Saturday, January 15, 2011

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go is one of the loveliest, most sorrowful films I have ever seen. It is a must-see and comes to DVD on January 1st. Read the novel, too! I cried for 10 minutes in the theatre when this was over, and I just cried again watching the trailer - it's beyond beautiful.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lily's Dreaming Book: December 2010


This month is winding down, yet it feels as though it’s being wound UP – the pace is increasing, the urgency for Christmas is upon us, and a need for a new year seems vital for many people. In our haste, we forget the chilled beauty of late winter, the fresh loveliness of spring, the blossoming summer, and the sweet autumn days. Take a moment to recall some of the better days from the last four seasons. Very soon, a new Winter will be here, and we want to be ready for it. Remembering 2010 is important, as it will be gone soon.

Now is the time to get out your warm coats, winter boots, gloves, hats, and scarves. Be prepared to pay a higher energy bill. Make lots of tea!

I’ve been spending a few minutes each night meditating on the Advent; I bought a $1 booklet of Advent at a local church, and each day there is a new prayer, meditation, and story to keep your spirit in check. Religious or not, Advent is a beautiful way to clear out the negative energies of the day and fill your body and brain with harmony.

For me, the coming New Year is both welcomed and bittersweet. I welcome a new “four seasons” and new school semesters. New hopes and adventures. However, 2010 was the very last year that my dear Tom was alive. He lived seven days into 2010, and 2011 will be the first year of my life that Tom wasn’t alive. I know he’s here spiritually, someplace, but physically he is gone. Life won’t ever be the same, and in that way I do mourn the passing of 2010.

But must we think in terms of years and hours? Shouldn’t life just be one continuous dance? Tom lived, and when he lived or died shouldn’t matter. HE LIVED. WE LIVED and are LIVING NOW. Forget about years, dates, and time. Life is enough.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Magical Caracal

Sometimes we come across creatures of fantasy, in novels spun out of another's imagination. Other times, we discover that fantastical creatures exist without any help from our own imaginative minds ...

The Caracal cat is one of these creatures, looking as if it fell out of a fantasy story or painting. Enjoy!

Caracal Pictures, Images and Photos

Photo Credit: Thylatron at photobucket

Caracal Pictures, Images and Photos

Photo Credit: cool23171 at photobucket

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Walking - or Tracing! - The Sacred Labryinth

Labryinths have been used for centuries as a meditative tool. Their use does not belong to one religion; many people: from the Crusaders to the Pagans have walked a labyrinth to reflect on every issue imaginable.

Many churches and cathedrals have labryinths, most famously the Labryinth of Chartres Cathedral in France.

Pagans have annual festivals to walk hand-made labyrinths as a community.

In my quest to find a nearby labyrinth, I realised that finger labyrinths can be a very useful mediatative tool - especially when I don't have space to build one nor a location nearby. I have printed out labyrinth designs to craft my own desk-sized ones, and I searched online and found online labryinths that you control using your mouse. There is gentle music, a variety of issues and symbols, and even meditations to use. The following is a fantastic link. Do try it out!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I never cared for the beloved poem Hope by Emily Dickinson, although she is a favored poet of mine. I think her words fit for these two images, though; one is a tragic reminder that death is all-too-real while the other is a tender display of bonding between two doves.
... these are all words that come to mind when I think of being alive.

What does being alive mean to you?

A Solitary Farewell


Soulmates, Free To Fly


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

~Emily Dickinson~

*Special thanks to the artist BERNS on for use of her beautiful photograph Up On The Roof. You can browse Berns' gallery here:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

On Campus

I am in love with my college. I always bring my camera with me to school; there is too much beauty there to overlook. Here is a little preview of the grounds' beauty, all photographs by me, taken in the last week of August.
The only problem? Sometimes, all I want to do is sit by a tree and read poetry instead of going to class! But I end up going to class anyway.
In Front of the Art Studios and Gallery
Broken Wings: The Sorrow You Find When Looking At The Ground
The River
Red Beauty
Tender Bouquet
The Biology of Beauty

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

10th Sonnet!!!!!

The heavy ache of longing binds man near
to the relentless march of tired souls
who pass by Paradise in secret fear
that it won’t be as sweet as God extols

They hurl their silent armies in the gloom
and man draws ever nearer to their chants:
a siren’s song too dangerous to consume –
a poison of the heart one ne’er recants.

What makes the souls of men so full of grief?
What potion hath young Circe fashioned now?
There is a need for love and true belief
yet all the world is caught in Sorrow’s bough.

