Saturday, 30 April 2011


Something opens our wings.
Something makes boredom and hurt disappear.
Someone fills the cup in front of us:
We taste only sacredness.

What I love about this post is that I created and uploaded it from my little Android smartphone. This is a photograph taken on my phone at the 16c pub called The Shepherd and Dog in Fulking, West Sussex

People Get Ready

Loneliness by Rainer Maria Rilke

Automat by Edward Hopper, 1927

Being apart and lonely is like rain.
It climbs toward evening from the ocean plains;
from flat places, rolling and remote, it climbs
to heaven, which is its old abode.
And only when leaving heaven drops upon the city.

It rains down on us in those twittering
hours when the streets turn their faces to the dawn,
and when two bodies who have found nothing,
disappointed and depressed, roll over;
and when two people who despise each other
have to sleep together in one bed-

that is when loneliness receives the rivers...

Friday, 29 April 2011

Forgotten Most Days

Grinstead Lane, Lancing, West Sussex ~ Photography by me, Robin Dalton (14 April 2011)

It was the Shanghai of our dreams,
this painting still hanging on my wall.
Forgotten most days.
Yet, another place not ours...
not mine.

This very short verse/prose was inspired by a poetry prompt from the lovely people at My Word Wizard

It stayed with me so I decided to put it on my blog...

Monday, 25 April 2011

The Gift of Love

Wisteria in bloom on a Saturday afternoon in April ~ photography by me

We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it.
~ John Lennon

Today I have had my feelings hurt by someone I barely know. In fact, I'm not even sure that I like her that much. Perhaps our acquaintance was merely pretense on both our parts... It has made me wonder about the gift of love and the loss of it and then I found this lovely quote...

Thursday, 21 April 2011

I Am Thinking of You On a Thursday

Spring flowers I found lying at my feet on a walk with Dixie ~ photography by me, Robin Dalton

I haven't been around much lately...

but I leave you with this thought:

laugh your heart out,
dance in the rain,
cherish the moment,
forgive and forget,
life's too short to be,
living with regrets.
(I can't actually remember where I found this. Apologies.)

We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.  ~Japanese Proverb

Monday, 18 April 2011

King James Bible, Now 400, Still Echoes 'Voice of God'

April 18, 2011
This year, the most influential book you may never have read is celebrating a major birthday. The King James Version of the Bible was published 400 years ago. It's no longer the top-selling Bible, but in those four centuries, it has woven itself deeply into our speech and culture.
The title page of the first edition of the King James Bible from 1611 reads: "Newly Translated out of the Originall tongues: & with the former Translations diligently compared and revised, by his Majesties speciall Comandement. Appointed to be read in Churches." Click here to see a larger version.
The Green Collection The title page of the first edition of the King James Bible from 1611 reads: "Newly Translated out of the Originall tongues: & with the former Translations diligently compared and revised, by his Majesties speciall Comandement. Appointed to be read in Churches." Click here to see a larger version.
Let's travel back to 1603: King James I, who had ruled Scotland, ascended to the throne of England. What he found was a country suspicious of the new king.
"He was regarded as a foreigner," says Gordon Campbell, a historian at the University of Leicester in England. "He spoke with a heavy Scottish accent, and one of the things he needed to legitimize himself as head of the Church of England was a Bible dedicated to him."
At that time, England was in a Bible war between two English translations. The Bishops' Bible was read in churches: It was clunky, inelegant. The Geneva Bible was the choice of the Puritans and the people: It was bolder, more accessible.
"The problem with the Geneva Bible was it had marginal notes," says David Lyle Jeffrey, a historian of Biblical interpretation at Baylor University. "And from point of view of the royalists, and especially King James I, these marginal comments often did not pay sufficient respect to the idea of the divine right of kings."
Those notes referred to kings as tyrants, they challenged regal authority, and King James wanted them gone. So he hatched an idea. Bring the Bishops and the Puritans together, ostensibly to work out their differences about church liturgy. His true goal was to maneuver them into proposing a new bible. His plans fell into place after he refused every demand of the Puritans to simplify the liturgy, and they finally suggested a new translation. With that, James commissioned a new bible without those seditious notes. Forty seven scholars and theologians worked through the bible line by line for seven years.

 Read more HERE

George O'Keefe

I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life-
and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.
~ Georgia O’Keefe

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Let your tears come. Let them water your soul. ~Eileen Mayhew

Today has been a day of many tears... My love to you all.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Diving Into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich

Lancing Beach ~ Photography by me, Robin Dalton
Today I was surprised by joy.  A memory slipped out of oblivion and I was graced with the opportunity to relive a very happy time in my life... if only for a moment.

I found this on my Facebook newsfeed today via NPR

When I was in college studying English Literature, I used to love Adrienne Rich. Her poetry had the marvelous ability to make me look at my rather insular world from a much larger perspective.

Diving Into The Wreck

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,

and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on

the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers

the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this

not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team

aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.

The ladder is always there
hanging innocently

close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,

we who have used it.

it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.

Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me

the blue light
the clear atoms

of our human air.
I go down.

