too sometimes, depending on the occasion that is in it. It works very well, to press your choc chips or jellies into the cookies when they are hot out of the oven, be gentle about it. As they cool they will be stuck on.

*With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy and add the egg and molasses and honey, In a separate bowl sift the flour and all dry ingredients. 
* Add your dry mix gradually into the wet, mixing all the time until everything is well combined. You should have an aromatic bowl of gorgeous dough now, but before you think of rolling out, it really needs to be refrigerated a while, at least for two hours or over night.
* when you are ready to roll out, you can preheat your over first to 350F 180 C. Line your baking trays.
divide your dough in two, and roll out on a floured surface, cut out and place on sheets.
*Bake in the middle of the oven, they bake so quickly, but that will depend a little on how think you make them, its going to be between 8-12 minutes. They are done when they are barely beginning to brown.
*When you take them from the oven, I find it best to leave them on the baking tray a minute before moving them. Then once a little firmer, you can remove and cool.
Thats my first ever recipe on here. I hadn't imagined that, but here you go. I do hope you enjoy these. They are so delicious, Little M adores these. 



Thank you dear reader xxx E





Friday, October 14, 2011

Today poems!

They must be golden tipped boughs now
touching the water top, out at the bay edges,

Where soft water invites you in,
Skin is made into silk there under lake water


Like otters we dived under 
becoming wild again.


Madeleine has not learned to swim on the silver surface, 
She tirelessly jumps in again and again


Only a second to take her new breath between each dive,
Her natural confidence surprises me and pleases the mother in me.


The lake is mirror still but for us
and a ripple from beneath the tallest Bull rushes.


Far out beyond us swans are white specks
in the reflection of stormy blues, moving quickly into heavy greys.


The rain is hanging there, almost here.
But, The thunder rolls.


We can feel it in our bones, Its a sensory superfluity now, 
first raindrops on our faces, and silver circles break the surface.


We crouch in the water, I am on my knees
Our fingers entwined beneath.


The water nestles around our shoulders
we watch this vista soundlessly waiting.


The laiden sky gives in 
We have got a soaking


laughter resounds across the way and up the hills
through the greens


We turn, splash, run, wade our way back, stirring it all up
Pulling my legs up against the weight of water


And holding hands we yip and yell like animal calls
finding our voices again


Lightning cracks when we reach the grassy shore
Under the hawthorn trees our clothes are still wet through


summer rain warm with chills
I look back to the hills, a glance


From the forest I stand with rose hips in my hands
and one acorn, I have disturbed a red squirrel that scampered here


A dash in brilliant auburn red, a flash of autumn
up a beech, till high enough to safely stare back at me 


In his utter stillness I halt, then
Wood pigeons flurry and fly overhead, dead branches fall


Its a hundred days since summer swimming wild
In this portal of earth change, I turn to the direction of the bay to smile. 






Thankyou dear reader xxx E





Thursday, September 29, 2011

Days to die for........

.......I was walking in the sunny forest this morning, meeting with the trees. They were meeting me too, and I was loving it.

I was walking in the city Yesterday, in Galway, where it was both sunny and windy, and seagulls flew above me, riding the wind, shimmering in the high sunlight of the mid morning as I crossed the bridge, loving Galway. 

I went to see my herbalist Dr. Dilis Claire as I have done every two or three months for the last...oh ......almost two years. 
We had fun as she listed my symptoms that I arrived with, all that time ago. 
As she read out each one... "how is this/ how is that? and any pain there??? ".... or, " what about this"....on she went along; I shook my head saying, "No, thats not there" or, "Oh yeah, I forgot I had that, and gosh yes I had that too". I was pretty well clear of everything. A little tired still, but thats about it. 

Its been a long road, I was feeling ill for years and then terribly sad too from being grief stricken, Its been a steady and determined combination of EFT, herbalism, and meditation, and I find myself....... well healthy. 

Should I whisper that? 

No, yesterday I wanted to shout it from the bridge up to the seagulls, so they could carry it out to sea and maybe to the other side. 

Today I told the trees!
They stretched out their arms to me as I passed, gently patting me on the back as I followed the path through, under the great old oaks and the cathedral-like line of beeches, and those strong hardy hazel. 
I feel so supported and free. I have been given a gift and each day I feel really well, is precious. 


