Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Oshun, African Goddess carved by Robyn Gordon

OSHUN the African Goddess of beauty, love, prosperity, order and fertility.

Her name is synonymous with transformation.

"She is widely loved, as She is known for healing the sick and bringing fertility and prosperity, and She especially watches over the poor and brings them what they need. As Orisha of love, Oshun is represented as a beautiful, charming and coquettish young woman". 
Read more about her here and here.

Initially I was drawn to Oshun because she is  the mother of the birds and the fishes. Fish (my husband is a passionate  angler) and birds feature highly in our lives. At first I  knew only a smattering of facts gleaned in books but later the internet provided a deeper knowledge of her qualities and I became even more intrigued. 

I have a Brazilian friend living in the States who knows her as Oxum.  With the African diaspora Oshun was introduced to the Americas. Her name changes slightly from country to country but no matter where she is,  she is loved and respected.

Oshun, African Goddess carved by Robyn Gordon

Sunday, January 13, 2013


 Exquisite nature photography by Mary Jo Hoffman. See more here

During the festive season
I made time
over a slow cup of coffee
to think about 
what I consider to be soul food.
 Food for MY soul.

Nature photography by Mary Jo Hoffman. Click

This is my LIST OF TWELVE:

1. Nature
Taking a few moments to observe nature raises my spirits and restores my energy fairly quickly. 

"The goal of life is to make your heartbeat
match the beat of the universe,
to match your nature with Nature".  
-  Joseph Campbell

2. Wilderness
Knowing I will be going into the wilderness once or twice a year goes a long way to keeping me happy. It's something we look forward to and plan from one holiday to the next. This category covers beach combing,  pebble gathering, toe dipping, walking walking... walking,  forest  languishing, mountain perching and generally immersing ourselves in nature and the beauty of our surroundings.

"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity ... " - John Muir

Caroline Rannersberger. See website here

3. Space
Not only the wide open spaces of the countryside but also head space to hear myself think, to muse and to dream.

"When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life."  -  Jean Shinoda Bolen

4. Stillness
Without  stillness in my day I can actually feel myself wilt and it is just something I have to make time for or suffer the consequences.  In quiet solitude my art blossoms. There is nothing more calming and replenishing than the quiet time spent carving.

5. Nourishing books
While it has been so hot I've managed to get through a pile of books. 
My three favourites :
i) Every Day Sacred by Sue Bender
ii) Plain and Simple by Sue Bender
iii) Travelling Mercies by Anne Lamott

6. Poetry
"Good poetry begins with
the lightest touch,
a breeze arriving from nowhere,
a whispering healing arrival,
a word in your ear,
a settling into things,
then like a hand in the dark
it arrests the whole body,
steeling you for revelation ...... "
-  David Whyte (The Lightest Touch)
7. Art
Immersing myself in my own art or wallowing in the glorious art of others. Pinterest  is a good way to store art images..... and yes I do spend waaaaaay too much time there, but looking at the beautiful art on my boards is food for my soul. Follow the link and see for yourself.

"Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul." - Alice Walker

8. Writing
Forgetting where I am while writing my heart out.

9.The ritual of tea and coffee
A pause to catch up with oneself,  family and friends.

Thomas Bucci. Website here

10.  Discovery
 New ways of seeing ....  new ways of thinking .... new ideas ..... new places.

11. Laughter
Good rolling-on-the-floor belly laughs with my daughter and husband.
Infectious laughter circulating around a room of friends like a Mexican wave.

12. Blogging friends who share and understand my connection to all of the above

"There was a dawn I remember when
my soul heard something from your soul
I drank water from your spring
and felt the current take me."  -  Rumi

Nature photography by Mary Jo Hoffman

I hope you will share what you consider to be food for your soul.