I am . . .

WARNING: Long, rambly post. Continue at own risk!

I was hoping to have a rather different post for you all, one where I had possibly come to some kind of revelation or epiphany. But it seems (for the present at least) that I don't. I should start from the beginning really.

As you could guess from my last post, I was receiving some rather coincidental signs in my daily life. The thing is, since I read on someone's blog somewhere a little while back about Your True Name. It's about writing an invocation, a powerful declaration and reminder about who you truly are and represent. It's been constantly reeling in my mind, like it would be really beneficial for me to do something like this. But, as what usually happens, I ignored this nagging voice and continued with my life. Just about a week ago, I started getting the nagging again about this, and tried to ignore it. Then, the signs started coming along, lol. Firstly, I stumbled upon that page again through another website. Then, in a new book I got, the section about self knowledge and identity leaped right at me. Then, as I was in the car with my boyfriend and we drove past the local church, it said in huge letters on it's billboard "I AM". Then, the thing that tipped me off to write my last little hysterical post was when I went onto the Inspire Me Thursday website for my weekly inspiration, and the theme was called "I am". I mean, c'mon! And to top it all off after that, when I went into work at the school the next monday and logged onto the school diary, at the very top, in bold red capitals, the word of the week (a theme that we contemplate on for that school week) was IDENTITY, slapping me across the face like a cold wet fish. SERIOUSLY! I was in absolute stitches. Could I get anymore of a hint!? As I have said, semetimes the universe just has to make it blatant for me, otherwise I have a tendency to dismiss these things.

To help me even further, the universe made my boyfriend disappear for almost an entire week going fishing with his mates, just so I could have the opportunity to contemplate and ponder alone in my room, otherwise if he was there I wouldn't focus on it like I should've. Coincidental timing for him to go away don't you think? Lol.

The important thing is, what did I do with these messages and given time? Well, nothing really. Which is the saddest thing about it. Last weekend after the post, I tried to brainstorm and start a few lines of this invocation, but found I couldn't get into it. Then, I went for a contemplative trip to the local country park, hoping to still my mind enough for whatever it is I had to realise to surface, and ended up taking pictures instead of achieving anything. Then, throughout the week whenever I returned home from work, I was always too tired (genuinely), or just had to read something, or look up stuff online. Looking back on my past week, everything was there for me, except for my own effort. Bugger.

So yesterday, I had the day to myself again. I spent ages tidying up, playing my music while I did as I usually do. I was feeling quite despondent, resenting tidying up taking up my free time and resenting that even if I did have my own time I would waste it. There had been sporadic showers throughout the day that I watched every now and then though my window in between cleaning. Just as I finished the last bit of tidying, I heard tapping on the window and looked outside to see hail falling from the sky. I stood at my window, holding it wide open, and put half my body out there to be in this little hailstorm. It was so invigorating. And as it died down, the sky started to reveal gorgeous rose-gold colours breaking through indigo stained clouds. The air was so fresh, and truly smelled of springtime. It felt like I was renewed with the world after the hailstorm. I leaned on the windowsill and smiled to myself for a while. You see, hail was something important I had to put in my name invocation. Hail is connected to the rune Hagalaz, which is special to me. I won't go too deep into why. Basically, Hagalaz is the rune of destruction, transformation and storms. Hagalaz always reminds me that even destruction has its place in the world. Hail and storms destroy crops, causing famine and hardship, but then also melts into life-sustaining water, bringing new life and change to times of destruction. It made me smile as if it was a tiny affirmation of what little I had already done concerning my poem. Also, the hail storm brought one of the lessons of hagalaz to mind for me - that of breaking destructive habits, something that I had been a prisoner to during recent times.

So, that night, I sat in the dark with my candle lit (Earth Hour yesterday dontcha know ;D), thinking about how I could learn from the lesson of Hagalaz and understand what had gone so wrong for me this last week despite all the messages I had received to encourage me. I came to this conclusion - I simply was afraid to face myself. Actually, this was quite a hard conclusion for me to come to. I always enjoy spending time lone, even crave it, often spending whole days content in solitude. This had led me to believe that I was content with myself, that I knew myself. Yesterday I realised - I may not be afraid to be with myself, but I was afraid to be within myself, if that makes any sense! I just could not face sitting down with myself and looking too deeply within about who I really am. I found every excuse to avoid doing this invocation thing during the week. Hagalaz wants me to challenge this. This is the bad habit I need to break - avoiding confronting myself.

