Rivers of energy

Helene Vaillant asks “What do you see?”   https://helenevaillant.com/2019/03/19/what-do-you-see-march-19-2019/
wall  Pixabay

I see
The universe spinning
energy flowing like a river

– standing off to the side
watching
observing
detached –
thinking that somehow
watching makes you part of it

The currents are moving fast now
flowing in all directions.

Some are clear
uplifting
noble and brave

Some are depraved
Some are fearful
Some are hate filled
Some are ugly

Others are just plain mediocre.

Standing off to one side
watching,
observing,
detached –
thinking that somehow
watching makes you part of it.

It’s time to jump in the river
it’s time to stand for something

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Native American Prophecy

There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.

And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word ’struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.DSC_0048.JPG

The Green Man

I made another spirit doll this week.   It felt incomplete until I saw Sue Vincent’s  prompt  – https://scvincent.com/2019/03/14/thursday-photo-prompt-sign-writephoto/

Of course!   What my doll needed was a hat.  I made him one from green leather then put him in the fork of a tree to take his photo.

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While I was making this doll I was thinking about the mythical figure of the Green Man.  It is perhaps a sign of our times that the Green Man is coming back into our awareness.  The archetype has particular relevance to men as an alternative to toxic masculinity.

I found a really good explanation of what the Green Man represents for men on https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/meet-green-man-archetype-wild-soul-dg/
“he models a different kind of manhood and strength, one that is based on relationship, caring, and true husbandry or stewardship. He gives us a powerful metaphor and depiction of the Sacred Masculine.”

Writing of the relevance of this model of masculine for our times the author describes the Green Man archetype as “a strong and compassionate masculine who respects the hidden laws of nature and interconnected relationship. In a modern incarnation, he stands for environmental awareness and action; he symbolizes cooperation with nature rather than dominion over it for resources, wealth, and power. In a sense, he is the original eco-warrior.”

I really like these ideas but feel the Green Man has a relevance for us all regardless of gender.   We all embody both masculine and feminine qualities to some degree.  On the website https://www.tlc-uu.org/awakening-the-sacred-masculine-introducing-the-green-man/ I read:
“As the Goddess makes her return, we must also resurrect the Green Man so that both feminine and masculine are united in a healthy balance of head and heart, intellect and imagination, intuition and reason, force and flow. Cultivating a healthy sense both of our masculine and feminine sides of ourselves is the only way we will ever be able to usher in an era of new balance so desperately needed in our world today. When a healthy masculinity is established both men and women will rejoice. And so too will animals, plants and future generations. The stakes for establishing a Sacred Marriage of the Divine Feminine and Sacred Masculine have never been higher. Our survival hangs in the balance.”

Leave taking

I felt a need to write in response to this prompt. “Describe the circumstances and emotions of your hardest departure from family.” 
https://normalhappenings.com/2019/03/12/leaving-the-nest-daily-inkling/

I had driven over to my dad’s place with my youngest son  It had been several months since dad died.  My brother was sole executor of the Will and had rushed the proceedings through while the rest of us were still coming to terms with what was happening.   He’d somehow managed to buy the place and pay out our shares so the house now was his, not mum and dad’s place.  All that remained was to collect the bits and pieces he’d divvied up as our share of the family possessions.

My brother supervised the loading of my car.   I didn’t really know why I’d even bothered coming over.   It all felt so sordid – so utterly grubby.  All the misunderstandings and miscommunications that had gone down when dad was dying.   All those torrid terrible years when he ranted and raved in the Nursing Home.   His personality had disintegrated as his dementia advanced.   He’d always been a strong and opinionated man.   As his illness progressed it was as if those qualities were distilled down into a loud and implacable rage.    He’d forgotten who I was several years before.

Prior to that my mum had died a slow and tragic death from Parkinson’s disease.    It had broken my dad.     He’d never sorted out her possessions.   Now they were apparently owned by my brother.   Old raincoats and the stained white jumper dad had worn when he went bowling hung in dusty wardrobes with wonky doors alongside what remained of mum’s paintings – the ones that hadn’t sold – the near misses and the failures no one wanted.   Cupboards still housed the chipped plates and scattered remnants of household goods that had been inherited from forgotten ancestors.  Somewhere a few old photos were hidden away in tattered boxes.

Overseeing the loading of my car my brother was bombastic and acted like the Lord of Manor although the house was really just a holiday shack mum and dad had bought on retirement.   As we said goodbye I noticed a greenish mould growing on the shady walls that faced seaward.   My brother’s problem now.

