Tuesday, 29 March 2011

BigAl's Books and Pals: A Word on Negative Reviews

I discovered this in a rather round about way involving Twitter and Neil Gaiman. Yes, I know, it's a long story...

It is a fabulous post with some very useful information for people everywhere, needless to say, In My Humble Opinion.

BigAl's Books and Pals: A Word on Negative Reviews: "In the short time since starting this blog I’ve received multiple emails from authors whose book received a negative review asking, even dem..."

Watching Fading Sunlight Dance with the Clouds

West Sussex Evening ~ Photography by me

When you possess light within, you see it externally. ~Anaïs Nin

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary. ~Aaron Rose

All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds. ~ Richard Brautigan

Friday, 25 March 2011

Falling in Love with Lawrence All Over Again

Camelias in a vase in my kitchen ~ Photograph by me


Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.
D. H. Lawrence

After watching the first episode of the new BBC adaptation of Women In Love, I am awash with images, words and music first discovered, first felt, with my nose, mind and heart inside a D. H. Lawrence  book...

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

In Celebration of Elizabeth

I've always admitted that I'm ruled by my passions.  ~ Elizabeth Taylor

It is strange that the years teach us patience; that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.
~ Elizabeth Taylor

Monday, 21 March 2011

Our Wood on the First Day of Spring

Lancing Manor Park Wood ~ 20 March 2011

Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn. ~Quoted by Lewis Grizzard in Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world. ~Virgil A. Kraft

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Here Comes the Rain Again - Eurythmics - Peace Tour

dancing in the rain

Daffodils in my Garden ~ photography by me
I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. ~Ruth Stout

Every spring is the only spring - a perpetual astonishment. ~Ellis Peters

Fairies are invisible and inaudible like angels. But their magic sparkles in nature. ~Lynn Holland

The rain fell
Leaving magic sparkles
On my sadly neglected garden

As always
the loyalty of a flower
surprises me
My daffodils continue
to dance for me

Even when I forget to dance for them...

Thursday, 17 March 2011

singing the earth

Blossoms on the Plum Tree ~ Photography by me

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.
~ an Eskimo proverb

Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it. ~Jacques Prévert

I have seen
I have felt
I know

The earth is waking up
A bit of green sprouting
here and everywhere I look
Blossoms on fruit trees
Blubs magically erupting
from the still cold ground
promising warmth and colour

My camelias are blooming
yesterday I buried my nose in them
and almost forgot
forgot to listen to the screaming
fearful voices in my head

Today is cloudy, cold and watchful
Looking out my kitchen window
On a day with so little light
so little heart

I can see bright yellow daffodils
like small flower faeries waving
singing the earth into a state of calm.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Waiting and Watching the Seasons Change

Trees in the Park ~ Photography by me
Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven. ~Rabindranath Tagore, Fireflies, 1928

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~Minnie Aumonier

Alone with myself
The trees bend to caress me
The shade hugs my heart.
~Candy Polgar

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Some Thoughts on Light, Hope and Ash Wednesday

Crocuses from my front garden taken by me, Robin Dalton ~ 24 Feb 2011

As many of you know I have found myself enveloped by much darkness of late. I struggle to keep my face turned to the light, to let thoughts of hope be the first things I think...

And, then, today I  found this on my Facebook page from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes
(of Women Who Run With Wolves fame) ... By the way, if you are on Facebook, she has some really lovely posts.

A soul asks about Ash Wednesday, A holy day for those who are followers of The Christ, the God of Love who in this day is sent to fast in the desert for 40 days ....and more.

The Grandmother Blessing

I'll tell it to you the way
Katerin, our 'old believer' 
grandmother told it to me:

By these ashes you shall recall:

From dust thou art made,
to dust thou shalt return...

just remember,
in the translations
of monk to monk scribe
language to language,
a drop of sweat on the parchment,
the ink not dry and rubbed
accidentally by the sleeve
of the rising robe...

(and she'd bend down as 
though she were a great raptor
ready to take flight, and whisper
that she had it on good authority
from 'You Know Who' that 
the greatest Scientist-Creator
of theEntireThen, theEverNow,
and theEverWillBe, that it all
really went this way:

From (star)dust thou art made
To (star)dust thou shalt return

Do not forget.


Ash Wednesday for the last many hundreds of years has been a time of mourning and reconciliation between the devout and Creator. In the Holy Book of Christians, which gives rise to the concept, Ash Wednesday is the beginning of 40 days of fasting in the desert (Lent), being tempted, as in, being afflicted by doubts and sidetracked by various soul stealers... and eventually, coming to the sorrow of seeing the Child of Love be beaten and killed.

Though there is no emphasis in many churches, the mourning and reconciliation ought, by my sights, also be extended to relationships with others and with oneself for 'the idea behind the idea,' is that The Child of Light can never be extinguished, not in us, not in any reality.

Sometimes, for many of us, remembering such, each in his or her own way, is the filament that resonates: light to Light... and reveals again as an invisible ink held over the steam, what our true shape actually is... a holy one.

and with love,

"The Grandmother Blessing" is a poem from manuscript La Pasionaria, The Bright Angel, ©1988, 2011, Dr. C.P. Estés, all rights reserved.

