Tag Archives: Philosophy

Wuthering Wind

We marry the rough and tumble

You and I,

We drift in the babbling wind of a sultry sky,

Distant door chimes softly ringing,

Cohesive synergetic hymning,

Games and ladders

Slides and swings,

Nodding, bobbing, to shore we swim.

Every heart beat, every pulsing rhythm,

Mine, yours and every them,

Parting, joining, shrugging, flinging,

For now and always we are living,

Pulsing, darting, shredding, hearting,

Together, never far removed,

Makes me think ‘so what is freedom’?

When clasped we are by the wuthering wind!

©Copyright Caroline Cunningham 2017

Caroline Cunningham is the Author of The Whisperings of Nature – a collection of 15 Nature-inspired poems offering comfort, wisdom and inspiration – Go Shopping!

Note: Wuthering Wind is not included in The Whisperings of Nature poetry collection.

What are your thoughts on ‘Wuthering Wind’? How does the sound of wind make you feel?

 

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Art De Conacky

As you pass from Plaza de Armas in Ollantaytambo in thedirection of The Fortaleza, on the corner after after crossing the bridge, you will notice a man quietly and intently creating his craft. He is absorbed in much concentration. Beside him a table is adorned with the beautiful results of his art. Semi-precious stones decorated and surrounded by intricate thread designs, forming bracelets and necklaces, the like of which I have not seen elsewhere in the world.

The first day I stopped to say ‘hola’, the artist raised his head and offered me a great big smile.

Weeks later I cannot pass this spot without some form of salute. Coňacky is now my friend. His real name is Hernan, but he tells that he prefers Coňacky, it is his artistic name. Welcome to the ‘Art of Coňacky’!

I ask Coňacky to tell me more about the origin of this craft and it’s name. He tells me that it is the ‘Art of Knots’ and most likely it has ancient oriental origins. He is using wax cotton and woolen thread. The work involves many hours of concentration. I hold up a necklace and Coňacky tells me that this one took six hours, without rest, to complete. The semi-precious stones which lie at the centre of each creation, are of Peruvian origin like all the materials that he uses.

Coňacky tells me that he began to learn this art from his father when was eight years of age. However, it took many years to develop his own particular style and to eventually depend solely on his art for his daily living. It is the story of many artists. Sacrifices often have to be made, especially when you have a family to support. ‘It’s important to keep your feet on the ground,’ he explains to me in spanish.

Coňacky worked for many years in shops selling everything from icecream to televisions. He even had his own shop for a while. But one day in 1999, in the town of Iquitos in the northern región of Peru, Coňacky decided to join his father more purposefully in the Art of Knots. Within one month, he had produced an abundance of beautiful ítems which sold very quickly to eager customers. This moment was the start of his new career, a career which he thoroughly enjoys.

I question Coňacky further in relation to his creative items. I am wondering if this craft was also known to the Incas. He reminds me that weaving is the tradition of the Incas. In his creations however, he uses many patterns and symbols that are of Incan origin and significance. ‘My art represents a fusión of Inca designs with an oriental technique,’ he explains.

‘Is this a popular art form in Peru?’ I enquire. Coňacky tells me that it is possible to find many people producing simpler forms of this craft, but he knows only eight Peruvian people who are creating at this highest level. ‘Five of those people currently live outside Peru,’ he adds. It is apparent that this work is quite unique as many people stop to gaze in admiration at the creative display. To make a choice of which bracelet, necklace or ear-rings, requires much time, as the decisión is not any easy one I feel. They are all spectacular to me!

I am curious about Coňacky’s other interests. He tells me that he likes to sing and dance and sleep. ‘Sleep is very important,’ he tells me, ‘especially if you are not feeling well.’ He explains that rest and sleep are the body’s remedy for many ailments.

I usually ask my Ollantino friends what significance Machu Picchu holds for them. Coňacky confirms that for him Machu Picchu represents a work of art, the art of the Inca’s. It is a most special place in the mountains, it is a palace. ‘What other Peruvian location is close to your heart?’ I enquire. ‘Iquitos!’ Coňacky replies. Iquitos is his original home and having checked out some photos on the internet I can see indeed it is very beautiful, surrounded by the rivers of Amazon, Itaya and Nanay. Also it is an área with a rich biodiversity.

