WE ARE ALL ONE

As I’ve mentioned before, living in North Cyprus can be a bit of an eye-opener.  There are many guest workers here who leave their families back in their home country and come to this country where they work their guts out to send money to their parents, siblings, wives and children they’ve left behind.

I also remember our transit stay in Dubai, on our way from Australia to this island, where there is great wealth but also enormous poverty among the guest workers who toil for crap wages, in lousy working conditions and who get deported if they try to organise for a better life in the country exploiting them. We felt uncomfortable in Dubai and were glad we were only spending on night in a country of extremes of wealth and poverty.

We have spoken in the last couple of days to a couple of guest workers from Pakistan, there are a lot of them here working in restaurants, cafes, private homes, hotels and so on. One of them said to us: “Look, three Americans get killed in Boston and it fills pages and pages. It’s all you see on the TV news. But there’s hardly any coverage if people are killed by US drones or NATO forces in Pakistan or Afghanistan. What about the nine children killed by a drone recently?  A small paragraph hardly noted in newspapers and on TV. Don’t we count?  Don’t we lose loved ones?  Don’t we grieve just the same as you? How come our lives mean less than Western ones?”

Well, of course, the only answer to this is that the Western media and so many in Western nations believe that Western interests are first and foremost.  I remember reading the words of Dick Cheney, ex-US vice-president, who said he’d do anything to protect US interests (and for that, please read not “people” but “corporations”) which entailed of course the loss of thousands of lives in Iraq and Afghanistan to deliver huge profits to the armaments and private security industries, and expand US control of oil resources.

And in an interview on BBC World News I saw a Boston runner interviewed who stated she felt guilty because the three killed in the Boston bombings were killed because of her. Which is absolute bullshit because the people ran because they chose to and the bombers bombed because they chose to and the presence of the runner had nothing to do with the deaths. Plus I read how Australian viewers of the scenes of the Boston bombings could well suffer post-traumatic stress disorder.

And I thought how bloody self-centred those comments were. Me, me, me. Try living in Baghdad where daily car bombs have killed thousands of people – husbands, wives, mums and dads, kids. Now THAT’S stressful and anyone in Iraq’s capital is entitled to feel post-traumatic stress disorder in trumps. Or what about those people living in isolated areas of Afghanistan who’ve seen their loved ones blown to bits by US drones in conjunction with NATO forces who stuff up the targeting of their bombs and kill innocent people who are, in these days of weasel words, “collateral damage”.  How the hell can we call the deaths of people “collateral damage”, for god’s sake?

I’m making these comments because we need to understand how frustrated and angry people get in developing nations when their interests are subsumed to Western interests.  There are very few positive images of Asian or African or South American nations. They are mainly portrayed as poor, pathetic, starving or riddled with corruption.  I mean – you can hardly say that corruption is the province of leaders of developing nations when 42 of 45 US Senators who voted against legislation empowering background checks on gun buyers received donations from the gun lobby!

But very often we here in North Cyprus see positive images on BBC Worldwide News from Africa, Asia and South America which mainstream news organisations don’t bother about because they’re focused on disasters, celebrities, and negative, negative, negative stories.

I do have to say, though, that I’ve found it interesting to read quite a few comments after the Boston bombings lamenting the fact that we pay huge attention to the loss of Western lives while paying scant attention to the loss of lives through violence or drought in developing nations. And The Australian newspaper in my home country actually published photos of the victims of bombings in Afghanistan and Iraq which you really don’t see too often because we’re considered too delicate to see the awful stuff these people have to deal with on a daily basis.

I want to make it clear that I am in no way condoning the actions of the bombers in Boston because all too often when people try to point out how turning a blind eye to the suffering of people in places like Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan provokes hostility and anger in some people in the West, you get accused of siding with those who bomb in the West. I personally find all bombers – whether they organise car bombings, suicide bombings or bombing from a distance with drones – gutless, heartless cowards. So I want to wind up with this poster from Facebook which I believe is the right approach to all bombings and violence and puts bombers where they deserve to be, beneath our contempt.

