Heritage Day

Today is my last day

 

I manage to crawl off the bed that ceased to be coupled almost a decade ago

then land in my still relatively tiny bathroom, though my own physique seems to be shrinking by the second now

I look up at my reflection and I realise the purpose of mirrors

There is a headline,

my face

wrinkled and grey beneath its letters seems to unfold like an over ripe flower without ever having been touched

it says;

Heritage Day

I shuffle along until I trip over the now almost dry white board marker and I begin the list:

One: I inherited the dark lines of deceit off my mother’s core

Two: I learned how to live with being a liar

Three: I came as a foreign being full of love

Four: I was denied love but I’m still leaving filled with only those four letters

Five: Life was beautiful though the darkness is always the beginning of a new story

Six: I inherited the art

Seven: I will never forget

 

I rinse myself off and decide that it would be better to leave full of hope

After all

3 months before they expected me I was ready

13 years before I was

they weren’t

my family

 

The wardrobe whispered the call of majesty

I obeyed my longing eyes

past the dioors and my goodbye suit

I found the two letter phrase barely in disguise and I remembered why

Heritage day:

One: I learned how to judge myself better than anyone had ever judged me

Two: It wasn’t always sunny

Three: How to fake the smile through heartache

Four: How to cause the same

Five: My clothes are cheap

Six: I am unworthychocolat_l

Seven: I knew this each time we made eye contact… after all; we are self proclaimed judges

 

So neat, tidy and fresh I walk towards the lonely seat and the non functional tv

and on the top right hand corner of the screen

A phrase in white paint screams out at me

Heritage Day:

One: My skin colour murdered my first love

Two: I inherited the skill of not caring much for those attributes

Three: My father Died of a broken heart

Four: You saved mine

Five: Our life was puzzled together by vibes and muted sentences

Six: In the end, my quirks were irrelevant and your were my indica

Seven: I fell eternally asleep with the very thoughts that days and nights before had always haunted me.

 

Palm on palm now

My eye lids find their space

No tears left in me

My heritage day is eternal

and I only grew to know that the moment I looked into you!

 

 

 

 

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Lullaby! (To Dad)

Dear dad!
I miss you.

It’s been a while and I know it’s my fault mainly
I really should write to you more often
You speak to me in a way that no one else knows
Like the chirping of the bird outside my window while my stone heart begins to waken
And it is pain at first
And hopelessness
But then a spark of life happens in my wolfy veins
That is barely noticeable enough at first
Then day after day you whisper breezes of wind in return of the scorching memories and fears…

Years have passed since I truly felt like a weaver of words;
I knew I died then
Perhaps with you – is it beautiful to finally be a part of everything again?
Do you miss her?
Whoever she was…
I think your love for her inspired me so that I could not help but fall in love with that planet; a woman!
The galaxies of female curves I have seen
Left me broken dead and empty.

I am much better now though
I’m learning to forgive
To let go of the things I cannot change
I think I’m learning how to live.

Are you proud of me?
I still feel like your little girl.
I have written so much just tonight only to avoid telling you for the first and only time : I am hurt

Hurt but still breathing
Crippled but healing
With every cell in me that yearns to be
Someone worthy

Tomorrow I will continue my quest and I will fail a little less at disproving the impossible
And fail a little less again the following day
Until impossible is nothing

Because I think not even you believed in what you chased
Not even you could dream that big
Oh but you insisted that I learn
And so I did

I dream a little less these days
I focus on success
Not in material value though I’m sorry; I’m quite alright with just being me
But I succeed a little more each day
I manage to keep me complete.

I have started learning how to be brave
And yes
Yes dad, she’s teaching me.

That nothing is ever really worth it unless it hurts a little at least!

CRT Threatens Website

The following was posted on ‘ Kennet and Avon Boating Community Website ‘ on Tuesday September 18 2012 @ 3:46 .

Kindly note that the article is not my own, however I felt the need to share it.

Thank you!

