Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Walls ... be demolished.
Blockages ... be blown to smithereens.
Paths ... be clear.
Locked doors ... fly open.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007


(This week's One deep Breath prompt is Roots/Connection)
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They were meant to bloom
But my cat's friend sat on them.
I will bloom instead.
My cat Jasper has a friend (a fairly large and bold faced ginger and white cat) who has been hanging around a lot lately ...
The other day when I went to look at my sunflower seedlings, I realised they were not only looking weak and spindly, but most of them were crushed and flattened, their stems broken ... and the wooden skewers which I had put around them to form a protective barrier (and also to hold some of them up) were askew all over the ground. A case for Nancy!
I knew Jasper didn't do it because he's usually where the sunflowers are planted and has never troubled them. So ... I thought it was the gardeners who had carelessly trampled them, even though I had told them (when the seeds first sprouted) to be careful around the seedlings. Then ... one day I saw Jasper's friend lounging on top of some of the crushed seedlings and scattered skewers. That was the culprit.
I transplanted the surviving seedlings in a pot. They look very spindly, unlike sunflower seeds I've planted in the past (the seeds themselves were small and not like sunflower seeds) ... so I'm not sure if, how or when they will grow and bloom. I told myself that I would have to grow and bloom on their behalf.


Monday, January 29, 2007


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Down in the garden yesterday afternoon-into-evening with Rainbow ...
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The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.
(James Matthew Barrie)
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When we are touched by something it's as if we're being brushed by an angel's wings.
(Rita Dove)
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Love must have wings to fly away from love,
and to fly back again.
(Edwin A. Robinson)


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Tagged by Webgrl

I find memes are kind of pointless, but for whatever it's worth ...

1. Grab the book closest to you
By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

2. Open to page 123, go down to the fourth sentence, post the text of the following three sentences on your blog
Every snap of the fire startled the woman and me, but the padre paid no attention to it; he was completely involved in his task - an instrument of the Virgin, as he had said. He was speaking a strange language and the words came forth at great speed. He was no longer moving his hands; they simply rested on the man's shoulders.

3. Name of the author
Paulo Coelho

4. Tag three people of your own
Whoever wants to do it.


Full Circle (A Rainbow update)

It's funny how flocks of pigeons fly in circles over the place they frequent.
Little Rainbow is doing a full circle of her own.
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Imagine just a little over two weeks ago, this tiny, trembling specimen came home with me ...

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The shot above shows her a few days after (she grew fast!) ... the day before I let go of her ...

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Two days ago she started flying with more confidence. Now, instead of just walking around Rosanna's apartment, she can fly short distances, from the floor to the furniture, with great excitement. This, however, means the end of her stay at Rosanna's, who does not mind cleaning up the odd droppings from the floor, but not from her furniture, now that 'the girl' (as she has fondly come to be known) is flying everywhere. The idea was for 'the girl' to be not as 'spoilt' by Rosanna. But, even though physical contact was a bit less, it is difficult, when in the presence of Rainbow, to not become attached. I warned Rosanna that she will feel the void. Later today Rainbow will be returning with me to St. Augustine ...
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Initially, she will come to my house. When unattended, she will stay in an old rabbit cage -courtesy the friend who had given me the hamster cage (which RainB is now too big to fit in comfortably). The rabbit cage is large enough for her to stretch her wings and walk around in. Every so often I will take her out and let her fly until she is a strong enough flyer to be set completely free.

From what I have been reading about how to successfully release a young pigeon, it is advisable to wait until she can fly properly (of course!) Better for her to be released in the area in which she was found. The friend with the rabbit cage lives five minutes walk from me ... and another five minutes (or less) from where Rainbow was found ... where there is a flock of pigeons. She will be released and reunited with her kindred. She will hopefully even find or be reunited with her (soul)mate. According to the articles I was reading on pigeons, once they find their mate, it is for life.

I will try the 'soft release' method, which I read about ... and I trust that all will be well.

