Final July #TreeSquare Challenge

Self has had so much fun this month, posting pictures of trees. Thank you to Becky at Life of B for hosting this challenge!

On this last day, she will return to Annaghmakerrig Lake in Ireland, which is beautiful in all seasons.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

July #TreeSquare Challenge # 10: Annaghmakerrig Again

I did a post last week about Annaghmakerrig Lake. These are from the same visit (March 2017), but taken of the trees outside my cottege at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig.

For a blissful month each year, I journeyed to this beautiful corner of Ireland, with one purpose only: to write. I was supposed to go in 2020, but of course COVID. My hope is to return, perhaps in 2023?

Thank you to Becky of The Life of B. If not for her #TreeSquare Challenge, I would not have thought to post these pictures.

July #TreeSquare Challenge #7: Annaghmakerrig

Beginning in 2014, I spent part of every year in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

How lucky I was to have this peaceful, beautiful place in which to write and feel my spirit nourished. There is a stillness to the lake, and to the surroundings. It’s like a clear glass bowl has been inverted over the landscape, cutting (dampening?) all sound.

Was supposed to return in 2020, but COVID.

This is Annaghmakerrig Lake. Thanks so much to Becky of The Life of B for hosting this challenge.

ELEMENTAL: Challenge Your Camera # 12

The host for this challenge is Buddha Walks Into a Wine Bar:

Today, another guest theme from Marie at Hops Skips and Jumps, a challenge with some choices. Marie’s theme Elemental is based on the 4 classical elements from Ancient Greece in which it was believed that the universe was made up of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

So, make your choice, choose one element and post any number of photos, or decide on all elements and post one photo of each. Try to be creative with your camera, close up or distant, creative with the image the element alone or combined with other elements.

Self’s gallery is made up of pictures taken in: her backyard; one in Filoli Garden in Woodside; one in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland; and one in New Mexico. They contain all the four elements, even fire. The picture of a murky sun was taken on the day the San Mateo Complex Fires came close, close enough for smoky ash to fill the air, and for self to smell burning. The firefighters saved us, again, as they do every year.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Poetry Wednesday: Csilla Toldy

Because it is Saint Patrick’s Day, the poet is from NI: Csilla Toldy came over from Hungary, when there was still a Wall. We met in 2014, at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. The picture is of the lake.

Csilla was kind enough to allow me to post the whole poem. It’s from her collection Red Roots – Orange Sky (Belfast: Lapwing Publications, 2013)

Love in Paris

Arriving late at the wrong address
a stranger in the street,
Ali, offered her a bed. He lovingly
treated her wounded knee —
that she had fallen on
when searching the sky for the guiding star
at the green borders to Italy.

Her nerves frazzled
by the long march through the Alps
on pills of caffeine and amphetamine,
taken by the echoes of her throbbing heart
when face-searched
and feeling so lucky for not looking like any
one of the Red Brigade.

So grateful for a clean sheet
after a week in ditches with crows and crickets,
yet fearing horror dreams of her misconceptions
she fell into a black hole
to be woken up by sunlight
glinting on a tray of golden croissants
brought up by Ali.

Recently, Csilla has been focusing on films.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sunday Stills Photography Challenge: Your Best Black and White

Love discovering new photo challenges.

This one was particularly intriguing: the Sunday Stills Photography Challenge. Your Best Black-and-White Photos.

Self went searching through her archives and found a few that were not intentionally “black-and-white” but became so because of the shooting conditions — in most cases, gloomy weather.

Two of the pictures were taken on Caltrain headed north to San Francisco, one was taken on the train from London to Manchester, and the last picture was taken inside her cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

“Spores” Again

In P-1, the teachers tell, Heaven is up a winding stair. Hell is like falling off the Whitecliffs — down and down and down and down. Limbo is — somewhere between. Those lessons always give me the frights.

Self’s first Tyrone Guthrie Centre story. Written 2014, Annaghmakerrig and Dublin.

Where Self Dreams

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week: WINDOWS AND DOORS

Self-explanatory.

  • The house in California. Oh, her garden is wild.
  • Skylight, Oxford, UK: She wakes beneath this every morning that she is in Oxford. In November, the skies were astonishingly clear.
  • Cottage # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland: She does all her writing at this table.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 116: SYMMETRY

P. A. Moed explains the reasoning behind this week’s Challenge:

  • Architects in ancient lands, like Greece, Rome, China, and Egypt, experimented with form and balance.  They discovered that the human eye likes patterns and architectural features that are symmetrical.  That’s why a row of pillars or arches is pleasing to the eye.

In January, self canvassed South San Francisco and Millbrae for Elizabeth Warren. This was the canvassers’ meeting place, in South San Francisco. She chose this picture because of the enthusiasm for Warren, and the two armchairs.

Stumbled on this sculpture on London’s Canary Wharf, last November. Very “Handmaid’s Tale”!!!

Finally, trees of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. It was October.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

SPORES

This story was published by decomP Magazine. Self began writing it during a residency at Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. Weeks later, she found the ending in Dublin.

The boss was born Earthstar. He’d never look her way. His spores were meant to go else: to a Silverleaf. Or a Shag. Not K that smelled like wet rot. All scaly cap and throat gills. She belonged with other Common.

In this story of the future, there are Earthstars. Earthstars are permitted to mate with either Silverleafs or Shags. Any other pairing is out of the question.

K is a Common.

The inspiration for this story was a book about mushrooms. Morgan Cooke, who she met at TGC, made an audio recording. Must say, self got a big kick out of hearing her story read with an Irish accent. Many, many, many thanks to Morgan.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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