As for me, I try to remember that my 'soul' purpose in this life is to be a 'light in the darkness'. Sometimes that means I have to first embrace the darkness, so I can then shine a great big light on it. Blessings, ~ from me.

A Light in the Darkness~ Candles in a pub by me, Robin Dalton

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

International Women's Day

A photograph of me with three of the most inspirational women I know: my three sisters.
Taken by Gary Dalton

Women are in league with each other, a secret conspiracy of hearts and pheromones.  ~Camille Paglia
A woman can say more in a sigh than a man can say in a sermon.                ~Arnold Haultain
A woman's hopes are woven of sunbeams; a shadow annihilates them.     ~George Eliot
Women are always beautiful.  ~Ville Valo
Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister.  ~Alice Walker
 When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us?   ~Pam Brown
A sister is a forever friend.  ~Author Unknown

Monday, 7 March 2011

Book Review: A Discovery of Witches

I am positively bereft. I can’t remember the last time a novel left me grieving so at the loss of it’s characters and unfinished story. I knew going in that it was the first of a trilogy. I also knew as the pages left to read became fewer and fewer that there was no way the story was going to be nicely wrapped up, however I was still emotionally unprepared for the intense feeling of disconnection.

This past Friday night, 4 March, 2011 I finished reading A Discovery of Witches.

As I have read some negative reviews, I can only assume A Discovery of Witches is not the sort of book these reviewers normally read. One does wonder why one would attempt to read something in a genre they find undesirable. So... if witches, vampires, daemons, mysterious manuscripts, alchemical mysteries and the struggle to discover how you, as a witch, or a vampire, or a daemon fit into the universal scheme of things does not interest you, then this is probably not the book for you. There is also a nice bit of romance, some delightful humour, days overflowing with magic, interesting locations and finally some characters that I not only (wonder of wonders) care about, but would genuinely like to know.

I, as you no doubt have already figured out for yourself, was completely enthralled. It truly was the most captivating book I have read in ages and cannot wait for the second installment due out in 2012. In fact, as I am having the hardest time finding something to follow it, I may just have to read it again...

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Positive Psychology

Oklahoma Wetlands, October 2009 ~ Photography by Robin Dalton

This is from a Facebook status post from the lovely Rachel Shakespeare. I found it delightfully inspiring so decided to post it on my blog, as well:

Positive psychologists have identified six types of core virtues that appear in all cultures--wisdom and knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, transcendence--comprised of 24 character strengths:

1. Wisdom and Knowledge: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective

2. Courage: bravery, persistence, integrity, vitality

3. Humanity: love, kindness, social intelligence

4. Justice: citizenship, fairness, leadership

5. Temperance: forgiveness and mercy, humility and modesty, prudence and self-regulation

6. Transcendence: appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humor and spirituality

~ Maren Schmidt

Clannad - Siúil A Rún

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

On Our Ninth Wedding Anniversary

Robin and Gary on the way to RA Exhibit


Of all the gifts you have given me
and there have been many
Your love is the one that stays with me
the one that is always by my side.

Even in my darkest days of doubt
and my endless nights of fear
Your love is a whisper in the night
a warm breeze on a cold afternoon
a pink sunrise offering hope.

We are not in the happiest of places
Joy is increasingly hard to find
and indeed, must be consciously created
We are slow dancing in the shadows
Waiting for the sun to find us once again.

Regardless of dark or light
Joy or sadness
We still dance.
I hold your heart in mine.

Our love is a magical wind
on an achingly still sea
that keeps our sails a furl
our small boat, our great lives
sailing forward into the sun.

Until we are able to dance
in the shining sun again,
Dance with me in the shadows.
Let me feel your hand in mine
as we bravely face our tomorrows.

~robin dalton 2 March 2011

I should point out, I suppose, that this made my poor, beleaguered husband cry... I, of course, found that horribly flattering. Is that a bad thing, do you think?

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

March Celebrations: Happy St. David's Day

Daffodils for St. David's Day by Robin Dalton

I almost forgot:

Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus!

Or happy Saint David's Day for those of us who don't speak welsh...

For those of you who would like a little more information on the day, I found this page.

For me... I see it as a day to celebrate my lovely Welsh friends and some of the happy times I have had in their beautiful country filled with beautiful, passionate people and a landscape that is like something out of a fantasy novel.  If you haven't been, I suggest you move it to the top of your list.


In addition to that celebration, here is a little more information on the first of March from The Grandmother of Time  by Zsusanna Budapest

March is a wet month, sacred to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Many festivals in this month have to do with weddings, motherhood, and being a bride.

Aphrodite found in a reclamation yard in West Sussex by Robin Dalton

March 1 - Matronalia (Roman):  Matronalia is the celebration of women and power. Juno-Lucina, protector of women and the family, is honored on this day. Prayers were offered to this Goddess for a prosperous and happy wedlock, and women received presents from men. Temple fires were lit welcoming the new growth to the earth. The Goddess was represented veiled, with flowers in her right hand and an infant in her left.

Blessings to you all...