November 2015 archive

A Lost World

marianne stokes

Artist – Marianne Stokes

The world is afloat on a cloud, a cold breath over everything, icing the trees, the ground, the grass. I lay in my bed and saw a white, glowing blanket outside my window, the moon coming through it.

I saw the sun for a moment, touching the mountains, but then it was gone, everything lost again to the mist, everything silent, everything frozen. Even the birds have no strength to sing now. They just stay among their branches, huddling in the winter chill.

There is magic in the mist. I saw it drifting across the forest yesterday, and thought of all the stories about it, about creatures appearing and disappearing in it. That it’s an entrance to a different time, a different world. 

I’m in a calm place, I read calming things, but I’m rarely calm myself. Perhaps that’s why I’ve come here, to see if some of the earth, the air can seep into me, give me some of that quiet frost. I’m learning to trust. That’s what I call it. I imagine what it would be like to walk through my day in trust, knowing I’m safe. Or at least feeling I’m safe, that there is nothing to worry about, to be agitated about, as though something might strike me at any moment. Maybe I felt that life betrayed me, fell out from under my feet, that the gods betrayed me, somehow. That I can’t trust them now, even though I want to.

Afternoon

I walked in the forest, in the early evening, when everything was a breath of blue and the sky had lines of gold in it. As I walked, I observed a joy inside of me that I feared, that I had hidden away. I hadn’t allowed myself to feel it because it might go away, might anger the gods, anger destiny if I allowed it to bubble up inside of me. Maybe I would set myself up to being hurt.

I thought also of my mom, then my sisters, how I felt I shouldn’t laugh and be happy when they were sick. No one told me I couldn’t be, but somehow it felt wrong. I suppose children learn things that are hidden beneath the surface, things left unsaid.

I thought of the Goddess and wondered if perhaps she was light and joy, and beautiful things and that maybe it would make her happy if I dared to step into it. For some reason, it wasn’t something I had considered she’d want for me. But sometimes I feel her laughing, shaking her head, as though I’m taking things too seriously.

I would like to walk with lightness in my steps, and not be afraid of trying, of failing. I would like a deep calm to enter me, deep in my bones, like that blue air that was all around in the forest, silvering the branches. I wanted to kneel and stay there, on the frozen ground, by the waterfall, like white lace down the mountain. I wanted to listen, for the earth to teach me something, but I wasn’t alone in the forest, and we had to get home in time for something. But that’s what I felt then. It’s what I still feel when I remember walking in that new winter world. I’m happy it’s here. 

Darkness Sprung into Light

The last leaf Mermaid by Victor Nizovtsev

The last leaf Mermaid by Victor Nizovtsev

She saw a pale white flower, blossoming out of the darkness, leaving a trail of light on the water, pointing to the horizon, to her new life. 

She picked it up, holding it in her hands, carefully, tenderly, a fragile thing of snow white petals, glittering faintly. She put it to her heart, knowing it was also inside of her; darkness sprung into light.

***

The sun is out, and I feel my spirit responding, brightening to the white light in the trees, the field pale, withering away during the cold nights though there is no snow yet. But I’m waiting for it, seeing it approaching from a distance, seeing the top of the mountain dusted white in the morning. 

I curl up in my sleep and have to leave the oven on at night though I don’t like it. I’d rather leave my window open, if I could, letting in the night air, feeling it brush against me as I lay awake, looking at a pale light in my window, from the waxing moon. 

I’m writing a little every morning, in the black hours before dawn. I have more courage then, and more strength to just sit until the words begin to flow. I’m wondering what it means to have a courageous heart, a heart that’s honest, pure, as inspired by the song below. 

Fragile Things

Artist - Francois-Fressinier

Artist – Francois-Fressinier

She moved through the grass in the black night, wet with rain. Mist cloaked everything, leaving a silver hue over the mountains. There was no moon, only darkness, only blackness in the trees, the ground, the air around her.

Yesterday I broke something precious, something fragile, like porcelain inside of me, and it shattered on the floor. But now I’m gathering the pieces, hoping I can return to myself, to what I had.

When we have something, we don’t think about how easily it can break, until it does, and then we’re sorry. But I’m finding it again now, gems in a field littered with frost, remembering what it took to get to where I am. Remembering to honor the journey, even if I long to get further ahead.

The day has started, but it’s wrapped in silence, in white, the world almost lost in it. I thought I saw ice for a moment, but then it was gone, and I realized it was just mist and light playing. The nights are getting colder, the storms having stilled a little, leaving room for the deep freeze. 

There is light on the trees now, and I can make out drops of water in the birches. I remember walking in the forest yesterday, almost stopping in my tracks by the beauty of rain, like pearls, gathered on a small, pine tree. Seeing that brought me out of myself a little, because I had been lost in worries.

I so wish I had a sunlit chair to sit in, by a large window, to be warmed by light, even in winter. 

Always Searching

Waterbaby - William Samuel Henry Llewellyn

Waterbaby – William Samuel Henry Llewellyn

Sometimes I feel cracked and weathered, like a well gone dry. And I look for books, for words to drink from, for stories that will sing to me. I feel I’m always digging to find them, always searching, searching.

I found this. Do you have any books you’d like recommend? 

Afternoon Walk

I went for a walk in the afternoon light. There was no snow, but I could still tell it was the winter sun, white and cold. I felt I was walking and gathering words, under the blue sky, among the trees, dead leaves, and yellow grass. I saw the black lake, so deep now, inching towards the trees. 

I sat down among the birches, in a place new to me, and saw their stems gray and bearded, old, weathered branches reaching towards the sky. I could see the sun between them, making the grass gleam in front of me. A thread of light went from it to me, going across the road, the water, all the way to where it was setting over the mountains.

