The spirit of Mimi’s flowers – in the upstairs attic

Cosi gentile il profumo d’un fiore!
Ma i fior ch’io faccio,
Ahimè! non hanno odore.

corner flowers

a corner of the attic

That gentle perfume of a flower!
But the flowers that I make,
Alas! have no smell.

My grandfather loved opera, and going to the opera, and when I was a child he and my grandmother sometimes took me and my sister with them.   It always included the ritual of dressing up and going for supper at a fancy restaurant so that the whole evening would be a grand and elegant experience.  I too, developed a love for the music and the stories.  I was held by the magic of the orchestra warming up, and the anticipation of the curtain rising on beautiful sets that could whisk you away into other worlds and times gone by.  Finally, the soaring music and voices of the singers made my eyes shiver with mist and my heart rise up into the vaulted ceiling.

My grandfather especially loved the exquisite and sentimental arias of Puccini. The tragic La Boheme was one of his favourites. This is an old recording of Callas and Di Stefano singing O Soave Fanciulla.  

Rodolfo, the poet, living with his artist friends in an attic – in Montmartre  of course, meets the ill fated little flower girl, Mimi.  She sells her embroidered creations for a few coins on the streets of Paris in the cold winds of winter!  She knocks on his door and asks him if he would mind lighting her candle that has gone out – and they fall in love!  No matter how many times I heard it on the records my grandfather would play after dinner, my sister and I always cried at the end when Mimi dies of consumption and a distraught Rodolfo calls her name and weeps. Whenever I hear tenors like Bocelli and sopranos like Netrebko today I think of my grandparents and miss them.

One Four Challenge week 4 – Meg’s Pearls

 We are invited to process a photo four different ways and here is

Week 4 of Robyn Gosby’s One Four Challenge  –  Meg’s Pearls

And now, all is well with me

week 4-” a sob surged upward from the depths of her”

 “For.. In an abrupt and terrible twist of fate Meg never returned from that far off place of monsoons and  sudden hurricanes.“–The short story A Canticle for Meg

In this process and overlay I wanted to portray a sense of sacred peace.  I used the glow of a stained glass window and then I added the old family photograph to look as though it was gently laid beside the keepsake pearls. I tried to give a sense of faded memories dissolving into the light.

and as I often like to include interesting pieces of music in my posts here is a lovely old piece called “Wind from the South” by the Chieftains. 



Spring arrives early on the west coast of Vancouver Island and along with it the sun at long last!!  Though just wait five minutes!!


The sweet cherry blossoms

“There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled.
You feel it, don’t you?”
― Rumi

Narcissus reaching

Hyacinthus reaching

Monochrome Madness 50

I’m a bit late in the day for posting this beautiful rhodo bloom which is a rework from another spring day, and my submission to Monochrome Madness!  I thought the petals were very sensuous and looked like rumpled satin sheets!!

Please visit Leanne Cole and Laura’ Macky’s Monochrome Madness for a wonderful visual treat

The midnight garden

and I wanted a touch of colour as spring is on the way and by my old fence some crocuses have emerged!!

Crocuses in the dark


One Four Challenge week 3 Meg’s Pearls

Week Three of Robyn Gosby’s One Four Challenge

week 3- and so it was promised, a strand of pearls
week 3- and so it was promised, a strand of pearls

 …..dolphins raced in the wake and clamoring gulls filled the wind…. and the ship‘s bell as the sky flooded gold at sunset.

the short story A Canticle for Meg

I cropped this one and again used an overlay of antique and gold to hopefully give it a glow from the setting sun look.

Tales of the Tuatha (chapter 34 of the keep it sweet and short tales)

 Background: The story is rapidly coming to it’s conclusion and becoming harder for me to write knowing this. I started the tales a year ago as an exercise in writing  simple little fantasies about a young girl of the Tuatha trying to find her lost dreams, but as I went along it began to take on a life and direction of it’s own. It eventually became a journey that unravels time in a search for a sacred spring where the story all began.  As with all creativity, some of the tone of the tale is touched by experiences in my own life. Thank you to all my readers for bearing with me and  taking the journey with little Niamh.

Play the way to

The Dark Isle- Ant Eileann Dorcha

I’m hoping the story is not getting away from me in my own fervour, so I continue and hope you will enjoy

The Priest’s Tale and a Revelation After the Rain

dewbranch fresco

rain drop lantern

As Niamh began to walk toward the firefly path she stopped and turned around. She was afraid to ask the strange priest outright about the fate of the “curious bauble.”  “What happened to the old man? ” she asked instead. The holy man looked at her intently and answered,  “He had told us a strange tale! He said he was looking for the road back to a land far more beautiful than any heaven of which we spoke, and he had to return to someone he had left there. We knew his mind was touched with some kind of madness. He was so very old but he said he had been a young man when he began his journey from that place to this- wherever that place was!” He paused and continued, his voice rising in an imposing tone, “But eventually when he realized he was dying he gave up hope of finding the way back. He died in the grace of our Lord and went to heaven. One of our brethren baptized him at the spring.”

Niamh turned away in sadness, not wanting to hear more.  At the same time she feared now that her own journey might never be completed, so gathering her courage she turned around again and called out, “What became of the dream?”  but the priest was already out of sight and didn’t reply.

Niamh wondered if this last dream was now lost forever.  Rain began to fall from the sky like tears of the moon, extinguishing the poor fireflies. Determined to reach the spring she walked on through the dark woods. Each drop of water that hit the path resounded like an echo inside the hallway of  her memories. Apparitions that looked like mirrors appeared on either side of the misted path, dissolving as she passed by. She thought she saw the reflections of her dreams floating in them, and she wondered what the rider, the old man and her dreams had in common.  The answer felt very close but not yet ready to reveal itself.

the moon waves farewell as dawn  opens  her curtain of light

Finally and as suddenly as it began, the rain stopped. When she glanced up she saw the trees were full of raindrop lanterns, lighting up the forest ceiling. Niamh thought she heard Bran singing from somewhere at the top of the trees. At once she knew that the Tuatha didn’t die like men. The light within them went everywhere and became part of everything!  Bran was out there and he was still watching over her!  Clouds parted and the moon waved a farewell just as dawn opened her curtain and swept the forest floor with light. The red stag stepped out of the shadowy bracken.


Woodland dawn


Photos:   Using filters and overlays can be like waving that magic wand over photos.


the original raindrop on branch