Oh, world don’t join the throngs of grim despair;
Set all your pain aside – and leave it there!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I have another active blog page, and I hereby invite you to visit! I am working on typing my journal of raising a monarch chrysalis, and there are a few note-worthy items already posted, including a poetry reading by Ben Whishaw and photographs of the John Keats House in London. Drop by and see what you may find!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sonnet No. 3

I wrote this in reply to Jen's sleep poem, and as a tribute to the insomnia that I, and so many other students, have been experiencing lately! 'Tis a monster! My second sonnet is for John Keats, and soon will be posted in my blog "That We Were Butterflies." This is part of the "Century of Sonnets" project.
Sonnet to Sleep
Oh, sweet eleison night, you promise sleep
with silver moon orb'd bright within her sphere;
and dreams that come to sleepers slumb'ring deep
- so lost within their realm away from fear.
The Muse of Dreaming enters through the eyes
so gently closing lids and hiding light:
her voice, in whispered song, will hypnotize
and bring her happy sleepers sweet delight.
The darkling night is fleeting and does fly
into the rosy hue of morning's spell;
the night is delicate and swiftly dies
and morning creeps in rooms where dreamers dwell.
Oh, gentle Muse that charms the world to yawn
why won't you come to me before the dawn?!

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Century of Sonnets, No. 1: Elegy

This is my project with my friend Jen: the goal is to write 100 sonnets this year, in the tradition of the classical poets' "century of sonnets." My first sonnet, not only for this project but EVER!, is for my hero, Richard George Farina: poet, writer, musician, songwriter, and dreamer.
Type: Shakespearian

for Richard Farina, on his 73rd birthday
The stars were made the day that you were born
And all across the sky they cast their light
And day made way to night and night to mo(u)rn:
Your soul came through the air in whirling flight.
The sun in all his power gave you life,
The moon in her sweet shadow shielded you
From daemons made to give your spirit strife
And fears that threatened but did not come true.
Oh, Dear: that was so many years ago!
But still the sky remembers your bright hue:
Clouds swirl in shades of gold and indigo,
And they contain the Poet-soul of you.
Beneath the earth your body lies so deep
But in the stars your soul sings me to sleep.
Been Down so long it looks like up to me Pictures, Images and Photos


Here's some advice I got from my psychiatrist the other day: wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it really hard when "the thoughts" come in. It helps, but I think it's because it hurts so bad you just are like, dammit! Stop! Ah, mental health. So fragile, in a strong woman's brain. This ditty is the product of insomnia; I'll be scrapping it soon. :)

Snap snap snap
rubber against skin
thoughts against sin
snap snap snap

welts on my wrist
this is what
medicaid pays for:
snap snap snap.

My wrists are thin
the veins rise quick
to the surface
they're hit!
Self-mutilation, doctor recommended.

Snap snap snap
rubber against skin
thoughts against sin
snap snap snap.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is YOUR Muse in?

The book Awe-Manac, a Daily Dose of Wonder, inspires me day by day. Its author, Jill Badonsky, is a creativity consultant (how fun would that be?!) who strives to make our everyday lives more creative and awe-inspiring. Check out her website at, which is complete with floating links, daily challenges, and other interesting things to keep your Muse from taking a mental break. The website alone is worth visiting due to its entertaining layout.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Three Ravens

Here we have The Three Ravens, another mid-English-poem-turned-Child-ballad. This one is less dark than Twa Corbies, but it retains the same sense of restlessness, passage, and dark discoveries.

At you will find a full version of Uliano's enchanting rendition (track 5). The entire album is lovely. Joan Baez has also covered this Child ballad.

There were three ra'ens sat on a tree,
Down a down, hey down, hey down,
They were as black as black might be,
With a down.
The one of them said to his mate,
Where shall we our breakfast take?
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down

Down in yonder green field,
Down, a down, hey down, hey down,
There lies a knight slain 'neath his shield,
With a down.
His hounds they lie down at his feet,
So well they do their master keep,
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

His hawks they fly so eagerly,
Down a down, hey down, hey down,
No other fowl dare come him night,
With a down.
Down there comes a fallow doe
As great with young as might she go
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down

She lifted up his bloody head,
Down a down, hey down, hey down,
And kissed his wounds that were so red,
With a down.
She got him up upon her back,
And carried him to earthen lake,
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down

She buried him before the prime
Down a down, hey down, hey down,
She was dead herself ere e'en-song time,
With a down.
God send every gentleman,
Such hawks, such hounds, and such a leman. *
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down


Twa Corbies

The voices could be better, but I enjoy hearing these mid-English words being properly recited. I love The Three Ravens and Twa Corbies, both beautiful mid-English ballads of great power to stir the soul. It seems difficult to find a truly good rendition of Twa Corbies, but this is the best I've found thus far.
It also appears that many people call Twa Corbies the Three Ravens; when, in fact, they are two very unique and separate poems.

Francis J. Child ballad: Twa Corbies, lyrics c.1611

As I was walking all alane,
I heard twa corbies making a mane;
The tane unto the t'other say,
'Where sall we gang and dine to-day,
Where sall we gang and dine to-day?'