As I said, I was hoping to have a different post for you. I wanted to post my finished invocation on here. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to bring myself to do it and actually face myself in doing it. But I'm damn well gonna try! Hopefully, I'll have it for you in my next post. It all depends on how much I have learnt, lol. See you all soon.


No, seriously, sometimes things are just SO funny. Let's just say that some 'Godincidences' are slapping me across the face right now. I've literally just this second laughed out very loud at the latest in a series of serendipity drenched hints. I'll get back to you all on this, I just had to say something about it for now.

Sometimes I'm so dense the universe has to make it so incredibly blatant for me.

Semi-finished vase!

So I've finally finished doing the carving on my vase. I'm quite happy with it and managed to stop myself from over doing it! I also think the mini-carving on the other side is quite cute! The next step is for it to be bisque fired, and then I can consider glazing it. Here's some pics.

So while the vase is being fired, I've started on a new project. I'm making a ceramic figure sculpture from a life drawing I drew at uni (when the life drawing classes were free, lol!). Very basic at the moment, just need to get the general shape first, and when it dries more I can begin to make it more detailed and less like a lump of clay! You can see a photocopy of my life drawing in the background.

That's all ceramics wise until Tuesday! See you then.

Sacred Life Sundays :: Life in every breath

Tuesday night, on the way back from my ceramics class, it was very dark, and raining really heavily. I mean, it was chucking it down. So I was walking down my street quickly, hood pulled up over my head and tightened so that only my eyes were visible. Suddenly as I was walking, I smelled a sweet scent in the air, which went as quickly as it came. I backed up a bit until I smelt it again, and realised it was coming from this bush. I was sure it was all just twigs, but upon closer inspection, I saw that some small cherry blossom buds were ready to bloom, with a few ready opened ones sprinkled about. And you know what, this really made my day! It was just unexpected, and made me so happy to think that soon all the spring blossoms would bloom. You see, I have a little soft spot for these tiny blossoms.

One of my favourite memories of when I was younger was when it was springtime, and me and my brother and friends would be playing in the small field behind our big block of flats. There was this huge cherry blossom tree, bigger than any I've seen since (or this could be a 6yr olds perception, lol). I would climb this tree, as I was the only one who could and I loved to climb trees, and sit on the branches and shake them so that all the delicate pastel pink petals would fall like snow, the others looking up and and twirling around while it all fell around them. It felt really magical, up high in the air surrounded by clusters of blushing blossoms smelling sweetly, while making springtime snow for my friends to play in. Childhood memories eh?! Good times.

One of my favourite films, The Last Samurai, uses cherry blossom for symbolic imagery. The film plays on the themes of honour, the delicacy of life, and Bushido. Bushido is literally translated as 'The Way of the Warrior', and was a code of conduct for Japan's Samurai warrior caste. The samurai moral code and stressed frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and honour until death. The life of a samurai was short lived and brutal. Their lives were chiefly concerned with death, and most importantly a death held with dignity. The cherry blossom became a symbol of the samurai - beauty in death. The samurai's life of honour, duty, respect and courage was as delicate as a cherry blossom, and ended as quickly as the blossoms short few weeks display in the crisp springtime. When one of the main characters, a samurai, lies dying on the battlefield in the arms of his friend, asking him help him end his life, the last image he sees is the fragile blossom petals falling from the tree in the gentle breeze, mirroring his own life being swept away in the wind.

My favourite line from this film comes from when the samurai tells his rival and soon-to-be ally about the ways of his people. Pointing to a blossom tree in the courtyard they stand, he says to him "Life in every breath. That is the way of the samurai."

