More Belle Coeur

A longer, picture-rich, post today…

As I deepen my connection with Belle Coeur, as I progress with my Spiritual Formation, daily I use these tools

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The two books that inspire it all.
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I adore these cards! I bought them a while ago, before I’d even read Ink and Honey; now they have extra meaning as I feel I ‘know’ these characters. I draw a card daily and write my thoughts here:
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… using by beloved Conklin Duragraph bought with my birthday pennies earlier this year.

These wee cards were sent by Frances as a thank you gift for beta-testing the Soulful Scribes pages of the website – such a lovely surprise!

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They contain journal questions from The Way of Belle Coeur and are wonderfully portable.

These tangible elements, all beautifully produced, connect me with Sisters I cannot see elsewhere in the world. Yes, they’re based on fictional characters, but I know such women did exist in history – the Beguines, those charged with withcraft, those village wise women and healers throughout the centuries… Not all women lived within the recognized roles of maids (under their father’s jurisdiction), married women (part of their husband’s property) or nuns (under the rules of the male-led Church). These independent, free-thinking women existed on the edges of society, often serving their local communities with knowledge and wisdom – until they aroused the suspicions of ‘the authorities’ and were charged with that oh-so-female crime of witchcraft…

I’ve always felt a deep connection to this saying:

i am the granddaughter

… and I am proud to say there are more of us than ever before 🙂 We don’t all dance around fires under a full moon, but we do** share freedom of thought and practice, and for that I am extemely grateful.

** I am most mindful of all those women who currently don’t enjoy such freedom – they are daily in my thoughts and I long for the day when they are free to think and act as they wish, as I am privileged to do.

And if you’ve read this far – I thank you! – and I’d love to hear any thoughts you may wish to share down in the comments ❤

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Sunday trees 348

Willow and Ivy and Bramble – beneath a blue, blue sky 🙂willow ivy-001.JPGSharing with Becca.

 

Ink and Honey

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My camera has died – I’m hoping it just needs a new battery – but it means I can’t  upload the photos or share the post I’d planned. So on to plan B…

You’ll see I’ve added a new widget in my sidebar (I’ll pause while you click it and see where it takes you… take your time… explore a bit… did you get to this page? Did you watch the lovely video?)

I rarely read fiction nowadays – I struggle to hold characters and plotlines in my head, which means I have to reread what I read the day before, which means it takes forever to finish a book of any length!

But this book – all 500 pages of it – took almost no time at all 🙂 It helps it’s set in a half-decent sized font which means it easy on the ole eyes, and the characters are SO easy to care about. Goscelin is already a ‘soul sister‘ – I cried buckets as she learned to read and write (it stirred up all my own struggles to learn to read again after the stroke…) – and, of course, the idea of a community of women living independently, outside the boundaries of Church and State, warmed my heart

I won’t share any more, spoilers are horrible, but I did post an Amazon review (a very rare event, especially as I don’t purchase from them anymore, but it’s been so long since I used goodreads, I couldn’t figure out how to post a review there…)  Anyway, I loved this book, and I love even more the community Sibyl is creating right now at Belle Coeur. Ink and Honey may have taken her over 20 years to write, but as Mr Keats said,

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: 
Its loveliness increases; it will never 
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep 
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep 
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. 

A Monday Poem

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Image from google

I was given this for Christmas, and here’s this week’s poem – it’s just so beautiful, I had to share it… It’s flowing rhythm reminds me of Wordsworth’s ‘Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey’, a life-long favourite poem (I studied the Romantic poets for O level, way back when).

You can hear the poet reading it with his beautiful Scottish burr here. (I don’t know why the two stanza breaks appeared, but I can’t delete them…)

Loch Music by Douglas Dunn

I listen as recorded Bach
Restates the rhythms of a loch.
Through blends of dusk and dragonflies
A music settles on my eyes
Until I hear the living moors,
Sunk stones and shadowed conifers,
And what I hear is what I see,
A summer night’s divinity.
And I am not administered
Tonight, but feel my life transferred

Beyond the realm of where I am
Into a personal extreme,
As on my wrist, my eager pulse
Counts out the blood of someone else.
Mist-moving trees proclaim a sense
Of sight without intelligence;

The intellects of water teach
A truth that’s physical and rich.
I nourish nothing with the stars,
With minerals, as I disperse,
A scattering of quavered wash
As light against the wind as ash.

Revisiting my Word for 2018

At this mid-point of the year, I feel a need to pause, to reassess, before I look up and it’s already December and I wonder what the heck happened!

The year started slowly, suffering cold after cold, so when finally I had some energy, I rather overdid it….

I created a new blog (the previous one always had a finite life, charting my way through the first year of being an empty-nester) and I posted most days, working my way through an ‘alphabet of rooms‘, before burning out in mid-February… Why do I always do this???

So I took almost four months away from Blogland – making room for rest, for real life, and for learning finally to blog on WordPress after two years’ half-hearted trying. Living into my Word, daily telling myself to ‘make room’ for whatever I sense I need for the next hour, for the next few moments…

This week I’m making room for my body to heal and absorb – on Monday, I finally got my Botox injections, SEVEN MONTHS after the last lot (the Botox stays in the body for only 12 weeks before it disperses – so I should have had more back in April!). The Botox relaxes the hypertense muscle in my right arm – they inject in the main pectoral to relax my shoulder, the bicep to relax my elbow and several places in my forearm to relax my hand. It hurts like heck, but the sheer relief from hypertense muscle spasms within 24 hours is simply miraculous – washing and dressing become easier, standing up and walking improve – as does my balance…

And it was a different doctor this time with my favourite physiotherapist assisting. The two highly skilled women exuded calm and care, and while it was a very painful procedure, I felt totally at ease knowing I was in very kind, capable hands. For this, I am most grateful!

And, of course, I’m making room for the football… Yes, I know, but when you love a sport, you love a sport, and what can you do?? This festival of footie only comes around every four years, and this has been a cracker! And now we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty – the quarter-finals AND ENGLAND ARE STILL IN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!