'In behint yon auld fail dyke,
I wot there lies a new slain knight;
And naebody kens that he lies there,
But his hawk, his honnd, and lady fair,
His hawk, his honnd, and lady fair.

'His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady 'a ta'en another mate,
So we may mak our dinner sweet,
We may mak our dinner sweet.

'Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I'll pike out his bonny blue een;
Wi ae lock o his gowden hair
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare,
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare.'

'Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken where he is gane;
Oer his white banes, when they are bare,
The wind sail blaw for evennair,
The wind sail blaw for evennair.'

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dante's Prayer

video by sassygal2007

This haunting song by Loreena McKennitt is soul-stirring and heart breaking. Dante loved Beatrice his entire life, even though she died as a young woman. A poem to her, by Dante:

"Her presence brings ... such felicity, they render thanks to God for this sweet grace. Her beauty has such a wonderful quality it leaves in women's hearts no envious trace ... the sight of her is humbling to all things. Such loveliness is not confined ... no one there is who, calling her to mind, Lost in Love's very sweetness does not sigh." ~ from La Vita Nuova by Dante Alighieri

Lyrics to "Dante's Prayer"

When the dark wood fell before me, and all the paths were overgrown, when the priests of pride say there is no other way, I tilled the sorrows of stone. I did not believe because I could not see, though you came to me in the night. When the dawn seemed forever lost, you showed me your love in the light of the stars.

Cast your eyes on the ocean, cast your soul to the sea. When the dark night seems endless, please remember me.

Then the mountain rose before me, by the deep well of desire, from the fountain of forgiveness, beyond the ice and the fire - cast your eyes on the ocean, cast your soul to the sea.

When the dark night seems endless, please remember me.

Though we share this humble path, alone how fragile is the heart! Oh give these clay feet wings to fly, to touch the face of the stars. Breathe life into this feeble heart; lift this mortal veil of fear, take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears. We'll rise above these earthly cares. Cast your eyes on the ocean, cast your soul to the sea ... When the dark night seems endless, please remember me...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice is Today!

Happy Yule to All and One! The Rebirth of the sun has come!

Today, December 21st 2009, is the Winter Solstice / Yule. This is the longest night and shortest day of the year; however, we celebrate that, from now on, the days will (very) slowly begin to last longer.

I want you to imagine for a moment how observant our ancient ancestors were. The time difference between last week, today, and next week is extremely slight; yet, they knew that there was a difference and they calculated the exact date where the change officially occured. That alone is cause for celebration of the human mind (yes, sometimes it can be a good thing!)

Some Yuletide traditions you can partake in: burning a yule log; spiking apples and oranges with cloves (pommander - this is fun and easy and I still have mine from last year!); hanging holly, ivy, and mistletoe around your house and yard; meditating and/or praying thanks to your ancestors, the sun, life, Christmas (if you celebrate Christmas), harmony, humanity, etc.; do spells for peace and love; and work all of the spices, herbs, and colors into your evening.

This very beautiful and detailed article explains Yule in depth, and I encourage you to take a look. It will further instruct you as to the history and traditions of this lovely holiday.

Happy Yule!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Myrtha, Act II, danced by Monica Mason

Flower Pictures, Images and Photos

When I was 15, I danced this role for my then-studio's Feast of Terpisichore Ballet Company. I had dreamed of dancing Myrtha (from the "white ballet" Giselle), and when my dance mistress cast me I was delirious with happiness. It was a 20 minute piece and I quite near died learning it, but it made me a stronger, happier, and more confidant dancer.

Myrtha is a character who appears in Act II of Giselle, after poor Giselle loses her mind and kills herself. Both are Willis, or Veela, doomed to dance for all eternity - and to kill any man who crosses their path by dancing him to death. All of the Veela are fated tItalico this dreary task, but when Giselle's still-living lover crosses her grave, she has to fight Myrtha for his life - and her own soul. This ballet remains my favorite after almost a decade (well, besides Othello).

It is called a "white ballet" because it is staged nearly all in white, is very ethereal, and plays with the themes of innocence, purity, and doomed romance. Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, and La Sylphide are some other examples of white ballets. Giselle takes place in Germany and is based on local legends.

The ballet's French composer, Adolphe Adams, composed the entire score in only two weeks!
You may find him familiar, as he also composed the famous carol O, Holy Night.

My soul suffers for the lack of formal ballet. My body is thanking me, but my soul ~ O, my soul! My soul years for the classical art I once lived for. The passion of contemporary dance is overwhelmingly fulfilling, but the need for ballet stirs my soul tonight strong as ever. Be still!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Soul Remedies

Last night the sky was a burnished shade of dark, dusky pink, with the bare trees in my backyard silhouetted against it. The color and contrast could not be captured on film, and the emotion could never be represented on canvas. It was a glorious, mysterious, meloncholy sky, and it filled my soul with warmth. Nature is truly an artist. More than ever I am thankful for who and where I am.

