Construction of Bayeux Cathedral began in the Roman period, under Bishop Hugues, to continue under William the Conqueror’s brother, Bishop Odo (11th Century). Following serious fire damage during the 12th Century, the cathedral was rebuilt in Gothic style in the 13th Century. Construction of the central tower began in the 15th Century, under Bishop Louis d’Harcourt, to be completed only in the 19th Century following major work by Eugène Flachat.
Excerted from an interview with Ram Dass. A Conversation with Ram Dass by David Ulrich 2017 for Parabola Magazine.
“The soul is not part of the incarnation. It comes into the incarnation. And the soul is not afraid of death because it has done it so many times. And now the ego is individual, and the world at this moment is ruled by nations which are egos. And I find, for example, that the United Nations is very ineffective. But then what would we substitute? We could substitute wise beings from different religions or different states—philosopher kings, if you will.
If you want oneness in society, you have to teach people to go inside instead of going outside, because if they want peace, they need to find it within. I remember being at a peace rally. Everybody was yelling, “PEACE PEACE!” That isn’t peace! Peace is inside, in me and in everybody else. If you want peace, you go down in.”
Sometimes a visit to a catheral like the one in Bayeux can also bring you down into the heart. The tranquility and sacred atmosphere of this beautiful interior – once the crowds have left – can be felt. It is easy to sit down and breathe deeply and find that peace in the depths of your own sacred being. We stayed for three glorious days but three days is not enough to discover all the wonderful sites in this special Normandy town. Today I offer some of my photos of the elegant cathedral in Bayeux.
This photo is provided by the Calvados Tourist Office. Photo from the crypt.
With the passing of Sathya Sai Baba, the pleasure of remembering those early days has been taken from me, because there is no longer anyone to remember with. Those ashram days are all but over for most of us that visited. It feels like losing my co-rememberer and like losing the memory itself, as if the things we’d done, back then, were less real and important to what the day holds for us now. I began the blog with my memories of Sathya Sai Baba, taking notes from my memory and writings to post on to this blog. I eagerly waited for each visit to come around, so I could jot down more experiences and events as they unfolded in his ashram. Mostly, I was lucky enough to have many stories to pass on to others with like-minds and who had shared experiences. Now Sai has gone, I’ve turned to creating YouTubes of Rumi poems, to add to my list of hobbies. Through Rumi poems and my photography, I’m able to create Youtubes that will keep both photos and the poems I love, alive and at my reach.
This is my first You Tube this year. I hope some of you will visit and take a few minutes to watch.
“The earth laughs in flowers.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Yes indeed! and the trees whisper in our ears. I love to take photos of both. Nature to me has more gems than the Crown Jewels and yet they do not cost a thing. Today, and in my future posts, I plan to write about my visits here and there and to post photos. There’s little else I can offer in the way of spiritual stories. I’ve done with that for now. I offer instead, a short peek into our visit to Haute Bretagne Floral gardens, Fr.
I don’t think we left soon enough for the trip to Normandy, Fr. It took over three hours from where we live and by the time we arrived it was late afternoon. The weather was fine when we left home, but dark clouds loomed by the time we reached Caen, then they lifted and then the sky turned dark again. After we left Nantes behind, a drizzling rain threatened to spoil the visit. Oppsie! Bloggers are not suppose to mention weather in the first paragraph. Sorry, I’ve broken the golden rule!
Finding the small turning off the highway, for the town of Fougères on the way to Normandy was more than difficult. There were a few signs as we left the highway for the back lanes but no real clear directions. Loads of pastures and fields of wheat and corn, clearly we were off the beaten track. Never mind, the villages were quaint and worth a visit. I love this part of Brittany, it is prettier than where we live and offers a lot to visitors. There are many visitors too, for the U.S. Cemeteries are located in Fougères and all along the coast, all the way to Le Harve.
Finally after a few wrong turnings we found a small town, not sure of its name. A town though filled of flowers. Another excuse to stop for another camera opportunity. Luckily we found a sign for the Park Floral. We eventually found it tucked away behind a field of cows.
The park sparkled in the late afternoon sunshine.The clouds had drifted and parted and a brilliant blue sky shone through for the rest of the afternoon. The other good thing – the park appeared to be uninhabited. There was absolutely no one there, other than the park’s gardeners, hidden away behind the shrubs. The down-side of that scenario – the small cafe was “ferme.” Nothing new there, I can tell you. “Ferme” is part of life in France. We can never leave home without water bottles and sandwiches. A cup of tea or coffee is out of the question, unless lucky enough to find a roadside stop-off. They are rare in this part of France. It would be another six hours before I had a cup of cafe.’ We just happened to return through Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, where an excellent roadside Cafe is located. It was “ouvert.”
The Floral park was more than amazing. It’s silence made me stand still for a moment to surrender to its peace. The birds chirped but there was nothing else. France does have an absence of wildlife in this area.(I put that down to overuse of chemicals on the crops.) I did not see a butterfly or bee the whole time there. Maybe it was too late in the year, or they just were not around.
