The Lemurian Abbey, which lies beyond the Glastonbury Tor, is strictly restricted to members of the Order of Soul Food, to those votaries who have committed themselves to Making Art A Daily Practice and to building The Lemurian Abbey Community.
Friday, April 29, 2005
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Oaks are such a sturdy rugged tree. Some of them hold their leaves into the winters. They are never in a hurry to jump into spring, they clasp their buds tight and wait patiently until the days are sure to be warm before they gallop out to play. In this way they have always seemed old and mature to me, able to keep their silence. Not running off with every little notion of spring, but waiting for the real thing. Mature, dignified, that is how Oaks always seemed to me.
I have always noted with interest a large old oak that I pass by on 22.
This tree appears by its size and it’s gnarled bark to be quite old. Some times an old oak tree will be left standing in a field and it is so neat when they do because they get so big and present such an awesome presence. This certain Oak Tree has something else about it, which makes it noteworthy, and that is the fact that it has a serious lean.
No matter from which direction you look at it, it cannot be missed the tree is topping over.
When my daughter and I drove by it for the first time after the rains this spring we exclaimed how much more bent over it seemed to be then ever. Although we were on a destination we slowed down and looked hard for signs of new growth on the tree and we were happy when we saw, Yes! little green-yellow leaves unfurling all over the huge tree.
I got out to visit with the tree a bit and I was greeted with a wave,
It seemed to me that in it's own silent way the tree had so much to say.
I walked up to the tree and I looked up into it's hollow and I took this picture.
Do you see the spirits and the faces that I see there?
Greetings to you all,
I have returned safely from my travels with a host of new images in my mind waiting to be preserved in some way.
I have been investigating all things mediaeval and have produced a few offerings which the abbess deems fit to grace the abbey walls. I cannot put them in my room for the moment as I am temporarily homeless having had to abandon my lofty tower due to the activities of the owls. Doubtless I shall find a new corner soon enough.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
I am hoping our property here might be the future daycare for some little Canadian Goslings!
How green smells
I've been traipsing up and down the net, along the cloister, in the woods, looking for the smell of green. I know it's there because the other night around 11 I was outside transplanting seedlings when I caught a wiff of it. At first I thought it was just a night smell of lemon drop, but since I am not where lemons would be I knew it was more complicated. It's too early for the magnolia, (and they are intocicating - something like 9 parts vanilla plus 1 part lemon, and throw in memories of voluptuous lovemaking and thats pretty much a basic magnolia smell - walk into THAT smell unexpectedly and it will have you heaving on the ground like a fish out of water! I was biking with someone when that happened and he couldn't get me away from the tress for the longest time!)
This was the edge of that on the night air, more lemon then the after smell of grasses - I looked for the name that came to me: chyphre - couldn 't find it anywhere! Finally, I found a reference for a perfume created by Coty nearly 100 years ago. I would be willing to sell a body part for a bottle of that! It was also named Chyphre, it does mean a green smell, so I do have a reference afterall. The closest I have to capturing these smells are candles that are named "moss"
or "fresh mown grass or hay", and of course, walking in the night, near woods and hoping for a breath of air to cover me. I will track down my elusive Chyphre - I think I can order it as an oil somewhere. So dangerous! If it were rubbed on the backside of a warthog I could fall in love with no problem at all.
Monday, April 25, 2005
It was near the middle of the night. As we came up over the top of the hill, Bear Lake was spread out below us in a long stretch of royal blue, black and silver. The full moon struck it like rich cream poured from an over full ladle; it streamed thick through the air and splashed in a star shape against the dark water. The car swung around the sharp switch back, turning my window toward the lake; “Oh!” I moaned, “LOOK at that!” I rolled the window all the way down and learned precariously out, all the way up to my hips, opening my arms toward the moonlight. The midnight wind whipped my hair into dancing dervishes that caught the light and whirled it like sparks all around my head.
“Good Lord!” said Nick irritably, “would you get her back in here before she falls out and kills herself? Why is she always trying to kill herself on my watch?” Jack laughed, reaching up, taking hold of the back of my jeans where they gapped at the waist.
“There! Now she won’t fall out. That doesn’t mean she isn’t going to turn into a bat or fly right out the window, she’s fey; there’s no living with her when the moon is full.”
I slid back into the car completely out of breath with my hair in elf knots all over my face, laughing weakly.
From up on the hill, I could see that there were fires all along North Beach. That probably wasn’t legal, but it looked like the local protectors of the peace were not out in force harassing people.
“You know,” I said, “There are about a million people on North Beach, it looks like a fine Saturday afternoon down there, I don’t see how you think you’re going to go skinny dipping with half the state of Idaho sitting up there.”
“It would probably be good for them,” said Nick, “but we’re not going to North Beach.”
“Where are you going then, somewhere over here?”
“Nope,” said Mark, “we’re going around to the east side.”
“Oh, come on guys,” I said, “reality check! I know we are all macho men here, but you can’t go skinny dipping off the east side of Bear Lake, not even in August. Its way too cold.”
“Of course you can,” said Nick, “we do it all the time.”
“It’s not really as bad as it sounds,” said Mark, “we’ve found a most impressive, most clandestine cove that is sheltered and has sand instead of rocks.”
“Impressive, indeed, but that doesn’t answer the temperature of the water.”
“You don’t have to go in,” said Nick.
“And you don’t have to come out . . . alive!” I said menacingly, “you KNOW what’s out there don’t you Nick? Just when your paddling along feeling happy and free in the freezing water you’ll feel it . . . a little grab at your toe, then a bigger jerk and then next thing you know it’s grabbed your . . . . leg, then it’s all of you! THE BEAR LAKE MONSTER!”
I decided it wasn’t a good idea to mess with the driver so I attacked Hal
instead, sneaking my hand over the back of the seat and around the side of his neck. He nearly went through the roof. It was a very satisfactory attack and made every one very happy, even Hal, after a moment.
“Jeeze Fred! You just about scared me to death.”
“I don’t know what your talking about Hal,” I said innocently from where I was leaning back on the back seat. “I haven’t moved.”
“Yup,” said Mark, “It was the Bear Lake Monster Hal.”
“You know,” I said, “there really is a bear lake monster.”
“Rave on Fred,” said Nick.
“There is,” I said, “Lots of people have seen it.”
“Lots of drunk cowboys from Pickleville.”
“Nick, you rotten snob! Now what makes you think you’re better than a drunk cowboy from Pickleville?”
“I’m not a cowboy and I’m not from Pickleville.”
“Your not drunk either,” commented Hal inanely, which made the rest of us laugh.
“Damn!” I said suddenly, “Marshmallows! I should have brought Marshmallows!”
“Fred dear,” said Nick, “we don’t roast marshmallows anymore, nor do we eat them, nor do we make s’mores. We won’t sing around the camp fire either, so don’t get any ideas. And, you don’t get to tell any more Bear Lake Monster stories either.”
“Jeeze Nick, you are one big spoil sport. What do you guys DO up here if you don’t roast marshmallows or make s’mores or sing or tell Bear Lake Monster stories?” I raised my eye brows.
“Fred, you just have a terribly dirty mind.”
“No really, what do you do while you’re waiting for dawn?”
“We quote Shakespeare.”
“Oh, good. I can do that.”
“Yes, I thought so.”
“Nick . . .”
“Can I tell the story of Old Ephraim?”
He laughed through his nose. “Only if you do it in iambic pentameter.”
