It just takes time

We’ve been in Ireland for nearly 10 months now. Every day I feel more at home and less stranger in a strange land-ish.

The sun has shown for three days straight (which must be an Irish record of some sort) and to be honest, it’s been a bit much. I’ve grown used to my misty, windy, rainy, rainbows and flashes of sunlight Ireland. Three straight days of sunlight is almost a bit much.

My newly planted veggie plants agree, as they have both sunburn and windburn. More lessons learned about “hardening off” baby plants, sigh.

Everyday, I feel more like I’m in a place I could stay. Which, if you knew me, would make you gasp in surprise. I’ve never felt that “homely” feeling most people seem to be born with. My stone is a rolling stone and it comes to rest very infrequently.

But Ireland has been working it’s charms on me. Living on the East Coast, we finally had a chance to take a short trip to the West Coast. I found it “familiar” and “fun” but not really where I want to be day to day. If you are traveling here, that would probably be the place you’d want to visit. It’s full of quaint villages and international towns. But I like my quieter and more agricultural eastern coast. I feel less jangle-y and more in tune with the flow of life here.

I grew up with the international vibe and the buzz of all the new things to be found in the world. Now I want the more grounded and simpler version of life that was mine as a younger child. Gardens, pottery, cooking, music, nature walks and kitties. Time to think and time to feel. It’s not all that exciting but it fits me better than anything else ever has.

I guess it just takes time to find yourself. And it just takes time to find your way in a new country.

Row Row

There are too many words
Crowding in my head
Each one crossing like swords
To be heard instead

Various forms of speeches fly
Keeping me from my bed
Dancing like fireflies
Aching to be said

But one has to consider
The audience awoken
It’s capacity to hear
The ideas yet unspoken

The development of the
Species and it’s placement
Humanity from below and above
In time and space sent

It running off cliffs
Destroying it’s home
Worried for lifestyle
With no-where to roam

What words do I have
That you could really hear
Through the noise of your TV’s
The chatter in your ear

You’re chewing on guilt
Shaming and fear
It’s keeping your frozen
From what you hold dear

I could paint you poems
Filled with glory and wit
Challenge your souls
You’d care not one bit

I’ve left the earth’s orbit
You’re still tied to the ground
I’ve found sacred music
You can’t hear a sound

I’m sure that a few of you
Dance around the fire
Wonder at the morning dew
And chase your desires

I find you in hide-y holes
Reading outlandish books
Passing your healing on
While attempting to cook

I bow when I find you there
My road has been long and lonely
Grateful for what you share
To know it’s not me only

Perhaps someday I’ll say some more
About the things I know
Or maybe I’ll just pick up my oar
And continue to row and row.

    L. Ross 31/3/2014

All Rights Reserved

Preparing the Clay

http://www.jhpottery.com/pictures/slab3.jpgI know it’s been awhile.  Between winter (which means lots of grey and tons of rain) and adjusting to life in a new country, I haven’t had a lot of “output” in my brain.  We’ve also been dealing with the cold.

Now, now, don’t get your feather’s in a fluff, I know it’s not cold like Polar Vortex cold.  It’s more the ancient old walls and seeping in from the floor kinda cold.  I finally cracked and went and bought 4 portable heaters.  It was exhausting being “chilly” all the time.  It’s also very expensive to keep us warm.  Who needs new clothes anyway???

You don’t realize just how much you’ve gotten used to it till you go somewhere that has real functioning heating.  When we go to the mall, we end up sweating and peeling all our layers off because, “damn it’s hot in here!.”

The other thing we’ve been dealing with is our shared wall (our home is end of terrace).  The neighbours have been doing reno for the past few months.  Endless banging, drilling, and grinding OH MY!  Just when I thought we were through the worst of it, the folks behind our back garden wall started with the back hoe.  I had mild thoughts of “well, maybe they are just fixing up their yard” and it will be over soon.

Have I mentioned I’m a very odd optimistic pessimist?  Well, the next door neighbour (our reno buddy) told me yesterday that they are building a HOUSE back there.  Oh yes!  Oh bother.

So my foreseeable future will be bang bang bang.  Which leads to other things.

