Sunday, August 23, 2009

She moves in mysterious ways...

I've always thought this song could be describing God in a way. So maybe some might say my theology is off. I tend to view the gender of the Creator as more fluid than just male or female. If that offends you then go on and stop reading here.

Last night I had a spiritual experience at a concert along with hundreds of thousands of other people. Last night the Lord of Sound and I went to the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff and saw U2. Now, if you know me at all, you know that I tend to like the female folk singer genre with a bit of crooner type big band jazz and old time music thrown in there. So to say that I had a spiritual experience at say a Joni Mitchell concert would not be surprising. But to say it happened at a U2 show? Well, that is what I tend to call "boy music" and usually not something I'd choose to turn on.

But then again, I like U2 alright, I like a lot of their songs. You read my last poetry Friday post, and the title of this one. (Note: In our family, it is a rule that when we hear someone sing or say Memphis in a song we cheer. The only exception is Pride (in the name of Love) since it is an inappropriate place to cheer. Instead I raised my hand and thought of home. I have to admit, negative context or not, there is something warm about someone saying the name of your hometown when you are so far away. I bet we were the only Memphians in the crowd.)

During Sunday, Bloody, Sunday there was a feeling in the air. A sort of happy solemnity. Having been to Ireland myself now (and like I told the LofS last night, in my heart I'm American, Welsh, and Irish. Maybe a little Italian, but I certainly have a soft spot for the Celtic nations) It only dawned on my last night that this song was about the Easter Rising. (Remember I'm not a U2 fan particularly, or wasn't before last night.) A good bit of the time, Bono was very fond of turning the mic to the crowd and letting us sing. (Who can blame him, I'd love to have just one person sing along to one of my songs, I can't imagine the rush he felt.) This song was no exception. The audience chanted "Sunday, Bloody, Sunday" and I could feel something welling up inside me. The next song was of course, Pride (in the name of Love). Same kind of thing as the previous song. It was very moving. (And it really hit home when it dawned on me that now we have a black president! However you feel about him, it is historical and something Dr. King worked for.) At that point a normal diva rock star would have focused in on himself. Not our band. The next song was dedicated to Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi. People had masks on, there were pictures on the screen of her. It was like a giant prayer.

He then moved on to more "fun" songs. Until he left (without singing With or Without you!). Of course he came back for two encores. One of them began with a message from Nelson Mandela with (get this) Welsh subtitles! That was huge! How much trouble he must have gone through for that, only to use it at only one show where everyone spoke English anyway! (With or Without you was one of the encores by the way, the last one. Bono came out wearing a jacket with laser lights swinging around on this haning microphone.)

Another sort of holy moment, at the end of this one song, Bad, it says, "Let it go, and so to fade away." and for a good five minutes after the song ended and the cheers faded the stadium glowed with the sound of hundreds of thousands of people singing those lines like a choir. (and thousands of cell phones lit up like stars)

Which brings me to this:
Colossians 3:17
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

When I was a teenager, I used to think that verse meant that it was only ok for me to listen to Christian music. I was so sure of this that if a "secular" song got stuck in my head (even something harmless like Stop in the Name of Love), then it was my duty to drown it out with a Christian song.

Now I know that God is bigger than that. (Personally I know there is a lot about God that we just don't know.) God is everywhere, a part of it all.

George Fox (founder of the Quakers) said, “The Lord showed me, so that I did see clearly, that he did not dwell in these temples which men had commanded and set up, but in people's hearts . . . his people were his temple, and he dwelt in them.”

I think that is where God was last night.

At least in my heart.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Poetry Friday

Since tomorrow night the Lord of Sound and I are going to see U2 in Cardiff, and since I hail from Memphis, Tennessee.

Pride (In the Name of Love)

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come here to justify
One man to overthrow
In the name of love!
One man in the name of love
In the name of love!
What more? In the name of love!

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resists
One man washed on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more? In the name of love!

...nobody like you...there's nobody like you...

Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I'm in full on planning mode right now. I'm planning our home ed year, knitting Christmas gifts, planning a class on herbal something or other, planning our vacation to Cornwall, and visits from both my parents and a friend. Whew! But it's all going well. It's nice to have stuff to be excited about.

So, no blog posts yet. I am working on one about how I use my iPod for our homeschool. Until then, check out how this mama does it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Poetry Friday

When I was in high school, we sang this poem. It was so beautiful. I wish I could find a recorded version of it.

