Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Traveller's visit to the Hermitage


OMG did I really not read the small print before signing the contract for my ticket to the hermitage - another performance. I really wasn't prepared for that. Obviously not only a visit to the dressing-up box was required but also a consultation of the instant-party-piece-box.
I decided I would travel to the hermitage by raven this time. I had to think carefully about which hermitage we were going to – not the one in St Petersburg (Russia) - one of the world's greatest museums but to the one which is home to the Amazon Queen.

In my new guise of thieving magpie, I exchanged my swansdown cape for one of magpie feathers. Since ravens and magpies belong to the same family perhaps I would have to revise my view of magpies as being the killer whales of the bird world (for their habit of stealing eggs and killing baby birds for food). My feathered cape was quite spectacular as it was made of wing and tail feathers of a dark green/blue hue and a lustrous sheen. We flew through the night sky, dark with storm-threatening clouds and no moon that night. My raven guide assured me that that wouldn't be a problem as the hermitage was only a couple of miles away as the crow flies. What a strange expression. Does anyone know the origin of that expression? and how appropriate for my present situation. After a short flight my raven set me down on the gravel in front of the main door. I pulled at the chain to ring the bell and heared it clang somewhere deep inside the building. The door opened, seemingly of its own accord and I stepped forwards into the entrance hall.

A tall lady came forwards to greet me. “You must be Traveller, I have been expecting you”. I followed her into a large hall with a minstrels gallery running around it. Tapestries hung on the walls and there was rush matting on the floor. Tall vases filled with bullrushes stood in the corners. There was a stained glass window on one side through which the light streamed casting rainbow patterns on the floor. A delicious smell of cooking floated up from somewhere. “I will show you to your room and then you can join us in the refectory for a snack before I show you the dressing-up box”. Oh help, I thought. I’m really going to have to put in some practice for this next bit.

She showed me to a turret room with views over the fields and woods. There was a smell of something woody in the room and I noticed that a small bunch of wild flowers and herbs had been tied together and hung on a hook near the window. After giving me directions to the refectory, she left me to get settled. It didn’t take me long to sort out my things so I followed my nose to the refectory, down a number of winding corridors with ceilings so low that I had to stoop to avoid hitting my head. The walls were covered with whitewash and a number of pictures adorned the wall but I didn’t pay these much attention. My stomach was more interested in the prospect of food.

When I got to the refectory I found that a place had been set for me at the table, but seemingly I was to dine alone. There was a wooden platter, a mug and a jug of some frothy liquid which, on closer inspection, turned out to be cider – my favourite. I helped myself to the bread and cheese. Replete after my snack I considered my situation. I thought that some of the other travellers were here as well but the hermitess had made no mention of them and I hadn’t heard or seen anyone else since my arrival. Very strange I thought.

My thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of the hermitess herself. “Come along now, we need to find you a costume. Come with me to the costume box”. I duly followed her out of the refectory and outside into the garden. We walked until we were out of sight of the hermitage itself and came to a greenhouse. She opened the door and motioned me to follow her inside. “This is where we grow the costumes”, she explained as she showed me rows and rows of costumes seemingly growing at a rapid rate. Each was tied to the sort of canes you see in vegetable plots and as the costumes grew, they were tied for support to the canes. Some had only just started and others were obviously nearly fullgrown. “Choose any one that you like. Whichever you choose will fit you so don’t worry about size. You will need these special golden scissors to cut it off the plant”. She bent down and showed me where to cut the stem of the plant at a point just above a bud. Thus a new costume would grow when I cut mine off. “You will find various accessories on the shelves, take what you want”. I had a vague memory of someone saying something about mediaeval costume as a group of troubadours was supposed to be stopping off at the hermitage. I wandered up and down the rows until I stopped at a silky red dress, with flared sleeves edged with blue brocade with a white undersleeve. I touched the fabric, imagining how it would move with me when I walked. I hesitated a moment longer and then bent down to cut the costume carefully off the plant. She stood watching me as I slipped the dress over my head. ”You see, it fits you perfectly and it’s just the right colour for you. I think the gold crown and the golden cords plaited into your hair would finish it off nicely” she said as she picked up these last items from the shelf. “I expect you will want some time to rehearse your piece so I suggest you take the dress off and go back to your room. I think the others are probably practising at the moment”. She’s right, I thought as I walked back to the hermitage for I could hear snatches of song and a few muffled curses….

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Eternal Wanderer - Great Art

Chalet 2

BENCHES

On our balcony one can almost
hear the ducks play on the lake,
except ....


From our balcony one can almost
see the moon escape the clouds,
except ...

From our balcony one can almost
touch the swaying, shelt’ring trees,
except ...

the benches allow
that I only look at you ...
unless we sit together,
or something --
and then I see
nothing at all...

In Praise of Solitude - A Symphony

The Hermit with Player - Welcome Traveller

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Magician's Great Grandchild



I wrote a little story over at the Chambers Of Horrors and a few people inquired about the central character who was based on my Great Grandfather.

How much of the Character of Stuart was Real was one question...

Well, I won't tell you too much because a Magician NEVER gives up their secrets but I will say that Magic is in my blood!

I've pulled this from the Memory Blog and brought it over, just to share and show you that a lot of my inspiration for my stories comes directly from my own life.

Enjoy!
Anita Marie

This memory of mine is no longer kept in a trunk, but that's where it started out.

My Great Grandfather was a Magician and in my Grandmother's basement in a closet was his prop trunk.

When my brother and I busted into it we found some of the props were falling apart with age and other things, like the rings, boxes you could use to make things like birds or what have you disappear and then reappear where in there too and they were still in good shape.

The props were very basic, but complicated and my little brother and I at the ages of nine and eight worked and worked until we managed to make some of them work. We did this on our own and by watching magicians on TV and at local fairs.

I'd like to say our Parents supported us and ran out and bought us our props but they didn't.

They gave us each Magic Show Kits and left us to it.

My brother and I went from performing in front of an audience of two ( our baby sister who was about 5 at the time and her stuffed pink cat, which she named Hamburger Helper...her favorite boxed dinner at the time ) too our friends and then at times to their parents as well.

I was the "Amazing Anita" and my brother called himself, " Daring Douglas "

I don't know why we stopped our magic shows, but after about 4 years we did. By then I was learning the guitar and wanted to be a musician and my brother went on to discover girls.

In my twenties though I ended up managing a gift and novelty shop...and part of our business listed under category nine on the cash registers was...Magic Props. Most stores could sell about 60.00 dollars worth of magic props a week. This wasn't stage quality stuff. It's the stuff you buy for your kids or for the curious.

There were Rings, card trick kits ( by that I mean shaved and marked decks ) those little plastic egg cups where you make the plastic egg disappear and reappear. Scarf tricks, rope tricks, magic kits.

Things like that.

I sold, on my own easily a couple hundred dollars a week worth of this stuff. These weren't high end items, so I had to sell a lot of it.

It's funny though, I never felt like I was selling anything. I felt like I was doing a public service.

Learning to do those little tricks and having fun...I was of the mind everyone should experience that 'magic' . It was just too great, in my opinion, for only a few people to have that feeling to themselves.

