Posts tagged photography

Dear Woman

Dear woman, fight not the tides of sadness that come
Just allow, listen, learn, discern.
This temporary storm, the waves that crash,
and tear and erode. This too will pass.

Come morning, the night sky gently dissolves
In hues of rose and peach.
You will also slip into pure release, deep down within.
Dear woman, it will come. It needs no instruction, no help, from you
then you will float into the arms of the mother and be renewed.
Such gifts are abundant as your blood flows.
Hush now woman, surrender to tranquility and peace.
Let me cover you in jasmine flowers, comb oil through your hair.

Tonight you will dream anew and you will awaken energised,
fresh inspired in spirit,
as a new song given birth to sound,
or a glimpse of green on a winter tree.
Then you can run, with the wild Spring breeze in your hair!

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Dear One, look, it is the rising sun!
The energy of the flames will infuse your heart with fire and sparks.
Live, love, express wildly the desires of your soul with passion and grace.
But remember dear woman
This too will pass.
The cycle will turn, your summer leaves will crinkle and fall.
Fear not to take refuge in the house of your heart
and know that the nature of life and death resides in your soul.

Written by Jane in tribute to Red Tent gatherings all over the world.
Original post on the Moon and the Womb blog.

 

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Love Never Fails – Corinthians

Irish Sea from Mount Snowdon

Irish Sea from Mount Snowdon

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV) 13

Mount Snowdon from Nantlle Valley

Mount Snowdon from Nantlle Valley

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Moss Banks and Fading Heather

Summers Coming!

Summers Coming!

This poem is a gift to all those still living through winter, summer is ever on the way!x

The steaming moss banks and fading heather,
The land gently sloping away;
The call of sky larks hung in morning splendour
Breaking through the new day haze.

The lightening greens of summer promise,
The aching wait for the first fair day;
The coming of the heat wave and ice creams,
The loosening of our island ways.

The startled sheep as trains pass by,
Smoke clouds cloak holiday makers and sighs,
The people clutching hold of valleys,
Carving paradise into the hills.

The quietening of the countryside,
The wind is seldom raised to a breeze;
The snoozing in meadows and riverbanks,
The laughter over a picnic tea.

The dark water marks of winter recede,
The light comes pouring through;
Stride emboldened over dip and dale,
Deep in forests along new found trails.

There is a palpable ease
When the trees sway listless under brightened leaves;
There is a sense of inner peace
When the sun kisses our milky skins.

There is a rising of our dreams
As we are ironing this crease,
Where nature is a friend not foe
And each life a legend to behold.

May we harvest the essence of these times,
Store its energy as precious seeds inside;
Mark this very day as the tidal reverse,
A chorus springing straight from the heart.

We are arm in arm enraptured
By these early summer chapters,
Devoid of precious, sullied fears,
At this blessed time of year.

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Caught in Bliss

Old Town Bikaner, Rajasthan - January '15

Old Town Bikaner, Rajasthan, India – January ’15

The layout of my life seems creased,

When the universe breathes

I release.

The twisting rhyme and song of the

Wandering Celtic minstrel

Is what loosens my ties and leads me

Deeper.

The look in the eye of the lonely desert guru

Leaves me captivated and bereft of reasons to ignore

The call

And shirk my weary self.

The battle lines are drawn in sand caught up

In a peace profound

And falling face down into bliss seems the only way

To land.

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To the Island

Bardsey Island, North Wales

Bardsey Island, North Wales

I swam to the island to sit on the rocks,
Exploring my physicality
I dissolved into the ocean as salt.
A simple organism awash with instinct,
Riding breakers to the shore.

When my pencil is tied to the mind,
It is stifle and contrived; no moon strung current.
Emotions torment expression and
Dead ends are easily unearthed.

So, to the islands I will go,
There to cultivate passionate uncertainty,
Turn and stride in opposite directions,
Unshackled from corrugated corruptions.

No fear of excommunication or radical peculiarity,
The human pack is easily dealt,
Material ghosts haunting the spirits of the ancients.

I shall sit with the stranded seaweed
And interpret the coming of a bleak autumn noon,
My propositions seem at home in this roaring wind.

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No fear in the familiar

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Sunset from Llyn Peninsula

Mysterious wisdom,
The hovering art,
The ‘all seeing eye!’

Beating the game through
A pack of propaganda.
Where are the super heroes we seek?

The infinite in the ordinary,
The wisdom of the ages
Ensnared by the daily grind,

In bodies, in minds.

Where is the siddhi of truth?
Lost in the foothills of the insane
Desire spirals in a consuming charade.

Have we thought it through?
You; the master who rules.
The mantle of a god is a curse.

No alarms, no surprises,
No shock and joy.
Will relates to the extraordinary.

