20 August 2014

Fare Thee Well Love

 My brother's remains were laid to rest on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at a beach on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The beach was a lovely, secluded spot near where our mother was born. She often talked of their family farm that ran from the mountains to the sea and this beautiful beach fit that description perfectly. When I saw it and remembered Don's desire to visit Mom's birth place, I knew it was the best place to release his ashes. As my Honey, our daughter and two grandchildren drove to the beach we were listening to a new CD, These Are The Moments by the Rankin Family, and the song below started to play as we crested the hill: "Fare Thee Well Love". It made me cry. It was written by Jimmy Rankin from nearby Mabou, Cape Breton and expressed my feelings well. 
 This trip started out to be a retracing of my roots with John, Kelly and the kids in Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton Island and Boston. Having Don's remains added a dimension to the agenda in an unexpected but meaningful way. It was like having him with me to find his final resting place. We found a good one. Nearby was a cemetery filled with familiar Scottish names of our childhood, including many graves with our mother's maiden name, in this the place where my mother, grandfather and his father were born. So Don is back where his namesake, our greatgrandfather, is buried. 
 The day was cloudy in that almost raining kind of way and the sea had small but strong waves to receive and scatter the urn. I like that the urn had footprints on it, the footprints we leave behind as markers of our presence, and was built to dissolve in the arms of the sea. The Atlantic recieved his ashes and blended them with the elements of all other life in this ancient place from which we came. He's home. May he rest in peace. 
 Check out this video on YouTube:
http://youtu.be/N1Yh2R6c4PE  
 Song: Fare Thee Well Love by Jimmy Rankin- Liam O'Connor Live at Citywest 
I feel honored to have had this task.

23 July 2014

On the Road Again...


I'm heading to the US for vacation time with family and friends. I'll have five weeks with my daughter and the grands and take time in Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island on a maternal heritage tour. It will be quite a journey and I'm excited. I'll check in as able.

May the rest of your summer be filled with fun activities.


19 July 2014

My Other Self- A Video from Rugged Grace

Fireblossom's Friday challenge at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads to write to my other self got me thinking; who would I be in an alternate world? It's been hard to put in words but when I saw this video from Rugged Grace I got excited. My other self is an athlete with a strong, athletic body that I love and find beautiful. So this is a visual poem from tumblr on the members of the Harvard Women's Rugby team who wrote on each other's bodies what they appreciated about their teammates. The video connects to further photos and the article in the Harvard Political Review that inspired it: 'An Exercise in Body Image'. It's a beautiful 5 minutes.
I think I'll take this ultimate self-affirming political step with her- make our bodies strong and love them as they are.


Video: http://ruggedgrace.tumblr.com/post/89333559900

16 July 2014

A Long Road


The road is long,
and not the way
we planned. Is it wrong
to want? We played

the ones who trust,
in what, or who,
the world, the busts
of saints? What's true

my love? Predict.
You know of roads,
of faith, of strict
response that holds

a hope aloft
when up is how
the road and croft
seems bent. We bow,

exist to serve,
belong with traits
of skill and verve,
but still, we wait.


For Susie's Bits of Inspiration- The Yellow Brick Road over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.
I took the photo in Trinidad.


14 July 2014

Awaiting Return




Swallows swoop the sky at sunset,
ride currents on curved wings, slice the firmament.
Do they await return, like me, or, because of my amazement,

write sky script meassages with hidden meanings,
that mark how far apart we are? Me, an earth-bound being unable to fly 
or follow instincts toward home, they who own the sky.

My wait has been long.



Written for Grace's prompt yesterday which introduced the poetry of Claribel Alegria to the Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads. One of Grace's suggestions was to take a line of her poetry and use it in our own poem. I took two lines: "because of my amazement" from her poem Rain and "My wait has been long." from Sorrow (after reading Kerry's comment). I'm a little slower so I post it today for open link Monday on their third anniversary. 
I took the photo in a garden in Ireland.

09 July 2014

Though I am Old With Wandering...



I've traveled in my life,
found fresh vistas for hungry eyes,
moved forward toward the novel and
exchanged the customary close to my heart
to defy convention and shake loose moorings
that constrain even while they comfort. 

Something entirely new can then burst forth,
a friendship forged across boundaries of age and culture.
This place of connection against all odds
is the magic I've found and the highest degree of accuracy. 
We are one, this bench mark mapped,
the landmark of depth, formlines of home
set in our true coordinates.