That means, of course, we ourselves don’t bomb because when we in the West justify the bombing of innocent people and let US and NATO forces get away with weasel words of “mistake, error, sorry about that”, we are no better than the car bombers and suicide bombers for whom we proclaim such contempt!

Peace not Terrot

CREATIVITY AND IMAGINATION

I am reproducing below a poem I received the other day via e-mail.  I subscribe to Panhala on Yahoo Groups as the person running this group posts out an email each day with a poem, a photo and some music. And it’s terrific.  I’ve come across poets I never knew existed and some poems just hit the nail for me on particular days, particularly if they’re challenging.

This one turned up when I was pondering the whole question of creativity. Firstly, I came across this video by Someone mentioned that they didn’t feel creative and admired my own creativity. Now this always comes as a great surprise to me as, for most of my life, I felt that I didn’t have a creative or imaginative bone in my body.

In fact, looking back, I could write well all my life. I started writing as a kid, I created newspapers and short stories but, because it was so easy and natural to me, I didn’t associate it with creativity.

Creativity to me was stuff like artwork and music, two areas where I was absolutely pitiful. We’d set out on some project in art class, I’d have a vision in mind but what emerged via the paintbox was truly pathetic.  I always say that my art teacher gave me a pass mark (just – 51%) out of sheer pity. Not so with music, the only exam I’ve ever failed. I am tone deaf for a start, but our music teacher assumed an innate understanding of music which left me absolutely baffled.  I had no idea what she was talking about, couldn’t make head nor tail of music in E, O or it could be XYZ as far as I was concerned.

I first realised I was creative when I was at a health farm and we were led into a creative visualisation where my images where sharp and clear and appeared so easily, whereas other people struggled with the whole exercise. But it was only when I did a mandala workshop when I was 50 and created a rather lovely mandala and discovered that symbols formed my access gateway to art that I came to the conclusion that I had some shred of creativity in me.

The truth is, of course, that wManifesto for Simple Lifee all have great reserves of creativity and imagination within us, waiting to be tapped and to pour forth. But all too often this is squashed out of us in childhood and in the education system when we are not regarded as individuals but as items on a conveyor belt to be shaped and formed into worthy, unquestioning workers and able-bodied consumers.

Yet even when we’ve had a lifetime of supposedly doing our duty, conforming and all the other crap that society dishes up to hopefully keep you quiet and compliant and not questioning your life, even if that life is arid and wringing your heart and soul dry, that hidden creativity and imagination surfaces if it hasn’t been killed off completely or considered not worthy of being considered creative or imaginative.

These two – creativity and imagination – are not limited to art, writing or music or whatever is considered to be given the accolade of creative work.  If you love working with cars or motor bikes, if you are passionate about doing up houses, if you love creating a great environment for children, if you enjoy doodling, if crosswords or Sudoku turn you on, then all these are passions which feed our souls and life our spirits. My husband, for example, loved construction work and was very happy to go to work every day,  knowing he was part of creating beautiful high-rise buildings. Our neighbour used to love fiddling with cars. A friend of mine loves cooking for family and friends. It’s about what makes you feel uplifted and living life to the full.

We need to be creative about creativity and what it is. All too often something’s only considered artistic or creative if it’s sold for squillions of dollars. Yet we can be creative when we realise our passion and indulge our passion. Now that’s a word that brings up lots of self-sabotage. Indulge. Because in a society which values the Protestant work ethic, the idea of indulging our inner fantasies and wellspring of ideas and creativity sounds very threatening and self-indulgent.

Yet it isn’t.Three women dancing

If we all pursued our passions, then we’d have a far healthier society where people would be so much happier and less stressed.  You  might see I’m being Utopian yet I see nothing wrong in the vision of a society where people’s creativity is allowed to flourish, where passion isn’t subsumed to the goal of work, work, more work and shopping, shopping and more shopping.  If we are all so happy, why are so many of us utterly knackered after work, slumping in front of the TV at night, depressed or addicted to social media, drugs or drink to get a sense of self-esteem? We need to make space and time to sort out what we’re passionate about and DO it!

