Janice Salmon

Connections


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June Discoveries

This book,  The Red Tent pulls you in by your heartstrings. It is a captivating read and I was charmed into the world of sisterhood, the world within the Red Tent and the circle of caring for one another that once took place in every community. The story is of a girl named Dinah in biblical times from the Book of Genesis and it is loosely based on the family of Jacob and his wives. Firstly, I need to explain this is not a religious text it is a charming tale of womanhood and the changing traditions in communities and society. It is also a book of emotional polarities as Dinah’s story transitions through communal life in childhood and family ties to city dwellings amongst Kings. It is storytelling at its best about birth, growth, healing, ageing and friendship. I recommend reading the book before watching the recent Mini Series on Drama TV as you will be watching an abridged version of Dinah’s story.

 

The crystal for the month of June has been Moonstone. This crystal is known as a Feldspar mineral and has an opaqueness to its appearance. It can be found in shades of peach, grey, white, black and rainbow blue. For me the different colours have their own properties such as peach feels delicate and soothing, white is very intuitive and balances feminine qualities, black is for introspection and deep emotional healing. Rainbow moonstone has a prism effect diffusing a blue light. It has an uplifting presence and protective feel, as well as the inner knowing sense that all the colours of moonstone bring into being.

So what have you discovered this month to recommend? What books have you been reading? And which crystals have taken your fancy in the last few months?

Next months reviews will include some Hay House books and a lovely Chrysocolla sphere I have just purchased from Philip Permutt at The Crystal Healer Online Store.

 

 

 


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Snowdrops – Winter’s Delicate Flower

Snowdrops1

Snowdrops are a delightful sight in February. They give a bright feel to mossy grounds which sparks a little joy on a grey day. These flowers are known to have approximately 20 variations of species and can grow up to 30cm tall. The botanical name is Galanthus, gala in Greek means “milk” and anthos, meaning “flower”(Wikipedia.org).

Although they are cultivated far and wide it is thought that they are native to eastern Europe. It is believed that many soldiers of the Crimean War brought small bundles of these bulbs back to Britain, but were first documented in Botanical text in the 16th century (www.nhm.ac.uk). Today they are cherished and there are dedicated Snowdrop Gardens open throughout the UK.

The snowdrops delicate nature has attracted the attention of many poets. Emily Dickinson, the garden lover, often uses metaphors to describe elements of nature. In the poem “I taste a liquor never brewed” she is giving praise to her garden, “drunk” on the intoxication of scent, beauty and botanical skills in cultivation. She uses metaphor to convey feelings, in my opinion, of her joy in the garden. I love the last stanza as she refers to the “seraphs” (a variety of snowdrop) as they “swing their snowy hats”.

I taste a liquor never brewed –
From Tankards scooped in Pearl –
Not all the Vats upon the Rhinesnowdrops3
Yield such an Alcohol!
 
Inebriate of air – am I –
And Debauchee of Dew –
Reeling – thro’ endless summer days –
From inns of Molten Blue –
 
When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove’s door –
When Butterflies – renounce their “drams” –
I shall but drink the more!
 
Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats –
And Saints – to windows run –
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the – Sun!

By Emily Dickinson.
 
William Wordsworth also thought of these little white flowers as angelic. In his poem “On seeing a tuft of snowdrops in a storm”, he uses words such as “faithful and immortal”.

snowdrops2When haughty expectations prostrate lie,
And grandeur crouches like a guilty thing,
Oft shall the lowly weak, till nature bring
Mature release, in fair society
Survive, and Fortune’s utmost anger try;
Like these frail snow-drops that together cling,
And nod their helmets smitten by the wing
Of many a furious whirlblast sweeping by.
Observe the faithful flowers! if small to great
May lead the thoughts, thus struggling used to stand
The Emathian phalanx, nobly obstinate;
And so the bright immortal Theban band,
Whom onset, fiercely urged at Jove’s  command,
Might overwhelm, but could not separate!
By William Wordsworth.
 

Dailypost – Winter’s Delicate Flower

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/blogs/wildlife-garden/2014/01/27/snowdrop-history?fromGateway=true

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galanthus

Photographs by Medicinalmeadows.com

 


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Here and Now

image (2)

My town and its surrounding areas have been plagued by floods this winter. Movement from town to town is restricted as rainfall causes problems to roads, cars, and rail travel. It seems to be raining for a season. My recollection of previous winters has been cold mornings with frost covered lawns and a wind that slaps your face with a chilling sting. If wet, lingering rain and floods are to be our depths of winter then we are certainly not prepared. The ground is not prepared as no drainage is available and waterways are not viable. The foliage is not resting as trees and flora remain green. I wonder what fauna make of all this weather? What effect is this environmental change having on the animal life?

robinIn our current ways of living we know the effects of stress, lack of sleep and tiredness. Will the earth rest less, will wildlife struggle to maintain their habitats? And will spring come with a leap, or will lethargy remain in all things. I dearly hope that with the return of the early sunrise and brighter skies the earth will regain its step, light will rekindle all souls and rhythm will balance once more.