My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder

and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean

will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then

black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful

it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story

the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone

to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget

what I came for
among so many who have always

lived here
swaying their crenellated fans

between the reefs
and besides

you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.

The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done

and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp

slowly along the flank
of something more permanent

than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck

the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring

toward the sun
the evidence of damage

worn by salt and away into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster

curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.

And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.

We circle silently
about the wreck

we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes

whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies

obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot

we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course

the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are

by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way

back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera

a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Book Review: The King's Mistress by Emma Campion

I actually finished this book a couple of weeks ago. I was quite ill at the time, so didn't get a chance to write a review.

I loved this book. In fact, I still find myself thinking about it and reliving some of my favourite, or just plain unforgettable, parts of the book in my mind. I got this from my library (love libraries) but feel I may have to purchase it because I am having the hardest time returning it:-)

I love a good Historical Novel. I have been reading them since I was a teenager (trust me, a long time ago) and have some favourite authors. Emma Campion was new to me. Not surprising as this is her debut novel, but she has been writing historical crime novels under the name of Candace Robb. I look forward to reading more from her.

This is the story of Alice Perrers, a merchant’s daughter who became mistress to Edward III in his later years, told in her own words. I'm not a big fan of first person narratives. It is my experience that very few people can pull first person off well and so many times it comes across jerky and awkward. However, I found myself swept along quite happily with Alice's retelling of her life and in the end fell quite hopelessly in love with Alice and Edward III (and a few of the other characters, as well). In several places I cried.

It's a wonderful story full of sadness, heartache, laughter, royal pageantry, friendship, betrayal and love... a lot of love. The title sounds quite lurid, like that of a bodice ripper, but don't be deceived. It's a lovely story of a young girl and then a young woman cautiously, and not so cautiously, making her way through the joys and pitfalls of loving and surviving. I so admired this character's capacity for love and loyalty in the face of adversity and betrayal. I am trying to continue to carry on the way this novel made me feel in my heart. A bit mushy? Maybe. But in this time of so much division and anger, I was quite relieved to find out that I could still imagine what it may have felt like to blindly love a King, a husband, a number of children, parents, grandparents, and numerous friends and associates in the treacherous times of medieval England. I believe that is a mark of good writer...

If you are a fan of Sharon Kay Penman or Elizabeth Chadwick, I believe you will enjoy this novel.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Another Search for the Grail

I have absolutely no idea what painting this or by whom. I found it on Tumbler with no information but it struck my fancy being a lover of all things Arthurian.  ...yes, still!

The theme of the Grail is the bringing of life into what is known as ‘the wasteland.’ The wasteland is the preliminary them to which the Grail is the answer. It’s the world of people living inauthentic lives - doing what they are supposed to do.” ~ Joseph Campbell

I try desperately never to do what I am supposed to do. Ask anyone. But I believe I am always searching for the perfect me. Sometimes I wonder if I unconsciously try to recreate myself continually in an attempt to perfect the sacred breath that brought me into being.

I think it is may be an act of co-creation. In fact, perhaps every moment of life could become an act of co-creation. Perhaps, I am a painting just waiting for one more stroke, a sculpture that needs just one more touch, a dance waiting for one more move, a poem that is modified every day but will never be finished...

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Champagne Memories: Inspired by an Old Poem

The Nine Stones, July 2009 ~ Photography by me

Not much of a post today, as the vast majority of my brain is away with the faeries, in a place much like this photograph...

But while I was looking for something else on the bookshelf in my bedroom, I found an old journal with an old unfinished poem. I had intended merely to type it up so I would have an electronic copy of it, but as I typed the second sentence, I began to fall into some kind of stream of consciousness, probably completely self-absorbed, fantasy world...

Alas, my Ultimate Blog Post #3 is composed of completely meaningless words thrown together to create a lost image of lost friends...

Champagne Memories: Inspired by an Old Poem

I am drinking champagne

and thinking about you.

Bubbles rush to the surface

tickle my nose,

make me giggle.

I am trying to turn

my memories of you

into a forgotten song.

Quietly listening

for the sound of your laughter

that so filled my senses with music.

Instead find myself

filtering out the pain

and losing the passion,

giggles turning into sighs.

I had forgotten

how fleeting are memories,

naturally fading to watercolour

reduced to vague shapes,

forgotten sounds,

rich colours now in soft focus.

With a soft cry

I suddenly realise,

I only

remember you

as gone.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Unmasked ... but, it's not a proper blog, is it?

Self Portrait: Robin in Her Garden ~ Photography by me

 As you all know, I have accepted a challenge of 30 blog posts in 30 days. And, yes, I know. I have already fallen behind, as this is just #2. Weekends seem to be so difficult for me to structure. I usually just surrender myself to the loss of time and rather blindly slow dance through them. However, I can report that after a few hours of no broadband connection, the Wonderspouse has installed a faster, stronger wireless modem. Thank you to him and to the lovely people at Virgin.

This morning after spending a day and a half away from my laptop, I discovered the most delightful comment on one of my blog posts. At the risk of sounding rather self-absorbed, I must share part of it with you. Someone wrote, “You've given us such a sense of you.” It has renewed my rather flagging spirit. Thank you to Alain.

