Welcome everyone to a very special interview with Ailsa Craig, author of “Within a Tear, A Smile and You”. Here’s a bit about the book:
Ailsa can surround herself in the green lush colours of the tropics and write about her deepest feelings, memories that have clung to her, past loves, family, travels, the ocean, the mountains and friendship.
This is Ailsa’s third book and second poetry book – a book she hopes will become a companion for those wanting to escape into times that may reflect similar feelings and memories and maybe take the reader back to a treasured moment or moments experienced in their own lives.
Camilla: What is the theme of the poetry in ‘Within a Tear, a Smile and You’?
Ailsa: The poetry is an intertwining passage of feelings, love, regret, sadness, loneliness, happiness and adventure. The book takes us on a journey of emotions as it travels through memories, others’ stories and people and places that have left a deep imprint in my thoughts and stayed with me throughout my life.
The poetry always comes from deep within my heart and soul. I try to express how the simple gesture of a smile, a walk in nature, a swim in the ocean, the comfort of a loving hand, or the feeling of freedom in the art of the dance, can affect your moods and carry you on a cloud, taking you to a place where you find inner harmony and dreams, that you dare to come true.
Camilla: What inspires your poetry writing?
Ailsa: Many things inspire me. Growing up it was always nature, a trip to the country or to the ocean. We were always going somewhere interesting. I’d always sit on the back step at home and look at the night sky or make a wish on a shooting star. My imagination was always at play so that helped.
Living in the Tropics, I am surrounded by green mountains, lush vegetation, blue sea and The Great Barrier Reef. I am inspired everyday by the magic of nature, its diversity, the beauty it beholds, how it survives, shuts down during droughts and comes to life in the rains.
Love and friendship has always inspired me and always will. The words flow when I feel a
connection. I have travelled far and wide and met many interesting characters on my travels and seen many wonderful places; this inspires me. I have experienced a ‘range of emotions’ over my life within a ‘range of relationships’ and know the feeling of desiring that which escapes so many; the power of true love and depth of feeling. This inspires me to write about that which most of us desire in a relationship of the heart.
A month in Nepal in the company of a group of special people, in a special place, helping at a school then our journey through the mountains requiring all our physical and mental strength, inspired me no end.
Then right at the end, having a connection with a Russian mountaineer that I’ve never felt before; the magic of this connection, his smile and just being made to feel like I was the only person in the room, really got my writing flowing and can be felt throughout my first poetry book, continuing on through this one. It was like he put a pen in my hand and words in my heart and it still flows to this day.
Camilla: What is the main message you would like readers to take away from your poetry?
Ailsa: ‘Love is a many splendid thing’. Look at your surrounds, the people in your life and feel it, feel them.
Try to connect with nature more as it’s the best medicine you could ask for. Try not to have regrets, life goes by so quickly. If you find something, someone you love don’t let it/them go, it/the opportunity mightn’t come back to you and you’ll be forever wondering. Enjoy the love of a man/woman with all your heart, laugh more, talk more, hold each other more.
Enjoy the love of your children, they do leave the nest and it’s a sad day when all of a sudden you look around and they are gone. Enjoy what you love to do because it will make your heart sing and this will have a flow on affect in other areas of your life.
Breathe into nature, soak into the spray of the waves as they break along the shore; just be in the moment, wherever that may be. Watch the sun go down and the sun rise in the morning and be thankful you can still see them and get lost in the colours of the ‘show’.
This is the message I would like you to take away from my poetry.
Camilla: Any final points you would like to share?
Ailsa: We are here in this wonderful world but for a moment. There is so much beauty around us to enjoy, to be awe of. There are amazing people who walk our paths, get to know them, laugh with them, walk with them, whatever it is, enjoy them because they chose you to walk with (how special is that!)
When you feel that initial spark of love, connection, follow it, see where it takes you. It’s special and doesn’t happen with just anybody. Don’t let it go, I did and as much as I know it wasn’t meant to be, I wish that I had of explored it when I had the chance. My one true regret.
Always keep the child within you alive, its wonderful to be silly sometimes and let your hair down.
Just when you have those moments, enjoy them but also enjoy the peaceful moments, the moments in solitude, the moments you have to explore within; you’ll discover a lot about yourself.
Also, don’t let go of your precious memories, sometimes it’s nice to just shut your eyes and go back to a place in which you were happy, with others who made you feel happy or safe or loved, it really helps sometimes and makes you smile.
So, I write about all these things in my life, my regrets, my loves, my experiences with nature. I write as though I am there again and enjoying the moment. My writing takes me there, it is a force from within and it comes out in writing on a page.
Ailsa Craig lives in Cairns, Tropical Far North Queensland, Australia. She is a mother of three children who have all left home, studied and now reside in other states in Australia. Her husband works in Papua New Guinea, so she has plenty of time now to explore her writing.
Poetry is her joy and health and nutrition her passion. She has her certificate in weight
management/holistic care, advising clients in mind/body and spirit care. Her other passion is travel, especially if it involves hiking/trekking or the ocean and has spent a lot of her pre-marriage years backpacking/skiing overseas or in the mountains of southern Australia.
Ailsa has many plans to rekindle her love of adventure once again, thereby feeding her future poetry inspiration.
Camilla: One day Ailsa mentioned something I found incredibly interesting having to do with her name. I asked her to share it with all of you too!
Ailsa Craig or in Gaelic – Creag Ealasaid or Aillse Creag which means Fairy Rock
This is my name.
My mother was Scottish from the east side where the hills roll gently and the brooks flow so peacefully. My father was from the west side; the wild rugged side. The waves are big, the cliffs are high and rugged and the islands are rocky, full of sea life and bird life, fishermen and stories. In the middle are mountains full of heather, the echoes of the clans and bagpipes and lochs full of mystery. I love Scotland.
Ailsa Craig is a rock off the West Coast of Scotland near the small village of Girvan, a nice drive from Glasgow. It is a bird sanctuary for puffins, gannets and other seabirds. Its blue hone granite was used to make curling stones. There is much history attached to the uninhabited island that looms in the mist on the horizon.
When I first met my name sake, she has always lived inside my heart. I was in complete awe. This huge shadow on the horizon was quite daunting but exciting. I felt her power and hoped I could live up to her strength and fortitude; a big task. I loved her wildness, her remoteness and yet, she was not afraid to be seen.
I am so proud to carry her name and love it. A solicitor friend of the family once likened me to ‘The Rock’ and said whenever he saw her, he thought of me and conjured up wild seas and waves crashing against this huge volcanic island.
This pleased me no end. ( I am far from being an angry person so that is not the comparison he had in mind, I say this laughing!)
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