I grabbed a moment and rushed back to the shed on some pretext.   A place of happy memories – dad sorting through his own dad’s old tools and giving my sons some strange object from times past –  the old wooden handles polished from use and brass fittings glowing softly in the dim light.

Suddenly it hit me.   I was not likely to come back.  At least for a good long while. My brother was already staking claims of ownership as he talked of remodeling the downstairs living room.   It was his place now and he wanted to put his stamp on it as he described it in his bullying way.

I raised my camera and photographed the broken chairs hanging from the roof.  I remembered them once standing proud and strong in the family home we’d grown up in.    Like the rest of us they now bore the scars of the difficult years that followed.

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That was nearly ten years ago.   Much of the stuff I collected that day proved to be too hard to have around – bad memories of my father’s anger, my mother’s bipolar mood swings.  The few things I’ve hung on to are from my own grandparents.   People my children never knew.   They are curious.   “What was this grandmother’s name?” they ask.   “What was she like?”    An interest in the family tree has emerged.   I recall old photos and family letters.   “We must go there and record these things?” they say.  Tentatively we plan a date later in the year when we will do just that.   Although I see the sense in it and can see that my kids are seeking some kind of closure I’m not looking forward to it.   Sometimes the need for healing takes us to difficult places.

The Secret Place #writephoto

  photo prompt:  https://scvincent.com/2019/02/28/thursday-photo-prompt-invitation-writephoto/

Afterwards Miranda could not say what it was that made her walk down that overgrown lane on that overcast and dreary afternoon.    Lately she’d been doing odd and unpredictable things.   It wasn’t so much that she felt lost but more that she felt she’d lost something she could not describe.   On grey days such as this the feeling nagged at her until she gave into it and let her mind wander into extended periods of distracted day dreaming.

That particular day it was only when she reached the tall iron gates down Memory Lane that she realized she’d come this way many times before.   As a young child she was a frequent visitor.  Then the gates had been wide open but now they were only slightly ajar.  When she tried to open them further she found the hinges were rusty.   She had to lean her body weight against the gates to get them to move.  They groaned and clanked in protest but eventually opened enough for her to slip inside.

When she was little the garden beyond the gates was a beautiful meadow filled with sweet smelling flowers.    Back then she came to the place whenever she entered her dream world.  Some nights she would play there from bedtime till dawn for the place always made her feel good.   She’d awaken the next morning refreshed and renewed. Now the garden was entirely overgrown and weed infested.  The few flowers that bloomed were straggly and windswept.

Dismayed by the state of the place Miranda pushed her way through the tangled vegetation to the cottage she suddenly recalled.    It was a delightful place in memory.  Bright airy rooms were filled with wonderful art supplies, toys and intricate music boxes.  The bookshelves were filled with beautiful picture books and the cupboards were stacked with delicious nutritious food.   The furniture was comfortable and intricately patterned rugs lay on the polished wooden floors. Framed paintings and photographs hung upon the wall.

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On this return visit she had to fight her way through the brambles to find the cottage.  ‘Who let this place go?’ she wondered.  ‘Whoever is responsible for it had been neglecting it terribly.’

When she finally stood in front of the house she she saw it had fallen into complete disrepair.  Luckily though the roof and windows were still intact.2017-06-23-13-31-12

She remembered that when she visited as a child she would unlock the door with a key she kept on a silver chain round her neck.   Now she saw the key and chain dangling from a hook beside the front door.   Anyone could have entered in her absence.    Hopefully the out of the way location meant no else had found the place.

Unlocking the door she entered with trepidation.   Would the wondrous objects she recalled still be there?   Going from room to room she found most of the toys and musical boxes had vanished.   Instead there was a huge array of electronic equipment – computers and digital devices of every description.   Unable to resist the temptation she turned some on and found they were programmed with Apps and software that would enable to do just about anything she could think of.   The Wifi connection was strong and reliable.

“This set up is better than the one I now have,” she marveled.

Moving on through the building she found everything seemed both familiar and uncanny all at once.   Most of the art supplies had dried up and the books were tattered and piled on the floor in dusty, disorganized heaps.   The rugs had become threadbare.  What little food remained in the cupboards was stale and mouldy.

It was only when she looked at the pictures on the wall that the place started to make a weird and uncomfortable sense. All the artwork displayed was stuff she’d created.    It included a few pieces that were now shoved under her bed and stuff she’d decided was no good.    There were paintings she given away and others she’d destroyed when she was down.   Looking at one she’d given to a second hand shop years ago when she was depressed she saw it was actually quite good.   At the time of disposing of it she’d thought it was hopeless.