So this poem really talks to me about how pursuing our passion, whatever it is, can lead us back to being in touch with our wellspring of self-love which is also a wellspring of love for society. Because when you do what delights your heart, you offer something beautiful to the whole of society. You offer your skills and creativity but you also remind people that not everything needs to be machine made.  You can craft fantastic work if your heart’s in it and you feel your heart singing as you do what you love. And what you love can be anything: gardening; yoga; dance; reading; painting; fixing boats or cars; making kites; whatever takes your imagination and it doesn’t matter a hoot if the wannabe fashionistas decree something is creative or not. It’s creative if you love what you’re doing and you are happy.  Just plain old happy and contented!

Wooden Boats

 

I have a brother who builds wooden boats,
Who knows precisely how a board
Can bend or turn, steamed just exactly
Soft enough so he, with help of friends,
Can shape it to the hull.

 

The knowledge lies as much
Within his sure hands on the plane
As in his head;
It lies in love of wood and grain,
A rough hand resting on the satin
Of the finished deck.

 

Is there within us each
Such artistry forgotten
In the cruder tasks
The world requires of us,
The faster modern work
That we have
Turned our life to do?

 

Could we return to more of craft
Within our lives,
And feel the way the grain of wood runs true,
By letting our hands linger
On the product of our artistry?
Could we recall what we have known
But have forgotten,
The gifts within ourselves,
Each other too,
And thus transform a world
As he and friends do,
Shaping steaming oak boards
Upon the hulls of wooden boats?

 

~ Judy Brown ~

 

(The Sea Accepts All Rivers & Other Poems)

OPEN HEARTS, LOVING OUR NEIGHBOURS

It’s been interesting moving to North Cyprus because suddenly, watching BBC World News, Al-Jazeera and EuropNews, you find a much wider world that we used to see in Australia.  There it’s as if Australia’s the centre of the universe, when in fact it’s real importance is that it’s the sheriff for the US in the Asia-Pacific region.

Here in the Middle East we get to see the refugees in squalid living conditions, fleeing the ghastly civil war in Syria and families trying to survive in refugee camps where they’re all squashed together in one tent which leaks in the rain and has no protection against the ravages of winter cold and snow.  We get reports of the suffering of the Palestinian people squashed into the tiny area of Gaza and trying to survive the Israeli blockade and regular bombings of the crowded nation. We get reports of children sick and dying in little villages in Nigeria where people are digging up gold, getting covered in the lead from these operations leading to illness for young and old alike. Only there aren’t so many old, because they die young or very young in these villages. That’s if the babies aren’t brain-damaged from the lead prevalent in their surroundings.

Why am I mentioning this? Because I’ve just seen one of those selfish posters on Facebook calling for isolationism, only “looking after our own”, decrying overseas aid and complaining about those wretched refugees and asylum seekers who turn up on the shores of Western nations seeking a better life than in their desperate home circumstances: refugees from the conflicts in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and so on; refugees from the starvation of droughts where people eat dirt or twigs to try to assuage their gnawing hunger.

Let me say that I can understand people wanting better conditions for the poor, the disabled, the disadvantaged, the sick in our own societies. But the reason for poverty and suffering in Western nations isn’t the spending on overseas aid. It’s the billion-dollar tax evasion by the huge corporations like Amazon, Starbucks, and so on. It’s the billion-dollar subsidies for the armaments and industrial giants; the bloated subsidies for huge agribusiness in the US and Europe; the obscene spending on wars and conflict supposedly to protect Western people but essential to protect Western oil, mining and manufacturing oligarchies.Welcome, All People

So I think it’s fine to target the real enemies – those within who gut our economies with their obscene greed and utter selfishness in their endless quest for mega-profits; or the armaments industries who grow fat on illegal wars like Iraq or the propping up of dictators like Saddam Hussein or Colonel Gaddafi or the House of Saudi in Saudi Arabia.  Shut your hearts to them by all means. Demand they pay proper amounts of tax. Stop tax havens. In other words, fix the tax system properly so that those who can afford it pay, and stop the billions in subsidies to prop up inefficient agriculture giants who then sell their products for peanuts in Third World countries and undermine or destroy local producers.

