Broken with a cup of nostalgia

Suddenly Mad

Metaphors may be as necessary to illness as they are to literature, as comforting to the patient as his own bathrobe and slippers. At the very least, they are a relief from medical terminology. If laughter has healing power, so too, may metaphor. Perhaps only metaphor can express the bafflement, the panic combined with beatitude, of the threatened person. 

                                                                                                                             –  Anatole Broyard                       Intoxicated by My Illness

Suddenly Mad- Fractured (portrait of Mimi)Portrait of Mimi

I look for metaphors for this disease. As…

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Pvt. John Steele and the Parachute on the Steeple

UNREMEMBERED

COUG5 Private John Steele

By Ken Zurski

On the night of June 5, 1944, Private John Steele along with several other American soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division parachuted into an area near Sainte-Mere-Eglise, a small town in the Lower Normandy region of France close to Utah Beach.

The troopers were ordered to land, secure the perimeter, and cut off the road that led to the German-occupied village. But two of the battalions, including Steele’s, were dropped in the wrong location. They were headed directly over the town square and directly into the path of German bullets. Even from a safe distance they could hear the sound of guns blazing and church bells ringing.

That night in Sainte-Mere-Eglise, church bells were indeed ringing.  A stray incendiary from anti-aircraft tracers had set a hay barn on fire. The townspeople were worried more businesses and homes would be threatened. So they rang…

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Daily Om 061719

Today’s topic is all about ‘creating our day.’ How do you create your day?

For me – I like to start each day fresh – most days I don’t have set plans – I just ‘go with the flow.’

But then again, I’m retired so every day is Saturday 🙂 🙂 🙂

Today, I will go in the back yard, feed the cats, then walk among the trees – doing wall push ups against many of them. I do that every day – 7 days a week – whether I have someplace to go outside the ‘Park’ or whether I stay here all day.

That keeps me away from watching endless television. I don’t know about the rest of you, but endlessly watching television all day is quite boring.

During February’s Snowmageddon, I only missed one day of this routine. That was because the weather was so horrible even two of the cats refused to go outside, but instead used their indoor box. Of course, I went out briefly to feed the two girls, but quickly came back inside.

Today is a spectacular today, and I am going out to enjoy the beauty of it.

Blessings.

The First Moments of the Day

BY MADISYN TAYLOR Each morning when we awake, we have an opportunity to create our day with what inspires us the most. The moment during the day when we very first open our eyes and come into consciousness is a precious opportunity. It sets the tone for all that comes after it, like the opening scene in a film or novel. At this moment, our ability to create the day is at its most powerful, and we can offer ourselves fully to the creative process by filling this moment with whatever inspires us most. It may be that we want to be more generous, or it may be that we want to be more open to beauty in our daily lives. Whatever the case, if we bring this vision into our minds at this very fertile moment, we empower it to be the guiding principle of our day. 

Sometimes we wake up with a mood already seemingly in place, and it’s important to give this feeling its due. It can inform us and deepen our awareness to what’s going on inside us, as well as around us. As long as we are conscious, we can honor this feeling and also introduce our new affirmation or vision, our conscious offering to the day. We may want to decide before we go to sleep what we want to bring to the next day of our lives. It could be that we simply want to be more open to whatever comes our way. Or we may want to summon a particular quality such as confidence. Then again, we may simply call up a feeling that perfectly captures the texture we want our day to have. 

We can reaffirm our vision or affirmation as we shower and eat breakfast, as well as recalling it at various times throughout the day. We can write it down and carry it with us on a little slip of paper if this helps. Simply by being aware of those first moments, we set the stage for a more conscious, enlivened experience, and we become active participants in the creation of our lives.

England’s First Queen, the Original Wicked Stepmother?

History... the interesting bits!

330px-A_Chronicle_of_England_-_Page_072_-_Edward_Murdered_at_Corfe Queen Ælfthryth and King Edward at Corfe

After writing an article about Edward the Martyr the other week, I thought it only fair to take a look at the other side of the story and write about Ælfthryth, England’s first ever crowned queen and Edward’s stepmother – and possible murderer.

Author Annie Whitehead researched Ælfthryth for her book Alvar the Kingmaker and rather likes her. So she can’t be all bad – can she?

Ælfthryth was probably born around 945; the daughter of Ealdorman Ordgar of Devon and an unknown woman who is said to have been descended from the royal family. As you can imagine, after the passage of more than 1,000 years, nothing is known of her childhood; although she had a least one sibling, a brother, Ordulf, who was founder of Tavistock Abbey. She was married around the age of 11 to Æthelwold, the son of Æthelstan Half-King…

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The Wives and Family of King Harold II

History... the interesting bits!

Statue of King Harold II at Waltham Abbey

The future king, Harold II Godwinson, was born into an Anglo-Danish family whose extensive influence and power meant they were frequently seen as the power behind the throne. This also meant that they were often seen as a threat to the man wearing the crown – especially Edward the Confessor – and suffered exile as a result.

Harold was born around 1022/3 to Godwin and his wife, Gytha Thorkelsdottir. Gytha was a member of the extended Danish royal family, as her brother, Ulf, was married to King Cnut the Great’s sister, Estrith. Gytha’s nephew, Sweyn Estrithson, would eventually rule Denmark as king. Harold received the earldom of East Anglia in 1044 and, as the oldest surviving son of Godwin, Earl of Wessex, he succeeded to his father’s earldom in 1053. Godwin died at Winchester in Easter week of 1053, after collapsing during…

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Book Corner: Mercia, the Rise and Fall of a Kingdom by Annie Whitehead

History... the interesting bits!

Many people know about Wessex, the ‘Last Kingdom’ of the Anglo-Saxons to fall to the Northmen, but another kingdom, Mercia, once enjoyed supremacy over not only Wessex, but all of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. At its zenith Mercia controlled what is now Birmingham and London ‒ and the political, commercial paramountcy of the two today finds echoes in the past.

Those interested in the period will surely have heard of Penda, Offa, and Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians ‒ but remarkably there is no single book that tells their story in its entirety, the story of the great kingdom of the midlands.

Historically, the records are in two halves, pre- and post-Viking, in the way they have been preserved. Pre-Viking, virtually all the source material was written by the victims, or perceived victims, of Mercian aggression and expansion. Post-Viking, the surviving documents tend to hail from places which were not sacked…

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Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians

History... the interesting bits!

Æthelflæd (from The Cartulary and Customs of Abingdon Abbey, c. 1220)

12th June 2018 marked the 1100th anniversary of one of England’s greatest ever women. The daughter of Alfred the Great,Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians, led the resistance against Danish invasion, alongside her brother, Edward the Elder. And yet, she is virtually unknown to the people of today.

Æthelflæd was born about 870, the eldest child of King Alfred and his wife, Ealhswith. Alfred’s biographer, Asser, says Ealhswith was a member of the Mercian royal house through her mother, Eadburh. Around 886Æthelflæd was married to Æthelred, ealdorman of Mercia and a trusted lieutenant of her father. Æthelred ruled over the English half of the Mercian kingdom, which had been dissected by the Vikings, but submitted to King Alfred’s overlordship. The marriage was a political alliance, intended to strengthen Saxon resistance to the Danes, who were now occupying Northumbria, Yorkshire and…

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