Between the arms of the Wasatch range of the Rocky Mountains, lies a fertile, green vale, known as “Cache Valley.” Over a century ago, trappers roamed through the surrounding mountains and valleys hunting and trapping beaver and other fur-bearing animals. They "cached" their pelts in secretive locations then "cashed" in their bootie at the yearly Mountain Man Rendezvous. Cache Valley was so named because its canyons offered so many good places to hide, or “cache”, the salted, rolled skins which were the Mountain Man’s “cash,.” or stock in trade. The wide verdant valley below the canyons was often a spot for Rendezvous.
I was raised in Cache Valley; raised in its pristine mountain beauty; raised on its stories and legends.
If you come to Cache Valley, we’ll go “up the canyon” into the mountains where we will sit around a camp fire on a clear start crusted night, and I will tell you the story of Old Ephraim. I probably won’t do it in iambic pentameter. The next day we can hike to Old Ephraim's grave. Old Ephraim was not a Mountain Man, explorer, nor pioneer settler, but an infamous grizzly bear that had an appetite for sheep, cattle, and big game. Weighing in at 1,100-pounds, Ephraim was the last grizzly known in Utah. His grave is marked by a gigantic 11-foot stone monument.
Old Ephraim roamed the Cache National Forest from about 1911 to his death on August 22, 1923. In the early 1900s, bears were a big problem for sheepherders. One grizzly bear had developed quite a name for himself. Sheepherders called him "Old Three Toes," for a deformity on one foot. This grizzly's distinctive tracks made his footsteps easy to identify. The sheepherders could also tell, from the size and the depth of these tracks, that this bear was huge. The bear wandered from Soda Springs, Idaho, as far south as Ogden and finally settled in Logan Canyon.
Frank Clark was partowner of the Ward Clark Sheep Company. His constant companion was his little sheep dog, Jennie. He kept a string of horses and was a crack shot with his trusty .25-35 caliber rifle. Clark said that during the summer of 1911, he counted over 150 dead sheep in the Cache National Forest, all, he assumed, killed by bear. Clark became an anti-bear crusader. He killed over fifty bears in his campaign against them. Old Ephraim, however, was the smartest, fastest, strongest of them all; and Old Eph, never got caught.
By 1914, Clark was obsessed and determined to get Old Ephraim at any cost. He set trap after trap in the grizzly's favorite wallows, but each time the trap was either removed, unsprung, or flung many yards away. He tried all the tricks he knew, but could never get "Old Eph" in his trap, nor did he ever get a good look at him. The was, of course, ample evidence he was there - the distinctive track marks and plenty of dead sheep. Old Ephraim just kept getting smarter as well as bolder and bolder as the years passed.
On August 21, 1923, Frank Clark visited his trap and found that Old Eph had built himself a new wallow nearby. He carefully moved his trap to the grizzlies newly built bath. It was a fine, beautiful starlit night and Clark was fast asleep in his tent, a mile down the canyon, when he was awakened by a roar and a groan. He had dogs in the camp with him, but none of them made even a sound. He tried to go back to sleep, but couldn’t, so he got up and put on his shoes. He did, however, neglect to put on his trousers. He took his gun and walked up the trail. Clark thought that the sound he was hearing was a horse that was down. By the time he had walked a little bit further up the trail, he knew in no uncertain terms that it was NOT a horse. "Eph" was in the creek bottom, in some willows, and he was making enough noise to raise the dead. Clark didn’t know what to do. He was completely alone and Old Ephraim was now between him and his camp.
As he listened, he could hear the chain of the trap rattle. His teeth rattled as well. He decided the only thing to do was to get up on the hillside and wait. Clark never knew how many hours he spent there on the hillside, listening to Old Ephraim’s groans and bellows, but daylight did finally come.
"Eph" was hidden in the willows of the creek bottom, so Clark threw sticks in to scare him out. The massive bear stumbled out of the willows headed straight for Clark’s tent, crawling into some more low hanging willows right behind it. Clark got close enough to see a small patch of hide and he fired at it. He grazed “Eph’s” shoulder. In the next few seconds he nearly passed out, for Old Ephraim raised up on his hind legs, standing 9 feet, 11 inches tall. He had a 14 foot long, log chain wound around his right arm and a 23-pound bear trap on his foot. In Frank Clark’s own words: “ I saw the most magnificent sight that any man could ever see. I was paralyzed with fear and could not raise my gun.”
The enormous grizzly was coming right at him, still on his hind legs, swinging the trap above his head. Frank Clark was rooted to the earth and let him come within six feet, before he somehow stuck the gun out and pulled the trigger. The gigantic bear fell back, but came again and Clark fired five of the remaining six bullets. Eph had now reached the trail, still on his hind legs. Clark only had one cartridge left in the gun and still Old Ephraim did not go down.
At this point in time, for some odd reason, Frank Clark decided to head for Logan, 20 miles downhill. Who knows? I can’t blame him. I’m not the one who was facing a raging ten foot bear with only one cartridge in my gun. He had gone only about 20 yards when he heard barking and turned, "Eph" was still coming, still standing up, but Frank’s dog, Jennie, was snapping at his heels, and he had turned on the dog. Without thinking, Clark turned back, and as he got close, the grizzly turned again on him, still standing on his hind legs. Clark could see that he was badly hurt, as at each breath the blood would spurt from his nostrils, but he was still coming directly at him, so Frank Clark shot his last bullet directly into the brain of the mighty bear. “I think,” said Clark, “ I felt sorry I had to do it.”
The horses had all been scared away and Clark was completely alone. All he wanted on earth, at that moment, was to hear another human voice. He finally found a horse down in a wash and rode three miles to the camp of another herder. There he rested before the two of them returned to Old Ephraim.
“We buried "Eph" after skinning him.” Frank Clark’s memoirs say. “Boy Scout Troop No. 43 dug him up and sent his head to the Smithsonian Institute. I have a part of the hide, but souvenier hunters got everything else.”
It is true that a bear like Old Ephraim could do serious damage to a heard of sheep, but this has always been a tragic story to me because it marked the end of a species in a wide geographical area; a species that would go on to become nearly extinct.
During the actual confrontation, Clark probably didn't have time to consider how he felt about killing Old Ephraim, because the bear would have killed him. But according to Clark's niece, Thelma Daniels, her uncle later spoke of regrets, because the grizzly was such a magnificent animal.
"If I had it to do over again," he once said, "I wouldn't do it." Clark remained a bachelor all of his life and died in 1960.
The skull of Old Ephraim now resides in Special Collections at Utah State University. It is on display in the Tanner Reading Room, where we used to go to gaze at it and scare ourselves when we were in Elementary School. It is huge. It is enormous. It is heroic. He was a mighty beast. The mascot of Logan High School is the Grizzly, the fiercest and most dangerous of bears. Everyone in Cache Valley knows the story of Old Ephraim, the last of his noble race to walk the canyons of Utah. If they don’t know the story . . . I’d be glad to tell it to them, as soon as the moon is full and it is warm enough for a campfire. It is a story I tell well.
With one little hitch . . . I never did find out just exactly when Frank Clark finally put his trousers back on.
©Edwina Peterson Cross
Thanks be to all things green!
I am beside myself with happiness to finally be inside the walls of the Abbey proper! I have been on the outside for some time and did not know how to find my way in; thanks to the Abbess I am here and can sleep in peace tonight. In the morning I must write an article for my local library (the local paper has graciously let me have space weekly to promote the library, they like 500+ words), and I want to write on the literacy issue we face in our county (32% of people age 18 and up read at the 5th grade level, and the figures for last year say that 40% of the Co does not have a HS diploma) so how does the library board think I will drum up business for the library with those figures facing us. There is even a member on the Co council that made the statement (as if he were proud of the fact!), he's never set foot in the library. How incredibly sad is that!
