Friday, 10 July 2015

Wearing Purple and other thoughts

Yesterday I was feeling low. There have been so many changes recently and dealing with the  details and the practicalities of them has kept bigger emotions at bay. I'm starting to feel them now. I tend to have a delayed emotional reaction to big changes. I also find that I absorb the emotions of those around me and take on their feelings as my own without always being consciously aware of the fact.

Boo doesn't want to go to high school anymore. So we've decided that we  are going to treat it like an experiment. She'll test it out for a term and if she doesn't like the results we will find another way, somehow, somehow. 
The rules and regs regarding qualifying for higher education whether that be vocational or academic have tightened so much over the last few years. I remember getting into art college on an interview and a couple of sketches. It is becoming harder and harder to swim against the mainstream and carve out your own path. Rules often out weigh human contact and break down natural, compassionate communications. For good or ill, I am a rebel whenever I catch wind of a rule :)
Boo has always wanted to work with nature, animals and the environment. She is such a free spirit. She is quiet, present and aware of the slightest sound in the deepest hedgerow and the quietest birdsong in the topmost branches. Animals and birds have a connection with her and seem to seek her out. This Summer she has rescued and nursed 3 Grey Partridge Chicks, an injured female Blackbird and Mistle Thrush. The animals and birds just seem to be able to find her and she them. So there is a conflict within me. Yes there are many opportunities at school but the uniform, the militancy, the lack of green spaces and the abundance of homework jar with everything we've grown to know and love these past years together. The primary school we have found for our younger ones is gentle, full of green spaces, free play, projects and family atmosphere. I only wish this ethos would follow through into Secondary school. Nevertheless, we shall go forward with an open heart, willing to learn and grow and prepared to reassess if we need to.

I met the most lovely old lady yesterday. I was just about to turn into the local corner shop car-park when I noticed her. I signalled for her to cross first but she just smiled broadly and waved me through.
Then while I was waiting to pay she sidled up to me.
"I've got a joke for you! There are some Stone Baked Pizzas over there, I wonder if that means they're rock solid!"
I laughed. 
"Well dear, not many people get my jokes but you've got to give it a try don't you?"
Then, like a sprite, she was gone. 
Age seems to strip people back to their essential beingness doesn't it?  The angles of character define in the stark light of ebbing years. Some people become bitter, jaded or despondent, some suddenly learn how to ride a Harley, some grow in gentleness and acceptance and some even tell a joke to a slightly strange and awkward woman in a corner shop and make her smile all the way home. 
I'm looking forward to my purple years.

I've decided to take Teri Windlings advice and not write for an audience of many but for an audience of one. My audience will be my German Granny. She died many years ago but I will write as if I'm writing a letter to her across the great unknown distances, building a bridge of words as I journey. My Granny never met any of her great grandchildren and was almost completely bedridden by the time I was born. She was made frail living a harder life than she was constitutionally prepared for so I feel like I only ever heard the true cadence of her voice through my mother's (often hilariously funny) anecdotes about her. Hopefully I might give her a few giggles too.

Tani has asked if I would like a cleaner since I've been unwell. We don't have the money, so the question is hypothetical yet it has made me wonder about the nature of the service industry. People often talk about the differences between salaries, tax credits and the living wage etc... But  really money accounts for time doesn't it? It's a way of saying this is how much my time is worth and this is how much your time is worth. 
It is true that different jobs entail different levels of academic and/or physical energy yet ultimately an eight hour day is an eight hour day. It constitutes a day of our lives in exchange for monetary reward. 
As our system is sustained by money it ensures that money is as essential to the mechanics of life as oil is to a machine.
Yet my hours aren't worth more or less than a bankers hours or a farmer's hours or cleaners hours. 
So I have decided that I would have a cleaner (hypothetically) so long as he or she was paid the same per hour as we are.
I may be living hypothetically for some time yet.

Finally and randomly I've been thinking about how I've always  grown more when I've not been able to live up to my ideals than when I have.
I think these times make us softer, gentler and more whole.
Beauty can spring from ashes, humility can dwell in the wilderness and  flowers always grow best from compost.

"Praise to you whose Holiness sparkles, because you have visited the night and refused to stay pure and separate. See all that I would banish from myself and so fail to become whole. Let me not be beguiled by imaginary reassurances of light, but let me trust in grace and mercy as I face the darkness."
"Blessed be you, Wisdom of Ages, Praise to you for carrying the world on your hips, and never uttering "I told you so", but leading us to deeper loving. Hitch up your skirts and teach me to dance to the rhythm of the earth."
From the Celtic Wheel of the Year

Germander Speedwell affectionately known as Angel Eyes.

Baby Water Snail found in the stream.


“We must know that we have been created for greater things, not just to be a number in the world, not just to go for diplomas and degrees, this work and that work. We have been created in order to love and to be loved.” ~ Mother Teresa


  1. Oh those pesky rules, I have trouble with them myself and often find myself at odds with the 'powers that be'.
    I love your Boo's sweet disposition and hope her path is a gentle one. Is it possible for her to apprentice at an animal hospital or the such? I'm not sure how things work across the pond.
    I love that you met such a grand older women and just hearing your story makes me smile.

    1. We are looking into work experience, I think she would love to work in a shelter. Somehow I know she'll find her path :) Things are a little different here though. Pieces of paper seem to matter more than anything and without them you can't even get your foot through the door. I'm hoping things will change. Higher education is becoming a bit of a minefield. Thank you for your comment Tracey :)

  2. I know what you mean about taking on others' feelings, and a lot of deep releasing - all very healing (and at times overwhelming). Being ill has changed me, and in so many ways for the better. I also chuckled because all of my neighborly companions are 70+, and make for the most enjoyable conversations. :) Lovely pictures, hope you have a restful weekend.

    1. When your body won't do what your spirit and mind want it too it is so frustrating isn't it. Thank you for sharing your experience. It is comforting to know other's relate :) Thank you for your comment.

  3. I have found the entryway into my growth is when I have been broken down and It has made me aware of my/our inter-connectedness and inter-dependence on/of one another. G-d has given me the opportunity to understand my "self reliance" and self - deterministic temperament as sometimes deconstructive not constructive. Balance.
    It has been a HARD lesson to let go of the implementation of ideals that were killing my joy. I was a hard lesson to use public schools when we needed them, but it was a wonderful learning experience for us all. There are some truly wonderful people working and giving every day there.


    1. Thank you Rebecca :) Balance is such a key thing isn't it. I have found lots of positives in opening ourselves up to the school experience. There is a fine line between ideals and idols isn't there. So hard to make sure we are listening to the small, still voice not the noisy ones in our own head :)

  4. I was so happy to see you in my feed again. Sorry you've been dealing with rough patches recently. I've read a few of your other posts and I agree with writing for an audience of one. I also know the feeling of questioning whether to continue writing in a space you've been away from for a while.
    I'm glad you decided to continue sharing with us and I hope all of the changes you're going through now will work themselves out in the end.

    1. Hi Darcel, so lovely to see you :) Thank you for your kind words. I am looking forward to writing in this quiet space again. xx

  5. You should look into what is required for a 'mature student' to get into school. Here in Ontario, it often only requires waiting a year or two (good for working to earn tuition). And then things like diplomas and grades don't matter. It's how all the older folks get in. It's how a lot of homeschoolers around here get into university without having to go to public school.


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