But let’s NOT shut our hearts on or turn our backs to those in developing nations in desperate need, who are seeking the basic security of a roof over their heads, education for their kids, food and not starvation.  And let’s not forget that all too often the turmoil in these countries is often the result of Western intervention or the legacy of Western intervention and exploitation in the past. Such intervention and exploitation has enriched our own nations at the expense of those whose resources have been plundered by mining and other multinationals; or whose people are being exploited now by big manufacturing corporations growing ever wealthier on the pathetic wages paid to people doing jobs exported from Western nations. And those jobs have been exported because the head honchos of those corporations don’t care about the destruction of jobs and communities in their own country, they are intent only on screwing people with the lowest possible wages and working conditions wherever they can find them in the world.

The world is getting ever smaller. We are on each other’s doorsteps. We can look into our neighbours’ lives and eyes wherever we live on this world of ours. So let’s not be suckered by selfishness and a short-sighted view of our global community.  We can keep our hearts open, make sure we are well-informed of the truth, sheet home blame where it’s really deserved to the parasitical, blood-sucking minority who suck up so much of the community’s wealth, and offer love, compassion and aid to those in dire need of succour and a loving, helping hand.

THATCHER, THATCHER, THE CHILDREN’S MILK SNATCHER

In the past week we’ve been witness to the most maudlin’ crap about the former UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and how we shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.

Oh, bollocks to that.  Thatcher got the opprobrium she deserved.

Those who tried to stifle the truth of the people’s voices are the right-wing press and leading big business lights who are happy to spruik a whole lot of ill about leaders who die that they don’t like, or post photos of Saddam Hussein with a noose around his head, or Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi in his last moments, or  gloat over Osama bin Laden being ditched at sea. But it’s different when it’s one of theirs.

Well, no, it isn’t. 

Leaders can raise a nation up or drag a nation down. And Thatcher dragged the UK down into the gutters. She offered the lure of greed, selfishness, individualism, cut-throat society, the survival of the fittest, and the me-me-me culture. Quite a few flocked to the Fool’s Gold of this offer although, bless their little cotton socks, many turned up their noses at this rotten offering. And for those who were excluded, however, Thatcher imposed unemployment, the smashing of community, a police society, poverty, impoverishment and the failure of hope.

Down the track, the UK is wallowing in recession after recession and Thatcher acolytes are blaming everyone but this cold-hearted supporter of the vicious dictator, Pinochet; a cynical wager of war in the Falklands to boost her poll numbers and the heartlessness to order the sinking of the Belgrano, even though it was steaming away from the UK-imposed exclusion area and causing the deaths of hundreds of young recruits; a supporter of apartheid in South Africa who refused to back the sports sanctions which helped end apartheid and who described Nelson Mandela as a terrorist.

Many years later, who’s the colossus who stands astride the world as a revered leader who showed true forgiveness and tolerance,  whose death will be greeted with wAgainst corporate greed placardorldwide mourning, and who’s the person who is a pygmy by comparison?

Let’s not forget that there have been three major economic crises since Thatcher was booted unceremoniously out of office because there’s no loyalty in politics, no matter how well you’ve bowed and scraped to the head honchos of the banking, armaments and big business top dogs.And it all comes down to the blind belief of those darlings of the right-wing, Thatcher and her idiot-in-arms, US President Reagan, that when restrictions were lifted on the banking/financial sectors in the US, Britain and Europe, those head honchos were going to behave like good little boys and girls and be utterly responsible in their dealings.

Whoops!  Just seen a pink pig flying past and lots more flying along too, pumped up with hot air from insider dealing, rogue trading and grotesque super-profits by super-wealthy corporations and individuals coupled with ever-growing poverty for the great majority.

