Authentic August

Announcement (25.7.17)

A week today is the 1st day of August - not a favourite month...

I am NOT a Summer person - the heat, the sun, the flies, the wasps - I spent my childhood sunburnt (I have very pale skin) and bitten πŸ˜“

So I decided to get myself through this long, often sticky-icky, month writing small stones and I've set up a Facebook group where we can share, if you want to join me. (I did a similar thing in June last year and we had a page for June Joy πŸ˜Š )

I'll also be using Jen Morris' daily one-word prompts for extra inspiration - I find they get the creative juices flowing both verbally amd visually.
Focussing on the small things each day, writing a few lines about them (poetically or prosaically), and decorating a page or three in a journal, helps me get through a hard patch.

I'll be using this beautiful journal bought last year from here  - just because I like pretty journals, but it's certainly not a prerequisite... There are none!
I do hope you'll join me, and if you want to share leave a comment on a post here or over on the Facebook page. There are no right or wrong ways to do any of this, so feel free to play and experiment, and help me get through an often-blah month authentically πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’›πŸ’œ
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31 July
Tomorrow is 1 August, and we start 31 days of writing, poetry, art-making - marking the 'small' things each day...

Won't you join us?
Learn more here.
I'm using this journal for the journey 😊
... and I've already started preparing
and on the back I've written
The inside cover...
And I've included the 3 lovely Love Notes I received from Germany:
All ready to start tomorrow Tuesday 1 August, Lammas Day, Feast of the First Fruits - won't you join me? I'll be posting here and on our Facebook page each day. I'll aim to post roughly at this time, but you know, Life does get in the way sometimes...
And I've added a new page (under blog banner) where all the posts will be gathered together.
Can't wait to get started, I'm excited! πŸ’“
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1 August
Before I begin, I want to wish you a Happy Lammas Day! I found a page from an old We'Moon diary, and lots of stickers for the First Fruits 😊 We may not plough the land, but I'm sure we've seen much grow since 2017 began... This is a day to be mindful of that, and give thanks when we can.
Using Jen Morris' one-word prompts most days for inspiration
... here are today's pages:
Not a word I like, and I try and avoid it where possible! I've written my feelings about the word, and this Victorian-age photo captures my sentiments perfectly! I grew up in a world of 'Shoulds', which I no longer wish to inhabit.
A word no longer in my vocabulary. 
It belongs to a more archaic time.

I'd love to know your thoughts on the word S H O U L D, so feel free to share (either below in the comments or here).

Also, I've added a new page (the link is under the blog banner) where all these Authentic August posts are being gathered.
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2 August
No surprises what's on my desk today - my Authentic August journal 
with today's creation - following Jen Morris' one-word journal prompts from here:
Today's word WHISPER
and on the back of the cards tucked in the pages...
on the left, my small stone for today:
Shhh, can you hear it?
The whisper in the trees, 
among the tall grasses, 
down in the hidden burrows.
Shhh, can you hear it?
The whisper of Life,
of breath, of the Divine.
and on the right a favourite quote I typed out and stuck down:
Every blade of grass has its angel
that bends over it and whispers,
'grow' - The Talmud
It's not too late to join in the fun - just go here  or here if on Facebook 😊 You can see yesterday's post here.
Sharing with other WOYWWers here at Julia's.
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3 August
From Jen Morris' list of prompts:
Today's word is WORK:
...and my thoughts:
Meaningful work creates meaning** and purpose.
Money is not always involved.
But 'good' work is fulfilling and satisfying.
It is a blessing.
- which is tomorrow's word 😊

On the back of the Work, Rest, Play tag, I've written Ora et Labora (Latin for 'Prayer and Work') from the Rule of St Benedict, who wanted the monks in his monasteries to have both spiritual and physical exercise.

And I've included a photo from a magazine article about a potter. I've always thought ceramicists are multi-talented (confirmed by watching this (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08d6897) - the designing, the physical making, the decorating/glazing, the multiple firings - when all that work (time and energy spent) can be shattered in an instant (literally!). Potters have to trust their work to the unknown every day, and even a well-seasoned potter has no exact idea what will emerge from the kiln...