True affection
In the humanity of petty existence;
Brilliant existence,
Existence for the sake of it.

Do not be disappointed
By the magical mornings
Of grey skies and cold toast.

No white robes or
Beatific folly can ease
The darkness drawn to your gaze.

Do not fear the familiar,
For the tired lines on your face
Are the brushstrokes of true grace.

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Bardsey Island – The Island of 20,000 Saints

Yesterday we walked around the northern coasts of the Llyn Penisula (North Wales), braving the high winds and feral seagulls.  There is something quite dramatic about  the Llyn, with the trio of mountains (known as ‘The Rivals’) forming a gateway to a landscape dotted with remnants of ancient settlements and worship.  It seems that each time I visit the Llyn I am drawn deeper into its story.

At the tip of the Llyn Penisula we find Bardsey Island and there is definitely something about Bardsey.  In English its name refers to an island of bards, in Welsh (Yns Enlli) it suggests an island in the currents.  It sits like a small jewel off the tip of the jagged coast line and has been inhabited since neolithic times.  Bardsey has been a pilgrimage site for many years, three trips to Bardsey was the equal of a trip to Rome.  A hermitage has stood here since the earliest days of Christianity in Britain, although it has been knocked down a few times along the way.  Brave and devout souls floated over from France and Ireland on rudimentary rafts to preach the words they regarded to be true and lead this wild and untamed island nation away from sin, towards redemption.  These remarkable old saints, hermits and pilgrims were very wise, putting a little ocean between themselves and their rabid flock (although that didn’t help when the vikings showed up!).

The history of this isolated retreat is fascinating, its location stunning, but as usual, the myths and legends are what sets it apart and fuels the imagination to imbued a large rock with magical properties and some intangible, mystical allure.  20,000 saints are said to be buried on the island, making the soil rich and fertile.  It has even been claimed that Prince Arthur is buried in a cave there.  To get there, you still need to call a local chap in a small fishing boat to take you there and hopefully back.  If the weather flares up, you can be stranded on the island, where there is still no electricity.  It suggested that you draw up a will before visiting Bardsey, it is said that the Llyn extends into the ocean just as life extends into the unknown emptiness and once we have reached Bardsey, we are relieved of earthly cares (meaning we are now number 20,001).

What can be said about the allure of Bardsey, it seems so close from the shore, we feel that we could touch it, except it is far enough away for us to fall and perish in the fierce waves of the Irish Sea.  I see Bardsey Island as a metaphor for our spiritual journey through life, as we build a bastion from rocks and earth to hide us from the endless waves and commotion, deep inside our soul is ever drawing us deeper towards harmony, as we venture out into the raging oceans of calm and set sail into the blissful unknown.  One pilgrim wrote that Bardsey is “the land of indulgences, absolution and pardon, the road to Heaven, and the gate to Paradise” and on a day like yesterday, I can see why.

I have included some photographs and poetry that I hope captures something of these sentiments:

 

Bardsey Island in the distance

Bardsey Island in the distance

Gorse and Heather

Gorse and Heather

There is an island there is no going
to but in a small boat, the way
the saints went, travelling the gallery
of the frightened faces of
the long-drowned, munching the gravel
of its beaches. So I have gone
up the salt lane to the building
with the stone altar, and the candles
gone out, and kneeled and lifted
my eyes to the furious gargoyle
of the owl that is like a god
gone small and resentful. There
is no body in the stained window
of the sky now. Am I too late?
Were they too late also, those
first pilgrims? He is such a fast
God, always before us, and
leaving as we arrive.

There are those here
not given to prayer, whose office
is the blank sea that they say daily.
What they listen to is not
hymns, but the slow chemistry of the soil,
that turns saints’ bones into dust,
dust to an irritant of the nostril.

There is no time on this island.
The swinging pendulum of the tide
has no clock; the events
are dateless. These people are not
late or soon; they are just
here, with only the one question
to ask, which life answers
by being in them. It is I
who ask. Was the pilgrimage
I made to come to my own
self, to learn that, in times
like these, and for one like me,
God will never be plain and
out there, but dark rather, and
inexplicable, as though he were in here?

“Pilgrimages” by R. S. Thomas

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And that’s why I have to go back
to so many places in the future,
there to find myself
and constantly examine myself
with no witness but the moon
and then whistle with joy.
ambling over rocks and clods of earth,
with no task but to live,
with no family but the road.

Pablo Neruda

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We passed the ice of pain,

And came to a dark ravine,

And there we sang with the sea:

The wide, the bleak abyss

Shifted with our slow kiss.

Space struggled with time;

The gong of midnight struck

The naked absolute.

Sound, silence sang as one.

All flowed: without, within;

Body met body, we

Created what’s to be.

What else to say?

We end in joy.

The Moment – Theodore Roethke

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