Saturday, January 31, 2009

Love Letters

Dearest Anne,

I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instance hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in - Wentworth.

- From "Persuasion" by Jane Austin

Things my mother taught me

Common Courtesies
- Even among the members of your own family, don't make the mistake of assuming that you can be late without phoning ahead, or that you can borrow something without asking. Also, Never arrive home with a treat unless you have more spare to share around.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Love Letters - John Keats

"I cannot exist without you - I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again - my life seems to stop there - I see no further. You have absorb'd me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I were dissolving ....I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion - I have shudder'd at it - I shudder no more - I could be martyr'd for my religion - love is my religion - I could die for that - I could die for you. My creed is love and you are its only tenet - you have ravish'd me away by a power I cannot resist"

- From John Keats to Fanny Brawne -

John Keats died from tuberculosis at an early age (25 years) and subsequently was not able to marry his great love (and fiancee) - one can only pray their hearts are entwined for all of eternity. What a terrible loss this must have been for Fanny, a loss she carried her whole life long no doubt (despite having from all accounts a promiscuous reputation).

This story prompts me to be grateful for the many advances in medical research that have enabled us to be less afflicted by such vexations so that we are free to live and marry as we wish. Of course in saying that, there are many more advances we hope for.


from The Brown Book

A life which is unexamined is not worth living
- Plato -

Friday, January 23, 2009

10 gentle reminders

1. Making others feel at ease is the essence of etiquette, yesterday & today.

2. There are few words more elementary or more welcomed than please & thank you

3. Good moods are contagious. Hopefully yours will be pleasantly catching.

4. Be aware & considerate of personal space- physical, visual & aural.

5. Showing respect is a gift, one that costs nothing & is endlessly appreciated.

6. Think of your tone of voice as a telegraph. To the listener it speaks volumes.

7. A short fuse does nothing but burn. Should you find yourself with one, steer clear of others.

8. Never underestimate the message that's sent by your poise and your posture.

9. Clothes count. Appropriate attire is not only respectful, it's refreshing.

10. Let common sense be your guide & graciousness your goal.

- Kate Spade-

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Things My Mother Taught Me

To do things to the best of my ability -
"If you are going to do a job, do it properly"!

Inspirational Women - Mother Teresa

I remember as a teenager cherishing a picture of Mother Teresa that I had plucked from a Reader's Digest magazine and placed in a photo frame.

I was christened in the Catholic church but attended a Baptist church growing up, the message Mother Teresa imparted, however, negated - and is still able to negate, religious differences and views, her face and words transcend religion and appeal to our humanity.

Her mission to make the world a better place stirred me deeply, it was as if she had placed a light in my heart that made me believe that I too could impart beauty and love into this world and by doing so, impart social change.

Mother Teresa devoted (in every sense of the word) her life to the poor in the slums of Calcutta, India and cared for those that nobody wanted.

Mother Teresa received a number of awards and distinctions throughout her life including the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize (1971) and the Nehru Prize for her promotion of international peace and understanding (1972), the Balzan Prize (1979), the Templeton and Magsaysay awards and the Nobel Peace Prize (1979) but it is not for these awards that she will be remembered but instead for her tireless efforts to do "small things with great love" (Mother Teresa).

"Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbour... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting."
- Mother Teresa

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Love Letter Beethoven wrote...

"Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us - I can live only wholly with you or not at all - Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits - Yes, unhappily it must be so - You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never - Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life - Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men - At my age I need a steady, quiet life - can that be so in our connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day - therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once - Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together - Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell. Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
ever thine
ever mine
ever ours"

...a love letter found unaddressed in Beethoven's desk after he died. I wonder for whom it was that he formed such affections for? Such powerful words he wrote...a heart surely tangled up in love. Was it a married woman as some historians have suggested?

I Adore...

Summer Afternoon

" Summer afternoon - summer afternoon...
the two most beautiful words
in the English language"

- Henry James -

{photo is from my wedding day}

Monday, January 19, 2009

All of it, unknown to us, exists within us - The Brown Book

"I am led to believe that everything we have seen, known, perceived, heard- even the trees of a deep forest- nay, even the disposition of the branches, the form of the leaves and the variety of the colours, the green tints and the light; the look of grains of sand at the edge of the sea, the unevenness of the crests of waves, whether agitated by a light breeze, or churned to foam by a storm, the multitude of human voices, of animal cries, and physical sounds, the melody and harmony of all songs, of all pieces of music, of all the concerts we have listened to, all of it, unknown to us, exists within us."