I'd love to know your thoughts on WORK, so share in the comments below or on Facebook here.

** Typing this up, I realize I thought I'd written 'value and purpose'... My addled brain does this - I'm thinking one thing, and my hand's merrily scribbling something else...
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4 August
Before I show today's journal prompt, I wanted to share this...
Since mid-June, when I acquired these cards and journal (I got mine secondhand, but unused, from an Amazon seller), I've drawn a card a day. I love the simple graphics and the earthy colour palette, and today's seems very appropriate: drop expectation and trust the flow of inspiration πŸ˜Š 
But also, it was only yesterday, that I really noticed the back of the cards...
And just how perfect the words are for what we're doing in Authentic August - we really are celebrating the art of journalling for our souls!

Which all leads very nicely on to today's word 
I don't know if you can read my acrostic as it's written in gold ink. It reads:
Begin
Living
Every
Sacred
Second
In
Never-ending
Gratitude
And on the back of the fern postcard on the right, I've adapted a Celtic blessing by Fiona Macleod:
A Blessing
Deep peace, a white dove to you
Deep peace, a green leaf to you
Deep peace, a quiet rain to you
Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the sleeping stones to you
Deep peace of the flock of stars to you
Deep peace from the Son of Peace to you
Deep peace from the heart of Mary to you
Deep peace, deep peace!

To be a blessing, to give a blessing, is to be blessed in return - that's how it works... Like love really - to be loved, we need to love, it makes us more lovable, I think 😍
What do you think?
Do you bless others (other than when they sneeze πŸ‘ƒ) - either out loud or in the silence of your heart? I'm sure it doesn't matter which...
Share any thoughts in the comments below or here. Anyone can join in - one day, several days, any day - it's all good πŸ’–
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5 August
Today's word is RAIN (very appropriate as heavy showers forecast on and off today in my part of the world).
Instead of using my own words, I clipped a page from an old We'moon diary:

To Become the Rain
Now, now we must become the rain,
letting our bodies sink into
the parched earth, filling
every crevice with listening
so great that flowers
bloom where are bodies lie.

Look up at the sky and shout
prayers of thanksgiving
that cause
the heavens to join in,
raining down sweet mercy.

There is no choice anymore
but to lie still and sink in.
We must moisten the ground
of each other
with our own sweet essence,
showing the rains,
by our example,
what it is to flow down,
gathering strength and unity.

What is it to love one another?
It is to belly down and
become the rain.
That way
the Earth may remember
and so share her own heart
which beats in-sync with
our own.
~ Sulis Sarasvati 2011 ~

I thought it tied in rather well with yesterday's word, Blessing πŸ˜Š
I love that it so happened there's a see-through page here in the journal I'm using, as you can the image on the next page, as through frosted glass...
It's just clipped from a magazine (no idea which), and the tape across the top reads 'cheer up'. A lot of people don't like the rain - and it IS annoying when one's organized an outdoor event, and it pours down - but having lived in Kenya and California, I can honestly say, rain IS a blessing - those parched lands cry out for it!
Your thoughts? Comment below or here in the FB group where wonderful interactions are happening... Blessings are indeed raining down! πŸ’¦Do feel free to join any time!
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6 August
Today's word is Follow
The rosette on the left-hand page was already there on the page, and the wee pocket below, in which I've stuffed word tickets by Tim Holtz, I think.
Ah, do we follow our hearts? our feelings? our bliss? or do we follow other directions - the challenging way, the hard way, the slow way... as in the image on the right?
Or do we not follow at all, and prefer to carve our own way through the undergrowth, off the beaten path?
Lots to ponder...
Do share any thoughts in the comments below or here.
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7 August
Today's word is COINCIDENCE
I confess I didn't know what to do for this one, so I rummaged around my drawers of paper ephemera, and lo and behold, these two images were together...
A page from an old PapayaArt diary and a page from a magazine (Country Living, maybe?), and there was my coincidence!
Don't you love it when that happens??
Do share any coincidences (recent or otherwise) in the comments below, or over here.