Amazing that a park full of the most beautiful plants on earth can be so sterile. I was not able to capture the beauty of the park on camera. Not sure why not. I have managed the odd whimsical shot – but mostly, I feel, the park was too formal, so didn’t photograph too well.
The Japanese garden, one of 15 gardens, is huge! I cannot express my feelings about this colourful vista. Just walking through the tiny pathways that meander through the garden is an adventure in Paradise. This garden definitely is not of the Earthy type. I felt I’d died and gone to heaven. The colours so vibrant with vines and huge trees all intertwined, provides the visitor with a feeling of Eden. I wandered through all the paths and with every twist and turn, something more sublime met my eyes. The small rope bridge with its wobbly wood surface, appeared unsafe but I was not to be fooled. I crossed without incident.
My last photograph posted below is of a very unusual Hydrangea. It’s growing with other foliage up against the stone wall that forms the garden entrance. I had to smile when taking the photo, because like all the other plants and shrubs in this exquisite floral garden, it grew in a stylish French way. Look at the way the small flowers tumble! Rather like Paris fashion models wearing their finest and latest “Mode.” Je doisvous revoir! Viva la belle France!
Here are seveal of my recent photos of the Mock Orange. I love taking photos of this flower because of its elegance and sublime beauty, and the way it lends itself to the camera. The pity is the Mock Orange does not last long, along with all other Spring flowers it fades before there’s time to really take enough photos to make a good collection. Here are two of my better photos of this imposing flower from a few weeks ago taken outside in the rain.
Photo ~ Black Iris, Karen Platt’s Blog
“There are moments in our lives that stand still in time while all the frantic hours and years surrounding them have blurred into an obscurity of grayness. One such moment remains vivid in my mind after more than thirty years, a luminescent spot of time, as clear as if it had happened only yesterday. It was in one of those dark, cavern-like vaults of a lecture hall in college where Art History was offered as a slide show, and it was a perfectly ordinary lecture on American artists, clicking through shadowed images of Cubism and Futurism until a huge close-up of an iris glowed from the screen. “Black Iris.” Georgia O’Keeffe. A simple polarity of translucent light petals reaching upward and dark falls cascading downward made the flower look like a cathedral illumined from within. Breath stopped, mind stopped, and I felt myself dissolve into beauty, passing through painted veils of titanium white and dove gray mist, suspended over waves of amethyst, troughs of onyx. It was as if a thread of light flowing through the moment pierced me to the soul, connecting me to a higher realm.
There were no words in my nineteen-year-old mind to describe the epiphany I’d felt; there are no exact words this day. Words attempt to anchor experience, but that place was wordless and ineffable. In that light-filled moment I was changed forever, uplifted with new possibility. When I left class that afternoon, I had a mission in life: to attempt to stir in others that same sense of wonder: I began to study painting.”
–Rebecca Robison, an excerpt from “Through Beauty,” reaching for a harmonious whole, in PARABOLA, Volume 27, No. 3, Fall, 2002, “Grace.”
Being overwhelmed by the news and the continuing ordeal of the Charlie Hebdo events, I took off to the garden to take photos. I hope another post on the delights of the camera is not over doing it.
Often, during the winter, photography is not an option. The sun is hidden behind dark, low clouds, all looks grey and listless. At least they do here. There is little hope, with such weather, to take even a decent outside photo. It’s only when the sun suddenly and unexpectedly peaks through the clouds, perhaps at lunchtime some days, when I can venture into the garden to see what’s growing. There is one beautiful flower that somehow thrives in the darkest winter months – that is the Hellebore. The flowers of the Helleborus are almost a threat to the darkness of winter, for they are one of the most beautiful of all flowers. I have several Hellebores in the garden, from darkest purple to creamy pink. Here are some photos of the creamy pink one. I don’t even think the camera can do them justice, still I try. Here’s a few from today.
Youtube, at the bottom of this post, is quite special, a time lapse nature clip with amazing photos of butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. What can be better than to watch such beauty on a cold winter’s day. 🙂
Camera Lumix LX7 – macro flowers, edited in Topaz Clarity, and Ribbit, although not too much editing on classic flowers.
A Favourite Quote
With our faith invested in the lies, we no longer see the truth. The lies blind our faith, the power of our creation. ~ Don M. Ruiz
We Are All Connected – You Tube
(Beautiful, breath-taking time lapse photography)
(Photographers be warned: There is no other video to compare with this on you tube)
You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?
“I drank that wine of which the soul is is vessel. Its ecstasy has stolen my intellect away. A light came and kindled a flame in the depth of my soul. A light so radiant that the sun orbits around it like a butterfly.” -Rumi
Louie Schwartzberg bio
For over three decades, the award-winning cinematographer has been creating iconic and memorable images while becoming widely known as one of the industry’s most innovative cinematographers. Schwartzberg’s work in the areas of time-lapse photography, nature, aerial and “slice-of-life” photography are recognized around the world. Schwartzberg has been the recipient of two Clio Awards and received one Emmy Award nomination. He was recognized as one of the top 70 cinematographers for the “On Film Kodak Salute Series.” He is the ONLY cinematographer who has literally been shooting continuously, around-the-clock for over 30 years.