Little Rainbow has come full circle to her original home.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

New Blogger

When I tried to sign in to my account tonight using 'old Blogger' it did not allow me to. In order to get in, I had to sign over to 'New Blogger' (which has labels and other additional features in addition to all the old features). I was fine with the old Blogger. I don't really need labels ... but I suppose they come in handy when searching for things. I don't know if I'm going to go back over all the old posts and put labels on them, though. That's a lot of posts to put labels on!

I'll just put labels as I go along from now on ... on posts that seem 'labellish'. Like this one doesn't seem labellish because it's just miscellaneous information. So then should the label be 'miscellaneous'?


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Simple things
Give me wings.
You are the muse
Alive in my strings.



Once upon a time there was a man who won a prize at a fair. The prize was a simple certificate on which was written: Congratulations! You have won a Chronic Les.

"A Chronic Les?" the man exclaimed, baffled. "What on earth is a Chronic Les?"

"Ahaaaa!" the prize giver said, rubbing his hands with glee. "It's the shortened form of the name of your prize. The great thing about this prize is that you get to choose one out of three things that Chronic Les could stand for!"

"What are those?" the man asked.

"Chronic Lesbian, Chronic Lesson and Chronic Lesion."

Which one did the man choose (if any) and why?

Friday, January 26, 2007


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How are you?
I hope you are well.
Let me (re)introduce myself to you.
What do you want to know?
What do you want to ask?
Something to be said?
Can be anything.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


In browsing through the blog of a blogger called [a} who had left some comments, I came across Gizoogle for the first time. It's a spoof of Google. When you type something into the Gizoogle search engine, it translates the particular page into rap language (slang).

E.g. The rap slang version of today's Now is Wow post as translated by Gizoogle.

And here's Chookooloonk's meets 50 cents.

How about Webgrl goes gansta?

Silly but funny.


Today as I walked the labyrinth I saw a skinny little brown caterpillar about three rice grains in length hurrying along the path. I've never seen a caterpillar move so fast. I was also hurrying, as I had 'places to go, people to see' and had not intended to stop off at 'the lab'. But ... it was right there between my first stop (the tax office) and my next destination (the immigration office) ... so I could not resist a quick journey to the centre.

On my way out of the labyrinth, I bounced up the little caterpillar again, hurrying purposefully in a northerly direction, along another twist of the path. The sun was hot ... and, if it was burning a big specimen like me, imagine what it was doing to her. Courage and determination came to mind. It was as if nothing was going to stop her from getting to the bushes which fringe the lab. No doubt it is there that she will settle and undergo her transformation.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Process (of wishing)

(This week's One Deep Breath prompt is Process)
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Photo of a gift from a traveling friend, hanging in my car.
See the shooting star.
Close your eyes and make a wish.
Watch it manifest.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Letting go

If you love something, set it free.
If it comes back to you, it's yours.
If it doesn't, it never was.
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Rainbow on the polished wooden floors of her new apartment.
(N.B. The little souvenir load she dropped)
I spent the night by my friend Rosanna so that we could wake up early and do a 2 1/2 hour meditation. I took Rainbow with me. She had a lovely time in the garden in the evening and slept peacefully overnight in Rosanna's yoga room. It was glaringly obvious to Rosanna how attached Rainbow is to me (and vice versa) ... and, seeing that I want her to be free and find a flock and not return to me with the possibility of being eaten alive by the dogs, Rosanna said "Why don't I keep Rainbow so she'll be weaned off of you ..." (although we both agreed that I was the one who needed more 'weaning off of' ...) I hesitated internally at first, but then realised that this could be the best thing for RainB.
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Rainbow sitting on my rolled up yoga mat. The clever creature had jumped up on it and was rolling back and forth, flapping her wings.
At her new home in Maraval, there are no cats and dogs, so she is able to roam freely throughout the apartment and she will spend time in the garden whenever Rosanna is there. At night she will return to her cage to sleep.
Currently she flies short distances only. I think the only destination she knew was me. If we were out in the garden, she would fly from where she was to wherever I was ... and that was all she knew. I feel this way she will become more independent. At Rosanna's she will be treated well, without a doubt, and she will have the freedom to roam without peril ... but she will not be as 'spoilt' as she was with me. I feel this is better, as it will allow her to understand she is a pigeon with the world as her playground.
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When the feathers under her wings have developed and she is strong enough to lift herself into the air and fly properly, she will go. Detta says she will most likely find a flock in the St. James area and either stay with them ... or return from time to time to the garden and neighbourhood she considers to be home. I don't know if her electromagnetic 'powers' will bring her back to St. Augutsine, but only time will tell.
When I reached back home, it was strange not having her here squeaking as I opened the door ... and ready to play. I will miss her avian presence ... and the opportunity of seeing her take her first flight (unless I happen to be visiting when she does it).
I didn't think this was the way I expected to let Rainbow go ... but it feels right - for her.
Thank you. It was a wonderful experience knowing you, Rainbow! Wherever life takes you, may it be full of only happy journeys and destinations.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Remembering our good old Nancy Drew Days