*~ Remedies for the Soul ~*
lotus candle Pictures, Images and Photos
Return to Nature
Read Shakespeare
Look at the Stars
Drink Tea
Make Soup
Dance in the Rain and Wind
Write Free-flowing Thoughts
Lay in the grass and Breathe
Sit by Candlelight
Write with Quill and Ink
Stroke a Cat's Back
Collapse into Bed and Daydream
Absorb Silence
Gaze at Art
Embrace a Tree
Whisper your Secrets to the Wind
Pay attention to the Details
Forget deadlines for one day
Speak words you've never uttered
Stretch your muscles
Allow your Dreams to Carry You
Gently kiss your Lover
Open your eyes - Wide!
Relax into your Exhaustion
Stitch or Sew something Pretty
Ignore your Demons
Welcome the help of Angels
(Photo from Velvet_Roses95, photobucket)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

new blog!

So I've realised that I need more than two blogs to keep up with all my thoughts and ideas, simply because the subject matters are all so different. I would like to keep this blog to more religious and witchy things, with nature and earth magic, poetry, etc. "Whitman's Fantasy," when I start it, will be entirely earth-based, and focusing also on the poet. I just set up a third blog called "That We Were Butterflies," based on a Keats' poem and dedicated to the classical days gone by.

In my new blog I will be posting more artsy material: a lot more of my poetry; old poetry; info about writers/artists/muscians/dancers, etc.; old-fashioned crafts, recipies, dresses, homes, traditions, etc.; and (overall) remind myself and you of the simpler days when "life was but three summer days."

I'll start posting in it in a few days, maybe less ... keep an eye out, please, because I really want to maintain all three of these blogs and inspire myself and others. <3

~ Lily

Monday, November 9, 2009

another friendly reminder ...

... to see Bright Star :) I love this picture, and decided to tweak it a bit. Maybe someday I'll have a daughter like this little girl?


Share Your Talent!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Signs of Love

Today has been an erratic one, to be certain. Feeling sick was temporarily repaired by hot tea with Jen and Mr. Iverson, and my soul's sleepiness was temporarily nudged awake by the sighting of:


Now that might not, in itself, seem very earth-shattering, but for me it really was a moment filled with magic. I heard beautiful bird-cries far above my head, and (my soul and body being very tired today) I heard but did not recognize. On a sudden, it hit me: hawks! I looked up, and what should I see: not one, not two, but three gorgeous hawks flying in slow, meaningful circles around the Humanities building.

I stood in awe as these gorgeous birds cirlced so purposefully around, crying their Phoenix-chant as they flew. There are several reasons why this sighting meant so much to me. First of all, hawks are very sacred birds, magical and holy in many ways and to many people, particularly Native Americans. Secondly, this beauty in the midst of a hectic school day filled my body with peace. Walt Whitman would have been pleased. Last but not least, I only saw one or two hawks in my entire life until I met Mike, whose Spirit Animal is the hawk. Ever since we became close, I've been seeing hawks on my street, in my backyard, outside the mall, and now at school! I went from seeing no hawks to six in one year! I feel like this is further proof of my soul-bond with my darling Michael.

Speaking of darling Michael, today he walked six miles in chilling, wet weather to visit me while I studied at a cafe. Six miles for one-and-a-half hours! Just to see me for the 30 minutes I had left, because I told him how sick I felt. What a beautiful boy. I swear, his presence fills me with such delight and peace! He is a rain shower in a barren desert. A drop of water in a parched body. My essence and breath of living artistry ... inspired by my love.

goodnight or good morning, and may many magical moments come your way today.
~ Lily ~

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Journal

So we have arrived at the beginning of the week. Hallowe'en is fled and gone, and various contest entries have been finished and submitted. Exams have been taken, more leaves have fallen, and we come one day closer to Winter.

Today was very chilly, with golden-red leaves (and a nippy breeze) swirling around campus.

Some lovely personal things happened lately I would like to share. First of all, I have met the deadlines for every single contest I wanted to enter, most within minutes, even if I didn't always submit my best work! Next up is LAND, and I have to start early on that one. I'm sick of procrastination.

Second, my photograph The Depths Within was accepted for publication in the BACstreet Journal, and I am invited to Chicago for the launch party! Exciting news!

Third, today's school day was lovely. Because Shakespeare Survey was cancelled, Jen, Nancy, Alyse, and I sat around and talked until the Writers' Guild meeting began. That was nice and peaceful. Then, I found out for sure that I got 100% on my Logic exam! Logic itself was extra nice today. I really enjoy the class, even if it's challenging my limits! Cathy and I studied for a few hours with a man from class; thank God, or I would have failed! As it is, I think I did pretty good.

Fourth, I came home to find my Alivan's package waiting! Well, it may have taken a year to receive my awards for the story, but IT IS SO WORTH IT!!!!!! Everything is just gorgeous! The vine-carved wand is the perfect fit according to the rules of magic, which is a total coincidence, but wonderful.

