Sunday, August 28, 2005

Honeymoon Sunrise

This high-desert boy,
raised 'neath Sierra peaks,
has a distorted view of
Appalachia --
taught shorter than,
greener than,
older than,
Lacking TV 'truth'
mountain life was brought live
by Zane Grey and Dan'l Boone,
hillbilly jokes,
and geography class.

Thus this view wasn't wrong,
but scarcely complete --
and never explained
why people here live
the way they do and all.

Now I've lived close by
a couple of years,
but don't travel much
because of Em and gas prices --
'twas said I could see
Blue Ridge Peaks
from my Knoxville porch
on a clear day -- never did.

Now I've spent a week
surrounded by still beauty,
twisty roads and jutting shale --
sudden streams and tiny vales --
re-opened shops with tourist crap --
religious art inspiring --
nothing moves 'till nine.

All and all it's a world apart,
and I've a glimps of why ...
suspending judgment of
redneck antipathy
and withered family trees ...

the sun never rises here!

Oh, it is bright enough
when the clock announces
day is here and work begun,
and everything is green,
in fact there's nothin' ain't;
but I've yet to see a beam of light
or drifting cloud against the sky.
Neither children nor birds
frolic in dust-mote sun-shafts,
or sit on sizzling rocks,
or rope swing o're water holes.

There is forever haze, you see,
or don't to be exact,
that protects these bosom mountains,
and I guess that's quite alright;
but I could never live here long,
because, for me --
there is no song,
when there is no sun,
nor moon,
nor stars above.

So I will return to Sakin'el,
and Tegsh and cats,
and Henge beneath
a sun that rises
at dawn.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Happy Birthday Heather

Saturday, August 20, 2005






" a curious COLLECTION of

please contact Anita for your
party planners pass.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Dawn Alone

With no one to talk with, I muse alone ...

Just be'doing

What if …
there is no such thing as prayer
and every thought is a message to God,
and every word a divine communication,
every question a draw on cosmic energy,
each command an act of creation.

Just imagine …
there is no such thing as magick;
and that every intent is made manifest
and strokes the fabric of the universe,
and that our perception is only limited
by the inability to hear.

Accept with faith …
nothing is that is not creation
and that all is of and within the ever Source;
that man's attempts to limit and control
are but ripples of laughter and steps in a dance
with knowledge that we must do by simply being.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Baker's Boy