Reading a post from Regina Clare Jane (one of the Sunday Scribbling's participants - I Still See A Spark ... in You) made me laugh, as it catapulted me back to the days of childhood when my sister Kathryn and I developed a fixation with Nancy Drew the girl detective.

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Wherever we went, we would look for 'clues'. Everything, even the most seemingly ordinary occurrence ("Footprints!") or sighting ("Follow that car!!"), became 'a mystery'. We would draw treasure maps on thin tracing paper or grease proof paper, rub it in dirt or mud and burn the edges to make it look authentic (aged and tattered). Once, digging 'for treasure' at the bottom of the garden of the house we lived in at the time, we actually found a buried box of old rusty keys.
I remember once we were holidaying in St. Vincent (where Daddy is from) and staying at a beach house. (It was the year that Lady Di and Charles were married). Somehow that summer we were at the height of our Nancy Drewness. One of our mysteries was the rusty remains of an old boat ('shipwreck') in the shallows of the beachfront. I can't remember what the exact mystery was or what we named it, but I think we used to keep watch over the 'shipwreck', monitoring any strange activities or lights in the night.

The most intense mystery that summer however was one that we called "The Mystery of the Single Rose." Granny at the time had a young girl named Fleur staying with her. ('Fleur' is French for 'flower' and she was always by herself - hence 'Single Rose'). We even made up a theme song (The Single Rose) for this particular 'mystery'. Fleur was very quiet - perhaps just shy - but to us (budding Nancy Drew initiates) she was full of secrets. We observed her closely, discussing her movements and actions. Our main question was: Why did she leave the house so early every morning?!! The mystery heightened one day when we glanced at the house next door and saw a girl looking just like Fleur, sitting in the verandah with the next door girls, chatting as though it was the most normal thing in the world. Our first question: What was Fleur doing next door with those girls?! Was she telling Granny and the rest of us she was going to work and then slipping next door to associate with her accomplices?!

That was when we decided to go and search Fleur's room. Not in any malicious or maco way ... just in a concerned, Nancy Drew way. I can't remember who found us innocently searching her room for clues (whether it was Granny or Fleur), but it brought that particular mystery to an end.

Turns out Fleur had a twin sister who stayed next door ...

Interestingly, maybe Nancy's spirit of solving mysteries never left us. When I 'grew up' I was drawn to do my Masters in Criminology, mainly due to an interest (at the time) in understanding the deviant mind (perhaps my own?) But even though I have that degree, I can't see myself being a Criminologist. Would rather be what I am now.

Friday, January 19, 2007


(This week's Sunday Scribbling's prompt is "Fantasy").

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If I told you that Rainbow, a common pigeon from the streets, had learned to play the thumbpiano within minutes and could put Liberace to shame, you would think I was fantasizing. But this video proves otherwise.

Almost there ...

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Yesterday morning I was in the garden with Rainbow. I was squatting on the ground playing with a twig and she was walking around behind me. All of a sudden I heard a flapping noise and felt wind on my neck. Then I felt little claws clambering on my t-shirt. She had flown by herself from the ground up to my shoulder! All day she kept standing on tip toes (or tip claws) and flapping wildly, trying to raise herself into the air ... but she had only succeeded that one time.

I wonder how it will feel to suddenly, one day, just be able to lift off the ground and into the sky. Where will be the first place she chooses to go when she has that power/ability/realisation?