Things my mother taught me

I usually share things that have been passed on to me from my own mother but as my husbands mother passed away just 4 days ago I thought I'd ask him to what he believed was the most important thing she had taught him. He didn't hesitate in saying - that
"people are different"
- my husband lives by this moto of tollerance & I try to ascribe to it when I can. Thank you Vilai for instilling this virtue in my husband, you will be dearly missed.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

From The Brown Book

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are
tiny matters compared to what lies within

- Emerson -

Great women from art, literature & myth

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery is one of my all time favourite tales as I'm sure it is for many other girls. Who could forget the misadventures & calamities of Anne Shirley (Anne spelt with an 'E'), the red haired orphan girl who comes to live with Marilla Cuthbert & her brother Matthew on Prince Edward Island. They had asked for a boy from the orphanage but a mix up led to them getting Anne instead & what a handful she turned out to be. Who could forget the time she dyed her hair green after the peddler on the road assured her it would turn her tresses into "a beautiful raven black" or when she nearly drowned after the boat sank when she was acting out the Lady of Shallot. One of my favourites would have to be the mouse getting in the sauce after she forgot to put the cover on it and how she described it as "a romantic way to perish.....for a mouse." Intelligent, imaginative & an incurable romantic, Anne worms her way into everyones affections, including one Gilbert Blythe - a fellow class mate whose second encounter with Anne ends up with him having a slate cracked over his head. One of my most beloved scenes is the following where Marilla & Matthew are seeing Anne off at the train station when she is heading off to college:

Marilla: I'm afraid for her, Matthew. She'll be gone so long. She'll get terrible lonesome.
Matthew: You mean, we'll get terrible lonesome.
Marilla: I can't help wishing that she'd stayed a little girl.
Matthew: Mrs. Spencer made a lucky mistake, I guess.
Marilla: It wasn't luck; it was Providence. God knew we needed her.
Matthew: Even with her queer little ways.
Marilla: I loved her for them.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Inspirational women - Juliette Binoche 1964 -

French film actress Juliette Binoche is quite possibly the most beautiful woman I have ever seen & is my favourite actress. I still recall the first time I saw her, which was in The Unbearable Lightness of Being as Tereza - I fell in love with that character, as I also did with Julie (three colours: Blue); Hana (the English Patient) & Vianne (Chocolat). To me Juliette epitomises beauty of a timeless nature and has aged so gracefully, unlike many of her contemporaries.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Great women from art, literature & myth

Take me out on the waves where
The mermaids swim & play
Where they sing songs of enchantment
& comb their tresses by day

But when darkness falls upon the sea
Don’t leave the helm case you stray
Into wild waters where ships they pass
Like ghosts on murky mists of grey

For they’ll drag you down into their depths
If you should lose your way
They'll take your life or give it back
So spare me please...I pray

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Things my mother taught me

The healing power of the sun - to this day my parents will not allow me to sleep in - even when I am on holidays. When I was living with my parents my mother would enter my bedroom in the morning, throw open the curtains & start singing: "Let the sun shine in, face it with a grin. Smilers never lose & frowners never win"...." so open up your heart & let the sun shine in." Now that I'm an adult l can appreciate the benefit of exposure to sunlight & know of the many healing properties of the sun - of how light therapy can be used to combat depression; how it can also help fight bacteria & fungus & how it is essential for the body to synthesize vitamin D. Almost every living thing needs a little sunshine.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Things my mother taught me

To be upfront and to not play with peoples emotions. To never scheme or invent drama just to keep your life "exciting" or to "keep a man on his toes"- for he will soon tire of you, as will others. Games are meant for little children.

"Never idealise others. They will never live up to your expectations. Don't over analyse your relationships.
Stop playing games
A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness"
- Leo F. Buscaglia -

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Delectable delight

I have discovered the best chocolate I have ever & I mean EVER tasted - Lindt excellence chilli. If you have not tried it get your hands on some - you will not be disappointed. My husband is even raving about it & he usually hates dark chocolate. At first bite you wonder where the chilli is & then there it is! - right at the back of your throat.... a strange but delectable sensation. It reminds me of that scene in Chocolat where Vianne puts chilli in the hot chocolate "to awaken the passion" - simply delightful.

Inspirational women - Annie Proulx 1935 -

Annie Proulx, the great American novelist who received the Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for The Shipping News. A champion for mature age students everywhere, Annie completed her Bachelor of Arts in History in 1969 at the age of 34. After a period of writing as a journalist and having short works of fiction published in newspapers & magazines, Annie had her fist novel published in 1992. Annie Proulx has written some of my all time favourite tales, which along with The Shipping News includes: Postcards; The Old Ace in the Hole & her short story Brokeback Mountain. Each and every one of her books that I've read have reduced me to tears, and not in a silly sentimental way but as in they have stirred up something deep inside my guts - her storytelling takes you right there, to the source of it all. Thank you for what you do Annie, you're my inspiration.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

-Happy New Year-

Happy New Year,
may you be blessed,
blessed abundantly in 2009.

What a wondrous and exciting day it is,

I wonder what lays beyond
these newly opened doors
for you?