Learn one trick, learn a dozen, amaze your friends...amaze yourself. That was my philosophy, that's what I found in the Memory Trunk. Amaze yourself with life every darn chance you get. I believed it then, I live it now.

I'm a Magician of sorts again, I can make Monsters appear out of thin air, with a snap of my fingers across my keyboard I can conjure up mummies, werewolves, vampires, abandoned mines, devils, graveyards and catacombs.

I perform magic everyday now.

SO..........

Step right on up and let the Amazing Anita puzzle and dazzle you...now performing LIVE at the Soul Food Cafe...

She said I should

While hidden away in our mountain chalet,
m'lady suggested (sic) that I write something
salacious. I have written a couple of things
before that I considered erotic -- but I sensed
she wished someting a bit more ...

So please accept that any interpretations
you place upon these words are entirely
your own. I would never have posted this,
(along with dozens of others), but she insists.

faucon
.....................................................................
DAWNFLIGHT

The balcony was shaped like an open hand,
fixed firm to the castle wall,
her only view of friendly trees -- the forests of Danuur.

Her rooms were grand, of course, with drapes of gossamer silk;
where stain-glass stories glimmered,
portents of her future life -- as young bride of Baron Klee.

By right of birth and claim of kings and practiced will
she embraced this fate set sure,
but her soul flew out from the Hand -- into the mists of dawn.

‘Twas thought it gave her some magical sense of freedom,
to know she could leap and fall
to hungry stones and churning sea if she chose eternity.

But they knew not of the falcon, wizard of the breeze,
who appeared each sliver moon,
and took her to vales of velvet moss -- kissed by laughing dew.

She would stand tiptoe on forbidding parapets,
with veils drifting from her neck,
with nothing between flesh and stone but mound of tawny hair.

Her breasts hung firm as ripened fruit, berries on the vine;
awaiting the feather touch
and whispers of promise -- caressed by currents of love.

He arrived in hush like a rustle of ancient leaves,
a flick’ring of candle flame;
to stand behind her quivering form -- his knees against her thighs.

Soft down breathed on her back while talons pricked her skin;
her fingers tracing faerie steps
from dimpled knees to pulsing throat -- and myst’ries in between.

Legs spread wide in wonder, her hips ‘gainst jutting stone,
with nothing ‘tween her maiden song
that than the laughing breeze and throbbing tune of ever-need.

He entered her then as must be, gentle as a dream,
and filled her hopes to brimming,
with unfolding petals and dawn-light bursting on the hill.

His arms crossed around to cup her willing pride,
while toes entwined with glee;
and mighty wings of freedom’s call took her far from prison walls.

For they might enchain her vibrant youth and beauty,
and enslave her space and dance;
but love was hers to give or hold -- or fly to everbeen.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Return

Back at last,
with many stories to relate --
overwelmed with the wonderful
postings on these Blogs of songs,
poems and reflections about our wedding.

With no compute or internet access for a week,
I still managed to write a couple of things.

faucon
........................................................................

LEAVES of SILENCE

One may not leave with practiced ease
the woes and strife of city life,
enfenced with steel trees and wire brush
with trails of stone and submerged streams.

Each sound of nature is entombed
in defiant clammor of machines
that hurry such senseless scurry
to mankind’s death in broken glass.

Yet I may live and sing in joy
‘neath trees that leaf in practiced ease
and arch with pride to clouded skies
and write their silence on my heart.

The lofty boughs may sway and roar
while I doze beside the gnarled roots
and listen to the cycle of green
that gives the sun to you and me.

Leave the cry of tortured concrete,
blarring insults to ear and eye;
and let the soft leaves of silence
whisper soundlessly to your soul.

Quiet Reflection

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A quiet moment of reflection, at the Hermitage.

More travellers are coming along the road. The sound of horses hooves can be heard thundering in the distance as riders approach this sanctuary.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

~Heather's Day~


~Birthday Greetings~
This is what your birthday party would look like if we were all together. It would be the most charming party in all the land. I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful time on this your special day. Much Love.
Patricia
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Dancing With Mirabella

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Mirabella and I will dance together at the Gypsy Camp to mark my 55th birthday. Everyone is invited to come to the party.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Happy Birthday Heather


Happy UNLIMITED birthdays, Heather, (all three of you) from all in the Hermitage Regions.

Poetic Work and Art - Orlando


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Coconut Ice


copyright Monika Roleff 2005

Spring Blossoming In


copyright Monika Roleff 2005

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Performing at the Hermitage

I read in awe "The Wild Ride" by Simone. I found this piece as I make my way out of the labyrinth. I read the words, drawn into the Nightmare with each breath... I could see my own shinning black stallion manifest before my eyes.

I was off, hanging on for dear life...

The feeling of flight was great. I felt like a star...

"Just be who you are
You are born a star"
My stallion screamed.

As I arrived at the Hermitage, I was told by a Hermit that I have 5 minutes to present a performance for the Amazon Queen... what should I do with such little time?

Ah I remember... I can be who I am...
I always thought I could paint... but I never really tried.
I was told I couldn't... so I never dare tried...
I thought about it sometime... but mosting I just cried...
at how I fear even to try...

So I asked for some brushes and I started to paint...
I ended with a quote... & the canvas was no longer plain...


I painted a flower from the labyrinth...
I stared at it with pride.
Now that I have tried,
I was shinning in the night!

Out of the Woods

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Blackbird Days

Monday, August 22, 2005

My Song Rehearsal

I hope I haven't worried anyone with my absence of late - there has been an awful lot going on though, and the hermitage has been the perfect place for me to grieve and process and think. I have been spending a lot of time in the bath house, relaxing in the spas and allowing the hot water to wash over me and soothe and comfort me, and also a lot of time walking the countryside around the hermitage. I find that in times of trouble or uncertainty, music is my best friend. A song that speaks my soul is more comforting than whispered reassurances or hugs. Some songs feel like the writer has peered into my very core and written exactly what they have seen there. I find great comfort in music, so I have wandered the small paths singing to the universe, letting the wind take my voice and carry it where it will, letting it take all my cares and concerns and scatter them into distant corners of the earth, hoping that by letting it all go I will find some reason amidst the chaos. The strangest thing though, is that when I do this, the universe seems to hear my song and respond :) So I resume my journey, though slightly behind, and it's only natural for me that I should wish to sing for my performance. I wish to sing a song by an incredibly talented Australian artist called Xavier Rudd, called Green Spandex. I've sung this several times since my aunt left, so I sing it again for her now.

I guess this is the rushed goodbye
That I thought would never come
The woman who lit the light
For a family in the dark
Starring at the mirror
I see your smile through my own
Your spark embedded deep inside
Will give me strength
Will give us hope

And I’ll never lose your touch
No I’ll never lose touch
This will take me a while
Because I miss your smile
I guess I knew your time would come
But for now I miss your smile
It’s gonna take me a while

Thank you for your loyal stance
Green spandex and crazy style
Thank you for the happiness
That you gave to our lives
Although now our hearts are cracked
And our tears are slow to dry
We must count ourselves
The lucky ones
For we were with you in your prime

And I’ll never lose your touch
No I’ll never lose touch
Please stay in touch
Because I need you in my heart
Please stay in touch
No I’ll never lose touch

Friday, August 19, 2005

On your wedding day

May your happiness
live forever
and each day bring the blessing
renewed in the morning
and in the evening
throughout all time

Wedding Celebrations and Dancing at Gypsy Camp


L'Enchanteur sends word The Lord and Lady of Sakin'el are to be wed, followed by dancing and celebrations in the Gypsy Camp, all most welcome...Imogen Crest, Hermit.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Spotted in one of the Hermitage trees...