CRT threaten our web site with libel

This web site’s Editor received a letter from CRT recently threatening to take court proceedings for libel against the web site because of statements made in articles revealing and commenting about BW/CRT’s relationship with hire boat holiday brokers Drifters Leisure Limited. CRT has also asked the editor to remove the articles, to make an undisclosed donation to the CRT as recompense, and to publish by way of apology information which is already in the public domain athttp://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/shares_in_drifters_leisure_limit#incoming-305070 in its own response to a Freedom of Information request.

The Editor refutes the allegation made by CRT for the reason that the articles in question are based on evidence. Analysis and comment about the issues covered in the articles is in the public interest and in particular in the interests of boat dwellers without home moorings.

When big organisations try to silence their critics using threats to sue for libel they do not always get the outcome they want. We would remind CRT that it cost McDonalds around £10,000,000 to pursue a civil libel action against London Greenpeace activists Helen Steel and Dave Morris that was only partially successful. Eventually Steel and Morris were awarded £24,000 compensation in the European Court of Human Rights because they did not get a fair trial on the ground of inequality of arms. That is, they were low waged people with no resources to defend themselves against the action; legal aid is not available for defending a libel action, whereas McDonalds could afford to spend thousands of pounds each day to hire top lawyers.

The threat of court action was received shortly after CRT Chief Executive Robin Evans refused to withdraw derogatory statements about boaters without home moorings following a complaint made to CRT. There appears to be a double standard at work here.

Despite a request by the Editor for clarification of the exact words that are alleged to be defamatory, CRT has not responded. Here is the correspondence between CRT and the Editor:

21 August 2012

DEFAMATORY ARTICLES POSTED ON

http://kanda.boatingcommunity.org.uk

We write regarding the following articles posted on the aforementioned website:
“CRT Head of Boating runs hire boat company” posted on 12 July 2012; “BW had shares in hire
boat company” posted on 19 July 2012 and “Discredited CRT Legal Director and Head of Boating
booted and shrunk” posted on 5 August 2012.

Canal & River Trust considers the unsubstantiated references to impropriety, allegations of
misconduct, bullying, harassment and discreditation in conjunction with the Canal & River Trust’s
directors and senior employees and their positions or office and the malicious unauthorised
mockery of the Trust’s logo published in the aforementioned articles to be calculated to disparage
Canal & River Trust and its directors and are therefore defamatory to Canal & River Trust within
the meaning of Section 2 of the Defamation Act 1952.

It is clear that you are either author, editor or publisher of the defamatory statements referred to through http://www.boatingcommunity.org.uk reverting to http://kanda.boatingcommunity.org.uk as
envisaged by Section 1 of the Defamation Act 1996 and therefore it was your responsibility to take
reasonable care that articles published by you do not contain defamatory statements and images.
Should you allow the publication of the statements to continue, Canal & River Trust will be left with no option but to consider civil proceedings against you.

Accordingly, we request that you cease publicly displaying the aforementioned articles on your
website or elsewhere without delay. We further request that you publish the attached text by way of
an apology and make an undisclosed charitable donation to the Trust as a way of making amends
in line with Section 2 of the Defamation Act 1996.

28 August 2012

I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 21 August 2012 that you sent to
info@boatingcommunity.org.uk. I require you to provide detailed clarification of which specific words or statements in the articles you have referred to that you consider to be “references to impropriety, allegations of misconduct, bullying, harassment and discreditation in conjunction with the Canal & River Trust’s directors and senior employees and their positions or office”. Please specify in detail your arguments for asserting that these words or statements could be construed to be calculated to disparage CRT and its directors.

I would be grateful for your response within seven (7) days.

4 September 2012

Further to your email, I would be grateful if you first clarify whether you are an editor or operator of the website http://www.boatingcommunity.org.uk. If so, please let me have your correspondence address together with an address of your solicitor (if any) and confirm whether your solicitor is entitled to accept service of legal documents.