I will not tarry in the great hall tonight, I just want everyone to know I arrived and hope to catch glimpses now and then of sisters passing to and fro in creativity. I am tired, for in the real world I work part time watching an elderly lady (87), who is in middle stage Alzheimers, I'm sure, and she up and insisted she had to go to the grocery this AM; I tried to have her let me drive, and her family hasn't had the nerve to take her car away (YET!), I have a set of keys to everything here, but she was very upset at the suggestion. We plopped into the car and she sat in the drive trying to remember the way to the store (a left out of her drive, then a left at the corner of her street and straight 3 blocks). Well, she was determined to go left, then RIGHT, I finally had to yell at her at the second turn to make her take a left. (I do not like yelling at anyone for any reason, let alone old people, and by the time this exercise was over I had a splitting headache!) The reason it was imparative to make the correct turn was, she lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, and there must be 7 million people here and the right she was determined to take had 5 access points to as many arteries of the innerstate which have posted speeds of 70 mph and most people drive 85-90 mph. I had my cell on ready incase I nneded to call a policeman.
I'll stop for now because I tried to check this post and lost part of it somehow; I think I'm too tired to write anymore tonight. Good eve and green blessing s to all.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Walt Whitman "Leaves of Grass"
Just this week Angela a friend of mine welcomed the return
of her Daughter Deanne from teaching in Manhattan...for a brief holiday
I was the lucky one who was given this book "Leaves of Grass"
Edited and with a new afterword by David .S.Reynolds(2005)
I love this ..(Song of Myself).
I CELEBRATE myself,
and what I assume you shall assume
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul
I lean and loafe at my ease....observing a spear of summer grass.
Houses and rooms are full of perfumes...the shelves are crowded with perfumes
I breathe the fragrance myself,and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also,but I shall not let it.
THIS IS THE LAST BIT AS IT IS VERY LONG
A few light kisses...a few embraces...a reaching around of arms
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets,or along the fields and hillsides,
The feeling of health...the full-noon trill...the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.
Isn't this just so beautiful...Lois (Muse of the Sea) 25/4/05
The peony is truly exotic to me. I have seen it in Chinese paintings ever since I can remember and I once thought they were fantasy flowers.
What is it about that perfect shade of pink and the way the petals curve inward like a shy child? There is something so breathtaking it moves me to tears thinking about attaining this darkly glamorous flower. Each variety has it own history and I have fallen deeply in love with this blossom. I can only call it flower lust because it makes me tremble with desire. I feel charged with a heat that I want this so much. I have no idea if this luscious one likes the climate here in Arizona.
I closely observe the subtly between the semi-double and the double petal peony. The single petal is darling and the bomb is like a childhood donut dessert with petals.
My eyes linger, memorizing the most alluring shapes. I can only imagine in a light breeze the petals must quiver and sigh. In a distant memory I once breathed in the lush breath of a vintage cultivar.
And now I feel the rush, the need, the hunt to find one to be my very own.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Beset by Green
I sent this through e-mail, but I’m putting it here as well. Here will share and save. Wyllowisp wrote of green: "It tingles me!" I adore that line! And I find it true. And so I just had to share another green poem with you. It introduces my concept of Niap - which is pain backwards, in other words, an absence of pain. After a long search for a word that means "no pain" (without introducing the word pain into it, such as "pain-free") I gave up and turned the word backwards. Niap - the state of being NOT in pain.
In a brief pain-stilled moment, beset by green:
Heavy and green, this well-being of brief duration, a moment of niap, concise, too short, but enough, to experience. Experience, as a thousand shades of green glisten the summer trees, polished malachite leaves turning front to back in a scintillating verdant choreography of gushing wind, soft as green glass against my skin. Niap is the inverse of pain, reverse, verse and chapter inside-out and backwards. Do not probe too deeply into niap, for there is, of course, pain somewhere and if sought, it will arise and spit and salver, but for the moment, it is not screaming. Its shrill ever-present throb of color-sucking nothing is ever so fleetingly still; and so the pathways of my perception pulse, briefly, palpably, full and flowing with green. The mountains are enchanting emerald undulations, pine trees looking soft as eiderdown, as feathers, as rose petals, as any blanket of jade cliché you might stroke with fingertips, shocking sweet sensual awareness discovered by the absence of that which is not to be searched for. I swallow this short shot of summer sweet, as summer once was forever, when it bloomed an eternal patina of warmth; lazy and still. A creation where the world smelled of nothing so much as green; green in my eyes, my breath, my mouth; tongue tasting childhood, tasting memories of buttery sun on warm brown skin and bare feet on dew damp grass; clover-colored shamrock grass, succulent with caressing cool chlorophyl. A scarce, pain-free breathing space as tranquil as turquoise twilights when the canyon wind swam cucumber crisp through the backyard with the tang of tart apple-green and a menthol mist of mint. In this drifting moment of indrawn breath, I remember a bed among the daisies, laying on my back, the ceaseless sound of home, wet in my ears; sluicing downhill, streaming crystal singing liquid songs over slick jade moss, water splashing toward the fields below in a rush of yearning to create, to feast, to become - green. Above my summerdrunk emerald eyes the sky drifted past forever overhead; a canvas of lapis lazuli, painted with wide, sweeping strokes of tree; shivering, shimmering, honied breath of life; aware, awake, and green, of green. Of green.
©Edwina Peterson Cross
I am currently reading, ~ A Collection of Beauties at the Height of Their Popularity~, by Whitney Otto. There are so many delicate words within the novel, mingled with delicate art on different pages. I would call it an ~Art Novel~. It has influenced my art throughout this past week. I keep a personal speckled journal with writing and art. This piece I would say is an ~ode~ to reading.
... in the languorous moments that fall between the end of the workday and the beginning of nightlife ... she needs to orient herself between the two worlds ... with a further adjustment regarding her life as an observer as well as that of a participant. (page 3)
I have always been interested in the writing and thoughts regarding what ~remains~ of our day. (another novel and major motion picture, ~Remains of the Day~)
That time we need to be alone with just ourselves. For me it comes at dusk, the time when the light changes in speckled seconds.
Posted by Hello
The Face of Selective Mutism
This is my precious little girl. Today she was afraid to go to school....again. She hid in her closet and and wrapped her arms around her desk when I tried to persuade her to "try again" to go. Selective Mutism in a nutshell is an anxiety disorder that doesn't allow my daughter to speak outside of home. She is literally "scared silent". There are good days and bad days and right now we are in bad weeks. She has rarely, if ever, spoken aloud at school. For her this began at age two and it has been a long, slow climb to help her come out of her shell as far as we have. I am bewildered and sad right now because she has taken a dramatic step backward for no apparent reason (trust me I asked her more than once). We have specialists both inside and outside her school working with us to help her. I know she will beat this one day, but for now I feel helpless to help her and ache for her pain and fear because I had a milder version of it when I was a child. When she is home (her safe zone) she is happy, lively and extremely talkative (making up for lost time I suspect). She is bright and artistic and downright bossy and I love her. I pray things will get easier for her one day soon.
I fear storms with a resounding roar!
I fear the daylight darkness before a storm;
with graying, black dwelling clouds.
