Jay Z

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Scribbling


Maia is the Greek goddess of fertility, from whom we derive the name of the calendar month of May. She was the eldest daughter of Atlas, and one of seven sisters, all of whom we can see in the night skies in the Pleiades constellation.

The first of May is May-Day when people all over the world dance around the maypole and celebrate the majesty of nature. Here revelers in 1907 celebrate at the National Park Seminary in the US.

It's Mothers Day and the acknowledgement of all that's given throughout the year. Here Florence Owens Thompson, 32 year old farm worker and mother of seven is shown in a pensive moment during the great depression.

May in Australia means the last days of Autumn. It means succumbing to the joys of hunkering down in front of the fire with a steaming cup of coffee and reading a good book.
Here renowned Scottish painter John Faed RA, RSA (1819 - 1902) charmingly represents My Ain Fireside a traditional Celtic song in art.

May Day in Australia
The idea of using a proletarian holiday celebration as a means to attain the eight-hour day was first born in Australia. The workers here decided in 1856 to organize a day of complete stoppage together with meetings and entertainment as a demonstration in favour of the eight-hour day.


  1. Thank goodness May Day is still celebrated in the traditional way by those who rejoice in Spring, and hope for a fertile new season. When May Day becomes a mundane 'worker's day', giving people the chance to skive off work with full pay, it loses something.

  2. That photo of Florence Owens Thompson is spell-binding isn't it - and only 32! Wonderful post..Jae

  3. beautiful tradition.
    glad to know part of your culture.
    Happy May!

    you rock.

  4. Old Altonian
    I agree it is much more inspiring as a celebration of spring, or autumn as it is here :)
    Jae: I know, she certainly looks like she's carrying a weight on her shoulders and still beautiful...
    Jingle: thanks Jingle, happy may to you too :)

  5. Great post Cynthia. Beautiful illustrations. It is funny that with the rest of the world up-side-down everyone is prattling on about Spring and we have only just put our bulbs in and have got our long nights of Winter ahead.

  6. Old Egg: I hear what you're saying :)

  7. I live in a village which still celebrates with the May Pole. A fine tradition. Enjoyed your post.

  8. An appropriate and informed post for May. Well done. But I have to say that your angel at the top of the page looks really pissed off ;)

  9. Anthony: Thanks for your comments. I'm glad such a beautiful tradition lives on :)
    Anonymous: Thanks.Melencolia angel at the top)is a work by Albrecht Durer from the middle ages that reminds me that sitting around thinking too much can make you dissatisfied and cranky while just getting on with it like the industrious little cherub is much easier. Maybe human nature hasn't changed much since the 1500's :)