Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I will be missing for a while...  I think in my ignorance of technology I have overloaded my hard drive.. or something.   I cannot upload photos any more.   I will have to call in the computer doctor!    I will be able to visit your blog but I will be silent until all is well again.  See you soon.  I hope!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour.. a blessing for the Earth and happy anniversary memories

Today is Earth Day.
We switch off our electricity from 8.30pm for one hour.

Earth Day last year was on the 27Th of March.
It was also the wedding of
Ann and Steve.

At 8.30pm we turned off the electricity
and ate their wonderful wedding meal by candlelight.

So tonight I will turn off the lights
at 8.30pm for an hour.
(I will probably like it so much I won't turn them back on again!)

I will think about caring for our planet

and I will be thinking of Ann and Steve
on their first anniversary
and send them wishes and love.
I know they will be doing something wonderful and special
because that is what they do.
Full of adventures and surprises, these two live life to the full.
Just now they live in Canada..
so we will celebrate their anniversary a day ahead of them.
As Earth day flows around the globe
so will your anniversary Ann and Steve.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

on a beach walk...

mangrove seeds

along the tidal edges of the sea

lost floating creatures
just flotsam
searching for a standing place

awaiting little anchors of belonging

little pods of promise
and risk...

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Oh Autumn

oh autumn..

here you come again
all mellow and mindful and dying

in the tatty autumn bag of
keepsakes of my heart
both the happiest and the saddest of my life..

but the crickets sing soothing  lullabies

and the blue hydrandeas have faded into palest greens

and musty pinks

and the leaves on trees
let go
their sap of green
and in their dying
 turn to
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Indigo, violet, feathers and flying!

Indigo and violet
are the colours that attract me just now.

The news came this morning of the death of Elizabeth Taylor..
a wonderful actress and a lady with style
and I remember hearing that she had the most remarkable violet eyes.
Farewell Elizabeth and your violet eyes!

When I first shifted from the farm to the city
it was with red and purple that I surrounded myself
but suddenly I have this desire to have blue,
indigo and violet.

" A longing for indigo and violet suggests that you are feeling cut off from your higher self.
Consider taking a retreat or resuming a form of artistic self-expression
- such as painting or music - that you have abandoned.

How many of your activities are necessary?
How many could you give up with no loss to yourself or to others?
Do you get anything from watching that TV show?

Indigo and violet energy will be abundant in your life, when you have time to do things slowly,
carefully and with full attention-
when you have the peace occasionally to sit in silence
and listen to your inner voice. "

Charles Phillips. Colour For Life.

I have purchased an indigo dye kit..
it arrived in my mailbox this morning and came from Hand's in Christchurch.
The store has been restored to some order following the earthquake.
I am happy the indigo dye has a Christchurch connection!

Indigo dye was originally made from the indigo tree.
It will always remind me of Morocco.
I plan to dye small pieces of cloth for book making...
when I complete my red and black quilt.

And look at the little piece of art I bought..

feathers and flying!

The feather gatherer could not resist it!
..and his body is indigo blue!
An Icarus on some journey?
He seems to express exactly what I have been thinking.

He is made from papier mache
.. as light as a feather..
and moves with the slightest breeze.
I have not the name of the artist but I will find out.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Magic moments..

It is so dark in the mornings now.

I tend to stay longer in bed reading..
oh the joy of this retired life!

I have been walking around the lake in the early evening
and enjoying the beautiful sunsets.

One evening I sat and watched the pigeons flying.
Big flocks swooping and curving.
Silent in the distance but when they flew close I could hear their wings beating
and felt a thrill of the dance as they moved in synchronicity.

The following evening I returned to the lake,
this time taking my camera.

I should have known magic moments are never to be repeated.

The pigeons had already settled in the phoenix palms for the night,
cooing and murmuring and scrabbling about out of sight.

One lone bird still flew, round and round above me.
I managed to catch his flight once in a blurred image
and I walked home without the photo I had hoped for.
But what I had seen the evening before
I will carry in my memory like a gift.
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sewing is a meditation.. a prayer..

I've been really busy sewing this past week.
I began this quilt three years ago.
It has waited unfinished in my sewing room
but this year out of the chaos of bits and pieces of fabric
I will complete my quilt.

With lots of reds and blacks, it constantly reminds me of Christchurch.
Putting it together has become a prayer
for those whose lives are still broken.

The remarkable thing about all this brokenness
is that it makes us realize what is really important.
That despite all the sadness and tragedy
the spirit of the city is so alive.

I went to throw the bundle of tiny scraps from my sewing into the rubbish but stopped to think of the rubble of a city we all love. We know that it will rise again, but so much of what we thought made Christchurch city unique is rubble or being pulled down.
It reminds me of the little boy who stood with his family, watching as his house burned down.
A neighour put her arms around him in sadness and muttered 'oh you poor child with no home'.
'We've got a home' he answered, ' but we haven't got a house to put it in'.

I went to my stash and pulled out indigo fabrics from Japan

and this evening while I watched Master Chef
I cut and stitched

a prayer cloth
for the people there facing such trauma and pain and fear.
It has a wee pocket for a miniature book which I might ask Nic to write a love letter to Japan to pop in.
 I may turn it into a book
made with love.
Sometimes we feel so helpless standing by.
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Indigo Blue...