PS I'll be posting later in the day tomorrow, as I have hydrotherapy in the morning πŸ’¦πŸ’¦
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8 August
As the rain pours down (according to the BBC forecast, we won't see the sun again till Thursday ☂), I'm in a reflective mood, so bear with me...



I'll start by sharing my moonboard (the moon is the ultimate reflector, after all), which I made yesterday evening under an already heavily clouded sky. The photos aren't the best because of the low light:
There's a definite light/dark theme (because it's eclipse season, I think). I 'choose' these images randomly and 'see' how they 'fit' on a page... I'm always a little amazed by what transpires.
Left-hand page
No words, as such, other than the date and the moon. The postcards are all from my stash - I think the fairy (upper left) is an Amy Brown, and the bottles (lower right) a Cathy Cullis.

Right-hand page
The words in the clouds, I've used before, but I do love them πŸ’—
I boldly take up the shadows,
wear them,
like midnight silk,
honour them,
for their part in me.
Nell Aurelia (2013)
And then a We'moon page from an old diary titled Between Us:
Medicine Wheel
Stepping slowly around the Wheel,
how I love each Self there, my other Me,
each Sister on the other side,
played out each day in my one soul.
We reach for each other, Sisters all,
me and me, and me and me,
and make one whole.
excerpt Annelinde Metzner (2012)

PS I've added a new page 'Moonboards' (under the blog banner). Here I tell how I got into moonboarding four year ago...
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Each day I get daily nourishment from here. Here's today's:

Anyone can live like a monk in their daily life, even if they are far from a monastery, are married, or have children.  Being a monk in the world means cultivating a commitment to slowness, spaciousness, and attentiveness to the sacred dimension of each object and activity.


And somewhat coincidentally, today's word is Daydream...
I confess I'm not exactly a daydreamer - and I rarely remember night-dreams... I'm not much of a dreamer at all really! So I've relied on the words of others from magazine adverts and random stickers, both on the pages and on the back of the pocket-card:
I do admit I would love to look like this Toast model... I'm captivated by her steady, strong gaze - there's something Mona Lisa-like about her...
What do you think?
Are you a daydreamer? Do you remember night-dreams?
Are you a reflector, like the moon?
Are you a monk committed 'to slowness, spaciousness, and attentiveness'?
Share in the comments below or over here in our Facebook group. You can join in any time - if a prompt speaks to you, respond. We'd love to know your thoughts 😊
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9 August
More Authentic August art journalling...
The word today from this list
is FULL, and I've certainly overloaded these pages!! And written on the back of the various tags and cards
If you can't quite read the list on the right, it reads:
Art-full
Beauty-full
Grace-full
Grate-full
Hope-full
Insight-full
Joy-full
Peace-full
Play-full
Thank-full
Thought-full
Youth-full
I do like playing with words πŸ˜ƒ
You can still join our merry band on Facebook here - do one day, several days, any day, it's all good! And here's all my posts so far...
Sharing with lovely Ms Julia.
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10 August
Today's word is CREATIVE
The main image is from an old Toast catalogue.- making paper bunting πŸ‘‹
And on the next pages
I've added stickers on the photograph to look like more pictures on the wall, and on and in the wee booklet tucked in the pocket...
Feel free to click on the images to enlarge.
Caring
Remembering
Encouraging
Accepting
Trusting
Inviting
Valuing
Empathizing
- all are creative acts as well as the more obvious
 drawing, dancing, writing, painting, sculpting
There are LOTS of ways to be creative!
Do drop and see us on Facebook, we're having a grand ole time being creative 🐾🐾
PS I've just noticed the words of my acrostic and following words form the shape of a vase on a shelf... creative wonders all around πŸ’–
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11 August
Today's word is OPTIMISM
These images are of a friend's garden - she enclosed lots of photos in her last letter (she lives on Rhode Island).
I've written:
Any who garden must have a ready supply of optimism to believe that what they plant will grow and flourish 
so they may savour the eventual harvest.
A short and sweet post today as I grab what internet connection there is...
As always, pop any thoughts in the comments or visit our gathering here
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12 August
Today is the Glorious Twelfth (I grew up surrounded by shooting families in rural Lincolnshire, and as kids, we'd work as beaters - any excuse to spend a day outside with friends, and earn some pocket money!) It's also a dear friend's birthday, and this year, just happens to be the local WI garden party AND the start of the new Premier League season - a VERY busy day!

