Good Vibrations but no Haiku

Earlier this evening I read Elizabeth’s post  about four letter words that inspire. She encouraged us to make a list of words of our own, meditate on them and write some Haiku. I chose from Elizabeth’s list because some just seemed right and wrote them in two rows.

Easy                             mind

Life                              pure

Kind                             hope

Love                            wise

Heal                             help

Grow                           give

I meditated on them for a while, I paired and grouped them in my head, added some longer words. I spun and twisted them, counted syllables, got mixed up about five – seven – five, and finally gave up because my saboteur kept telling me I was casting clichés.

Next, someone I’ve been working with for a long time came for her counselling session, she was overwrought, physically and emotionally exhausted. We worked hard for more than half an hour and she had calmed to the point where she was nearly horizontal on the sofa and we talked quietly.

Now I’m side tracking because I want to tell you that I received a very special gift this week, a small bottle of vibrational essence from a blogging friend across the other side of the world. This earth essence is from the Larapinta trail and chosen for me because I said I needed grounding. I have always known that I am governed by the element of air and that at times I need re-balancing, some of you are aware that recently I’ve had a few things rocking around my foundations.

We gradually became silent in our shared space and the energy was buzzing, vibrating even, and my hands were on fire. I asked her to sit with her back to me because I knew I had healing energy to give to her. The way I worked was something like Reiki, I did my first degree a few years ago but chose not to continue to Reiki master – I felt no need to give a name to something that is just there. Afterwards, she said it was the most powerful healing she has ever experienced. I don’t know about that but I do know she needed what I was able to give.

I wasn’t able to write Haiku today but I feel that Elizabeth’s generous post helped to put me into the right space. The essence has already started work on me, bringing me home to myself after a patch where I have been floating anxiously like a butterfly, sometimes trying to settle and hoping for a buddleia. I believe that something shifted as soon as I knew it was flying towards me. It was gathered in an area rich in Heavitree Quartzite, in the Northern Territory, packed safely and sent to me in Heavitree, Exeter. I am blessed, thank you.

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Meeting Yuli

As some of you may know I am a crafter and I regularly go to country shows and craft fairs with my friend to sell our work. One of the things that makes it special is talking to people I wouldn’t usually get to meet.

And so I met Yuli, a gentle lady part of whose heritage is Norwegian, she touched my heart. She works with wool, creating the most unusual pieces that are functional and decorative. She began as a weaver in the 1990’s, but now makes felt. She lives right in the heart of Devon and her wool is sourced locally, from Umberleigh, a flock of Lleyn Welsh sheep and Hatherleigh, a Devon Close Wool flock, to keep the wool miles down. Yuli feels that it is important to encourage the growth of sheep farming and believes in sustainability.

Yuli has her felt dyed by a friend who uses only natural plant dyes. The soft but intense red comes from the roots of  Madder, or of Lady’s bedstraw. When researching Lady’s Bedstraw I came upon an interesting coincidence, in Norse mythology, Frigg was the goddess of married women, she helped women in childbirth, and Lady’s Bedstraw was used as a sedative that they called Frigg’s grass. A nice link to Yuli’s cultural history.

The other plant dyes used are Weld, which makes yellow, as does onion skin although the latter is not as colour fast. Indigo is used for beautiful blues as it has been for generations of blue jeans and by the nomadic Tuareg of the Sahara.

Her first felted pieces were hats and the off garment but her range has grown in several directions. I bought a bird token that hangs on a wool strand. She also makes horses, and uses both as decoration for tuffetts – yes just as little Miss Muffett sat on, only Yuli’s are each individual layered mats that give you a soft, comforting place to sit on a chair or even damp grass. Tea cosies, lovely little cushion rolls, hot water bottle covers, oven gloves and wall hangings to dream of, all have recurring motifs from nature.

Yuli has worked with schoolchildren, showing them the history of wool, textiles and dyeing, as well as hands on creating of beautiful art work. It was her own childhood experience that led to her most unusual and stunning creations, felt coffins. She experienced bereavement in her early years that had a profound effect on her and believes that death is dealt with badly in the West. The enduring impact of her loss led her to make her first shroud. I was taken aback when she told me but it quickly made sense, after all ordinary people would have been laid to rest in simple fabric shrouds. She told me that in 17th century Britain an act of parliament stated that woollen shrouds should be used, to help develop the woollen trade.

I have always hated the idea that I might be buried in the ground in a wooden box with brass handles taking a beautiful tree to do so. I had a vague idea of a sleeping bag liner or a cardboard box instead. But how comforting to be wrapped in soft felted wool from local sheep and returned to the earth. Yuli calls them Leaf Cocoons and they are carried on a strong wooden frame. This makes far more sense to me than a polished box.

Yuli’s website is here, visit, enjoy her wonderful work. I was so impressed and I’d like to hear what you think. Thank you, meeting you was special Yuli and I hope to see you again.

