By the light of the harvest moon: autumn equinox thoughts

A moonlit night on the other side of the world. Image by Matti/Masivaan used under Creative Commons license.

Last night was the first full moon since early spring when I've been able to go out into the night and see my way by Her light.I always find the shift into the dark half of the year difficult. One of the great consolations of this time for me is the light of nighttime, whether as the wonder of the Milky Way spread out across the heavens, or the Northern Lights, taking my breath away, or the blue shimmering radiance of the full moon in the night sky.The first time I experienced the … [Read more...]

St. John’s Holy Well: east Cork [photos]

and we're off...

Down my lane is a Well.  It's an Old Well, long venerated and hallowed; a place of quiet contemplation and healing.  This Well, now dedicated to St. John, is an eye Well; it's known for its eye cures.  The rounds are held in August, they say to commemorate the beheading of St. John, but we know it was a Lughnasadh Well, don't we.  Think about it:Turas (Patron or Rounds) traditionally done at the end of August (remember, that is the date for Old Lughnasadh - before the calendar cha … [Read more...]

Memories of place, held on the tongue

Cleobury Mortimer in the valley below Titterstone Clee on a sunny, clear day

I've just finished my bedtime drink. Yes, I know it's late to be posting, where I am, but I've not known what to write about all day. After my drink, I do. The drink? It was hot, organic rice milk, with a dash of honey. I found the taste oddly reminiscent of Horlicks (without the flour residue). And Horlicks, for me, always makes me think of Cleobury Mortimer.It's one of those picturesque villages of the English Midlands, with an almost unbearably twee - but absolutely real, and ancient … [Read more...]

A Night In The Mound

carowkeel-and-the-miners-historical-way_1

One time they [the king of Ireland’s three sons: Ruide, Fiacha, and Eochaid] went to talk with their father at the Grave of the Druids [fert na ndruadh] to the northwest of Tara. Where have you come from? he asked them. From Echlais Banguba in the south, they replied, from the home of our nurse and guardian. They were dressed in beautiful cloaks: a green cloak on the eldest, Ruide; a fringed woolen cloak from the Land of Promise on Fiacha; and a blue one on Eochaid, who had a band of shining s … [Read more...]

Japan’s Fukushima Disaster and Its Impact on Fish in the Pacific Northwest

A fishing boat in my home port of Auke Bay, Alaska. By Gillfoto, via Wikimedia Commons.

If you have environmentalists as Facebook friends, you may have seen an image and headline making the rounds suggesting that leaking waters from the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan is poisoning the waters of the Pacific Ocean. As a passionate lover of wild Alaskan salmon, that had me worried. I've had moments of mild panic thinking that the bounty of the seas may be gone forever.Salmon are the major fruit of harvest season for me. I was raised subsistence fishing in the waters of … [Read more...]

The Weight Of A University

Kelvin Grove Art Gallery and Museum from University of Glasgow

Last week I found myself on the Glasgow University campus and was struck by the feel of it. The area taken up by University buildings, old and new, is quite large, and the whole of it has a certain weight to it. There's a sense of something deep there.Some of the University buildings are very old. The architecture looms large. Certainly that's part of the weight, but not all of it.There is something else. I want to say that it's a scent, but that's not quite right. A presence is more … [Read more...]

Online worlds: places to tread with care

Cyberspace word cloud

I've been off my game - out of sorts, ill at ease, and just plain ill - since mid-August. I've spent a lot of time in bed, and not a lot of time outdoors; boredom has led me to wander the avenues of cyberspace far more than usual. It's led me to ponder the idea of cyberspace as a 'place'.It isn't, of course, just one place. Every online environment is its own virtual place. I don't just mean online environments which seek to mimic the experience of being in an actual place, like Second … [Read more...]


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