Friday, December 30, 2016

Messengers of the moon

Tiny flecks of opalescent green glitter persisting at the edges of my writing desk, shyly twinkling at me, were the first messenger from memory.

A glow-in-the-dark star that fell from the heavens of my writing room to floor, with none to witness its imagined fiery glory, was the second messenger.

I glance at the ceiling with its slowly eroding constellations, carefully placed by me years ago (Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Scorpius, Orion, Cassiopeia), and I wonder.

Regard the star-like blue of the twinkle lights around the windows. Magical periwinkle walls that enfold me in a dreaming blue bower. Dried oak leaves everywhere. Braids of sweetgrass, images of birds, autumn forests, spirals, stars and more stars...

I remember: The great-great grandmother in the tale read long ago, when I was small.

The grandmother was an enchantress, it seemed to me; a being of great feminine power, a healing power, gentle yet terrible. She was tall, with long white hair, like moonlight. (That's how I remember her.)

I remembered most of all her magical light, like the moon. It dwelled in her tower room and shone silverbright or soft-as-snow, following upon her merest thought.

It was a companion to her, in her solitary tower, I thought. A friend.

How did the idea of that light entrance me so, that I still recall the power of that image painted in words?

That it spoke to my child's mind as powerfully and strangely as a rare dream tells me it filtered deeply into my unconscious, as a mythic symbol. The grandmother. The moon. The enchantress. The tower. The child. The night.

I have not read this story for many decades. (Far too long.)

But how all suddenly makes sense, when we recognize our path, as we trace silver threads of memory and arrive somewhere...we may discover how we treasure and hold wonder close and deep for a lifetime, even when we didn't remember that we were doing so.

How the thought, the language, the imagery, the power of this tale was one of a thousand-million powers that shaped a girl who fell in love with the moon and the stars and tales of that many years later she writes her own sorts of tales in an upstairs room cascading with echoes of stars, windows wide to the light of the moon she cannot lure inside.

The beautiful illustrations above are by Madalina Andronic, created for The Folio Society 2013 edition of The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald, a book first published in 1872.

An edition with the original pen-and-ink illustrations by Jessie Wilcox Smith.

A free audiobook download from LibriVox, as this book is in the public domain in the U.S. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Walking through the longest night

One of my wishes for our new home is that I will be able to see much more of the sky than just a meager patch of it through houses, tree branches and electrical lines.

I wish I could see what the moon, stars and the sun are doing, every day. How sad I feel, thinking of how many years of sunsets and moonrises have come and gone with nary a Me to admire them and praise them for their splendor.

I bought a lunar calendar for the new year. To remind me which phase happens when, to help focus my attention, I thought.

But now I recognize this is very sad; because if I could just look at the moon, like humans have looked at it for millions of years, I wouldn't need a calendar to tell me what phase it is in.

I could look up and see for myself.

Such a simple gift it seems, to be able to see the moon and stars in the sky! How could something once so ordinary have become rare and precious? It seems yet another loss in a time of losses.

If by walking the earth we can bless it with our feet, then by watching the sky we can bless it with our sustained gaze.

Is that how you watch the moon? Quietly but rapt, with eyes wide open, as if you gaze upon the beauty of your beloved?

Now I think that what I must have been seeking by purchasing that moon phase calendar was really a heart connection to the moon, a silver line of light between she and I, along which dreams and wordless mysteries would ebb and flow like tides.

What I was wanting most of all was the reassuring presence of the earth's beauty every day. I wanted the moon to be a companion to my nights, not shut away outside away from me but in my eyes and heart, like a prayer.

On this, the longest night of the year, may the moon creep into my dreams, may the low sun cast his birch-pale light over the wildwoods in my heart.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The lantern of soul

"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good."

"What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale."

"One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these — to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity."

"Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do."

We Were Made for These Times, Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tangled thoughts

Such a day for darkness. A candle flickers on my writing desk, one tiny fire-star.

Such a day for quiet... my cats sleep downstairs, curled in their ticked fur coats, noses tucked under paws. I imagine that colors dance across their backs, from the twinkle lights around the windows.

Such a day for falling into evening, a pale blue overtaking the heavy clouds just before sunset, and I too stupefied by screen light to do more than set out the cats' dinners and notice that the few words my mind held earlier had fled...leaving only snake tracks through sand and a blur of blue jays.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...