It’s that time again!

shamrocks for st patrick's dayAlright, all you bits of starlight out there – it’s that time again!

SO, get out there, kiss a leprechaun if you can find one (they’re a wily group, wonderfully mischievous and gorgeous fun, so watch out!!), wear all things green (or at least one), and if you must, go do ‘the green beer’ thing too (not my favorite way of marking the day but…). We do not recommend colouring whatever river happens to be nearby, but since Chicago has gone and done it, well what the…!

Quote Yeats, Beckett, a bit of Myles na Gopaleen if you can (look that one up), wax poetic about the slow air, and generally give a thumbs up and a GOOD GOD, YOU’RE WONDERFUL to the day.

That would ST. PATRICK’S DAY, in case you missed the clues.

And to all my dear and beautiful friends in The Green – Love ya bunches – Wish I was there!!

 

HAPPY ST. PAT’S DAY, EVERYONE!

 

shamrock

 

 

 

Happy St Patrick’s Day

shamrocks for st patrick's dayAlright you lovers of Green, it’s that day again. So go on now, grab that Guinness, put shamrocks in your hair, wear green anywhere you can think of (hah), quote Irish poets who come to mind (there are a lot of them), watch your favorite Irish actors in your favorite Irish movies, do something kind for someone and don’t tell anyone (that’s an old Irish tradition), and wish the best of the best for everyone you meet.

And of course, give a topping of the hat (I’m assuming you’ll be wearing one) to the wee ones and their clans (of which there are many), should you be blessed enough to meet them.

It’s a special day but it’s also meant to be fun (also known as a bit of craic), so go have some!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

shamrockYes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. The day of The Green.

So be bold – go dance in the winds, throw shamrocks to the stars, kiss the Blarney Stone if you’re at the Castle, wax poetic if you’re not, remember good friends (Ireland’s great for finding the best of them), drink a Guinness or two and toast the magic, spout Yeats, Beckett, Heaney, or Joyce,revel in the music of tin flutes, bohrans, and Mary Black singing ‘Ireland’ – and then, for sure for sure, welcome that gold bucket full of love and luck into your life, and celebrate the day.

Happy St. Pat’s Day Everyone!

A Light in the Window

                                                                    ©Aliana Alani 2017

I have just put up a  new page called, A Light in the Window – a call of love in action to all – inspired by a woman in Ireland many  years ago – Mary Robinson. A light in the window is a call to – BE A LIGHT UNTO YOUR WORLD – to take a stand for kindness and love here and now.

lamp2-txt-sized-down

 

 

LET’S IMAGINE, YOU & I…

PUTTING A LAMP in the window of our homes, and turning it on – a soft glow that shines for all to see – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round. A light, that by its very burning, says here stands a home for decency, kindness, and caring.  Here shines a light of peace and love for all.

To learn more about what this is all about, please go to the page A Light in the Window If it touches your heart, turn on that light – and share this posting (and the ones to come) wherever you can. And bless you for doing so.

Happy Samhain…

Welcome to the thinning of the veils…

It’s October 31st, that time where sticky candy, wobbling strange rubber faces, frail and flimsy wings, and flip-flopping swords and daggers reign supreme. There are even a few glittering red slippers and a star-tipped wand or two to be found dancing around. It is a time of ghosts, goblins, and miniature versions of the cast of the Pirates of the Caribbean sauntering down night streets just about everywhere.

In the Celtic world, it is the time of Samhain, where veils become thin, and the spirits of the past rise up to greet the spirits of the day. You won’t necessary find those pirates roaming but you might find your relatives from the 6th century popping in for a cup of mead (that’s honey wine). Treat them well. You never know what you might have done in the 6th century!  And so it is a time of the changing of worlds – autumn to winter – winter to the cold dark beyond.

One could also say it is a time when the veils between your perception of realities thin. Where the things you are so very sure are real begin to flutter and fade, and the dreams you visit only in the quiet of your mind begin to take on colour and grow. Where, for an infinitesimally small moment in the concept of time, the two dare to merge, mingle, trade places, or even become one.

It is even possible that as our world shifts and changes, moments like these turn out to be windows to the very heart and soul of a better life and a better world.