I fear the well - built storms,
bending tall trees left and right back to their roots,
and green grass flattened into undirected pathways.
I fear the rotting windows that whistle maddening music
threatening to break during a storm.
I fear the cold, unyeilding rain of storms
that washes cups and cans over the stone drive.
I fear the unrelenting sound of thunder, it says to my fear
maybe God is very angry or very sad and pounds on an old
shabby metal table, asking why.
I fear flashes of charged dynamic lightening that electrically creeps
and edges closer, closer to my person and explodes into veins
across the sky.
I fear storms with a resounding roar!
Storms~ *copyright* Patricia Hine - Stewart
Green Ice and Chinooks
when chinooks begin to blow,
Mountain Men will rendevous
As they did in the long, long ago.”
My Daddy used to love to sing this song, especially toward the end of a long winter. I always loved it because I understood it in a profound, almost physical way; because its sound smelled fresh and new, full of all those delicious “re” words: renewal - revival - renaissance - renascence - rebirth - resurrection - resurgence - revitalization - rekindling - restoration - renovation - rejuvenation. I loved this song because I could hear that sweet, green, eternal hope in my Daddy’s voice.
I knew about ice. I knew that solid ice is thick, white and opaque. It is as silent as the depth of winter, telling nothing, giving away no secrets; blank, expressionless, mute. I knew what happens when ice begins to turn green. It becomes gradually translucent and begins to murmur and then to gurgle. You become aware that something is running below the surface, it whispers with importance, soon all of its thoughts are becoming transparent. Even though the ice still completely covers the water, it can’t hide anything any more and it rushes to babble every secret it ever knew. Then suddenly, when you least expect it, it cracks right through, the dark water rushes in and the river begins to surge again. It has so much to say after a winter of silence that it soon becomes deafening. A river coming out of ice is very loud.
I knew about chinooks. I was completely shocked, however, when I first looked up the definition of ‘chinook.’ “A warm, dry wind experienced along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. Most common in winter and spring, it can result in a rise in temperature of 20C (35 to 40F) in a quarter of an hour.” I was dumbfounded. Only along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains? The rest of the world doesn’t have chinnoks? The entire rest of the world? How is that possible? It was like discovering that the moon only appears over the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains and everyone else on the earth has no idea that it exists. How would I begin to describe that huge, luminous orb that floats across the sky to someone who knew nothing about it?
There are winds all winter long. Some are colder than others, but they are all cold. Some winter winds are kept out by a coats and clothing, they blow around you, lifting your hair and ruffling your skirts, freezing your fingers and face. Some winds go through you like a knife of ice, right through whatever you are wearing and straight down to drill your bones. But then, just when you least expect it, in the middle of fields of snow or bare frozen ground, suddenly it is there. Chinook. It is always when you least expect it. You stop whatever you are doing and turn your face directly into the wind, never quite believing it at first. And against your face comes a singing of air that is not only warm and dry, but, drinkable and delicious; overflowing with that sweet, green, eternal hope.
Spring! “It is coming,” the wind whispers, “it was never truly lost. This is real! This is true. It is genuine, honest, unquestionable . . . Spring is on its way!” Just like the coldest wind of winter, the chinnok goes straight down to your bones. But it is full of the buttery warmth of a sun that will soon shine on daisies, the softness of a world that will soon turn from hardened white to tender feathers of green. The chinnok goes down to your bones and melts the marrow with promise.
It is a trickster, the chinnok; a jester, a wit, a wag. It dances and flirts and juggles your heart with one hand. But it is an honest joker, it never lies, for though it will never tell you when, it is always right: spring IS always on its way, and it does always come.
When the chinnoks began to blow, the ice on the river turned green and began to melt. When the river came out of ice, it could be used for travel once again. The Mountain Men spent most of their lives alone, hunting, trapping, traveling the land. But in the spring, they came together in a huge Rendevous to trade furs and news, to talk, laugh and celebrate. Mountain Men didn’t use clocks or calendars, but they always knew when the Rendevous was going to happen. When there was green ice on the river, and chinnoks began to blow, ice off would soon follow and as soon as they were able to navigate the river, it was time for the Rendevous. A time for revival, rekindling of friendships, restoration of old ties. A time of renewal in the Mountains, a resurgence of life. A time of rebirth and resurrection for the earth. A time of rejuvenation of the human heart.
Things are pretty much still the same on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. The ice on the river is still turning green with the spring, and the sweet, warm chinnoks are still blowing.
©Edwina Peterson Cross
Thursday, April 21, 2005
I have been distracted by the lovely weather. Spring is here and I am finally getting to my first ever veggie garden. I am finding inspiration in the microcosm of my little piece of earth.
Rambling Towards the Full Moon of April
I saw some Rhubarb today that was a good foot and a half high already. It wasn’t mine! Darn, I should have fertilized and spread some compost around last fall. It is really dry and needs to rain. We have had such winds, like as if it is March. They made me tired when they were blowing so I was glad when they stopped off. But then they left a dry earth, a earth still waiting for the rain that the winds had promised and did not deliver.
Like a lover left wanting. Evening before last there was a slight sift in the air and the skies teased the land once again. Then you could smell it and I stood out in it and let it wash my face. It has been so warm, I heard one older lady put it this way,
“ It is 20 degrees over normal temperature for this time of year.”
Yeap. A part of me feels aggravated and hot about it as if the unexpected heat is making the air heavy and weighing me down. I yearn for the misty wet days that are suppose to be April. It feels more like late June. We all fuss, those of us who grow things because the grapes and the peaches and the apples have let loose all abandon and are opening up to the Sun without looking back. Last expected frost day is in Mid May and we have 15 days and a Full Moon to go before we get there. No fingers can touch your face like the fingers of rain. It rained just long enough for me to get cooled down and then and then it was over.
Strange to sit on the porch in April with the Peepers still singing down on the creek, strange to be soaking wet and still enjoying the breeze.
Well I got the creamed honey done, and I rounded up our private stash of jams and jellies and picked out the nicest ones to take to market, must have more then we are going to eat this winter I guess I tucked enough for ourselves away and I am glad that I have some to take to market. Elderberry mostly. So I dusted and tided and I am finding the signs. Well most of them, will have to make up a few. But I am having the most fun when I am outside mixing up soil and separating the plants that are taking more then their share of room and potting them up for trade, gift or barter. As I do this Little One has gotten into our fairy houses and she is trying to figure out how to get her roof to stay on. She spends hours kneeling before tree with moss in hand, weaving.
The chickens are peaking at their laying and we have so many nice brown eggs everywhere. I must tell you, there is one chicken that has some Rhode Island Red in her and she can fly over the coup, (unlike our broader, more mellow Buff Orhpengtons).
So she gets on the loose and she has taken up residence in the doghouse. Yes! The doghouse. Poor Laddy he tries to go in his nest and this broody ole hen is raising her feathers at him and hizzing. Tomorrow evening I think I will go out there in the night when she is asleep and sneak her out to the smoke house and let her sit on her eggs out there. When she wakes up in the morning she will just think that she has died and gone to heaven with such a nice quiet place all of her own , without the dog peeking in. She picked a pretty good spot all by herself, but it won’t be fun if Laddy lies on an egg.
We were laughing the other day because the overheads are talking about making more laws about selling eggs and even small timers like us will have to have their coups and egg cleaning spot inspected. One thing that they look for in the coup is that the hens lay in their proper boxes, not on the dirty floor or behind the food bin.