Olde donkey

This is a rewrite of an old story, set in medieval times,
and to change the original spiteful ending.

faucon
...................................................

THE DONKEY

Baron Aldebern could here the clamor from the village even at his mill in the foothills. One might have thought an enemy band was attacking, but sentries were well posted and the church bell rang in summand rather than alarm. Sonvald the tanner came to fetch him but added confusion by saying, "everyone is wrong and everyone is right -- there is going to be trouble!" Thus, Aldic hastened to the fray, not knowing if he was to serve as Baron, miller, soldier, games-keeper or friend.


A large crowd had gathered around a pit at the edge of Silva's farm. It was an abandoned well, actually, and one that the town had requested be filled for safety for those now encroaching upon the farm's ancient boundaries. Dangerous! Silva had received no offers of help, however, and had this day brought an aging donkey with him to assist in the task. But alas, the donkey had fallen into the well and was even now braying its discontent. Hee Haw! All attempts to draw up the animal had either choked it or drawn the would be helper dangerously close to personal peril. Caution! The towns people offered advice, then laughter, then jibes and finally, angry shouts to end the incessant noise.

"Let's throw Silva down there too -- two donkeys are better than one."

"Let us just bury the donkey and fill the well too."

"Yea, if we leave it to starve it will be just as dead -- but the noise."

At this point, Aldic intervened. He asked, "Silva, would not you have paid for help to fill in the well?" "Yes, was the stammered reply." The Baron continued to the crowd, "Would you not agree that to have Silva kill the donkey would be most unjust and a source of guilt?" They had to agree.

"So here is what we shall do," proclaimed the Baron sternly.

"Silva, you will give the donkey to the village so that its noise is their problem alone."

"Good people, you shall each fetch a spade or bucket. Gather up the refuse from the ditches and streets and bring it here. Empty it into the well. If the donkey dies, then no one will know what load did the sorrowful deed and no guilt will sustain. The well will be filled and the streets clean as never before. Heigh to it now!"


The people did as directed and with each shovel full the wailings of the helpless animal became more strident. But soon the noise stopped, to be replaced with stomping and the miller's coaching words. "Come to me," he said.
As each bucket of soil and garbage tumbled down, the donkey shook it off from its back and tread it all beneath its tiny hooves. As the well filled, the animal rose up -- higher -- higher, until it could finally scramble from the pit. The enthusiastic crowd continued the village clean-up until a mound was formed and all cheered at the result.

The Baron raised his hand for attention. "At odds you accomplished nothing. Together, each has pride and the entire village has prospered. But I ask you to ponder on the simple donkey. When matters could not have been worse it accepted the garbage that life piled on its back and turned it to advantage. Is not our own future perhaps found in simple acts and dealing with strife rather than in squabbling and fighting?"

He left them there is silence. Only the laughter of children climbing the mound to ride their new donkey blended with the whisper of the wind praying in the trees.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Donkey Days

Wanted to know more about donkeys so I found this information for anyone interested. They come from the horse family and have some sterling traits that make them great companions: (Crossing a horse and a donkey makes a mule, something I didn't know.)

"Donkeys have a reputation for stubbornness, but this is due to some handlers' misinterpretation of their highly-developed sense of self preservation. It is difficult to force or frighten a donkey into doing something it sees as contrary to its own best interest, as opposed to horses who are much more willing to, for example, go along a path with unsafe footing. Although formal studies are rather limited, donkeys appear to be quite intelligent, cautious, friendly, playful, and eager to learn. Once you have earned their confidence they can be willing and companionable partners in work and recreation. For this reason, they are now commonly kept as pets in countries where their use as beasts of burden has disappeared. They are also popular for giving rides to children in holiday resorts or other leisure contexts. In prosperous countries, the welfare of donkeys both at home and abroad has recently become a concern, and a number of sanctuaries for retired donkeys have been set up." (And they also have lovely fluffy ears!)

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Donkey

Ancient & Modern Ravens


Lately there has been a proliferation of local ravens, with the coming of Spring and the nesting season. Many of these beautiful birds have come gathering lately, allowing themselves to be seen at close range. This is a real treat; they are gentle and very alert, contrary to common superstition. They mate for life and the large raven, found in the southern hemisphere, can live up to fifty years of age. The oldest known raven was sixty-nine.

Part of the Corvid species, they are the largest, and their constellation lies directly above in the heavens at the moment, and is called "Corvus". Before their ecological link was properly known, they were persecuted in England and Europe, almost to the point of non-existence. Once the public were educated, the culling stopped, and the corvids were welcomed back again, to breed again. They are considered nature's tidier, sorter, and order keeper, and this is their ecological purpose.

When Corvids fly, they do so at a measured single-minded pace, in a steady line. This is where the saying "As the Crow Flies" comes from; it means to go in a straight line. When nesting, both birds build a solid twiggy home, and the male feeds the female while she nests. Both sexes feed the young, flying out searching for food, and often any excess is buried for later. They are intelligent and have a connection with Wisdom lore and tales of all cultures.

Gregarious by nature these birds can be trained to count and to interpret and mimic human speech. A caged Raven was once helped to escape by two wild Ravens who dug a hole into its cage from the outside while the caged bird dug out from the inside. Ravens have been much maligned by man in the past, though modern research has shown that they, like crows, do far more good than harm. Mostly this was due to projected superstition and lack of knowledge, and now there is more education on this species in general, there is also far more respect.

They were included with other animals in the ancient cave paintings at Lascaux near the French Pyrenees, and have had a long association with man. Historically they occupy space at the top of the Tower of London, and it is said that if fewer than six are present, the consequences are dire, so are welcome in the city streets and squares for the important work they do.

(http://www.earthlife.net/birds/crows.html)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Ancestors cabin


Ancestors cabin
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
On her verandah the teacher waits her pupils

Arrival at the Hermitage by raven messenger


OMG did I really not read the small print before signing the contract for my ticket to the hermitage - another performance. I really wasn't prepared for that. Obviously not only a visit to the dressing-up box was required but also a consultation of the instant-party-piece-box.
I decided I would travel to the hermitage by raven this time. I had to think carefully about which hermitage we were going to – not the one in St Petersburg (Russia) - one of the world's greatest museums but to the one which is home to the Amazon Queen.

