Today is International Label Day!

I just read Rarasaur’s post and discovered that today is International LABEL DAY!

Here…read the post:  International Label Day!

And how would I label myself?

Italy

Italy

 

Well, first of all I live in the north of Italy and feel very Italian

 

 

 

 

 

New day

New day

Blogging and writing has meant a dawning of a new day for me!  I’m so many new aspects of life!  I’m the beginning of my own new day!

 

 

 

 

 

Late blooms

Late blooms

Although a late bloomer, I’ve discovered the joy of photography and writing stories and poetry…something I never tought I’d ever do!

 

 

 

 

Work in progress

Work in progress

Even so, I’m still a work in progress…I haven’t fully understood exactly what my place is in a world of art, or in fact if I even have a place at all.  I’m unsure of my talents and abilities.  In fact, I think that although I’m really getting on in years, I’m going through a second adolescence.  With all the doubts of that period of life.

 

 

Imagination

Imagination

But, I’m full of imagination and enjoy experimenting, both in writing and in photography!

 

 

 

 

 

And you, how would you label yourself?

Blogging! Where’s my Editor?

Hello everyone…sorry I’m late this morning but had a bit of a problem opening my editor this morning…I kept getting a strange 400 error.

I don’t know about you, but when I get these messages, I feel so frustrated.  You know, you’ve go a post that needs to be written but suddenly, your locked out in some cyber limbo…wondering what you should do.

Of course I went to the support page and started clearing the cookie cache and all that lovely stuff…which I felt was probably kind of useless as my other blogs worked just fine.  After losing about 20 minutes of my precious blogging day, all of a sudden…”Thar she blowwwws” as the old whalers used to say.

I’ve seen this happen over and over again…not so much on my blog, but through other people who’ve had the same sort of lock out.  One of the first reactons is:  Why has WordPress shut me out!  What did I do Wrong!  Have I got a virus!  or some other fie piece of paranoia.

The bottom line usually is that glitches happen.  You just have to wait it out and to kill time do all those little tunings and tweekings that the support page suggests…you can of course eventually go to the source and ask them what’s going on, which is what I was doing when all of a sudden, my editor returned from its cyber walk-about.  I discovered this because I wanted to get the exact message to send to the WordPress gang.

So folks…this is my daily post today…written thanks to the inspiration of a cyber glitch!

 

Have a great day!

Written for: NaBloPoMo and Nano Poblano: Day 5

Halloween: reflections for an English lesson

We live in a time deprived of its magic and wonder, as we’ve substituted our knowledge and observation of the passing seasons with our technological “improvements” on nature.  Something as banal as eating strawberries in winter is already a sign that we’re out of contact.

The ancient arts and festivities, born from the observation of life and nature, have become just another product to be consumed making the market richer, but our lives poorer.

Studying Shiatsu, I became aware of the theory of the 5 Chinese elements known as Wu Xing which has its roots in Taoism and is the basis of Chinese medicine.  We usually see the 5 elements placed in a pentagonal diagram which describes how each element feeds or suppresses another: Fire – Earth – Metal – Water – Wood. Here’s a diagram I’ve borrowed from Wikipedia to show how on the one had each element feeds the one that follows it and on the other how the elements also destroy or suppress one another.

Wu_XingThis theory was born from the years of studying the passage of the seasons, how they influenced our lives and health, what characteristics are more dominant in one period and less in another, they even go so far as to attribute the power of a sound and a color to our health!

From this passage I began to realize how much understanding has been lost.  Yes, its empirical knowledge, which we’ve blithely thrown out the window as too relative and irrational.  However, luckily for the moment it’s still knowledge which has not been lost, you can study it and observe how brilliant these ancient observers were!

How does this tie in with Halloween?  It’s all about the seasons and their passage, and the knowledge which we have lost over the centuries.

Over the centuries as Christianity and the dark ages walked hand in hand throughout the European continent, many of the older practices, faiths, rites and observations were either suppressed or when that wasn’t possible integrated into the new religion in its quest to conquer men’s minds.

