Friday, 29 April 2016

The day has eyes, the night has ears.

Thank you to each and every one of you who have sent positive thoughts, prayers and encouraging messages. It’s a week now since the hip operation.

 I left hospital on Monday and arrived ‘home’ to Kay and Bernie’s house to a birthday celebration lunch for Kay’s 88 year old mum. This amazing lady can walk 16 laps around the house in 15 minutes. I can 'walk/hobble' one.

Apart from the kindness and priceless friendship of K and B, there are so many fabulous things about being here to start this next chapter in my new life.
The two llamas have arrived!

Meals in the garden or on the terrace with the family are pure joy.

Life has a rhythm here which I watch and admire: the turkey, the chickens , the different breeds of ducks, the geese and the peacocks all need to be talked to and fed.
The dogs needed to be walked, the garden constantly has to be watered and ‘worked.’
Baking and delicious savory smells drift from the kitchen daily. In the evening over supper there’s lively conversation and much laughter with the woofers.*

And then the darkness arrives.

I have a lot of pain during the night, but every day the paralysed leg is waking up a little more.
Night time brings new challenges. I’m finding a way to navigate these new nights: some hours in bed, some hours sleeping in a chair. I’m keeping everything very practical. Deep thoughts and sneaky what if’s questions during the wee small hours are shooed away. I’d rather tune in the croaking frog or the sleepless peacock.

‘Night is a world lit by itself.’ ( D.F.)

‘Be strong and be brave,’ an inspiring line from a beautiful Kate Rusby song is my dark time mantra..
Robert Braults metaphor for the night’s sky - ‘A trillion asterisks and no explanations’ - is how it all feels at the moment.

‘The day has eyes, the night has ears.* (D Fergusson). I’m not familiar with being awake at night.
Morphine induced dreams are both frightening and fascinating.

I’m remembering with huge affection my roommate in the hospital, Spanish Toni. At least 18 years younger than me, she had 4 deeply curved smile marks engrained on either side of her mouth, and masses of thick blond hair. She was a ‘day ahead of me,’ and inspired me to follow her example of getting out of bed , gritting teeth and just walking through the pain.

I found myself in tears when she left.

‘Love can be a conversation about nothing, or it can be a quiet comfort in each other’s presence that is about everything. ( R Brault).

A heartfelt thank you to everybody who is helping me and wishing me well.
May you receive back exactly what you need yourself.

*A woofer is - a Willing Worker on an Organic Farm. We have two living with us at the moment.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Two keys, Belgian chocolates and...

Two keys, Belgian chocolates and a waning moon.

Today I handed over the keys of my house to the Dutch couple who will rent it for a year.

We had lunch together yesterday. They brought me a gift of Belgian chocolates - yum off the scale delicious-  and a bottle of Belgian beer.  The beer’s called Forbidden Treats, he said, or was it Forbidden Fruits?   I’m embarrassed to tell you I’ve already eaten nearly all of the chocolates. The forbidden treats are waiting for the right moment!

The couple had just driven for two days to get here.  They were tired. We ended the meal with Tiramisu and hugs. 

This morning we met again at the bottom of my track for the handing over of the keys.  The smell of orange blossom is  strong now. The purple irises are in full bloom The golden oriels are back.  A whoopee family flew in front of my car yesterday.

In the process of letting go of the house I created 15 years ago, and really accepting the unknown of what will come, a peace has settled, and already something new and exciting has emerged.  It’s about my art, and a global NGO organisation who would love to use some of my images for ecards.

Meanwhile as I write, the Dutch couple will be spending their first afternoon in Alcazar, meeting Merche and some of the neighbours.

Yes,  the village of Alcazar is  remote and  tiny! It has 68 inhabitants, mas o menos.

This morning I went again to P’s expressive art group.   We did something called Zen- tangling – ‘Zen’ doodling basically.  It’s huge in  the US apparently. 

It was a group collaboration of doodling thoughtfully, as opposed thoughtlessly.  The end result was spectacular.  But more importantly, for me it was all about co -creation.  As always, I think the process is more important than the end product.

Guided by P initially,  5 of us added our marks within a frame work of just a few lines, then kept on adding more marks, more lines, and more doodles until we ran out of time. 

Within some shapes I was able to be wild. So love that feeling. In others I felt like I was stitching things together.

This 'art-play/co creation' has been a kind of graphic metaphor for my new life !

Within a structure not designed by myself (designed by… call it what you like…God, Goddess, All That Is, The Universe… your Higher-self, the name isn’t important), I add my small, or large or wild marks in the making  of a beautiful whole picture, and all along the way, I see and deeply appreciate the marks of the others.

Just after I handed over the keys this morning, I looked up, I don't know why,  and noticed the moon.  It was high in the bright blue sky, right between the Dutch couple. My breath was taken away in a most unexpected way. I felt weak with awe.

Why so?  
I asked Google about todays moon.

She said:

‘The Moon today is in a Waning Crescent phase. 

Astrologically it’s in its  -Third Quarter - which means :   

a time to  complete, revise, realign (best time of the whole year to complete things).'


I keep quoting the poet Mary Oliver !

‘Pay attention.  Be astonished.  Tell about it.’

Thank you Mary. I am. 

End of a chapter, 2001-2016. 

And interestingly, my brand new, long awaited Irish passport arrived yesterday! 

So love synchronicity.


Thank you for sharing the journey with me.

100.000 blessings to you all.

Besos y  abrazos a tod@s.


Thanks to James Fox for the zen-tangle photos, and Google for the bird pics.