Ancient Word of the Day: Rema

Rema (Shetland Scots) The mirror-calm surface of the sea on a calm day. A body of water with a surface as smooth as cream. Comes from the Scots word “reyme”, meaning “cream”). Rjómalogn (Icelandic) Cream-calm, used to denote  profoundly tranquil weather or sea. Arafin (Welsh) Calm or slow weather in Welsh. blikkstille./ blekkstille (Norwegian) AContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Rema”

Wellington Walks

Over the summer (which is Christmas and New Year in New Zealand) we were walking nearly every day over the hills and to the beach. Here’s a record of some of these walks. It is a pretty place for nature,hills and beaches Wellington. Although it is not a good idea to swim in the oceanContinue reading “Wellington Walks”

The Māori legend of Pania: Kaitiaki and taniwha of the reef, retold as street art

Pania is the legendary Kaitiaki (guardian/protector) of the reef in local Maori legend and her wairua (spirit) is connected strongly to the moana (ocean) close by to the town of Napier. Legend has it that Pania was a shimmering and iridescently beautiful maiden who lives in the sea and following a human encounter and a brokenContinue reading “The Māori legend of Pania: Kaitiaki and taniwha of the reef, retold as street art”

Celestial ceilings and soaring skies in Poland

Poland in the summer is filled with enveloping sunlight, as bright and life affirming as a hug. Vibrant life, bees and flies take a circuitous route through fields of barley, poppies and wheat in the countryside. The air filled with drifting dandelion and pollen. A cacophany of bird song fills the countryside accompanied by aContinue reading “Celestial ceilings and soaring skies in Poland”

Japan’s 72 gossamer-light and poetic microseasons

The traditional seasons in Japan are marked out by impercetibly small changes in nature across 72 miniature seasons in a year, each lasting 5 days and reflecting the fleeting, impermanent and diaphanous beauty of nature and all of its wonders. There are 24 divisions or sekki in the calendar that are split into 72 kōContinue reading “Japan’s 72 gossamer-light and poetic microseasons”

Intricate and endearing chirimen crafts in Kyoto

What is Chirimen? Chirimen is a beautiful and intricate weaving technique that was developed in the late 16th century in Japan. Silk is folded to generate soft wrinkles in a technique called chirimen. According to a pamphlet I picked up from the Chirimen Craft Museum in Arashiyama, “the wrinkles are created by alternating two typesContinue reading “Intricate and endearing chirimen crafts in Kyoto”

Travel: Magnificent Ryoan-ji temple and gardens, Kyoto

Ryōan-ji (meaning the Temple of the Dragon at Peace) is a Zen temple located in Kyoto, Japan. The Ryōan-ji garden is considered one of the finest surviving examples of Japanese Zen temple garden design generally featuring distinctive larger rock formations arranged amidst a sweep of smooth pebbles arranged in immaculate linear patterns, designed to facilitateContinue reading “Travel: Magnificent Ryoan-ji temple and gardens, Kyoto”

Travel: Among the Irish Faeries and Norse Gods

Many years ago, I went hiking in Ireland in Glendalough I saw some magical landscapes. Ireland has a beautiful soft light in the summer. The diffused sunlight is speckled with clouds that pass over the vast valleys and mountain-sides. It’s possible to sit there all day and just watch the way the light travels overContinue reading “Travel: Among the Irish Faeries and Norse Gods”

Travel: Poland’s Creepy Chapel of Skulls

*I visited Poland in 2016 and saw the Chapel of Skulls, this story is from this time. For a completely off the beaten path look at the more macabre and dark past of Poland, then you should visit the Chapel of Skulls located just outside of the popular spa town of Kudowa Zdroj in LowerContinue reading “Travel: Poland’s Creepy Chapel of Skulls”