Peace and beauty

hilltopIt’s my birthday, and in the true spirit of children’s literature and Winnie the Pooh I am giving something away.

Today people asked me what I wanted to do. ‘I want to knit in silence for 30 minutes’, I said. What no one realises is this is work. The Wild Swans has knitting and silence at its heart. But not just 30 mins of it. Months and months. I wanted to see how I went. Eliza has to knit in silence for if she utters a single word her swan brothers will die. I can’t tell you how many swans would have died while I was knitting. But today, I walked to the top of the hill and sat knitting with Ivy at my feet.

heatherpillow moreknitI could hear a gentle shush from the sea, birds, including a curlew, a plane that flew over and the wind, coming and going across the land. I could hear insects, the buzz of their wings, and many landed on me as I sat, still, knitting. The sunshine was beautiful. I sat where Floss’s ashes lie, having walked the last walk I did with Genji.

30 minutes. Not long. Definitely something to do again.

So, I want to give away;

A copy of The Wild Swans

A copy of East of the Sun, West of the Moon

A pair of no 4mm bamboo needles

Two balls of Rowan, kidsilk stripe and

The pattern for the scarf, stole I am working on.

It’s an easy pattern, very simple to follow and very quick to learn.

I will also scatter across the comments, at random cards, a badge or two, whatever I find in my studio.

knitwithivine giveaSo, simple. Tell me something beautiful. Add a comment to this post, tell me something beautiful. Put links in the comment if you like. I will choose a winner on October 13th, a date plucked at random. And remember, if you can’t knit it’s never too late to learn, and if you don’t want to knit you will probably know someone who does.

If you want to share something from this blog, or the page about the new book, or one of my paintings from The House of Golden Dreams then please do, but there’s no need to if you don’t feel like it. Just tell me something beautiful, because the world seems a hard harsh place at the moment and we could all use a little more beauty.

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knittingpattern

 

About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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89 Responses to Peace and beauty

  1. Freyalyn says:

    What a gorgeous idea, to either inspire a novice knitter or start a new one.

  2. Anne says:

    You are so right about the world, most nights I go to bed really sad after what I have read about. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than the landscape you have been knitting in, but I’ll try. I’ll tell you about my grand-daughter, she’s 17 months old and so lovely. I don’t know how to show you a photo of her. Being with her makes my world a nicer place. What would be beautiful would be the sight of your cat coming home. Hope you are having a lovely day x

  3. Helen Lansdowne says:

    You are beautiful Jackie Morris. For everything you have created. For every dream you have put to paper. For your love of animals. I thank you.

  4. Generous, such a lovely way to share a birthday. Beauty I found this morning is the poem, “School Prayer,” by Diane Ackerman at The Writers Almanac FB page, https://www.facebook.com/writersalmanac?fref=ts. We always need beauty, beauty and magic, they nourish us in ways nothing else can, which you clearly know. Thank you for how much of both you contribute to our lives. xo

  5. Susanne Lawrence says:

    In the blue sky of today four small clouds move along the horizon like a string of silent prayers.
    I am in the garden, under the pear tree.
    The leaves and branches above me are soft with the sound of wings.
    I worship here, in this moment
    Filled with light and presence.

  6. Nancy Palmer says:

    We heard a peeping voice, not more than two days old, a lost baby duck calling frantically for its mother. Calling, calling…no answer. My young son and I searched, stalked, cornered. The duckling was terrified, and didn’t want to be caught, but we managed. We couldn’t find the mother any more than the baby could. No reuniting the family, so we loaded up, and I drove to the refuge. Here is beauty: a tiny bundle of sunlit brown, amber, dandelion yellow cupped warmly in my son’s hands. Baby is warm. Baby is protected. And also loved, as a child can love, suddenly and without reservation. Somehow, Baby knows. Baby snuggles her head alongside the boy’s thumb, and drifts to sleep. Here is beauty: a boy growing into a man who knows what it is to be kind.

  7. Becky Borthwick says:

    My beautiful moment in life is the balance of watching my amazing daughter struggle with her spelling and writing being dyslexic but then the flip side of seeing her relax and breath while she is drawing, painting and creating 😉 happy moment

    • Jackie says:

      I struggled so with spelling and thought I couldn’t write because I couldn’t spell. It’s a different kind of spelling that leads one into storytelling tell her. I was late learning to read. I loved to draw.

  8. Meri Brady says:

    Beauty

    Beauty is as beauty does:
    Borne aloft by radiant heat,
    Grown in mountains, fountains, streets.
    Exotic looks. Recognized
    By simple depth of Beauty’s eyes.

    Beauty turns brave face to rain:
    The storms of life, the caustic drain
    Against the tide of fear and hate,
    Beauty may flinch or hesitate
    But ever seeks to lift the low.
    Truth follows the track where Beauty goes.

