I was not expecting to be writing an A-Z today, or any day for that matter however my friend Jane over at That Curious Love of Green has tagged me to take in an A-Z of Me series which is doing the rounds of the blogging world at the moment.
I will rise to the challenge although last evening my head was full of “what if?” Perhaps you are familiar with this thought process? What if I just copy everyone else? What if I can’t think of anything? It didn’t last long, it doesn’t anymore, normal service was soon resumed.
Anything goes My opinion is not the only one and it may change; never mind thinking outside the box – there is no box; it’s challenging stuff for me because I am opinionated however I try my best to practice this way of thinking, of allowing.
Banjo Woohoo, feet stomping blue grass. I’ve been slowly learning to play 5 string banjo for a few years now and I do love it. I need to listen to music more often than I currently do however so note to self: turn on the music! Oh and Bacon how could I forget bacon?
Community I love living in the middle of nowhere with my anam chara (lit: soul friend, from the Irish). I relish the lack of urban, modern noise. I had intended to say that I relish the silence then I had to laugh, the birds are kicking up a singing storm as I type, the cuckoos are still singing from a few places around us, the crickets are serenading us from dusk until we fall asleep, pigeons join in now and then, thrushes arrived in a roar yesterday. So, much as I love living in the relative quiet and solitude of our home in Leitrim I do love the community of friends. I love meeting old friends for a catch-up, some I’ve know for nearly 40years ( I’m shocked as I say that). I love getting to know new friends, learning what they think about, how they feel about things, what matters to them. I don’t need to live in community however I do need community.
Drumming I started to hand drum back around the turn of the century. I was living in Galway at the time and regularly went to drumming weekend workshops in a quiet rural part of Co Clare. I learned a lot of things besides drumming, I started to really learn about myself, opening up to me and I learned how to make new friends as a grown-up. I also met my soul mate there, my life partner walked into the drumming-room one night and I can still remember the first time that I saw him.
Energy I guess this was a given as we work with renewable energy and I do love that work. Often our renewable energy clients are working on dream projects, putting systems in place that they have dreamed about for years. That’s really cool! I also love other energies though, the energy people put into the things that they love, the energy you feel when you join a group a friends or walk into a room. The energy you can feel when you walk the land someplace new or visit a really old tumble-down house. These energies are not always joyful however I love that I am sometimes open to noticing them.
Flow “Get out of my own way and it will usually happen” is something that I try to practice and it’s not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes our own thoughts can be our greatest obstacle and we can be in our own way. If we can change our thinking (getting out of our way) then often things will flow more easily. Sometimes having a good sounding board can help the process, having someone to talk it over with can change how you view a problem, if that’s not an option then writing it down freely in a journal will often help this process too.
Gut feeling I am a big believer in trusting your gut, I’m sure we all know the feeling, you can’t put words around sometimes, you just know. Whether it’s about a place, an event or a person if your instinct is telling that something is not right you owe it to yourself to pay attention. My gut instinct has always been very strong, I have never regretted the trusting my gut, I have regretted not trusting it on occasion and so have learned to trust myself to not lead me astray.
Integrity I remember coming across this word for the first time as a child reading The Reader’s Digest. I was maybe 10 years old when I came across the article on integrity and it went through to the marrow. I loved what I read about character, about holding truth, about steadfastness. A few short years later my love affair with the Reader’s Digest came to an abrupt end when I spotted an advertisement for luxury holidays in South Africa, I was becoming aware of the apartheid system and knew that the ad was intended for a narrow audience, of which I did not want to be a part, so as my protest I stopped reading it.
Joy I found this beautiful poetry by Kahil Gibran when I was coming out of a dark time in my life, it was a time that had truly put to the test my belief that there was light at the end of the tunnel although I could see no glimmer of it.
“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Knack I love when you get the knack of doing something, you’ve struggled for ages trying to find a way of doing something and then, bingo, all of a sudden it makes sense, it’s easy, it’s flowing and you don’t ever want to stop because it’s poetry.
Love, Listen How those two words are connected, they are inseparable I think. We need to listen in order to really love. We need to love in order to truly listen. Why is it that the simple things can be so, so difficult?
Moon Ah my great friend the Moon. I love to walk outdoors on moonlit nights with no torch or flashlight. I sit and watch the moon, I sing to the moon. I have an amazing community of women in my life because of the moon, we came together to remember how people should be to each other, to remember the important old things, we were drawn by the moon and an amazing teacher who is no longer walking with us. Who cannot believe in magic when the moon controls a major bodily function of approximately half the population of the world? I am 50 now and happily I came to enjoy my moon-times before it was too late for me. I made friends with “that time” which I used to consider to be the most awkward, often painful and inconvenient time possible and “why don’t boys have to put up with this?” Now I enjoy my moon-time, conscious but not ruled by the fact that my days must be numbered. It’s the only blood spilled on earth without violence, where would we be without it?