Miss Rain-B also had her first trip in my car yesterday evening as she accompanied me to the Greenlight meeting. She mingled well, going easily to everyone and nestling comfortably in their hands. She even blessed Glen's guitar with one of her 'loads'.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Flying practice

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My soul is in the sky.

- William Shakespeare -
('A Midsummer Night's Dream,' Act V. Scene I)

A shoulder to stand on

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Rainbow ... such a fascinating and endearing little creature. I notice pigeons more now when I'm out ... flying, perched on overhead lines, rummaging in the grass, strutting along pathways, cooing from some corner of a street or carpark. I look at them and think to myself : "One day Rain-Bee will look like that." When I'd named her Rainbow, I wasn't thinking about the fact that grown pigeons have rainbows on their necks. Yesterday I noticed she is developing little rainbow feathers.
And when I see crowds of pigeons (like by NFM or Fernandes Complex), I wonder what it will be like when Rainbow is one of the many. Will she see me driving or walking by and swoop down to tell me hello?
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Last night I spoke to a woman on the phone (to get advice). She and her husband are pigeon enthusiasts. She told me that when I try to free Rainbow, no matter how far I go, she will most likely find her way back 'home' (possibly with a mate, if she finds one). I don't mind her returning, but I'm concerned about her innocently hanging around the back garden with the dogs. She is already very trusting. I've tried to introduce them: Pippa looked a bit confused at first ("What's that?!") ... then she sniffed and wagged her tail at Rain-Bee. Bijoux took one look at her and immediately reached out to bite her head! I quickly took her away and didn't bother to introduce her to Hindi.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Lessons in Flying and Friendship (video)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hair we grow again: a retrospective

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Rainbow's feathers (on her head in particular) are growing really fast. Reminds me of my own hair. In the past few days different friends have pointed out that it grows quickly. It doesn't look that way though, because as it grows it starts to twist into spirals, like long springs. So, for example, if it looks like it's just past my shoulders when dry, it will be almost halfway down my back when wet. It is now beginning to push beyond that irritating neither-here-nor-there stage. I made it through this time without shaving it down it again. From henceforth I may allow it to grow back ... or not, depending on how I feel.
The following photos depict different stages of growth over the past 5 years
(in no particular order).
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Autographing poster at my exhibition in 2004.
Hair between one - two years of growing back from being shaved down.
The 'mop-like' stage
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The tame, un-windblown stage
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'The nest' stage
(Oct 2005)
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"The pineapple" stage:
(Nov. 2005)
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Long, abstract electric tresses stage
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Jimi-Hendrix-meets-mad-scientist stage
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Short, at peace yoga-daze-guitar-stage
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'Wild, windblown Manzanilla coiff' stage
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Multi-me(dia) manifestation
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Just growing back from 'tennis ball' stage
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Eyebrows-longer-than-hair stage

Monday, January 15, 2007


You will disappear
When the mirror is not there
Only I exist.
(This week's One Deep Breath prompt is Reflections)


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If a Rainbow had a shadow
What colour would it be?
I looked up the meaning of Pigeon as a power animal/animal totem to see what 'message' is being brought to me throughRainbow's presence:
No matter where pigeon ends up or how it gets there, it knows the way home. The Pigeons gift to us is the ability to accomplish. They do not get lost because they are in tune with the natural ways of earth, and are always aware of their goals. They use all their senses equally and navigate their lives in a balanced way. If Pigeon comes to you, it is asking you to keep your sights and sensitivities clearly set on where you want to be, and start moving. Even if you don’t know exactly how to get there, by following your inner guidance you can find your way.
Also ... (from Wikipedia):
Many people consider pigeons to be pests but they have made contributions of considerable importance to humanity, especially in times of war. In war the homing ability of pigeons has been put to use by making them messengers. So-called war pigeons have carried many vital messages and some have been decorated for their service. Medals such as the Croix de guerre, awarded to Cher Ami, and the Dickin Medal awarded to G.I. Joe have been given to pigeons for their service.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Feeding Rainbow (short video)