    Beauty is more than a pretty face,
    A diamond shine, a sports car’s pace.
    Beauty is nature: wind and sky
    Snow and rain, comfort and pain,
    And knowing that everything fades away,
    Even tears evaporate.
    Ashes to ashes and dust to dust:
    Back to the beginning, back to the start.
    Beauty lives at the very heart.

    (c) 9/8/15 M. E. Brady for Jackie Morris

  9. One birthday my friend George, who has exquisite taste, bought me this textile painting by the Kolkata artist Ajit Kumar Das (https://www.behance.net/gallery/3617919/Natural-dye-artist-Ajit-Kumar-Das). He was completely thrown for six when I showed him a tattoo that I had of the exact same yantra on my arm. He had had no idea but thought I’d like the painting. I am a Pagan who identifies with the goddess Kali and the yantra on my arm had been done in my 20s. I had never discussed it with my friend. It made me go all wibbly inside and I could hear the Twilight Zone theme in my head. I don’t go in for stuff much but this is one of my most treasured possessions. I have posted the pics on Twitter as I am not sure how to do so here. Thanks for your beautiful work and for making things just seem better.

  10. Judy says:

    Little one, so small and sweet, chuckling as she finds her feet
    Listening to her mama play music as she finds her way
    In this world so big and bold, words of magic wrapped in gold
    Little one, I wish you light, love and peace throughout the night
    (new song) x

  11. Shira says:

    This feels like cheating, but is actually beautiful. I am usually not proud of my country, in fact, I fail to see the point of being proud of any country, it’s not like I made it or have much influence on what it does, but I am glad the a lot of people here are trying, and trying hard, to do the right thing. http://mic.com/articles/124936/15-triumphant-photos-show-thousands-of-refugees-being-welcomed-into-germany
    I hope you had a lovely day, and that the knitting went well.

    • Jackie says:

      It did warm my heart when I saw this. I think in the UK our government have, yet again, just got everything so wrong. They are tin men. No hearts. Others know better, thank you fo rthis.

  12. I love your knitting spot! I used to sit for hours, quietly knitting away in the garden with bees buzzing and birds twittering away, but somehow I’ve dropped out of the habit. I must start again.
    Anyway, you asked for something beautiful – can I be biased and propose my Teen? I know – all children are beautiful to their mothers, or should be! We’re in that last week before she heads off to uni for the first time, and watching her grow from tiny screaming baby to confident young woman has been amazing. It also seems to have happened much quicker than it did with her older sister!

  13. Sara says:

    Every day I walk with my independently-minded Jack Russell. Sometimes we pop to the park, which is full of faery rings, and we chase rabbits but never catch them, because where would be the fun in that?
    Sometimes we take the footpath around the farmer’s field and look at the different textures and colours of grass and wildflowers and hedgerow.
    Sometimes one of the cats joins us, making little “meep” noises when he gets left behind, so we wait for him to catch up.
    Sometimes we go to the beach and sniff the Marram grass and play with the pebbles.
    All these things I do BECAUSE he needs and enjoys walking. I see stars, and beautiful moonlight and clouds and pouring rain and golden sun because he encourages me to experience the Suffolk landscape I love. My dog is a blessing!

  14. Jane Dorfman says:

    What a lovely place you to have to walk. I walk mostly with my elderly mother, who has become the biggest tree lover, she never even seemed to notice them before this year’s illness. So, I get to appreciate them too, how the leaves look yellow with the light behind them, how a few are already turning brown–it is good to slow down, way down, and look.

  15. Sharon Osborne says:

    I did something amazing today! I taught 22 fantastic children from Ysgol Bro Dewi in probably the best ‘classroom’ in the world! We followed the journey of the River Cleddau from the top of the Preseli mountains to Picton Point. Can’t wait to read their poetry – inspirational – and we live here!

  16. laurie says:

    such a beautiful landscape you abide on,,
    the most beautiful thing that comes to my mind at this moment on this day is a commercial, a television commercial which is odd for me because I can no longer see to watch television but I find my ears now see things much better than my eyes, its a sheep farmer taking his collie dog in the car to herd the sheep because the dog has a cast on his leg and couldn’t run, it reminded me of my dog,
    to most its a nonsensical commercial but it melted my heart,
    Happy Birthday to you!

  17. laurie says:

    here is my post about another commercial I wrote about a little while ago,
    similar,
    http://ilovedacloudyday.blogspot.ca/2015/08/remembering-buck.html

  18. Karin says:

    What a beautiful prize. I’ve been trying to think of beauty to tell you but what sticks from today was this morning. It was misty and autumnal and the fence and hedge were covered in spiders web glistening and visible like they only are in autumn mornings. I loved as a child how they suddenly appeared dew laden and silver threaded patterns and I have never lost that silent shining beauty and how that what makes the world invisible allows the usually invisible to shine. The hidden to become visible and that wonder that I have always had that they must always be there but we don’t see them till the most clouds everything else.
    I ducked under one and went on my way… (Something else that works with Mr Fibonacci too! )

  19. Mary Holder says:

    Something that is beautiful to me.