…more to come…

IRELAND, I am SO proud of you.

I lived in The Republic for a number of years so I know what a sea change this is. That vote yesIreland has cast its vote and now become a beacon for equality in marriage is a beautiful thing. That the Irish Diaspora came from all over the world to vote spoke volumes. That many shared with such eloquence and caring their personal journeys was a gift of courage given to us all.

Ireland is and has been many things, but for me, under all its poetic story and mysticism, it is first and foremost a land of the heart. Sometimes that heart has expressed itself through sadness & sorrow, sometimes through hardship and difficulty. Certainly it has arced its way through melancholy for many a lifetime. But it always carried that pearl inside ready to burst from its shell and shine for all the world to see.

Today is a day Ireland shines a light on love.

We are all blessed because of it.  Sure and it’s almost enough to make a girl fall in love with The Green all over again!

…many thanks to whoever did the wonderful wall mural. Hope you don’t mind that I took it from the internet for this posting.

Friends…

Some waft through your life like bits of sky cloud – here one moment, gone the next. Their impact is pleasant, perhaps important, maybe even dazzling.

Others linger over tea and a few biscuits of time, even a life experience or two. You toast a year together, perhaps another, and they are gone; their names etched delicately in the treasure chest of your heart.

But there are some whose presence mingles like starlight and something magical is brewed within the tempest teapot we call life. The halls of memory ring with laughter and poignant moments, kindness and bursts of wisdom, and of course, because how could good friends be without this, love. These are the ones who never quite leave, though time or distance might test the threads. Their well of caring is deep and whether you speak a thousand times a day or only an email now and then, they are with you (as you are with them) through the celebrations and the challenges. They are the jewels that linger.

I have been blessed with meeting many people in my life. I have also been blessed with friends. Like most, I suppose, there are but a few who become the lingering legends. They are what I lovingly call the elite circle in my life, and they are small in number.

One of them recently left to ride the skies and dance with the angels.

His name is Bill Murphy. And this is my oh-so-tiny way of honouring his presence and now his memory.

Bill is/was from the land of sun and sand, heat and light, an Australian. Like many Aussies I’ve known, he went tracing his roots back to Ireland, and like some, never quite left. We met in The Green. Bonded by a love of sun, wrapped in a mist of Ireland, sometimes wondering what the hell we were doing there, often marveling at its depth of magic, longing to feel the heat again, we became friends.

Bill had a twinkle in his eyes that made you wonder, as though he knew something delicious you might want to know. He was funny. He was wise. He had been gifted with the ability of insight, which he used gently. He was my introduction to Australia, a land I came to love, and I will always be grateful for that.

Bill was a generous man with a huge heart, and like many whose hearts are big, it was often fragile. Life challenged it like it challenges us all. As a friend, to me one of the greatest blessings in his life is that he finally found the love he had been searching for and the family he had always longed to have. Jacqueline is a jewel and they are beautiful together.

Bill travelled the slippery slopes of lymphoma for a couple of years or more. It wasn’t his first illness but it proved the toughest. There were moments when it looked like he’d come out of it (I confess I never quite ‘saw’ him leaving). He made it home for Christmas – my last email from him was of a triumphant man having been able to eat a Christmas dinner with his family!

Bill left us on January 3, 2014.Bill at the barbie

In Australia, they call a friend – a mate. Bill Murphy was my good mate and I shall miss him.

G’day to you Bill – enjoy that light, and buckets of thanks for the moments and the memories. Love ya!

To dream …

As we begin to crest the wave of the holiday season and move closer to the end of a year, many of us start, once again, to ponder dreams and desires, both new and old. Forget the resolutions. This is more about the questions that help us sculpt a new world for ourselves. Questions like: what is a our heart’s desire, what do we truly love to do and are we doing it, how would we like to spend each day of the next year of our lives, and for some, with whom? Are we daring to love? And then there’s the larger question – what do we want for our world?

Dreams (and desires) are like stories waiting to be told. Sometimes we dare to look in their direction, feel a flutter in our hearts, and act. Sometimes they filter through the night space rather than the day, hovering.