Nonsense I love nonsense, who doesn’t? Hands up those who have no time for nonsense.
Open I was going to cheat here and say look below at possibility however that’s only part of the story. I try to be open to new experiences even though I do notice that as I get older I have become more uncomfortable with change, strangely though, I also have become much more aware of the need for change – in my thinking, in our nation, in the world. So I guess the challenge is to continue to be open, to embrace change when it’s good, to exercise discrimination so that I can tell the good from the not so good. To be open to changing my mind, to be open enough to see opportunities when they present themselves.
Possibility A little bit connected to anything goes, being open to possibility allows magic to happen in your life. Anything can change, this too will pass, they may sound like platitudes however I know these things to be true. I suppose it’s always knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even when I can’t actually see it, I know that it is there. This believe has seen me through some tough times.
Quiet I know that it’s a gift to live where I do and I know that it’s not for everyone. When I lived in London I learned to block out the constant noise like many urban dwellers do, however effective this is it’s not the same as the cessation of the noise. Our heads can be as noisy as a city, with the constant clanging of negative self-talk, of self-criticism and this is way more damaging to our health than any neighbouring airport or the railway line at the end of the garden. I’m always learning how to be patient with this inner dialogue when when it starts up, to not criticise myself, to allow it to quiet. It’s just my fears, it’s part of me too, it’s just a part that I don’t wish to give energy to.
Road Trips Oh I do love a road trip, or a train trip, or a backbacking trip or a day hike, basically I have always loved to travel. Our family holidays when I was growing up were camping trips, sometimes we went somewhere new however often we camped near a lake in a spot that was actually my Grandfathers land at one time in the past. We had such freedom there, swimming, messing about with boats, looking at clear, starry, night skies with no light pollution. Hubby and I have always camped and done road trips since we met, in fact our first “kind of” date was a road trip – start as you mean to go on. More recently we’ve traveling to Portugal to do workshops and hang out – we call it our “beach study phase”.
Stories Love hearing stories, funny or sad, fantasy or true, storytelling is a wondrous thing. We can share parts of ourselves in stories, even as listeners we have an important role to play, witnessing the story, witnessing the teller.
Trees Oh I love trees, we live surrounded by trees although thankfully they are not too close or the wind turbine would be no more use than a garden gnome. We’ve planted hundreds of trees on the land here, native trees mostly because we have plenty sitka spruce around us and we have some really old white thorns on the land that we are particularly fond of. I sometimes visit trees, as you would visit a person, to spend time in their company.
Universe, universality, unity, we are all one, we share so many stories, the details might differ however our sorrows, pains and the joys are often echoed in other’s stories, when we take the time to listen.
VW Happily in twenties I owned a both a VW camper and a beautiful Triumph Vitesse, both were vintage vehicles although the camper was not a split screen. Many of my friends (and siblings) also drove vw’s and we would sometimes look like a club outing. My first European road trip in the 80s was in a split screen as a friend and I took a third friend from London back to his hometown of Barcelona, then we carried on to find another friend “somewhere” in the south of Portugal, we had his address written on a napkin I think. We did find our friend though and stayed 4 or 5 weeks… Ah, memories.
Workshops My partner and I teach 6day workshops in which people learn how to build a fully working, domestic wind turbine from start to finish. It’s 8years since we started to teach these workshops which are practical, hands-on experiences and we love every minute of it. Mostly the workshops are residential and will typically have from 10 to 20 participants, often we are based on the site where the turbine will be erected so we all hang out together for the week, talking late into the night about turbines and sometimes other things too. In the past few years we have been asked to teach these workshops in Portugal so we’ve had great traveling experiences too and even have some working Portuguese now.
Xylophone No, I don’t have one however I can play one a little, they are one of those great instruments that anyone can play well. We have a slitgong which is a type of tongue drum, hard to explain but you can see and hear one being played by clicking here, please go and have a listen, the drummer is really very good and it will be very healing after reading all this blarney about me.
Yahoo Sometimes letting a good auld roar out of you is a great thing.
Zzzzzzzzzz – I do love my sleep. It’s an important part of the primal, paleo, ancestral health way of living.
Hope you ladies don’t mind this challenge and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get to know you a little better 🙂