If not, please let me have names of the website editor and the website provider together with their contact details. In the meanwhile, I note that the articles referred to in my email of 21 August 2012 continue to be published on the http://www.boatingcommunity.org.uk website. The website operator and/or editor was put on notice that Canal & River Trust considers the contents of those articles defamatory Accordingly, should this matter progress further, I reserve the right to bring this fact to the court’s attention.

4 September 2012

This is an open letter. I acknowledge receipt of your email of 4 September 2012. I have noted your comments. I am the Editor of http://kanda.boatingcommunity.org.uk (the “Web Site”) and the author of the articles and images that you refer to. The Web Site is not run on a commercial or for profit basis. For all other purposes I am the publisher of the Web Site in that I make the decisions regarding what is published and I perform the electronic publication.

I am not represented by a law firm. I am assisted by the National Bargee Travellers Association (the “NBTA”) and by XXXXXX as McKenzie Friends in this matter. I would be obliged if you would copy any further communication to legal@bargee-traveller.org.uk.
XXXXXX of the NBTA will respond to your enquiry to him in relation to the technical details of the web site.

I observe that you have failed to respond to my request for a clear specification of the specific words or statements that your client alleges are defamatory. Because of your continued interrogation of me, should you not proceed in issuing a claim in this matter, I shall make a complaint pursuant to s.2 Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

It is also material to this matter that, insofar as your client is required to disprove statements when making a claim alleging defamation, the NBTA has now provided evidence, verifying the maladministration on the part of your client, to the Waterways Ombudsman. The NBTA shall refer to additional evidence as appropriate.

I reserve my rights in all respects.

4 September 2012

Without Prejudice Save As To Costs

I write further to my first email of 4 September 2012. I note that the statutory functions of CRT (including the management of the waterways) remain a  public function. Therefore in relation to this public function, CRT remains bound by ECHR. I note that CRT has sought to curtail my fundamental freedom to impart information and ideas regarding the management of the waterways. It follows that your client has violated my Convention rights under Article 10 ECHR. I would be grateful if you would convey my request to your client that it ceases and desists in violating my Convention rights under Article 10 ECHR immediately.

I reserve my rights in all respects.

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Of Wood Nymphs and Samodivas

Nymph: (Greekνύμφη, nymphē).

In Greek mythology a Nymph is a minor female nature deity associated with a particular location or landform. Nymphs are generally seen as divine spirits who animate nature. Usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing; their amorous freedom sets them apart from the restricted and chaste wives and daughters of the Greek polis. They are believed to dwell in mountains and groves, by springs and rivers, and also in trees.

 

According to many sources including one very interesting essay extracted from the Scientific Works of the University of Rousse – 2008, Volume 47, Series 5.3’; the myth of the Samodiva was born with the fall of the Bulgarian empire. According to this source the natives believe in the reality of once mythical maidens, but also seek a logical explanation to these legends. They believe that during slavery, groups of 3 women from every region in and around the Balkan areas fled into the forests and remained there.

In mid June when the young shepherds took their herds out, it was well known that young ladies would descend from the depths of the forest, to steal a man of their choice as their groom.

This groom however, was only kept until the end of August (According to Bulgarian folklore on August 29 of every year the sun would slice through the day and the night, making them equal).

Thereafter the young man was banished and sent back to his village partially because having to provide food for him as well was very difficult. Shortly after the groom returned to his village it is said that he would die from either a severe illness or depression. Hand in hand with the groom’s death goes the birth of his child (usually male). The child of a Samodiva apparently had extremely good genes especially concerning his/her physical attributes. The sons of these maidens grew with them until they were strong enough to be sent out as freedom fighters, the girls remained with their mothers in the forest and continued to preserve the bloodline.

Many of the great Bulgarian poets and writers (most of whom were freedom fighters) record various encounters with the Samodivas throughout their journeys. Their descriptions of these ‘deities’ are astonishingly similar to those of the Wood Nymph.