In my new guise of thieving magpie, I exchanged my swansdown cape for one of magpie feathers. Since ravens and magpies belong to the same family perhaps I would have to revise my view of magpies as being the killer whales of the bird world (for their habit of stealing eggs and killing baby birds for food). My feathered cape was quite spectacular as it was made of wing and tail feathers of a dark green/blue hue and a lustrous sheen. We flew through the night sky, dark with storm-threatening clouds and no moon that night. My raven guide assured me that that wouldn't be a problem as the hermitage was only a couple of miles away as the crow flies. What a strange expression. Does anyone know the origin of that expression? and how appropriate for my present situation. After a short flight my raven set me down on the gravel in front of the main door. I pulled at the chain to ring the bell and heared it clang somewhere deep inside the building. The door opened, seemingly of its own accord and I stepped forwards into the entrance hall.
A tall lady came forwards to greet me. “You must be Traveller, I have been expecting you”. I followed her into a large hall with a minstrels gallery running around it. Tapestries hung on the walls and there was rush matting on the floor. Tall vases filled with bullrushes stood in the corners. There was a stained glass window on one side through which the light streamed casting rainbow patterns on the floor. A delicious smell of cooking floated up from somewhere. “I will show you to your room and then you can join us in the refectory for a snack before I show you the dressing-up box”. Oh help, I thought. I’m really going to have to put in some practice for this next bit.
She showed me to a turret room with views over the fields and woods. There was a smell of something woody in the room and I noticed that a small bunch of wild flowers and herbs had been tied together and hung on a hook near the window. After giving me directions to the refectory, she left me to get settled. It didn’t take me long to sort out my things so I followed my nose to the refectory, down a number of winding corridors with ceilings so low that I had to stoop to avoid hitting my head. The walls were covered with whitewash and a number of pictures adorned the wall but I didn’t pay these much attention. My stomach was more interested in the prospect of food.
When I got to the refectory I found that a place had been set for me at the table, but seemingly I was to dine alone. There was a wooden platter, a mug and a jug of some frothy liquid which, on closer inspection, turned out to be cider – my favourite. I helped myself to the bread and cheese. Replete after my snack I considered my situation. I thought that some of the other travellers were here as well but the hermitess had made no mention of them and I hadn’t heard or seen anyone else since my arrival. Very strange I thought.

My thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of the hermitess herself. “Come along now, we need to find you a costume. Come with me to the costume box”. I duly followed her out of the refectory and outside into the garden. We walked until we were out of sight of the hermitage itself and came to a greenhouse. She opened the door and motioned me to follow her inside. “This is where we grow the costumes” she explained as she showed me rows and rows of costumes seemingly growing at a rapid rate. Each was tied to the sort of canes you see in vegetable plots and as the costumes grew, they were tied for support to the canes. Some had only just started and others were obviously nearly fullgrown. “Choose any one that you like. Whichever you choose will fit you so don’t worry about size. You will need these special golden scissors to cut it off the plant”. She bent down and showed me where to cut the stem of the plant at a point just above a bud. Thus a new costume would grow when I cut mine off. “You will find various accessories on the shelves, take what you want”. I had a vague memory of someone saying something about mediaeval costume as a group of troubadours was supposed to be stopping off at the hermitage. I wandered up and down the rows until I stopped at a silky red dress, with flared sleeves edged with blue brocade with a white undersleeve. I touched the fabric, imagining how it would move with me when I walked. I hesitated a moment longer and then bent down to cut the costume carefully off the plant.



She stood watching me as I slipped the dress over my head. ”You see, it fits you perfectly and it’s just the right colour for you. I think the gold crown and the golden cords plaited into your hair would finish it off nicely” she said as she picked up these last items from the shelf. “I expect you will want some time to rehearse your piece so I suggest you take the dress off and go back to your room. I think the others are probably practising at the moment". She’s right, I thought as I walked back to the hermitage for I could hear snatches of song and a few muffled curses....

Thank You


Faucon this last post is so lovely - say so to Brother Thomas - perfect timing. Give him this in return:

From some plain and simple Shaker wisdom:

"There is spirit guiding us,
in ways we often don't understand
and don't need to understand."
(Same spirit that opens buds, I guess...)

Unfolding

Brother Thomas, my Hermit friend
noticed all of your flower pictures
and handed me this.

Unfolding the Rose

It is only a tiny rose bud,
a flower of God's design;
but I can not unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.
the secret of unfolding flowers
is not known to such as I.
God opens these flowers so sweetly
when in my hands they die.
If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
this flower of God's design,
then how can I have the wisdom
to unfold this life of mine?
So I'll trust in Him(sh) for leading
each moment of my day.
I will look for gentle guidance
Each step of the pilgrim way.
The pathway that lies before me,
only divinity knows.
I will trust Source to unfold the moments,
just as she unfolds the rose.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Hermitage Conservatory

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Lotus Waters

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Wandering Begins Anew




To all of those travellers who have passed this way and spent time in the Hermitage regions, know that you will be remembered and welcomed again and again. May the road always be gracious to you on your quests, wherever you may roam, and know that in the Hermitage and surrounds you will always be made at home. Blessings on your endless circles, Imogen Crest, Hermit.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

~Dress Rehearsal~

~Dress Rehearsal~
I have had some private moments this day with the Enchantress. I would really like to remain here, but my heart insists I move on. I hope it comes from my heart and is not an ~ego~ based decision.

The Enchantress is all knowing, comfortable in her own skin. She listens carefully as we sit on large rocks by a quiet stream. I talked with her about poetry or rather my reasons for the writing of it.

This poetry is my deepest emotion - it stays in layers, these buried parts of my authentic self. As I write a shift occurs within my rational mind. The layers peel back and flip quickly exposing bursts of words. Sometimes, I explain, the words seem angry, perhaps misdirected. They, my words don't have bad intentions. They are the excavated parts of myself the human race does not see. ~Not for Daily Consumption~ would be the title of my poetry book.

The Enchantress nods. Her eyes are smiling which I take to interrupt she understands. And so I read her my composed piece -

~Ancestors~
Ancestor of two generations ago
bloodline continue the flow.
Female pink bundles explode
Five daughters long, born twice.
Young strong women
You just don't know.
Curling brown hair
Green stern, bright eyes
Tall, lean bodies a glow.
Just like you,
piercing lips of anger
Injustice takes hold.
Heads and wire rimmed glasses in books
Labors of ten hour days.
Plowing up fields
Computers, cell phones, and books
Strapped to their backs,
They guide Chevy's not horses
Up and Down the roads.
Babies of your dreams
Emerging patterns explode.
Married to limbless men
From necessary wars
Masking their feelings,
Climbing into bottles, with new friends,
Bud, Jack and Jim.
Comfortable residents,
Female pink bundles explode.

She smiles, this is enough for me. I tell her I pulled these words from lost ancestors, women I miss, their bloodlines are mine, too. I thought so many things about them, and my own daughters this past week on my travels here. Their strengths are many. Their burdens a different form, but are still burdens.

Again, she understands and judges not. She asks to see the costume. I carefully remove it from the box. She knows immediately the era I chosen the dress from. The Regency. She feels the soft pink muslin. She suggests perhaps I need a cape or long coat.

We walk back through the woods to the entrance. My horse is waiting. A message has arrived and some change in plans has occurred - I am to venture on to the ~Isle of the Ancestors~. A bit confused I add the note to my maps. The Enchantress points the way, with a parting gift. I know we will meet again.

Ms. Lovelace ( Patricia )


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Mystery

m'lady Emrys says she does not write poetry --
only songs --
yet I found this on my pillow ...