The word indigo keeps popping up everywhere for me lately.
Does that ever happen to you?

I read a book and there it is..

Browsing through the paper and I see the word..

I admire the portrait of a girl..
her name is Indigo.

I look on Spirit Cloth blog and there is wonderful indigo blue.

( I looked it up.. it is RAS that causes me to keep seeing the word indigo.. the brains Reticular Activation System )

Indigo is a word that reminds me of Morocco and the indigo dye of the Sahara Berbers.

In my house I have lots of red and very little blue.

The word indigo has alerted my eyes to the colour blue

and as I walked around the lake this morning,
there it was,

a beautiful feather with the most beautiful shades of blue.

I begin to notice blue as I walk..

and when I reached home I consulted Charles Phillip's book 'Colour For Life'.


is the colour of





blue represents


an oasis of calm

the Earth Goddess

the Virgin Mary

I have sent for a kit of indigo dye.
I am busy completing a quilt of reds and blacks
( it will always be a Canterbury Memory quilt for me now )
I am feeling I need the colour blue!

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Friday, March 18, 2011

..just feeling a bit patriotic.. kia kaha and thank you Christchurch.. you are awesome kiwis!

God Bless you Christchurch... Rise up Christchurch..Kia Kaha!

Just watched the Memorial service in Christchurch.  You make me feel so proud to belong to this country.
Tearful but oh so proud.

"The price you pay for love.. is grief"    words of Prince William , quoting his grandmother, the Queen.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ten Poems of Rengetsu, translated by Kaz Tanahashi and Joan Halifax Roshi

Ten Poems of Rengetsu, translated by Kaz Tanahashi and Joan Halifax Roshi

Thinking of the Japanese people tonight with love and blessings..

Early morning thoughts at the lake...a parable from nature..

Down at the lake
the nursery spiders have been busy
building their dainty homes for new babies.

Most choose the safety of the manuka shrubs
and build a low level house,

but this morning I noticed
on the very tippest-top branch of a young kauri tree..

one eccentric spider has built her home!

Why build up there!
Don't you know the winds may blow
and the earth may shake
and you and your babies may come tumbling down!

.. I know I know..
but the view up here is exceedingly wonderful,
why I can see to the far side of the lake.

When my babies are ready
they will let out their silken threads and
sail on the wind
and fly like a bird
and flutter like an autumn leaf..
know what it is to be alive!
I know the earth may shake and the winds may blow..
to live in fear
is to scarcely live at all!

( Seeing the web on top of the tree, I thought how we live on such beautiful islands,  usually peaceful and calm.  Living on tectonic plates that shift and shake and a place of many sleeping volcanoes may seem a risky  place to live...  )
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Monday, March 14, 2011

A Wedding and A Disaster..

I've been away at a wedding
up north in the little town of Dargaville
on the Wairoa River.

The weather was perfect.
Cool nights and sunny days.

We were all so shocked to hear of the disaster in Japan.
The terrible earthquake and the unbelievable tsunami that followed
and then the fear
of a nuclear catastrophe..

We visited the museum on the hill overlooking Dargaville
where stands the tall spars
from the Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace ship sabotaged in our own peaceful waters
because of anti-nuclear protest.

The wedding took place in a beautiful garden.
As lovely niece Laura and her handsome beau Scott made their vows
two paradise ducks left the lake and flew over head like a blessing,
and bumblebees, dragonflies and butterflies darted about on cue.

The enigma that is life in this universe.

A wedding of such peace and happiness and a disaster beyond belief.
Laura and Scott
so clever and full of love and fun..

as you set out on your life adventure together
may you live every moment
knowing how amazing it is to be alive and here
on this awesome
and sometimes fearsome planet
..and live every moment to it's fullest.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Southern Ash Wednesday...

the air is cooler
the light has a softness

autumn has come
and today
my forehead is blessed
with a smudge of ashes

there is a mood of gentle dying
in my small garden

in harmony with
a Lenten promise to live a time
of simplicity

the spider
silently weaves a net
to catch my Autumn dreams..

Today I walked to the St Paul's Cathedral in my city and there I attended the Ash Wednesday Mass.
I'd been to a 9am meeting in town and thought to walk over the bridge to Hamilton East on this perfect Autumn day and go to mass in the Catholic Cathedral there at midday.
  Passing by St Paul's and having time, I felt drawn to walk the steps up the hill
and spend a few minutes in this lovely very English looking church.
What I found was their Ash Wednesday Mass had just begun
and it seemed just right to stay and receive the ashes there.
Somehow being there and thinking of dust and ashes was a fitting way to connect with that other cathedral
... in Christchurch..

Lent is , in Autumn in this southern place, is a mellow time of thoughtfulness
and letting things die back for a while,
so the seeds of creativity can nurture something new and wonderful  during  the fallow time of winter.

In Christchurch there is much talk of the rebuilding of the city that one day will take place.
May the God of Creativity work wonders of inspiration in this time of fallowness and pain
and inspire the architects and leaders to re-build a city of  great beauty for its people.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011


soft feathers falling
i gather and attach
to my naked self

so plucked
and dying

i am a feather gatherer

one by one
i stitch

the soft downy feathers
of love

and the strong broad feathers of journeying

and clothe myself
in a garment of

and peace

a garment for
a dangerous old woman..

My words and drawing inspired by
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
'Dangerous Old Woman'
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