CompassionAs I live in Cyprus, I have been particularly interested in the plight of  this island since it has suddenly emerged from being a sleepy, money-laundering backwater in the eastern Mediterranean to occupying leading headlines as the latest Eurozone casualty rapidly going down the economic gurgler. It’s become a testing ground where the banksters and gangsters of the EU and the International Monetary Union have staged a snatch-and-grab raid on people’s savings, the first time people’s money has been seized directly (the wealthy and various parliamentary leading lights were warned in advance, by the way, and got billions out of the banks before they collapsed).

In the various crises which have erupted through the Eurozone, so far the snatch-and-grab has been in the form of indirect tax grabs, or wage cuts, or other measures to screw the people through so-called austerity measures. But get away with the highway robbery in Cyprus, and you can betcha further down the line other ordinary folk in other countries will be mugged in the same way.

Cyprus, by the way, isn’t one island. Two-thirds comprise the Republic of Cyprus, the Greek-Cypriot part which has been mugged like no other country in the Eurozone, and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus which is where I live. Turkish-Cyprus is under the aegis of Turkey where the economy is going gangbusters and has not been affected by the economic thuggery in the south. Luckily for us in the north, the EU raiders haven’t been able to get their greedy mitts on this part of the island.

Back to Thatcher, however. In her time, the people really affected by her savage attacks on community – the miners, the poor, the unemployed, those in the north, in the shipbuilding and other industries – didn’t have much of a voice.  The media at the time was in the hands of moguls who stood rock-solid behind Thatcher and her police repression. But since then the internet has grown and expanded massively. Social media has erupted and the people’s voice can no longer be stifled. The contempt and hatred that people have bottled up about this mis-leader have finally boiled over at her death.  Social media has allowed people to voice their truth, the people’s truth, about Thatcher’s actions and damned good luck to them.

To earn respect in death from ordinary folk, you need to have exhibited leadership which raises people up, which shows compassion and a love for the great majority. Thatcher did neither. Which is why so many people celebrated when she died. When Thatcher was busy killing off communities, reducing so many to poverty, driving many to quiet suicide, cutting off free milk for the nation’s children over seven years of age, she might have spared a thought for that very appropriate saying:  “Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee”. And in the past few days the tolling has been the celebration of so many  people that they have survived to witness Thatcher’s demise and toast her departure from this mortal coil. And who can blame them?

A SOFT SUNSET

Sometimes here in North Cyprus you get the most amazing sunsets with the sun setting on the western horizon like a ball of fire.Moon at Sunset

But sometimes you get a far gentler, softer aspect of the sun gently settling below the horizon and last night was one of them. I managed to get a pic of the moon in the sky, a quarter-one towards the west again. I love the Full Moons on a clear night as the light shines in our bedroom and it’s like having a huge lamp hanging in the sky glowing and lighting up the whole landscape.

I mentioned in my previous post that fibromyalgia has helped me life life in a more conscious way and it is indeed a blessing.  Previously I’d never have noticed what the sky looks like or appreciated it’s different aspects.  I have learned to return to nature, which I loved as a kid, and appreciate the beSunset cloudsauty of the natural world again.

So I hope you enjoy these gentle images of Mother Earth as much as I did looking at them last night.

 

MIDNIGHT RAMBLER: THE FIBRO FOLLIES

Yes, I know, I’ve pinched the title of one of the Rolling Stones’ tunes for this particular post although, to be very honest, my ramblings were a bit later, about 4.30am, to be precise.  However, Midnight Rambler sounds far classier than Four-Thirty AM Rambler, so I’ll stick with that.

Quite often at night, courtesy of fibromyalgia and a damaged spine, I get very painful hips and legs and get up to have a stretch, have a cup of tea and break into the pity party you can sink into in the early hours of the morning.

So as I sat on the sofa this morning with one of my cats stretched out beside me, and having fed another cat who was yowling for tucker as dawn started to break, I contemplated how my life has changed since I got fibromyalgia.Dragonfly & Birds

I used to be a Type A personality, driven, always in a hurry, not paying much attention to a slow way of living (not paying much attention? I DESPISED a slow way of living!), trying to get approval and validation from others to feed my sense of self.