Angel Night

I will look into the dawning
to watch the faeries harvest dew,
touch the sidhe's hearts a'spawning
sprites and pixies with wings of blue.
I will look upon the daybreak
just before the sun does rise
And gaze upon the misty Lake
to wait for a falcon to arrive
I will wander in the crystal morn
harping soundwaves on the wind
and revel in love newly born
and yet has ever been.



Virgil Speaks on Honey Bees...


VIRGIL'S GEORGICS - BOOK FOUR (WRITTEN 29 BCE)
Somehow Virgil the talking fish has taken a liking to these old works, wanting them preserved for posterity.....there is a bountiful beehive in an old grove of trees, centuries old, where the bees produce honey for the Hermitage and surrounding district. Fear not for the honeybees, as they go about their work, as they never swarm at people visiting...they just swarm when they hear nature's call to move on...
"First of all a home must be sought for bees, and a post where neither winds may have entry--for winds hinder them carrying their forage home--nor sheep and butting kids tread down the flowers, or the straying heifer brush the dew from the meadow and trample the springing grass. Likewise let the bright scale-backed lizard be far from their rich folds, and the birds that come with the bee-eater, and the swallow, her breast marked with those blood-stained hands: for they spread universal havoc, and carry off the bees on the wing, dainty morsels for their fierce nestlings. But let clear springs be nigh, and ponds green with moss, and a thread of rill fleeting through the grass; and let a palm or tall wild-olive overshadow the entrance, that when the new kings shall lead forth their earliest swarms in the sweet springtime, and the young brood disport unprisoned from the comb, the bordering bank may woo them to cool retreat, and the tree meet and stay them in her leafy shelter. Amid the water, whether it stagnate or run, cast large stones and willow-boughs crosswise, that they may have many a bridge to stand on and spread their wings to the summer sun if haply a shower overtake them or a gust of wind plunge them in the watery realm. All round green casia and far-fragrant wild thyme and wealth of heavy-scented savory should bloom, and violet beds drink the channelled spring. Let thy hives moreover, whether they be stitched of hollow bark or woven from pliant osier, have
narrow doorways; for the honey freezes in winter cold, and again melts and wastes in the heat. Extreme of either the bees dread alike; nor in vain do they eagerly plaster with wax the draughty chinks in the roof and stop up the rims with pollen of flowers, and for this very service gather and store their gum, stickier than bird-lime or pitch from Phrygian Ida. Often likewise, if the tale is true, they keep house in recesses scooped out underground, or are found deep in hollow sandstone or the cavern of a mouldering tree. Yet do thou smear smooth clay warmly round about their creviced chambers, and spread on the top a thin coat of leaves. Neither suffer the yew too near their house, neither burn crab-shells to redness in the fire, neither trust them where a marsh is deep or by a strong smell of mire, or where encircling rocks echo to a stroke and fling back the phantom of a call."
According to J.W. McKail these works were written for Augustus and read to him when he returned from the East. Virgil wanted the works suppressed and went on to write the Aeneid. Augustus intervened, ensuring the works were preserved. As we can see they hold many secrets of agriculture which are priceless. I have a fascination with bees and love the lore surrounding them, and the mystery of them never ceases.
(From J.W. McKail's translation in 1936 which can be found through Google.)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Mistra Memorial



To go back again was like gazing through a pool of
water, the images that shifted and appeared there,
were like that of a dream.
Standing with my child on my arm
high on the rocky outcrops,
part of the exodus. I had always
held a fascination for deserted
places, and now I remembered why.
I had a memory there.
Too many Falls, not just
one, taken over again and
again, until at last my
husband and I, with child,
left with only what we could carry,
and joined the caravan of nomads
that would lead us to safety
and a new life.
The despair at the loss
of Beauty, the true art of society, was too much to
bear, so it lived on in memory -
to fertilize there.
copyright Monika Roleff 2005.
Image Credits, Nationmaster - The Morea and surrounding states carved from the Byzantine Empire, as they were in 1265 (William R. Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1911)

Michelle Rehersing - Missive to the Queen

The Whim of the Whisp – A missive for the Queen

Oh, Queen of the Amazon Warriors, daughter of Ares and Nymph Harmonia 2, I do not sing and I can not dance, nor do my hands contain the knowledge of any musical instrument. Instead, I bring to you a missive, a gift, from the Whim of the Whisp, the magician gatekeeper between this world and the world the next.

Your destiny plays in the firelight flickers on cave walls. It is painted by a thousand hands. It has been written in the books of the Fates that you shall wage war against the civilized men of Atlantis, that you shall raise temples, and that you shall lead many military campaigns throughout the whole coast, from Caucasus to Thrace. In these endeavors, it is decreed that you shall successful. Eventually though my Queen, it is also fated that you shall complete your role, your destiny, and will leave this world for the next.

Queen of the Amazon Warriors, your gift from the Whim of the Whisp is “heaven has given you one more day…” You shall have the gift of Life. You shall be brought back from the Spirit world, for twenty-four hours. One extra day. What you do in that day, who you see, where you go and why you will do the things you do on that day shall be duly acknowledged and freely given.

You need not respond to this my Queen. You shall have all of eternity to place your request for your return of one additional day.

Signed

The Whim of the Whisp

Temple of Artemis (Diana)

Remains of Temple of Artemis near Ephesus, Turkey
Straight and true
The arrow of Artemis
pierces the skin
between her world
and ours.
We are blessed.
Today, August 13, is the day the ancient Romans set aside to honor one of their most respected deities— Diana.

Diana was the powerful Moon goddess, protectress of the hunt, women, childbirth, forests, animals, and anyone in need. Her influence was widespread. Near Ephesus in present-day Turkey, her temple was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Honor Diana by having a picnic in a wooded area. Leave her an offering such as a piece of bread spread with honey. Or, toast her with apple juice, and pour a bit onto the earth near a grove of trees. Speak words of power of your own devising to ask her help in your search for a home, or new career, or even a legal dilemma. Since rural areas are also sacred to Diana, end your day by stopping at a country market or a county fair and partaking in the sights and sounds and eating good country food. Give thanks to the goddess for all of her many blessings.*












*info courtesy of http://www.llewellyn.com/free/spell.php

Cancel the Dance of the Knives


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Good evening everyone



Gracious, I must appologize for my absence the last day.  Salish and I were just settling in to our room at the Hermatige when a carrier pigeon flew in the window and deposited a note on the desk.  It was from my son Connor begging me to perform my famous "Dance of the Knives" for the Queen.



I did pack my knives and my costume (made up of no less than seventy veils in all sorts of bright jewel tones).  Now how shall I explain this?  Well bother, I may as well jump right in and be honest with you all.   I do have some stage fright, and I was so terribly excited to perform for the the queen that when I was practising in front of Salish (and I had all 9 knives in the air) I tripped over three of my seventy veils!  I went flying, the knives went flying, and, well, you can see what happened to poor Salish.  Frankly, he came out of it better than I did.



I have decided that it is best if I play it safe and perform one of my favorite poems told to me as a child by my mother instead.



Bobbi & Salish-the-Owl-on-the-injured-list

Enchantment at the Gypsy Camp Tonight


Follow the sound of the bell....

Hermitage Sky Lights


Twilight Fire

With no lantern to tend to by the gate,
and all you revelers practicing far into the night,
and sleeping in late by choice and right ...
there is nothing for me but to tend the fire,
twilight fire, glowing embers of our soul's dreams.

faucon

.....................................................

