Two Cent's in your Mail

Thursday, May 26, 2011

~And then comes Marriage~

Irish Hand-fasting and Anam Cara Ceremony at Cayman Sunset Beach Wedding


Their wedding vows referenced Tir Na Nog (heaven)
When this couple from Las Vegas, Nevada asked me if I would perform a special wedding ceremony for them, I was delighted to comply.  They worked on their ceremony for several weeks, personalising it to suit their heritage, their beliefs and their relationship.  It was a great experience for me as well, as I had never heard of Anam Cara, and using the hand-fasting ceremony in this particular way was new to me too.

The Bride carried items of sentimental value to her
In addition to her bouquet, the bride carried a small blue pouch, given to her by her aunt. It held a small silver angel figurine and a crystal.  The burgundy ribbon in the hand-fasting ceremony came from the bride’s paternal grandmother’s sewing kit, her green Irish rosary was given to her by her maternal grandmother.  Since both grandmothers have passed on, the bride wanted to honour them, and have them “participate” symbolically in the ceremony, and she chose this way to honour their influence and their presence in her life.

Different colours in the hand-fasting ceremony were significant
The ribbons in a hand-fasting ceremony  are significant to the ceremony in that the colours are what the bridal couple choose to bring to the marriage. Each colour represents a characteristic.  The braiding of the cords is significant, as in Irish tradition it is thought that any bad luck or bad spirits get “lost” in the weaving or braiding. Braiding then, is supposed to prevent bad luck or spirits from finding you, and therefore many people choose to braid their hand-fasting cords.

Anam Cara speaks to finding your soul-mate
This is what the bride told me about Anam Cara:  ” Anam Cara was significant to us , as we started out as friends, and I love the tradition of one’s soul finding its true match. I thought it was a beautiful thought, and we wanted very much for it to be a part of our ceremony, as we are friends above everything else, and as such, we truly have gotten through many challenges.
When it came to our ceremony, we didn’t want it to be like everyone else.  We wanted it to be from the heart, to be meaningful, and to be rich with something that can also be passed down to our family in years to come…”

This is a Caymanian tradition, the wedding jump!
This was one of the most beautiful weddings I ever officiated, and it has definitely made my Top Ten Favourite Weddings.  It just shows how special you can make your wedding ceremony when you think about it and personalise it to include features of deep significance and meaning to you.

Surrounded by beauty
These images by Yvette McField, part of our Cayman Sunset Wedding package.  You can book Yvette for any wedding package through Simply Weddings.

The last word!



ANAM CARA

In the Celtic tradition, there is a beautiful understanding of love and friendship. The old Irish term anam cara is translated as soul friend. When you have an anam cara, you are joined in an ancient and eternal way with the person who is a friend of your soul. There is a deep sense of belonging and recognition. You are understood as you are and you are at home. When you feel understood, you can release yourself into the trust and shelter of another persons soul and they can release themselves into you. This kind of soul love is the most real, substantial and powerful form of human presence because it is the place or threshold where human presence and divine presence move in and out of each other.

~And then comes marriage...