I ask Coňacky about his impression of life outside Peru and South America in particular, since he meets many people every day from all over the world. He tells me that life in other countries appears to be very mechanical, highly organised and fast paced. ‘Excess in anything is not good,’ he concludes, ‘it leads to much stress and addiction.’ I agree with him in this. ‘I have times when I am also very busy,’ he adds, ‘but not the whole time, it is better to take things slowly.’

I am wondering if Coňacky’s art will pass to the next generation of his family. He tells me that his daughter has an interest and is already making simple things. ‘But she is very young,’ he adds, ‘school is more important now. Little by little is OK.’

I thank Coňacky for taking part in this interview it has been an interesting exchange and definitely I understand more Spanish conversation at this stage. I am sure my friends in Ireland are curious as to which pieces of Coňacky’s art I will choose for them before I return home.

If you have enjoyed reading may I invite you to FOLLOW my blog, this may help me in the publication of my first novel, also inspired by Peru. To the right of your screen you may see an icon ‘FOLLOW’ and a space to insert your email address……ah go on!!

Por Favor, respect all rights of the artist, writer and photographer, Gracias!

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INTERVISTE

Al pasar de la Plaza de Armas de Ollantaytambo en dirección a La Fortaleza, en la esquina después de después de cruzar el puente, te darás cuenta de un hombre en silencio y con atención la creación de su arte. Él es absorbida en gran concentración. Junto a él, una mesa se adorna con los excelentes resultados de su arte. Piedras semi-preciosas decoradas y rodeadas de diseños intrincados hilos, formando pulseras y collares, como el de los que no he visto en otros lugares del mundo. El primer día que dejé de decir “hola”, el artista levantó la cabeza y me ofreció una gran sonrisa.
Semanas más tarde no quiero dejar pasar este lugar sin alguna forma de saludo. Coňacky ahora es mi amigo. Su verdadero nombre es Hernán, pero él dice que él prefiere Coňacky, es su nombre artístico. Bienvenido al ‘arte de Coňacky’!
Pido Coňacky decirme más sobre el origen de este arte y su nombre. Él me dice que es el “arte de nudos” y muy probablemente tiene orígenes antiguos orientales. Él está usando la cera del algodón e hilo de lana. El trabajo implica muchas horas de concentración. Tengo un collar y Coňacky me dice que éste tomó seis horas sin descanso, para completar. Las piedras semi-preciosas que se encuentran en el centro de cada creación, son de origen peruano como todos los materiales que utiliza.
Coňacky me dice que empezó a aprender este arte de su padre cuando tenía ocho años de edad. Sin embargo, tuvieron que pasar muchos años para desarrollar su propio estilo particular y dependerá finalmente sólo en su arte para la vida diaria. Es la historia de muchos artistas. Sacrificios a menudo tienen que hacer, sobre todo cuando se tiene una familia que mantener. “Es importante mantener los pies en el suelo”, explica a mí en español.
Coňacky trabajó durante muchos años en las tiendas que venden de todo, desde helados a los televisores. Incluso tuvo su propia tienda por un tiempo. Pero un día, en 1999, en la ciudad de Iquitos, en la región norte del Perú, Coňacky decidió unirse a su padre más a propósito en el arte de los nudos. Plazo de un mes, se había producido una gran cantidad de hermosos objetos que vendió muy rápidamente a los clientes ansiosos. Este momento fue el comienzo de su nueva carrera, una carrera que se disfruta plenamente.
Me pregunto Coňacky más en relación con sus artículos creativos. Me pregunto si esta nave también era conocido por los Incas. Él me recuerda que el tejido es la tradición de los incas. En sus creaciones sin embargo, él utiliza muchos patrones y símbolos que son de origen incaico y significado. “Mi arte representa una fusión de diseños del los Inca’s con una técnica oriental”, explica.
“¿Es esta una forma de arte popular en el Perú?” Le pregunto. Coňacky me dice que es posible encontrar muchas personas que producen las formas más simples de este arte, pero sabe que sólo ocho personas peruanas que están creando en este nivel más alto. “Cinco de esas personas que actualmente viven fuera del Perú”, añade. Es evidente que esta obra es única ya que muchas personas se detienen a contemplar con admiración la visualización creativa. Para hacer una elección de qué pulsera, collar o pendientes, requiere mucho tiempo, ya que la decisión no es ninguna tarea fácil que siento. Todos ellos son espectaculares para mí!
Tengo curiosidad por otros intereses de Coňacky. Él me dice que le gusta cantar y bailar y dormir. “El sueño es muy importante”, me dice, ‘especialmente si usted no se siente bien. “Explica que el descanso y el sueño son remedio del cuerpo para muchas dolencias.