Halloween, which means All Hallows Evening, or the Evening before the Catholic festivity of All Hallows Day, or All Saint’s Day (the first of November), which in Catholic countries is still celebrated followed by All Souls Day (the 2nd of November) the remembrance of the dead,  is one of these festivities.

Halloween was a harvest festival, probably Samhain in the Gaelic Celtic traditions.  It is the passage from a time of abundance and life-giving warmth to the dark dead period of winter.  Observing the seasons we realize that with the Harvest, the world has given up its fruits and figuratively speaking is dying.

Samhain was celebrated around the 31st of October or 1st of November right in the middle of the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.  In this period, the cattle or sheep were brought home from their summer pastures, the crops had been gathered and stored, special bond fires were lit, as this was also a period when it was believe that the faeries could come into the world more easily and it was a time of purification.

Just allow me to quote the Wikipedea about Samhain:

“Samhain (like Beltane) was seen as a liminal time, when the spirits or fairies (the Aos Sí) could more easily come into our world. Most scholars see the Aos Sí as remnants of the pagan gods and nature spirits. It was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink were left for them. The souls of the dead were also thought to revisit their homes. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. Mumming and guising were part of the festival, and involved people going door-to-door in costume (or in disguise), often reciting verses in exchange for food. The costumes may have been a way of imitating, or disguising oneself from, the Aos Sí. Divination rituals were also a big part of the festival and often involved nuts and apples. In the late 19th century, Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer suggested that it was the “Celtic New Year”, and this view has been repeated by some other scholars.”

Of course, this is just a little of what remains of that ancient culture.  Unlike the Chinese, we prefer to destroy and obliterate what we think is useless superstition (well Mao did his best in this sense too). It suspect it was a lot more complicated than just mumming and guising.  During the dark ages, many of the medical practices were lost, because herb lore for example which was a woman’s domain, was considered witchcraft.  And witchcraft as we all know, is satanic…or is it?

I’ll conclude my reflection this morning with just this thought.  Death is part of Life.  We do our best to forget that Death walks hand in hand with life but trying to exorcise the thought of Death, we’ve given it more power than it ever had in the past.  We’ve become a phobic society, seeking immortality through our technology and often feel offended and cheated when Death in the end knocks on our door.  Halloween, the ancient passage from life to death, as observed just by watching the seasons passing, the honoring of our dead and who’s passed before us is reduced to a commercial extravaganza which exoricises death with a cult for horror.  It’s really sad if you think about it.

Choka

Faithful Lovers

The seasons passing
in endless singing cycles
speak of death and life.
Both still walking hand in hand
though our fearful age
would sunder their tie,
life, refuses the divorce!
Oh, faithful lovers
your eternal embracing
creates samara’s turning.

For more information about Halloween read HERE!

Have a great day!  Ciao Bastet!

Thoughts: Women and Writing

Sahm King at the Arkside of thought did a post today that I found not only relevent to poetry but to women’s place in society and in particular, the arts.

We’ve all been aware that J.K. Rowling recently wrote a crime novel.  We also know that she wrote under a pseudonym.  She did this probably in order to test her writing abilities and in order to pass from the Harry Potter era to something completely different.

She was betrayed by someone in her law firm (who has had to pay her damages by the way).   By blowing her cover, her book which was a slow seller became an over-night success on the strength of her Potter reputation.  Old news.  The real question is not that she wanted to try to publish without her Harry Potter success pushing the sales of her new book.  The question is why did she choose to publish as a man.

It was because of the genre of the book.  American and English publishers are convinced that women writing Science Fiction, Fantasy, Crime and similar genres will not sell.  I’d like to think that they are only afraid of missing out on their male buyers because they’ve been written by a woman, however I’ve a sneaking feeling that even female readers would have their doubts before buying a crime novel written by “Mary Mercy”.