    Walking in the silver birch forest, its white trucks glowing against the warm autumn colours of the Aspen trees. My footsteps are silent as I walk over the fallen leaves on the ground.

    Then I wake up after the relaxing dream based on a walk I made up in the mountains of Colorado. Bliss.

  20. Emma-Jane Preece says:

    Happy Birthday Jackie!
    Today is my husband’s birthday too.
    I see beauty in the changing countryside around my home.
    In the sparkling eyes of my Grandsons and cheeky smiles on their faces.
    They never fail to lift my spirit and cheer me on to keep fighting through my depression.

  21. Bean Sawyer says:

    One of the beautiful things I experienced today… Squeezing into the bath with my sparkly five year old daughter, with her ice-cream smile and wobbly tooth (first one, she proudly tells everyone!) Our legs all tangled, my feet by her head as we make bubbly beards on our faces. These moments are precious. There will come a time when I will bathe alone again. For now, I enjoy these beautiful bathtub moments 🙂 Happy Birthday Jackie X

  22. Kathy Kenney says:

    My grandmothers hands, teaching me to knit when I was just five or six. I would love to see those strong and capable hands just one more time.

  23. Pam says:

    Happy Birthday, Jackie! What a lovely way to spend part of your birthday.

    I will share a quote from my daughter about my 3 year old granddaughter: “God and Princesses will always be there”.

  24. Leslie says:

    I struggle with finding beauty in a typical day of rudeness and incivility that is modern society. But I work with feral cats, trapping, neutering, finding homes for the hapless kittens. It’s lovely to see a kid’s face light up when her parents agree to adopt one of my cats. Those smiles keep me going.

  25. Hi Jackie,
    I hope you had a wonderful day. Like another commenter, I think you make beautiful for others.
    I did want to say that our family and our church family (very small) were privileged to help an NGO purchase tents that had been part of Camp Bastion to house displaced Christians who fled the extremist terrorists in Iraq. (Dohuk, in Iraqi Kurdistan) Each tent has air-conditioning and heating. They are made from a heavy duty rubber and have a special outer layer to protect from harsh weather conditions.
    The people have named the resulting village SAWRA – which means Hope in the Assyrian language. A beautiful way to provide safety and security and to keep people from being so desperate that they are preyed upon by people traffickers.
    Sandy in Bracknell

  26. Eliene says:

    The trees are bare of leaves, the rain is falling like mist, I sit here watching two Wattlebird parents flying in with tidbits for their babies in a nest carefully constructed in a Camellia tree right outside my front door & studio window……..new life……..beautiful. Every day I am blessed with a smile as these winged ones visit our suburban garden. May your day be filled with joy, love and laughter.

  27. Lynda says:

    There are many truly beautiful sentiments on this page.
    To me, nothing is more beautiful than nature, and all nature is beautiful.
    With regards to spelling, it has never been my strength and, although it is necessary to be literate, accuracy in spelling can always be accomplished by means of a good dictionary. As a writer I have always found it easier to make the words fit my ideas and thoughts than to force my ideas to fit the words and have made up quite a number of words over the years; after all, the words we have had to come from somewhere originally.

    Some see beauty in a forest of trees,
    Others see beauty in the waves of the seas.
    Many see beauty in mountains so grand
    Still others see beauty in the green of the land.
    There’s beauty in beasts and fishes and birds,
    And beauty in insects
    And haven’t you heard?
    There’s beauty in speaking
    There’s beauty in words.
    There’s beauty in people, in all of the races
    Their cultures, their languages,
    Their wonderful faces.
    There’s beauty above, in the sky so blue.
    There’s beauty in the sky whatever its hue.
    The glorious stars in the sky at night,
    Provide yet another beautiful sight.
    The children at play,
    A bride all arrayed,
    So much for us to admire each day.

  28. Susan Cassidy says:

    Happy Birthday Jackie hope you had a great day.

    Even though I have to remind myself sometimes, “Life” life is beautiful.

  29. steve says:

    something that I think is beautiful….
    finding a 3 weeks old baby rabbit on the road, noticing it was injured, picking it up and placing it in my hat, a dark, warm, cosy place of safety…..
    Then taking it to the local vets, who cared for her overnight, who told me to either care for her or let her go, the expressions in their eyes were that of ‘she won’t live’ so make her comfortable…. a week later and with the aid of goats milk and a small syringe, she was on the mend, but suffering from Cellulitis in her damaged ear, the vets took her in again, surprised to see her, and after a few hours sent her back to me with antibiotics and painkillers and more syringes…..
    Its now been a month since I found her, and she has tripled her size, is a loving creature, no longer wild, and loves to sit on my shoulder whilst grinding her teeth….

    Knowing that I rescued her from certain multiple deaths makes me happy:
    snatched from her nest by a bird (peck marks on her neck revealed this), wrestling free from the birds talons in mid flight and dropping to the ground below, falling into the road directly in the path of an oncoming car, overcoming the initial 24 hour shock period where most rabbits simply give up and die….

