Come Lean into Me ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 304

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

Connection is a complex word but this evening I glimpsed one of its loveliest faces:

Connection 2

Let’s follow the sun,

my Love, and breathe in her soul.

Come lean into me.

Connecting with Co. Sligo ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 303

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

The Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection brings us to Co. Sligo today, thanks to the wonderful photography of Val Robus whose glorious blog can be found at: http://magnumlady.com

Val is a woman with a passion for Co. Sligo, which is steeped in beauty, history and heritage.

Hazelwood Forest, Sligo.

Hazelwood Forest, Sligo.

This photograph of Hazelwood Forest immediately had me thinking of W.B Yeats, who spent many childhood holidays in Co. Sligo and who is buried in Drumclif, Co. Sligo.  The poem that immediately comes to mind is this one:

The Song of Wandering Aengus

 W.B. Yeats

 

I went out to the hazel wood,

Because a fire was in my head,

And cut and peeled a hazel wand,

And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,

And moth-like stars were flickering out,

I dropped the berry in a stream

And caught a little silver trout.

 

When I had laid it on the floor

I went to blow the fire a-flame,

But something rustled on the floor,

And someone called me by my name:

It had become a glimmering girl

With apple blossom in her hair

Who called me by my name and ran

And faded through the brightening air.

 

Though I am old with wandering

Through hollow lands and hilly lands,

I will find out where she has gone,

And kiss her lips and take her hands;

And walk among long dappled grass,

And pluck till time and times are done,

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.

Val has sent me another gem of a photograph and I look forward to posting it later in the month. Meanwhile, be sure to check out her blog. You have a treat in store!

I would be delighted if you would join in this Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection. Please send a poem, photograph, artwork, song ….. anything that spells Colour, Creativity or Connection to you. My email is: jeanturbridy@aol.com

Sun Isn’t Gone ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 302

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

One of the wonderful aspects of running this Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection here on Social Bridge is the way it keeps opening doors into other people’s minds, imaginations and talents.

Today’s contribution is from Clare Scott, a fellow blogger from Tramore. We first met online ages ago and eventually in person one sunny day at Garrarus beach early one morning during the heatwave this summer.

I had long been an admirer of Clare’s artistic talent and was delighted when she sent me a ‘doodle,’ as she describes it!  (Oh to be able to doodle like this!). To see more of Clare’s gorgeous work, take a look at her blog: http://clarescott.wordpress.com/

In her email, she writes of  colour and light:

Here’s a doodle …  It is  my kitchen at sunset. The contrasting colours and textures really caught my eye and the golden light of an autumn sunset, always more  appreciated when the days become shorter, is a reminder that sun isn’t
gone… not totally and of course we still have the tiny suns of the clementines that shops start selling in boxes at this time of year…

Kitchen at Sunset Painting: Clare Scott
Kitchen at Sunset
Painting: Clare Scott

Should you wish to participate in my Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection which I am hosting here on Social Bridge for the month of November, I would be delighted to receive prose, poems, photographs, artwork, music ….. anything that says Colour, Creativity or Connection to you.   Just email me at: jeantubridy@aol.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

A Memory Bridge ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 301

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

Three years ago, this week, I was in Washington D.C. and one of my reasons for going out there was to get to know more about the inspirational Memory Bridge Foundation http://www.memorybridge.org/, which challenges everyday perceptions of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. In short, it focusses, not on what has been lost, but on the extent to which we can maintain connections with people with Alzheimers Disease and other dementias. This is something which resonates hugely with me from my personal experiences with loved ones here in Ireland.

I had already been in contact with the founder, Michael Verde, and he suggested that I meet with a fellow sociologist, Carla Borden, who is a key member of the Memory Bridge Board and based in Washington.

I was rather nervous at the prospect of meeting Carla but the very second I saw her, especially her eyes,  I knew that she was a woman with heart, soul, warmth, depth and vision.

We have remained firm friends and when she sent me two photographs of  November tints that she took last weekend at Audubon Naturalist Society Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase, Maryland, I knew I just had to add them to my Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection. 

Carla and The Memory Bridge Foundation represent Colour, Creativity and Connection in very profound ways and I strongly suspect that the Memory Bridge approach to Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias will become the accepted approach over the next decade.

So I post these photographs with warm memories, smiling eyes and passionate hope:

Photo: Carla Borden
Photo: Carla Borden
Photo: Carla Borden
Photo: Carla Borden

Should you wish to participate in my Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection which I am hosting here on Social Bridge for the month of Novemebr, I would be delighted to receive prose, poems, photographs, artwork, music ….. anything that says Colour, Creativity or Connection to you.   Just email me at: jeantubridy@aol.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Celebration of 300 ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 300

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

This marks the 300th post in the Gatherings from Ireland series and I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all those who have been so supportive and interactive on what is proving to be a fascinating journey that began last December.

I would like to mark the occasion by bringing you two photographs from Co. Waterford which were submitted by Catherine Drea to my November Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection. 

I had long been an admirer of Catherine’s wonderfully evocative work on http://www.foxglovelane.com/ and love how she makes the point there that: Creativity feeds the soul and helps to illuminate the way.’

I was stunned and delighted to find that Catherine had decided to send photographs of Annestown here in Co. Waterford which is a place I love and one which I associate with precious holidays with my late parents when I was in my twenties.

Annestown, Co. Waterford
Annestown, Co. Waterford

This is what Catherine wrote about the photographs:

Thought I would share pics of these colourful houses in Annestown. Maybe we forget how important our own human contribution is to colour in our environment? Isn’t it gorgeous how people paint their front doors and plant roses on their walls just to make this a more beautiful world?