Detail from Vermeer - The Milkmaid

There was a boy, who had no name of his own, but who came to be called Martin.
He had no name because he was a foundling, left beneath the cross on the village green one warm summer night, and found next morning when the Parson was taking his morning walk.
Old Sef the Baker took the foundling in, and called him Martin, because he and his wife wanted a son and had only girls. Martin was mighty spoiled by all those women – they let him do pretty much what he pleased, but there was never any harm in the lad. He liked to be with animals – from the time he could walk, he never slept in the house, he preferred the barn with the dogs and the hens and the bakery horse.
Old Sef took him into the bakery when he was about ten summers old, and taught him all he needed to know to grind the corn and make the bread that was sold from the back of the horse dray. Then, having seen to it that the business was in good hands, Old Sef up and died and left Martin to take over.
His sisters had all married, and Martin lived with his adopted mother until she died. Then Parson called on him, to advise him that it was time he took a wife. Parson frowned on bachelors – they caused no end of trouble, he said, like a fox loose in the hen house.
Parson had already made a list of suitable young women, but to his dismay Martin would have none of them. He said he would find his own wife, and that she would be made of leaves and sunshine and droplets of dew.
``I’ve never heard such heathen ravings,” Parson huffed as he walked across to the Inn to save some souls. ``What’s he planning to marry, a scarecrow from farmer Bryn’s field?”
Martin took to spending long hours away from the village after the day’s work was done and the bread sold. He was seen heading off in the direction of the woods, then was seen to return around daybreak. Whispers flew about that he had found himself a fancy woman in the next village. True to his wild ways, they said, Martin would never marry and settle down like a normal man.
But then one day invitations arrived to Martin’s wedding on the green. Even Parson, although he was not required to officiate, was invited as a guest. To his disgust it was to be a handfast wedding, with the two leaping over a broom at the end to seal their union.
``An abomination,” he declared, but he turned up anyway and drank as much good cider as any man there.
Everyone was curious to see the bride. All the children in the village, who loved Martin, went out early to gather flowers in the woods and filled baskets to the brim with primroses, daisies, buttercups and wild wood roses.
At midday, a faint piping was heard in the distance. It was coming from the direction of the woods.
As the villagers watched, open mouthed, the strangest party ever seen came out of the woods. They might have been gypsies, so brightly and gaily were they dressed, but there were no wagons lumbering in their wake. All were on foot, and those feet bare as they tripped over the grass to the music.
One, a young woman as tall and fair as a young birch tree, walked ahead of them. Her hair fell almost to her knees, so fine spun and golden it was like the sun streaming about her. In her hair, she wore a circlet of flowers. Her eyes were green, and she wore a dress like rustling leaves.
Then Martin came out of the bakery – his feet were also bare and he joined hands with the fey girl, and the strange folk from the woods gathered around them, singing to the notes of the pipe.
An old woman joined their clasped hands with a rope so fine it looked like cobwebs with the dew still sparkling on them. The old woman, dressed in rainbow colored robes, then produced a besom, and laid it on the grass. Martin and the fey girl leaped over it together and the wood folk burst out laughing and clapping and everyone joined in.
``Hail Martin and Lilyflower,” cried the man with the pipe, and started playing again. This time the music was for dancing and everyone clasped hands, even Parson, and ringed the young couple as they stood together on the green.
They danced long into the night, but by morning the strange folk were gone, and Martin and Lilyflower began their married lives at the bakery.
In a year, Lilyflower had borne a child, a girl as pretty as herself, and then another year later there was a son, nut brown and dark haired like his father.
All worked in the bakery, and the bread they produced was the finest in the land. From dark rich seedy loaves to soft cakes, eating it was like eating light itself. When illness threatened the village, Martin and Lilyflower would bake up loaves that looked like they were made of marigolds and sunshine, and which tasted like nectar. Within an hour of eating them, these loaves sent colds and sniffles packing.
As word traveled of the wonderful bread, people came from far away to buy them, but many were disappointed. Martin and Lilyflower baked as much as they could, but many still went away empty handed. But that didn’t stop them coming.
Sometimes they would camp on the edges of the village, and queue outside the bakery hoping to be first to buy the bread. But Martin and Lilyflower always sold bread to the villagers first.
This caused some trouble – fights broke out, and when Parson pleaded with the strangers to move on and leave the village in peace, he was pelted with clods of earth. To get rid of them, Martin and Lilyflower sold them the bread they had baked, and then started again, making bread for the villagers.
But that night the village slept ill, dreading the return of the people from far away demanding the morning’s bread. But when the villagers awoke in the morning, the strangers were gone. So were Martin, Lilyflower and the children.
All that was left around the empty bakery was some scattered leaves, with the morning sun drying the dew on them.
Parson stood looking at the bakery for a while, then went inside. The villagers crowded round the door and watched him lighting the fires under the ovens, mixing the grain and the yeast and kneading big slabs of dough. Soon a few of the villagers had joined him, and he led them in rousing hymns as they baked bread for the day.
As for Martin – it is said he now resides in an old mill on the way to a certain gypsy camp, where he set up a bakery. In the early morning, when the scent of newly baked bread wafts down from the mill, you can go and listen to his tales.

Always Sunrise Somewhere

Only Sunrise

I see the waking,
slow enveiling,
azure whispers of the world’s slumber.

Through the branches’
chance elopment,
find gifted five points of an ancient star.

Slow eyes rise above,
void fulfilling,
embrace grey and opal palet waiting.

Shifting clouds of dawn,
fingers un-entwining,
flickers of smiling, crashing billiance.

Figure of rapture,
soul entancing,
show me the mem’ry of the face of God.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Gone to the Hermitage

The Abbey is virtually deserted. Everyone seems to have packed up their things and gone to the Lemurian Hermitage for the festivities as travellers stop on their way to the camp of the Amazonian Queen.

A map to guide you is pinned to the front door. I am sure, once the festivities are over folk will drift back down here and reclaim this space.

The Abbess

Monday, August 08, 2005

On A Raven's Wing

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Everyone in the Cave of the Enchanteur heard the commotion, the clatter of hooves as the riders came into the cave ready to take newly arrived residents to the camp of the Amazon Queen. Mares waited with stable women and a party of twelve is now riding the night skies towards the Lemurian Hermitage, which has only recently been occupied by a hermit. The Hermit has agreed to provide residence and will allow travellers to rehearse their performance for the Amazon Queen within the sanctuary of the Hermitage.

Given that, as the Raven flies, the Hermitage is not far from The Abbey, some willing Ravens, from the Rookery, have kindly offered to provide safe passage for those who wish to visit the Hermitage and join the fun as people pull out costumes, wigs and masks and strut their stuff.

Please let me know if you want to book a flight and I will reserve a room for you at the Hermitage (sign you in as a guest) You will be able to join in and participate during rehearsals.

Interview with the Gorgons

After an audacious dance for the Gorgons, at the House of the Serpent, where the Travelling Trevere' performed I was granted an exlusive interview with the Gorgons.