All those herbs I have taken, I want to write a prayer to each one of them. To kiss the hawthorn for improving my circulation, and the rose, and the marigold too, and..... so many amazing, intelligent plants that came into my body, worked with my tiny cells in the most miraculous ways. 

They lifted me up to see all I needed to see, gave me the energy to revive enough that I could tap with EFT, and sit through my deeper and longer meditations. 
I could face the darkness then, and the grief that frightened me so. 

I am well, a body alive. 


These Fall days are so beautiful now. This is my favorite season!!!!!!!!!The one thats all about letting go, and carrying the light with you through the darker days. It is the perfect reflection of my greatest learnings these last few years, and now as I bask in the colors of Autumn and in the falling down of everything into the NOW, I value the experience of it even more.
In my improved health I breathe so deeply.

Today is the Michaelmass festival at school and although I am a mere novice at understanding the depth of meanings that Rudolph Steiner taught about these festivals, I do listen and read a bit about it all, and use my own intuition to see what it means for us. Today, its the story of Archangel Michael and the dragon that stand out for me and little M.

I read, in a second hand book store yesterday, about this. (Charlie Byrnes wonder emporium of books, bookstore to be exact: ) That Michael is the angel that guides us in our individual freedom, in finding our own healing path, he protects our journey into love and peace, to find our way in overcoming fears /fighting dragons.

Today little M came home with a red felted pouch she made in school and inside was a dragons tear she said.
They had a harvest feast at school, and we this evening had our own feast. It felt important today to mark it together, I needed to celebrate. We happend also to be sharing our supper with some lovely lassies too, and I was glad to be cooking for friends again.

I asked M and her little friend to pick some flowers for our table.

It became a floral mission beyond my expectations I can tell you. Look at what they did.





Magnificence ........it was a feast amongst Autumns final blooms and seeds of color, a last glimpse of summer.


Now I am almost finished Milla's package for the Bio regional swap. A wonderful idea, inspired and brought together by Mary Good, who writes Terralectualism. She has got a group of Blogging lovelies to send parcels to each other, of our bio regions. Sending a little of who we are, and where we are, and what we do. I have been given Milla to bestow my gifts upon, and cannot tell a word about what is going in there so as not to spoil the surprise, but I am deeply loving this idea, and so glad to be involved. I have always dreamed of a job where I make and find presents for people, I feel a little as if Mary has grated a wish: )
I have been doing a similar thing with a friend in Glasgow for the last few years, as an artist swap. Thats another post I shall get to.

The Studio was bliss today, sunlight pouring in and nothing the sounds of the chickens outside having dust baths under the trees, and the breeze on dry leaves. Yellow leaves are falling past the windows there and flying in across my floor when I open the door.


I have been learning some eurythmy as part of the research for my new project and today I felt I finally 'got' the essence of the movements that I have learned thus far........


 lalalalalalal I could go on all night it seems but I shall stop here with a Thank you dear reader

Be well this night

....Let the waves break
Let the stars rise
Lets the flames leap......

warmth

xx E

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Whoosh.......

A wild autumn wind came and broke branches, howled around corners, and cast out summer in a whoosh and a whish. Me and little M curled up in each other and listened to the echoing winds and watched the light come in as quick clouds passed over head, letting moonshine in and then away again it went, with only darkness drawing in through our skylights.

The winds brought plenty of windfalls in the way of apples and the last plums at my Father's garden. And so many leaves fell too, not yet fully turned in color.

Many flowers still bloom though.


                              Bright and beautiful tansy

The tansy being one of my favorites, and the sunflowers of course radiating their brightness, like huge smiling suns. Yellow abounds, and some reds and oranges, pinks and even some blues now fading into the grey skies. The greyness or the whiteness, usually of these skies, seem to only heighten the brightness of Autumn's gifts. My new and lovely neighbor knocked on my door today to share the joy of a bright orange mushroom she brought from the woods, and three days earlier, my friend Sara arrived with the most beautiful purple green cabbage, as big as can be, all life force falling from its heart.

Well amidst all that I had a fever, for nights and nights it seemed, but maybe it was just four or five. It felt longer. I had chills and aching bones, and tiny pains here and there that would cause an out -loud ouch every now and then. The pains finally ended up in my head with a three day headache, which drifted away one night leaving a cough behind. Well I thought, that really seems a lot for one week. And as I bark away now, thinking of the month that has passed, I look inside to see if somewhere within is that familiar smile that renews me after each and every little challenge big or small, remembering the magic of all experience, and what grows from it. Yep its there! a small one but its there all the same: )
Its been a full three weeks though.