    I call her Clover – because she has had a lot of luck on her side – she is beautiful 🙂

  30. Brenda-Dianne says:

    Happy Birthday Jackie.
    So glad you were able to spend the day your way.
    Today marks the 10 year anniversary of my mom’s passing. She would have loved your beautiful ways with words and pictures, but I didn’t know of you back then to make that connection between us. She was also a lover of nature and books.
    The beautiful part of all this is the love she left with me, carefully knitted in my heart and gently blossoming within now. Such a tight bud I’d been. And with every post of yours sent across space and across the ocean, I open just a bit more from your own beauty expressed and shared.
    I am grateful you and Pooh bear have birthdays.
    Blessings upon you Jackie dear.

  31. Jenny says:

    I’m new to this commenting part, so forgive my ignorance please. This stuff around is harsh and ugly, and this is why I escape, I walk purposefully into, I hold onto my earned mermaid fin and swim directly for these worlds of stories. All it takes is an image to begin something beautiful,at least that what the sprites tell me. I’m not sure if what I’m linking you too is beautiful to you, or what your precisely looking for, but it is a modest beginning inspired by beautiful things, and most of all it’s inspired by nature.
    A quick link- http://wp.me/p5sdHh-rJ
    or as always at lunabeeone.com
    Thank you Jackie for being such a beautiful person.
    Kind Regards.
    Jenny

  32. kat says:

    Your spirit and soul are beautiful, as are your words and art work. Weasels and weazuses and pandas are beautiful, as is that Karin lovely wot makes ’em. The hugs and kisses I receive every day from my beloved pup are beautiful. This magical interwebs thingy is beautiful, as it has allowed me to meet Karin, and through her and the weasels and tribe, meet you. I truly hope that the Day of You was beautiful for you, Jackie, as you bring so much beauty to the world. xo

  33. Jilly Dowse says:

    We came together on Dartmoor last weekend. Four hundred women representing twenty different countries. We held an Earth Council. We sang, drummed, danced, shared our stories,laughed,cried and prayed. We wove willow into deer antler head decorations and made copper jewellery, wove beautiful belts on backstrap looms and felt pouches and spun fleece into yarn on simple gypsy spindles. We embroidered with a Bedoin woman from Israel and we knitted. We made a community weaving on a big upright loom in the Red Tent. We celebrated being women and we joined together to empower ourselves to bring change. To travel back to our countries around the globe, stronger with what we have have shared and new skills we have learned and with new songs we have sung, stronger to help others back home in our own communities. With new hope and clearer vision and the skills of their hands we are working to bring change into our world.

  34. Compostwoman says:

    What a lovely space to knit in 🙂

    My beauty? Sitting in the woods, surrounded by the sound of birdsong, at dawn. Today the mist was all around me, stroking my hair with finger light, white tendrils

  35. Tracy fisher says:

    The healing power of nature is so beautiful if we open our eyes to it. Take a stressed, over stimulated, digital age teenage girl and put her on Llanstefan beach , feel the sun, the breeze , listen to the lapping of the waves . Just sit . She didn’t want to leave.

  36. Jilly Dowse says:

    I almost forgot the most important thing to tell you which is that at the base of all this beauty was the beauty of the land we were on, in the middle of the moor, and honouring and respecting that land, each of our lands and our mother the earth as a whole was the foundation learning upon which our gathering was built.
    With great love and respect for your work Jackie. Keep knitting out on your beautiful piece of our planet!

  37. Anne says:

    I am so enjoying reading all these beautiful things, thank you Jackie for the idea, and for all the beauty you create around you.

  38. Els says:

    Oooh my, Jackie, I would have loved to walk to that top and sit with you knitting, without saying a word, just enjoying the seen, the sounds, and your quiet company 😉

    (though áfter that I would have lóved to talk to you about your inspiration and your beautiful work !!! so sorry if swans would have died ….)

  39. Jeanie Montgomery says:

    I’d like to share with you the history of St Melangell, the patron saint of hares, who ran away from her royal home in Ireland to Powys as she didn’t want to be given away in marriage. She lived alone in Powys until the peince of Powys came upon her sheltering the hare that he was hunting. His hounds left her alone, he was struck by her beauty and his horn stuck to his lips. The prince of Powys granted her land to set up an abbey, which she did. Her church in Pennant Melangell is a site of pilgrimage and prayer still. Her spirit is kept alive by those opposing the badger cull and protect wildlife from harm. I love the way we can connect with the past and reach back into distant centuries. I hope you enjoyed this.

