Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

So many times I visit a place, fall in love, and vow to return one day (which seldom happens). Imagine how happy I was when an invitation to return to the amazing Isle of Arran in Scotland was extended to me. I have just returned from this magical place where I spent six days with four inspiring writers. Here are just a few pictures of the gorgeous scenery and special sites I visited.

On the way to Fairy Glen
Heather everywhere
It was a bit of a hike up to Giants’ Graves, but I made it!
Giants’ Graves, the remains of two Neolithic chambered tombs 
View from the top
Farmhouse near Fairy Glen
One of many scenic bays
Viking burial site
Lighthouse in the distance
So many peaceful places to sit and be inspired
A friendly Highland “coo”

I also visited a castle and a museum but will save those pictures for another post. The Isle of Arran has become my happy place and I am so fortunate to have been able to return. I wrote about my visit last year here.

In case you are wondering, we did get a lot of writing done, with many lively discussions about writing and publishing. I also collected great ideas for my work in progress.

More to come.

I was dusting in my bedroom, where I keep my set of runes (made by my daughter) when I decided it was time to pull another one. This is what I pulled.

Inguz/Fertility

This rune is about new beginnings, possible pregnancy, good omens, satisfactory conclusions, a new idea or venture, a new path.

You must complete what you have begun. It may be a project of perhaps resolving a personal difficulty.

Very soon you will achieve inner balance, and with that, inner peace.

This was the perfect rune for me at this time. Although I had to chuckle about the possible pregnancy, I do crave new beginnings. I started another Amanda book but have not been working very hard on it, so the suggestion that I finish what I’ve begun is timely. Achieving inner balance and inner peace is a lifelong ambition.

I’m so glad I pulled this rune. Now I suppose I should finish the dusting. Sigh.

I wrote more about runes here, here and here

Enjoy this short video of runes being stained and then fired by Madmudslinger. The runes are made from wild clay dug from the ground on her west coast island home.

From the website of Madmudslinger:

Known as ‘oracle of the self’, Runes help to access the infinite wisdom existing within ourselves. The Runes help to focus and reassure what we usually already know.

A wonderful tribute to a good blogging friend we lost last year, in honour of her birthday. She is so missed but lives on in her published books. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0?

Barb Taub

Mary Smith: writer, poet, teacher, friend.

Over the pandemic and lockdown, many of us lost family and friends, a loss made even more difficult when we weren’t able to say goodbye.

Mary Smith, talking about her lockdown experience, quoted Diana Ross:

Reach out and touch

Somebody’s hand

Make this world a better place

If you can.

Those words have never felt so meaningful and so poignant. It’s what we all need right now. The touch of someone’s hand on ours would make the world seem a better place. Such a simple gesture and yet, many weeks ago, we allowed ourselves to be frightened into excising a huge part of our humanity, to keep ourselves and others safe. My heart breaks seeing young children file into their classrooms, keeping the regulation six feet apart, learning they mustn’t touch or hug each other. Learning to be fearful of their friends and their…

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The first time I pulled the blank rune, I was very disappointed. But then I read the meaning in the booklet my daughter put together and realized it was the perfect rune for me at the time.

The Blank Rune

The Blank Rune represents the unknowable, fate, nothingness, and mystery.

There is no answer to your issue. Some things are not knowable; that is the wisdom addressed by this rune. Rather than feeling a deeper frustration from no answer to be had, think of the unknowable as a relief. Ah, I no longer need to search for answers here. You must take what is to follow.

There are no specific preparation and certainly no way out. Courage is called for when leaping empty-handed into the void.

I am the sort of person who always wants answers. So this rune really speaks to me. And I often pull it. Like today. So I better gather up my courage and leap into the void once again!

I have written about my set of runes made by my potter daughter before, here and here.

Rune meanings are varied and have been handed down through the mists of time since their ancient beginnings in approximately the 1st Century AD.

The Norse runes are part of an ancient Pro-Germanic tradition and the runic alphabet consists of 24 rune symbols – with the addition of one notably blank rune to allow space for cosmic chance.

Runes in production with a furry supervisor.

Runes by  https://madmudslinger.com/

I am part of an excellent series on Sally Cronin’s blog called, I Wish I knew Then What I Know Now. There are many things I wish I had known when I was younger, but I chose to talk about unnecessary worrying. If you haven’t already read it on Sally’s popular blog, check it out and let me know what you think about the subject.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I am sure like me, there have been times when you have wondered what difference might have been made to your life, if your younger self had been gifted with the experience and knowledge you have accumulated over the years.

I invited several friends from the writing community to share their thoughts on this subject which I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.

I wish I knew then what I know now! by Darlene Foster

I believe we learn as we go, and specific knowledge appears when we need it. If we knew everything at birth, there would be nothing to live for. But one thing I wish I had learned earlier in life is that worrying is futile.

