shower kisses in darkness-
cherry blossoms blush
After my 'blossom' post I thought it a shame I didn't have a photo of cherry-blossom. As if by magic I noticed some yesterday afternoon, but didn't have my camera- It was pouring down so thought no problem I can get that picture anytime in the next few days... then the words started floating round my mind, just little phrases about blossoms being kissed by rain. It could have turned into verses & verses, til I thought- ah-haa, haiku... follow on the theme i just posted!
Haiku are traditionally 3 line poems with 17 syllables- 5 in line 1&3, 7 in line 2. Obviously some of the translations we see don't match up to this although they do in the original language, & there are some variations, but I went for the traditional.
So- as I was out on our night time walk another version came to me & I just had to go & get this pic... in the rain, in the dark, through the nettles, dog lead round my legs....
In japan, the cherry blossom (known as Sakura) is symbolic of the fleeting nature of life... the beauty of the blossom & the falling petals after only a few days are viewed by people all over Japan (& elsewhere) with reverence, in a ritualistic fashion. A mass of cherry trees all in bloom, then shedding their petals almost in unison make spectacular viewing whether purely for their physical beauty or for a deeper spiritual connection.
I fully acknowledge that I am a wonderful expression of life, exactly as I am.
I choose now to know that it is my birth right to be happy, healthy and loved.
I now fully accept only that which is for my highest good.
I ask that all else fall away, allowing me to reach my true potential.
I now choose to change and grow, releasing the past and embracing the future with love and joy.
I smile now to confirm the truth of this affirmation
Repeat this (with feeling) twice a day for a month... write it on a 'post-it' note & stick by the kettle or computer or toothbrush where you will see it regularly. Be warned tho' -what you think you want isn't necessarily what the Universe knows you need!! But who wouldn’t want to reach their full potential & receive the bounties the Universe has to offer?
It is easy to sit in our comfort zone, even if we know that certain things could be better, vaguely trusting that ‘something’ will come along sometime. This may be true, but sometimes we have to let it be known that we truly want it by being pro-active in asserting our desire.
This is where an affirmation like this can help, especially if you incorporate the affirmation into prayer, ritual or meditation … even if we don’t know what “it” is. By repeating the words, with conviction, the seeds of change, of self-acceptance, of willingness to grow etc are planted within our psyche & the universe. It starts an energetic reaction that always brings results.
From then on ‘all’ you have to do is trust… even if nothing seems to happen, or some things seem to get worse…. Trust that you are wonderful, that you are loved, that you will benefit & that the future will unfold exactly as it should in the right time. Trust that any upheaval is part of the clearing necessary for you to achieve that balance that is truly yours, trust that it is coming- even if at this moment you can not see the wood for the trees (& don't have the benefit of hindsight!)
'Trust, trust & more trust' is a universal theme at the moment as so many find themselves in uncertain/confusing/chaotic situations. But rest assured that as more uncomfortable issues are forced out into the open, the closer we move to achieving the balance that is there for us. This applies to both personal & global issues as the outer plants (plus those further out than we know about yet) move into alignments that address long-standing themes & patterns. All this 'stuff' is being released, being "got rid of"... ready for us to move on, stronger, balanced & free.
Ooo... I just love to see fruit trees full of blossom, there is something about them- a full, fresh, lush sense of abundance & beauty. I took these at the weekend & thought I'd include some "blossom haiku". I'm afraid I don't have the right type of blossom to match the verse, but hey-ho, hope you enjoy anyway!
Falling with the rain a white camellia blossom, the moss darkens Peter J Kendal
Luxuriously twinkling in the apricot blossom, one thread of sun Katarina Psak
Cherries blossom- a light breeze is blowing in my heart. Edna Koracs
Almond blossoms are opening in the light of a childs eyes Olga Dutu
I like to offer haiku in workshops & challenge people to capture that feeling encapsulated in the verse without being too literal- easier said than done! Even beginners can complete a 'finished' piece of work with simple pencil lettering, without having to worry about a great block of text. It's about the emotion & the sense of the words, & if that shows through it can help boost the confidence of those with a shaky lettering technique.
