Tag Archives: Caroline Cunningham

A Creative Surge!

Something different sure is underfoot in Ireland right now!

With the recent launch of Creative Ireland initiative as a plan to put the ‘Arts’ at the heart of Irish living, acknowledging its important role for wellbeing, creative thinking and economy, this is only the start.

 

Co-inciding with a major boost in awareness around positive thinking, shining a light on mental health and the holistic approach to living, we are seeing a vibrant energetic drive across all sectors to breath new life into communities and our economy.

A shining example, is the work of Art Bank Bunclody volenteer initiative, now in its second year and already seeing a huge impact on the small Wexford town that is newly rising from it’s ashes.

I’m proud to be featured in Art Bank’s latest exhibition running until August 23rd, 2017.

We had much antics with the dodgey policemen patroling the street on the night!

Check out Art Bank Bunclody, Co. Wexford.

For Art of Caroline Cunningham – Visit Gallery

For Books by Caroline Cunningham – Visit Book Store

Thank you for visiting! Are you seeing a rise in creative ventures and positivity in your part of our planet? Let’s know…..leave a comment (:

 

Irelands Summer Solstice

Since writing this poem in 2015, I have become a self-published author! My book ‘The Whisperings of Nature’ was launched in April 2017 and is available via my on-line shop.

The poetry in this book are inspired by nature, offering comfort, wisdom and inspiration. Irelands Summer Solstice is one of the poems in The Whisperings of Nature.

Here you can decide if indeed my poetry is for you or someone in your life who appreciates Nature as I do.

Read reviews of other readers of my book – read reviews!

Purchase the book itself – go shopping!

Summer Solstice Ireland

IRELANDS SUMMER SOLSTICE

Moving through Irelands Summer’s Solstice,

We are graced with extraordinary light,

Our Earthly position points us steadily towards our closest star.

This is a time of gratitude,

Long may this feeling last,

I can sit outside my door and breath and glow,

With loose shoulders and a happy heart.

I am absorbing and storing this feeling

As I am not so fond of the damp, cold, darkness of Irish winter

The last sliver of light in the clouded horizon taunts me to accept the extreme,

As I learn to accept the extremes of my own temperament.

Winter will bring the excuse for fires and stories,

For some, the excuse to hold on tighter to the one most loved.

I hold that image of the summer’s night time mountain

This is the reward for a long nights work.

The Solstice Sky reflects an ocean of foreverness

And I am endlessly lost and found in the depths of it.

Divinely connected to the billions

Threading the sphere of our existence,

Long may this feeling last.

Happy is my heart.

© Caroline Cunningham

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For Your Eyes Only – Journey In Peru

My story ‘Journey in Peru’ is coming to an end. If you think the ending was a simple matter of getting a taxi to airport and flying straight to Ireland, well no, the journey’s end had even more adventure to be lived.

Journey In Peru Book Coming Soon

Journey In Peru Book Coming Soon

 

Journey In Peru - Available Soon

Journey In Peru – Available Soon

Soon I will be publishing my story in its entirety, available for purchase through on-line stores and my websites.

This will serve as a forerunner and introductory to my first novel once published, which details the adventures of fictional character Kitty Clinch in Peru, that damsel who lured me to Peru a second time.

Journey In Peru - Mini Novel

Journey In Peru – Mini Novel

Thank you once again for reading and especially those of you who showed appreciation through comments and ‘likes’. I have received the highest praise a writer could wish for, from readers who contacted me in person to say exactly how my story made them feel. This is the ultimate reward for a writer, and especially one who has arrived late in years to this wonderful art form of expression through words.

Machu Picchu - Journey In Peru

Machu Picchu – Journey In Peru

You can sign up for the final posts (installments) of ‘Journey In Peru’ by entering your email address in the space provided either to the right side of this page (if you are using PC) or at the very bottom of the post (if using mobile phone). The ‘follow’ (subscribe) form is also found on the Home page and the ‘About’ section. All set for the ending of ‘Journey In Peru’!

Journey In Peru - Available soon

Journey In Peru – Available soon

©Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

 

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Sexy Woman – Journey In Peru

In Cuzco there is a tourist ticket that covers a multitude of Inca sites both in the city and in The Sacred Valley, including the ‘Fortalezza’ in Ollantaytambo. It is excellent value to avail of this ticket which saves on individual entry fees at each location.