Keep in mind that I am not claiming the Wood Nymph and the Samodivas to be the same… I’m only pointing out that the theory of their existence is not completely farfetched.

As a Bulgarian, the myth of the Samodiva makes me extremely proud to be a woman. Five hundred years of hiding and breeding in secret, telling stories and remaining ‘wild’ and uneducated for the sake of preserving the blood line… No romance, just perseverance… it is no wonder that there is no written record of these times. During the Ottoman rule our alphabet was scarcely used… the poets and writers start springing up just before the fall of the Ottoman Empire and technically this makes us a relatively new country.

A new country with a deep history, a nation so closely linked to nature, so rich in mythology; a mythology that is being forgotten, when for centuries women and men sacrificed their lives daily just so that a Bulgarian would never wonder where he/she came from.

The point is that whether we are talking about Wood Nymphs or Samodivas, we should always try to go a little deeper and decide for ourselves whether mythology is really just a bunch of stories as many people perceive them to be.

‘I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge

That Myth is more potent than history

That dreams are more powerful than facts

That hope always triumphs over experience

That laughter is the only cure for grief

And I believe that love is stronger than death’ – R. Fulghum

 

 

 

‘Mythos’

In Bulgarian the word ‘samo’ means ‘only’ or ‘just’ or ‘alone’… the word ‘diva’ means ‘wild’ (this in the feminine form).

 

Website for this image:http://satrae.swu.bg/projects-and-discoveries/discover1.aspx?lang=en

Megalithic Thracian Sanctuary “Gradisteto”- Dolno Dryanovo, Gotse Delchev Region

In this rather intricate language, deciding whether a word is in the feminine or masculine form is rather simple: If a the noun ends on –ova, iva, eva, or even just a – then we can safely conclude that it is a lady noun… on the contrary if your noun ends on – iv, ov, en ,ev etc. – it is a Mr. noun.

 

Home is a wondrous place!

The Balkans are overwhelming, the buildings are ancient – houses, churches, parks, museums; they are all centuries old while the history is incredibly interesting. Our mythology is almost completely lost as the past few generations have become more and more desensitized to the sacred land that is Bulgaria and it makes me really sad.

A few months ago I asked my mother what the Bulgarians believed in before we became Christianized and in turn she told me that we have never believed in anything else.

 

Let’s take a step to the right, find a comfortable spot which would be concentrated enough to analyze and just try to understand why many of us are concerned about such responses.

 

Mythology is said to play a very important role in one person’s upbringing and education. The tales are worth centuries of history that could not and has not been recorded, but has been passed down from generation to generation, so when a generation begins to lose that sense of history, magic and wonder and they turn to their parents (who are naturally supposed to be teachers, guides etc) but they have no idea about what their kid is asking… well I feel it is reason enough to panic! Where to without mythology, preservation of culture and history? Do we roll on with the times and become half-human, lost in the chase for fame and fortune without a care for anything else apart from the next pay cheque?

 

In 1422 the once powerful Bulgarian empire collapsed and was enslaved by the Ottoman Turks thereafter… many sources and historians confirm that the slavery was severe, women and children were raped and killed in attempt to diminish the Bulgarian bloodline. Men were burned alive and shot (amongst other things).

 

Everyone knows that no invading power has the knowledge of a territory better than the folk living on the land, and so brave and selfless women from each Balkan region in Bulgaria preserved the bloodline for over 500 years. This is not just mythology if you think about it. How else does a bloodline survive and remain pure for so long given the violent attempts to get rid of it?

 

I leave you with two thoughts for the day:

 

Think about the number 3 in terms of its use in so many cultures, beliefs and in mythology…

 

Bulgarian men are known to be some of the most abusive toward their women… they seem to always need to prove themselves as ‘men’… consider this; what could possibly have  happened to trigger this behavior that seems to be genetically imprinted on almost every man with Bulgarian blood in him?

 

Next up:

 

‘Of Wood Nymphs and Samodivas’