I offer this in the spirit of optimism and shining our own lights brightly given the challenges around us.
I took this photo of a piece of tree bark standing from foliage cut down in the paddock beside our apartment. It just made me think of how we can wade through all sorts of shit but fight our way into a place of honour where we can stand up and speak our truth.
In 1972 I spent three months working on a kibbutz in northern Israel as a volunteer, something which was popular at the time. You got a cheap flight and accommodation in return for various work on the kibbutz.
We lived in volunteers’ accommodation, very basic, and also not much soundproofing. The guy next to us was profoundly depressed and played Leonard Cohen all the time – known in those days as “music to cut your throat by”.
I developed a prolonged dislike of Leonard Cohen after that time until I came across an album a couple of decades ago by Jennifer Warnes called: “Famous Blue Raincoat” which was a tribute to Leonard Cohen and his wonderful poetic songs.
And then recently I came across the wonderful song of his called “Dance Me to the End of Love” which I included in a recent blog.
Cohen may have passed over to share his poetry in the Summerlands, but I’m more than happy that I was able, before he left this world, to learn to appreciate his work and to admire the life he led which definitely followed the road less travelled.
In all the upheaval, pain and anger of the past week and the US Presidential elections, Leonard Cohen’s music and poetry is a reminder of the beauty, power and healing energies of his wonderful music and the gifts of poetry and music which so enrich our daily lives.
And the photo is of the Apothecary’s Rose in our garden – a wonderful rose native to the Turkish region which has an ancient history. So it seemed fitting to post a photo of the last rose of 2016 to commemorate the passing of that wonderful troubadour, Leonard Cohen.
I knocked this up for a bit of fun because, when I was looking on YouTube for a link to Moonlight Sonata, I came across another composition by Beethoven: Fuer Elise.
This music brought back some good memories of 1972 when I, aged 25, travelled to Australia with my then boyfriend for a holiday (which stretched into 40 years!). We flew by jet to Singapore then caught a ship called the Patris to Perth, Western Australia. In those days the ship-jet combination was a very cheap option to fly from England to Australia.
Every mealtime they would play a few bars of Fuer Elise over the loudspeakers to announce food was being served. I would hum merrily away, completely out of key as I’m tone-deaf. It used to drive my boyfriend nutso as he had perfect pitch – in fact, it seems to be my fate to end up with guys with perfect pitch as my husband has the same and my off-key warblings drive him nutso too. (I also remember beating my boyfriend at chess – I had no idea of the rules so moved the pieces at random which foxed him completely as it was totally illogical and he was very logical and so couldn’t predict my move. He was also, by the way, a bad loser!).
I think the tone-deafness must run in our family – my mum was very musical, loved playing the piano, but my aunt (my mother’s sister) was tone-deaf like me. She used to start belting out “Jezebel” (popularised by Frankie Lane) and we would scatter for cover – much like my husband, the dogs and the cats do when I start hollering away!
In fact, the Patris experience put me off cruises for life – there were no places to sit in solitude; entertainment was arranged in every part of the damned boat; the food was appalling; and it was plain old boring. Apart from finding out, of course, that Fuer Elise was the name of the music and it had been created by Beethoven.
So remember, when life hands out lemons, make lemonade – in this case, a lovely piece of music which I’ve never forgotten over the many years since my 1972 journey to Australia where, by the way, I created a magickal new life for myself!
I created this from a blank canvas copied from PicMonkey into Pixlr, then fiddled with various Pixlr gizmos to get the background canvas and then, finally, superimposed a photo of grasses I took by the sea at Lambousa, an ancient port close to where we live in North Cyprus.
It’s a tribute to the beauty of nature and the galaxy.
And here’s some lovely music to accompany the image.
There is a simple message here – be true to yourself, trust yourself and you will fly with the best possible emotions – love, self-confidence, happiness, creativity. Too often these days joy is squashed out of us by rules, regulations, nose to the grindstone work, interminable, stressful and boring testing in schools and universities, when what we need is the flight of our imaginations and the freedom to be who we are: to be honoured, each of us, as individual beacons of light illuminating the darkness of dead, dullifying bureaucratic shackles and smashing them to pieces.
I fished through some base canvases I create as I’m fiddling with PicMonkey or BeFunky and came across one where I’d saved an image from BeFunky’s “trail” gizmo. Then I added a photo of a ginger flower from our garden in Bowraville on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, and finally added some glitzy bits from Pixlr. Great fun and I give you: Ginger Glee!
And since we’re talking about glee, I’ve also added a link to a very cheerful video which my friend told me about this morning. Enjoy!