Cuzco Peru

Cuzco Peru

You also have the option of taking a tour with a guide on a bus which takes you to all the Cuzco sites listed on this ticket. These tickets and tours are on sale at numerous tourist offices throughout the city centre. The tour bus is very convenient but if you have more time the Sacsayhuaman site is deserving of a longer visit.

Sacsayhuaman Cuzco Peru

Sacsayhuaman Cuzco Peru

‘Sexy Woman’ is how the English speaking visitors often refer to this UNESCO heritage site elevated high above the city. The name is derived from the Quechua language the first part meaning ‘full’ or ‘satisfied’ and the second part of the name is thought to refer to a falcon. It is also believed to have been an important site of sun worship in Inca times.

Sacsayhuaman Cuzco Peru

Sacsayhuaman Cuzco Peru

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The enormous boulders of rock situated in labyrinth style reaching into the heavenly blue sky creates a striking visual impression. Looking down into the deep bowl of the city you get a glimpse of what convinced the Incas that this was the centre of their world. Mountains graced the surrounding area and created the perfect protective space within for dwellers, at least until the arrival of the infamous Pizarro who came to conquer.

Wild Star Landing - Journey In Peru

Wild Star Landing – Journey In Peru

The city sparkled a shiny miniature of itself, with the sun bouncing its rays from glassy surfaces. The low rise organisation of buildings and parks dotted with leafy trees and fountains all seemed so particular and fun to the tourist eye. Close by, a statue of Catholic Christ stood large with outstretched arms overlooking the city dwellers adding to the sense of sanctuary.

Christ Statue Cuzco Peru

Christ Statue Cuzco Peru

Cuzco - Former Inca Capital Peru

Cuzco – Former Inca Capital Peru

Cuzco Peru

Cuzco Peru

Cuzco Peru

Cuzco Peru

Plaza De Armas Cuzco Peru

Plaza De Armas Cuzco Peru

Every city has its darker side and down below despite the busy endeavours of people selling their wares there were stories of anguish that would break a heart to hear them. Hence the amount of volunteer ‘not for profit’ businesses in the area. A salary is not a profit, I didn’t understand this concept originally. In any case thanks to these charity businesses, international volunteers are in no short supply, giving hope to many.

City Tour Cuzco Peru

City Tour Cuzco Peru

City Tour Cuzco Peru

City Tour Cuzco Peru

I took the city tour in the company of a Romanian traveler whom I befriended on my second, slightly longer visit to Cuzco.

Cuzco Peru

Christ Statue Night Time Cuzco Peru

Christ Statue Night Time Cuzco Peru

©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

Temple Of The Sun Cuzco – Journey In Peru

Cuzco Peru

Cuzco Peru

Cuzco is a fascinating city with an inherent spontaneity. Parades and celebrations are a normal part of any given day. It is a city built upon a city as the Spanish Conquistadors took advantage of the ingenuity of the Incas. The Inca buildings were designed and engineered to withstand earthquakes so it was best to take advantage of their expert foundations.

Dancers and Parades in Cuzco Peru

Dancers and Parades in Cuzco Peru

Dancers and Parades in Cuzco Peru

Dancers and Parades in Cuzco Peru

Celebrations in Cuzco Peru

Celebrations in Cuzco Peru

Celebrations in Cuzco Peru

Celebrations in Cuzco Peru

The heart of the city boasts decorative Spanish colonial architecture whilst the powerful Inca spirit emanates from the towering walls and boulders of their most impressive remaining structures.

Plaza De Armas Cuzco Peru

Plaza De Armas Cuzco Peru

Original Inca Walls exposed Cuzco Peru

Original Inca Walls exposed Cuzco Peru

Plaza De Armas Cuzco Peru

Plaza De Armas Cuzco Peru

Near San Pedro Market Cuzco Peru

Near San Pedro Market Cuzco Peru

During my visits to Cuzco I availed of the opportunity to visit some of the most famous Inca heritage sites, starting with the Temple Of The Sun. Here you see examples of the inter-locking system used in Inca buildings. Precise measurements and laser-like cutting of the granite rocks meant that nothing more was required to hold these blocks tightly and securely together.