Before all the hullabaloo, there was this one thing that has had my deepest of attention and had taken away all my writing blog time, as I have been considered all sorts of things about it.

I did a course in Limerick called ASIST. It is a suicide intervention training course. I chose to do it a while ago, when I felt so compelled to try and turn around some of my grief, and perhaps it was indeed time to now offer some help. It was a very in depth and intensely filled course in learning the skills one might need to effectively help someone in a suicidal state. There is so much to say about all that, and how it effected me, and the healing that has come from it, and since doing it. Its a post all of its own at some point, I think.

It was empowering to say the least. ASIST is available to take all over the place it seems. It originates from Canada in the 80's and has been found to be so successful that it has spread.
Here, it is offered by our health system and is a free course, anyone can do it! You can learn to have both the confidence and skill to be ready to see those who need your help, to notice those who are suffering, read between the lines of those that hide it so well, and how to act for those who are really at risk. If I did decide to do some volunteer work in this area, I would looking here at Pieta house.

Needless to say, I have done very little work in the studio, but for the wonderful new little art classes I am doing with two daughter's of a friend, who are being home schooled now. Just a couple of days ago, we had such a time playing with color. I am working with them for a couple of months introducing some important elements of art making through the forest and the changing season, we are taking an adventure together through shape and color, light, and form. This week we had a grand experiment in color, me being quite enthralled by mandala's this past while in my own work, I stumbled upon a post over at Momemt to Moment, a veritable treasure trove of ideas in being creative with children. I was inspired by her post on making mandalas with nature. And thought it a wonderful way for us to work with color, and what an opportunity it is now, with the forest in full color transition.

This is what we made




We began with the darkest colors of our autumn booty, which we had gathered from garden and woods. We talked about what is bright and what is light, what is dark and dull, and put our colors in some kind of order. And as they radiated out we talked about the gradient of color and how they transition, and how leaves are green and turning to red, with oranges and yellows in between.  How different shapes and textures make refections of colors and others seems to suck the color in. 

It was so impressive to watch it grow and so beautiful to finish. The girls were so keenly involved with it, and stayed with it till the end. We painted then, anything we felt inspired to paint having made the mandala. They all decided on trees, and as little such groups do they began to compare their works, and the ever present question, it seems we can never shake off... who's is best?

Would you like to know a great diversion with this??? 

Ask them to sing their paintings!!!!!

Having explained again, that each child paints in a unique and wonderful way, I suggested they sing the feeling of their paintings to illustrate how different they are. I began, by humming a different tune for each work, which I felt described the feeling of the way they create. 
It works a charm and is so much fun.  It brings great appreciation in the individual nature of each one. The girls thought it such a funny thing and sang for each other's work too. Before long I found myself sitting with a wonderful kind of new minimalist jazz vocals happening with three wonderful little spirits.  

At some point then we were joined by Sophie's chicken and her half grown chicks coming in to visit with their cheep cheep and curious wonder at our floor creation: )






A few years ago I did a similar kind of project on an art residency with 5 to 7 year olds. I covered the walls in paper up to about their eye level, and played a game of dance and draw. They each had a crayon and a pencil of their own choice and I played music and they danced to it. When the music stopped they had to draw on the walls. 
It was pretty high energy as you could imagine, but the music was the director. I would begin with Rachmaninov and some fast moving music, bringing about some pretty erratic mark making and then end up with some of Debussy's softest sides, which brought such fluid lines and shape making, and a kind of calm. 
I was so interested at the time, how creative energy flowed and manifested, and unbeknowns to those little folks I was totally learning from them, rather then them from me. I wonder will they remember at all those dancing days with that 'artist' that came to stay for a while: )

It has been a whoosh this September, and really feels like we are coming up on winter faster here. It feels chilly and like halloween is around the corner. 
Everyone is talking about another cold winter, and I am still getting over the fact that summer did not give a lot of sunshine this year. I am making do with color again. And hoping this coming week to be in my studio a lot. Till then here is some pictures of mandalas I made of summer near my studio and winter and autumn last year. This autumn one has sold, and will be on its way soon. 

they are all part of my 'cellular work' pieces. More about that at a later date.







