Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paths--A new interactive series of discussion and writing

Footprint in sand -- the beginning of a footpath

In the past six months there have been many people searching our online images for pictures of paths and pathways.  I don’t know what longing—or marketing strategy—is bubbling up from the collective mind and expressing itself as Internet searches, but I am curious.  Captivated by  curiosity I decided to see what I can learn.  Today starts a blog-series on paths and pathways, and for the occasion, I have collected a wide variety of pictures into a new gallery called “Pathways and transitions”

My aim is to creatively investigate paths,  moving freely within and between the literary and the literal, and generously tapping into allegory, history, and creative imagining.  

Revelation is possible!  Perhaps my inquiry into “the path”, the classic timeless symbol for life and its great mysteries, will offer me a useful view of my own path and my manner of path-walking.  Who knows?  There is much to be gained.  My enriched symbolic understanding, combined with some excellent books on landscape design, and Gib ready to heft a shovel means the odds are good  that some great paths will be started in my gardens and the woods nearby.  Its real data.

Join us!  Seven women (+ an honorary woman), ranging in age from mid- 30's to mid- 80s and scattered  in Ireland, Boston, Vermont, and Missouri have contribued materials for the series so far.       Irreverent, soulful, hilarious, and poignant  are a few words that come to mind.   Just send your thoughts or a favorite poem on paths and pathways.  Commit acts of word play or ask questions.  Describe the features you belive are important to a really great path or the worst ever.

All comments and suggestions will be gathered and enjoyed and then  rewoven and shared again into a living discussion.  Who knows where it might go? 

Stay tuned and sign up if you want to get an email when a new post is is available. Sometimes it will be a short poem, a gardening tip, a summary of our favortie features named by readers. 

Unique cut stone path through garden in pea gravel -- Design by Jonah Roberts

Path series Day one-- From Poet David Whyte who previously worked as a Shakespean  actor and  his ability to read poetry is unparalled.  See the link to his website and audio CD's.  This poem speaks to the decision to start on a path, your own path. To not get  ahead of who were are. Using the sensations of our feet and our eyes we can get grounded and be present.  A warning to not get distracted by the the advice or noise of others around us and particularly by our own minds looking too far head.  In truth sometimes the very thing we say that we want, requires a first step outside our habits creates confusion & can feel like a loss and this  frightens us-- We we ask what is wrong our dream or our dicipline?   With kindness, we practice our first steps --- starting close in.  Practicing concentration  here and now so that with  the first step we can gain strength and the experience of success.  
START CLOSE IN - David Whyte

Start close in,
don't take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step
you don't want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,

Start with your own
give up on other
people's questions,
don't let them
smother something

To find
another's voice,
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don't follow
someone else's
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in....
...start with the first
close in,
the step
you don't want to take. 
D. Whyte, from book Many Rivers, 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gallery opening-- Natalya McDonnell animals (horses) viewed from the heart

Thanks to all who contributed their vote in the T-shirt contest. T-shirt #1 "I don't need another horse, I don't need another horse..." was the winner. However, if you look at the comments you will see that everyone seems to be voting that she actually, in time, get another horse and suggested ways to amend the T-shirt to reflect this.  Such clowns we have as friends really.
As promised we welcome you to opening of the Natalya McDonnell Photography gallery called Animals (especially horses) viewed from the heart. We did add in a few of her wonderful bird pictures and there is a series with the pet rats and toy horses -- they are trying to foment revolution -- that is very funny.
Here is is as a slide show. At any point you can go directly to the gallery or look at any of the pictures more closely.
Thanks for all the wonderful blessings to this young girl coming of age-- our council of wise women and honorary women showered us with poetry, advice, humor and soulful ideas.

The proud mother

Natalya - Life (Horses) viewed from the Heart

If you want to go directly to the gallery click on the slide show and it will take you there.

Friday, March 11, 2011

An all horse birthday again

Photo of model horse by Natalya McDonnell
Natalya is turning sweet 16 and her mind remains firmly fixed on all things equine. She is a beautiful rider and loves horses intellectually, aesthetically, and passionately. She is now taking lessons to be able to teach riding and horse care.  She spent this winter trail riding through deep snow and freezing cold exploring every inch of Peacham.  Despite what seemed like a hardship she had a huge grin on her face the whole time.  Her horse Shadow is the best (yes, yes, we admit it).

So, to engender a little birthday pizzazz and we were hoping you could help us. We found a great website for horsey accouterments called "Back in the Saddle" and there are many things she liked.  Among the t-shirts she really liked two in particular and we decided we would have the community of Natalya supporters vote on which to pick.  So, Vote here and we will sign her birthday card from you too on the big day March 18, 2100. No, it doesn't matter if you vote for the winning shirt or not.

Which T-shirt do you prefer?
#1: I do not need another horse
A mantra we have her say daily
 OR #2: How do you make a small fortune with Horses? Start with a LARGE Fortune.
A sentiment most horse-loving families know well and a T-shirt they find very funny.
So just leave a comment with us here in the comments section -- you don't have to log in or anything just leave your vote and your name. Or you can vote on facebook and tell us which one you prefer. 

If you also want to include a comment or wish for Natalya feel free to do so and we will write or print it  out for her with a birthday card from all her friends far and wide.

As part of her celebration, I am going to put a gallery up of her photography.  Natalya has been channeling her grandmother and spending hours with the camera. Her theme these days is, predictably, horses and model horses. She has a great eye for it. So, for her birthday I hope to put up a Featured gallery made by Natalya of her life-like images of model horses.  I will send out the link when its finished and you will be able to leave comments too. In addition, we will update the Horse gallery of pictures in Mother daughter Press-- this is one our most visited galleries and will in add pictures and scans so stay turned

Vote now and thanks for your help. If you have any birthday suggestions let us know.

Sharon and Gib