  40. Vikki Rose says:

    I will tell you a little story if I may? This story comes from my friend Katie who runs a pottery. I went in to buy a birthday present and found her manically grinning at one of her pots (she is usually smiley but this was something else). I asked what had happened & she told me that right after she first opened the shop had had a burglary, the thieves had taken her laptop, the till and most heartbreakingly a piece she had just finished that was modelled on trees. It was a large piece & the only one she had created. The police tried to trace the burglary but there were no leads. Then yesterday morning a man came in carrying the bowl
    “I think this may be yours” he said to Katie,
    “it is” she said “but where did you find it? ”
    “At a car boot sale, I really liked it so bought it but didn’t recognize the mark on the bottom, having done some research I realized it was your mark and upon finding your blog I read about the robbery, is this the bowl you lost?”
    “Yes it is”
    “Would you like it back?”
    “Yes please, but I insist upon reimbursing you for it”
    “Not at all, I paid £10 but I don’t want the money back, I’m just glad its back where it belongs” and with that our nameless hero left the shop, isn’t that fab?

  41. Kate Creighton-Griffiths says:

    Just the act of knitting can be beautiful: every stitch contains my love, woven into the yarn to enfold the person I give it to. If it is for a child, I breathe a wish into each row. If it is a birthday present, I pray for a wonderful year ahead. If it is a Christmas present, I say a prayer that the recipient has peace and goodwill all year. Whatever it is, there is a little piece of my heart in it and that gives me joy too.

  42. Alexis says:

    Dear Jackie!

    Belated happy happy birthday!!

    I would like to tell you about something, well someone, beautiful. I would like to tell you about my Mum. She is truly beautiful of heart. She is my kindred spirit. She nurtured in me a love books a love of theatre a love of music and a love of life itself. She taught me to accept that to be different should be embraced not feared.

    My Mum is brave, battled through things I think I’d have struggled with, but shown me that it can be done. She has also taught me to knit, a little bit, we are both quite impatient! I’m getting there and improving (half a panda knitted so far).

    My Mum embraces the new, she’s trying with technology, so I’ll help her with that, and she’ll help me with knitting, and life in general. Seems a fair swap really!

    My Mum loves Paul Hollywood probably a little bit more than she loves my Dad, but he’s okay with that!

    Finally, my Mum put up with my brother and I, and for that she deserves a medal, we are both quite annoying!

    This is my beautiful Mum & I looking ridiculous attempting a selfie in Bath on one of our many trips.
    http://www.bookmonsters.info/images/Mum-and-I.jpg

    Thanks for reading. I love your books and look forward to many more!
    Alexis
    @BookMonsterAlly

  43. 10,000 swallows (or so it seems) are circling the church spire, energised by the golden September sun, getting their boarding-passes and duty free sorted before the long flight home.

  44. Sarah says:

    After many years of unhappiness, I have met a man who has put all my broken pieces back together again. It’s made my world beautiful again
    x

  45. Well I hope this ‘letter’ is a present to you and me. As my birthday, dear Jackie, was just yesterday on the 7th of September. I stumbled upon your blog because I write a blog as well and do book reviews, as a part of it, for Frances Lincoln. I was unsure about posting on Wild Swans because I have always felt fairy tales can be so harsh. After visiting your website and ‘hearing’ you speak I think I will enjoy your tale. As will my two granddaughters. They look for strong female heroines all the time! I am an artist and writer as well. But I have not made a living from either of those – yet. I paint and write because I love to. I design furniture with my husband which I love as well. My husband is of Welsh descent. From one Benjamin Congdon who married an Earl of Pembrokeshire’s daughter and then left with her for the states in 1640’s. We have yet to see Wales and live to do so. I fell madly in love with a manor house in Llanrwst Snowdonia this summer via my reading of Country Life (UK). You might enjoy that post. I do hope we will stay in touch! Please write me. And may I say, your knitting rock with the sea reflecting off before you is where my heart is today! What more is there… I will post on Wild Swans. It will be a Q&A blog tour with book give away– so be waiting for my questions via Michelle of Frances Lincoln! If you visit my blog you might have a smile as I did, as we were both looking for something of beauty amidst the harried world. All the best, G

  46. Jude Walker says:

    Something beautiful and amazing?
    Seeing my brand new, shiny as buttons Yr. 7 faces as I shared with them a pillar-box red book trolley full of wonderful books for them to enjoy this term. I felt like I’d given them around the world tickets. Just wonderful.
    Thank you Jackie for the beautiful moments you share…

  47. Laura says:

    I find it beautiful that you can communicate so powerfully with all of us who follow you and inspire people to comment.

  48. Stuart Hill says:

    The Autumn and Winter are beautiful. I love waking up on frosty mornings when ferns have been ice-etched on the inside of my windows, and I climb out of bed to look out at skies as bright as just-washed enamel. I then love snuggling back under the covers and putting my cold feet on my partner and making her shriek, and then getting up and making her breakfast in bed to make amends, while the cats sing fut purrs fatly amongst the blankets. This is the time to choose to live forever, looking out on rainbow-refracting frosts, while the day holds its breath in amazement.

