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It takes a whole village to bring up a child - 19/02/2015

While it is interesting to seek provenance in regard to the proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child," I think it would be misleading to ascribe its origin to a single source. As I noted in my earlier message, some of us do relate to it as part of our backgrounds. Let me give a few examples of African societies with proverbs which translate to "It takes a village...":

In Lunyoro (Banyoro) there is a proverb that says "Omwana takulila nju emoi," whose literal translation is "A child does not grow up only in a single home."

In Kihaya (Bahaya) there is a saying, "Omwana taba womoi," which translates as "A child belongs not to one parent or home."

In Kijita (Wajita) there is a proverb which says "Omwana ni wa bhone," meaning regardless of a child's biological parent(s) its upbringing belongs to the community.

In Kiswahili the proverb "Asiyefunzwa na mamae hufunzwa na ulimwengu" approximates to the same.

Top quality Glicee prints by Jane Sedgwick - 11/08/2014

Arcomnia - 28/04/2009


The Old Way - 13/02/2009

At dawn
One summer’s day
Through may and foxglove
At Haworth
I found an Old Way

It led from chapel graveyard
To the rattling Worth
Long unused, but new to me
And old enough to be a ley

Sunk between earth banks and stone
With dock and nettles overgrown
And a single twisted haw
Son of one that went before
Grandson of one that named the place?

As down to the Worth and along the Clar
I found myself at home once more
And now the Old Way I can walk
From time to time and it will talk
Of days gone by and many days
That it has seen, as have all leys
And I shall learn to walk The Way
I found at dawn this summer’s day

Inca Prophecy - 01/09/2006

It is a process of the heart.

This process of Becoming is considered more important
than the prophecies themselves.

The Karpay (rites) plant the seed of knowledge,
the seed of Pachacuti,
in the luminous body of the recipient.

It is up to each person to water and tend
the seed so that it can grow and blossom.

The rites are a transmission of potential;
one must then make oneself available to destiny.

The Karpays connect the person to an
ancient lineage of knowledge and power
that cannot be accessed by the individual.
It can only be summoned by a tribe.

Ultimately, this power can provide the impetus for one
to leap into the body of an Inca, a Luminous One.
That person is connected directly to the stars, the
Incan Sun of cosmology.

The Q'ero believe that the doorways between
the worlds are opening again.

Holes in time that we can step through and beyond,
where we can explore our human capabilities.
Regaining our luminous nature is a possibility today for all
who dare to take the leap. The Andean shamans say:

"Follow your own footsteps.
Learn from the rivers,
the trees and the rocks.
Honor the Christ,
the Buddha,
your brothers and sisters.
Honor the Earth Mother and the Great Spirit.
Honor yourself and all of creation."

"Look with the eyes of your soul and engage the essential,"

is the teaching of the Q'ero.

- 16/08/2006


My mother’s father’s mother (my Great-Granny) was a bit of a character so they say, she liked the odd bottle of Guinness and wasn’t afraid of using colourful language, quite rare in our family, (until I came along)! My mother once told me of the rude phrase her granny used to describe that type of walk some people have where they seem rather too eager to get there. Their head arrives some time before their feet and they lean forwards, looking as if they are about to tipple over. The phrase has it’s own rhythm to it and it suggested a poem. I apologise for the rude word, but it is a quote from Victorian days; and there are lots of big words in the poem like “perpendicular”, which might make up for the one rather shorter word in the title. I’ve set the poem in my great gran’s days when people wore fob watches in their waistcoat pockets

Walked the streets through gales of laughter
In a manner most particular
Sloping, never perpendicular
Leaning forwards at an angle
Causing fob and fringe to dangle
With a hurried worried gait
As if his for’ead wouldn’t wait
For arse and elbows to catch up
His lips press on as if to sup
Of nectar from forbidden fruits
While way behind his leaden boots
Do their best to slack his pace
But No! His nose will win this race.
He slopes along quite unaware
Of laughing children, some who dare
To follow close in mocking trot
Not heeding if they’re seen or not
Acute to pavement, out of plumb
And thick and fast, at last, they come
They titter, chuckle, hoot, guffaw
Exaggerating more and more
The angle with the upright, till,
One tumbles forward laughing still
And then the mimics start again
But all their taunting is in vain
For ‘Ere’s-Me-‘Ead slants on, aloof
His buttressed back providing proof
That if he knows what goes behind
To turn around he’s not inclined
Walks through streets to gales of laughter
And, when his journey is complete
His head arrives before his feet.

Andy Wood

Art - 07/07/2006

Art belongs to no man
It is a gift from the Muse, from the Spirit.
At times the gift may be passed on
At times it may be traded
The artist must eat
And if the Muse wishes itself to be seen or heard abroad it will be.
At times it will remain hidden
A carving in a cave buried unseen for centuries.
At times it will remain unheard
A song sung only to a loved one by a lover.
At times it will hide itself
But it must not be hidden under a bushel.
Art will be stolen
It will be hoarded
It will be silenced
It will be imprisoned
It will be abused
It will be sold
But at these times the Muse will depart
and what is sold will not be art
But artefact

Ruskin - 10/01/2006

"There is no wealth but life"

"Life!--some of us are ready enough to throw that away,
joyless as we have made it. But "STATION in Life"--how many of us are ready to quit THAT?"

John Ruskin 1862

Remembered Music - 03/11/2005

'Tis said, the pipe and lute that charm our ears
Derive their melody from rolling spheres;
But Faith, o'erpassing speculation's bound,
Can see what sweetens every jangled sound.

We, who are parts of Adam, heard with him
The song of angels and of seraphim.
Our memory, though dull and sad, retains
Some echo still of those unearthly strains.

Oh, music is the meat of all who love,
Music uplifts the soul to realms above.
The ashes glow, the latent fires increase:
We listen and are fed with joy and peace.

Jalal Al-Din Rumi

Kokopelli - 11/10/2005

Our logo is Kokopelli an ancient Anazasi Indian figure found on cave paintings dating back over 1000 years and still revered in Hopi folklore.

The pipe playing hunchback (or is it a sack of gifts?!) is said to be heard in the night playing his haunting melodies; ensuring that the hunt will be good, the buffalo plenty and the women pregnant!

"He of the singing reed,

He of the sacred seed,

comes to assure the fertility

and good fortune of our people."

Linda Lay Shuler

Thought for the week - 01/10/2005

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you
For life goes not backwards nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The Archer sees the mark on the path of the infinite and He bends you with His might that his arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable

Kahlil Gibran
The Prophet

Thought for the week - 26/09/2005

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Edna Gringe - 09/09/2005

Edna Gringe
Whose thinning fringe
Was treated weekly
To a singe

Struggled up the cobbled road
Her back bent with the heavy load
Of bags of shopping from the Co-op
(She doesn’t trust the other shop)

The one with music blaring out
and top up cards(whatever they’re about)
It used to be a good fishmonger
but no one mongers any longer

No, Edna liked the village store
still redolent of days of yore
There Edna could still recognise
on offer, some of her supplies

Some mince, some quince, some dolly blue
Some Izal paper for the loo.
Robin starch and a block of lard
Oh, and some dettol for the yard

Carbolic soap and Yorkshire ham
potted meat and a tin of spam
and at the meat counter you see;
tripe and udder for Edna’s tea.

The new shop doesn’t stock these things
Just daft panty liners with wings.
But its not all gloom and doom
Near the cenotaph stands the old tea room

Her thirst for tea there she does slake
Along with a nice Eccles cake
On her way back from Janine
The hairdresser where Edna's been

For Edna Gringe's thinning fringe
Is weekly treated to a singe.

Stuart Wood

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