This morning I broke out the tarot cards. I had not done so in a long time for various reasons. I read the cards for myself. It is a special deck of tarot I have though I also have two other tarots- the Rider-Waite and the Sybilla oracle [the latter is not a tarot perse]. I chose this morning to use > Songs For The Journey Home /a>
Then I looked up the website to find that a friend of mine who had made the tarot with her friend, Catherine Cook, had died three years ago. Dwariko taught me I could change my name without a deed pole- I changed it in my, as yet unpublished, novel. The first time I saw her at a psychic fair she asked me my dreams. I told her that I wanted to play the harp and go to Ireland. Thanks to her loaning me her Harrison harp [a New Zealand one] I was able to accomplish the former relatively quickly. I am still waiting for the opportunity to go to Ireland.
Dwar and I kept in touch over the years seeing each other occasionally. For my 21st birthday she gave me the tarot she had co-created and helped me to label the cards in braille. We recorded the sessions on tape.
Dwariko was very ill towards the end of her life. I wondered why I hadn’t heard anything from her and was shocked to learn of her death today.
So I felt compelled to write this blog as tribute to one who was so very clever - a great teacher and friend. A renaissance woman but so good at hiding it.
This month I have been reading much stuff about psychoanalysis and listening to lots of different stuff.
Tonight I ah going to see Bryn Terfel with the NZSO and Tequin Evans perform Wagner and stuff from his 2007 album First Love: Songs of the British Isles. . Should be great.
Last month I went to see Auckland Choral perform Handel [Coronation Anthems and Music for the Royal Fireworks]. Was very nice. Also went to the opera.
On May 1, 1939 in Seattle, Washington, the world first heard the beauty of a voice. Her name was Judith Marjorie Collins and she would go on to introduce the symphony to popular music and bring such artist as Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell to international acclaim. Collins, in the 60’s had a reputation as “the singer’s singer”.
I first wrote Judy Collins in 2000. She wrote back to me and sent me free CD’s. When Judy joined FaceBook sometime in the last couple of years we hooked on there too.
I met Judy in the Autumn of 2006, not a happy time of my life. Her songs, ever so slightly out of reach, have saved my life many times.
Collins, like the music she sings, is gentle, a soft touch. She can call a spade a spade and gives some sage advice if the occasion warrants it. She has tried her hand at many things besides her principle art of singing including pottery and painting.
Thank you for letting me in if only a little as I shed my woes with you perhaps too much. Thank you for writing In The Spring Time and Big Sur and so many others. Thank you Judy for all.
Got an email yesterday saying that the movie is finished. This is great news but more on that later.
I have just discovered that Joanne Harris [author of Chocolat etc] has a tumblr. What’s more she has interesting things to say on it. check it out at Interesting news is coming from her corner - was just looking at her website.
Weather is growing colder which means the darker months are ahead. I also have had a lot of uni work going on - trying to write an essay on Eric Erikson, not much fun
“But the movie,” you say, “Talk about the movie…” I will. Simply to say I was asked to play a fictional blind person who just happens to bare my name.
I have been very busy with Uni and stuff. Nonetheless always reading.
Re Music this month have been spending al to of time listening to Haydn and Mozart piano sonatas. Very nice. Also Joan Baez: Rare, Live and Classic.
Too much music to talk about in brief this month but here’s what I have been devouring this month.
“You’ve got to learn braille but you have to really concentrate.” So four-year-old me was told by a preschool teacher. This moment of idealism was magically caught on video. I still have the videotape [yes, it’s a REAL video!]
I want to tell everybody how important Braille is in my life. When I began school there were not any electronic Braille writers [well there were but too clunky and cumbersome for classroom use.]
There was the opticon which produced raised printed letters and the VBII [a refreshable Braille device.] And another one [though this was in the 80’s] the BrailleMate that had only one cell on it. It is so interesting to learn all this stuff now and also about what has been called The War Of The Dots. We may not have had braille at all in the English world.
When I was 5 and starting school until I was about 9, somebody would transcribe my work for the classroom teacher. Then we got a Braille-to-Print. This was a printer that connected to a Perkins Braille machine and one would push a button every line of text/braille to get it printed out. It was an okay system - though arduous - when it worked.
In 2000 I got my first refreshable Braille device, a Braille Lite 2000. It was soooo cool to me - it even had games on it. I could write stories and a diary and so on and nobody could read it but me. I was rather addicted to the rather primitive games on it - just like my peers were addicted to computer games.
Unfortunately the Braille Lite was a DOS machine and I had to learn windows. But it is so pleasurable to read my computer in Braille. And to write it on my iDevice. I love the crispness of the dots as sighted people love to read the written word. I am pretty addicted to books but that’s another post entirely - about the lack of Braille books.
But it is so pleasurable to read my computer in Braille. And to write it on my iDevice. I love the crispness of the dots as sighted people love to read the written word.
I am pretty addicted to books but that’s another post entirely - about the lack of Braille books.
Well, I didn’t come back in a box from America. Had so much fun I didn’t want to come home.
But this post is a bout airlines. We all know that they are not very interesting and the food leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes we don’t think about the fundamentals of life -
I want to talk about airline toilets. It’s zoo hard going to the pooh on a aeroplane. It was so embarrassing, I couldn’t find the flusher on the way home. Add to this the fact that I probably got the runs from the chicken that they feed us on the flight.
In short, aeroplane toilets are hard to use and navigate for anybody not just blind people. I do not like them but what can one do on a 12-13 hour flight?
A wee while ago Noelle McCarthy, an Irish broadcaster and columnist for the Herald here in New Zealand, published a 200 words of nothingness in the newspaper. So now it’s my turn.
Not much is happening right now.. Seven more sleeps before I get to California! I am very much looking forward to my trip there and will blog about it and make
The aforementioned Noelle Mccarthy was on the radio this morning. She has a nice voice. She was talking to theauthor of a book about the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden which she said exposed the shady operations of the CIA. Sickeningly I really want to read it! >
One of the best books I ever read was Revolution Day: The Human Story of the War in Iraq by Rageh Ommar, the BBC’s man in baghdad who is from Somalia. It’s an awesome read if you can get it.
Lastly a little piece of interesting news is is due for release later this month. Many in the blind communtity including this author are very excited about it. In research studies blind participants have typed up to 23 words a minute in Grade 1 Braille. It sounds as if it’ll be a lot faster than the iPhone keyboard. People are predicting a HUGE hit and I can’t wait to try it.
This year I have decided to publish once a month what I am reading and listening to. I will do it about the 1st of every month.