The last of the art-work for my 'staff-room' commission... a set of 6, each canvas is 2 foot square, so they form a decent size piece overall, to hang in the pool table area of the staff room. Even though this area was around the corner from the main room, I wanted the canvasses to link with the other areas. Neutrally decorated, laminate floor, so no problem there... but a bright blue pool table! How could I incorporate that with the earthy colours elsewhere??
So, I took the orange from the flecks in the carpet (which was shades of green with flecks of orange) that runs through the rest of the area- you can see the same shade in the lettering on the green set of canvasses earlier. I used a dark brown aerosol to spray a pool ball (cross planet/energy vortex to my way of thinking, that I often use) which ties in with the cappuccino canvas. I stuck to brown & orange for the lettering & most of the splashes.
The final touch was the pool-table blue splashes- how considerate of them to get the perfect contrasting colour for me, lol (blue being opposite orange on the colour wheel). Just a small amount of blue gave it instant 'zing' & lifted the whole piece.... I wonder if I would have thought of it if the table hadn't been there??
I chose light hearted quotations to relieve the stress of work, for an area which is for fun & recreation:
When you get to the end of your tether, tie a knot in it and hang on.
A pessimist is someone who puts the light on to see how dark it is.
A real pessimist looks at a doughnut and only sees the hole.
No one ever ruined their eyesight by looking on the bright side.
I would have loved to see all 3 sets of canvasses hung in situ, but photographs never arrived, never mind. All in all I think I managed to provide 3 quite different pieces of art/calligraphy, that should link all the areas of the room together.
This lovely piece of smokey quartz was feeling a bit jaded, so I put it out under the last full moon to cleanse & re-charge. I gave it a dust off, ran it under water & left it outside for a couple of days to feel the energy of the sun, moon, earth & air... it was 'buzzing' with energy afterwards. Crystals grow within the womb of Earth, protected from the outside environment, into their pure crystalline vibration. Once outside they can pick up & absorb energy from the people & places they come in contact with... their energy can seem to become dimmed, hence the need for cleansing- especially if they are used for crystal healing. I tend to go by instinct whether to smudge in smoke, bury in earth, run under water or leave open to the elements... or use reiki or a combination of methods. To begin with I would dowse with a pendulum & 'ask' my crystals what they needed. Sometimes I still do. This piece is special treasure, about 8 inches across & has bits of pyrite scattered through it.
Iron pyrite is excellent for blocking negative energies, whilst boosting your own energy store. It is good for creative & mental processes, boosts confidence & eases melancholy & despair.
Smoky quartz is extremely grounding & protective- it will help disperse negativity & bring calm & positivity.
How it grows, that little bud will soon be a flower, I have to stand further away to take the pictures now.
There is something so graceful about the horse chestnut, especially the mature trees with their sweeping branches. Sitting underneath them I hear the words "grace... a state of grace". That's something to aspire to! Calm, accepting, watching with wisdom, inspiring with a stately grace... that's what I feel the chestnut embodies. Here's the flower last weekend...
...and this morning, getting much taller now. Those tight packed flower clusters of a fortnight ago are now growing into their own space, ready to bloom... and there lies a message from this glorious tree. We must give ourselves time... space... to grow with grace... We unfurl at exactly the right time for us... and there is a space there for us to grow into, ready to bloom into at each stage of our growth.
We can't hurry this process, this young tree is coming out much slower than others in the area, but we would never think of applying human labels such as 'backward' or 'slow'... it just 'is' & will be ready when it's ready... & will be no less spectacular because of it. A lesson from nature, I think!
Helen Keller(1880-1968) was left deaf & blind after illness at the age of 19months. Despite this, she learned to sign & speak & went on to become the first deaf blind person to achieve a BAdegree. An inspirational teacher, author, speaker & activist, she truly was an astounding woman. Looking at her & her attitude certainly helps to put things into perspective for me. I often use her words in pieces of my work, to offer inspiration to others. It is well worth reading more about her & her work.