Plus, has anyone seen that documentary on the BBC that Rupert Everett does on Lord Byron? Whoa!

I'm so often shocked by what I see on the BBC.

She walks in beauty

by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Long and Winding Road...

The Artist went with me tonight on my evening walk. We started down the path that leads along the cliff towards Llantwit Beach only to decide we wanted to turn back so I could show him the World's Greatest Climbing Tree. He wasn't impressed. But we carried on and wound up at St. Donat's Castle. I suggested that we take the trail through the woods instead of going up the hill by St. Donat's church (usual path back). So we took off through the woods, randomly taking this path and that one and we wound up between a huge wheat field and the ocean with the Nash Point lighthouses in the distance. We carried on walking towards the lighthouses, then up the road until we arrived at the Horseshoe Pub. From there we called the Lord of Sound (aka Papa) to come pick us up. I convinced the Artist to see if we could make it home before they found us and reluctantly he pressed on. We didn't quite make it home, but we almost did. (Locals will appreciate how far we walked.) We were gone well over two hours and walking the whole time at a rather brisk pace. It was great. When we got home I made pasta with marinara for the children (since it is quick and everyone likes it) and tofu paella for the grown ups. I'm eating some paella now. It's so good and so low fat and healthy. I will have a second bowl and probably have it for breakfast in the morning.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Birthday Party

Poetry Friday (one day late)

all which isn't singing is mere talking
and all talking's talking to oneself
(whether that oneself be sought or seeking
master or disciple sheep or wolf)

gush to it as diety or devil
-toss in sobs and reasons threats and smiles
name it cruel fair or blessed evil-
it is you (ne i)nobody else

drive dumb mankind dizzy with haranguing
-you are deafened every mother's son-
all is merely talk which isn't singing
and all talking's to oneself alone

but the very song of(as mountains
feel and lovers)singing is silence

e.e. cummings

101 Things in 1001 days...

I'm still working on my list. So far here is a taster:

Knit a large cardigan for me
Knit or crochet a full sized sweater for every person in my family (will most likely make this separate list items for each person)
Knit Mrs. Beeton
Learn to knit socks
Learn to Crochet
Dye yarn with natural dye
Spin yarn from roving

Record myself singing in every country I visit (so this means I have to go back to Ireland, oh darn)
Record three cds and put them up on (One of hymns, one of my own stuff, and one of old songs in the public domain)
Play at least one gig in a pub or coffee shop or something while I live in Wales

Participate in project 365 for a year then print out photos into a book.
get my driver's license here in the UK

Thursday, August 6, 2009


The Tiny Goddess turns 3

After over six hours of Norah Jones' Come Away With Me (and some hours without her), and after she "waited 'till I saw the sun". Our little girl was born, at home in beautiful Indiana. I couldn't believe I could actually grow a girl.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Of course.


Driving lesson scheduled for Friday afternoon (after cupcakes) and as often after that as I can manage.

It's much easier to remain zen about the outcome of a situation when that outcome is in my favor.


in my mind now...

Today I take my driving test. I am very nervous. I plan on passing and that will go a long way towards making things Better around here. But, I'm trying not to put too much into whether I pass or not and to remain zen about it all.

The tiny Goddess turns three in two days. How can that be? She is all about attention and touch these days. As in tight tight hugs and kisses that often involve teeth. Ouch. We are having a party for her on Saturday. Now British birthday parties and American ones seem a little different (though honestly parties are different in California versus Indiana as well). Seems like here, there is often some sort of hired entertainment, which is very fun and sweet but not so much my style. Also here the gifts aren't opened at the party and sometimes the cake isn't eaten there either. At our party we are having gluten free, vegan cupcakes which the kids will decorate themselves and we will open presents at the party.

My neighbor is coming over on Friday afternoon to help me bake a zillion cupcakes. If I have extra, I can freeze them.

I've been also enjoying this blog. It's my homepage now as I explore it more. I'm thinking of doing a 101 things in 1001 days list like her. I just like her attitude and how honest she is. I also find a lot of inspiration there. Sorry it's not much of a review. I don't feel up to writing a lot right now, but it is worth checking out. I also like this idea. I think I will give it some more thought as well.

But first things first, on to the driving exam.