Finally, tonight I plan to drink some hot tea, read and write a little, and maybe watch some television with my family. Talk to Mike. Then Sleeeeep in my wonderfully warm and cozy bed. My advice to everyone reading this:

Tonight, make some tea, curl up in a blanket, and read a good book!

Hot Tea Pictures, Images and Photos
by purenergyfitness

~ Lily

Friday, October 23, 2009

10 lovely things of Thursday

These are a few of my favorite things ... about today!

* A chilly rain and slick sidewalks
* Lemon tea with a touch of sugar
* Coffee and writers' talk
* Seeing my soulmate
* Kisses from my cat
* Finding a John Keats poetry book I didn't know I owned
* The 8th installment of my Miniature Library collection: The Bride of Lammermoor, The Prince, and Gulliver's Travels
* MusaBenedetta's very good taste in gardens!

* Pretty new things: golden quill pen, Halloween ephemera, pencil case, books
* Brief flights of fancy and inspiration

Monday, October 19, 2009

International Gandhi Award Winner!

father peter

Congratulations to my priest, Father Peter Dougherty (of Michigan Peace Team), for winning the 2009 International Gandhi Award! Michigan Peace Team works tirelessly to promote pacifism around the world, going only where invited to help the needy. Peter Dougherty risks his life constantly in war zones, serving as a human-rights witness to helpless people around the world.


MPT is a Catholic organization, but our members come from all faiths and walks of life. We have witches, agnostics, non-Catholics, Muslims ... every sort of beautiful blend of faiths. And our dear Father Peter deserves this award in every way. He is one of the loveliest, funniest, greatest people I have ever known. He is an inspiration in every way, and a more open mind than his one could only hope to possess. Prior winners include Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Father Peter will be traveling to India this month to receive this much-deserved and honorable prize.



All the religions of the world, while they may differ in other respects, unitedly proclaim that nothing lives in this world but Truth.
~ Mohandas Gandhi ~

Friday, October 16, 2009

Link to 'Macomb Guild of Writers'

Here is the link to my school's wonderful little writing group that I belong to:

Although our blog is almost empty as of now, we will soon be filling it with our poetry, stories, and Guild adventures!

I love this group, this beautiful circle of ladies (no men as yet, save our professor). I have gathered so much motivation and inspiration from them. I love connecting with the people who, like me, are passionate about their craft and who are eager to learn more and more and more!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Autumn's Lullaby 1

*** This was a quick poem written at 3:30 this morning. I'm tired and long for hot tea, some stitching, and a bit of rain. Instead, I wrote this rather nonsensical poem and will turn in. I'm not worried about the uneven rhyme scheme or any technicalities, really. I just needed to write. Forgive any spelling errors: I'm very tired!


*~ Autumn's Lullaby 1 ~*

Gray mornings wet with rain ~
sweetly scented apocathary:
ease my pain;
(hot steam
in China glass,
bundle of yarn)
this day too shall pass
but regretfully for I
long for this Autumnal lullaby
to last.
Child's voice in mother's ear
no one else needed - leave us here.
I'll be your witness
I'll be your cathartic plan:
small fingers grasping mother's loving hand.
Ah wait, do you exist yet, dear?
I see you but only in my dreams,

Chimney smoking
like incense and fog
I wear my heart lightly
like will-o-wisps in the bog:
dancing 'round travelers
weary and old
I open my arms now
to release the Gold
of this dark, dark morning
waiting for light
waiting for someone
to end this night.
Bring out the needles
bring out the cloth
bring out the candle
watch the dance of the moth:
so airy and gentle
he flutters and flies
whilst I sit here sewing
through Autumn's lullaby.

What do my words say
that I stitch through this silk?
A love poem or sonnet?
Keats, Rumi, or Rilke?
No they say nothing
nothing at all
they speak more of silence
and of small dreams grown tall;
they speak of a household
and a child in the womb
they speak of my dreams
of the depth of this tomb
where sadness lies buried
and hope flies around
and swirls through the eddies
of my Soul: this devout
murmur of praise
for the life that we covet:
for the gladness of living
and the sweetness of love.

So this hot tea is easy
on my tired, dry throat;
and this sampler is empty
of words so remote
from the Language of Love
that I just left it white:
the color of innocence,
the Keeper of Light.

Blooming tea set Pictures, Images and Photos

~picture from photobucket of msbre26~

Needle and Thread Pictures, Images and Photos

~picture from photobucket of wegie4~

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Here is the very elegant, very ALIVE moonflower, which (as you will see by the net surrounding it) is highly toxic when consumed. These flowers take a minute or less to open, depending on the amount of water in the soil. Their grace and sheer beauty is stunning to behold. Note the flower as it shutters at the 25th second - real proof of the internal energy that fills all of life, not only humans! Other videos of this miraculous flower are also life-affirmingly lovely, but I think this one has the highest quality of the ones I've found. Each video, however, shows the struggle of the flower as it opens, some unfurling with a slight shiver, and others truly contracting and shuttering as they reveal their scent and petals. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

For the Soul

Watch ...