And then I will tell you of little M's day at the farmer's market and some of her new drawings that take my breath away, and will be preparing the magical Milla's parcel as part of the bio regional swap over on Mary's beautiful blog....... 
Till then ........Thank you dear reader, so wonderful to have you visit and look through these days with me xx

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Here comes Red

Madeleine is dancing in her white dress and swirling her red silk about her, I try to capture the light on her with my camera and its lense....... This image appears before me and I feel lucky to have a camera, a lense and a daughter who swirls just so, in mid morning light.

Red is here again!



There is always a little red around, in my home and in my studio. But, for the longest time it has been subtle, a small point of interest, to warm up a page, to accent a blue, or deepen a yellow.
Not now, I have noticed lately it is not so quiet anymore. This color is coming in and all about, abounding in its vitality. Its Autumn too now after all! The apples are back again, falling again, and the last of summer's flowers are blooming, bloomed, blown.


Madeleine feels it too: ) She is choosing her red clothes. Though we are both influencing each other I am sure, as are these flowers, how can they but influence us too?

What a beautiful year its been for wild flowers here, I have noticed them like never before here. 
When I lived and loved in the Pyrenees I marveled at the meadows in early summer, lamenting that we had nothing of the sorts back home, but I may have had my irish flower blinkers on. 
Its been a color show here all summer, with so much to inspire. 

These ones Madeleine had picked from my Dads garden. 


I adore color!!!! As an artist its my medium. Color first, then the paint. Color. Colour, Coleur.

I mentioned in a previous blog, I have been reading Chroma by Derek Jarman a poetic and poignant account of a man loosing his sight. From beginning to end one is taken on an unforgettable color path, sometimes hurtled through history and theory of how we see and perceive color, to pigment making. And then at other times dropped deeply into blues, softly into pinks and around again. Then awoken, into greens, with a breath, and a reminder that this man is dying as he writes.
Its been an intense read, and heightened for me an awareness that was already amplified, in a rediscovered and utter love affair of color.

How do they exist. And How is it we see this wonderful dream?

Red is all about action. In color therapy, it is a color of doing, all fired up and ready to go!
A sensual color, a color of connection with the body and aliveness, of your earthly state. Its a color of strength and of course also the color of anger "seeing red". Anger after all is very active, depending on how it is directed.



Interestingly, I never put much red on Madeleine before this year. I felt it such a strong color for a little girl, but now perhaps she has grown into it. She does feel so strong these days and has grown up so much over the summer.


Here is a a little glimpse of some works in progress, whats happening in the studio. Reds and warm tones coming up and in and out through just about everything I am making........









I am ready to make things happen with a kind of strength, knowing what I want to do finally.
I have been preparing things, working away bit by bit, step by little step and been far more patient then I have ever been about my life unfolding before.

Now its time to take a greater step with my work, a steady one. I have contacted printers and framers and I am preparing my first works for sale and finishing other works.
I have laid down the plans of a bigger project that my heart is singing about each day that I think about it. That will be what the red is all about!

Last night I dreamt I was a magician teaching people to walk on air. Like my elephant dreams, I can still feel it as if its real. I can feel the sensation of stepping into space, and assuredly smiling to those around me as I did, that it was safe to do so.

It takes faith and trust on my part to stay with this. A leap of faith in a direction unknown, that I can provide for us from my art, by being true to my big red heart and staying on the path.
Ach we are always on the right path really, how can we be off it? We are simply where we are, finding our way, no matter how long it takes us. Time is even irrelevant to the matter, that we find our way.

And along the way I had the amazing luck of finally finding a recored player to play my old vinyl. I couldn't have asked for a better one. Me and Pj picked it up in Dublin a couple of weeks ago, he kindly carried it a long way for me, back to our tram stop. I could hardly wait to get it home.


When I say vinyl, I mean old vinyl from when I was a kid.
My soundtrack these days is just about right with red, from Maria Callas in Tosca to The kids from Fame, and Starmaker. Its been a trip and a half. I am also enjoying Kate Bush on vinyl again, and also her new album The director's cut, which I would highly recommend. I would have written 'highly' up somewhere very high to illustrate just how wonderful an artist she is, if I could; ) Another sweet and beautiful album I have listened to lately is by Ergo, and is called Bell Fable- more from the deep heart.

So now I am seeking a red dress to paint in: ) to celebrate and create and to dance about in with Madeleine whilst playing records!!!!

So do tell me what colour you love, how is it to love that color, I would love to know!!!!!

And, As always Thank you dear reader xx

E