Some Quotations from Helen Keller
No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.
Life is either a great adventure or nothing.
Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.
It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.
We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.
Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
As selfishness and complaint pervert the mind, so love with its joy clears and sharpens the vision.
I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.
Rose has given me an award! Thank you Rose for considering me amongst the wealth of treasure there is here in blog-land!
This award was created by Bella and Ces in honour of their friend Renee. The wording reads "You spread joy & love like the acorn, a small package becoming a tall and sturdy oak giving more acorns, becoming tall and sturdy oaks, giving acorns…"
What a lovely tribute to someone they find so inspirational... especially when you read more from the people involved... Bella wrote this "Please accept this award and pass it along to others whom you feel are also spreaders of love." As some of the people I could choose immediately have been mentioned, I think I will come back to this & add to it, but for now I nominate:
sue- the creative-spirit- for being an inspiration to me as a friend, as well as creatively & spiritually
beth- reiki artist- who is working so hard to spread love in her work & blog
I have no idea how this blog will pan-out... I do know it is something I 'have' to do. Over time I have written down so much, formulated so many ideas- & changed them (maybe 'refined' is a better description), helped & been helped by so many people... Hopefully some of my thoughts will be of help to you. Whether you agree with or accept anything I say is irrelevant- if you take the time to read this, then my ideas become catalysts for your own even if you reject mine. In fact I would say do not simply accept anything you read... mull it over, feel the sense of the words and the energy behind them... use your intuition. Only accept what you feel, know, is right for you at this time.
There are many things that I have heard or been told that I could not accept at the time... but as time goes on some of these ideas float back. Sometimes I still reject them, or maybe they help understand a point of view I come across... sometimes it sparks a train of thought that helps me reach some understanding of either the original idea or of something completely different! We are continually learning as we move through this life- some things don't make sense until we gain more knowledge or experience... but we never stand still.
There will be no particular order or format to this blog as there is no specific start or end point. Everyone is at different levels, not higher or lower, just different. There is no right or wrong way, just different ways that individual people find better for them.
I can tell my way, that is all- I am not telling anyone what they should do. It is my intention to help, to encourage, to inspire, to provoke thought... and satisfy my need to write & share! I hope you pop back from time to time and contribute with your thoughts & comments.
... and surround you with the quiet ways of beauty (Native American) We must treat the Earth well, it is not ours, only lent to us by our grandchildren (versions of this exist in many cultures- native american, african, aboriginal, celtic...) Keep your face to the sunshine & you will not see the shadow (Helen Keller) Do not let yesterday use up too much of today (sorry can't remember who to credit)
This was the second set of canvasses commissioned along with the 'cappuchino' one posted earlier & each individual canvas measures 48" x 12". These were to hang in the seating area of a large staffroom- somewhere to 'chill-out' & escape from the office hustle, so needed to appear relaxing yet have visual impact. The colours are taken from the carpet sample I was given & immediately suggested 'earthiness'... I wanted that sense of the beauty & peace of the Earth to radiate out through the background.
Although the whole piece, for me is about love of the earth & nature, I wanted to use a variety of quotations so that maybe something would resonate with the many different personalities that would see them. Hopefully over a period of time the subliminal messages of positivity & peace will rub off.
The calligraphy is done with folded ruling pen (pale green at top), drafting ruling pen (brown at bottom) and brush (orange centre). Although there is a contrast of letter-form & weight, the overall effect is harmonious as the letter shapes are similar. I used acrylics throughout.
Hayley from Iridescent Dark has been tagged, and in turn, has tagged me! I know I enjoy reading about other people, but I’m sat here wonderin’ what the heck to put about myself!
Here are the rules if I tag you!
1. Link to your original tagger and list these rules in your post. 2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post. 3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and links to their blogs. 4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.