Here is some proof that humans are capable of creating real beauty out of almost nothing:

Now, wasn't that pretty? I don't understand why this is called a "glass harp," as the crystal sounds more like some sort of mystical pan pipe to me, but "a rose by any other name" ...

ALSO ...

I would like to share a wonderful piece of art that my dear friend Samantha ( // created for "Bright Star" ~ and dedicated it to me! I am honored and thankful. Take a look at it, and while you're at it, check out her wonderful gallery and blog!


Today has been a busy one, filled with studying! I am learning that I really am incapable of writing comedy, as our latest Shakespeare class assignment is proving.

I still plan to blog about the Air, Fire, Spirit, and Water; and also some lovely metaphysical concepts that I am studying in my Asian Religions class.

As for the heart: I have a most beautiful and delightful boyfriend, and his visit tonight (though too brief) reminded me once again of how lucky I am. I am inspired constantly, and he revives my soul and allows me to fully appreciate the beauty around me ... not that I didn't before, but don't you agree that love shapes our perspective in ways full-glorious and unexpected?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Bright Star" Review

Bright Star is truly one of the most romantic, soulful, and deeply beautiful films I have ever had the pleasure to view. It is a feast of poesie, song, natural delights, and the bittersweet experience of LOVE. I firmly think that director Jane Campion (The Piano) did John Keat's life story justice, which is vital considering the poet died believing that he would be forgotten. In fact, he requested that his gravestone be void of a name. It reads Here Lies One Whose Name was writ in Water.

I don't wish to give away the story or the little secret beauties of the film, so this review will be simple. First let me warn potential viewers: Bright Star is a BBC film, which means England, which means Europe, which means ... American audiences may be completely bored by the slow, gentle pace of the film and long, poetic verses. At the viewing I attended with three friends, we were 4 of only 11 people in attendance! Two of my friends found it too slow and long, whilst my dear friend and myself were enchanted to the utmost limits of enchantment. I cried and cried, and even my friend who did not like the film found herself weeping at the end! For me Bright Star was not long enough! Many of the most visually graceful scenes were, I found, too short. I simply wanted more and more and more!

One of the aspects of the film that most struck me was its sublime innocence. There was a purity to Keats and Brawne that I never expected but was wholly appreciative of.

Bright Star Pictures, Images and Photos

There are hidden treasures awaiting you when you see this film. Fleeting scenes of innocent love and playful moments, heart wrenching bursts of passion and anger, lingering verse and true-life love letters, sweet strains of violin - secrets of the film that you must see for yourself.

Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish in Bright Star Pictures, Images and Photos

As for Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish, the acting was intensely moving. Mr. Whishaw played a mad murderous perfume-maker in my favorite film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, and he also played Bob Dylan in I'm Not There, and Hamlet in a London production of Hamlet. I never questioned his acting abililities, but tonight I can honestly say that, if filmmakers continue to give him such elegantly crafted films, this actor will rise to be one of the greats. As for Abbie Cornish, all I can say is this: her acting is so believable and powerful, especially towards the end, that she left me stunned. I've never heard of her prior to Bright Star, but she has won me over completely! Whishaw and Cornish together are a heart-stopping delight, and Jane Campion remarked that the pair became close on-set, and that it gave her great pleasure to watch them quietly talking in a corner, bonding over this shared experience. She also has said that Cornish is a shy young woman, and that in many of the scenes where Whishaw would kiss her or hold her hand her blushes were genuine. Awwwwwww.

bright star 3 Pictures, Images and Photos
This is definately a film you will either love or hate. Literary majors should delight in it, as it is, afterall, the true story of the great John Keats! His name may have been writ in water, but that water rains down upon us now, and it cleanses and purifies every soul that it touches.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Youth and Poetry in "Bright Star"

"I think young people are probably more poetically inclined. I think they ... really want to connect. Connection is what being alive is, and they want to feel sane and create a sense of themselves and intimacy with others ... which is what Keats and his friends were doing, too, with letters however. My advice ...would be exactly the same ... its just to educate yourself [and] really build up your enthusiasm so that it's higher than your fear."

~ Jane Campion, writer and director

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Peace Team Publishment

This is the Fall 2009 newsletter of the Catholic peace team I work with:
I wrote page 6 ("Music and Activism") with guidance from my boyfriend, Mike. We were asked to write a short article about our music. Check it out!

Michigan Peace Team is a Catholic peace group that travels the world helping third world and war torn countries. Their members come from all religions and all walks of life. It is the most open-minded group I've ever worked with. Take a peek at their website:

The painting of us is by our dear friend from Equador:; originally it is in color. Check her work out, as well!