Irish Hand-fasting and Anam Cara Ceremony at Cayman Sunset Beach Wedding

Their wedding vows referenced Tir Na Nog (heaven)
When this couple from Las Vegas, Nevada asked me if I would perform a special wedding ceremony for them, I was delighted to comply.  They worked on their ceremony for several weeks, personalising it to suit their heritage, their beliefs and their relationship.  It was a great experience for me as well, as I had never heard of Anam Cara, and using the hand-fasting ceremony in this particular way was new to me too.
The Bride carried items of sentimental value to her
In addition to her bouquet, the bride carried a small blue pouch, given to her by her aunt. It held a small silver angel figurine and a crystal.  The burgundy ribbon in the hand-fasting ceremony came from the bride’s paternal grandmother’s sewing kit, her green Irish rosary was given to her by her maternal grandmother.  Since both grandmothers have passed on, the bride wanted to honour them, and have them “participate” symbolically in the ceremony, and she chose this way to honour their influence and their presence in her life.
Different colours in the hand-fasting ceremony were significant
The ribbons in a hand-fasting ceremony  are significant to the ceremony in that the colours are what the bridal couple choose to bring to the marriage. Each colour represents a characteristic.  The braiding of the cords is significant, as in Irish tradition it is thought that any bad luck or bad spirits get “lost” in the weaving or braiding. Braiding then, is supposed to prevent bad luck or spirits from finding you, and therefore many people choose to braid their hand-fasting cords.
Anam Cara speaks to finding your soul-mate
This is what the bride told me about Anam Cara:  ” Anam Cara was significant to us , as we started out as friends, and I love the tradition of one’s soul finding its true match. I thought it was a beautiful thought, and we wanted very much for it to be a part of our ceremony, as we are friends above everything else, and as such, we truly have gotten through many challenges.
When it came to our ceremony, we didn’t want it to be like everyone else.  We wanted it to be from the heart, to be meaningful, and to be rich with something that can also be passed down to our family in years to come…”
This is a Caymanian tradition, the wedding jump!
This was one of the most beautiful weddings I ever officiated, and it has definitely made my Top Ten Favourite Weddings.  It just shows how special you can make your wedding ceremony when you think about it and personalise it to include features of deep significance and meaning to you.
Surrounded by beauty
These images by Yvette McField, part of our Cayman Sunset Wedding package.  You can book Yvette for any wedding package through Simply Weddings.
The last word!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

~By the way...

So, I always feel that I am pretty honest, sometimes to the point of being brutal. I don't mean to be. I just simply feel that it's better to know exactly what I mean, with no confusion. People tend to tip toe around issues, and leave too much to the side. Later, feelings come up out of no where, and an explosion occurs, and one person is sitting there going, "what the hell just happened?". It was that thing that was left out two months ago. Yeah, that's why I don't do it anymore.

Recently, a few people that I know have passed away. This always is a very difficult time for anyone, but this brought up many emotions in me. I have had this continuous pain that is on my nerves, because no one seems to be able to give me a clear answer as to why I have the pain, and then when I recently saw a specialist, the answer that he did give me....well, I reject that answer. I don't care to have Fibromialgia, as I don't care to be in continuous pain for the rest of my life thank you. I already have severe Migraines, and that is enough. Two of the people that I know that passed, both had severe headaches as well. This brought about my concerns. One, had a stroke, and on the same day, had to be placed on life support. My son is a close friend of her son. He has been to Wednesday dinner. His name is Craig. Craig's mom specified in her will that under no circumstances was she to be placed on life support. On Mothers Day, they made her as comfortable as possible...and let her go.

Last week, a colleague of ours at work lost his wife to her battle with Cancer. She too, started with headaches. I remember having conversations with him last summer about how to help her deal with the pain, and how they were treating the lump in my back, as they had discovered the lump in her neck at the same time. She passed the other day as well, leaving behind a young daughter for him to now raise alone.

I think of things when this happens. I think of how I would not want for my family to suffer. I deal with my grief internally, because I don't like to burden. Most of my friends have no idea when I am hurting, because I don't tell them. I spend hours listening to them, but they don't know that I am hurting too. Sometimes, I want to scream and scream, because I hold too much in, but I can't help it. I know I need to talk too, but it seems lately, I am surrounded by people who are wearing blinders...and can see nothing but their own path.

I try very hard to put life into perspective, and to be grateful. Some say, "well, I have lost, and YOU have no idea how that feels." Fuck you. You have no idea what I have been through. You have no idea what I have lost, or had taken, or whatever. You have no right to assume that your life is in anyway, in any comparative, a greater tragedy than any other. Loss, is horrific. Loss, is painful, and tragic. The strength and the courage to overcome loss, is to continue, to overcome, to take the loss, and not let it take over your life. Only a coward does that. I would NEVER want my children, or my husband, to take the loss of me, and let it ruin their lives. I would NEVER, want them to eternally suffer, and pine for me. How utterly pathetic and selfish.