It came to her then just what this place was.   This was the House of the Self, the secret, innermost foundation of her being, the Home of her Soul.  In all the years spent raising a family and keeping up with the demands of work she’d forgotten about it.  As she straightened a painting on the wall she realized this was what she’d lost.   It was her own calm inner centre that she’d misplaced.

It was time now to return to it.  The children had grown, her marriage had ended and she’d been made redundant.   Everything she’d worked so hard for was no more.   She received some rewards for her labours but she was worn out and emptied by the effort it had all taken.    Now it was time to reclaim her inner sanctuary, hang that key around her neck again, weed the garden, cut back the brambles and do some much needed repairs on the house.

Looking around the dusty, messy rooms she began to pick up the books, wipe the covers and replace them on the shelves.   Oddly the books were no longer the picture books of her childhood but beautiful art books, contemporary novels and current works of non-fiction.   ‘How to’ craft and technical books on subjects she had always wanted to learn about were featured.

“It’s like some of the things in this place represent the things that would make my life more fulfilling.   Others are tools and information that would it make easier to do my creative work.”   Flicking through a book of contemporary art she muttered to herself:  “I could spend some of my redundancy pay on new art supplies and books.   Some up-to- date technology would be useful too,”   she mused.    “I can’t get back the paintings I destroyed but I can acknowledge that creative expression is a vital part of my life.   I can return to my creative practice and start again.”  Thinking about the dried up art supplies scattered through the house she saw that they represented the way she’d been neglecting to do the things that made her feel truly happy and contented within herself.   The stale food represented the way she hadn’t been looking after her body properly either.

As she thought these things her back, which had been bent and achy, began to straighten.   For the first time in ages she felt she had a purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

The light of truth

Yesterday we Australians learnt the Catholic priest, Cardinal Pell has been found guilty of child sex offenses.   The nature of the offenses that convicted him were explained carefully on the TV news.   The evidence presented revealed the man to be extremely perverse.

This morning I saw a News item which claimed some Catholic Priests have been involved in the sexual abuse of nuns.   I have no idea if these claims are true but I hope there are investigations into them around the globe.

A piercing light
revealing hidden abuse
– truth triumphs

unnamed – photo prompt –https://iwriteher.com/2019/02/26/i-write-her-weekly-haiku-challenge-8/

A new start

photo credit-  https://scvincent.com/2019/02/14/thursday-photo-prompt-new-writephoto/

As the sun rose over the rooftops like a searing ball of flame another day of excessive heat was born.

The couple out for an early morning fitness walk stopped in their tracks and viewed the spectacle.

“I feel so impotent,” said the man.

The woman glanced sharply at him wondering if her long term partner and father of her children was about to reveal some emergent sexual problem.

The man, oblivious to how his words had been misconstrued,  continued on:   “I mean, what can I do?   Out there across the country bushfires are burning out of control while record breaking floods swamp the north east.   Millions of fish have died in the extreme weather affecting the inland river systems.   Across the world beneficial insects and bees are dying.”

The woman shifted uncomfortably.   These thoughts had been on her mind too.  “And still governments refuse to act on climate change,” she muttered.

“I could volunteer for the emergency services,” the man reflected, “but I doubt I’d be much use.   I’m a scrawny artist guy not a macho fire fighter.”

“And I’m a writer and poet,” said the woman.

“Make art then,” said a lilting voice beside them.  “Write stories.   Sing.  Dance.   Take photos.    Create, create, create.”

The couple looked around in confusion.   They had thought they were alone.   Both gaped as their eyes fell upon a small ethereal being dancing in the sun beams.

“Oh good, you can see and hear me,” the being sang/spoke.    “I’ve been working at making myself visible to you.   I have a message for you.”

“A message?” the man queried.   His tone hovered between aggression and disbelief.   Seeing fairies was not something he was accustomed to.

“Yes, yes.   Don’t argue.   Just listen.   I don’t know how long I can hold this form.”   The being appeared to flicker in and out of manifestation in the bright sunlight.  “This isn’t my natural state you know.”

“Well who’s the message from,” the man demanded in a practical, no nonsense tone.

“Oh the fairies and all the elementals,” the being said impatiently.   “We’re worried.   The Earth’s in trouble.   We’re trying to contact all the artists, musicians, writers and creatives who are open to new inspiration.   It’s time for you all to get busy.”

“I know,” the woman murmured, “but I’ve been feeling so blocked lately.   My last book sunk like a stone and I haven’t felt like trying again.    I seem to have run out of stories.”