As I am sure you already know, my blog is completely formless, lacking any real purpose other than being a place for me to share bits of myself, my family, my life... This has always concerned me. I started my first blog several years ago on My Space. As I am an American expat, I thought it would be a good way to share photos and day to day happenings, adventures with friends and family that live so very far away. Frankly, I'm not sure many friends or family read my blog, but it is here for them and well, everyone, should they wish to visit it.

Needless to say, I rapidly became disenchanted with My Space (probably sometime after my first attack of malware while logged in). As you know, I am not a big fan of Mr. Murdoch and always felt somewhat unclean using a product owned by him. Yes, this ageing hippie chick does still believe in the power of the consumer. Well, maybe not believe, exactly, more like hope, but old habits die hard...

After experimenting with Twitter (if it's good enough for Mr. Stephen Fry it's good enough for me), I discovered blogger. Although, I have tried other blogs and still play on them occasionally, I always come back to this one. This is where I come to bare my soul or just to say, “Look at this cool thing I found, saw, thought, wish for, etc.” I try to adapt a certain persona on my other blogs but this is my everyday blog, where I come unmasked. However, in my head was always a voice that said, “But it's not a proper blog, is it? You don't actually sell anything. You don't provide a service of any kind. You're not particularly a great wit. Your poetry isn't real poetry, Your photography isn't real photography. Your camera isn't even a real camera, etc. etc., etc.”

But today someone has said, “You've given us such a sense of you.”

Today I am a happy woman.

Tomorrow... well, tomorrow I might write a poem...

The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another.  ~James Matthew Barrie

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.  ~e.e. cummings

Friday, 1 April 2011

The Swan by Mary Oliver

from ~ found on

This month is National Poetry Month in the US.

NPR posted this on their Facebook page, and as it sang its little song quite nicely with my blog post for today, I thought I would include it: 

The Swan

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air -
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

~ Mary Oliver

Walking in Beauty and Various Other Ramblings

A Visit to The British Museum with a Friend ~ photography by Robin Dalton

I have joined The Ultimate Blog Challenge. It’s true. What this means is that in order to complete the challenge, I need to post 30 times during April 2011 with a minimum of 100 words. I know. I can hear you now. One hundred words should be a walk in the park for Robin, the woman who never seems to know quite when silence may be the appropriate response. However, it’s amazing how quickly writer’s block can settle in, and make itself at home, when you tell yourself, you must write something today…

So, watch this space…

Today is the 1st of April, April fool’s Day. I just couldn’t be inspired to write something interesting about April fool’s Day. My life is already reeling from tricks the Universe has seen fit to play on me. So, like millions of other people, I turned to Wikipedia.

April 1st is also a Roman holiday called Verneralia. The Veneralia (April 1) was the Ancient Roman festival of Venus Verticordia ("Changer of hearts"), the goddess of love and beauty. The worship of the goddess Fortuna Virilis ("Bold fortune") was also part of this festival.

In Rome, women removed jewellery from the statue of the goddess, washed her, and adorned her with flowers, and similarly bathed themselves in the public baths wearing wreaths of myrtle on their heads. It was generally a day for women to seek divine help in their relations with men (Goddess knows we need them ~me).

April is under the protection of Venus, and some ancient authors derived the month's name from Aphrodite (perhaps via a conjectured Etruscan form, Aprodita); others derive it from aperire (to open), since it is the time when, according to Cincius and Varro, “fruits and flowers and animals and seas and lands open.”

The Veneralia, on the first day of Venus’ month, honors Venus Verticordia (Changer of Hearts) and Her companion Fortuna Virilis (Bold Fortune). In ancient times all the women, married and unmarried, went to the men's baths, as today they might go to swimming pools. Upon arriving they offer incense to Fortuna Virilis and pray that the men will not see any blemishes the women might have. They make a libation and drink the potion Venus drank on Her wedding night: pounded poppy with milk and honey. An ancient commentary (probably by Verrius) says they go to the baths to view the men's virile members. The women, crowned with myrtle wreaths, bathe and pray that Venus will bring them concord and a modest life. Ovid says, “beauty and fortune and good fame are in Her keeping.”

In addition, the women remove the jewelry and other ornaments from the statues of Venus and Fortuna so that they can be washed, after which they are redecorated and adorned with roses (Venus’s flower).”

I have decided that we should all continue to celebrate Veneralia. It seems much more... well, just much more than April Fool’s Day.

I did not go swimming in any men’s baths. Yes, a sad disappointment for you all, I am sure. But I did spend quite some time in my bathroom dying my hair a gorgeous shade of plum. It is not really a shade that God intended, but I am sure the Goddess is very much pleased with my creative devotion to beauty. I know I am.

Until tomorrow, try to walk in beauty…  (maybe even after tomorrow...)

Our hearts are drunk with a beauty our eyes could never see.  ~George W. Russell

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.  ~Kahlil Gibran

Junkyard Venus ~ photography by Robin Dalton (Yes, I know you've seen her before, but I still love her...)