As I ponder the power such dreams can hold and what waits in those proverbial wings, a wonderful Irish poet comes to mind. Someone whose work I have a fondness for – William Butler Yeats.

Below is a poem in which resides a segment many have come to know. I offer it to you as food for thought. I sense that Yeats would have liked that.

william butler yeats

 

AEDH WISHES FOR THE CLOTHS OF HEAVEN    –  

BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

 

 

Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Me & the writing of BETWEEN WORLDS …

Glendalough-08-1Awhile ago in what is beginning to feel like another life, I wrote a book called, BETWEEN WORLDS. Sculpted from within the mist and memory of Ireland, it tells a tale of a man many later came to call a saint, and a woman remembered, if she was remembered at all, as a sinner. It is an archetypal story. It is also true.

Like many stories locked within the mists of time, it comes laden with baggage and hidden agendas. Agendas, as other writers might tell you, have a nasty habit of not liking their stories to be told. That is, quite obviously, why they have been plopped usually unceremoniously into the depths of that deep dark place sometimes called (at least in Ireland) – the bog.

It is from the bog that they must be retrieved and that, as you may have guessed, is the beginning of what Joseph Campbell would lovingly call – the hero’s journey.

Thus began my quest.

Did I want it? Not consciously. Did I ask for it? Again, not to my immediate awareness. Did I take it on? You betcha.

You see, there was this woman, like an often fleeting apparition, walking around Glendalough – that’s in County Wicklow – think old monastic city, ancient times, power, and yes sometimes light. She was hard to ignore. As was the energy of the place and the sense of whispers and messages slipping forth from the very fabric of the land – the ‘tell the tale – you must you must’ kind. Perhaps you could have walked away from that. Clearly I didn’t.

Frontcoveronly - half size - for internet

I’m mentioning it now because, though I have shared the how-I-got-to-it story to friends, I have very seldom spoken of it to others. The book is not yet well known. It’s self-published, it’s in eBook, it’s on the blog, you have to find it.

I could quite simply let it stay that way. It did after all take many years of my life and I could be forgiven for being tired. But it is a story that begged to be told, and told for a reason most honourable, and I, the storyteller, would be remiss if I didn’t give you a glimpse of why.

 

… stay tuned please

– book cover by Tannice Goddard           – Glendalough photo by Kevin O’Kelly (Ireland)

Bye for now, Richie Havens

richie havens

 

 

 

A few years ago when I was still living in Ireland, I was gifted the opportunity of listening to Richie Havens play in a concert in Cork City. In truth I had gone mostly to hear the warm-up act, a wonderful singer/songwriter by the name of Don Mescall who I had briefly gotten to know. Of course I had heard of Richie and like many growing up in North America had at one point or another seen the iconic documentary, Woodstock. But that’s as far as it had gotten.

I was unprepared for the sheer power and beauty of this man’s performance.  For almost three hours, he wrapped us in the warmth of his heart and talent. He had more energy than you could possibly imagine and he took that energy and generously gave it to us so that by the end of that evening we were all inspired, delighted, and at moments, yes perhaps a bit blown away by the incredible power of word and image and song that he invoked. Later he sat in the lobby of the theatre and graciously signed CD after CD to a line of fans long and winding. His patience impressed.

I read online today in one of what will surely be many articles about the man that at some point he was quoted as saying, “I’m not in show business, I’m in the communications business”. I can acknowledge the truth of that. From my perspective and experience of his music, Richie Havens knew with each concert he gave (perhaps even with each song he wrote) that he had an opportunity to, for a brief moment, lift the spirits of those around him and open their hearts just a little more. I sense he recognized that in doing so each of us might become more inspired within to envision and create a more loving and beautiful world. For me, that was often the message within his songs and his life.

A day later I got to meet him again while visiting Don at his family’s home. Richie and the band dropped by. It was an easy effortless sitting around chatting on a sunny Cork day. The man exuded both gentleness, kindness, and a beautiful depth of spirit. I consider it an honour to have met him.

So here’s to you, Richie Havens – fly high and free, soar with the angels, sing with the heavens. We are all blessed to have had you with us. Your music lives on.

Namaste