I took my shoes off, gasping at how cold the ground was, but it felt so good to keep my feet there, if only for a moment. I always feel like I’m somehow floating above everything, above the world, not quite in myself, in my body like a friend once said. Maybe I’m writing my way back to myself.

First Light

francois fressinier

Francois Fressinier

I like to sit in the darkness, by candlelight, watching the black morning outside my window, seeing cars driving by, the day starting. I sit in silence, working on my book, burning incense, praying. 

I want to stand in the doorway, in that moment of breaking, of first light touching the sky, cold air wrapped around me. 

I want to walk softly, letting nothing touch me save the voice of the Goddess, whispering to her, hearing her whisper back. There is something about the early morning that makes me want to be quiet and still within myself; that makes the words come, as though the calm of night still lingers, the stars having left some of their magic behind. 

I read once about a man wanting to be careful so that the morning did not break like glass around him. That stayed with me because I feel it too. I don’t want to rush or be brash. I don’t even want to speak. I just want to sit and watch the sky brightening, perhaps quietly make breakfast, breathing in its sweetness. See a dark forest outside my window, fields now green and yellow, grass dying away, no more flowers, the world left naked. 

A Black Forest

Sir Galahad, George Frederic Watts

Sir Galahad, George Frederic Watts

I walked through the forest, dark trees closing in around me, the sky pale and grey behind them. Even the rain felt black, like drops of night falling, and I walked passed puddles of water, seeing my reflection in the dim light, feeling I was looking into a winter mirror. 

There is no snow yet, only darkness, and bare trees without leaves. I saw a white flower, still with its petals, bending in the wind, and it felt like a last touch of light, whispering of a summer passed. 

I wake up to see the sun on the mountains, the sky brightening, but then the rain takes over and there is only a storm coming and going throughout the day, roaring wildly in the night. I don’t mind. I like this time of deep night, of candles burning. I go past little white houses and see lights in the windows, thinking about Advent, when there’ll be stars and candles everywhere. 

My husband and I bought tickets to a Christmas concert, and I’m looking forward to it, and it’s only a few weeks away. We’ll be listening to this lady: 

Wishing you blessings, whether you’re in the season of darkness, or light. 

Thoughts on Writing

Daniel Ridgway Knight

Daniel Ridgway Knight

She sang in the darkness, threading her needle through a tapestry of gold, of shining stars on a black canvas, silver threads winding through them, shining and touching the world with love. She did it for the Goddess so that she might step closer to the Great Mother, to the Earth, to light. 

On Writing

I write and then go out to drink again, cupping my hand to the beauty of the forest, whispers in the wind. Fill myself up until I’m brimming with voices, crystal clear as a stream flowing. Bringing home little gems to put to paper.

Sometimes it feels I have no strength to write, but other times I do, and it’s because I’ve taken the time to breathe, to see and listen, contemplate something secret and unseen. Opened my heart to the sky, the earth, a world filled with beauty.

Other times I just have to start, be open to the trickle, to something coming through me, a few slow drips, sometimes less, sometimes more. To show up at dawn, in the evening, and write without pressure, putting judgement aside.

It helps me to read the words of others, the magic that others have felt and experiencedThis is the book I’m reading right now. It makes me yearn for rituals, to walk between the words, to see the Goddess in everything.

Fire and Ice

Edouard Bisson (1856-1939) French.

Edouard Bisson (1856-1939) French.

I’m doing Nanowrimo these days, so it’s a little harder to find words for my blog. But here is something I wrote a little while ago, that I at first wasn’t sure I wanted to share. I think I overthink things. 

***

I feel my life is starting over, like I’m being reborn, rewritten. I write this, unsure if I should be posting it because I’m afraid I’m making things up. But is is what I’m feeling right now. It is what it is.

I watch the birds play among the birch tree leaves, in a dazzle of sunlight, the grass silver and white behind them. It’s such a beautiful day, one that can take your breath if you stare into it for long, the sweetness of summer still lingering even in the breath of winter. Fire and ice mixing, the nights dark, a black cloak with white flowers, shining stars in the depth of space.

I love this time. Love the leaves falling like drops of gold, like rain, like fire dying away to darkness, to the cold chill of night.

And I feel myself dying and rising, breaking apart and being put together. I feel my old life dying away, and I want to cut the thread holding me to it, want to let it go and whisper thanks for what it gave me. Sometimes I feel old, like I’ve walked through a deep night, and so many things have happened, even with my life covered in ice, even when I couldn’t bare to look at myself, when I waited for something to happen, for me to remember who I truly was.

I feel old and aged, but it’s a weight I’m carrying, and I want to let it go. But it’s etched into me with fire, pain and ice, and so I face the darkness of this season, feeling some relief, like I can rest and slowly let go, and hopefully be reborn in spring. To feel joy at the return of warmth and light, and be different then, taking my first step onto a new path, one no longer burdened by the past. No longer cracked open, weathered and dry, but new, full of spring grass and colored flowers.

I dream of this. I feel this. And like I said, I’m not sure it’s true. It’s something I whisper to the night, and sense now as I look out the window, at brilliant sunshine and snow white frost. I feel the darkness closing it, stealing the sun. I try to let go of worry as the shadows fall longer, the days growing shorter, knowing it’s what I want now, even as I feel a slight fear, of change, of the unknown. Wondering how I will tackle the long winter when everything is hard and icy, my freedom restricted, the forest paths hidden by snow.

I saw a woman with white hair and kind blue eyes. And I felt I wanted to be her, to be soft and calm, and to sit by the water, sunlight playing among the waves. I want to age into wisdom, into kindness courage and strength.