Lots of love,

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Nature of the Poet

Bright Star seems as if it will be a true masterpiece. What could be lovelier: soul mates, John Keats, nature, dreams, Ben Wishaw? Keats was only 25 years old when he died, never knowing the mark he made in the world.

This film (coming in October) is based on the love and letters of Fancy Brawne and poet John Keats. For references to the natural world in Keat's letters, look at this webpage: - it's delightfully beautiful.

"I think of green fields. I muse with the greatest affection on every flower I have known from my infancy--their shapes and colours as are [for are as] new to me as if I had just created them with a superhuman fancy--It is because they are connected with the most thoughtless and happiest moments of our Lives--I have seen foreign flowers in hothouses of the most beautiful nature, but I do not care a straw for them. The simple flowers of our sp[r]ing are what I want to see again."
(~ Keats, to Fanny Brawne, February (?) 1820)

"I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days ..."
~John Keats (To Fanny Brawne, 1 July 1819)

For the true story behind this film (and a sad tale it is) read this web page:
I promise it will break your heart!

Portrait of Fanny Brawne:
Portrait of John Keats:

On Animal Instinct

There are few local sights more sorrowful than seeing a dead animal on the side of the road (or, as was the case this morning) right in the middle. These images always evoke my deepest pain and sympathy for not only the poor animal, but the person who accidentally (in most cases) killed it.

However ... we often wonder, why are these animals running into the middle of a busy street? It seems foolish to take the risk of running through a street where large vehicles are flying by.

I've often asked myself that very question. Why? Why would an animal, with all of their natural intelligence, take such a risk?

Today I found my answer. I was on my way to school, and what should I see but the little mangled body of a small animal. I almost cried, and as usual I made my little Saint Francis prayers for its soul's safe keeping. Then, once again, I asked why? Why did it have to run into the street, where cars abound and cannot stop? And the answer flew into my head .......

Animals are not familiar with human technology. Well, this might seem obvious, but really think about it: animals have their own natural instincts and measurements of protection. They have no concept of anything that is not ALIVE. For animals, everything is alive. That is why cats are so happy to play with toy mice, why dogs tear up sticks, why birds fly away we step too near. Animals are used to movement and verve. They are used to INTELLIGENT movement. Cars do not have intelligent movement. WE operate cars: OUR minds are the force behind their actions; furthermore, cars go straight. That pretty much brings us to my point:

CARS GO STRAIGHT, and moving 30, 40, or 50mph, they cannot stop for an animal crossing the road. And an animal cannot understand this. They think that a car, like any other force in life, has the responsibility to skid/run/turn/swerve away. When a little animal runs in front of a car, they expect it to just run away, like a dog would, or a mouse, or a racoon.

Road kill (and I hate using that term) are not "dumb animals" that were foolish and ran in front of a car. They are intelligent beings that naturally expect cars to be a living force that can sense them and get out of their way. They know nothing different. Their experience of life is, well, life. When a squirrel runs in front of a bird, the bird flies away. When a rat runs past a mouse, the mouse scurries off. When an animal runs in front of a car, they expect the same result. Sadly, this is not the case.

I don't know ... this is very quickly conceived and written, so maybe my point is not clear. I'll reword this at a later date. For now, I just wanted to quickly share the true nature of "foolish animals" and point out their innate natural intelligence. And also to reflect upon the fact that humans are the only creatures on earth to surround themselves with nonlife.

Any thoughts or insights? Please share!

~ Lily

Monday, September 28, 2009

Weather Report

Tonight it is raining in this little corner of Earth ~ and little inspires me more than a good, strong rain. There is enough wind to stir the many chimes hanging on our porch, providing me with Nature's very own music: its sweet song of waterdrops, breezes, and the soothing hush of evening. Temperatures are in the 50s (f), and although this has been a chilly summer, now Autumn has truly raised her glorious head to call - to sing - I'm here!

Walking about my college campus today made me wonder ... what is it about "gray days" that makes so many people cringe?

All I could think of was how beautiful this day would have been had it been crafted into a painting. Imagine: a long-haired woman lying in the wet grass, perhaps in a rain puddle, arms reached towards the sky and hair blowing in the wind. All around her is wet, wet grass, long and green and lush. There is dirt on her dress (we'll imagine that the dress is long, white, and Ophelia-like). Her pale skin is covered with blades of grass, flower petals, and raindrops all set loose by Autumn's quick temper. Does she resist, does she hover beneath a parapluie and wish for Summer? No! This woman not only accepts the stormy day, she thrives in it, encourages it, and truly lives through not escaping ... LIFE.

Just my randomness for the evening ... tell me how the weather is where YOU are, and paint us a picture of someone living in it!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cecile Corbel - Sweet Song

This video is inspiring on so many levels ... artistically, spiritually, romantically. There are so many elements about it that I love, and I hope others will find beauty within Miss Corbel's vision and voice. Thank you to Samantha ( for introducing me to Cecile Corbel.