H.B. I must confess I felt nervous when I learned that you were prepared to be interviewed by me. I have heard all the stories about your snake like hair, your petrifying powers, your capacity to turn people into stone and I believe that the expression 'A Goddess scorned has fury indeed' comes from people who have suffered from your wrath. (The Gorgons smile like naughty young girls as I openly talk about their reputation.) So! I have bought a small box of photographs to share with you as a token of trust.

Gorgons: You have nothing to fear Heather. After that audacious dance we are delighted to have you do an interview with us. Clearly we need a better marketing machine after all these years of bad press but you know what they say, 'all press is good press'. At least our names are still on people's lips.
These stone figures you see surrounding us were not turned into stone by us but by the values of a patriarchal society which has placed so much emphasis on power and acquisition. The moment that you honoured ecstacy and joy and came with the Enchantress and those engaging travellers, you broke the spell and freed not only yourself but us. We can talk now after all these years of silence, after having been immobilized by the Hellenic Perseus who was no hero but a Gorgon slayer of the most unpleasant kind.

H.B. Here is a photograph of me as a beautiful young child.

Here is me as a young maiden
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It seems so long ago. I'd hardly turn an eye now.
I'd hardly turn an eye now with all these bulges and the wrinkles of time.

Gorgons: Did you know that our childhood name was Gorgo? It was an affectionate name that our parents, Phorkys and Keto used. We were lithe, brown eyed and beautiful just like you. We knew the capricious thrill of joy as we danced, clicking our heels, and our father loved us. We fed on honey, gamboled freely over mountainsides, basked in the glories of nature, learned the sensual pleasures of the earth. The silenic, spirit of the springs and river taught us wisdom and we grew lithe and voluptuous.

H.B. My childhood was filled with joyous play. I remember lying under the gigantic pussy willow trees behind our house, remember playing safely at the abandoned Sugar Beet Factory. My innocence was broken when a relative offered to 'teach me' about sexuality. I ran and hid within the safety of the Cypress Trees but the sense of terror immobilized me for a very long time.

This is too familiar a tale Heather. We were sea goddesses, known to all as the Gorgides and Gorgades. The name Gorgo never meant anything terrible, did not signify something ugly. Our parents never could have anticipated that we would be turned into terrifying creatures.

Some say that our mortal sister loved Poseidon, the dark haired God of the sea and laid with him in the soft grass. Others say that they desecrated the temple of Athene by making love there. In truth many men fear women's sexuality and seek power over them. Poseidon ravaged Medousa, removed her goat skin charity tunic without her consent. Medusa, who was Athene in another shape, made the Gorgon head wrapped in serpents and wore it on her aegis to warn would be invaders of their fate should they seek to emulate Poseidon. The gigantic shape of fear has been passed down, carried by women as a warning. On that day when you fled, Athene knew and gifted you with her aegis that has ever since protected you from such uninvited invaders. It is only man, with evil in his heart who need fear the Medusa aegis.

H.B. But what about Perseus? Didn't he slay the Medusa?

Gorgons. Obviously the Medusa's head was highly sought after, a grail for men who feared being turned into stone, who feared its power, lusted for its power. Perseus was not supported by Athene as legend would have you believe. He was no hero. He was a Hellenic invader, a destroyer, who came to take the Moon-Goddess powers and to steal the prophylactic Gorgon head. Perseus fought the Libyan Queen (Medusa) and decapitated her. It was this battle that ultimately led to the suppression of the matriarchal system and the violation of Neith's mysteries. (see The Greek Myths Graves 8.1)

Since that time women's powers have been usurped and immobilized. But now, as you come with the wily enchantress, into long closed places, you and other initiates will return with renewed creative powers. For you and your companions the Medusa curse is broken.

Up Early

Pre-Dawn Shadows
This morning I stand early --
by dusk will have traveled long,
though my feet are anchored here alone.

I know the world cast stark and plain
by the light of a single lantern,
and it thus knows of my soul as well.

My shadowed form is crisp and clear,
and reaches out in giant form
to touch the silent heart of everything.

The unseen rain is a presence
without falling or touching down,
and I drink it in through osmosis.

The universe does not exist
except by shadows and memory
carved into forever even now.

I move my hand -- a gesture,
and my spirit echoes in flowers
protected from this false dawn.

I take a single baby step
and my imagined warrior form
races out to smite sure hidden foe.

It would seem that my magic reach
is limited by this deception,
but I know, in faith, the truth and all.

The sun will soon be-crest the hill
and mask my shadow in brilliance,
that others can avert their gaze.

But the effect of my presence
will remain and extend beyond,
lit by the divine flame within.

Your flame, not mine will be profound,
but only have meaning though sharing,
that which I cannot do alone.