  49. I have to admit I’ve had a gazillion beautiful things in my little life of seventy two years, and despite the fact of forever and ever war, cruelty and ignorance, just before I retreated to dear old friends in their dear old country home in New England for six days of doing mostly nothing at all of moment, with a good deal of silence save for birdsong, cricket, katydid and Cicada, I fashioned a blog post out of the memories of brave, fierce peacemaking women and men both here and across the pond, as well as in every country , and it was beautiful. Have a look and listen:
    http://mscomfortzone.blogspot.com/2015/09/remembering-peace-camps.html

    I don’t truly want the knitting project since my silence comes from frequent meditations alone and with others. So, if I happen to win a draw, I would welcome a button or a book to share. Meanwhile, as always, thanks for the beauty of your days, for your work and all the sharing of your being.

  50. Jane says:

    Clouds are beautiful especially the white candy-floss ones. Sadly my husband lost his battle against cancer last month. Now he’s chasing our sky dogs amongst these magical cotton creations while Denzo (my earth dog) and I look on.

  51. Kate says:

    Jackie I hope you had a marvelous birthday filled with peace and beauty. Your art and photographs bring me both when I open your blog and see the wonderful images and read your words.

    I want my art to express the beauty I experience in the world. In the contemporary art world, beauty is a disparaged quality as if to say how can you exult in beauty when the world is filled with such horror. But it is because there is such sorrow that we must touch and hold the beauty in our hearts. And to share the beauty with others, not to disguise or run from the pain, but to remind us that there is more than than pain to life.

  52. Belated Happy Birthday!

    I first visited Whitby just a couple of years ago. Whilst driving there I saw the heather on the moors for the first time and sobbed at how beautiful it was.

    We live in a country of such magnificent beauty, I wonder at the hard hearts that seem to care so little for it. So many everyday joys – finding scarlet pimpernel in our new garden (I hadn’t seen it for many years); the tiny field pansies; buzzards wheeling in the sky; my children’s joy at the nth pine cone (excitement that doesn’t seem to diminish, no matter how many cones they find!)

  53. Cate says:

    I have spent much of the summer tending dye plants in a garden — coreopsis, cosmos, weld, madder, indigo — learning to know them, watching them grow, harvesting and drying flower and leaf. In the last few days, fall has begun to ease its way into the air and light. The plants look tired. Instead of harvesting color, I’m collecting seeds for next year’s planting. But … wow. In my kitchen are simmering pots of red, blue, and so, so many yellows. The steamy air is sweet with flowers. I am simmering summer! At the end of the day, I have scented skeins of color drying on the line. I’ll weave with them over the winter, souvenirs of sun and rain and the smell of dirt, and of growing things.
    Happy birthday Jackie! You have brought so much beauty to my life.

  54. Cecilia says:

    I always love the beautiful photos on this blog…they make me want to go to Wales and wander over the hills myself. I am indoors working at a bookshop in the middle of the city today, but the sky is a beautiful blue, there is a light breeze and the sun shines through the door as people come in and out. A beautiful day.

  55. Penny says:

    A belated wish, that your spotted cat recovers. I have a new and delightful kitten, black and white, not ginger as my beloved Oscar and where I first discovered your ginger cat blog, I would one day love to win one of your give aways. Look on my blog for some beauty around our farm

  56. Morgan says:

    Happy belated birthday! These pictures are so beautiful! I have to say, you really stole my heart by mentioning Winnie the Pooh. Anytime he’s brought up, my heart melts a little. This giveaway is so lovely, I absolutely adored East of the Sun, West of the Moon, which was a given considering the original is my favorite fairy tale! The illustrations were breathtaking, I find myself just daydreaming about them sometimes. And I’m a bit of a novice knitter, myself. I had this one itty bitty scarf that I was “working on” for 6 years straight! (Mostly because it sat in a drawer for a good 4/6 of those years). But now I’m back in the knitting kick, and I’m dying to learn how to knit more things! It’s such a calming thing to do, I feel so at peace knitting!

  57. Delilah Gardner says:

    I found this blog post beautiful; it made a hard day, after a sleepless night, less hard. So, thank you.
    Other things I find beautiful include watching a golden moon rise over the Cornish cliffs, teaching myself (very slowly) to knit a pair of socks whilst listening to Kate Rusby, knowing I will (one day!) be wearing something on my feet that I created myself, no matter how many dropped stitches, twisted threads, wrong turns I encounter along the way… I find it beautiful when my pet rat Nim nestles himself in my dungarees pocket and munches on a slice of cucumber until he falls asleep with it grasped in his tiny pink hands. I find it beautiful when friends laugh with me over a pint of Rattler in the sunshine, and when I find a piece of perfectly rose coloured seaweed on a cold grey beach in February. I find it beautiful when I read something, a book, a poem, an essay, which makes me see the world in another light, or re-enlightens me to something I already knew. I find it beautiful to camp out in a forest, hearing owls chatter to each other in the whispering trees; I find it beautiful when nights are so dark that my sense of smell and hearing are heightened…
    Thank you again for this blog post, love and light x

  58. ruth gilburt says:

    My thoughts on beauty, Jackie:

    Beauty can mean so many things: fragments; memories; actions; sights, sounds and all senses to the beholder, the person experiencing that directly.