And one day in 1999 I remember walking out of Booval shopping centre, near Ipswich just outside Brisbane, Queensland, on a  hot, sunny day when I suddenly got a grinding pain in my hips.  I had been feeling increasingly tired but the sudden pain brought me to a  halt.  I managed to sort of swagger to our car by swinging my hips and sinking into the car seat with a huge sense of relief.

Shortly after this I began to get red, intensely itching blotches on my arms and legs.  They’d start as small itchy lumps then spread and join up until I had huge red, incredibly itchy blotches which continued spreading as I looked like the dreaded lurgy.  I was terrified as I had no idea what was happening.  I’d make an appointment with our local doctor but, in a rural area, you had to wait a week or so and by that time the blotches would have disappeared. But many a cold night was spent holding ice on these red blobs to try to quell the intense, frenzied itching and stop the blobs spreading because they got worse if I was in a warm bed.

At the same time I began to experience chronic fatigue. I’d get out of bed, flop on the sofa and stare at the ceiling in a fog, unable to think straight or get motivated to do anything.  If I tried to break through the fatigue, I’d bounce off an invisible wall and feel even worse.

I saw one doctor who told me straight out I was bludging and really, if I’d had the energy, I’d have had a good go at bludgeoning him for implying I was lying. Finally, as my legs and arms got increasingly painful, I saw a doctor in Ipswich who referred me to a rheumatologist who diagnosed fibromyalgia.

So I went home, thought I’d finally got a diagnosis and life would carry on as normal. My husband thought the same too. WRONG.  Having a diagnosis does not make a chronic illness go away.  What I gradually learned over time was that I needed to live with the Fibro Follies, as I call fibromalgia, and learn to compromise with my body which overrode my desire to be hyper-active.  My body had decided to call it quits. I had burned out and my body’s survival mechanism had kicked in big-time. I don’t know quite why I keeled over at this stage in my life, perhaps it was a result of being quite ill when I broke my leg and ankle in 1996 as I never seemed to fully recover from that. Or perhaps because I was dealing with the stress of a father sinking ever deeper into rock-bottom alcoholism.

I learned to rest, take life a lot more slowly, to do only half of what I wanted to do in order to live with the Fibro Follies.  I’d have good days when I had to temper myself not to go bonkers and then fall in a heap again. I had bad days out of the blue when the fibro fog and pain would turn up out of the blue for no reason at all and I had to let go and rest.

I found out the ongoing hip pain was because I had damage all up my spine. After I’d had a CAT scan in 2002 and my doctor read the results, she said the damage resembled that of someone who’d worked on a  jackhammer all their lives. I have no idea how this damage was caused but there you go – from the person who used to whizz past you, or huff behind you at waiting in a long bank queue or glare at you if you didn’t serve her fast enough in a shop, I have now become someone who walks slowly, notices nature, takes time to look at people and smile at them, and who has learned to treat people with much more tact, politeness and consideration.

A long day’s journey – not into the dark, but into the light of really living in a far more conscious way on earth. And all courtesy of my body which I ignored for so many decades until it decided to go its own way and demand I look after it a damned sight better than I had been doing.

Now, like so many who end up with illness, whether life-threatening, painful or challenging, I have tried many ways to say good-bye to fibromyalgia.  In 2003 in Pingelly, on the wheatbelt outside of Perth in Western Australia, these itchy patches went truly berserk and I ended up for nearly eight months with head-to-toe hives which is what I found the itchy patches to be.  I thought I would go insane in that period. Finally the huge, itchy lumps died down although they’d continue to pop up from time to time until I found a truly brilliant acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist in Kyogle in northern New South Wales whose treatment put them to rest forever, I hope, fingers crossed.

But like others who live with this mysterious chronic illness which mugs you as you trot along your life’s path, I have found that healing has been listening to the voice of my illness, working with it, and learning to live a different life. I’ve become a writer and artist. I enjoy teaching as and when I’m able. And in so doing, I’ve healLove and Grattitudeed in a far more profound way than if I’d been able to shake off the aches and pains of the Fibro Follies and continued in the fast, furious life I’d led in my earlier years.

