Thursday, December 31, 2009
Looking back I find I am posting on the first and the last day only.
Dare I make a New Year's Resolution to be a better blogger?
What I do wish to say as the old year fades and the new year comes softly closer, is that I hope peace will be less elusive and that our hearts continue to listen to the voices of those in need, in despair and in search of comfort. And for those who read this, blessings to you of joy,peace and love in your days of the new year.
Happy New Year to one and all!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The sky in east was already tinged pink with the few clouds above the Cascade Mountains turning a deeper color by the minute.
So December has come around once more and the Gregorian year nears it's close. I think of the universality of cultures and religions finding this time of the year as one to both honor the light in the darkness and to seek hope for the coming Greening of the Spring ahead.
From one of my calendars is the following quote I found when I turned the page into December:
"It is not how much you do,
but how much loving you put into the doing
I hope you are keeping warm where ever you are and that light will find in the coming dark days of December.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
They are a premier builder of not only Harps, but hammered dulcimers as well and their shop is a magical and wondrous place to visit.
Take your pocket book and be prepared to take out a second mortgage before you leave--but you won't regret it. (In the interest of public disclosure, I do not receive any monetary compensation for this suggest to you--I just know and love these folks for many a year).
Go and surround yourself with harps and harp miscellany.
Harp and be well,
Sunday, November 1, 2009
She teaches via Skype and is a dedicated healer and resource for harps and healing.
The first comes from the wonderful Celtic Mandala Datebook by Jen Delyth:
Saturday, October 31, 2009
The hospital where I work here in Bellingham has been hit hard by the ongoing ripple effect of the economic meltdown last year (not to mention the horrific amounts of dollars spent on war), and is looking at closing the voluntary psychiatric unit when I work the nightshift.
Our patient census has been way down and while I realize that the hospital cannot keep operating programs that at least do not pay their way, I am deeply sadden that we will be closing our doors to those in the community who are struggling with various mental health issues, especially in these stressful days.
The hospital is currently pledging to find jobs for us in other parts of the hospital, but currently we have no idea exactly where we might be placed, what we might need to be doing and what the re-training process will be.
So, as the Celtic New Year begins tonight (the Celts began their days at the setting of the sun), I will toast the year to come and hope that it will be more hopeful than it now appears
And remember the words of Julian of Norwich, the medieval Mystic: "And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all shall be well."
Friday, October 23, 2009
and wind, that grand old harper,
smote his thunder-harp of pines.'
Aye, "that grand old harper", the wind is with us today, bringing the gusts of Autumn ever more chill and the rain making music on the roof.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Please do visit the sites and explore more about how music can heal.
And it's just 11 days until the New Year! If you follow the ancient Celtic Calendar, that is.
Friday, October 16, 2009
On Saturday, 10 October, I attended a presentation by Tina Tourin, founder of the International Harp Therapy Program, on Lummi Island. Along with Tina was Stella Benson, founder of the International Musician's Healing program.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
This morning we found our little white cat having passed away during the night under our bed.
Friday, May 29, 2009
This is the day that traditionally people wear oak apples or oak leaves pinned to them to remember that on May 29th King Charles ll returned triumphantly to London after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.
The reason for the wearing of oak apples or oak leaves was to celebrate the King's narrow escape from capture by Cromwell's soldiers by hiding in an oak tree.
However, as the Wikipedia entry for Oak Apple Day notes:
These ceremonies, which have now largely died out, are perhaps continuations of pre-Christian nature worship. The Garland King who rides through the streets of Castleton,Derbyshire, at the head of a procession, completely disguised in greenery, which is affixed to a pinnacle on the parish church tower, can have little connection with the Restoration.
So, the Greenman, the Oak Apple Tree and return of the King (echoing the myths of Arthur's return to save the land), might, on this day all join in honoring Spring and the Merry Month of May.
The day shines, bright, go and enjoy!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Between a bit of computer problems and this and that, missed getting this posted in a timely fashion.
The symbol of Beltane is the ancient Green Man, to be found all over the country in the most unlikely of places. Many churches have a green man hidden in ceiling bosses or peering down from a dark corner. When Christianity superceded paganism in
And speaking of the Green Man, the lovely image at the beginning of the post was done by Helixtree--Kit Berry's sister.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
In a recent post on the Harplist, Jenett writes that in the Anglo-Saxon tale of Beowulf, the name for the harp was "Gleewood". I love the name and it conveys so well what the harp can bring to us-joy, delight, glee. And reading this got me thinking about who the Greenman is and how the harp, in my opinion, would be his natural instrument.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Peace Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me a harper of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
Where there is distress, harmony.
Where there is discomfort, rest.
Where there is unease, quiet.
Where there is anxiety, calm.
O Divine Spirit, let my music be a blessing,
a comfort, a place of refuge,
And above all, a granting of balm to the spirit and
an easement of bodily distress.
Modified by J. Duncan Saunders
16 April 2007
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I had this poem saved years and then lost it, but found it recently in the Celtic Mandala Desk Calendar by Jan Delyth.
whose harp sung silent
when it was withered in winter,
Now gives forth its melody---
The world is alive.
Thomas Telynog Evans
Hope Spring is blessing you, where ever you are.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Whuppity Scoorie - 1st March
A rumbustious celebration by the young lads of Lanark. It is a relic of the days when making a lot of noise was believed to frighten away the evil spirits. Pennies supplied by money from the Common Good Fund was thrown and the children scrambled to pick it up. Balls of paper (or bonnets - a lot softer!) tied with string were used by the participants to strike one another.
And of course I just couldn't resist the name of this late Winter/early Spring festival.