This is written in response to two prompts at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads: the first from Helen to write of the travels in our life and the magic of what we've found and use map terms (used- degree of accuracy, bench mark, depth, landmark, coordinates, formlines) and the second prompt from Grapeling to use words from the July word list (used- fresh, burst, defy, forward, customary). Mario, in the photo with me, is 84 and from Montalcino, Italy.

07 July 2014

Interview with the Grands

Both of my grands live in the rain forest of Trinidad and are schooled at home using an approach called Unschooling, an interest based (rather than curriculum based) learning. I thought it would be fun to ask them about their lives to see how this approach is working for them. I was impressed at how thoughtfully they answered my questions.


Kahlil, age 11

G. Kahlil, tell me about this photo- why are you dressed up?
K. My mother had a leveling- up party for me when I reached level 55 in Heroes of Order and Chaos, an online game. I was happy to get to that level (now I'm at 63) but sad I only have 7 levels left in the game. This is the outfit I wore for the party. I like the fedora and the purple shirt and tie and think I look awesome in them.

G. You're schooled at home, how do you like that?
K. I like it, especially getting to do the things I'm interested in and enjoy doing rather than what someone else thinks I should be doing.

G. What interests you most these days?
K. Online gaming. My favorite right now is Heroes of Order and Chaos Online. I like it because it's a strategy game and is played with other players all over the world. I get to choose my character and the type of characteristics it has. It lets me do anything, like riding a horse or swordplay. When I'm in a game, lots of types of characters are needed to work cooperatively to achieve levels. I have many friends and I like playing with them. Someday I'd like to design and test games.

G. Tell me about your new business.
K. I'm a Business Manager and represent two businesses so far. My sister has a baking business called Smiles Bakery and my friend has a tie dye business called Color Splash. It's still in the development phase so I've set up a Facebook Page to describe the two businesses and will then develop a website for both of them. I'll help them with the business end of things, like ordering, supplies and money in and out. I'll get a percentage of what they make but we haven't decided how much.

G. What makes you proud of yourself?
K. 1. What I've accomplished in games, the levels I've reached, the characters I've chosen, the friends I've made and the fun I've had.
     2. Helping my sister and my friend in their new businesses.
     3. That I play well with little kids. I like them and they're fun.
     4. That my friends where I live like to come to my house to play.

G. Any last words to my readers?
K. I like to play online games and I know other kids do, too. Tell them to find me and I'll play with them.



Kamala, age 8



G. What do you enjoy doing these days?
K. My favorites things are baking and painting. I like baking because I can try out different things and create things, like when I made a cream cheese and orange frosting for chocolate cupcakes it came out more like a glaze or when I didn't have chocolate chips for cookies, I used cacao nibs in my cookies and people liked them better. I go to You Tube to find new things to make and how to make them.
I like painting because I can do anything and it looks good.

G. Any other interests?
K. Yes, fashion and design. I like to find clothes that look good on me. I look for reasonable prices and something a little extra, like the long necklace that came on my new dress. I also design clothes myself on paper with stencils and colored pencils.

G. What do you like about being schooled at home?
K. I like having lots of free time to do the things I like. I use some work books to learn things but I also Skype you and my friends and do all the other things I'm interested in.

G. Tell me about your new business.
K. It's called Smiles Bakery and I make cupcakes and cookies that people order. I've already had two orders. I made a business card that has a photo of one of my cupcakes and the way to contact me. Mommy got them printed for me but they were my idea.
I like that people can enjoy what I make and that I make money. I'm saving to buy a yogurt machine. I'm thinking about setting up a store front and putting up a sign to sell cupcakes and cookies to hikers and friends.

G. What makes you proud of yourself?
K. Being here right now. Having friends and family to talk to and tell them how I feel. Owning my own business. And my talents, like singing, baking, painting and writing. I'm learning how to write cursive and to spell.

G. Anything else you'd like to say to my readers?
K. I live in nature but I can still pull off a cupcake!

03 July 2014

A Meditation: The Song Of Wandering Aengus - Christy Moore



Here's another thing I admire about the Irish; not only do they love their poets but they put their poems to song. This meditative piece is Christy Moore singing The Song of Wandering Aengus, by W.B. Yeats. Such a gorgeous poem/ song. Just listen and enjoy.

Here are the words:

The Song of Wandering Aengus

BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
Source: The Wind Among the Reeds (1899)
Shared under the Fair Use Guidelines, no copyright infringement intended.