Another thing that they inspect is your egg cleaning sink. Don’t they know that eggs have a natural protective dusty coating on them and if you wash it off the egg is more susceptible to absorbing bacteria? We have been trained by those who raise eggs to not wash the eggs before putting them in the carton. We only wash them if they are obviously dirty and then we eat those ones right away. But they don’t want to see your kitchen sink or the pump by the well in the yard, they want a special spot for washing your eggs with a chrome sink and all. Most small timers don’t already have this and they would to take precious time out from planting the gardens or migrating the bee hives to build it. I guess what gets to us is they try to make rules that are not really necessary. Seems like they just like to make rules lots of times to us.
Usually the chickens do lay in their nest boxes but since we like to let them free range when we can, sometimes this old breed is smart enough to find their own favorite spots. So when they make these rules, the people who keep their chickens in a little pens can abide by them, as the caged chicken has no choice but to lay her eggs in the little spot allotted to her. But rules like this really don’t fit where a chicken can be happy. Where a chicken that is so inclined to might take the notion to lay her egg under the bloomin Lilac bush. Or in her originality she might choose the doghouse. I admit the doghouse is going a little too far for a place to find my egg, even if I am a country girl.
And to pay for the inspections they will charge you 100 bucks, no big deal to a big chicken cage farm. Considerably a big chunk out of the small time guy and gal, who see as they go along that selling eggs doesn’t even buy the chicken feed.
And so it goes, until we make it happen differently.
And we will!
God created the most beautiful world with the most beautiful skies. And he put so many shades of green into each single spring day. And he made the robin not to cry like men, and he made a place that is pure and clean and next to him. And I get to sit down beside this place everyday in the garden. I thank him.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
“She remains what she has been for many years - an absolutely strange delight, whose gift lies outside her achievement as an actress, is not tied to a specific time and does not depend on the taste of the moment, not even on common sense.”
~ Cecil Beaton
I bought my daughter a top hat
She wants to be Marlene
The black and white 8X10
She keeps on her closet door
Marlene smiling that half-a-smile
In a tux with tails, hand on her hip
Cigarette in her hand
I told them that you had seen her
And they became a chorus of sighs
A choir of envious moans
“Oh. My. God!”
“That is beyond incredible.”
“I was TOTALLY born too late.”
Another generation has come to adore her
The girls and the boys
Straight and gay
They listen to recordings of her sultry, smokey voice
They hang her picture on their walls
“She is so . . . everything,”
Says one savvy daughter
Reality was not kind
Like history, it is often cruel
And she died alone
Still . . .
The image of the beautiful, sultry woman
With the half closed eyes
The essence of something she was
Remains forever young
Possessed of a heady, classy glamour
Not to be found anywhere
Portraying a smooth confidence of self
That a whole new generation
Woman Eternal . . .
With a small, knowing,
Edwina Peterson Cross
An Ode to Marlene
An Ode to Marlene: A Tribute to Marlene Dietrich
Through the haze of smoke I wandered,
splashed by overflowing steins
until I found a table,
a small one soaked with beer,
but near the stage, that's all that mattered.
In so many cabarets, we watched and waited
her appearance on the stage.
Her voice was husky, sexy, sultry,
captivating lonely hearts.
She looked my way
but saw me not, and even if she had …
I was but a shadow in the smoky gloom.
She stood tall behind the mike,
sizzling sex and singing
in that low, throaty tone.
That was all so long ago,
before the war that changed the world.
Though, even then, the lines were drawn
and Berlin's streets were wet
with rife and strife
as goose stepping troopers threatened
those who dared walk the streets at night.
The war raged on, consumed us all,
but she became a star, an angel to the troops.
She took no sides and sang
for allies and axis, too.
Everywhere that armies moved
so did the strains of Lilli Marlene.
They say that after fame
there comes a fall
she left this life alone,
hiding her face from all who loved her.
Afraid perhaps that we wouldn't see her beauty
through the mask of age.
How could we not?
We remember her
and the talent she shared with us.
She lived before her time,
so long ago, and yet, it seems like yesterday.
Now, thanks to technology, her many fans,
men and women, straight and gay,
thrill again when they hear
that husky, sexy, sultry voice.
She's part of history,
part of a time
when life, though less complicated,
was no less cruel.
Where are you Marlene
now that our armies march again,
needing to hear the strains of Lilli Marlene?
©April 19, 2005
Sunday, April 17, 2005
I walk home at five o’clock. September trees are turning yellow, the harvested fields are covered with the stiffness of wheat stubble, yet the weeds along the roadside are still green. Small yellow daisies bloom and the white berries are on the dogwood bushes. One or two hazelnut bushes still hold the tiny packaged nuts, the raspberries are gone, a few remaining chokecherries hang over the fence. The air smells of ripeness, dust from the distant thresher drifts about. A pickup laden with ripe wheat passes me, someone unfamiliar waves. I brush into the dried grasses, stop to find a bright red stone, something to take to school tomorrow, a round pebble to roll between my fingers .
The fields are emerald green now. It is as if my world is blushing with hope. The hope that is eternal. The hope that swells within young birds hearts and persuades them that they should sing the song of spring. The hope that makes the flowers rise from the darkness of the ground. The hope that makes them forget their winter.
The old brick house that sits in my view to the north in the winter is removed from my sight now with the first blush of the trees. All that can be seen is her white barn which glows when the sun sets. Oh how can I describe how joyful the trees look with their light, still shy colors of new growth
The apple trees and the grape vines are blooming although the average last frost is not until May 8th and so we pray that we will be lucky. It is nice for this that we reside up on a hill as the cold fingers of the frost does not always reach up from the valleys to us.
I cannot get over how beautiful and purple are the berries that will turn into cones and are sprouting all over the spruce trees. And then the redbud branches swish against them continuing the same color theme.
The new rhododendron blooms by my front steps as Calie Button runs about playing with the fairy flowers who only she can see.
IN THE ABBY GROVE
In the slender sunshine
My Aspen grove shimmers and shivers
With a sudden spume
Of tiny tatted lace
Blithe as a baby’s breath
Against the milky bones of boughs
An effervesce of exquisite edging
Citrine, celadon, chrysoprase, chartreuse
Greens so delicate they are almost sunlight
After millions of turnings, cycles of circles
Spring still comes with an indrawn breath
A enchanted, brief
©Edwina Peterson Cross
Saturday, April 16, 2005
I am enamored of the idea
That essence that Ancient Egyptians worshiped
The sweet, significant tears of Ra
Amber made edible
Edible made beautiful
The sensuous, slow gilded dripping
That turns the bread of life from dry fact
To something tinged with dreams
I am enamored of
The creamy, sweet giving of wax
Cradling fire, drawing life back into wood
Smelling of secrets, of memories, of
Sweetness stolen from flowers
Stolen with bountiful, generous
Consent, a bright circle of giving and receiving
Pollen, bees, sunshine, water, earth
Fertile fields of singing color
Combs dripping with sustenance
I am enamored of the idea
Because it is not necessary for life
Natures original, succulent sweet smile
“Have a little bit more.”
©Edwina Peterson Cross
What Time Is It ?
Farm Market Opens Next Week
Whoa! No! How can this be?! Where did winter go? It used to be that I would get tired of winter, but winter blew by in a moment it seems. Is it true what they say, that time will go faster and faster until it falls in on its self and is no more? What does it mean for time to be no more? It would be so wonderful to not have appointments, deadlines and alarm clocks, which all seem to be products of our trying to capture time.