    But perhaps more specifically to me, I feel there is perhaps the deepest beauty in resonance and connection. We are all individual, sensate beings, open to those glorious moments where we perceive something truly awesome, outside of the every day or indeed by those tiny moments which can encapsulate this on the micro level.

    However, understanding that this a part of a wider, interweaving of human responses then the beautiful takes on an even deeper profundity – that of the undeniable, infinitely-meshed beauty of shared human experience.

  59. sonia mainstone-cotton says:

    A thing of a beauty I saw last night was a double rainbow over the meadow at the back of our house. Simple, but awe inspiring.

    I love the sound of your new book and will be ordering a copy

  60. Delphyne says:

    Happy Belated Birthday, Jackie! I love your artwork!

    I’m sending you a song by Neil Young called The Will to Love – a song about a salmon from the salmon’s perspective. The lyrics are posted below the video. I especially liked this:

    I remember the ocean from where I came
    Just one of millions all the same
    But somewhere, someone calls my name
    I’m a harpoon dodger
    And I can’t – won’t be tamed

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1c4IMYB8CQ

  61. Beth says:

    Long ago I used to follow you and the ginger cats, walking a world of wild highlands with views and smells of the sea. From here in the woods and fields of the mid-west U.S., it was an alien landscape to me, wild and wonderful, open and free. Yours was one of the first blogs I ever followed. I cried when your cats walked on to the other side. During those years my own cats gathered years and passed on as well.

    Your illustrations reach me in those places I used to dwell inside my own head as a child, places of fairy tales and magic. When it recently came time for me to give my favorite niece a present for her baby daughter, I sent her “Tell Me a Dragon”, because I want her to know those realms of magic too. So from out of the silence I just wanted to say thank you Jackie. Thank you so very much for sharing your visions.

  62. Kath McGuire says:

    I’ve recently discovered you and have been enjoying your pictures and creations.
    My something beautiful is something that my ten year old daughter said the other day. She asked me what I thought was the best thing about each day. Her answer was that each day was different – the sky might be cloudy or clear, new flowers opening, even daily chores would be different in subtle ways. It seemed such a lovely way to look at life.

  63. Sonya Hamilton says:

    As you have always wanted to be a bear, I am sure some part of me has always been a swan 🙂
    Today I have been listening to the thrum of the bees in the flowers, the zwing of the cicadas in the trees and dreaming dreams of summer’s richness. All this while needle felting woolen yarn into trees on sweaters, so that we may dream soon of autumn’s fullness, and winter’s sleeping peace. Blessings

  64. Carolyn Walker says:

    I see the beautiful pictures of your windswept Whales and am reminded of 10 magical years of my young adult life that I spent in Wyoming. I now live surrounded by trees and varying colors of green in the state of my birth, Mississippi. I too prefer animals and sylph’s to humans but am fortunate to have a small group of women friends that inspire and support each other.

    I wish I was good with paint and color so I could show how beautiful the world is.
    I wish I was good with words so I could describe how beautiful the world is.
    These are not my talents, I’m afraid, but I experience beauty everywhere.
    The anticipation I feel when breathing in the scents of the cool morning air, that heralds the coming of fall, is beautiful.
    The graceful twisting limbs of the trees in my yard are beautiful.
    The cry of hawks, as they ride the thermals high above my head, is beautiful.
    The way the ants march single file, in pursuit of their goal, across my fence top is beautiful.
    The purring that begins the moment my hands touch my 2 sleeping cats is beautiful.
    The ridiculous antics of my 4 dogs, newly released into the back yard from their night’s slumber on the couch, is beautiful.
    The stooped and gnarled joints covered with wrinkled skin that comprise my mother are beautiful.
    There are even times when my chronic pain, which reminds me I am alive, is beautiful.
    I am witness to this beauty, everyday, before my first cup of coffee is done.
    I am truly blessed. Thank you for reminding me with 4 simple words… tell me something beautiful.

  65. lyn lewis says:

    Good luck with your books and I adore how Fate brought you your drawn dog!
    I had a similar thing happen.
    I had one dog but out of the blue I woke one sunday morning at 5am with the conviction I should go to a local kennels that held lost dogs found by the Police.
    I didn’t need another dog so went back to sleep, woke again at 8am with the same idea. Sigh
    Breakfasted and all morning kept pushing the idea from my mind.
    By midday I rang them and asked what time they closed…..1pm they said.
    So I drove the 5 miles there, explained my reason for coming and they clearly they thought I was daft!!
    Kennels 1-17 held all their rescues, so I walked along and at kennel 11 – I knew that was the guy Id come for. The size of a corgi complete with Queen Anne Legs but crossed with a spaniel, maybe lol definitely not a great looker!
    But I knew he was for me.
    He had been found on the Friday night by all accounts, not chipped and a week later, still hadn’t been claimed.
    So I went and collected him and he became my collies best pal!
    Life is pretty wonderful at times : )
    Lyn

  66. I love your books and your art, and I love knitting – so what a wonderful giveaway!

    Something beautiful: watching my little boys play with their grandparents (my parents) this morning, giggling and giggling with delight (and their grandparents laughing out loud with delight in them, too).