Temple Of The Sun Cuzco Peru

Temple Of The Sun Cuzco Peru

Temple Of The Sun Cuzco Peru

Temple Of The Sun Cuzco Peru

Temple Of The Sun Cuzco Peru

Temple Of The Sun Cuzco Peru

Temple Of The Sun Cuzco Peru

Temple Of The Sun Cuzco Peru

The walls of The Temple Of The Sun are believed to have been covered in gold, of which the Incas were in no short supply. History tells us that all the gold was stripped away by the invaders for their own purposes. The Peruvians tell a very gruesome story of the horrors of this invasion.

Journey In Peru - Wild Star Landing

Journey In Peru – Wild Star Landing

Temple Of The Sun Cuzco Peru

Temple Of The Sun Cuzco Peru

An American lady living in Peru deduced to me that the Peruvian people are still affected by these emotional scars, she disdained their victim mentality. She took the time to tell me that it was similar for the Irish. Being Irish, I thanked her for her observations. She could be right. It’s always interesting to get an outsiders observation. I indeed had my own scars to attend to, and in doing so, surely I could no longer be cast as a victim of my circumstances.

Cuzco Peru

Cuzco Peru

In my first trip to Cuzco I behaved like a good tourist honouring the Inca heritage and in addition I offered assistance to a friend in need. Life is difficult at times. When we give consideration to the plight of others we momentarily forget our own turbulent affairs.

Cuzco Peru

Cuzco Peru

As I travelled back to Ollantaytambo a day later, I noticed a new sensation. Maybe it was a growing up but it felt like an outwards growing. Some months later back in Dublin a friend observed that my aura extended all the way from the top of Parnell Square to the other side of the river Liffey. This must have been the start of that extension.

I felt more whole than ever in my life, more parts of myself interconnecting. I had not yet passed through the darkest hour of this particular chapter of my life but a preparation of sorts was taking place. I felt I was being guided and protected from an unseen source. And so I carried onwards with my plot.

Journey In Peru - Wild Star Landng

Journey In Peru – Wild Star Landng

©Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

You Never Know – Journey In Peru

You never know what’s outside your door until you open it and venture out into the light of day. This is especially so when you are traveling in a distant land, with everything so new and exciting.

A child-like state automatically takes me over when I am in the surrounds of the beauty of a culture so rich as that of Peru. The only country in the world that would find strong competition in my eyes would be India, which I dearly love.

As a solo female traveler, I preferred to travel to the sanctity of the Sacred Valley of Cuzco’s Ollantaytambo. Perhaps I will one day graduate to solo travel in India, the first country that made me fall in love with every part of it.

Afuera La Porta

Afuera La Porta

On one particular morning in my new lodgings in Ollantaytambo Peru, I opened the door to find two labourers resting with planks of wood. They made such a striking pose as they stood there smiling. I ran to get my camera and asked them if I could photograph them. They nodded their approval, smiling all the while.

 

El Horno - Ollantaytambo Peru

El Horno – Ollantaytambo Peru

Another day I came upon a man at the adjoining bar, busily stomping bare-footed in a pile of wet mud. He did not mind me stopping to watch. ‘What are you making?’ I asked him in Spanish. ‘El horno!’ was his reply. Pizza’s are popular in Peru, more especially with tourists, and where there is business to be made our Peruvian friends are not slow to act. Clay oven’s were particularly popular. And this man was making an addition to the services offered by his funky ‘Quechua Bar’ (the one that plays the Bob Marley Music and the Spanish version of ‘The Streets Have No Name’).

 

 

 
My neighbour grabbed a bucket and began to sprinkle clumps of black strands into the mix of mud. ‘What is it?’ I asked. ‘Hair!’, his reply. ‘Human hair?’ said I. ‘Si,’ he affirmed, ‘it helps the mud to stick together.’ I enquired if there was any other spiritual belief attached to the practice of using the hair, but no , it was purely a practical solution.

Making an Oven with Human Hair - Peru

Making an Oven with Human Hair – Peru

Making an Oven - Peru

Making an Oven – Peru

Making an Oven - Ollantaytambo Peru

Making an Oven – Ollantaytambo Peru

I delighted in such happenings for my collection of childlike wonders. The fact that I was making these discoveries through learning a new language added to the experience. To learn like a child is such a lesson in life. It is a humbling experience and can be vulnerable too. Fortunately, I was surrounded by kindly souls for the most of my visit. My adventures into the lessons of adulthood however, were to be treacherous in comparison.