(1:55 mins; YouTube)
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Within these few days it's amazing how quickly her feathers are growing on her head (much more than what is seen in the above photo) ... and amazing how quickly she has come to 'know' me. When I call her name or make a cooing noise, she starts to go wild, flapping and chirping. When placed on the floor to get exercise and practise with her wings, she will come running to me when I call her name. She is starting to intersperse her chirping with more adult, cooing noises.
Although she can eat dry food on her own from the bowl (I'm now feeding her growing mash from the pet store), she seems to prefer body contact. Detta told me of a way of feeding her, akin to what the mother pigeon does. It mirrors the crushed food the mother keeps in her craw (?) for the babies to push their heads/beaks in and eat. So I moisten oats, sometimes with a small sprinkling of a crushed calcium tablet and pack them into my fist, then hold the fist at an angle so that Rainbow can push her head in and eat. She also eats the dry growing mash in this way (as seen in the video).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Getting to know Rainbow

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Once she is awake, she squeaks a lot.

Now and then, she fluffs her feathers and preens with her beak.

She sleeps quietly on one leg. It looks like the pigeon's version of tree pose. Maybe she's inspired by the yoga mantras I've been playing for her. Every now and then she slowly stretches one leg and one wing straight out, holds it for a while, then slowly brings it back in ... before doing the same with the other leg/wing a few minutes later.

She loves to drink water from her little trough.

She confidently climbs up and down the ladder in the hamster cage. The upper level has a little plate with crushed dry dog food and rice grains. The lower level has a small trough of water and a jar cover with crushed Crix. My friend and fellow Greenlighter, Glen says he'll try and source (or 'put together') a larger cage.
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She has been eating the rice grains and dog food. (She's not as keen on the Crix).
Kikipotamus the Hobo says she thinks baby pigeons take a long time to reach adulthood and tend to follow their parents around for about a year. I hope this doesn't happen with Rainbow, as she will find it very difficult to follow me around, even when she knows how to fly.

She strikes me as a very intelligent and responsive creature.
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Speaking with Detta's friend who had raised a pigeon from babyhood to adulthood, I was quite fascinated. Once its wings had grown and it could fly, her pigeon never left her. She would fly around in the house and, interestingly, never did her droppings on anything indoors. She instinctively knew what to do and where to go for that. She would eat anything that her owners were eating. She especially loved pigeon peas. (Is that why they call them pigeon peas?) One day she laid an egg on Detta's friend's husband's stomach. She would lay frequently and sit on the egg for exactly 17 days. After the 17th day, she would get up and walk away from it.

She would fly to the gate to meet her owners and also to peck at the postman. Sadly, one day she flew to 'greet' the postman who was giving mail to the nieghbours, who happened to have the same kind of car as her owners. Perhaps thinking that the car belonged to her owners, she was not on her guard and the neighbours, not seeing her, drove and crushed her.

But ... at least she had seven years of great care and companionship.
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Friday, January 12, 2007

I have an idea

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Rainbow the baby pigeon
I have an idea.
Let me pick you up
And help you
To fly.
(This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is: I have an idea)

Beautiful Rat of the Sky

This morning as I went for my early walk, a small pigeon crossed my path, squeaking and running with fright. She was too young to fly and had most likely fallen from her nest. She was dangerously near to the bus route and, not wanting her to be crushed by hurtling vehicles, I decided to pick her up, take her home and keep her until her wings are strong enough to take her away. As I held her, I remembered my friend Hebe telling me that in Amsterdam they have tons of pigeons and they call them 'rats of the sky' because they are like vermin.

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As I walked home with her shivering in my hands, I thought of what to call her: Sunshine? (It's a sunny day). Dawn? (It was just after dawn when I found her). As I looked up then and there, I saw a huge, bright rainbow ahead of us. Rainbow! Immediately the first verse of the other song which I started recording last year (Just a Yes) flew into my mind:

I open the window
I call to the morning
The day, when it's dawning,
Reminds me of you.
Just like a rainbow
Just like the sunshine
Just like a bird
Like you.