We may have to MOVE AGAIN! Yes, it’s in the cards, but we are trying to figure out just how to shuffle them.  It’s mostly a visa issue for my youngest daughter.  Seems the EU is more flexible than IE.  (europe/ireland)

Amongst all these things a very odd shift has occurred within me.  After quite a few decades of banging my head on the “oh what will I do with my life” wall (and yes, there are a few things I already do but they have grown old and boring to me) I have finally come up with what I want to do for the next, let’s say, 10-15 years.

Thus the clay.  I have started a ceramics class (pottery for those from the US).  I want to incorporate it into my long range goals of owning/creating an herbal garden for teaching purposes.  I’m finally living in a place where I can grow things.  Now I have to find a way to own a patch of land so I can build and grow on it.

Yeah, I know, baby steps.  I’ve just arrived on this lovely Emerald Isle.

But I’ve noticed an interesting thing about Ireland.  It helps you KNOW what you want to do.  Some how it creates a space within for those answers to come.

While living in Arizona I found meditation a breeze.  I could pop in and out without blinking really.  But here, not so much.  It’s a very grounding place.  But I’ve found my heart is clearer here.  I’m much less mindful and much more in my heart (which can be a good or bad thing depending on what part of it I’m roaming around in that day).

Then, that of course, leads to my Solar Heart.  What’s that you say?  Oh, well, google it.  It’s one of those odd spiritual things that some of us manifest for whatever reason (and no, I don’t know why).  And since I’m living in the land of GREEN (associated with the Heart Chakra), my solar heart has been just NOT HAPPY.  Think cramps in the diaphragm not happy.  Which leads to cramps in my back not happy.  So yeah, Heartlandia can be an up and down experience for me.

But to be honest, I’m grateful to be out of my head.  Even when it was zen quiet, it was always darting off here and there.  I like this feeling, whatever it is.  It’s not always happy, but it is much more real.

And I’m delighted to have my hands back in the dirt and clay.  I may never be amazing at any of it, but I love the challenge, so off I go~

Driving in Ireland, Bring your GoCart Skills

http://projectsproxy.internaldrive.com/2012/stanford-university/07-22-2012/matteo-z/web/go_kart.jpg

Remember these skills if you plan on driving in Ireland

I spent the first few months observing my mate driving on the “WRONG” side of the road, driving shift.  Now I may have been a bit braver sooner, if I hadn’t had to learn how to shift with my left hand first.  I’ve always been horribly right handed.  I use my left hand/arm for lifting and brawn.  Learning to use it for shifting was quite an accomplishment.

One day, I just got up my courage and off we went to a bare parking lot.  Somehow I’d thought that if the shift was on the left side, the gears would be reversed.  Um, no.  So now first gear is WAY over there along with Reverse.  I have days when I wonder if our little used car is going to forgive me for my foul use of it ;\

Once I got used to being on the left side of the road, while sitting on the right side of the car, I had a new hurdle.  Driving on Irish Roads.  Yes, they are capitalized for a reason.  Irish Roads are like GoCart (GoKart) tracks.  They bend and twist without warning and there are generally people behind you and in front of you that want to 1. Get around you, or 2. are going so slow you are chewing your thumbnail off (or would if you had a spare hand) trying to fathom how to pass them on roads that have no clear view.

Speaking of clear views.  Unless you live in a major city in Ireland, the first thing you have to get used to is no street lights.  Not just a few street lights, but NONE whatsoever.  So imagine if you will.

A typical misty, (rain on the windshield almost not worth swiping off but you can’t see through it) evening in Ireland.  You have just passed the one town with a few lights along the road and you are plunged into darkness.  It’s at this point that you realize that the hedges aren’t helping (hedgerows) with the light issue and that while driving on these crazy one car only (and a tiny car at that) width lane roads encroached upon by very tall hedges and difficult enough in the daylight hours.  At night, well, to be honest, I just stopped driving.

Our headlights are dim.  The car isn’t new and the lights reflects it’s age.  I can use high beams but the roads are too busy to leave them on.  When it’s raining, I’m basically blinded between the oncoming high beams and the glare off the rain on the window.  I used to love to drive at night.  Now I shudder when I think about it.