BREEZE IN THE PINES

There is something about the fire of evening
that does not speak to reasoned mind,
nor nurtured spirit –
yearning soul? Impassioned heart?
no matter …
but I will sit awhile longer.

Valiant logs – so reluctant;
smoky start, snapping reply, tumbling fire rain …
yellow laughter and reddened tongues
in argument with inevitability…
now only blackened courage chunks
protecting
pulsing breaths of glowing death,
refusing to surrender wisdom
of cone and seed and darkened loam.

Yes, my friends – you go on ahead.
I’ll stay and make sure the coals are out --
drenched, finger cold, dead – dead …
stories untold, whispers unknown,
only because I cannot hear
or remember when
I was a tree.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Performance

Elizia borrows a dress


I do not wish to impede the progress of the group, so I am ready to preform. I wrote this, but I do not sing. At least . . . when I do sing, someone usually tells me to stop.

I walked down into the Gypsy camp when it was almost morning, when the last wisps of white smoke from the campfires had dissolved like spun sugar into the tangled green of the overhanging trees and the blackness of night began to pale to pearls of grey. I found him sitting with his back against a tree playing a Bach concerto on a piccolo. He stopped and looked at me.
“I’m looking for a harpist,” I said.
He raised an eyebrow. “Do I look like a harpist?”
“Yes.”

He wore unrelieved black; black breaches, tall black boots, a black poets shirt. His long black hair was pulled back with a length of thin black leather.
“And what is it you want with a harpist?”
“I need someone to play and sing a Ballad while I dance. A performance with a fairly large audience.”
He raised the other eye brow. “You’re a dancer, are you?”
I narrowed my eyes. The piccolo flew out of his fingers and up into the tree. But not before it had rapped him sharply across the forehead.
“I am.”

His hand went to his head, his eyes following the small silver sphere as it hurled up through the branches and out of sight. He looked at me again, his own eyes narrowed. “Yes, indeed,” he said softly, “I can see that. I suppose you wrote this Ballad yourself? The one you want sung?”
“I did.”
He pursed his lips for a moment, considering. “How bad is it?”
“It’s actually quite good, but it’s very long.”
He nodded slowly. “I have no problem with that, my memory is excellent regardless of . . . regardless. The problem would be that I haven’t a harp. My last one somehow found it’s way into the hands of a wine merchant.”
“I have a harp,” I told him shortly, “small. Celtic. A knee harp. You sing for me and play well and I’ll let you keep it.”
Both eyebrows went up together. “That is quite an offer. I sing one night and get to keep the harp?”
We will have to rehearse, of course,” I said, “and” I added flatly, “I said, play well.
He smiled, showing white even teeth beneath a clipped black mustache. “That you needn’t worry about. I always play well regardless of . . . regardless.”
“Fine.”
“He glanced up into the tree. “What about my . . .” He was struck squarely in the center of the head by a falling piccolo. He caught it on the second bounce, laughing silently.

He unfolded like a cat stretching, coming easily to his feet and executing a deep bow from the waist all in one smooth movement. The piccolo remained clenched in his fist. “Very well, my Lady. You have a harpist. I am Alejandro.”
“I know.”
He nodded, a smile playing around his lips. “Of course you do. And you are?”
I smiled. “The Ballad is in first person feminine. Do you have a problem with that?”
He thought for a moment. “No. I will merely be a sounding board for what you are doing.”
“Exactly.”
Another eyebrow went up and he smiled slowly. “No problem at all. I can sing anything, regardless of . . . regardless.”

The Gateway to Tir na Og






A Ballad of the Sidhe


I went up from the Derbane Dales
When the green had just begun
As sweet, young Spring unrolled herself
I walked into the rising sun

A path I found through the Dryadwood
Beneath the sound of birds
My journey out into the wide world
Questing for radiant words

Searching for words like thin rare glass
So a touch would make them ring
Seeking for new ways to weave them
Into plaits that will sparkle and sing

I carry the tools for this gathering
At my side in a small velvet sack
An empty book hungry for markings,
My harp in its case at my back

Sing for the words that are wakening
Sing wild for a bright game of chance
Sing for the turn it is taking
Sing hey, For the Dance, For the Dance!

I followed my footsteps pattern
Though the paths that I knew disappeared
I left behind the well known wood
And began up the Mountain of Wyrd

Looks are black toward this mountain
From the folk of the lush Derbane land
Mistrust, fear and suspicion
For something they don’t understand

For ‘things happen’ up here on the mountain
Where forces unknown hold sway
So they spit on their fingers and turn them
To keep the Wyrd of Wyrd Mountain away

Yet here’s where my foot steps led me
And I followed, my mind flying blind
Knowing that what I would find here
Was exactly what I would find

Knowing that what I might take here
Would be several kinds of chance
Knowing I’d take all that followed
Searching for words that would dance

Sing for the words that are wakening
Sing wild for a bright game of chance
Sing for the turn it is taking
Sing hey, For the Dance, For the Dance!

I came to a hushed bright hollow
Where I stood silent and very aware
There was enchantment in every rustle
A witchery in the bright air

I held my hands up to the sunshine
No, not witchery per se
I took a breath of the trembling air
What I tasted was something fey

I saw nothing move in the brightness
I heard not a sound on the breeze
Except for the drowsy droning
Of butterflies, sunshine and bees

But that sunshine was thick with magic
The air had a sharp smell and taste
I knew I had come to a turning
That the Children of Dana had graced

Like being at once in two places
I gazed at an old, sleepy tree
I smiled and said to no one
“Ah! A gate to the land of the Sidhe!”

Sing for the words that are wakening
Sing wild for a bright game of chance
Sing for the turn it is taking
Sing hey, For the Dance, For the Dance!

One doesn’t trifle with Tir Na Og
Or find these portals for free
The clearing spun; a kaleidoscope,
Or a rainbow on some drunken spree

Colors flew and sang and filled
My ears with a insane buzz
And I found myself facing a yellow moth
Somewhat bigger than I was

He flew into the whirling colors
And when at last I coulds look around
I found only about three inches
From my head to the loam covered ground

Beside me the tree soared skyward
And I saw what had been there before
As a tiny crack at the tree’s base
Was a vaulted and towering door

And standing in the dark opening
All smiling and serene
Was a beautiful red haired woman
Dressed in wide silks of green

Her voice was like cream on moonbeams
Like stars on sweet sea foam
“Welcome,” she said, “to our dwelling
Our Home Away from Home

So glad we are that you’ve joined us
We hardly know where to begin . . .
A feast is prepared in the dwelling
Come in, my dear, come in

Sing for the words that are wakening
Sing wild for a bright game of chance
Sing for the turn it is taking
Sing hey, For the Dance, For the Dance!

