Monthly Archives: October 2020

The Tightrope Walker by Michael Edward Bradford

High above the maddening crowds of life, the tightrope walker gingerly walks,
Delicately balancing his body, his mind, energy, thoughts, feelings and emotions,
He has to maintain his balance or he will lean, tilt off balance and fall to his death,
So he remains calm, focused, centred – paying full attention to his every action.

He balances his head and his heart, staying as close to centre as he can,
He balances his intellect with his emotions, his thoughts and his feelings,
He balances his left-brain and his right-brain, his logic and his intuition,
He balances his mind, thoughts, logic with his feelings, emotions, heart, intuition.

He balances his will and his power with his love, tenderness and compassion,
He balances his desires and needs, with the desires and needs of others,
He balances his longing for control, with his need for independence and freedom,
He balances all of his polarities, all of his extremes, all of his aspects, his parts.

Walking the tightrope, remaining in balance is not easy, however it is a challenge,
A very noble worthy challenge few can do, and fewer still can do well, or master,
Only a rare few dare to walk life in balance, peace, harmony, joy and happiness,
Only a rare few dare to keep their mind and heart open, feeling, staying present.

So I take another deep breath, outstretch my arms even wider, feeling, sensing,
Seeking to stay present in my body, alive, alert, awake, listening, feeling, sensing,
And as I walk, I feel my own body, the rope, the pulse of life and of the Universe,
I feel my heart and my soul calling to me, to live life fully – in love, in compassion.

Each day I walk this tightrope, dong my best to learn, change, grow and evolve,
Each and everyday I risk a little more, learn a little more, balance a little better,
As I risk and learn, I remain open, receptive, vulnerable, feeling, sensing, living,
Sometimes I come close to losing my balance and falling, yet my soul saves me.

Thankfully I am paying attention, learning to be more open, aware, sensitive,
I’m learning not to judge, beat myself up, condemn myself or seek perfection,
Each day I do my best to maintain this delicate balance – to seek my centre,
To seek the truth of who I am, to give my best to myself, and to this world!

Every time I lean too much to the right, or too much to the left, I catch myself,
Returning as best I can to my centre, to balance, peace, love and harmony,
This takes constant awareness, supreme commitment, sensitivity and more,
Yet as each day passes, I can see, I can feel how much I am growing, evolving.

Yes, I can still laugh, and play, and create, and dance, and still live life fully,
However there is an inner calling within me to be more, to become more,
This inner calling is for peace, harmony, balance, sensitivity, awareness,
To connect with myself, others, to maintain a balance, to walk the tightrope well!

Grottos, Ancient and Modern by Lesley Andrews

A grotto is “a natural or artificial cave used by humans in both modern times and antiquity” (Wikipedia). Grottos are fascinating subjects for a mineralogist – the article below deals with European grottoes, but there are also grottos of a different kind in North Africa and China.

Natural grottos are often found near water and may flood at high tide, such as the famous grottos around the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas, often accessible by swimming or diving. Inland, grottos (or caverns) are associated with the water-eroded areas of limestone in inland areas, and this is where stalagmites and stalactites form from mobilised carbonate minerals such as calcite.

The Blue Grotto, a natural formation in Malta.

A third type of natural grotto, normally called a “lough” or a “vug”, is the most beautiful of all three types, and is usually only discovered when mined into, or when revealed by rock falls. These caverns are lined with beautiful crystals such as fluorite, calcite, barite, gypsum, galena, sphalerite, or pyrite (the spar minerals of the Victorian miners). Caverns or vugs in granitic systems may be lined with rock crystal or amethyst.

One (shortened) description of the minerals to be found in a cavern opened by mining was provided by an amazed John Williams in 1789: “There is an innumerable multitude of short prismatical crystals which sparkle like a thousand diamonds, and between these and sticking to them promiscuously, there are pyrites and spar shot also into prismatical, cubic and other figures, and clusters of grotesque figures which grow out of one another. The whole inside of the cavern is magnificently adorned with all the gay and splendid colours of the rainbow and the peacock’s tail”!

Man-made grottos over the ages have exploited natural rock systems or were constructed from scratch. They were lined with natural crystals, mirrors, coloured glass and/or shells, and many other artefacts.

Example of a mid-1700s grotto wall lining (Andrews)

Grottoes, natural and man-made, were very popular in Ancient Greek and Roman culture and invariably contained a spring, a fountain or a well, sometimes even a bathing area. Often statues of gods and goddesses featured, as well as sculpted mythological beings. Later, in the sixteenth century, artificial grottoes became popular in Italy and France, usually set in large gardens, and often incorporating “water tricks for the unsuspecting visitor”. In parts of Switzerland, grottoes were used as areas to store and preserve wine and food, some of these later became restaurants

The grotto constructed in his Twickenham garden by Poet Alexander Pope in the 1740s, and the grotto of Charles Hamilton built in Surrey in the 1760s, are fine examples of English grottos. Both still exist, although partially damaged, and are being restored by Trusts.