Thatched Cottage, Annestown, Co. Waterford
Thatched Cottage, Annestown, Co. Waterford

I would be delighted to receive YOUR submissions to this  Festival of Colour, Creativity and C0nnection which is aimed at bringing warmth and light to November. I look forward to receiving your prose, poetry, photographs, artwork, songs ….. anything that spells Colour, Creativity and Connection to you. My email is jeantubridy@aol.com.

A Festival of Colour ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 299

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

The Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection which I’m hosting here on Social Bridge to brighten November continues to deliver warmth and surprises from all round the world. I have been a following Susan on www.suzassippi.blogspot.com for some time and was thrilled to receive this email and photograph from her.

I hope you enjoy her contribution as much as I have and feel the extent to which she is in touch with colour in every sense.
Hello  Jean,
 I love your idea of the fall festival of colour.  I am sending one of my recent photographs that says to me it is a festival of colour—I took it on the first day of November this year, on what was actually a lovely fall day with sunshine and blue skies.  What I like about this photograph is the subject, as well as the play of light and colour, but inclusion of all those neutral and drab, but full of texture, tones of browns and shadows amongst the light.
The building is a community house in Pontotoc, Mississippi, and was built in 1935 through President Roosevelt’s New Deal Administration, specifically, the Emergency Relief Administration which put unemployed people to work to the benefit of the community.  When I first read your post about the festival, and then later was preparing my photographs for some research, this one jumped out at me—so here it is…
Fall Festival of Colour Photo: Susan Allen
Fall Festival of Colour
Photo: Susan Allen

I hope that this wonderful photograph will inspire you to participate in the Festival and share a photograph, poem, prose, song, sketch … anything which speaks to you of Colour, Creativity and Connection.  Please send your submissions to me at jeantubridy@aol.com. I look forward to sharing them.

Creativity Unleashed ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 298

I was half hoping that someone would produce a logo for my Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection here on Social Bridge but now I’m glad they didn’t  because it was on my mind when I went to the beach today. I was amazed at how liberating it was to have a whole beach to myself, with the tide full out and lovely fresh sand as my canvas.

So with a stalk of seaweed in hand, I started playing around the letter C and here’s what happened:

Now, take a look at how it appears from another angle:

L2

Needless to say, I couldn’t resist a little bit of stone work as well!

The possibilities are endless and I kinda like the bridge effect of the inverted Cs! What do you reckon?

I’d be thrilled if you would share in this fun Festival which is aimed at helping us to cope with the darkness of November. So, if you have a poem, prose, photo, sketch, song ….. anything that fits the over-arching theme of Colour, Creativity and Connection that you would like to bring to this adventure, please email me at jeantubridy@aol.com. I’m really looking forward to hearing from you!

The Most Colourful Poem Ever Written? ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 297

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

As part of my Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection here on Social Bridge, I got to thinking about the most colourful poem ever written. So, I sit here surrounded by tomes of poetry books, anthologies and with poems, stanzas, lines, half-lines, words … dripping from my mind.

Rainbow over Tramore Bay, Co. Waterford
Rainbow over Tramore Bay, Co. Waterford

Such a range of possibilities but, for me, one poem stands above them all and this is it:

Beannacht 

by

John O’Donohue

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

(from:  Echoes of Memory)

What poem/s would you select bearing in mind that ‘colourful’ can be interpreted in so many different ways?

What is Creativity Anyway? ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 296

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

The contributions that are flowing in to my Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection have been bringing me to places and thoughts that have only ever simmered under the surface.

One of the most thought-provoking emails came from Dale Rogerson who lives in Montreal and whose lovely blog is the well-named  http://www.dalesdelectables.org

Dale sent me a photograph of a de-commissioned railway bridge in the Griffintown area of Montreal.

Photo: Dale Rogerson

The minute I saw the poignant image of what appears like ‘disconnect,’ I felt a really strong sense of connection as the bridge reminded me of the dismantled railway line between Tramore and Waterford and the wealth of history and heritage that is associated with it.

Towards the end of her email, Dale raised a very interesting point about creativity:

I am in the process of building up my own little business - catering, making birthday cakes, teaching others to cook.... Imagine, I used to think I was not creative because I couldn't draw or paint like my father did! I didn't associate my baking and cooking with being creative! 

I’m wondering now how many of us have limited views about creativity and judge ourselves against a highly specific interpretation of  what ‘creativity’ is all about. I know I’ve always had a tendency to see creativity in terms of activities like needlework and embroidery which bring me back to horrors of never getting passed beginner’s darning when everyone else was making dainty blouses and summer dresses!

Having read Dale’s comment, I’m now beginning to think that there’s no end to what creativity can mean.  Whoever designed that railway bridge in Montreal certainly had a  creative spirit!

I’d love to hear your views on what Creativity means to you and also to receive YOUR contributions to this Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection. Just email me at jeantubridy@aol.com if you would like to join in.

(Oh and how I wish I was creative enough to design a Logo for the Festival!)

Half Close Your Eyes ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 294

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

The Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection http://wp.me/p1ip9d-25x which I’m running here in Social Bridge for the month of November is one of the most uplifting things I’ve ever done and is yielding all sorts of  glorious surprises. 

Here’s an email and photograph I received from Vanessa Adams who lives in Australia:

Hi Jean
I’d like to share this photo which I took recently on Main Street, Heathcote, a little town in central Victoria. Although it’s growing darker in the northern hemisphere, we’re heading into summer here and I hope this colourful and creative reminder of warmer days will connect to memories of summer for you.  If you half close your eyes, it looks  just like a woman in a strappy top, with her arms raised to fix wind-blown hair.
 
Best wishes

Vanessa

Photo by: Vanessa Adams
Photo by: Vanessa Adams

 If you would like to participate in the Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection, please send me an email at jeantubridy@aol.com.