Women have been pigeon holed.  Women are good at writing romantic stories or children’s stories.  How much more so since the invention of Chick Lit, for pities sake.  Thanks to Emily Dickenson, women can also write poetry and hope to be published if their poetry is feminine enough.  A poet from the Iraqi war zone publishing about the horrors of war, might not get published if that poet is a woman.

Some interesting reading:

I’m Sorry, But Your Poetry Just Ain’t Girly Enough by Sahm King

Why Did J.K. Rowling Use a Male Pen Name For her Crime Novel on Policymic

What’s in a name? Why authors use pseudonyms? on DW (a german e-zine) This article states that on the whole women publish crime books and are sold in Germany without any particular problems…but read on.

Have anything to add?

 

Thoughts: Bastet and Games

Hello World…

I was sitting here wondering how to pass my time this morning and I thought I’d write a little piece about games.

Believe it or not one of my favorite games is Scrabble ™.  I like play it in either English or Italian, unfortunately, no one in my family likes to play with me, and this is the crazy thing, I always win.  I suppose I could play it on-line, but somehow, it doesn’t seem the same to me.  I also have a computer Scrabble game, but haven’t touched it in years.  Now you’d think that a person who has to rely on a spelling corrector to write a poem or story would have problems with a game like this.  It’s just one of those mysteries of life, I guess.

I also like “Zen” games.  I have two miniature Zen gardens, which I rake, clean and rearrange from time to time, I like making new patterns in the sand.  I wish I had a real garden, but that doesn’t seem like something that will happen in the near future.  Here are two pictures of them:

Most of the pieces are tiny gifts for my garden, I made the tree in the lady’s garden from copper wire.

The other day I showed you my stone balancing game.

Recently I discovered that another pass-time that I like very much has a name, and it too is a traditional Japanese game, though I have my own variation!  It’s called: Renga! You can see what it’s about traditionally by clicking the link.

Sometimes, I like to reply to your posts with a Haiku or poem.  There has only been one person who has done this in commenting on my post and that was Geo Sans. I was so delighted and am always hoping he will pass by and comment, though I know he is very busy.

I’d done this several times over the past few months, some have liked the replies, others seemed disconcerted, but once, recently someone replied in kind!  That someone is Cubby from Reowr on August 25th.

This is her poem:

When Chickens Cry

When chickens cry
I cannot eat
A single bit
Of chicken meat,
And though I’m not
A herbivore
I find that I
Eat salads more,
Avoiding ones
With chicken eggs
That lay beneath
Two little legs
As they remind
Me of the way
That they were sat
On night and day
By chickens who
Once clucked with pride,
Not knowing that
They would be fried
Or scrambled once
Eggshells are cracked,
I state this simply
As a fact.

But once you see
A chicken cry
You’ll ask yourself
The question why,
Why you can’t find
Another source
Of protein grams
For every course.
And even though
They’ll never be
Set free from farms
Or factories,
When chickens lay
So many tears,
Like eggs, they’re more
Than they appear.

I actually found this poem very delightful, but alas, sigh, the problem is I have some very militant vegan friends and I’m an omnivore, except for insects which I find disgusting.  I have no quarrels with anyone who wishes to eat only vegetables and plants, though some people get moralistic about their choice.  Of course, only a Jainist is coherent with the choice of being absolutely non-violent in their food choices.  Though I honor these thoughts, as I said, I’m an omnivore, so I replied:

Ah…and when you look into the eyes
of lowing cows within their biars
or the dainty feet of baby sheep
what of the piglets as they sleep…
Although I think that fish can’t cry
unless they send out algae dry
I wonder too if they have tears
and what the nets do for their fears.
Ah…but what then of the lovely flowers
who’ve passed their days indeed their hours
growing seeds because they know
that future flowers soon will grow?
Can I think here of a tomato or a squash
unless my cheeks soon be awash
with flowing tears of inappetence
alas eating has become a cause of penance!

