Saturday, February 19, 2011

Vita Sackville-West & the Letter's of Vita & Harold

Hi Sweet Hearts...
Lately, I've been reading. With so many other things that I really need to get accomplished, I should have no time for books. But it seems the more I need to do, the less I want to do it, the more I want to read & play an annoyingly addictive Facebook game called 'Word Tornado'. It's like playing Scrabble on CRACK! {or at least what I imagine crack to be like, lol}

So, how did I come to find out about Vita & Harold one may ask. Through the Circle that is Life, I would answer. Here's the way it worked...I love the movie 'The Hours' which I recently watched again. The character that fascinates me the most is Virginia Woolf. While in LA recently, I wandered into a funky used book store on Santa Monica Blvd & found a Biography on Virginia that I bought & read...again, fascinating. The book talked about many of Virginia's literary works, including 'Mrs. Dalloway' which is so closely linked to the character's in 'The Hours', but also 'Orlando: a Biography', 1st published in 1928 & said to be "the longest and most charming love letter in literature".  It was inspired by one of Virginia's loves...
the married author, poet & aristocrat, Vita Sackville-West.

Who's Vita Sackville-West, we all ask? I didn't know, but I was going to find out. I then read 'Oralndo' which lead me to rent the movie, which prompted me to another BBC mini-series called 'Portrait of a Marriage' which I watched, written from the letters of 'Vita and Harold' which I had to have the book of, which I then read & loved, which brought me to this silly post in the 1st place! {excuse my OCD showing??? lol}

Vita was born Victoria Mary Sackville-West in 1892. The only child of Lionel Edward Sackville-West, 3rd Baron Sackville and his wife Victoria Sackville-West, who were cousins, she was known as "Vita" to distinguish her from her mother. Her ancestral home since 1603, was a 365 room Tudor castle in Kent, England called Knole House. In 1928, because she was female, the then laws prevented Vita from inheriting Knole House on the death of her father. The house passed, with the title, to her uncle. The loss of Knole House would affect her for the rest of her life.

In 1913, Vita married Harold Nicholson, an English diplomat & had two sons. They had a very unconventional marriage, both having affairs, but through their amazing letters to each other over the course of a lifetime, the foundation of true, spiritual love always shines through. Vita had passionate & obsessive relationships with her lovers, but was always fiercely loyal and loving to her husband at the same time. Harold had a remarkable life in his own right being front & center during World War I & II, during the abdication of King Edward VIII & the coronation of King George VI {Queen Elizabeth's Daddy} & even refers to The King's Speech in one of his letters to Vita. Now that's coming full circle, considering 'The King's Speech' is my favorite movie this year! 

{if you've stuck with me this long you should be appaulded & are probably a
history buff just like me, lol}
In 1930 Harold & Vita bought Sissinghurst Castle which had fallen into disrepair & ruin. Having once been owned by Vita's ancestors, it was the perfect place for Vita to try & get over the heartbreak of losing Knoles. Both avid gardeners, together they created what today is considered one of the most amazing gardens in England. Vita died in 1962 & Harold, 3 years later. Their beloved Sissinghurst was left to the National Trust & is one of the most toured Castles in England. Harold & Vita were passionately in love for more then 50 years...
not bad for such an unconventional union.
Moral of the story...
Just because it's an unconventional love, doesn't mean it's not LOVE.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Finding Heart!

In the mountains high above the hustle & bustle of Southern Cali, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the air is cool & inviting & a little boy with walking stick in hand, wants to take a HIKE!
He wants to lead an expedition into the wilderness in search of a HEART...
Ya wanna come along???

He considers himself to be a professional & has all & any emergency equipment that may be required, stowed away in his Star Wars backpack. He has packed an army thermos with water, a rice krispy treat, 1 fruit snack & some pizza sticks. These are the rations we will survive on in the event that we get lost in this wilderness, but fear not, I have complete faith in our guide. He just LOOKS like he KNOWS what he's doing!

In an attempt to prove his prowess on the trail, he climbs to the top of some towering boulders & yells out to the group, "Monga, take a picture of me on this rock!", which I immediately do. Now remember, he's got all the FOOD!