From The Ted Talk – “Gratitude”
Did you know that 80 percentof the information we receive comes through our eyes?And if you compare light energy to musical scales,it would only be one octave that the naked eye could see,which is right in the middle?And aren’t we grateful for our brains that can, you know,take this electrical impulse that comes from light energyto create images in order for us to explore our world?And aren’t we grateful that we have heartsthat can feel these vibrationsin order for us to allow ourselves to feel the pleasureand the beauty of nature?
Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivatesappreciation and gratitude. So I have a gift I want to share with you today,a project I’m working on called Happiness Revealed,and it’ll give us a glimpse into that perspectivefrom the point of view of a child and an elderly manof that world.
Child: When I watch TV,it’s just some shows that you just — that are pretend,and when you explore, you getmore imagination than you already had,and when you get more imagination,it makes you want to go deeper inso you can get more and see beautifuler things,like the path, if it’s a path, it could lead you to a beach,or something, and it could be beautiful.
Elderly Man: You think this is just another day in your life?It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to youtoday.It’s given to you. It’s a gift.It’s the only gift that you have right now,and the only appropriate responseis gratefulness.If you do nothing else but to cultivate that responseto the great gift that this unique day is,if you learn to respondas if it were the first day in your lifeand the very last day,then you will have spent this day very well.
Begin by opening your eyes and be surprisedthat you have eyes you can open,that incredible array of colors that is constantly offered to usfor pure enjoyment.Look at the sky.We so rarely look at the sky.We so rarely note how different it isfrom moment to moment, with clouds coming and going.We just think of the weather,and even with the weather, we don’t think ofall the many nuances of weather.We just think of good weather and bad weather.This day, right now, has unique weather,maybe a kind that will never exactlyin that form come again.That formation of clouds in the sky will never be the sameas it is right now.Open your eyes. Look at that.
Look at the faces of people whom you meet.Each one has an incredible story behind their face,a story that you could never fully fathom,not only their own story, but the story of their ancestors.We all go back so far,and in this present moment, on this day,all the people you meet, all that life from generationsand from so many places all over the worldflows together and meets you herelike a life-giving water, if you only open your heart and drink.
Open your heart to the incredible gifts that civilizationgives to us.You flip a switch and there is electric light.You turn a faucet and there is warm water and cold water,and drinkable water.It’s a gift that millions and millions in the worldwill never experience.
Due to the natural beauty of its wings, the butterfly is often considered vain. Yet, in Navajo mythology, the butterfly brings the sacred flint to the hooves of the horse. In the legend of the deity, “Butterfly Boy” was cured of his vanity by being struck by an axe by Rain Boy on the head. His wounded head cracked opened and out of it came all the butterflies of the world. The perishable dust of butterfly’s wings is sometimes thought to prove that such beauty is usually not durable. A corollary: In Navajo belief, the butterfly’s origin is the caterpillar, sacred because of his ability to transform into butterfly. However, while butterfly may not always be trusted because of their vanity, caterpillar is a simple, many-footed walker through life. He may give advice to his “betters.” (In other words the caterpillar does the work, the butterfly is just a creation of beauty that does not last long.)
Our quest for beauty and perfection is born out of our fear that we are not good enough. We have forgotten the old adage that real beauty is found in the human heart. A beautiful heart is forever, physical beauty dulls in only a few short years. Even with the added advantages of creams and lotions, surgery and everything else on offer, none of these can give us real beauty, if the heart is not beautiful. Look deeply into the face of aging people for there you will see through the lines and the wrinkles, to the soul that in age, seems to be visible on the face. We call that character and every line tells a story. I believe that is true.
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” — John Lennon
A bit about the video The Evolution of Woman.
In the quest for beauty, over the centuries, women have mauled and manipulated just about every body part – lips, eyes, ears, waists, skulls, foreheads, stomachs, breasts and feet – that did not fit into the cookie-cutter ideal of a particular era’s ideal of beauty and perfection.What woman doesn’t want to be beautiful? Women want to please and will go to extreme measures to achieve the beauty ideal. Women have suffered, sacrificed and punished themselves under the tyranny of beauty. I guess the old adage is as true today as it was way back then, to be beautiful is to be loved.
I just happened upon this beautiful ‘writing’ from the late Bob Marley. How true are his words and, yes with love, everything is brighter and more joyful. We are filled up with that one person who makes our heart flutter. We want to give them our all -in-all. Yet, so few of us will take the chance to love. Oftentimes, we do the opposite and shy away from love. Perhaps to avoid the pain if our love goes wrong. But love is always a chance……Although Divine love is never a chance. It is the goal.
Friendship is the expression
of unshakeable love ~ Baba
“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again.
Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
― Bob Marley
photograph from window box looking on to my garden.