I guess what I am trying to say is this.....

I have been terrified in my last few doctor visits that I would receive horrific news. I have lumps, and I don't want them to be "bad" lumps. If something comes about, I am posting this publicly, so it is VERY, VERY CLEAR. There WILL be a huge fucking party. None of this damn, pathetic sobbing shit. That is NOT me, and dammit, I refuse to have it. I want whatever arrangements help make my family feel at ease. If they are comforted by me being cremated, and carrying me around...so be it. If they want me in a casket...so be it. I'm dead...what do I care? Now, this is a little hypocritical, but yeah, I would prefer to be laid in the casket on my side...cause that's how I sleep. Laying me on my back is just stupid. It's fake, and I'm not fake. And don't dress me all up either. Where am I going? Put me in something comfy dammit. I want certain music, and the list will be in my jewelery box. I want a traditional Irish Wake. Everyone get good and hammered. Lot's of laughing, lot's of fun, food, and music that my kids heard growing up, or at least all the movies we love playing on the TV.

There's more...but anyway...appreciate life. Every single day is a gift. If you think that you can buy your happiness, you have already lost. If you are searching for love in a $$$, you are behind the eight ball, and no win in sight. If you think that lying, cheating, and stealing will get you ahead, kiss my ass, cause it won't. You may think that the popular people are cool, but they suck. You may think that you have so many friends, but you don't have a pot to piss in, or a window to throw it out of. You may think, but you haven't got a clue, because you don't know what the hell you are doing.

Senario: It's tomorrow, and you are okay, your loved ones are okay....but everything is gone. Gone.....all you have is the clothes on your back. No car, no cell phone, no computer, no "electronic toys", nothing. Just each other. Is this your version of hell. Could you survive? Would you be grateful? Could you start over? Think about that next time you complain....next time you whine....next time you unappreciative of your life.

Discuss....

Saturday, May 7, 2011

~Lá na Máithreacha~

Tomorrow is the day to celebrate our Mothers, the maternal figure who brings life, gives love, guides us on our way. This is a day of conflicting emotions for me. In many ways, it is wonderful. I am very fortunate to have my own children, who are the light of my life. They make me laugh, smile, and swell with pride. I never have enough time with them, they will never be too big for me to spoil, take care of, or nurture. I know that I over compensate in so many ways with them, and that too, is alright. I am nurturing myself when I do this for them. I am, in many ways, healing my inner child.

My own mother did not care for me much. I suppose that is the very kind way of putting this. It was announced to my Maternal Grandmother one day, "You take her. I have a son now, I have no use for her." My father had been stationed in Thailand, as it was 1966, and my brother had just been born. A son. Ah....a son. The great accomplishment. My mother then began her "nervous breakdown" years. My father had a box of chocolates sent to her, after the birth of my brother, and I, being an inquisitive child at the tender age of 2 1/2, saw the enticing chocolates on the counter. Wanting them, of course, I reached my chubby hands up, pulled the edge of the box, and of course, they all tumbled down over my head onto the floor. My mother was horrified. In her fit of furious anger, she yelled, grabbed me by my neck and held me until I turned a "curious shade of blue". (Her words, during the many times she chose to tell this story, mostly at holiday dinners). She then dropped me, and I ran, terrified, screaming, and hid in a closet, where I refused to come out, for over an hour. It was then she decided she could use some tranquilizers.