I knew it was never this easy
Soft words to entangle, entwine
But I’d known all along what I found here
Would be precisely what I would find

So I smiled at the beautiful lady
And I entered the darkened doorway
To find a hall so majestic
That my breath was fair taken away

The walls were covered with carvings
Of stars and beasts and flowers
Which glowed from inside with the soft light
Of golden kissed moonbeam showers

A feast was laid there on trestles
Full marvelous to behold
Vines twined ‘round plates of silver
And goblets of wine made of gold

“Come break your fast!” said the clear voice
“Here’s all that a mortal desires
Bread soft as heaven, and sweetmeats
Mulled wine come just from the fires”

I smiled as I looked at the trestles
And I said, “What a feast here for free!
But I’ve heard it’s unwise to unthinking
Partake in the food of the Sidhe”

Here smile only deepened
She looked down at the carved wooden floor
She said, “you might as well eat, dear,
Your mistake was to walk through the door”

Sing for the words that are wakening
Sing wild for a bright game of chance
Sing for the turn it is taking
Sing hey, For the Dance, For the Dance!

I turned back to the dark doorway
To find it had quite disappeared
The walls were all covered with carvings
Of the towering Mountain of Wyrd

“A mortal who walks through that portal
Returns not to Valley or Dale
You’ve crossed over into a new land
You’ve walked through Tir Na Og’s veil”

I smiled at the beautiful Lady
“I did recognize your veiled portal
But I'm not really sorry to tell you
You’ve captured a . . . not quite a mortal”

One delicate eyebrow raised
Said I, “I hope this explains . . .”
And I held out my open hand to her
‘neath a tracing of bright green veins

She threw back her head in laughter
And took my outstretched hand
She laughed, “This is so delightful!
The best trick I ever planned!

Look just what I’ve done here!
Unheard in the tales of the Shide!
By my well woven ruses and wiles
I’ve a Dryad trapped in a tree!”

Sing for the words that are wakening
Sing wild for a bright game of chance
Sing for the turn it is taking
Sing hey, For the Dance, For the Dance!

Our eyes were both full of laughter
As we stood there holding hands
Then she laughed, “your not off the hook yet,
I’ve still got a few demands

You have walked into my portal
Now you must give something back
And if I am not mistaken
That’s a harp there at your back.”

“It is,” said I, still laughing
“Though that guessing isn’t hard
Though I am Dryad of the Woodland
I am also a wandering Bard

Are you telling me I can win freedom
For the price of a well turned song?
That is surely something worth doing
I don’t see how I could go wrong”

“We’ll make a barter pact,” said she
What is it you most require?
What would you ask of the Fair Folk
If you had your fondest desire?”

Sing for the words that are wakening
Sing wild for a bright game of chance
Sing for the turn it is taking
Sing hey, For the Dance, For the Dance!

“I can give you a tune as soul soaring
As the song of the rarest of birds . . .
And what would I ask in return?
What I seek are enchanted words”

The smile fell from her face
And she dropped my hand
“Though you may come as a friend here
There is something you must understand

The secrets of Tuatha De Danaan
Are never to be bought for a song
We’ll give no magic away here
To someone who doesn’t belong”

I smiled and shook my head
“I seek for no such chance
The enchanted words I am questing
Are the kind that make poetry dance”

“Ah! That is a different story”
She looked at me in thought
“That kind of enchantment we could share
Though its something that couldn’t be bought

So, I’ll make a trade with a Dryad
If you will take this final chance
Besides your song, you must feast here
And beside me you must come and dance”

I laughed and I said, “I agree then
I’ll accept your ‘final chance’
I looked down at my traveling clothes
“Though I’m not dressed at all to dance.”

She laughed, stars sparkling on sunset,
And said, “this is no distress
It seems you’re as small as I am
I’m sure you can borrow a dress!”

Sing for the words that are wakening
Sing wild for a bright game of chance
Sing for the turn it is taking
Sing hey, For the Dance, For the Dance!

So we feasted into the starlight
And I played them my sweetest tune
And in a borrowed gown of lilac
I danced ‘neath the light of the moon

Beside the beautiful lady
Of the Tuatha De Danaan I danced
I Never have spent such charmed hours
Enchanted, enthralled and entranced

I was, in truth, unsure of the outcome
Though ‘chance’ was the way that I chose
But I awoke in the morning
Clutching a blood red rose

Leaning against the trees trunk
Just the right size I should be
With nothing else at all to show
I’d spent the night with the Sidhe

‘Til I opened my sack, and opened my book
To find bright dancing words there penned
And at the end, in life-green ink
‘From Roisin, your friend’

Sing for the words that are wakening
Sing wild for a bright game of chance
Sing for the turn it is taking
Sing hey, For the Dance, For the Dance!

Roisin, Daughter of Dana



©Edwina Peterson Cross

Merfairies





















I still haven't figured out where I was Thursday. No one saw me. I only know that I dozed with the merfairies on Wednesday. Maybe they returned me to my bed. No wonder I feel like I never need to sleep again. My time with them was so restful!

Today I've noticed that the merfairies have left their imprints on the walls of my room at the Hermitage. I guess they don't want me to forget them. I photographed the images they have left behind.

P.S. These images I created in Photoshop. The first one I used a photo I took of a flower in my yard. The second one is an alteration of a fairy image I found online.

~Travels~

~Map to the Hermitage~
Arriving at the Hermitage was not an easy journey. I passed through many strange and curious places.

Leaving the cave my first stop was The Land of Prey. Incredible birds of great girth and height reside here. Their main object is the hunting of cats. Yes, cats ! I am relieved I gave second thoughts to to bringing my dearest friend, Big Moma. My journey would have been very short.

Second Stop - District of Dolls
Third Stop - Village of Dwellings

Forth Stop - City of Chairs. I had to show identification, have my passport stamped, a finger print was taken, and my small baggage checked.

Thinking I had plenty of time, as the Hermitage was only one hour away, I took Heathcliff to near by blacksmith where he could be watered and feed oats. I walked acrosss the street to a diner, washed up in the rest room and sat in the most elegant of chairs to order a proper meal. The food was delicious. The wine and cheese after diner seem to revive my spirits. I was ready to continue.

I must have read my map wrong, as I ended up in the Township of Travel. I asked an elderly gentleman for directions. His manners were that of a prince and he was so well spoken. His directions were none of the above and again I was to become lost in the Village of Crowns.

I took some extra moments to study the map, carefully. As I traveled back I once again noticed the elderly gentleman. This time he was riding in a vintage car, waving and smiling as he left me in a cloud of smoke and dust.

I reached the Hermitage around midnight. My first thoughts were for Heathcliff. I am thankful there was a groom to meet me. To say the least, I am tired and in need of a comfortable night's sleep.

Ms. Lovelace ( Patricia )
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Fairy Pond

Wow! What a strange trip that was. I am enjoying the grounds of the Hermitage immensely, so I decided to wander a bit. When was that? I think it was Wednesday. What's today? I brought my trustly walking stick and I must have walked for hours. This time I didn't bring my camera with me because I was afraid I would smash it if I got to adventurous in my hike. I did take a few tumbles while watching the gorgeous views and not seeing the stones or potholes in the path ahead of me. Luckily I didn't hurt myself. I think the wood fairies were protecting me.