Ok, here goes…
1. My blood group is B-‘ve, which is shared by approx 2% of the human population. The ‘Rhesus (Rh) factor’ was first discovered in blood of the Rhesus monkey & I don’t have it! (Now… if we are descended from apes, where does the Rh- gene come from? It is absent in about 15% of humans- is it a genetic quirk, or does it come from unknown ancestors?? (curious? Look at this)
2. I live in a caravan- we sold up a couple of years ago & live wherever my partner works. I think it fulfils my childhood dream of being a gypsy, except not the horse-drawn type of caravan- ours is a big American 5th wheel type. Apparently several generations back on my maternal side were gypsies (complete with the Lee surname)- allegedly they were herbalists who eventually settled on the Northumbrian/Scottish borders. Our motivation was money (or lack of it) & getting ‘out of the system’…maybe sometime we will settle back into a house, & if we do it will be called “Llamedos” (think about it, see if you can work it out)
3. I hate hearing the word drawing pronounced ‘drawring’. There’s no R in drawing- even if you’re drawing drawers!
4. I’ve got a fat leg- well actually I’ve got 2, but one is fatter than the other. I had a Deep Vein Thrombosis when I was 32, which damaged the valves in the veins of my leg. Consequently the circulation in my left leg isn’t so good & it gets fatter as the day goes on, especially if I’m on my feet a lot!
5. I raced a stock car once. I used to go to watch a couple of mates who raced & on the last meeting of the season there’s a ladies race (unknown to me at the time). Suddenly I was lifted into the car & told I was racing! Loved it… & didn’t do too badly considering I couldn’t reach to depress the clutch without sliding right down in the seat so had to start & race in 3rd gear! Ooo the power of a V8 engine… 6. I doodle incessantly. All my school books were covered, every bit of paper in reach of the phone, corners of journals, note-books & rough-work (while I ‘think’)…. 7. Once I ‘un-shoplifted’ In my teens I took some eyeliner from the chemists with a friend, but felt so guilty I sneaked it back the next day- I’ve got a built in honesty streak & hate lying. Having said that I can keep a straight face be very convincing if it’s just for fun as a wind-up (& I always confess)!
Phew, that took some thinking about… hope it entertained everyone! Now for who to tag.... hopefully you won't mind if you are & won't complain if you're not! It's actually quite fascinating reading what people put.
In no particular order of favouritism or sadism...
Well, I love the idea of this, but I also know I can be tardy about such things! The way my life goes I might need the year allowed! Both Mel at Creative Clutter & Rose at Living Creatively posted this, so it may be cheating but I’ve put them both on my list- how could I choose which one to pick?!Anyway, why not sign up & indulge your creativity?
The first 5 people to respond to this post will get something handmade by me! I will choose, but it will be made with you in mind. Could be any kind or size of card, bookmark, an altered object, but it will be something that can fit in an envelope or padded envelope for recipients in the UK, and in an envelope for those of you in foreign countries. Like I said, just a little sump-sump! :-))This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make, but I will try hard for that goal and I'll do my best work, too. 2. What I create will be made with you in mind so it will be unique. 3. It'll be done sometime this year (You old-timers know an entire year just might not be long enough, haha, but I am committing to it!). 4. I will not tell you what it's going to be. It will hopefully be a surprise. 5. The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must offer this blog candy on your blog! This is how we expand the love. Re-post this on your blog, offer handmade creations to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog (then come here and post). Add my name to the #1 slot on your card- I am your first participant. When you create your give away, you will become the first participant on the new list for the people who participate with you. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment here telling me they did (I will go to your blog to check that you have this posted) win a handmade gift by me. Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it! SO ...... who will be the first 5 folks????