But our focus is today's word, both noun and verb, REBEL and I just had to take a certain theme over a number of pages...
I've had these facsimiles of suffragette memorabilia for a couple of years, just waiting for this project πŸ˜„
I just LOVE the crying baby postcard bewailing 'Mummy's a Suffragette! My first encounter with the word was Mrs Banks in Mary Poppins - how I loved that film growing up (and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)!
I know, if I'd be alive then, I would have joined the marches, the processions, but I wouldn't have joined in the violence - breaking windows, setting properties on fire...
I had to add this sticker - it seemed perfectly to sum up how this was a ordinary, everyday movement, in which women realized they could do extraordinary things (despite the very real threat of prison, whether they embarked on criminal activity or not).
And still the fight goes on in many parts of the world...
Do share any thoughts in the comments below or here, and I promise I will give politics a wide berth in future posts...
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13 August
Today's word is WILLING
On the left, is a poem cut from an old We'moon diary by Susa Silvermarie (2010):

Chrysalis
The mountain stands us still
and blows us a thick cover of stars.
What are we ready for
is not    what we expected.
We learn to see sideways
We grow antennae.
The crystal night enfolds us.

While we are rapt in stillness
our DNA changes.
We go to our heart's mountain
to stand still within change.
We spin     everywhere
a vast change.

And I've written a small stone on the right:
I am willing to grow,
change, be different,
flourish, become. A Nother,
my Self, is ready and
willing to show herself.
And yes, I am willing to
die, for death is but
change, a new way of
BEING.

I'd love to know your thoughts... What are you willing into being...? Are you willing - to be, to change, to grow...?
Share in the comments below, or here in the Facebook group - you can join any time 😊
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14 August
Today's word is a favourite, delicate...
On the left, a delicate-faced Toast model and on the right, words I think of when I ponder 'delcate'. And on the back, I've written some quite difficult thoughts...
These words rushed out... unedited... It's hard to share, but I need to...
Sometimes these word-prompts just unlock things long held in. Delicate thing, fragile things, things hard to pin down in words...
Share any 'delicate' thoughts... they're safe here, and here, in our lovely group.
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15 August
Today's word is night (apologies for the blurry photos - my trusty camera is not at its best in low light)
Once again a see-through page is well-met - you can just see the smoking candle through its opaqueness... it's as if the young girl has just blown it out at her bedside, as she snuggles down to sleep and dream... of owls silently hunting, and hungry fox-cubs...
On the tab that hold the card, I've put a sticker that reads 'bedtime'.
And on the back of the postcard, my random thoughts on 'Night'
What are your night throughts?
Were you afraid of the dark as a child? Now, as an adult?
Do share in the comments below, or in our lovely group.
Here's the picture on the other side of the frosted page, and a 'dream' ticket 😊
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16 August
On my desk - still more Authentic August journalling, and we're now just past the halfway point of 31 daily prompts πŸ‘ Today's wordremember, is very powerful... 
I'm letting the pictures do the talking, and a few stickers - 'dearest', a small, but powerfully evocative, word on the shoulder of the wistful older woman on the left - I imagine her carrying the ghost of a loved one on that shoulder...
And in contrast, lots of jolly friendship words scattered around these 'best of friends' on the right. I don't know about you, but I imagine these too are a real pair... their willful high-jinx barely suppressed as they pose for their formal school portrait πŸ˜‰
Do share any remembered thoughts below in the comments or in our ever-welcoming group.
Also sharing with Julia here.
PS My internet connection has been very patchy for the past week, so I may 😊, or may not πŸ˜ž, get to visit many desks...
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17 August
This week is getting more and more busy, so this is a very short post on a, I confess, not particularly inspiring wordsplash. (Although, given I woke to the magical sound of rain splashing down on the conservatory roof this morning, it does have a tad more resonance than when I made the pages last night...)
The watery image on the left is from an old We'moon diary - it's called 'Butterfly Woman', and it's by Melanie Gendron. 
The colourful image on the right is clipped from an old World of Interiors magazine, and I've simply added 'raining down... splash of colour'.
Maybe 'splash' inspires you more, do share in the comments below or here.
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18 August
Today, I feel only immense sadness...
While I was creating this spread yesterday, I was blissfully unaware of the horrors unfolding in Barcelona.
The world is small, the ripples of hate immense... I must believe the power of love and healing is larger, stronger. I must. I must.