And you need not look back in fear,
but accept that you cast one too,
an unseen touch of self by me.

Each by each we extend our souls,
not through action, plan or greed,
but by dancing close to such as we.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

A Whisper


When a lonely heart's your only friend,
And you stand in an empty meadow,
Then call on the maid of enchantment,
The one known as Wisp-o-Willow.

Prance in the swaying stillness
And hear the sound of the moon.
There is the mem'ry of what will be
To soon sing your fears away.

When your tasks are mountains of chaos
Along a pathway of broken glass,
Then call on the squire of the journey,
And with Willow-Wisp burdens will pass.

Prance in the swaying stillness
And hear the sound of the moon.
There is the mem'ry of what will be
To soon sing your fears away.

Within every friend there's a willow
That can bend with the burden of thee,
And between you a wisp of magick,
In faith that one and one are three.

So let someone stand on your shoulders
That you can see from their sense of awe;
And call on the Source of Creation
And know what the Will-o-Whisper saw.

Prance in the swaying stillness
And hear the sound of the moon.
There is the mem'ry of what will be
To soon sing your fears away.


Saturday, August 06, 2005

Earth, Sky and Space

I called you Agni, god of fire
Agni Devta, clear and just
I lay my heart upon your altar
With simple, artless

I called you Agni, god of fire
As lightflash through the storm is thrust
I lay my heart upon your altar
Where the stars told me I

I called you Agni, god of fire
A smoldering, sky flaming lust
I lay my heart upon your altar
Ashes, ashes

Agni was one of three great gods in the Rig Veda and was also worshiped by the Persians until the time of Zoroaster. His personification of fire made him the center of the ancient Vedic worship. Agni took three forms: celestial as the sun, atmospheric as lightening, and terrestrial as fire. He is all that burns: sun, heat, stomach, lust, and passion. His three spheres are the Earth, Sky, and Space, the worlds respective of men, spirits, and deities. He is priest of the gods and the god of priests, and serves as liaison between gods and men. His fire altar was oriented toward the East, the direction of the sunrise, the ever-new beginning.

The last stanza of this poem was written when I was in college; actually, it was written on the fly leaf of my Lit to 1650 text book, where it is still. I added the first two stanzas in 2003 upon studying more about the three incarnations of Agni.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Adaptation - (With Apologies)

"To see or not to See.."
That could also be the question...
the eternal question mark.
(Unashamedly inspired by George in E.M. Forster's "Room with a View"
and Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.)

Another Song

sung as a duet with self


Look at me, just look at me, I am here inside.
You can ignore me, or embrace me, but set my soul free.
Let me walk in new birth's garden.
Let me chase rainbow butterflies.
Stand with me at yearning sunset
To feel the timeless world go by.

Be you seeker or master
Our thoughts can be divine.
What you would claim is nothing.
What I can give is mine.

Do not look at this crumpled frame
That long strife has pulverized.
Look past the misted moonlit tears
To where the innocent child hides.

Be you weaver or poet
Join me in simple song.
What you can love is real.
What you hear is pure joy.

Look at me, just look at me, I am here inside.

I am a mirror of passion
To reflect light in shadow's way,
If you boldly seek truth without,
Then 'tis evertime to look within.
For I am surely you
In humanity's hold.
What we share together
Even angels cannot share.

Look at me, just look at me, I am here inside.
Stand with me at yearning sunset
To feel the timeless world go by.


I wonder at times
About the blessing or curse
Of memory
Selectively piercing, it gifts me
Vastly varied strings of jewels
Which glisten from absolute emptiness
To something vague, shimmering and hollow
Behind which I know there is content, but cannot see or feel it
Through bits of beautiful, broken mosaic that won’t form a picture
All the way to the bright, incisive bite of recalling and reliving
Every word, every expression
And the entire, enveloping veracity of every feeling
That coated my throat, quickened my blood, sang beneath my ears

I remember
Holding a daisy in the tips of my fingers
Pulling the petals with a soft, satisfying tug
“He loves me. He loves me. He loves me. He loves me.”
Warmth, a bright yellow fire, surged
Through my chest, down the insides my arms
Curving my backbone, all the way to my bare toes in the cool grass
Behind my forehead a huge, smooth expanse of quiet joy
The color of candle-lit alabaster
If they had turned me inside out
I would have bled light

I remember

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Riding to the Camp of the Amazonians

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I have grabbed my great grandmother's old saddle bag and I am wearing the cloak from the Isle of Ancestors as I ride out with the Enchantress with another group of adventurers. We are headed for the Camp of the Amazonians and may ride with them if we are lucky. I will maintain contact with everyone in the Abbey by Raven Courier.

The first group have straggled in to the House of the Serpent in time to celebrate the Day of the Serpent. They have currently been having private sessions with the Gorgon and are singing for her. I am sure many will proudly sing here once their audience is complete.


