Sunday, February 26, 2017

A midwinter's tale




One night in midwinter, we walked upon the frozen lake. 




One night, thousands of small lights showed us our path, so we could not get lost. 





We slid-slipped-shifted but did not fall

We passed under echoing bridges like swans

crunched over shaved ice, thick-crystaled coldness

over ice roses, frost ferns, inscribing our presence

guided by glimmering candle stars,

over fishes who slept silver-mailed and still, 

over long sleeping water grasses

over turtles dreaming in hidden caverns

over deep springs bubbling forth feeding the waters, 

even when all appears still, 

even in winter.





The moon cast a secret light, hiding and slipping from cloud 

and the leaping fires called to the people, 

whose gazes softened in the glow of their bright flames, their daylight tempers sweetened by hot cups of chocolate, 

remembering their first loves, and the deep-snowed winters of their childhoods, 

and dreaming the waters beneath their feet once again set free in spring's flickering light.  





Then we walked out to the islands, to places only mallards and geese and hawks go. We stand where we've never stood, amazed under the darkling trees, and look back over our shoulders to shore,

where a the procession of ice walkers pay homage to the night, to winter, to darkness and coldness and to holding it close as a lover.  



One night, we were warmed by the fire in ice and the ice in fire, by pillars and pyramids, glittering globes and chalices cupping small soft flames that flickered and went out,

and were lit again by kneeling acolytes who bear ever-burning matches.






Monday, February 20, 2017

A quiet voice like water


Thinking about my last post, I begin to notice how often I write about what is calling me (in this case, I am back in dance class after a long time away).

This is the word spell we wrap around ourselves, all unaware.

Do you do the same?



Outside, it is raining, a soft and secretive pattering of drops on the roof overhead.

The house is quiet, the cats asleep, the candle lit.

The wildflowers I planted in a seed starting tray begin their lives beneath the soil.

A day to turn inward...a watery, daydreaming sort of day.





I see how I evoke that which I want to be more present in my life...or I evoke a direction I feel pulled to follow, in order to call the path to me. Sometimes without even knowing that is what I am doing.

I perform that ritual here. Where else is there a space for dreams, magic and mystery, but in our creations?

A web post (or a person) may on the surface appear simple, but is many-layered with wish, meaning and emotion, like a deep network of roots beneath the prairie soil that anchor the sunlit growth unfolding above the surface.

Putting forth a thought...a wish...a state of being, is a kind of spell casting. This is one of the types of magic we practice, whether or not we consider ourselves witch, shaman, healer or artist.



We define and shape our reality, and ourselves, by how we think about and express them: An evocation.

We call something by naming it...then putting intention behind it then releasing it, within and without.

But the things we struggle to express — the most deep and powerful and shape-shifting things — they seem to resist being named and encapsulated.



This may be a vast longing that we can't translate into words...

Or it may be a suggestion of a thing entwined around something else, in such a tangle that we can't tease it apart and examine it properly...

It may be something of which we see only the barest outline, out of the corner of our eyes.

This unnamed something floats in on the pale silk of a milkweed, and plants itself in the tangle of thorns, thistles, whispering grasses, the under-the-surface beings of our inner landscapes.



Such callings are elusive and wild. What wants to be known sends out tendrils, or rivulets. It surfaces from some nameless place within.

We can listen for its whispers as it flows through our lives. With our attention, we nurture and give home to its voice. Trying to pin down and examine it may wither it to silence.

It is like water, this voice. Its source is sacred, a spring deep underground in darkness. Speaking through the language of image and dream, metaphor and archetype, it finds its way to us by secret channels, nurtures life unseen, ebbs, flows and shapeshifts.




It is Mélusine, a freshwater spirit.

It is a Mystery unleashed in spring.

Like spirit whispers, water rarely follows a direct path...it meanders. So the paths to these callings and destinations are intuitive and winding.

We do not know where we want to end up, or even exactly from where we are beginning...we hear only a whisper on the wind. This way.

We have only this signpost.

If we wish to stay connected with our sacred source, I believe we must follow the whisper, the signpost, over and over again throughout our lives.







Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thousand year forest

In the thousand year forest, Brigid's serpent ripples forth from earth's womb, and tastes the wild air with her tongue.



This wind, it tastes of mid-winter: the matings of eagles and owls, frost flowers blossoming over iced river edges.

Goddess of Fire and Creation, let me say that somewhere not here, yet living deep inside me, is a sacred grove; a wild and holy presence.

Somewhere inside that grove lives a wild woman, in wordless conversation with the eternal forest.

Her mystery is mine, have I forgotten?

The forest is inside always; its ways strange, though we think we know them. We think we know ourselves also, and that is the quickest way to lose the deepest mystery of our beings, which is unknowable.

Unknowable.

Are we not, somewhere, carrying inside still the mystery of the humans we once were—the mystery shared by every wild creature, embodied fully through fur, scales, feathers and skin?

Wordless; but speaking through the magic of grace, power, movement and gesture.

Eternal; yet beautiful in our earthiness and mortality.

Nationless; belonging only to the earth.

Entranced by and afraid of the flame.

Called by dreams, moved by unfathomable intuitions.

Conversing with creation through hand, eye, nose, ear and feet that caress the ground as we dance.

Sea changing, blood coursing to tides of joy, sadness and desire, and to the moon in the wide sky.

.

At times when I must hold in my thoughts, my objections, my anger, my grief and even my truth, even then I am still a wild dancer through this life.

Remember.

How this dance embodies that eternal mystery...which is what art is for.








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