The last thing I remember was finding a gorgeous area I called the Fairy Pond. It was a very small pond, maybe only 4 feet across. It was surrounded by amazing wildflowers that seemed to glow as if under a blacklight and a few stones with a glittery appearance. I wondered how deep the pond was, so I waded in. I was surprised by a quick drop off and found that the pond was deep enough for me to float in. I couldn't touch bottom. Since I'm a good swimmer, I dove under to inspect...just curious how deep this pond could be. Underneath the surface I found an amazing world of fish and plants and merfairies. All of these creatures had a neon glow to them. It was dazzling to the eyes to watch them. The merfairies used wings to transport them through the water. As I watched, I found myself in a most peaceful state of mind...a deeply relaxed state. And I wasn't needing air.

The farther I swam down into the pond, the larger it became. I began to realize that this was likely a spring, but must smaller, on the surface, than the one I first visited. I swam and ooohed and aaahed for what felt like forever, until I drifted off into a peaceful doze.

The next thing I remember is waking up in my bed in the hermitage. I'm completely dry and cozy in my down comforter. I just don't know how I got here. Does anyone know?

Can't help it

I was called into work today --
so much for painting and fixin' things;
so don't feel guilty about writing
instead of dozing off -- boring.

So I grabbed the first 'seed'
that stroked my soul, and ...



Rehearsal Space - Up for Grabs


I am immediately captivated,
nay challenged in instant wit and prayer,
to explore this universe of mystery –
to ‘hear again’ in ups and grabs and space.

‘tis said that life is a performance grand
for which there is no dress rehearsal,
calling for improve and dance invention
on a whirling stage of fear and wonder.

Yet I know that I ‘hear again’ et al,
at least in a ‘current’ sense of being,
for part of me knows things yet unseen,
and sings to a melody still unwrit.

Perhaps it is ‘practice’ which calls to us –
to suspend the creation of innocence
to which we are faire drawn or captured,
and get on with “doing the work” and all.

A mentor quipped profoundly, long ago,
that simply, “practice does not make perfect.”
“Perfect practice makes perfect,” he observed,
and therein lies the focus of living.

As we are only partially divine,
our fumbled words and ‘strutting on the stage”
must be much less than we are capable of –
though better than accepting shadow fears.

What if our contribution – charity,
is to encourage others to leap up
and quickly grab some space and be ‘re-heard’,
before their presence slips away – again.

faucon



My rehearsal - the Vagabond Song





Like you, I can remember other days,
The early morning air so fresh and clean,
Caravans as bright as popinjays,
Moving through a world forever green.
They called us vagrants in those days, my friend,
And what were we but entertainers,
Travellers on a road that has no end.

Like you, from crossroad dance to county fair,
I followed the road wherever it might lead,
From country byways to the city square,
From lake to shore, and always we were free.
They called us vagabonds and rogues, my friend,
And what were we but entertainers,
Drifting in an ocean without end.

That’s why we thought we knew each other well,
Even though we’ve never met before;
What you and I know only we can tell,
Of days of freedom lost in gypsy lore.
The world may change, but we do not, my friend,
For what are we but entertainers,
Voices in a song that has no end.

Famous "Hermit" Henry David Thoreau - Maine Woods

copyright image Monika Roleff 2005.


I am such an admirer of Thoreau's works that I thought I'd let him do the talking, and add this beauty to the Lemurian Hermitage Blogger, links provided below...this is from "Maine Woods" -
"It was a dense and damp spruce and fir wood in which we lay, and, except for our fire, perfectly dark; and when I awoke in the night, I either heard an owl from deeper in the forest behind us, or a loon from a distance over the lake. Getting up some time after midnight to collect the scattered brands together, while my companions were sound asleep, I observed, partly in the fire, which had ceased to blaze, a perfectly regular elliptical ring of light, about five inches in its shortest diameter, six or seven in its longer, and from one eighth to one quarter of an inch wide. It was fully as bright as the fire, but not reddish or scarlet like a coal, but a white and slumbering light, like the glow worm's. I could tell it from the fire only by its whiteness. I saw at once that it must be phosphorescent wood, which I had so often heard of, but never chanced to see. Putting my finger on it, with a little hesitation, I found that it was a piece of dead moose-wood (Acer striatum) which the Indian had cut off in a slanting direction the evening before. Using my knife, I discovered that the light proceeded from that portion of the sap-wood immediately under the bark, and thus presented a regular ring at the end, which, indeed, appeared raised above the level of the wood, and when I pared off the bark and cut into the sap, it was all aglow along the log. I was surprised to find the wood quite hard and apparently sound, though probably decay had commenced in the sap, and I cut out some little triangular chips, and placing them in the hollow of my hand, carried them into the camp, waked my companion, and showed them to him. They lit up the inside of my hand, revealing the lines and wrinkles, and appearing exactly like coals of fire raised to a white heat, and I saw at once how, probably, the Indian jugglers had imposed on their people and on travellers, pretending to hold coals of fire in their mouths.
I also noticed that part of a decayed stump within four or five feet of the fire, an inch wide and six inches long, soft and shaking wood, shone with equal brightness.
I neglected to ascertain whether our fire had anything to do with this, but the previous day's rain and long-continued wet weather undoubtedly had. I was exceedingly interested by this phenomenon, and already felt paid for my journey. It could hardly have thrilled me more if it had taken the form of letters, or of the human face. If I had met with this ring of light while groping in this forest alone, away from any fire, I should have been still more surprised. I little thought that there was such a light shining in the darkness of the wilderness for me.
The next day the Indian told me their name for this light,—Artoosoqu',—and on my inquiring concerning the will-o'-the-wisp, and the like phenomena, he said that his "folks" sometimes saw fires passing along at various heights, even as high as the trees, and making a noise. I was prepared after this to hear of the most startling and unimagined phenomena witnessed by "his folks," they are abroad at all hours and seasons in scenes so unfrequented by white men. Nature must have made a thousand revelations to them which are still secrets to us.
I did not regret my not having seen this before, since I now saw it under circumstances so favorable.
I was in just the frame of mind to see something wonderful, and this was a phenomenon adequate to my circumstances and expectation, and it put me on the alert to see more like it. I exulted like "a pagan suckled in a creed" that had never been worn at all, but was bran new, and adequate to the occasion. I let science slide, and rejoiced in that light as if it had been a fellow-creature. I saw that it was excellent, and was very glad to know that it was so cheap. A scientific explanation, as it is called, would have been altogether out of place there. That is for pale daylight. Science with its retorts would have put me to sleep; it was the opportunity to be ignorant that I improved. It suggested to me that there was something to be seen if one had eyes. It made a believer of me more than before. I believed that the woods were not tenantless, but choke-full of honest spirits as good as myself any day,—not an empty chamber, in which chemistry was left to work alone, but an inhabited house,—and for a few moments I enjoyed fellowship with them. Your so-called wise man goes trying to persuade himself that there is no entity there but himself and his traps, but it is a great deal easier to believe the truth. It suggested, too, that the same experience always gives birth to the same sort of belief or religion. One revelation has been made to the Indian, another to the white man. I have much to learn of the Indian, nothing of the missionary. I am not sure but all that would tempt me to teach the Indian my religion would be his promise to teach me his. Long enough I had heard of irrelevant things; now at length I was glad to make acquaintance with the light that dwells in rotten wood. Where is all your knowledge gone to? It evaporates completely, for it has no depth.
I kept those little chips and wet them again the next night, but they emitted no light.
"