As we toast to the New Year may we collectively think of all Autumnleaves
those effected by weather change and displacement. So as the clocks chime to the start 2016 may we all think of those working, volunteering and coping. May all our hearts send goodwill to all people and to our home this planet we share, call earth.

For WPC: Now

 


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Home of Inspiration

This is Brantwood, home of John Ruskin (1819-1900) the artist, writer and champion of the welfare state. Ruskin absorbed the natural world around him and expressed his talents through paintings and poetry. In 1869 he was Professor of Fine Arts at Oxford and established the Ruskin School of Drawing (wikipedia.org).

The Brantwood Estate is suspended, afloat on the hillside above lake Coniston Water. The house  continues his legacy by exhibiting local artist’s work in a gallery. The gardens display the array of inspiration and the footpaths lead to the lakeside.

Afloat

 


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Janet’s Foss, Queen of the Fairies

This is a photograph taken at Janet’s Foss, Malham, the Yorkshire Dales. Foss being the norse word for waterfall. Folklore states that Janet, Queen of the Fairies lives behind the waterfall in a cave.

fairyfalls2

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Green


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Refraction

Refraction– “the turning or bending of any wave, such as a light or sound wave, when it passes from one medium into another of different optical density” (freedictionary.com).

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These images were taken in my garden on the 28th February 2014 at sunset. It was reported on my local news broadcast that the Aurora Borealis maybe visible so I kept watch that evening and this is what the eye was to behold. I can not be certain that this was nothing more that a February sunset and I do not claim that is anything more that just that. But to me it is a beautiful atmospheric sky over the roof tops.

A local newpaper reported sightings of the Northern Lights in the county on the previous evening.


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The Beauty of Urbex

“Urbex (urban exploration or UE) is the exploration of man-made structures, usually abandoned ruins or not usually seen components of the man-made environment”(Wikipedia).

These buildings are often abandoned hospitals, asylums, and industrial buildings, areas that look desolate. I am always intrigued by such photographs. To me they hold a history of a bygone age, a story of our society from an era now removed from our existence. These buildings often served the community and held a workforce of many in our towns and cities.

The images are often taken in black and white, to me this is to represent the historical value what is being captured, but what I ask,  is the onlooker to see deeper into the psyche of urbex pictures. Try to imagine the time and motion of the buildings in their working form, such as a busy hospital ward, workers in the factory and life within the picture, not just the abandonment of its current existence.

The beauty of these pictures is their past to present portrayal. I have tried to take some urbex photographs recently on a visit to Lancaster Castle.  The history of the Castle is thought to go back as far as Roman times as a fort and in the 11th century came under Royal possession as a medieval castle. It has a dark history of executions and the Lancashire witches trials in the 17th century.

The Castle is also known for being a Prison until 2011, but now it is a historical monument, open to the public as a visitor’s attraction for tours.

For Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: What is beautiful to you

Here are some Urbex Experts;

Urbexunderworld

Americanurbex

BehindClosedDoors

 

 

 


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

“Nothing lasts really. Neither happiness nor despair. Not even life lasts very long. There’ll come a time in the future when I shan’t mind about this anymore, when I can look back and say quite peacefully and cheerfully how silly I was. No, no, I don’t want that time to come ever. I want to remember every minute, always, always to the end of my days” (Laura Jesson, Brief Encounter, 1945)

The Clock still remains at the station where Brief Encounter was filmed, showing that it has Endured the test of time.

 


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The Love Project

 YOUR MEMORIES NEEDED

There is something sacred about telling our own stories. Our adventures, love stories and history. By capturing and share meaningful moments in our lives psychologist such as Pennebaker and Evans recognise that writing about ourselves is a source of healing as well as focusing on events unique to us that have shaped our lives. This legacy writing is also a way to pass on history, values and treasures that if not told and documented will most certainly be lost forever.

Projects in towns and cities are also being provided to utilise multi-media resources to capture stories. My local project is on the theme of Love. Women are being asked to share their stories of love through the decades. They will be interviewing female volunteers on what Love has meant to them, in relationships, at a personal level and growing up in their home town. The project unfolds as women in groups or as individuals start storytelling their moments and sharing their experiences.

These interviews will be captured on video, transcripts and as written accounts. The project with put these records of everlasting memories on display to the public for future generations to see values, beliefs and emotions of women throughout the decades.

lovehearts

The Barrow Love Project ” The Red Tent” is holding a series of sessions for women to discuss their experiences of teenage and early adult years growing up in Barrow in the 1940’s through to the 1990’s.

For more information go to: www.barrowloveproject.org.uk or to book a place contact Amanda Mortlock project coordinator on 01229 833228 or mail to:amanda@barrowloveproject.org.uk

Links to other Red Tent Projects;

Women’s Stories from the Red Tent – find a tent near you

Red Tent Bristol Women’s Group

Red Tent Directory