What a beautiful line. And a powerful lesson for all of us. Even though at times we may feel insignificant, and as if our life is too short and pointless, remember what the cherry blossom teaches: That life, although delicate and swift, is to be treasured and celibrated in it's bittersweetness. So every time I pass a cherry blossom tree, as small voice inside my head reminds me . . .
Life in every breath.
Top image is my own, bottom image courtesy of GettyImages.

Inspire Me Thursdays :: Bamboo

This weeks inspirational word was 'bamboo'. I'm using IMT as an excuse to develop my watercolours, so I used them again. When thinking of bamboo the word 'resilience' always come to mind, and I wanted to paint something that shows bamboo withstanding the elements. So I tried to paint it as if it was in a rainstorm. Hope I managed to pull it off. I didn't have any images of bamboo, so it might not look very accurate, I just made it up. This was much fun - very messy and wet, I have splatter stains all on my wall and floor! Let me know what you think.

IMT and ceramics update

Since my failure at the Creative Everyday 09 stuff, I found Inspire Me Thursdays to help give me a creative kick every now and then. Last weeks inspiration was the moon, and so this gave me a chance to get out my watercolours and give it a go! I'm not very good with paint, so I only gave it a tentative shot. Small steps will eventually lead to giant leaps! So yes, there is not much on the page, but I wanted to keep it lighthearted and fun. Hopefully with more practice my watercolours will develop.

I thought I'd also let you know how the ceramics class is going. I've managed to smooth my vase down now, and get the proper shape. If you remember from a previous post, I was unsure of what to carve into it once I got the chance. In honesty, I didn't even get enough spare time to give it any serious thought. So I went to the class prepared to leave it for another week, but when it actually came to it, I thought "Sod it!" and just went with it. This is the result.

I just let my hands do their own thing, lol. I've always loved very curvilinear designs, very organic and mesmerising. So these are just the initial strokes, next week I will be elaborating on them, adding more detail and designs. It's nice to be making it up as I go along, and using my own imagination rather than copying someone elses design. Feel free to let me know what you think of my recent artistic endeavors!

Blog Award! *squeel*

And yes, I did really squeel when I read that I got a blog award from Edain at English, Pagan and in Canada! Thanks so much!

It's a lovely surprise, and I am happy to pass on the award. Here are the rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude.(If you don't have 10, its OK.)3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.
These are the bloggers who I am nominating. Keep up the good work guys!
1. Jen @ awake is good
4. LaughingMedusa @ Gorgon Resurfaces
9. Brian @ House of Inanna
Go and check these great blogs out!

Revamp and update!

Hiya all,

I had to change this page, just looking at it depressed me. Really put me off! So voila, a new layout. Hope you all like it, I had a lot of fun manipulating my photo to make it look funky. I do also realise that the lettering is hard to read - it is intentional believe it or not! If anyone out there wants me to make something like that for them, do say, because I really enjoyed making my own new banner.

I also said that I would post pictures of what I'm doing in ceramics at the moment, so here it is.

As you can see it is still very rough. I didn't realise how many stages there are to making a simple vase. So far I have finished making the general shape. Tomorrow, I get the chance to scrape it smooth, and then carve a design into it if I wish (which I do ;)). I don't know exactly what I'll do with it yet, but I'll mull it over tonight and tomorrow. I was thinking perhaps of some celtic knotwork designs, because I'd like to put this vase on my altar when it's finally finished, as my first ceramic offering! I'll let you all know how tomorrow goes afterwards.

Also art related, I set up a deviantART account last week to put all my previous artwork on, so if you're interested and want to have a nosey, click here or go to the link on the right of the page.

I plan on having a proper update soon, I've just been so busy! It's annual review time at my school, so I'm writing many reports presently. Just want to let you all know I haven't disappeared, and I'm keeping up to date with all your blogs. See you all soon!

About Me

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United Kingdom
I am a pagan, special needs teaching assistant, BA Hons Drawing graduate, artist, amateur tarot reader, half-welsh, big sister, eldest daughter, lover, volunteer, bookworm, intense dreamer, nature and animal lover, over-protective friend, ex-barmaid, fledgling activist and general eccentric. Nice to meet you =D.

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