"The planting of trees is the planting of ideas. By starting with the simple act of planting a tree, we give hope to ourselves and to future generations." These words were spoken by Dr Wangari Maathai, the first African woman and the first environmentalist to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (in 2004). She started The Green Belt Movement in 1977 & what began as a grassroots tree planting program to address the challenges of deforestation, soil erosion and lack of water is now a vehicle for empowering women. The act of planting a tree is helping women throughout Africa become stewards of the natural environment.By protecting the environment, these women are also becoming powerful champions for sustainable management of scarce resources such as water, equitable economic development, good political governance, and ultimately….. peace.
It is well worth following the links to read more about this remarkable lady, who was divorced by her husband for being too strong-minded for a woman and that he was unable to control her. The judge in the divorce case agreed with the husband, and Wangari was put in jail for speaking out against the judge, who then decreed that she must drop her husband's surname. In defiance, Wangari chose to add an extra "a" instead!
This scroll was commissioned by local area representatives of the National Council of Women of Great Britain to present to Wangari in recognition of her achievements.It is an adaptation of "The Heart of The Tree" by Henry Culyer Bunner. There was no way I was going to do the "nice" little certificate/scroll I was originally asked for.The trouble is, most people have no idea what can be done with calligraphy, so I sent them away to think about it but privately decided I would create something more worthwhile my way, no matter what they thought about my suggested budget!
My idea was to provide a semi-formal certificate style piece of work, incorporating the colours of Kenya & Africa somehow. I decided on abstract watercolour squares of colour, suggestive of the landscape for the colour, with a smattering of copper (powder & leaf)... copper lettering top & bottom & the main body of calligraphy in brown. Did you notice the little copper heart in the 'A' ? (click to enlarge if not & to see the words). The scroll is written on BFK Rives, which I find wonderful to write on, aswell as being suitable for the watercolour areas. This was loosely mounted on Khadi bagasse cotton rag paper, hung from canes... the whole thing rolled up to be secured with brown ribbon to be presented as a scroll, also suitable to be hung 'as is' or framed if desired....(all part of my remit!) It was approx 30" x 20"
In the end this ended up being a 'rush-job' the week before Christmas (I was soooo busy) by the time the lady I spoke to conferred with others & confirmed it was ok to go with my ideas... then changed the format... then added a couple of requirements... Then they could only collect the evening before they travelled to London..... then I got the phone call to say I'd miss-spelt "Wangari"....I'd written Wengari....no great problem... change a to e... without it being obvious... I said... ???!!! Try doing it 10 minutes before they leave with anxious client pacing with c**p light at her house... i think it was ok, if you didn't know you might not notice, I wasn't totally happy but i didn't have time to do any more.
I've always loved this particular piece of work, but always wondered how much that mistake showed in daylight, did she like it? did she actually take it home with her? etc Having previously been reasonably satisfied I just looked up the poem as i typed this... I've just found that it was written by Henry Cuyler Bunner, not Culyer as I thought for the last four years. Ooops, now i wonder if they even presented it?!
Look how far my little chestnut bud has unfurled in the past week- I'll try & remember to take pics daily this week to keep up! The Horse Chestnut is usually one of the first "big" trees to come into leaf- & flower at the same time. There are others nearby that are further out & the hawthorn is already dressed in it's finest spring green here in N Yorkshire.
...tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift- that's why it's called the present.
This 3' x 4' canvas was part of an order in which I was given free reign. The company liked my work- a member of staff had seen a couple of my canvasses at her friends & recommended me..... all I had to do was provide art-work that matched the colour scheme...what a dream job!
This one was to hang in the kitchen area which was neutrally decorated, so I decided to go for a 'cappuchino' look. I covered the background in a lovely dark brown gloss paint & once dry I set about swirling emulsion & acrylic to create a sort of frothy milky coffee effect. At some point I used some kitchen roll to blend it, but bits of paper fell off & got stuck in the paintas i rubbed- what a happy accident that was! They provided extra texture almost like the bubbles on top of he cappuchino. Obviously, if asked that was my intention!
I'm always uncomfortable painting 'things'- I tend to capture feelings, emotions, the sense of the words...energies. Although it started as a cup of coffee, as I moved paint about it became something more... the swirls became energies... a blending of strands from the Universe, something for the unknown people who would see it... a gift, just like the quotation.