As we plan for our wedding ritual,
I find that everyone has an opinion
but no advice -- given only to 'you can't do that.'

Part of me says, "Why should it matter if I wish to wear a Lava-Lava,
and a sword, and a Cross of Jerusalem and a carry a wizard staff?"

Yet, it is all for m'lady Em, isn't it --
-- no matter our eclectic our views --
we have guests to welcome.

so I ponder ...


3:00 AM! How peaceful it is. The silence almost thunders in its intensity. I stretch my mind out for the tiny indications of human existence all around. They are there, certainly. Tick, and bonks and swishes - even a train's movement in the distance. I wrap myself in the security of humanity's faint brush. No - not humanity. This touch of human, physical reality is something else - 'humaffluvia' perhaps. I crave humanity and instead seek only ephemeral human 'stuff'. Strange.
It should be a good time to sit down on my cushion, ring a gong and drift into some centering prayer. Nope! My mind is racing, filled with the "monkeys" of Saint Theresa. Why can't I sleep? What draws me out into the semi-silence of this troubled world rather than enjoying much needed rest? Who calls? Is it you Lord - is there something you want me to do?
Other than the usual, I meant. Let's see now:
"thy will be done" - but you want me to figure it out, right?
"appreciate the bread and other gifts you give" - I appreciate too much - look at me.
"forgive us our trespasses, or debts, or whatever - and I'll learn and follow your example" - You're in charge of mercy and the best I can do is charity. Don't know how I'm doing there. I sense that real charity doesn't have much to do with money, but don't always know what to do.
"forgive others who have sinned against us." - no ready quip. I guess that's it. Somebody needs my forgiveness and I haven't given it. Humm …. I try each day to reach out with love to my brothers and sisters. I strive to embrace humanity without judgment - none of that dividing into good and evil stuff. I smile and wave and whistle and hold out my hand - doesn't work always.
You know that I pray for guidance and simplicity. That centering stuff is hard and maybe I want that unitive experience too much - keep slipping into intuition or whatever. My emotion takes over and I must write a song or poem or prayer or story. All humanity out there needs help and love and comfort - maybe just a prayer. Why can't I get it right? I get so caught up in the doin', doin' part, and reaching and caring that I forget to really love, I guess. Or is that love? Help me here. I'm only human. But you chose to be that too, so it can't be all bad.
I give up. Here is the sunrise - looks great. Good job Lord!
Help me please. Who am I supposed to forgive?

Ancient Lemurian Spirit Dwelling Place

Mountain Spirit - My painting that Larkin used on the shade

Log leged son on the phone in my new office space.

My Books

New bookshelves and reading corner (and Ashland out the window.)

The window shade made by my best friend Larkin. The dancer is modeled after one of my own paintings. It is hard to see, but the pearls coming from her hand are one of the most interesting parts.

Double Haiku - My Scarf Made By Megan

Birds must have dreamed it
For it seemed not made by hands
Swirling, soft, scarlet

Delicate feathers
Song of ruby ‘round my throat
I am clothed in wings

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Norway Fjord

Winnie's journey to the land of the midnight sun has rekindled lots of wonderful memories of our six month holiday in Europe. We hired a car and 45,000 km later returned it in Paris. 'Pepe'(our car) no doubt still talks of the amazing places that he went with us, remembers sitting in the moonlight beside bottomless fjords, ferry rides across expansive waters, marvelling at massive glaciers. Thanks for refreshing those memories of particularly happy times Winnie.

Journey - A Song


There is a place on the mountain, where the stars meet the morning mist,
And the setting moon mirrors the rising sun
And my heart is brought to tear.

Shall we go home my friend, take me home -
home to the simple life. My love waits there
twin the fire within, home does call my heart.

I have brave wandered the world, to lands strange yet kindly the same,
and the people there did wave back at me
to protect my mind from fear.

Remember home my friend, take me home -
home to the simple life. My love waits there
twin the fire within, home does call my heart.

I have engaged to battle strong foe, for many who claimed my liege lord,
For mysterious cause that was rarely my own,
my fine purpose for to bear.

Yet I wonder now at the purpose, why I guided steed through the fray,
for in the end I still feel defeated;
to win does not honor share.

Let us go home my friend, take me home -
home to the simple life. My love waits there
twin the fire within, home does claim my heart.

I drop the reins in surrender, and will let my heart guide the way,
this new journey will be long and lonely,
'tis a search for loving care.

My crippled form will travel to homeland, to a table surrounded by friends,
but my heart must journey from far without
to peace within prepare.

Take me home my friend, take me home -
home to the simple life. My love waits there
twin this fire within, home does claim my heart.