"By the hills and lands where my heart has gently grown. And where the trees are in bloom forever. I could spend my whole life with you. Under a shady grove just waiting for the stars. We would have a shelter at the top of the highest tree. We would look at the sky before we sleep. Promise me, we will live underneath the stars. The nightengale will sing: "la la la la la". It's a sweet song. Underneath the stars, we would be lovers from the hill. By the hazy mountains my loves sweetly grown and where the secrets are kept forever.I could spend a lifetime with you under a white maple tree staring at the skies."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

words to live by

When you are overwhelmed, think of these words from Michael Mountain's beautiful mind ...
What will it matter
1,000 years from now?
And also of these words from Conor Oberst ...
"Nothing is as pressing
as the one who's pressing
would like you to believe ...
so I'm content
to walk a little slower
because there's nowhere that I really
need to be."
Never forget to slow down: life is not a race. Take slower steps, breathe deeper breaths, and look for the details of the big picture.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

beliefnet is a beautiful website for world religion, including Wicca. Just about everything is covered here. If you are interested in world religion, or simply want to reconnect with your own faith, beliefnet is a nice place to start. Sometimes the prayers and rites I find do not apply to my own personal faith, but you can tweak them and look around for the perfect one for you. Have fun!

When Beauty Becomes the Beast: Scrupulosity

Many people suffer from scrupulosity, which is a form of Obessive Compulsive Disorder that turns religion into an unhealthy obsession. Scrupulosity transforms what can be a beautiful religious practice into an ugly, scary situation.

This webpage: is a lovely resource that details scrupulosity in a concise and informative way. It covers all the bases clearly and accurately. I suggest reading it if you feel religion has become scary for you or a loved one. Religion should be a healing, peaceful experience, not one filled with doubt, obsession, or fear.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Element of EARTH

La Terre
"I say the whole earth and all the stars in the sky are for religion's sake."
*~Walt Whitman~*
Direction: North
Color Symbolism: Green, brown, gold
Gender Symbolism: Female
Magical Uses: Grounding, cycles, physBoldical matters, finances
Zodiac Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
"Earth magick is a feminine energy ... its power can be assessed through herbs, plants, flowers, and crystals."
*~Ellen Dugan~*
Earth is our mother, providing shelter, sustenance, nurture, and grounding to all her inhabitants. As Scott Cunningham wrote in Earth Power "Earth is our only home ... until recently, no living thing - save birds - left its surface" (29). Cunningham continues, saying that "Earth is the foundation of the elements, the base ... [it] is the realm of abundance, prosperity, and wealth ... without Earth, life as we know it could not exist" (22).
Kerri Connor's The Pocket Spell Creator lists that earth governs the "body, growth, nature, sustenance, material gain, prosperity, money, death, caverns, fields, meadows, plants, trees, animals, rocks, crystals, manifestations, and materialization" (10).
As our mother, the Earth (or La Terra) is the ruler of our bodies above all things. We perceive that her purpose is to nourish and nurture us, and to provide us with the elements that she supports: air, water, fire. The Earth is a great caregiver. She is, as Scott Cunningham wrote, the only reason life can exist.
The Earth is our mother, but she does one thing our own mothers do not: she takes us back when we are gone. We are born from the Earth, and we will return there. In these modern times, where stress and emotional burdens are overwhelming, it is crucial to turn to the Earth to find peace and relief. We must learn to borrow Earth's energies, and to pour our own energies into the Earth, as the two following meditations will instruct.
~*A Meditation from the Earth*~
Lie on the soil (or sit with your hands pressed against the ground) and absorb the energies you feel emitting from it. Let them fill you, envisioning the billions of years of Earth's existence enveloping you and entering your body. Let the energy radiate into your skin, through your body, and into your spirit. Allow the Earth to nourish every part of your body and soul that feels damaged, allowing her energies to heal you as a mother heals. Always ask the Earth's permission for borrowing its energies, and thank the Earth for allowing you to do so.
~*A Meditation For the Earth*~
On a day when your energy levels feel high and strong, lie or sit on the soil once again, attuning yourself to its energies. This time, however, instead of drawing from the Earth's resevoir of energy, allow your abundant energy to fill the earth. Speak to the Earth (this can be vocally or silently) telling it you are sending it your energies to heal the scars that Man puts upon it every day. Focus your intent on healing the damage that the Earth has suffered, allowing your own verve to nurture and protect your true home. Bless the Earth with your intent, and close the meditation.
"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect."
*~Chief Seattle, 1855~*
All Things Connect

A peek at the coming week ...

Throughout the next week we will be discussing the five magical elements:


These discussions will include spells, art, prayers, histories, magical symbolism, crafts, and qoutes/poems/songs to inspire.

"Who bends a knee where violets grow, a hundred secret things shall know."
~ Rachel Field ~