I’m a blogging failure, will you forgive me?

I want to share with you a little of what’s been happening in my life recently. It’s been quite stressful for some time and all to do with work. I joined my organisation on a year’s fixed term contract in August 2010 after leaping from a job I hated. My contract was renewed a year later, for a further six months, and then three more renewals that took me up to yesterday. A couple of months ago I had to apply for the job I’ve been doing all this time, and I didn’t get it! I was invited to re-apply when it was advertised again and this time around, just in the nick of time I was successful. So here I am with a permanent contract, you wouldn’t believe the relief this has brought me. I’m single, have to support myself and despite paying tax and national insurance for forty years the state would have only given me around £72 per week to exist on if I joined the ranks of the unemployed. Even working I am still poor but my needs are few and my blessings are many, so this isn’t a sob story.

It is a tale of my failure though. My writing has suffered. I’m behind with my blogging. I’m behind with replying to comments. I’m hoping that you won’t all give up on me because I haven’t been present, you’re such lovely, and supportive people that I feel it will be okay. I can never catch up, it would take a week of solid work, so I’m just going to apologise and now that this huge anxiety has lifted I will refocus. I hope I haven’t totally lost my writing mojo because I begin a new writing course soon and need to be able to pull stories out of the bag. Talking of stories, I’ve failed with Madison Woods Friday Fictioneers challenges, missing the last two. Julia’s 100 word challenge for grown ups I might just manage because we have two weeks this time. I’m most sad because I really wanted to support Maggie Elizabeth, with her brand new weekly prompt Maybe some of you will join in with that one; you are all such good writers.

I have a lot of followers, many of you I haven’t said hi to – how rude am I? I can’t stand rudeness and I am ashamed of myself. I wish I could follow you all as well but at present I’m only just managing to visit everyone I do follow.

For the last few weeks a great contest has been going around, Travel Supermarket’s Capture the Colour and I have been invited to join by Blueberrie, and Elisa, and the closing date was yesterday. Guess what I missed it. Actually, time wise I could probably have made this one but after sending an hour trying and failing to choose the photos I gave up. Sorry girls and I really loved your entries.

Anyway, enough of what I haven’t done, enough beating myself up. How do all of you manage to find time to be a polite blogger, thank your followers and reply to the terrific comments as well as posting, working and living your lives? I LOVE to visit you, I’ve learnt so much and had real peoples views of so many wonderful places and insights into lives so different from mine. I get cross and feel I’ve missed out if I don’t visit. What’s your secret? Please share your time management skills!

Last of all, a big THANK YOU – I hope you’re still here 🙂

Sunday Post: From A Distance

Jake is walking out of the woods in one of  his animations this week and the other has an eagle catching a fish, all very clever. I have a simple photo of the Teign estuary here in Devon, looking across towards Shaldon on a beautiful clear day. Please click to zoom!

Lots more entries here, http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/sunday-post-from-a-distance/

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

This photo is very wonky because I took it hanging out of a hotel window!

Bursa is on the old silk route in north west Turkey and was once the capital of the Ottoman Empire. It is one the the largest cities in the country and very  industrialised. At the same time it is a very green city with lots of parks and gardens. The surrounding area is forested and mountainous, the mountain in the background is Uludag, the ancient Mysian Olympus, about ten miles outside the city.

This is my entry to the challenge, if you would like to see some more visit http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/weekly-photo-challenge-urban/

Travel Theme: Silhouette

I love silhouettes but don’t really have a true one. This is as close as I can get. A picture of my friends taken in Kota Kinabalu looking towards Tunku Abdul Rahman Park islands.

There will be more to see over at Ailsa’s place, http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/08/24/silhouette/ her own are superb.

 

Music in Pictures Contest: Better Days

Visit Elisa and join her new photo challenge, this week the song is Better Days, the soundtrack of Eat, Pray, Love and she has posted song here http://autumninbruges.wordpress.com/category/music-in-pictures-contest/

I took this picture in Ghana on Easter Sunday where they were celebrating the resurrection and better days to come, as they paraded to church.

I thought I would also add that my Nigerian name is Nkeiruka, it means bright future or the best is yet to come!

 

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week# 55

Julia has been plotting this one for weeks, threatening a really tough challenge and even cackling about it. So we have to write the words that go with this picture!

A Cat in Need

Meow,

Dear human lady person who cooks chicken and salmon for me, please come back straight away. It seems I need you after all, because the beer person keeps throwing dry brown things into my bowl, instead of the gourmet delights you so sweetly prepare for me. And now he has done something to my head, because he’s too lazy to pamper me with the silver hairbrush, I have a scarf that smells like rabbit and something from a Christmas cracker over my eyes. He keeps talking about a Cats Protection League and looking at me strangely. Come immediately.

Meow.