Normalmente me pregunto a mis amigos Ollantino qué significado Machu Picchu tiene para ellos. Coňacky confirma que para él Machu Picchu representa una obra de arte, el arte de los Incas. Es un lugar muy especial en las montañas, es un palacio. ¿Qué otro lugar del Perú está cerca de su corazón? “Le pregunto. “Iquitos! ‘Respuestas Coňacky. Iquitos es su lugar de origen y haber comprobado algunas fotos en Internet puedo ver realmente es muy bonito, rodeado de los ríos del Amazonas, Itaya y Nanay.
Pido Coňacky sobre su impresión de la vida fuera del Perú y América del Sur en particular, ya que conoce a muchas personas cada día en todo el mundo. Él me dice que la vida en otros países, parece ser muy mecánico, muy organizado y de ritmo rápido. “El exceso de cualquier cosa que no es buena”, concluye, “que conduce a mucho estrés y la adicción.” Estoy de acuerdo con él en esto. “Tengo momentos en los que también estoy muy ocupado”, añade, “pero no todo el tiempo, es mejor tomar las cosas con calma.”
Me pregunto si el arte de Coňacky con pasar a la siguiente generación de su familia. Él me dice que su hija tiene un interés y ya está haciendo las cosas simples. “Pero ella es muy joven”, añade, “la escuela es más importante ahora. Poco a poco está bien. ”
Agradezco Coňacky por participar en esta entrevista ha sido un intercambio interesante y sin duda entender una conversación más españoles en esta etapa. Estoy seguro de que mis amigos en Irlanda son curiosos en cuanto a que las piezas de arte de Coňacky voy a elegir para ellos antes de regresar a casa.
Si te ha gustado la lectura me permito invitaros a seguir mi blog, esto puede ayudarme en la publicación de mi primera novela, también inspirado en Perú. A la derecha de la pantalla se puede ver un icono “seguir” y un espacio para insertar su dirección de correo electrónico …… ah ir en!

8Mini Market Friendship

OK, so one of my reasons for coming to this town was to learn and improve my Spanish! But what a wonderful surprise it has been to make friends with a shop-keeper who has an excellent standard of English, here in Ollantaytambo, (The Sacred Valley of Peru). Hoowert and I quickly became very good friends. Because of his ability to converse in English, I have been able to gain a deeper insight into the traditions, beliefs and history of this special town and the country to which its people belong.

Don’t worry, we don’t converse completely in English, we alternate, taking turns to demonstrate our new learning. Sometimes our conversation takes a swift diversion, as Hoowert resorts to his dictionary for a new word or explanation and next we are within a language lesson, discussing the ins and outs of various expressions.

I developed my own idea for improving my conversation skills. Why not interview my Ollantino friends in Spanish? This way I can find out more about their lives and views and at the same time improve in learning the new language. It has been a great benefit to me and in the process friendships have grown deeper.

It turns out that, like many other successful business people in this town, Hoowert trained as a chef. From an early age he set about accumulating years of experience and eventually ran his own restaurant with his partner Pamela. Together they saved constantly until they had enough to rent this shop which is called ‘Mini-Market’ (right next door to Worlds Coffee Café, which you will hear about soon).

Curious as to how he came to have such a good grasp of English compared to others in this trade, Hoowert explained the following to me. ‘It has been difficult! I started learning six years ago when I worked in Lima in a restaurant. My older brother taught me some essential phrases which got me by at first. In school, English was only taught one hour per week and always the same verb ‘To Be’ (Estar) and every year repeated the same. But in 5th year of high school a new opportunity came. It was an American project ‘TAPA’ and we got an English speaking teacher. I made good use of this opportunity. 44 students started with the project but only 3 completed it. Working in a touristic place such as Ollantaytambo, to speak English is very important. I read books in English and used my dictionary to translate.’ It is obvious that Hoowert is still dedicated to improving his ability to understand and speak the language and I find his effort inspiring my own attempt to improve my Spanish.