Some of the splatters were done before the lettering & some afterwards to create layers & depth... I then touched up any letters that were too obliterated. I used a ruling pen for the loose italic, almost like handwriting. It's easy to adjust the points of a ruling pen to accommodate the consistency of different paints (diluted acrylic craft paint in this instance), or to create a finer/thicker line. A final splash- a dash of energy (or chocolate!)- with the brown gloss unified the whole piece & stopped it looking as if the light colours were just 'sat on top' of the background... job done!!
I had decided on the quotation beforehand- it took me quite a while to choose. Something meaningful but not too deep, but not pithy either. It's about living in the 'now'. It's easy to dwell on the past- to hang on to past hurts or hanker after bygone times, but we can't change it. It's gone. Done. Finished. Remembering & reminiscing is good, but letting the past interfere with our life now is not. We can speculate about the future, and have dreams, plans, goals- all good things.... but spending too much thinking about them & not actually doing anything about them isn't so good. Much time can be wasted wishing time away wanting things to change without taking any action.
It is NOW that we live in, now that we can decide to do something, now that we can refuse to allow someone to carry on hurting us, now that we can share our precious gifts with others etc etc. We all know the theory, the time to put it into practice is NOW!
Seeing the moonlight spilling down, through the trees, my heart fills to the brim with autumn (ono no komachi) A falling leaf touches the moon’s reflection... and my own (horiuchi) At night the ragged clouds and wind have only one companion… the moon (boncho) Watching the moon at dawn, solitary, midsky...I know myself completely, no part missed out (izumi shikubu)
The moon is a silver pin-head vast, That holds the heaven's tent-hangings fast. (William R. Alger) The moon pull'd off her veil of light, That hides her face by day from sight, Mysterious veil, of brightness made, That's both her lustre and her shade, And in the lantern of the night, With shining horns hung out her light. (Samuel Butler)
How like a queen comes forth the lonely Moon From the slow opening curtains of the clouds Walking in beauty to her midnight throne! (George Croly)
Crazed through much child-bearing The moon is staggering in the sky; Moon-struck by the despairing Glances of her wandering eye We grope, and grope in vain, For children born of her pain. - William Butler Yeats
It takes the moon for this. The sun’s a wizard By all I tell; but so’s the moon a witch. - Robert Frost
Moon! Moon! I am prone before you. Pity me, And drench me in loneliness. - Amy Lowell
Slowly, silently, now the moon Walks the night in her silver shoon; - Walter De La Mare
That orbed maiden with white fire laden, Whom mortals call the Moon, - Percy Bysshe Shelley
The moon is a white strange world, great, white, soft-seeming globe in the night sky, and what she actually communicates to me across space I shall never fully know. But the moon that pulls the tides, and the moon that controls the menstrual periods of women, and the moon that touches the lunatics, she is not the mere dead lump of the astronomist.... When we describe the moon as dead, we are describing the deadness in ourselves. When we find space so hideously void, we are describing our own unbearable emptiness. - D.H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
Deep peace, pure white of the moon to you -celtic blessing
There are nights when the wolves are silent & only the moon howls
Look to the energy of the moon, her way is silence
(I'm not sure who wrote the last two).... if any of these inspire you to create do leave a comment & link to the piccies!
Listen to those whispers, rising from within. Feel those healing whispers, merging with your soul. Connect to loving energy and let the healing flow. Allow yourself to grow and heal... trust your self to 'know'.
All of us are 'healers' in some way, whether formally trained or not, whether we know it or not. ...use your intuition, connect with those 'whispers' within.
If you see anything you like, either calligraphy or photography, you can contact me at suziscribbles [at] gmail [dot] com. I accept payment via paypal.
Whilst I retain the copyright to my photos,words & work, I'm more than happy for anyone to share them in the wonderful web community, but please give a credit & link back here. Remember the copyright karma pixies will be watching!!