Always an apprentice

Are we always beginners? I remember setting a goal to try blogging for three years. Now two thirds of the way there, am I getting somewhere?

The inspiration was to have an online studio, a sacred sharing space for an aspiring light seeker. A soothing cushion between a harsher world that any introvert would prefer to avoid. Time out to listen to the voice that comes from a calmer place, urging quietly; create, have courage, go deeper.

Aspiration, from the latin "to aspirate, breathe life into." And that's what is needed to continue at all, a pledge to apprenticeship and artisanship. To always be the vulnerable student, the breathy beginner.

An apprentice light seeker, inwardly and outwardly, strengthened every day by creative practice and soul searching. Juggling the paying of bills and reaching for the stars. Getting through the darker days as opportunities in Ireland recede and recede........Taking a deep breath, diving even deeper than before. And rising to the surface with small treasures to share.

If you are beginning......make space for a voice that will soothe and invigorate. Call it a blog if you must......you might end up listening to yourself and believing what you hear......

Note: The Foxglove Lane blog began in February 2011. See the first ever post Raining cats and dogs here. It took 2 months of blogging before there was even a single comment!


Inner warmth and woolly hats

She and I ran around a field excited by our newly wellied feet. We climbed to the top of a hill liberated from tartan skirts and white socks. We went "skating" on a frozen lake in our first corduroy jeans. She fell through the ice. I brought her home, shivering.

She and I went climbing trees. We were swinging from an old Elder, hanging upside down from the branches. I fell onto my back, winded, unable to speak. She screamed the place down and ran to get help.

She and I were wrapped up warm to go on a train somewhere. I held her hand and carried the suitcase. We went out through a gate bewildered, no clue what was happening. So we made pink and yellow tissue paper people and chatted to them for hours on end.

And here we are with woolly hats, crunching around in our boots on the shaley strand. Bonded by our shared youth, forever.

She points her camera everywhere. Look at this, look at that!! She especially likes a harp shaped hole in the cliff, her own unique take on the world, a great eye. She takes a picture of me and I take some of her.

It's never long enough and after a few days she returns to her life in the icy northern city of Stockholm. The woolly hats and her inner warmth must come in very handy up there in that freezing cold archipelago.


They say she never bakes.....

Liking and friending. Linking and posting. Scraping the barrel. Tidying and preening, until every box is ticked.

The laptop to the flickering screen. The keyboard to the twitter machine. Perfectly formed in 140 characters or less. With pink highlights and lipstick to match. Colour synched, paypal'd and photoshopped.

With tips, lots of tips. Open-hearted advice and 10 top ways to blog or 25 best sky photos ever. Get this app, this add-on, this give-away.....or maybe a plug-in?

And back again and over to that other space in the brain. The one that makes eggy bread and likes a squeeze of lemon on it, or maple syrup and a cup of tea.....(maybe just a quick Instagram of it?)

And back again to the inbox and the the to-do-list and the skype calls, and now VINE!! (Don't even ask!) Editing, cropping, highlighting and downplaying.

And then they wonder why there is no fruit in the bowl, why the house plants are parched for the want of a drink, why the dust is thick on the table? And while they are wondering there is another report to finish, a crisis to solve, someone to call.....

And just when they were hoping for a friendly chat or a piece of cake or whatever else visitors live and breathe for, she is running out the door, because a small bird is exploring a nesting box (the one with the camera inside) and she has to get that shot.....

And they could say, for it would be true, that she works too hard at times, while she connects globally from a soggy spot on the edge of Europe. That she taps and types and never bakes, grabbing every small moment of happiness (in between making it all pay).......That she foolishly stays up half the night to watch an emergency session of the Dail (parliament) to watch them liquidate another bank? That she is a mine of useless information such as who is head of the International Monetary Fund and why a certain Promissory Note to the European Central Bank isn't worth the paper it's written on.

When from the muddled, frantic desk, she spies a small robin opening his throat in song, and a whole nation of bankrupt citizens throw back their heads and raise their voices to join in........

Also posted on Vision and Verb a global gathering of creative women........


Just for today......

Today I need a little bit of silence. A way to see the world through his eyes, to watch each of you come and go, without thought. To sit quietly and reflect. To dance if I need to! To lie down in a dark room if that will help.

You are welcome to join me, and to "be" ........just for today........


Looking into each others eyes

My children once explained to me that although animals share our world, we treat them as inferior instead of as different. O yes they argued humans think we are vastly superior, so clever, so advanced. But we are wrong they said, all the beings on the planet are just different versions of life, intelligence, adaptation. Each have special skills and advantages. The sense of smell in a dog is 40 times bigger than ours, just for one example. In fact the lads always believed that dolphins might even be superior to all life forms.....

They knew more about it, being closer to animals than I ever was. They slept with them, they kept them in the pockets, under their jackets, about their person. They kissed them and talked to them. They dressed them up in clothes and fed them with a spoon. They studied them.

When they faced me with deeper philosophical teachings like this, most of the time I was willing to learn.

Now looking into the eyes of animals I feel apologetic for all our human superior attitudes and ignorance. They look back into my eyes as if they are listening intently, but especially if we have never been introduced, they look kind of wary........and who could blame them.....