The first week I arrived in Ollantaytambo, Hoowert invited me to a fiesta in nearby Rumira. He is a traditional dancer tambien. I was fuelled with further questioning. Hoowert’s interest in dancing began when as a child he saw some dancers at a festival. ‘It was beautiful,’ he enthused, ‘full of style and essence. I wanted to do it also. For me it is a strong sentiment! I dance because I believe in Jesus! 50% is faith and 50% is passion for dancing. Throughout the year there are many festivals and for the most important ones I practice with the other dancers sometimes a month beforehand on Saturday and Sunday nights for at least 3 to 4 hours at a time.’

Another of Hoowert’s passions is his love of history and traditions of Peru. ‘The history of my country is beautiful!’ he tells me. Hoowert has fond childhood memories of the Inca culture but he feels that in the last 10 years there have been many changes resulting in the dwindling of the old customs. He is also interested in the politics and has studied the transition of Inca rule to Spanish power and eventual Independence of Peru in 1821. ‘It is important to have your own conclusions,’ he tells me. ‘In recent years our economy has improved. There are better laws and ideas and terrorism is being dealt with. I often ask myself, what is the evolution for Peru? And how can things improve for our people?’ I suggest that such concerns are those of a natural leader of community or perhaps a country. Hoowert blushes momentarily but then confirms my thoughts further as he explains that while in high school he formed a small group of friends in order to discuss the ways in which the problems of the people could be addressed, problems such as education, money and corruption.

This preoccupation has led Hoowert to write a book. ‘I am still developing my ideas,’ he explains, ‘but in the future I hope to complete it and get it published.’ Hoowert also has an interest in engineering and is currently toying with the idea of a professional qualification in either this or perhaps to study law. Engineering is connected with his desire to go to Japan one day (Japanese cars such as Hyundai are very popular in Peru). I encourage him to study law as perhaps this will sit more nicely with his other preoccupation of influencing change for Peru.

Returning to my original curiosity of his love of Peruvian history and culture, I ask what significance Machu Picchu holds for him. Hoowert explains that Machu Picchu represents the magnificence of the Incan Empire. ‘It is also our Peruvian identity,’ he explains as many people outside of Peru know little else about this abundant land. ‘For many people it also means business,’ he continues, ‘ but it is also a mystical place, as to this day there is no proven explanation for the engineering and construction of the stones. It is regarded as an unearthly work of other worlds. For me it is a spiritual place and I am proud to have come from this culture. I love all things of my country!’

I am curious as to what other world heritage site Hoowert would one day like to visit. The answer should be obvious to me. ‘The pyramids!’ he replies. ‘It is a much older culture but perhaps one that is most similar to that of the Inca’s. It is possible that the hieroglyphics can explain more of the past. Many of the links to the Inca past have been destroyed and lost. The Egyptian history would be magnificent to study,’ he concludes.

This is not the end of our discussion. I often visit Hoowert in the evenings to discover more about Peru and Ollantaytambo in particular. I hope to share more of these stories with you in the near future.

Hoowert’s Mini Market is between the Plaza De Armas and the bridge en route to the train station.

If you have enjoyed this tale, I encourage you to FOLLOW my blog by entering your email address in the space provided. I aim to increase the numbers of my following so that in the future I may more easily publish my first novel which I wrote in this last year, romantic fiction inspired by my first visit to Peru.

What Do I Really Know?

Really! What do I know?

I have read that blood vessels dilate when the body and mind are relaxed and this has a beneficial effect for the individual in general. Some books even say that in this relaxed state the body heals itself and energy flows freely. But really? I have only read these things in books or they have been repeated to me by others who believed. Some other person did all the work and search in coming to this understanding. Or maybe the information arrived in their intuition so strongly that they just knew it to be true. I am only repeating the logic and information I have read and heard.

So, do I really know what is true? I only know that yes, when I relax and release my mind of unnecessary thoughts, then yes, I am more inclined to feel good. I feel freer. I get more ideas. I become spontaneous. I am more inclined to act on my ideas once I decide that they are good. But it has taken time to understand this. I have read lots and lots of books. I have listened to heaps of ideas and theories. I have not watched blood vessels dilate. I have not seen energy fields expand. But somehow I know things to be true. I have an understanding of how life works or does not work. And the more I hear and read and observe, the more I understand.

So, what do I really know? Perhaps I do know something, even if I cannot see it with my own two eyes.
I remain open to understanding and always asking, ‘what do I really know?’

© Caroline Cunningham 2013