  67. Beauty is a friend reaching out across the miles and sending an unexpected gift, just because.
    Beauty is the colour of the evening sky, pinks and blues and greys dancing in the wind.
    Or a late bee scavenging the last flowers of the garden.

  68. your blog is a beautiful place to come, amongst all the sad bad news-ness of the internet.
    happy belated birthday to you. i read how you wanted to be a bear when you grew up. i wanted to be a medieval warrior mouse. a mouse in armour with a sword. not that i liked fighting, but i did like mouse heroes. big little dreams.

    the most beautiful thing i can tell you is about my cats. because as you would know, they are the very best things.
    i have two, a brother and a sister, and they sleep curled together like a yin yang, inseparable, and have done so for 12 and a half years. loki sings loud songs, and wanders the house deliberately clicking his claws on the wooden floors. yoshimi has a toy warthog, and when it’s time to go to bed she brings it into whichever room we’re in, puts it in the middle of the floor, and that announces bedtime. the warthog’s arrival also tells visitors when it’s time to go home. loki touches my face gently when i’m at the computer. and then bites my arm. and is the smiliest cat i’ve ever met. yoshimi is my husband’s faithful companion. when he had an accident a few years back, and he was bed-bound, she slept on his chest and never left him. even now he’s better, she sleeps there still, face resting on his chin, every night. the bond between those two is probably the most beautiful thing i know.

  69. (when i said “grew up” i meant “GROW up” of course!)

  70. WendiG says:

    This is a love letter from Vancouver Island, Canada…
    From a fellow maker who loves your work and your special relationship with the Great Mother…you put a big smile on my face this disgruntled morning, and in my world that is a beautiful thing….

  71. Katherine Knupp says:

    The beauty of yarn, spinning, knitting. http://www.onbeing.org/blog/world-through-hands/3931

  72. Sally says:

    Oh Jackie, what a beautiful idea! I love my knitting, it allows me to sit and be almost still. Still is something I struggle with, my mind is too noisy, full of my mother telling me I must be busy… So knitting is industrious stillness, busy yet relaxing, just the click of the needles 🙂
    My current project is a chunky cabled cape pattern called Selkie which reminded me of The Seal Children and is going to have slate buttons from Solva beach. A tribute in wool.

  73. Therese says:

    Here in the great southern land, spring is blossoming and the light is returning. Pink peach blossoms, pale apple blossoms, bright green shoots. Despite the fact that winter is over, is receding, my mind has turned to knitting once more, to the stuff of creation. If we create things of beauty, perhaps the world will be a better place. Perhaps we can knit and weave beauty into the fabric of the world, mend and recreate what has been destroyed. Start again. It will start with the first stitch.

  74. John Ward says:

    I could not think of anything (beauty being elusive when you pursue it too hard) then just now I chanced to hear this being read on the radio and I was moved to tears – that, I thought, is beautiful. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/248290

  75. Cathi Christmus says:

    Beauty is…..the seasons as they change…the sun as it comes up every morning…the natural world, from the largest and oldest tree to a newborn hummingbird…..beauty, like happiness, can be found in the smallest and simplist of things if you open your eyes and heart. Beauty is right here!

  76. Emma Payne says:

    Hello Jackie,

    I’ve have recently discovered your work, your blog and Twitter. I was reading back through your blog posts and discovered this one. I hope you had a good birthday.

    I wanted to think of something profound, but instead the ordinary came to me. It is a memory, of myself and my grandfather. He is holding my hand and we are walking down a hill in the High Weald Sussex town where I was born, and as we walk he is telling me tales of the people who live roundabout and stories that I later realise are wildly fictional. I think it is Autumn, the sun is definitely low, and I am about 9 or 10. I can just about recall his voice and his face, the way he walked and his warm, rough skin. My grandfather died when I was 18, and despite now being in my late 30s I still miss him, and his stories, terribly. So I have bought you a beautiful memory, something ordinary, but something very special to me.

    The day before he died he told me to write a letter, all these years later I still haven’t written that letter. Perhaps I will have another try.

    Emma

  77. Jackie says:

    Delilah Gardner’s number has been picked up.
    Thanks everyone for being so brilliant. Your posts helped me through a very difficult time.

  78. Pingback: Interview with Jackie Morris

  79. Ambermoggie says:

    Something beautiful? That has to be another day Waking up next to my darling husband who is terminally ill. And knitting shawls while sitting with him when he is too tired to talk but glad of his company none the less

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