Daylight hours return me to GoCart land.  I’m glad I always fancied myself an amateur race car driver.  I’d have given up otherwise.  You get used to brushing your car along the hedges, shrugging when you hear the scratching sounds (Americans would be appalled) and dancing over the white line that divides you from THEM (those motorists also dancing between hedges and white lines on their side).  You learn to dread double decker buses (oh yes they do!) and over-sized trucks because that means at 80 kph (did I mention you have to be adept at math since the roads change as you head north from kph to mph?) you have to dive into the hedges and hope to goddesses that you are “far enough” over to avoid collisions, which for some reason I cannot fathom, they don’t care about.  The one thing that does continue to crack me up though is the happy little wave they give you if you have the sense to pull over.  I’m still trying to figure the cultural meaning of that one.

“Thank you for letting me hog the road?  OH! I just saw you there, wasn’t that Grand of you to get out of my way while I ignored you completely!” or something along those lines.

All of this is bringing back my youth on New Jersey Freeways.  And you know what?  It was easier.  Now that’s saying something.  Something which only a person born and raised in NJ would understand 😉

So just remember, if you are planning a holiday to the Great Green Isle, go visit you local GoCart track and get some practice in.  You’ll be glad you did.

EMERGENCE

Image

I’ve been pecking at this shell
Microscopic pieces fall
I lay my head to the side
Exhausted with the effort

It’s been taking much longer
Than anyone expected
I just want them to roll me
Into a dark corner and wait

Having Other’s eyes
Observe my discomfort
Extends the painful moments
Into eternities

I struggle on
Pecking away, bit by bit
This birthing will be
Awe inspiring

It’s never been this hard
Who knew that Love
Poured into crevices and cracks
Seeping in deep

Firming up weak foundations
Fortifying broken animus
Choking out agonies long shed
As it sinks deeper and darker

I cough up rages and injuries
Make flailing rants over long dead
Societies
Leaving me to ponder my soundness

Deeper it descends
Flash frying ancient Vows
Terrors long hid in the dark
Of being hunted and hunter

The taste of them in my mouth
Usurpers and betrayers
I feel no remorse
Yet sadness remains

My flaming feathers poke
Through into daylight
Iridescent vibrant blinding
Glittering eye looks back

At the Watchers

Perhaps a step back
Is in Order
For this Emergence
Will be like no other

There will be No more
Cowering away
Fear shining in Phoenician Eyes
Gone forever

Love has shorn away
Leaving me piece-less
Solid and Terrifying
Soon, soon, the shell will break

L. Ross 18/12/2013 (All Rights Reserved)

Crawling my way to MidWinter

ImageI snagged this picture off (deventer.transitiontowns.nl) because it reflects what I see around 3:30 pm these days, sunset.

Given that the sunlight (when it’s not cloudy) shines the brightest around 9:30 am (and being an owl, I usually am NOT out and about around then) I have been experiencing VERY short days.  I knew before I moved here that I was sensitive to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  Half my family moved to Florida for the sunlight and I lived in Arizona for nearly 15 years.  What I forgot was just how TIRED it makes me feel.

I think I may be part Bear.  Where’s my cave and can I just wake up when the day start getting longer again?

It’s affecting everything.  I get my basic home-care stuff done (including taxi-ing my people’s around) and then I’m just toast.

Christmas?  Yeah, I think I hear bells out there somewhere… but I can barely get my brain around the concept, never-mind the reality of it.

And when you are the driving force behind your household, that can be um…

Not so good.

I find myself tiptoeing around my own depression trying not to get triggered into tears.  And believe me, anything will do.  Did I mention I detest crying?

Yes, some days are better.  Sunlight helps.  Getting out of the house helps.  But the only thing that will really fix it?

Longer days and MORE sunlight. (yes, I’ve tried lighting, it works “a little”)

10 degrees further north, Ireland is lined up with southern Alaska and some parts of Siberia.  So yeah, It’s full dark at 4pm.

Yawns, where’d I put those ornaments?