I look at nature and I see that nature knows no time except for the change of the seasons and the warmth of the sun and the deliverance of the rains. There is no one telling the Bluebell that she must bloom at this certain time, on this certain day within this certain hour. No, the Bluebell blooms when the sun warms her just right and the raindrops delight her with their moisture just right and she blooms when she is just perfectly ready for her blooming. Without anyone looking at a wristwatch to see if she did it on time or to let her know her allotted amount of time for doing it.
Bluebells give in to the natural flow. Without clocks wouldn’t we be more able to do this? But yet people say how would we ever pay our bills on time, be to church on time, get our teeth done on time or well you know all these things that are done in timely fashions.
Well as much as I can wish that I was a Bluebell I am still me. I have to get my list written of things that have to be done by next Saturday. I have to label the honey and cream the honey. I have to make signs and I have to get started on the farm market newsletter questioner and I have to run to the store to buy bags. I have to wash the market tables, bag up the candles and get change in the till. Where did winter go? Can anybody tell me?
The rhubarb is growing fast and the days are warm perhaps she will be big enough ON TIME to take to market. Gee I think I will just go outside and sit and look at the BlueBell Maybe she will be able to communicate to me how she gets away with not paying any attention to time.
The Goddess of the Stove
The Goddess of the Stove
A beautiful old woman
Clad in red garments
On the top of her head
Charged with brewing medicines
seeking prolongation of life
a most noble aim
Worship this beautiful old woman
The Goddess of the Stove
Clad in red garments
Her hair delicately knotted
On the top of her head
In to golden drinking vessels
The most noble of deeds
Give audience to
The Goddess of the Stove
A beautiful old woman
Clad simply in red
Hair twisted, knotted
On the top of her head
Plays music on warm pipes
Ripening millet amid frozen earth
Make due sacrifice
To the Goddess of the Stove
the immortals of Pengai
Living in the midst of the ocean
Make offerings to
The five sacred mountains
the four great rivers and
Give breath to immortal words
Cabinets de Curiosities (Wunderkammer)
Cabinets de Curiosities (Wunderkammer)
Effect of the Interesting
A cabinet of wondrous curios
A delightful collection
Lying, seeming unconnected
Next to each other
Permitting the mind to
Wander to faraway places
Antique candle powered projectors
Fine laboratory glassware
Vintage beakers, funnels, test tubes, crucibles,
And a one-off hand blown, baroque piece carefully stored
A pair of rare wax anatomical models
Crutches and callipers,
Blood pressure meters
And first aid dummies
Antique botanical prints
Woolly mammoth hair
Skulls, fish and ammonites stored in labelled draws.
Butterflies mounted in Petri dishes
An Atlantis Moth
Whimsical and wonderful
Packets of seed,
Very old taxidermy birds, in excellent condition
Patent medicines and toiletries.
The scent of human breast milk, swamp water and sex
Stored in tiny laboratory vials
All combine to fill
wonder chamber of
Heather Blakey April 2005
What will your Cabinet de Curiosity look like?
Thursday, April 14, 2005
My first attempt at playing with concrete last summer. This "gardener's sink" will find a home outside as soon as find the appropriate old tree root to use as a pedestal.
It is made by inverting a large plastic bowl on a scrap piece of plywood covered in plastic. Cover the bowl with wild rhubarb leaves vein side up (or other large-leaf deep veined plant). Coat the leaves with vegetable cooking spray or WD40 as a release agent. Cover the leaves with a mixture of portland cement, sand and water. Unmold when cured. Paint and/or coat with concrete driveway sealer. This bowl was painted with acrylics and sealed. For a larger picture go here:
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Monday, April 11, 2005
~The Gardner ~
Posted by Hello
~The Gardner ~
~Thoughts On A Spring Archetype~
In nature, in the outside world every color blends. Orange, red, and pink can stand beside each other under a blue, cloud sky and yellow sun and leave me in awe. Perfection is in the mixed match hues. Scents and aromas can mingle without giving offense and are enhanced with the fresh rain. Roses can be as large as pancakes and pinwheels to tell a story of lost love. Wind moves the mixes of flowers as a violin, piccolo and flute. If you listen to the sounds you can hear a symphony. Birds sing and dart in play across the garden. Worms allow air in the musty dark earth and crawl carefully around large bulbs.
I am the one who longs for order in all things.
I am the one who wanders among the concrete angels, quirky cherubs, and knows their secrets of time past.
I am the one who walks in solitude and knows hard work has rewards.
I am the one who inhales sweet scents and becomes intoxicated with joy trying to catch the humming bird.
I am the one who makes the healing creams from roses and sage.
I am the one who nods with the sleeping cat under the shade of a tree.
I am the one who can give you all the beauty you require.
I am the one longing to take naps in the swinging hammock and study the clouds.
I am the one who washes my hair in the rain.
I am the one who knows the seasons and accepts them all.
I am the one who wants you to be outside and find happiness in hard work.
And, I am the one who plants the seeds and waters the earth - but you are the one who must keep up with the growth and at times pull the weeds.
The light changes and becomes brighter - higher.
Day hours linger and stretch before me.
The gray cat, tail moving up and down, sits in the yellow spring sun.
Snow has melted back and left the earth dirt wet and cool.
Brown, Black earth goes under my nails as I plant the pretty packet of seeds.
The pictures promise colors of pastel crayons exposed in daybreak through sheets of rain.
Red tulips are being born in eyesight.
Trees bring forth minted green buds, speckled on dark black branches.
Grass once brown is now a quilt overcame in shades of liquid green.
It's tender blades salute the afternoon sun.
I hear the birds song once again.
Geese are returning to nest in long V's across the clear blue sky.
These are but a few of the things I see
while sipping warm morning coffee,
through chilled breath on an early spring day.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Dear Abby Inhabitants,
I have been away for some time. I had work that called from several other places and study for which I had to return to libraries and the halls of academia. I was not sure for some time if I would come back here to stay, or only to pick up my equipment and instruments which still fill the small cell. I arrived in the cold moments of early morning, before the dew had even begun to lift and found the stone halls chilly and empty of those living and - not. Such moments happen.
I uncased my small Celtic Harp and began to play, for no reason but that of hearts-ease. Then, in the stillness of stone I felt someone listening. I do not know who it was, but I felt you hear the music. I am not a performer. I do not play for laughing gatherings in the twilight, but usually for a darker cause. I was held here this morning by someone listening, and here I still am.
I have read the posts that have passed while I was away. I read the Abyss ask to have “forgotten language” invoked. Is music a forgotten language? We hear it, but do we know what it is saying, how it is calling, what it means? For now, I will stay, sending the language of Cecilia through these cold stone halls. I will listen - for listening.
Louise Anna Holmes
THE PHILOSOPHERS STONE
Do you know the word Synchronicity? The more you notice them, the more there are, they happen to me so often these days that all I can do is laugh with a kind of fey joy. When I opened the Blog to post just now and saw Vi’s entry “A Stone, a bit of bone,” I nearly jumped out of my skin. For I have been deep into crafting with bone and stone. I’m would not even be surprised if it isn’t synchronicity at all, but rather that Vi is reading my mind ~ or I am reading hers.
Some time ago, I left the Abby on a quest for the Philosophers Stone. As I noted, all self respecting Alchemists have to go off searching for the Philosophers Stone sooner or later. I had quite a search. This is my report to the Abby. There is a difference in the ending of this story, however ~ for instead of just questing, I found the Philosophers Stone.