Today's word is another tricky one to interpret, I think...
... in the end, I went with the sense of 'boundless' - the world seemed immense (immeasurable), with boundless seas, when this old map was first drawn.
And in the wee envelope on the right?
I couldn't resist this image of the 'immense' Alice, when she's eaten the cake 😊
I'm curious to hear how you'd interpret today's word... Share in the comments below, or in our Facebook group.
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19 August
As my deep, energy-sapping sadness continues, at least today's word-prompt is one with which I find it easy to engage - TRUE
On the left, a postcard of the Hermit tarot card, under which I've written 'my true nature', and added a sticker reading 'be true to yourself'. I am an INFP personality type - Introvert, iNtuitive, Feeling and Perceiving, but I've spent most of my life 'extroverted' as that's how the 'world' expects one to behave...
The quote clipped from a magazine and placed across the right-hand page, is most poignant given the recent terror attacks in Spain:

True pleasure consists in serenity of mind and the absence of fear.
Erich Fromm
And I found this quote online when I googled him:
The psychic task which a person can and must set for himself is not to feel secure, 
but to be able to tolerate insecurity.
Definitely not an easy task, but a necessary and true one, I think. 

And a second spread. I can't remember from where these words are clipped, but I consider them to be 'true':

live boldly, laugh loudly, love truly,
play as often as you can. 
work as smart as you are able.
share your heart as deeply as you can reach.
as you awaken
may your dreams
greet you by name and
may you answer, 'yes.'
as you walk
may all your angels
gather at your shoulders and
may you confidently know
they stand with you.
as you rest
may all your endeavours
know contentment and peace.

And these two cuties peeping out on the right? Why they are a true piece of someone's history... from December 1912, no less - a Christmas photo-card, would you believe, sent to Mademoiselle Blaise Jeanne(?) of her cousins, Antoinette and Bertha
It was among a stash of vintage postcards I bought years ago at an antique market in Newark.
TRUE - a powerful word that stirs the soul... 
feel free to share any 'true' thoughts/observations in the comments below, or join us here - you'd be most welcome πŸ’–
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20 August
Today's word left me floundering a bit for inspiration:
As I've written on the left:
really struggled with this prompt... as someone who can barely stand, let alone jump, what could I do or say??!
Till I realized another form of Jump... As someone who has always been scared of spiders, coming across one is guaranteed to make me jump emotionally, if not physically!
Needless to say, as a non-liker of our 8-legged 'friends', I have no images of them, but I did find this postcard in my stash...
Honest words penned directly on the page.
What makes you Jump... for joy? in fright?
Do share below in the comments or here in the group.
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21 August
And today we return to a more promising word-prompt - WORLD - and I think you can see many of the themes of the moonboard repeated here:
A beautiful rural misty morning image clipped from a magazine (this image immediately makes me feel calmer... it's so soothing), and tucked in the pretty pocket on the right?
A vintage postcard of John Constable's watercolour 'Weymouth Bay', a dear friend sent me recently πŸ˜Š
And over the page, another spread...
A lovely woodcut clipped from a magazine of a richly abundant cottage garden, and opposite another wee pocket on which I've stuck a cute photo of a fabric house; and tucked in it...
... this card on which I've stuck this lovely sketch of a working-class street (I imagine it's somewhere in Yorkshire, a favourite part of the world!). And on the back...some impromptu thoughts on the world.
It's a big, rich prompt today, what stirs in you when you see the word WORLD? Share below in the comments or here.

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