“Put all that aside,” the being advised.   Its voice was more kindly now.  “There’s no time for all that creative angst any more.   After all those creative blocks are really just personal personal obstacles.   They are negative by-products of the wounded ego so many of you creatives are afflicted with.   Now is the time to heal your wounds and see the bigger picture.   Your creative talents are a gift you can use to help heal the world.    You can take whatever raw materials you choose to work with – paint, words, musical notation, wood, stone – even food or garden plants – whatever motivates you to create.    Take those base materials and transform them into new forms that offer, healing and beauty to you as the creators and to those your work reaches.”

The being dancing in front of the couple blazed in the light like a beacon.   “Creativity expressed with intention can make the invisible realms of the imagination visible to others.   It can operate as a portal to worlds of expanded consciousness.   Shifting hearts and minds in this way allows room for healing.”

The man and woman nodded slowly.   The words echoed heart callings they both felt deep down but hardly dared express even to each other.

“The creatives amongst you all are the voice of the time you live in.   Creativity is a gift that moves through you.   It’s not something you own.   It’s greater than you.”   The being’s voice rang like a bell in the morning air.   “Sure it can bring you undone.   It can consume you if you let it.   But, if you use the energy in a trans-personal way, it can uplift you and the world around you.   It’s time now to heal yourselves and step into your greater role as creative healers.”

As the sun climbed higher in the sky the temperature rose further.   The elemental being seemed to dissipate and become part of the white light that beat down upon the dry ground.   At the same time the memory of the encounter shifted into the mythic and neither the man nor the woman was entirely what sure what had just occurred.

“Ooh, it’s so hot,” said the woman.   “I’ve got to get out the sun.   I want to go to my study.   I’ve got a feeling those notes I made a while ago might form the basis of new story after all.”

“Yes,” the man mused.   “I feel like painting today.   I have an urge to express all this.”   He flung his arms out wide as if to embrace the world.   A faraway expression graced his face.   The woman left him to it.   She knew him well enough to know some new creative impulse was brewing within him.  Talking now would only dilute it.   Besides, she had to get home.   She had work to do.

The invisible becoming visible

 

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A while ago I made a spirit doll of a female shaman with horns.   This morning she caught my eye as I walked past the shelf she stands on.

Questioning me,
the antlered spirit doll
becomes archetypal

Why has she manifested in my life?

Going online I did some research.   Horned goddesses appeared in several ancient cultures but most, like the Egyptian goddesses Hathor and Isis, had cow horn headdresses.   These days images of magical females with similar horns are turning up in contemporary art and popular culture.   The Disney fairy, Maleficent is one.   Online I read a Jungian analysis of Maleficent.

“So this story of the Sleeping Beauty deals with what happens to our feminine feeling consciousness when it is repressed, ravaged and rejected by both our society and our own ego-consciousness.  When we reject this feeling and imaginative aspect of life, it gets twisted and becomes the negative mother—the witch who wants to kill us or curse us.  And we are left cursed with our masculine, left-brain thinking that cuts off our feminine wings and power, grounding us in a masculine reality that hates and fears the Divine Feminine’s beauty, freedom and power.   

But the negative mother doesn’t just make our lives miserable: she pushes us to become more conscious. Her curse ultimately becomes a blessing, since it makes each of us face our fate and live our purpose.  That’s the purpose of archetypal stories—they show us a path to travel that will bring us to greater consciousness.”  emerging archetypal themes

Maleficent is the 13th fairy – the forgotten one.   She represents the connection of women to nature.   In our patriarchal cultural this connection has been ignored – it has become invisible.

Re-appearing now
rewriting Sleeping Beauty
– magical healing

Maleficent is healed by love and the natural world around her is restored to health.    In this way the movie becomes a metaphor for reclaiming our forgotten relationship with nature – a sacred relationship of interconnectedness.

Ancient stories 
of goddesses and fairies
finding new forms

As fascinating as these ideas are they still don’t answer my question as to why the doll I made has antlers.    Following link after link online I eventually found an article about the deer goddesses and female shamans  deer mother  While I am familiar with the ancient horned god, Cernunnos, I didn’t know that there is archaeological evidence of horned females deities and shamanic figures that date to neolithic times.

Landesmuseum Halle (artist reconstruction of neolithic headdress found in Germany – image source here

These ancient female shaman are associated with the deer and reindeer of the far north.  Their sacred significance was about connection to the tree of life, motherhood, fertility, birth and rebirth

Returning to us
images of the sacred
spirit of nature

 

prompt:  Today’s d’verse prompt gave me a way into writing about something that’s been on my mind all morning.  https://dversepoets.com/2019/02/05/poetics-invisible/  My response stretches the idea of poetry and of haibun  so I hope that’s ok with Merrill – the creator of the prompt (and with the rest of the poets who write for d’verse).