I make this point because so often I read of people “fighting” cancer, being a “survivor”, or “beating” an illness. And I do wonder why we consider the body’s imbalances which manifest in various ways as enemies to be beaten into submission. After all, what do you call someone who perhaps dies of cancer or multiple sclerosis or motor neurone disease? A loser? I don’t think so.

Illness can teach us not only to dance with our bodies and lives in a quite different way.  It can, hopefully, open the way for others to open their hearts in compassion and kindness, rather than to judge whether we can bash our illness or disease into total submission.  It’s not about winners and losers. It’s about learning to shine our light in the good and the bad times, and to be fearless in letting people know when we’re in pain, need to care for ourselves and step off the treadmill of hurry, rush and mindlessness.

Illness and the challenging ways the body can live a life of its own, beyond our puny efforts to control things with our mind, are to me one of the mysteries of life. Yes, we can find ways sometimes to heal from a physical imbalance. But often it’s the very imbalance which leads us to heal in very profound ways that can teach us to live life in a more spiritual, caring, focused way than we did previously. And that is true healing, a return to smiling at life through our hearts and souls.

I’ve had a rather aimless few weeks, feeling unmotivated and very lethargic which is a bit weird for me.  Nevertheless, I decided to go with the flow, enjoying the laid-back times and reading heaps of light murder/mystery/romances downloaded onto my Kindle from Amazon.  Nice work, Mo!

But the night before last and early this morning, I had a couple of dreams which seemed to have ironed the kinks out of my system, so hopefully it’s onwards and upwards, teacups, as I am feeling more motivated to get back into action again.

The Chalice of Earth's Bounty
The Chalice of Earth’s Bounty

I haven’t felt like writing but I have been fiddling with art.  This is the painting I’ve been working on which has turned out quite differently to what I had in mind when I started it:

I knew I wanted to work with twigs in one way or another so I went hunting for twigs in the field next door which is pretty much wild, no owners ever turn up. And for this, I might add, I had on sturdy shoes and long trousers as it’s spring, snakes are coming out of hibernation and here in North Cyprus you need to watch for the blunt-nosed viper which is venomous. It’s the only truly poisonous snake in the island but can cause you to feel seriously lousy and snake venom is more concentrated in spring after a snake has been hibernating and stocking up on its venom.

Luckily for me, I didn’t have any close encounters with snakes of any kind and I found the twigs I needed on a pile of dried-up branches piled up close to our apartment.  I tried putting the twigs in a square and then a diamond but that didn’t feel right. So I left them aside and decided to work on the canvas and see what turned up as I didn’t have anything particular in mind.

I had a canvas already primed in black (shop bought) so spread red glitter over, then flicked on blobs of orange paint, and then added streaks of bronze paint straight from the tube. I spread these streaks out with a foam roller, then sprinkled glitter over it before it dried. then I got the urge to create a sort of gold cup with and then had the idea of sticking down small yellow bows, with yellow glass chips pouring out of the cup (or chalice as I came to view it once I’d completed the painting), then I remembered the twigs and put three in between the four rows of yellow glass chips. In the top left-hand corner is a sun with a tiger eye cabochon at its centre.

I sat with this image for a while then felt that the cup represented a chalice, the cup of plenty from the earth, and that it was pouring forth its bounty to share with all sentient beings on earth.  It’s not green but I feel it’s a homage to spring as everything was coming to life as I created the painting: fruit trees in blossom; wild mimosa sending sparkles of yellow to cover the island; wildflowers popping up everywhere; and birds flitting around with the bits and pieces in their beaks needed to make nests.

And while I was pottering with this artwork, I also stuffed around with the “Paint” option on my computer and created the following fun pieces, of which the orange on is the original with the others switched about colour-wise courtesy of Photoshop. Silly stuff but great fun!

Abstract Paintshop

Abstract Paintshop - 1 Abstract Paintshop - 2 Abstract Paintshop - 3