Loved your poem…I really did, but was inspired by years of friendly vegans to write this reply… :-/

I didn’t really expect a reply, so, what a delight when this came over the notifications:

Alas! Why did you have to dig
Much deeper down this little gig
For now you see the problem lies
In how to live without demise
Of something living, plant or fish,
To place upon your supper dish.

When everything is one and whole,
So many parts in one big soul,
All life and death are also one,
And where there’s death, in life it’s spun.
Of roots beyond the surface screen –
If only words could make us clean!

What a delightful reply!  I believe that we are all one with this vast thing we try to call the Universe or the Multiverse or whatever verse you may decide.  Our atoms are intermingled and all is one, violence to me is something different from choosing your food.  Indeed, some persons who’ve been vegetarian have also been terribly violent.

This was my reply:

I see now my dear Cubby Kitty
that your poem, this lovely ditty,
was made to make us smile
but how could I let it pass, while,
many would use it as a reply
on this I’m sure you can’t deny
to impose their ideological choices
with their loud cacophonic voices!

We are all one soul indeed
living off flesh, flower and seed
it’s only when humans use their brains
for silly problems that in truth disdains
logic and understanding of life
that people are capable of making strife
and take away our appetite.

And to close the poetic game Cubby wrote this:

You are correct, my dear Bastet,
My poem indeed was made to set
A smile upon your lovely face,
But you have also caught the trace
Of roots beyond the surface screen.

This is my way of thanking Cubby for her fantastic sense of humor, she’s not only a fantastic poet, but a person who has a talent for dry wit and a sense of fun.  And an illustration of one of my favorite games of course.

Oh, I would like to say here once more, just in case someone hasn’t understood, I feel that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a total 100% vegan, I’ve understood your points of view and I respect them, I only wish the same from you.

Thoughts: The differences in Sounds

When my sister came to visit last year, we found ourselves talking about sounds.  Not just any old sounds, but animal sounds as reproduced by people.

It all started out with roosters.  Someone said, “Ah a rooster… chichirichi! (pronounced keykerekey all e’s long)” that was an Italian of course.  My sister looked shocked.  “No, no! It’s cock-a-doodle doo!”

And then the game began…the duck goes: Qua Qua – no! Quack Quack and the dog? Bau Bau – no! Bow wow! and the cat, what can we say of that? Well, the cat is the same in both languages…almost it says miao in Italian and meow in English (although the purr in Italian is romf romf).  The frog goes cra cra but no it goes ribbit and the sheep go bee (pronounced beh) no it goes bah.  The crow goes cah cah but in English cra cra, which is why it can’t be used for a frog!

Can you give me some more animal sounds…I love to use them in my silly poems!  In the meantime, let me leave you with this lovely children’s song in Italian:

and in English

Have a great Saturday…and if you’ve got a minute, give me some of your animal sounds!

 

 

Peter Gabriel – “Growing Up Live” – (Complete) – © 2013

I just thought I’d put this on here so if someone wants to listen to a great concert they can.  It’s from the YouTube:

Published on 10 Aug 2012

© 2013 itspetergabriel, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
1:42 “Here Comes the Flood”
6:28 “Darkness”
12:57 “Red Rain”
19:12 “Secret World”
27:46 “Sky Blue”
36:56 “Downside Up”
42:40 “The Barry Williams Show”
52:37 “More Than This”
59:49 “Mercy Street”

Have fun.

Senryu: First Light

first light of new day
let not the wasteful inhibit
the beauty that is life

I wrote the following Free Verse poem, after hearing that a young person had senselessly taken his life.  The problem in our current society, is that often the young, facing a world that has little or no roads open to them, fall into drug or alcohol abuse, fall into depression and sometimes, yes they suicide, leaving the terrible feeling of loss in the hearts of those that love them.

This poem was not written for a single young person, but for all the young people in our heartless age,  the saddness I felt then was inspired by the news of yet another young person lost.