Beautiful Fires

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Dear Friends,

Following is a telling of my Skandic Tale. I meant it to be brief, but then, you know me, if I am writing prose “brief’ is a bit of an oxymoron. Some of you will end up seeing this several places. I apologize in advance for that. And for the fact that it WON’T be brief.

Journey Into The Midnight Sun


* Day 1. Suitcase lost between Oregon and Salt Lake City. 105 degrees in SLC, in a hotel with a broken air conditioner, my bag is delivered at 4:30 a.m. for a 7:30 a.m. flight.

* I meet my sister and mother in the SLC airport, along with a tour group from my University who I will come to know *very* well. SLC-NYC flight is delayed and we barely make the connection.

* British Air’s NYC-London flight is over booked. We sit on the tarmac for two hours while they beg someone to get off. By the time we finally reach London we have missed the connection to Copenhagen. The Tour Director begins his act which will include a lot of disapearing, inept juggling and a string of mismanagement and bad judgement this is astonishing. I could give at lot of specifics, but it would render my narative into the realm of unbelievable, really bad fantasy.

* A fiasco unlike anything I’ve ever encountered ensues. The tour is split, some people going on and catching the cruise ship in Copenhagen, some remaining for what begins to feel like an eternity in London. The brilliant fellow manages to split up most families, including ours. My sister goes on to meet the ship, my almost-ninety-year-old mother and I are left behind with the “stranded.”

* For 24 hours we literally run from one side of London-Heathrow to the other - again and again and again - to find that the flight he thought he had booked won’t take us. We have no luggage because they have lost it. Because of extremely tight security after the London bombings, we can’t get on an airplane, because we have no luggage. Catch 22. How did the other part of the tour get on the airplane without their luggage? He doesn’t know. There is MUCH he doesn’t know.

* It finally become clear that the cruise ship has sailed from Copenhagen and we are still in Heathrow. We finally go to a hotel in London. British Air gives us a toothbrush and a white T-shirt.

* The following day we begin the Saga entitled : “Lost and Scrambling through Norway” as we attempt to get to a port and meet the cruise ship. Missing Denmark completely we fly through tiny airports in tiny airplanes. We stand in lines. We run. We wait. We run again. After another full day ‘lost’ we find ourselves in Ålesund where we spend another night. Without luggage. Mother and I watch a sunset that burns the Fjord bronze. We are walking along the water when some people from the tour come to tell us it is Midnight. Still fully light and the sun just gone into the sea. Ah yes! We had forgotten.

* Busses across Norway, ferry across a fjord, working our way to the top of the world. We reach the tip tops of the tallest mountains in Scandinavia and begin the descent - down from 6,600 feet to sea leavel - down the “Steepest Road In The World” - a hairpin curved switchback called the “Path of Eagles,” down to where we finally find the cruise ship waiting in the cold, dark water of the Geiranger fjord.


* The Tour Director, who I believe was the choreographer for the Keystone Kops in his last life and arrived in this life a few points short of a double digit IQ. Incompetence personified. X 20. When asked any question: “What gate are we headed for?” “Where are we going?” “What is the airline?” he answers: “I don’t know” and disappears into the crowd. Insanity.

* Having to be the one - out of group of 14 adults - who has to keep grabbing the Tour Director and say things like: “No! You cannot yell ‘everyone who hasn’t got a ticket follow me!’ and run off! No! Stop! Read the list of names in your hand.” There were often people left off of all the lists. Notably me. I hadn’t slept for 72 hours, couldn’t eat, was shaking from anxiety and the most together person there was me. Frightening.

* Being left off lists constantly so I begin to wonder if I existed. No hotel reservations in my name. No airplane tickets. I can’t get through security because I’m not on the list and my mother is on the other side. At least he didn’t have our passports, since I wouldn’t give them to him.

*Getting hit by a motorized card in the Oslo airport. After I was visited by three very cute Norwegian Fireman who couldn’t do anything, I got the EMT’s from the ambulance who recommended I go to the hospital. In the midst of a lot of shooting pain, I have to make a sudden judgement call since the Tour Director has taken one look at the situation and . . . disappeared. He has gone through security and boarded the next airplane - with all our tickets. Do my mother and I go to the hospital, staying in Oslo with no tickets to anywhere and no idea how to meet the ship? I say Adjø to the EMT’s and get on the airplane.

* This whole fiasco happening to both myself and my almost-ninety-year-old mother. She also had to literally run again and again, stand in lines, wait for hours and hours, having no idea what was going to happen next. Run again.


* My almost-ninety-year-old mother who literally ran again and again, stood in lines, waited for hours having no idea what was going to happen next, ran again, and arrived in better shape than anyone else.