I come from a long line of worriers; my mother and grandmother were masters of the art of worrying. I’m sure the women who came before them…

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The second part of Madmudslinger’s interview with Rebecca Bud. Hear about her creative process, ekphrastic art, and messages for future archaeologists. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Runes by https://madmudslinger.com/

I decided today would be a good day to pull a Rune. I wrote about my special set of Runes made by my daughter here. The rune I pulled today was Initiation-Perth. I am using the explanation from the booklet published by the potter and included with every set. There may be other explanations. In the introduction of the booklet, she encourages people to look at other books on Runes and learn more about the history of this ancient Norse and Germanic alphabet.

Perth is for becoming whole, a secret matter, something hidden, and mystery.

Your ways to becoming enlightened are very private and cannot be shared. You are freeing yourself to gain a broader perspective. Be prepared for lucky rewards.

If you pull the Rune in a reversed position:

What you see as bad luck, will come with rewards also. Lessons are being learned.

Stay in the here and now, this is where the self-work gets done. Perseverance and patience are your friends.

I pulled the rune in an in-between position, lateral instead of vertical, so I feel both messages are fitting for me. Gaining a broader perspective is something I work on, looking carefully at both sides of every situation is important. Perseverance and patience are indeed my friends and was worth a reminder at this time.

I hope you enjoyed the Rune reading. I plan to share more.

I was gifted a set of special postage stamps from a long-time friend. The stamps feature members of her family who immigrated to Amber Valley, Alberta over one hundred years ago. How special to have your family featured on a postage stamp. I am delighted to own a set.

I will let my friend´s daughter, Gillian White, tell you about the history of her forefathers.

Last year my Great, Great Grandfather Jordan Murphy (he’s the handsome one in the middle) and his two grandchildren were featured on a Canadian stamp for black history month! Such an honour!

I’ll share with you a little bit of the history of Black Canadians and my Great Great Grandfathers Journey.

In the early 1900s about 1000, African American’s moved from the United States to Western Canada in hopes of finding a better life…..Canada was offering small sections of land for a very little amount of $10! This applied to many African Americans looking for freedom.

My Grandfather was one of the few looking to escape racism, prejudice, Jim Crow (forced segregation between blacks and whites). It was a very dangerous time for Black people, especially where he was from in Oklahoma.

My Great, Great Grandfather Jordan Murphy made the long trek to Amber Valley, North of Edmonton and this settlement is believed to be the most Northerly all-black community that has ever existed in the world. It was a long journey, by train, horse and buggy and then lots of hardship breaking ground and building a new life – while still facing adversity, discrimination and marginalization.

I’m so darn grateful for my grandfather’s bravery and perseverance because of him, we live in a country with so many opportunities and freedom.

written by Gillian White

Check out Gillian´s website, podcasts, and newsletters which are full of inspiration, music and recipes. I look forward to them every month.

https://www.gillian-white.com/newsletter

https://www.gillian-white.com/

https://www.buzzsprout.com/

I also found this wonderful video, narrated by descendants of the original homesteaders.

Winner of the 2018 Canadian Screen Award for Excellence in Digital Storytelling; About 100 km North of Edmonton is Amber Valley, one of the first all-Black settlements in Canada. Arriving in 1909, the pioneers of this community battled the elements and racism to not only survive but thrive.

I am so pleased to know this family and learn more about their rich heritage, an integral part of Canada´s history.

Emily Carr, The Indian Church, 1929

I have long admired the work of Canadian artist and writer, Emily Carr. She was known for her expressive paintings of British Columbia’s coastal forests and the First Nation tribes that lived there. Emily Carr herself was an interesting character and is considered a Canadian icon. I have been to her house in Victoria a few times and have always felt her spirit. I was delighted to see that blogger friend, Rebecca Budd, posted a video of Emily Carr’s garden, which I just had to share. Enjoy.

Emily Carr House, Victoria, B.C.

“Real art is religion, a search for the beauty of God deep in all things.” ~ Emily Carr

Check out some of Emily Carr’s artwork here

I have a wonderful set of Runes, made by my potter daughter. She makes her Runes from the local clay she mines on the small island where she lives and fires them in her wood-burning kiln. I love my Runes and the more I use them, the more comfortable they become in my hands. I also love how they speak to me.

Runes are letters in the runic alphabets of Germanic-speaking peoples, written and read from at least 160 CE onwards in Scandinavia, as well as in Anglo-Saxon England, to well into the Middle Ages. They have come to represent ideas and guidance.

I’ve decided to pick a rune every so often and write about it. I’ll use the description written by the potter in the little book that comes with each set. There can be other interpretations.

Today I picked Kano – Opening.

Kano symbolizes fire, a torch, spring, knowledge, gifts, fertility, creative expression, craftsmanship, and the first light of day.

There is light peeking through the darkness and an opening within yourself to take on new opportunities. There is a way out of every circumstance. You already know the way.

This is a perfect Rune for the start of a new year, especially a year following the last two we have had to deal with. It is comforting to know there is light peeking through the darkness and that we have it within ourselves to find it.

Taking on new opportunities, gaining knowledge and utilizing creative expression are things to look forward to, however they manifest themselves.

“Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door.”

― Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson


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