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I stopped at my friend Gillian's house on the way, knowing that she would have a cage, since her daughters have pet rabbits. I got a sizeable hamster cage (the hamster had died) and walked home with Rainbow sitting quietly in her temporary new 'house'. She is currently quiet, listening to yoga mantras but not yet eating. I've called Detta for advice and she's given me some telephone numbers of people who either belong to pigeon clubs or have raised them as pets. They will no doubt offer good guidance.

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As Jasper investigates, the benefit of having a cage is clear.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


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Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.

-Rumi -
(The photo is of the bonfire on old year's night 2006).

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


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A photograph is a secret about a secret.
The more it tells you the less you know.

- Diane Arbus -

Simple story of the song

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When I wrote the song "In this Garden", I was feeling that I didn't know how to love anyone properly - including myself - and I wanted to (love properly). I didn't struggle to write the words, or think about what they should be. It's as if they were already in existence, flowing out effortlessly, like a prayer.
When I think of my 'goals and resolutions for the year ahead', there is really only one. It is to find my heart. The other day, in giving a friend advice, I told her to 'follow her heart'. She always sees me as someone who 'follows my heart', which is why I think she asks me for my feelings on things ... Yet when I said the phrase "follow your heart", I realised that I didn't know where my heart was anymore. I literally couldn't (and can't) feel it. It's a strange feeling. I don't think I've ever felt the absence of my heart. It is a compass. It leads the way and it is never wrong. When it's not there, where is it?
Tell me the way to go, Love
Show me the way to know Love
Give me the seeds to sow Love
In this Garden
Give me the eyes to see Love
Give me the heart to feel Love
Give me the breath to breathe Love
In this Garden
Life's big Garden
The Sun is a seed that grows like a flower
The Sun is a seed that feeds Love
The Sun is a seed that grows ...
Open flower, Bloom for me
In this Garden
Life's big Garden
There's always space for more Love
Always a place for pure Love
Always a taste for your Love
In this Garden
Life's big Garden
The sun, the bird, the flower, tree, you, me ...
In this Garden.
Lyrics for "In this Garden"
© Elspeth Duncan 2006

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Subtle Change

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Growth of my forest:
Barely noticeable shift.
The real change, within.
(The prompt for this week's One Deep Breath is Subtle Change)

Monday, January 08, 2007

My Anniversary of 2 things

Today, the 8th of January, is an auspicious day for me - for two things.

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1. Today marks six years since I 'quit' smoking and drinking alcohol and coffee. I didn't quit on purpose ... it just happened, like a miracle. After being a chimney and having unsuccessfully tried to quit smoking many times over many years, I literally woke up that day and lay in bed, aware that something had fallen away. I knew that I would never smoke again. And so it was, without me even trying it or planning it.

Thereafter, I never had a craving, was never tempted, even if people smoked in front of me (in fact it made me feel sick), never looked back and never regretted it. To this day when I see a pack of cigarettes in the grocery, I get a dull, sick feeling in my stomach. And when I see people smoking, I wonder why ... and how they can put that smoke into their bodies.

On that day I also knew I would never drink coffee and never drink alcohol again. This, from someone who drank coffee like water and limed regularly and drank lots of beers, the occasional wine and the infrequent rum.
I think starting yoga three months before had a part to play in this transformation.


2. Today also marks two years since I started this blog. I was going for a walk early in the morning (8 Jan 2005) and saw a little white stone in the shape of an egg. The shape symbolically made me think: "A new beginning ..." When I got home later, I decided to start a blog. I kept doing it daily ... and here I still am, beginning my third year of blogging.

Through the blog I have encountered many different people, some of whom I did not know, some of whom I already know, some of whom I eventually met, some of whom I have never met, some of whom came and went, some from T & T, some from elsewhere in the world.

Without this blog, there are certain things in my life that may not have happened, certain important bonds and directions which may not have been formed or strengthened.

Thank you to those who read daily (or regularly), thank you to those who leave comments, thank you to those who have recently 'come on board', thank you to those who may just be popping in today (you are welcome to come back daily if you feel to).

In celebration of the 8th of January, may today, for each of us, be a wonderful new beginning.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

In This Garden (5)

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Open Flower,
Bloom for me.
(Lyrics from In This Garden: © Elspeth Duncan 2006)