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World travelling, north of the 49th living, Caribbean born, Barcelona dreaming makeup artist. A motionless perpetual motion machine.
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Samhain



“I tried to discover, 
in the rumour of forests and waves, 
words that other men could not hear, 
and I pricked up my ears to listen 
to the revelation of their harmony” 

Gustave Flaubert (November)


Stone angel

A Rose By Any Other Name...


As a child I disliked my names intensely, I was a Julia in a Julie world. For most of my childhood I was heard to say "Ah! Ah!" hoping to nudge people into adding the all important last syllable, that oh so distinctive "ah" sound to the name they were all so insistent on calling me.

And that was the easy part.

My father, a true lover of the Latin language, took an Irish naming tradition and translated it to Latin giving me my middle names. Not that long ago I asked him why, why would he do this thing, for although I had grown to like my middle names, I still felt I deserved an explanation. My father's response was he was proud of his lineage, proud of where he had come from, upon birth I had looked so much like other limbs of his father's tree he felt the names were the most appropriate.

Even the nickname given to me in Barbados as a young child, Florrie, short for a great aunt Florence, harkens back to those limbs of that tree. I started to view my names in a different light.

This noblest of ideas left me with the moniker "neptis d'Oxley", meaning "granddaughter of Oxley" and I hid this gem throughout my primary and secondary school years. Truth be told, I kept these names to myself well on into college before I eventually deciding my names were the least oddball things about me.

While I have not shuddered at my middle names in decades, and have grown to appreciate how much these names are Me, I still consider my them more of an explanation of who I am and where I am from than actual names. As I matured I came to learn to love the tradition which gave me my neptis d'Oxley (though I have not yet developed such feeling for the memories of those Saturday afternoon Latin lessons my childhood was peppered with).

A pot of flowers in the midst of the month

The Start Of My (Re)Beginning


In Gaeilge, November is Samhain (pronounced "sow-een"). November is my month of birth but, more than just that, it is the month I celebrate my Life's Path. I reflect on where I am, how I got to this point, and the people and things which paved the way. It is the spirit of All Hallow's Eve extended to a whole month (not that candy eating stuff, the other older aspects). Hallowe'en is just the eve, the true fest, the start of the new season begins the next day.

Stone and faded golden light whisper November to me

I enjoy this time of the year, not the cold, that I can not stand, but the energy. November is the month of Summer's rest. It is the start of the slumber necessary for all renewal.

This year, as with every year for a while now, my sis and I had planned to have a wonderful casual dinner, curl up with coffee and booze and watch some of the best of the worse movies ever made to thrill, frighten and/or terrify. This year we extended it, including a friend or two and made it a Poe Party. Poe was one of my first loves as a tween. His collection along with the works of Doyle were one of the first "grown up" book purchases I made. Regretfully, the fear of Sandy put such party plans to rest but it did remind me of one of the coolest things about tradition, it is a thing open to re-interpretation. As contradictory as it may seem, tradition lends itself well to evolution.

Something about antique copper speaks of this month
As the month of Samhain draws to a close, I prep myself for the upcoming year while saying goodbye to all those traditions which evolution demands need change while embracing the new born from this passing year. The things which stay with me remain the same; the Beauty of Life, Joy in Being, and the Love of Friends and Family.

Goodbye Noble November.


Cold white and fallen leaves, a very November sight

November skies over brick and stone

jndc
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