Over the years, our relationship never quite improved. When I was five, she became enraged at the attention I received from my father, and took a pair of scissors and chopped off all of my hair, which at the time, was down to my waist. This was amusing to her. When I was 9, she decided that I "suffered" from severe leg pains, and took me to the doctor, who prescribed pain medicine, which of course, she took for herself. When I was 13, she told me the hair growing on my arms made me "look like a man", and began a strange ritual of making me sit at her feet, while she took a comb and scissors and began a ritual of cutting the hair on my arms until it suited her liking. When I was 16, she told me that my legs were quite attractive, and now maybe, just maybe, yes, maybe I should start dating my fathers friend, who worked with him on base, in the same shop. I could continue, but I guess the defining moment, was standing in front of her, with two black eyes, a broken rib, and my 5 year old son, crying at my side. Her words, "You WILL bail him out right now, or I WILL evict you and these damn kids from this house and put you on the street!". Me, "No, I didn't put him in jail to bail him out." Her, "Penny, it's better to learn to get hit in the face, than to cut your income in half." Me, "Fuck you."

I eventually lost track and count...I have no idea how many years went by that we didn't speak. I saw her a few months before she died. She suffered. She suffered quite a bit. I didn't want her too. People always tell me that I will heal, that it's okay, but the truth is, I forgave her. The truth is, I let it go. My healing came sometime ago. I found strength over the last few years that I never knew I had. I have always had so many "adopted" kids. I always had stragglers here and there. I love taking care of "lost souls" I know what it is like. I know what it is like to be cast away like yesterdays garbage. I have spent endless conversations telling my own kids that I won't ever do that to them. I don't care if they smear themselves in peanut butter, and go dancing down the street in a clown outfit....I really don't care. If they are happy, and they aren't hurting anyone, I will love and support them.

I guess my message is this....If you are one of those very lucky and fortunate few who has a loving and wonderful mother, hug her. Love her. Tell her how much she matters to you. Let me make this clear. Money is bullshit....it DOESN'T MATTER. Presents DON'T MATTER. If you are that superficial that you need that....to hell with you. You have no idea how luck you are to have a person in your life who loves and cares for you. To have someone who listens, who loves, who is there to care, support, to just sit there and be with you. Damn....have you any idea? I do...because I didn't have it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

~Anam Cara~

In the Celtic tradition, there is a beautiful understanding of love and friendship. The old Irish term Anam Cara is translated as soul friend. When you have an Anam Cara, you are joined in an ancient and eternal way with the person who is a friend of your soul. There is a deep sense of belonging and recognition. You are understood as you are and you are at home. When you feel understood, you can release yourself into the trust and shelter of another persons soul and they can release themselves into you. This kind of soul love is the most real, substantial and powerful form of human presence because it is the place or threshold where human presence and divine presence move in and out of each other.

On May 20th, Carl and I will be married on 7 Mile Beach, at Sunset, in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. Many who are reading this will say, "Oh my gosh, how romantic, how beautiful." Yes, and trust me, it will be. It will be because we will be getting married. It will be because of Anam Cara. He is, before anything else, my best friend. Amongst all of the doubters and nay Sayer's, Carl and I will prevail, and will be alright. I know this from the very depths of my heart. We did not jump into this lightly. We did not take this relationship for granted in any way. From the very beginning, we thought every single step through. When others were just finding out, we were thinking four steps ahead. When others were skimming the surface, and searching the superficial elements involved, we were talking, learning, laughing, just being with each other. Building something that would stand, evolve, and hold true. We found common ground in a place that made sense to no one but us. When others were worried about cars and clothes, we were learning about each others personalities, and beliefs, and morals. I watched Carl come into his own. He found himself over the last couple of years. He found a sense of who he is, a strength to be the man he wants to be. He found his inner voice, and he brought it out, and he sure in the hell isn't afraid to let him speak anymore. Some were quite taken back by all of it, but I knew this was a good thing. I too, found my strength. From knowing Carl, I found that it was okay to be loved, to have someone care about me. A person who would not hurt me. I learned how to trust.

Anam Cara is a very powerful and spiritual medium. If you are fortunate enough to find her, grab her, hold on, and take the ride. You don't need a church, or a priest, or anyone. You only need the loving heart of the one who brought her to you. Open your arms, embrace her, and smile, because your life has now begun. The warm ocean breeze will brush across our faces, and the sun will shine, and begin to set, and we will know, as Joy says, "you are now Man and Wife, Anam Cara eternal."