Sounds much more rambunctious than the observances of the Crymu folks celebrating St. David's Day--Patron saint of Wales. But then leeks and daffodils are also harbingers of Spring as well.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I am focusing on some new music and re-working some older pieces of music so that I can bring a bit of variety to the unit at the hospital. And also for the workshop coming up at the end of April/first part of May at Orcas island with Dr. Ed Tick for helping veterans to heal. I plan on bringing the harp, not to perform per se, but since I feel lost without the harp near and it maybe that I can bring some of the healing nature of the harp for those attending.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Out-worn heart, in a time out-worn,
Come clear of the nets of wrong and right;
Laugh, heart, again in the grey twilight;
Sigh, heart, again in the dew of the morn.
Your mother Eire is always young,
Dew ever shining and twilight grey:
Though hope fall from you and hope decay.
Burning in fires of a slanderous tongue.
Come, heart, where hill is heaped upon hill:
For there the mystical brotherhood
Of sun and moon and hollow and wood
And river and stream work out their will;
And God stands winding His lonely horn,
And time and the world are ever in flight;
And love is less kind than the grey twilight,
And hope is less dear than the dew of the morn.
Monday, February 16, 2009
"One month is past, another is begun,
Since merry bells rang out the dying year,
And buds of rarest green begin to peer,
As if inpatient for a warmer sun;
And though the distant hills are bleak and dun,
The virgin snowdrop, like a lambent fire,
Pierces the cold earth with it's green-streaked spire
And in dark woods, the wandering little one
may find a primrose.
Well the distant hills from here this morning are the northern peaks of the Washington Cascades stretching mile upon mile into the Canadian Cascades, all white with brilliant sun touching the peak tops as the day begins again.
I note green sprouts here and there in the garden...rejoicing in yet another sign of Spring.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Going through my cluttered desk and office (never quite seem to get it as organized as I would like), I came across this this quote that I have treasured:
(Not for ourselves, but for the whole world we were born).
Some recent pictures to share:
Chickadees have always been one of my favorite birds and luckily we have a delightful number of them where we live...but they are so quick to land and depart that I sometimes despair of photographing them, but yesterday I was lucky enough to snap several pictures of them.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
It's moments like this that remind me of just how sacred our time and space here on the "blue marble" is, and our task to help care for all creatures and all life around us.
Monday, February 2, 2009
in which a thing escapes your grasp
By the way, Br. David Steindl-Rast has a wonderful website: http://www.gratefullness.org/, that is well worth a visit.
Happy Groundhog Day!
Sunday, February 1, 2009
As Brighid was considered a goddess of creativity and poetry, among many other attributes, I have adopted her as my Goddess of Harping. Granted, St. Cecelia is more often considered the Saint or Goddess of music, but I prefer Brighid or Bride any day.
Here are some wonderful images of her, including her Christian persona as St. Brigid.
ST. BRIGID AND THE HARPS.
It was not in the nature of things that a Celtic saint should despise music or poetry. St. Brigid being once on a journey, sought hospitality for herself and her sisters in the lios of a petty king. This king and his chief officers, including his harpers, were absent, but some of his sons did all that religious reverence and a hospitable spirit could for the suitable reception of their honoured guests. After a frugal meal the hosts and guests continued an interesting conversation, during which Brigid, observing the harps suspended on the wall, requested the princes to favour her with some of the ancient melodies of the country. "Alas, honoured lady!" said the eldest, "our father and the bard are absent, as we have mentioned, and neither my brothers nor myself have practised the art. However, bless our fingers, and we will do all in our power to gratify you." She touched their fingers with the tips of her own, saying some prayers in a low voice; and when the young men sat down to the instruments, they drew from them such sweet and powerful melody as never before was heard in that hall. . So enthralling was the music that it seemed as if they never could tire of playing, nor their audience of listening. While the performance was still proceeding the king and his suite entered the large hall, and were amazed at hearing sweet and skilful strains from the untaught fingers of the princes. Recognizing the saint and her daughters, their wonder ceased. The gift was not conferred for the occasion, for the princely performers retained their power over the harp-strings while they lived.
Carer of the earth
The feast of St Brigid on the first of February is a celebration of the wonderful springing back of the earth from its winter sleep. It is the season when we celebrate new beginnings and new life on earth. The sod is turned. The day lengthens. Seeds are sown and sails are hoisted.
Many of the stories about Brigid tell of her milking the cows, churning the milk, making up the firkins of butter, shepherding her flocks of sheep, helping with the harvest and even brewing the ale!
Brigid, in keeping with her Celtic traditions, was wonderfully attuned to the seasons and cycles of nature. She valued the elements of nature: earth, air, fire and water.
Wishing everyone a Merry and Blessed Imbolc,
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits.
I am the rain coming from the dew
That causes the grasses to laugh
with the joy of life.
Friday, January 30, 2009
The birds are out if you keep a close eye for them, and the sun and mist create an otherworld experience.
Here a few of the pictures of the walk before the cold and the mist turned my feet towards home.
The bird in the last picture is a bit out of focus, but I think the sense of cold and the last brown days of winter still come through.
Festival of Pax (Ancient Rome)
Pax is the Roman goddess of peace, and symbolizes the highest ideals of civilization. Celebrations honoring Pax, the Roman Goddess of Peace, are held . Her temple stood open in Rome during times of peace, but was closed during war. It remained open for over 200 years continuously during the Pax Romana, an achievement unimaginable in modern times. It was locked closed by the Christians who ultimately tore it down. The world has not known a year without war since.
From the wonderful Calendar site at: http://pandoranews.org/Holidays/HolidayIndex.htm