Hamilton’s Grotto in Painshill Park. The stalactites are artificial; they are formed from gypsum flakes attached to wooden frameworks (

By the mid nineteenth century, the fashion for grotto-building in the UK had waned, but there has been a revival recently. This has seen the restoration of many older grottoes and construction of new ones. Many of these are beautifully lined with shells and corals (see

The most lavish crystal grotto is found near Edinburgh in Scotland at Bonnington House. This is encrusted with 15 tons of Brazilian amethysts. The owners say going down into the grotto is like “being baptized”, a similar feeling of awe to that experienced by those mineralogists lucky enough to visit crystal pockets in mines, or of cave explorers finding an unexpected cavern complete with stalagmites and stalactites.

Entrance to the grotto at Bonnington House. This and the previous picture form part of an article by Marcus Field in “the Tatler”, 27 July 2015.
Owners Nicky and Robert Wilson inside the grotto at Bonnington House. The grotto was designed and produced by Anya Gallaccio .


We are a mere memory in a Box by Deborah Jordaan

Good day to our loyal readers. Hope you are all well in these trying times we are going through. My article this month is about, “What happens to our material belongings when we die?”

All my stories come from personal experiences.

I have in my possession a few belongings of relatives. No one is fighting over it as it’s of no worth to them. If it were expensive jewellery or heirlooms that can be sold they would be here to fetch it.

It’s very sad that some relatives value you after your death for what you have left behind instead of missing the person that has passed on. Material possessions get sold if they have value and the deceased person is sometimes forgotten.

Yes we can go on with life but keep that person alive in memories of times gone by.

I have little notes my mom wrote. To some it would just be nonsensical but I have memories of my mom sitting watching cooking channels and writing notes of the recipes and she would try to make the meal and she made it so nice.

All of us have memories of loved ones and we should keep their quirky and wonderful things they did in our mind and to keep their stories alive in our children and grandchildren.

My grandchildren remember my mom and the little things she did for them and we talk about her to keep her alive in our memories.

Some families put the deceased person’s belongings in a box and it never is seen unless it gets sold. They amount the deceased person’s life to only a few belongings in a box-the few non valuable things left in the box are what people define the deceased as.

My cousin passed on in the beginning of the year and all they fought about was who is going to keep the ashes because some contributed more money than others.

Her belongings are with me and no one is bothered to look what her life was about from her hair dressing equipment to her poetry she wrote. That means nothing to them to see what she was about as a person.

All they remember is the bad times she went through, the mother she wasn’t to her son and that she was on pain tablets but they didn’t think she was in extreme pain because of her cancer-she didn’t share her tragedies with any of us.

None of them even know why she died. She was judged before death and still so after her death. Instead of remembering her for the bubbly person she was before her illness they only remember tragedy.

It’s so sad how things end that way.

Let’s hope when our time comes to become part of the universe that we will be remembered in love. Be grateful for now and that you are loved and cherished.

Be blessed.

The Freedom in Forgiveness by Karin Kelly Lawrenz

Excerpt from my book…
Forgiveness Explained

Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses.
We often think of forgiveness as a kind, magnanimous act—an act of mercy or compassion extended to someone who wronged us. While that can be true, research over the past few decades has revealed enormous personal benefits to forgiveness as well.

Forgiveness : There is freedom in forgiveness. I have personally experienced this in my life.

J Kehoe “Forgiveness is letting go of “your upset.” You let go of it because it does you no good. Every time you think of the person who has upset you, you get upset. You lose energy. The upset that you feel is in you and does not affect them in the slightest. You are the one suffering from it. In fact you suffer from it again and again, every time you think about it. The smartest way to deal with the upset is to forgive and move on. “But they don’t deserve my forgiveness,” you might say. Perhaps this is true. But whether they do or not is not the issue—YOU deserve it.

You deserve to be free of this annoyance, to not have it upset you and bring you down every single time you think about it. The benefit of forgiveness is for the person forgiving, not for the person being forgiven. When you realise this, it becomes much easier to forgive. In fact it seems almost ludicrous not to forgive.”

I wrote an article not so long ago “How do we let go” and can be read on my blog.

Like stress, chronic anger, resentment and even hatred play havoc with our well-being. They remove our peace of mind, make us more susceptible to disease, can mess with our sleep and ultimately decrease our overall happiness levels.

In other words, we’re allowing the person concerned to carry on exerting power over us sometimes years, even decades, after the original event.

And to compound the issue they rarely even know it. I totally understand that forgiveness is not always easy, but the benefits that come with it are so huge that it’s worth cultivating.

Your song, my song, our song… By Ada Den Hollander

Wandering in the forest
not knowing where to go
I hear soft sounds emerging.

Wondering who is playing
quickening my pace
I see you sitting there
singing, playing your guitar.

Watching you, I hear your tender voice
pulling me, inviting me
to join.

Branches rustling as I approach
you look up and sing
the last line of your song
I found my love
where have you been so long?

Hand me your guitar
let me play for you
my fingers touch the strings
soft sounds emerge
you smile a happy smile.

Let me sing for you
words from my heart
kept there too long
hear my song.
Somehow I know you
from somewhere far away
from sometime long ago
I smile a happy smile.

Together we sing
the last line of my song
I found my love
where have you been so long?