He shimmy's into a hollowed out area of a huge pine tree, thinking this could be the perfect place to hide if a sudden storm blows over us. We all agree it's a great shelter, but I am keenly aware that the only person who will be safe from the freezing winds & rain & lightening strikes, will be him. 

He says "Listen, I here water!".
Looking down from the trail we see the river that will eventually lead us to...
Finding Heart!

Along the way, he took a minute to be photographed with a local LEGEND...
Jeremiah Johnson, who also goes by the alias of Grandpa.

After what felt like a mile or two of hiking forest trails, the sound of rushing water could be heard echoing through the trees. We stopped breathless for a moment, knowing we had to be close to
Finding Heart.

And then, there it was...
a piece of rock, made by time, in the perfect shape of a HEART!.
Magic, made by billions of drops of water over the course of millions of years,
in my own backyard.

Having arrived safely to our destination, our guide went off in search of the perfect skipping stone, leaving us to simply sit back & enjoy the view. Now these pictures are deceiving...the drop is probably about 75 ft & the other side of the river is about 50 ft across. In this picture you can see the wheels in Jeremiah's head spinning, as I had just commented on what a shame it was that the piece of wood was stuck in the pool, ruining the beauty of every one's photographs.

How was I to know after taking this picture & wandering away for a while to play in the river, that Jeremiah was hatching a plan.

Returning to my vista point, camera in hand, I was completely surprised to see WOOD!!

Yes, my man had scaled down the rocky crag, crossed the swiftly moving waters, climbed up onto the rock wall above the heart pool, found a long, strong stick, sat in the hole in the rock above the heart & patiently & slowly worked the wood out of the pool & down into the river below, so he could take this picture of me sitting on the opposite side with a PERFECT Heart Shaped Pool behind me.
Now that's LOVE!

And I could take a picture of my baby with the perfect heart shaped pool behind her & she could take a picture of her baby with the...oh, sorry. Our guide shed huge crocodile tears cuz he was too scared to sit on the rock & was certain he would fall to his death into the river below. I have the up most faith in our guide, but I do have remember...

he's only 5!  ;)

Tears wiped away with promises of no more death defying pictures, happiness returns to our guide as we gather up our equipment {Star Wars backpack} & head back out to where our journey began.

Discovering an ancient cave dwelling, our guide finds a rock just his size that works perfectly as a recliner & yells out, "Monga, take a picture of me on this rock!" I obligingly comply.
Thanks so much Sweet Hearts, for coming along with us on our quest.
And to leave you with the moral of this story, as ALL of my stories have some kind of moral, LOL
it would have to be this...
when in need of FINDING HEART, don't forget to look in your own BACKYARD!
There may be some MAGIC waiting there just for you to find it!
{having just read this story to Kai, he insists on one change...
& he typed it himself! lol}


Sunday, February 13, 2011

10 Things I Heart About You...

{heart rock in Crestline, home town}
My Sweetest of Hearts...
Do y'all know just how much I HEART you??
I mean REALLY, do you know???
Here's 10 Reasons I Heart You Sooo Much...
1. You've ALWAYS got my back, no matter what...
2. Often your comments just make me smile...  ;)
3. And sometimes your comments allow me to cry...
4. I consider you all to be Creative Geniuses...
5. I am ALWAYS inspired by you!

6. By being my friends, you've helped me be braver then I really am...
7. In your own way each & every one of you have helped me follow my life's journey...
8. Often, you simply make me LOL...
9. You took my hand & lead me to Round Top, Texas & I'll never be the same...
10. You have welcomed me into this amazing blogging community with open arms & I am so grateful & over joyed to be a part of it with you!

My hope & wish for all you, is to have a Valentine's Day filled with LOVE!
The love of a, home, garden, good friends, a loyal animal, a hot cup of tea, mocha coffe, a good book, a good movie, a peaceful walk, an ocean drive, blue skies, an open field, a touch of a hand, a favorite song, a sunset.
Love comes to us in so many different forms everyday...
sometimes the grandest joys come from the simplest of pleasures.
Happy Valentine's Day Sweet Hearts...
may your special day be filled with LOVE in what ever form it takes!