I am thinking about love…..and our expression of it. I am thinking about Bishop Valentine before he became Saint; about Saint Valentine before he became Valentine. I am thinking about who he was, or who they were , and what they may have become….the dream sales team for the business of Valentine’s Day? 🙂 But, mostly, I am thinking of love.
“The love which from our birth over and around us lies“….the “human love of brother, sister, parent, child”….the love from “friends on earth and friends, above“, the love that comes from “gentle thoughts and mild”.
And I am thinking of how that love finds its form in the most unexpected places,
Unexpected loving thoughts
where, for the most part, it sits in quiet, patient, unobtrusive abundance,
Heart on paper
Heart of my laundry
Hearts on a mug
Heart of the mat
Heart of the house
waiting to support us, when called upon,
My great grandmother’s New Testament enduring since 1866
and ever willing to send us gentle, trans-formative love letters ~
“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” Thomas Merton
love letters that help us to see that the loving heart, contained within,
Madder Red or plain ochre heart
Heart on Fabric
Seeing with Heart and Eye
can be released and applied, like nature’s salve, to heal the woe of the broken landscape.
Bindweed holding it all together; making the most of the possibilities
In my previous post, on Joy and Woe, your loving, supportive, compassionate comments brought me tears, laughter and a huge amount of joy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This post is my Valentine’s love letter to you all.
The Blessings of Saint Valentine (whoever he may be!), chocolate, flowers , gentle thoughts and mild, and love, be with you all.
Towards the end of last month I wrote my first, ever, haiku and I posted it here. Lovely followers and supporters that you are, you welcomed my haiku with open hearts. A couple of bloggers, who are themselves haiku experts, gave me kind encouragement and information on haiku writing and its history. One of these bloggers was Sandra Simpson who is an award-winning haiku poet, living in New Zealand. Check out her latest winner here.
The other blogger to offer words of wisdom was AshiAkira. He brought to my attention the impact of the sound of a haiku. AshiAkira is bilingual and he writes that, in Japanese, the 5-7-5 “rule produces a very peculiar rhythm to our ear, which we think is very beautiful.” He continues, ” For about four past years, I’ve been trying to express that haiku rhythm in English, but never succeeded. I suppose I have written well over 1,000 haiku poems in English, but none of them sounds like a haiku when it is read…….The haiku rhythm has such an effect that it would stick to your mind when you hear it and you cannot easily forget it. So a well written haiku stays in the hearts of so many people.”
With AshiAkira’s comments on my mind, I went looking for the sound, the rhythm, of haiku in Japanese. And I found this. At 1.50 in the clip, you can hear Matsuo Basho’s haiku, in Japanese. It is exquisite; it goes straight from the ear to the center of the hEARt. Listen and hEAR.
Now, listen a moment to my second (ever) haiku. What do you hear?
Take a moment and read my words out loud, for yourself. What do you hear?
choral bees sing harmony
honey for the ear
In my world of eye to the words on the computer screen, or eye to paper page in hand, I am so accustomed to hearing the silence of words in my head that I forget the great oral, (or is it aural 😉 ?) tradition of poetry ; I forget that the noise of poetry is as important as they way it looks, as the way it engages our minds and our feelings. I forget that poems are a multi-sensory experience.
Today is the last day of Mental Health Awareness Week in New Zealand. The main theme of the week is Connect which is one of the five ways of achieving, and maintaining, Well-Being , for each and every one of us.
Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know how fascinated I am with connections and connectedness; how I love to see the weavings we make in the tapestry of our world. So, with the theme of Connect very much on my mind this week, here is another post dedicated to the silken threads, delicate stitches, the warps and wefts, the skilful hands and minds, that bind us together on the great work-in-progress that is life’s journey.
Remember the Atlas? What we used before Google Maps. Here is my copy of Bartholomews Advanced Atlas of Modern Geography, Tenth (metric) Edition, published in 1973.
Tools that connect the world
It was given to me, as a school prize, in my final year at high school, (presumably for Geography; the book-plate is missing, so I no longer know ). It is a beautiful book and was, once, much used. Mostly, it sits idly on the bookshelf, these days, which is a shame because it is full of wonderful information and exquisite workmanship, every bit as fine as that which is found in a Gallery masterpiece.
The last map in the Atlas is of New Zealand, which seems an appropriate placement for a small country, almost at the end of the world. Here is where I live; Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand, the World…….
Thanks to early settler, Charles Alured Jeffreys (1821-1904) of Glandyfi, Machynlleth, Wales,
Machynlleth and Plynlimon and Cader Idris
my city , supposedly, has the most street names of Welsh origin of any New Zealand settlement. In the suburb of Bryndwr, we have the names Snowdon, Garreg, Plynlimon, Idris and Penhelig and Glandovey ( Glandyfi). And we pronounce those place names in ways that no Welsh speaker would recognise. Curiously, the only residents of our city who pronounce Idris correctly, (so I am told), are those with Islamic or Coptic backgrounds. They say “Id (t)ris” and we, of British ancestry, say Aye tdruss. What the Cader Idris/Coptic/Islamic connection is about, I don’t know, but Idris is one of the Ancient Prophets of Islam, and may also be Enoch of the Bible.
It is, perhaps, because I see Welsh words on a daily basis
Plynlimon Park, Christchurch, is no Mountain
that my ears and eyes were alerted to the sounds and sights of Mike Howe’s blog, where Mike shares with us the true landscape of Wales; the landscape which our early Welsh resident, Mr Jeffreys, tried so hard to impose on his raw, new homeland, Christchurch.
Here is Mike’s tribute to Carl Sagan, who like the Idris of Wales and Idris the Prophet was a philosopher and man of wisdom . The music is called Pale Blue Dot.
The images in the video clip are from Skomer Island which my Atlas says is here 🙂
Mike’s music may come from hands and heart, enfolding and unfolding the spirit of Wales, but, for me, his music travels; it has no boundaries. For me, some music is about a place or time, a memory or an emotion, but my favourite pieces are those that travel; pieces that are music for the journey.
Another of my favourite composers of travelling music is Mulatu Astatke; this composition is called When am I going to get there?
And now I have; got there; to the end of my post on connectedness. Has your Well-Being improved? If not, and my route around the world has been too long for you, look to my side bar, and rest, whilst you listen to Mike’s soothing Time Stand Stills.