As you will see, it wasn’t what I expected, but found it is. I have brought it home to the Abby. It rests now in a crystal case in my Lair . . . or behind my breast bone, against my heart ~ take your pick.
The Philosopher’s Stone
I went in search of the meaning of meaning
Of turning base metal to gold
The philosophy of an Alchemist
To transform and transmute and unfold
Is it something real or imagined?
When you skin the idea to it’s bones
To reach your hands through forever
Seeking Philosophers stones?
I have felt the power of endurance
Of remembrance hallowed and long
I stood on the wind swept Salisbury plain
Amid power earth deep and time strong
The air, replete with forever
A silence that hollows the bones
I brought a prayer in my open hands
To the foot of the huge sacred stones
They scanned my body with echos
Drew pictures from bouncing sound
Amid the deep secrets of living
The waves danced in bound and rebound
They wrapped around my tissues
Slid right through my bones
And drew a portrait of bursting
A grave double handful of stones
In the woods walked a woman of power
Another stood ‘neath the blue desert sky
Through the trees a force whispered in calling
The singing energy of Wotai
An ancient blessing enduring as ocean
From the cradle of creation’s bones
Into my need opened hands
Fell the power of two perfect stones
I have found what I went off in search of
Though it isn’t just what I expected
The philosophical power of change
With prayer has been interconnected
I searched for an academic thought
Through ancient philosopher’s bones
But found something authentic and real
When I closed my hands on the stones
What came had nothing to do with thought
And everything with feeling
What came was not the key to gold
But the priceless gift of healing
I was flooded with hopes, prayers and wishes
And I soaked them down to my bones
The dross of my body began to change
I saw the truth in my searching for stones
What was given to me, was given
It wasn’t anything that I found
In my need it came to me as love
There is nothing on earth as profound
And the change has come, the Alchemy
That strengthens my muscles and bone
As I walk from healing into health
I have found the Philosopher’s Stone
©Edwina Peterson Cross
A Stone, A Bit of Bone
I sit quietly and alone on the ground, my back against the ancient stone of the abbey wall. It's cooling, comforting on this warm, still day.
To my left the abbey gardens are dressed in a finery of colorful blossoms. To my right the ancient churchyard with weathered stones, the characters and symbols long since worn away leaving questions unanswered. What secrets, I wonder, are lost to us?
I munch on a piece of course bread that was baked right here in the abbey kitchen and with it, some but delightfully flavored cheese. I wash it down with a flask of tea.
It is so long since I've known such relaxation … I take pen to paper.
A Stone, A Bit of Bone.
The past lies beneath our feet,
A piece of stone,
A bit of bone,
An impression in the ground,
All it takes is patience
And careful observation.
Digging often in the heat,
In dry and parching dust,
The past clings to itself,
Does not come easily
Into the light of day.
The earth protects its secrets.
They elude our
And often, even then,
The secrets lie
Just beyond our reach,
Beyond our sight,
Beyond our ability to know
As if they were our own.
They're not ours, you see,
These secrets of the past--
Although we've built upon them
And learned from scraps revealed.
It's not our time.
They're hidden from our sight,
Revealing only what they will,
Enough to tantalize,
To keep us digging,
And so they lay, these secrets,
In the shadows,
Out of sight,
Beneath Earth's protective cloak
A stone is turned,
A bone revealed,
A story finally told.
©April 10, 2005
Ah, the things that Einstein understood
That I don’t understand
The turning inside out of time
To see the universe expand
There have been times when relativity
Bent my mind until I cussed him
I don’t understand, but he did . . .
I guess I’ll have to trust him.
©Edwina Peterson Cross
Touched by music
My 10pm journey down the halls, following the sound of the music, turned out to be an awakening for me. What started out as curiosity helped put me back on the right path. Upon entering the Abbey, when asked, I said, "I think people enter the monasteries to get to know God deeper then they are able when they participate in the secular world." I said: I hope to reach humbly into the part of me that knows God". That really was an incomplete thought but at the time I did not realize that.
What happened was: I headed down the dark, dimly lit halls towards the sound of the music. As I got closer I could tell it was someone playing a piano and it seemed to be coming from behind a large double door. I pushed open the door slowly hoping to slip in unseen. That would not have been necessary as the room was completely dark. Once insider my eyes adjusted to the darkness I could see that I had entered a large, high ceiling chapel. The light from the moon through the dome sent a beam onto a raised pulpit. To the far right a dim light sat on the top of a spinet piano lighting a page of music. I could not make out the face of the person playing but the emotions were evident. I slid into a back pew and soon was lost in the incredible music coming from the fingers of the piano player. It was obvious that I was watching another person having a deep spiritual experience.
I knew I should leave. I was feeling very guilty for invading such a private space but for some reason I was bound by the experience. The music flooded my soul and I so wished I could be experiencing what the person playing the piano was experiencing. And in that moment I realized what my personal search was. I too wished to feel what the piano player was feeling. I knew there was a part of me that revered God, but bringing God as close as the piano player did must be the most moving experience we could ever have. I wanted to move beyond being a student of God, to move beyond reciting rituals and bible quotes and being preached to by the experiences of others. I desired to actually be in the presence of God.
Invoke a Forgotten Language
The Tower of Babel
English Standard Version(2002)
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.
And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth."
And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built.
And the Lord said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech."
So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.
Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
by Shel Silverstein
Once I spoke the language of the flowers
Once I understood each word the caterpillars said
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings
And shared a conversation with the housefly in my bed
Once I heard and answered all the questions of the crickets
And joined the crying of each falling dying flake of snow
Once I spoke the language of the flowers...
How did it go?
How did it go?
Invoke a forgotten language and communicate, using it, within the Lemurian Abbey
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Blue Orb Spinning
It is all your fault Trendle! You and your blue orb and Mr Einstein bred thoughts that very possibly should be stored under the eaves of the Abbey.
Thank you Mr Einstein
That external axis
Out of the universe
Thankgoodness for that
Cause I was getting dizzy
Really Mr Einstein
If the earth is not a
Veering all about
If it is not held like
Impaled on a pin
If there is no hub
Then I am not
Pinned down either
I see Mr Einstein!
If the earth is not
A spinning wheel
Veering all about
If I am not held down
If no one law governs
I can prowl all about
I can rotate like the planets
Without falling foul
Oh Mr Einstein!
Does this really mean?
I can sit on my own
And you can sit on yours?
Does this really mean?
With any luck at all
We can conjure up a theory
Of human relativity
That will knock them
All right off
Their little ax·es
Thank you Mr Einstein
That external axis
Out of the universe
Thankgoodness for that
Cause I was getting dizzy
Friday, April 08, 2005
Is Bartering Allowed in the Abbey?
I can’t stay sad long about the state of the world, not with the Lemurian Abbey beckoning with comradeship, creativity and food! I love the rounded ceilings of Ebony’s kitchen and oh my, the smells coming out of it are divine. I quite think I will just continue to wander about the garden as the expert is in the kitchen and my mouth is quite watering at the prospect of brisket with peppercorns and brown sugar! I think I will pick a big bouquet of daffodils perhaps I can trade them for some meat!
I have gotten creative once more. After organizing my cell with my new supplies I had to try out all the ideas...and now have finished a felted and beaded embellishment, and a hangy, dingy..which will work good on a piece of fabric for a carry some thing. Now I must get back in my meditation routine as here is something nagging at the back of my mind I must address..but now it is late at night and I hear the sound of sacred music echoing down the halls. I think I shall wander a bit and investigate.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Abbey Kitchen Officially Operational
I have just come home after a few weeks on the road. We like to put the caravan on the back of the car and head off for extended periods. I meant to say that I was going but quite forgot and since I have returned I find the Abbess prostrate in her library insisting that she needs to rejuvenate. No wonder! I saw a bit of the work she did last term when I visited the State Library and I know first hand how tiring secondary schools can be.