I found out yesterday, that that  youth who had been announced as being dead, Shane Ellis, is in fact, very much alive and was only simulating his death, with the help of his friends, here on WordPress and on Facebook.  In  the face of the true tragedies that have stricken people, I find this to be one of the most despicable tasteless things I’ve seen in a long time.

People have stopped blogging, have written they’re having problems, have basically moved on either giving their reasons or not.  But to willfully deceive in this manner, leaves me absolutely without words.  I re-share this as a catharsis, above all for myself, as I reflect on just how low a person can go to call attention to himself or herself.  And then as I said in my Senryu…

first light of new day
let not the wasteful inhibit
the beauty that is life

and will move on.

Life Prevails

alas…
i think to hide behind Bastet
and ignore the sadness that life daily presents
of youthful folly that is too serious
so i banter
and speak of happiness.
but think you i have no eyes to see
life’s daily senseless tragedies
that tears might not fall
from these  old eyes
that have seen more than can be disguised?
oh lovely youth, your helplessness
scares me more than gives me bliss!
Your fragile confidence is based
on longings to find that special place
rightfully yours if you may conquer it…
but you, like i when i was young,
know not from where the  win will come…
and fear inside you that you might be won
and so in the end be lost.
and of those who are less fortunate…
i’ve known you, you are part of my intimate
the part of me who looks and sighs
that part of me that helplessly cries
for talent lost in indolence
because you’ve lost your innocence
and wallow now in impotence…
and so have chosen to live
but yet have died.
and now…
as tears grow cold
alas as i grow old…
i know
that life is  just this,
this solitary bliss…
LIFE
a thoughtless bane
which continues just the same
though tragedy

prevails.

Rambling About a Storm

In our wonderful world of digital photography, there are just some things that I can’t catch on … darn, can’t say film now can I … bit maps?  Ah…anyway, maybe if I had one of those fantastic super-duper cameras, with a special lens and a great talent for photo retouching, I was saying maybe I could have shown you this fantastically oneiric storm we had last night!

They tell me that the storm began at 1:30 in the morning, but for me it began at 2:30, when the grumbling sound of thunder woke me up…and I mean grumbling!  It was like someones empty stomach … brumm, brumm, brumming constantly with-out a break.  I heard the rain and saw the strobe-like flashes, an idea that seemed to have been borrowed by nature to show people just what strobes really should be about.

At that moment, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach: had we closed the roof terrace door?  We usually don’t in the summer, but then it usually doesn’t bother to rain either in the middle of July.  So I ran upstairs.  Raining it was, in a big way, fortunately the door had been closed, and I was really happy about that, because it looked like someone was throwing pails of water against those windows!

I went out onto the loggia, there was nothing to see from the terrace windows.  What greeted me was one of the most beautiful storms I’ve seen in a very long time.  The rain came down in sheets and the wind, which I didn’t actually hear because of the constant thunder, had the bamboo patch in my neighbor’s garden almost laying flat at moments, only to pop back up suddenly.  The birch tree swayed back and forth perilously…if it had been a sturdier tree, I’m pretty sure it would have been uprooted.  Spray seemed to fly off my roof-top from the force of the rain and the wind.

I grabbed my camera which was close at hand…yeah, I know, crazy.  And put it on a night setting and took three pictures.  One without the flash and the other’s with the flash. Stragely enough the storm lulled at that point.

Then, I saw that my neighbor was standing at her door looking at the storm too.  I can only imagine she thought I was a lit-tle strange.  About this time my husband came upstairs too.  I turned off my camera hoping he hadn’t seen me trying to take photos of a storm in the dark. However, he really wasn’t interested…he was running for a bucket…water was dripping into the bedroom.

We sopped up the water, which wasn’t very much actually, put a bucket under the drop and went back to bed.

2:30 StormMaybe if I had a better camera…who knows.  That blob of white center-right is my neighbor’s light.

Have a nice day!