* Deck Ten (see below)

* The top of the world inside the mountains of Norway. Coming down the “Path of Eagles.” The big beautiful homes set all alone back in the massive green mountains. “My husband would love it here!” I say. “How can they stand living so horribly isolated?” asks one woman. “My husband would LOVE it here,” I repeat.

* Finally reaching the beautiful Italian Cruise Ship laying in the deep, dark waters of the Geiranger fjord. After the incredible, formal seven course dinner I refuse to go to the “entertainment” and go instead to the top deck of the ship - Deck Ten. Here I discover that it is fully light at 11 p.m., a soft muted twilight. On either side of the ship, towering mountains of grey and green slide past, their heads still covered with snow and wreathed with a drifting pearled mist. Down their sheer sides spill hundreds of dancing, diamond waterfalls; some are narrow, snaking sharply through the rugged rock, some are voluminous and vast, spraying wide swaths of shimmering crystal into the wind. Some of the falls cling to the steep slopes, dancing a tight path through the great grey stones, some free fall for thousands of feet sparkling like white stars in the cold green twilight.

As we drift past the soaring granite walls, inlets suddenly appear - deep ice cut bays where the mountains dance away into enchanted, emerald dreams. I hear old voices calling from these towering hills; I hear ancient names whispered on the white wind.

I put the earphones of my walkman over my ears and suddenly I am inside Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite; I am SEEING the music as well as hearing it. I have never had such an incredible sense of visual music. I have never seen anything like the massive, magical mountains of Norway drifting in the mist. My face is covered with sea spray and tears. I don’t know one from the other. It is one a.m. and still light. Walking on water, in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

* The next night, escaping ‘entertainment’ again, I return to Deck Ten. We are at sea now and the sea is rough. 10 p.m., the sky overhead is as blue as my April’s eyes and the horizon, all the way around, is on fire. The pale blue above blends down into cotton candy pink which glows into apricot, amber, creamy gold champagne clouds. Against the water, all around, the eternal circle of the horizon is blazing: rose melting into ruby, claret flushing into crimson . . . carnation, cerise, brilliant, blooming, bright blood red.

The sea is deep, dark and cold, with stupendous swells rising across the miles of sea. They heave up from the surface translucent, inky blue, frothing with white caps. The blaze of the sunset catches the white and the surface of the sea is ignited with flying flashes of fiery foam - crimson, coral, feathers of pink.

The sunset flames for three solid hours, not giving up color until after midnight, not relinquishing light until nearly two. Tonight I have “Flogging Molly” (Irish punk) in the walkman and I walk and walk, hard, fast and exalting - around and around - into the sunset, into the sunset, into the sunset.

* Bergen. A charming Norwegian city of pointed wooden houses set on a beautiful bay, Mount Sandviken and Mount Floeyen rising behind. Here I visit Troldhaugen, the home of Edvard Grieg, my favorite composer. I am able to see the tiny house overlooking Lake Nordaas where he wrote, the enchanted
grounds full of gardens and huge, twisted, moss covered trees. I see the peaceful, deep grotto where his ashes rest and hear an inspired Norwegian musician with beautiful hands invoke his spirit from a black baby grand piano. I listen to the concert smiling, wondering, as I often do, what they would do if I started dancing. I have choreographed and danced to Grieg’s lovely, lyric music before. I want to dance again.

* Night three. It is later when I arrive on Deck Ten and the flaming sunset is only in the west, the eastern sky is darkening. It is nearly midnight when I come around the east side of the ship and suddenly see a huge rim of gold lifting from the sea. I stand by the rail and in a matter of minutes an immense, round, completely full moon rises dripping from the sea. She is gigantic, unbelievable, bigger even than the swollen moon of the desert. I’ve never seen a moon like this enormous golden sphere, dripping amber as she climbs the eastern sky.

I have discovered a stairway that takes me above the top of Deck Ten to a tiny deck next to the huge engines that drive the ship. Tonight I don’t bring any music, but walk Deck Ten in the silence of the sea and then climb up to the top deck to ‘listen’ to the great throbbing engines that I can ‘hear’ through my feet, tingling all through my blood. Duende, indeed. From my eagles nest I watch the golden moon rise in the eastern sky. In the west it is still light and the sun is still setting in splashes of salmon and scarlet. At one point they hang balanced ~ massive moon of cream and amber, sun of red-gold fire ~ with the pale blue sky of the Midnight Sun arching between. With my back to the throbbing engines I can see the whole sky.

When I get back to the cabin, I find she has followed me and is floating outside my window, smaller and white once again, scattering a trail of sparkling silver across the sea. I sit for a long time behind the curtains of the cabin, which have been pulled so my sister and my mother can sleep. The moon and I are remembering Sorrento and ribbons of silk that once sung across the Bay of Naples.