Anyhoo! I couldn't bear to see Heather resting on her laurels for too long so I have been in touch and asked when we could formally set up my kitchen. I couldn't believe it when the Abbess wrote back and said that she had found the perfect kitchen for me.
So now there are no excuses for me. I will have to make the effort and cook up a storm. Yesterday I made Heather and Darryl lunch and we sat in the autumn sun eating and drinking good red wine. We had thick slices of turkey, corned silverside, antipasto, salmon dip, salad, thick bread, cheeses and finished up with Boston Mudcake, served with strawberries and cream.
There are plenty of left overs so if anyone is interested just come on down to the kitchen and join me. I will put on the kettle and make tea or coffee.
I sit quietly within a forest clearing.
My eyes are closed like someone sight deprived.
I hear the whistles, tweets, and chatters.
Water tumbling in the creek.
Wind speaking through the trees.
A cone crashing through the branches,
a dull thud when it lands.
Thunder rumbling, and in the distance,
How much more I hear when my eyes are closed.
Sounds that are so beautiful,
sounds that tell a story.
Each with a different voice.
Try it sometime when you have little else to do.
Imagine that your hearing is your only sense.
There is so much to be learned, my friends,
from the sounds around us.
Sight, though itself a gift
can dull the sense of hearing,
the sense of smell,
and the gentle sense of touch.
Try each alone without the aid of all the others.
You'll be surprised, I think,
by the power of each and every sense.
Take not any one for granted.
Use them all, together and separated,
appreciate the wondrous miracle of senses.
Ah, what is this vibration in my finger tips?
'Tis, I believe, the distant Abbey Bells I feel.
©April 6, 2005
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
The picture that Winnie posted for me of the girl looking out over the hills reminds me so much of a picture that I saw once when my husband and I were taking a little holiday in a favorite town or our's, south of here. This was before we had found our homestead and we were still renting. And so we were roaming about the town when we walked through a restaurant that had a local artist’s paintings on display. There was one painting that so struck my heart. A girl was standing on her homestead, the farm, the meadow, the creek and the woods swept towards the horizon behind her. But in front of her loomed the skyline of a city. She held a long rifle in her arms and pointed it across the cornfield and towards the steadily approaching monster of commerce.
Winnie’s picture reminds me of this painting because they both have the same hills, and the same girl with the same soul looking out over them.
I live outside of town where farmhouses, fields and woods dot the land just like in the pictures. The city and it's crowded population are in front of me, just yet out of view down the road. Behind me you can go away from the city, take country roads down into the hills and away.
I like to go where I need to in town by skirting around the edges of the metro. It is there, skimming around the edges of the material world that I see more and more farm/wood land just plain disappearing.
The beautiful little creeks that used to be so lovely are ploughed over and forced into drainage ditches. There is no place left for a tree to cast its full shadow down the hill of a green field. Don’t they know that our eyes need this? Mine do, I just don’t understand, how much farther will they build? Will they ever stop? Will it keep on going until every field and woods is subdivision?
Today I drove through where there are rolling fields of an especially knobby kind. I have always loved driving there and thinking how magical those little hills are. Now I see that they are destroying this place for more subdivision. As I was driving through I saw three deer silhouetted against the sunset. They posed in hesitation between two new subdivisions. It so struck my heart how their home had been stolen.
Animals have a code in their hearts that connects them to the land that they were born on, when people move in, the deer stay and they try to travel the old pathways that the genes of their forefathers taught them to travel. They do not understand when we build a highway over their trails and expect them to go someplace else.I felt like the Native American still watching the greed of the new comers. I felt like the Lemurian who hated Atlantis.
The earth is a spiritual being, will we wake up and be aware of this?
The earth has to honored again. We act as if the earth should honor us; well it is the other way around.
I feel like the girl in the picture that Winnie created standing in awe of the god given beauty. I also feel like the girl in the painting that Winnie’s picture reminds me of, the girl with the rifle standing ready. Because the city threatens to come towards my little piece of hollowed ground and I would like to pick up my rifle and chase it away.
But I reckon when the day comes that the material world starts to swallow up this little spot of mine that I will just have to pack up my bags and leave and find some, more country, place to dwell. God I pray that this so called progress will come to a halt before there is no country quiet place left to go to. For where would my soul gather then?
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Beauty in the Dark
I travel along the passageways of a cold and musty building and listen as my fingers whisper along the crumbling brick walls.
I feel little fear in this place because I know beauty awaits me around the corner. Just a little while longer travelling in the dark and I will reach the place I seek. My past and my history dissolve in my memory as the atmosphere of the passage presses against my brain. All that I am is in the Now. The only thing that matters is my slippered feet shuffling along the mouldy stone floor moving me ever onward. I hear trickles of water behind me but I dare not look back in case where I've been draws me with its call.
I reach an intersection but which way do I go? Is that a light to my right? My hunger starved brain tells me it is and so I turn that way. Maybe the beauty I seek is just ahead.
Change is always exhilarating for a short while but there is nothing to compare to returning home. I trudged up the hill from my mountain home, in the dark, with the snow blowing into my face but still anxious to return to my cell in the Abbey. I could hardly see the Abbey through the snow but the path in front of me was well trodden. Evidently we have more new occupants then when I left a month ago. On leaving I had the best intentions to continue my art commitment and my meditation journal which I started when I first arrived, but the city has a way of changing those plans. I hoped to slip back into that zone.
I pushed open the huge wooden gate and entered the Abbey courtyard at the exact moment that the sun flooded through and bounced off the new blooming flowers in the garden. The surprise snowstorm had not touched the Abbey. Like Lemuria, the Abbey holds the same amount of magic I had become use to there, and I smiled as I pulled the positive, comforting energy around my shoulders and hurried to the entrance and down the long hall to my cell. I could feel the zone closing once again around me. My mind immediately burst with too many creative projects that I was anxious to experiment with as I unpacked the supplies from my backpack. I smiled, knowing I will never be commercial as I cannot resist learning something new, but here in the Abbey that seemed not to matter. It was good to be back. P.S. ....I could swear I saw a rooster down the hall! I think I had better lay down and rest....
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Friday, April 01, 2005
Dulls the brain
Weakened by exhaustion
I lie, wracked
Red blood cells infected
By the protozoans of
dappled winged parasites.
Medieval catch all mercury
The horrid malevolent spirit remains
The blood-sucking parasite
Dressed in Cinchona’s laurel like leaves
Wearing a crimson gown
The fairest of Peruvian hand maidens
Harvests the Jesuit bark
Methodically grinding seeds
Into a bitter, colourless, amorphous powder
Amounting to the weight
Of two small silver coins
The fine bitter tasting
A powerful antipyretic
Given as a beverage
Mixed with lemon and lime
Soothes the blood-sucking parasite
And words flow
In Melbourne as in Lima
Heather Blakey April 2005
Two drops of blood spread on the microscope
Stained and examined
Falciparum parasite carrying Anopheles mosquito
Malignant malaria affecting the brain
And nervous system
The resistant parasite is in the blood
Symptoms appear, disappear, come and go in phases
No known anti-malarial products
No quinine, doxycycline, mefloquine
The parasite that daily demands I write