Relief

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It was a relief to see something so beautiful in the sky last night after the terror of the last few days of bushfire in South Australia. I’m so thankful my family are safe. ❤💜

Velveteen Inspiration

A little while ago I became a Patron of one of my heroes, Amanda Palmer. Being a Patron means I help to pay for her art. It means she can make the art & music she likes without needing a record company. Right now, she is 8 months pregnant & yesterday she stood naked in full body paint in front of the New York Public Library to raise awareness for literacy & gather books from supporters for needy children. She stood as a living replica of the Verity statue by Damien Hirst & as people dropped off books she moved to a new position. Anyone who has been 8 months pregnant will know standing still for any amount of time is difficult & painful so I was in awe of her efforts. Literacy is something Amanda obviously feels passionate about, as I do, so when she stated in a recent interview that her favourite children’s book is ‘The Velveteen Rabbit‘ I could not ignore what is for me, a meaningful coincidence. Continue reading

JSAR

His hair sultana blonde
& skin cotton soft.
My son with eyes a twinkle
Stares with an innocent wonder
Into my eyes as I say his name.
His nose wrinkles with his giggle;
A new voice harsh with overuse.
His whole hand grips my finger
Such strength from my small boy.
Countless raw emotions fill me
& he smiles kindly as my tears well.
I laugh at his made up words
That infuse me with hope & joy.
Within this bond; a new discovery –
A person inside I had never met.
One who sings, dances & laughs.
A woman focused & calm,
My mothering a mix of trial & error.
One day when he is older
I will ask him how I did
& hope he grades me favourably
My boy with sultana hair & blueberry eyes
With the cherub cheeks & Angel’s Kiss.
I love you with my every heart beat,
My son.
©Violet Ashes 2015

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Photo ©Violet Ashes 2015

Filtered In Winter

Today is the first of a precious few winter days without rain & the first time I have had to get out into my garden & explore. It is a different place in the winter – the plants either go dormant or thrive. There are hues of brown & purple that are not visible in other months.

I find the garden to be one of the only places I can go to just be where I do not have to think. My mind clears & I lose hours in a sunny afternoon pottering about. Without the garden I would be lost. Sometimes it is not enough to look out from my kitchen window; I was pleased to get out in the sunlight today & took my camera with me.

 I have been experimenting with coloured & macro lens filters – it is much more difficult than I imagined. There is no
‘point & shoot’ scenario – it takes time & patience; both of which I find sparse at the moment. The first of our winter blooms came out of hiding with the unseasonable sun – I hope there will be more in the days to come.

Strawberry Bloom - July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Strawberry Bloom – July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Violet - July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Violet – July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Violet Succulent - July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Violet Succulent – July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

After The Storm

This morning I drove around listening to Mumford & Sons, trying to find distraction & since then it has been a day filled with contemplation. Good contemplation can, of course, always be done while shopping. Navigating my way through racks of women’s clothes, shoes & jewellery. I found myself standing in the jeans section & looking at the way the store was divided. They used nicer & more marketable words but each section was clearly thus;

Section 1: skinny, young & hip – lovely fabrics, cut well – sizes 6 – 16 only
Section 2: older, fatter, sensible – basic colour wheel & no imagination – sizes 10 – 18 only
Section 3: maternity / so fat you might as well buy maternity – all in garish colours & floral prints – sizes 16 – 26 only

I wandered through each section & also noticed that what was a size 16 in Section 1 was a totally different Size 16 to that in Section 2 & in Section 3. I was confused. How can you call it the same size? What dressmaking school did they attend? I did not understand.

I bought something from each section just to mess with their statistics.

I had to negotiate the grocery store after that – one of my most loathed tasks. People everywhere with no clue what they need or want. People picking things up, smelling them & putting them back. One lady ran over my foot with her trolley. I just stood still on the spot & was tempted to scream.

At least the coffee aisle was the one closest to the entrance of the supermarket. How convenient, I thought. Then I noticed it is the same aisle as the chocolate & lollies. How conveniently annoying – putting something everyone needs next to something everyone wants. Pure evil. I did not give the Cadbury’s hazelnut chocolate any eye contact as I walked swiftly passed & kept my head down all the way to the opposite end of the shop where they keep the milk – you need a winter coat all year round down there.

By the time I got home & invented something for dinner, tucked it away in the fridge & sat down to fold socks my mind was racing. Racing with anger for all the fat people who like coffee & cannot avoid the chocolate. For all the skinny girls that want to dress sensibly but cannot find clothes to fit & fat women that want to dress stylishly with the same problem.

Noticing that I am middle of the road on all of these issues only gave me further pause.

I knew I was avoiding my real problems by filling my mind with trivial ones & only adding to my anxiety but I couldn’t help myself. I took a peak in my email for anything exciting that might have happened in the 10 minutes since I last looked. An email stood out – a WordPress notification from the blog of Jain Carey Photography. A post entitled “After The Storm.” I opened it. I stared at the photograph. I was whisked away to shores of still water & instantly, I was calm. I am always affected by great art & today was no different. Perhaps I should take a copy of this photo in my purse with me the next time I visit the supermarket.. I could have stared at that photograph for many hours, I could have started at it all day… had the washing machine not beeped…

After the Storm by Jain Carey Photography

After the Storm by Jain Carey Photography

After The Storm — Mumford & Sons

& after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
& I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won’t rot, I won’t rot
Not this mind & not this heart,
I won’t rot.

& I took you by the hand
& we stood tall,
& remembered our own land,
What we lived for.
& there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
& love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill & see what you find there,
With grace in your heart & flowers in your hair.

& now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.
That’s why I hold,
That’s why I hold with all I have.
That’s why I hold.

& I won’t die alone & be left there.
Well I guess I’ll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full & man so small.
Well I’m scared of what’s behind & what’s before.

& there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
& love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill & see what you find there,
With grace in your heart & flowers in your hair.