* I have missed four days of the cruise while ‘lost’ in London and chasing across Norway. The last night on board ship we must pack our suitcases (which showed up just before they would have had to buy us new clothes) and put them outside our rooms before 1 a.m. It is nearly two and getting dark before I make it to Deck Ten. I have a bottle of French Champagne in my water bottle. From the back of the ship, I call to Odin, as my Viking ancestors did so long ago and send my libation sparkling into the cold, crashing sea below. I say Adjø to the roof of the world.

* The final long day - 24 hours of daylight - chasing the sun into the west. 4:30 a.m. in Copenhagen to 10:30 p.m. in Medford. NOT missing a single airplane. NOT having my luggage lost. Finally coming down through one more incredible pink sunset into the beautiful Rogue Valley. AND finding that while I was gone my children had completely redone my office: new book shelves, new oak desk, new reading corner with an over stuffed chair, all repainted in soft sea green with a painted border of trailing ivy wreathing the walls. My best friend Larkin has hand made a new shade for my window, burgundy fabric with a ivy patterned dancer leaping from the center of a labyrinth scattering a spray of pearls from her hands.

I did think of all of you as I journeyed. You walked beside me in the mist and in the Midnight Sun. It did, indeed, make everything more intense and interesting to know there were those who would want to hear my tales. It could, of course, get to be a habit and if I ever should happen to leave my beautiful office again (doubtful at this point) I just might take you with me again.

With Love,


* Poetry to follow. You didn’t think you were going to get off without being subjected to poetry did you?

Coming Home to Lemuria

Missing lost distressed afraid
Shaken vanished skipped mislaid
All that fell out made me feel
Invisible, and quite unreal
Assumed lost before the sea
Eyes kept looking straight through me
Empty there past all recall
Not sure I exist at all

Comes the ship into this haven
Shadowing a black sea raven
Comes the ship the last sea mile
On the quay they wave and smile
In this harbor wide and green
I know at last that I’ve been seen
Beyond sea and over foam
I see in their faces . . . I’ve come home


and perhaps we should say,
"blessed are those who see re-birth"
for they are the eyes of God


Understanding forever
is the wonder of endless constellations,
the quiet moon
chilly and alone
in the darkness
watching small stars
while incredible and amazing
cross my mind.

(c)--Christina Cowling

Up Early

To be Hollow

Somewhere between the graveled path I walk,
crumbled slate from another age and call,
and like me, sure gristed by passing feet
into sparkling sands of eternity;
and that sheltering forest of my prayers,
more shadow than light before the dawning,
is a hollow -- a place of silence and peace.

Soon I must, in sacred trust, start the day,
tending the lantern of haven's welcome,
singing up the triumph of attention,
and flexing creaking joints of soul's slumber
that has already embraced a starbirth
midwifed by love's caress from this Abbey
which pluck the strings of creation's lyre.

Stand before this hollow space and ponder.
A gentle wave of spirit's hand and heart
transcend the mists on whispered faerie wings
to unveil a mem'ried sea of pristine dew --
a million eyed reflection of your being.
There is no trace of yesterday's clutter
of discarded dreams and littered sufferings.

You must step across this silent, presage --
untouched by humanity's invention;
placing footsteps that will tell of intention
and state of mind's balance of pretension
which will send back a message to the moon.
Aye, this perfect concave grassy ovoid
will send a patterned coding to the heavens.

Will you shuffle across in dreary dirge
or skip a twisting melody of joy?
Consider a rhythmic confident march,
or dance a lick to a child's giggled tune.
Will you stride alone or wait for joining,
another's knowing grasp to guide and blend
with your gifted support and surer step?

A hollow bell resonates with its task
and speaks of design and forging of will.
Is this hollowed echo of creation
a dream -- or is it but a thumbprint
in dearest Mother Earth's fond embrace --
a sacral dimple or perfumed depression
between mountained peaks of perfection?


Monday, August 01, 2005

Indian Snake Charmer

A Beautiful Image painted on a leaf of an Indian Snake Charmer. Usually the Snake is a Cobra which responds to the Particular Tone of the Instrument....certain Mystical Hindu Sects see them as sacred, things to be Worshipped/Respected as Gods. Even some of the most Benevolent Gods are Guarded by the Cobra, as it is considered Protective in Spirit....

Jewel of the Raj

Looks like a ruby set in a Maharanee’s wedding ring
Looks like a circlet of wild orchids
Looks like a fine jade pot holding precious spices

Walks like a ribbon of water rippling over rocks
Walks like a willow swaying over the riverbank
Walks like a wild swan gliding onto the lake

Smells like sweet Turkish delight in golden bowls
Each perfect dusky toe in silver sandals
Is worth the ransom of a King.