Making a Pizza Oven - Quechua Bar Ollantaytambo

Making a Pizza Oven – Quechua Bar Ollantaytambo

Quechua Bar Ollantaytambo Peru

Quechua Bar Ollantaytambo Peru

© Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing (Blog).

The Best Thing About Santa Teresa – Journey in Peru

It will never be said about Santa Teresa that ‘the best thing about it is the road out of it’. This is a figure of speech used in Ireland when poking fun at a rival towns-land. It was time to leave the cloud forest jungle and this tree-house style room in which I had spent two airy Peruvian nights.

The unpaved dusty wriggly road, high upon the canyon’s ledge lay waiting for me to chance it one more time, except this time the car travelled on the side closest to the edge. There was no getting used to it, especially when the driver met another vehicle at a particularly narrow bend and had to reverse to make way for it to pass. I just thought ‘if I die now at least I can say I have dared to live life to the maximum’. If I had died then I would have died blissfully ignorant of the truth I had neglected to heed.

I had brought with me to Santa Teresa a curiosity that needed to be satisfied. A woman of my imaginative creation desired to finally put her past to rest and move her life forward once and for all. I had written a story around her and it intrigued me as to how it really would pan out for her if she were indeed to settle in this country and live a traditional modest married life. She would come to an exotic place such as Santa Teresa to play out her romantic quest in a daring manner like never before.

Cloud Forest Jungle Peru www.wildstarlanding.com

Cloud Forest Jungle Peru
http://www.wildstarlanding.com

I pondered the sequel to this story as the canyon glided beneath the car window.A happily ever after ending would never do the trick. She deserved to be happy that was certain. But for how many years should she be allowed to retain that happiness? I thought I could reasonably allow her 15 years or so. A tragic accident would widow her and she would be faced with the decision to return to her home country or remain amongst her new family in Peru. There would be a twist too. All the ingredients of a good story or so I thought. Can you have too much tragedy in a story? If there is tragedy at the beginning is it over the top to subject the heroine to further misery towards the end?

All in all, perhaps my idea of tragedy was over-imagined. But to live a whole life without the knowledge of self that only comes from attempting to fully know another, would that not then be a tragedy? I wanted to divert my heroine temporarily from her tragic route.

Eco Quechua Lodge Santa Teresa Peru

Eco Quechua Lodge Santa Teresa Peru

Eco Quechua Lodge Santa Teresa Peru

Eco Quechua Lodge Santa Teresa Peru

From Santa Maria to Ollantaytambo Peru

From Santa Maria to Ollantaytambo Peru

By now I had transferred to the bus that took me from Santa Maria back to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. This time there were absolutely no seats remaining and I had to stand in the aisle. The air was still hot from the jungle. A nauseous unease welled inside me accompanied by a faintish daze. I must have looked like I was going to collapse on the seated passengers. Someone pointed to the rear of the bus and bodies made way. I squeezed into a corner of the back of the bus on the side that faced deep into the floor of the mountains footholds with all the windings of roads yet to be travelled set out like threads below. I stood in a leaning position as there were no seats in this part of the bus but at least I was secure enough not to collapse.

It occurred to me that my Ollantaytambo friends would be curious about my trip. I realised then how much that humming bird had come to my rescue. Without doubt, seeing this wondrous bird before my very eyes was the best thing about my visit to Santa Teresa. It was a blessing then as I diverted their further questioning and it was a blessing later when the dreams I had dared to realise fell to shambles.

I too had a story. I didn’t want anyone to know the truth of it. I did not want to be seen floundering with the eyes of the world upon me. For those days in Santa Teresa I fooled myself, thinking love was on its way. It was in fact withheld once again. I misinterpreted every word, every in-action.

As I stepped from the bus onto the cobbled stones of Ollantaytambo, I turned to wave goodbye. It was the start of a slow series of goodbyes but also the beginning of something new for I never felt about myself the freedom as I had then. I was living an adventure and my arms were wide open to the highs and lows that were to yet to come.

An Irish Woman’s Journey in Peru Live your life as if it is a movie and you are in the leading role

© Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing