Trial from Night’s Pages

Trial
http://nightspages.blogspot.com/2013/10/trial.html

It was said, everyone knew, some whispered in my presence,
that I was born a bastard of rape.
My mother, a pious maiden, in penance gave me
into servitude to the Brotherhood.
Thus she was allowed to return to her Sisterhood’s
life of humble ministration.
I never knew her, or have no memory
of such an early time in my life.
I knew nothing of the treasured childhood that comes with family.
I was a low thing, circumscribed by duty.
I was educated, taught to read, write, do sums,
memorize long passages of scripture, sing in the Holy Choir,
take my part in ceremonies, taught for useful service.
I was taught to please my masters as my only worth.
Any modification to please their plans was my sacred duty to undergo.
Any master. Any metamorphosis. Any mutilation. Accept.
When he bit me, as the fast-acting soporific emitted from his fangs
entered my artery, I hoped this was my end.
It wasn’t.  He did not drain me, but woke me to force his blood
into my sagging mouth to remake me in his image:
immortal, powerful, supernatural, outside of the laws of man.
I learn to create my own sacred place, free of duty, free of the yoke of belief.
I am my own silent sanctuary beyond the touch, the reach of their world.
What good am I, have I, what good does it do me to have a conscious me
apart from my puppet role, plaything of powerful forces and men?
Perhaps after all the trials of my journey, it is enough to have a
consciousness that knows me so well and feels a kind of comforting love.
Perhaps the kind of love a mother feels for a child she never wanted,
who is yet of her, a companion to her trials.

from Caela’s story – Homing

You are always going back into the forest. It helped to form you, as did your father’s seed, your mother’s womb and milk. What forms us, becomes us, we must explore, if only in dreams or strange obsessions, or unnatural silence.

Caela and Larik are quite a pair. Old and young, female and male, hyper-sensitive and numb to sensitivity, working out who they need to become in the cabin once a happy home to Caela, Singer and Felicity (with Maea and friends of the moment in tow). It naturally fell out that they be together. The boy who could not bond, could not fathom what was common to those around him, was bonded to Caela. She alone made sense to him. She had always been a part of who he was. Caela too felt a strong and special connection to this child. She also felt a need to find a way to heal him of the affliction resulting from a wound she also needed to heal within herself. Larik’s mother, Maea, meanwhile, was having difficulties and unpleasant awakenings of her own.

“He acts like I got pregnant on my own. Now it’s all my situation to deal with. As if he had no part in it at all.” Maea is speaking bitterly of Larik’s father, Larn, whom she clearly still adores. He has shown considerably less interest in her since it started to become evident that she would be more of a drain than an energizing inspiration. It’s not that he didn’t care for her; but there are many for whom he feels great fondness. All are subservient to his brightly shining visions, his grand plans and their imperatives. It is not that he is any different from the man she has known him to be, loved him for being, all along. Yet she feels bitterly disillusioned. She has lost her anchoring, her way, her understanding of and belief in who she had thought herself to be. She no longer feels part of the House community. For awhile she tries staying with her parents, spending much of her time with Caela and Larik, attempting to be a family. It is clear that Larik greatly prefers Caela, is shy and confused around Maea. Mirra and Doren have become set in routines to which Maea feels an outsider. She feels their love; but Maea feels awkward when she needs to find a respite of serenity in which to reconnect to herself, discover where her next steps need to lead.

Maea’s grandmother Maris’s place had been left behind, not too far from Jase’s outpost, as building moved further outward. The house is surrounded by plenty of land for their grazing animals, crops for fiber, feed and food for the household (supplemented by trade). It was a large house, built onto over the years to accommodate people and projects. Maris and here older daughters, Arla and Cali, still kept up their busy textile workshop. Cali’s longtime lover, Lilia, does her part as well, including her magnificently intricate and lovely embroidery to their bag of tricks. Lev, who has been living with Maris for decades now, assists with his carpentry, building equipment and furniture for the household and as part of their stock for trade. Always plenty of work for another pair of hands, and Maris informally takes in whoever wants to stay for as long as it all works out for them all. There is plenty of room in which to enjoy solitude, and plenty of companionship, easy-going or intense, depending on what one seeks. Caela comes around frequently with Larik. He likes the more private simple chores as he learns them, working with the animals and plants, away from the main farmlands of the community. His family knows not to pressure him, not to overwhelm him with expectations he has no ability to comprehend. Maea is getting better at dropping her own expectations for how life is meant to be.

Less enthusiastically involved with Larn, though still sympathetic to his vision, Felicity and Teren now live in their cabin near the House with little Solia. Solia, beautiful entertaining, entrancing, cuddly imp, is their perfect muse. They are developing their own project, based on their combined talents. Felicity’s knowledge of healing and Teren’s experience with creative expression have given them ideas about exploring the realm of possible expressive therapies. Working with others who are excited about possibilities of working out personal issues, improving health and attitudes, getting more intimately in touch with their inner muses, they are figuring out together how their theories can best be turned to practice.

A life expands into other lives, energies combining and recombining, creating human ecosystems. Like trees, each living through its own cycles within the cycles of the forest, we create our stories, our lore, our social networks.

Caela’s Story Begins

Something Sacred: Caela’s Story Begins

“I am an old woman,” she thought.

The image appeared before her of the wasting away of time, waves upon sand. Then, a parade of dioramas, scenes on a storyboard, acts from her life.

“Very early on, it was like that. A play of images to watch, hear, feel, uncensored, undefined awareness.”

Cross-legged, in softly hued flowing dress, barefoot, straight-backed on the wooden floor, she mesmerized her audience. Strong, simple words and resonate imagery effortlessly sent forth capture them.

“I am who I have always been. I have followed an impeccable path to this time and place. At each juncture the awareness has arisen to guide me through enough of the journey to find what I needed. For the greater part of my life I had no consciousness of this process. Now I see the path before and behind leading inexorably. I happily share whatever is asked of my vision. Come, see with me, as far as you choose to go.”

The children playing in the garden outside of the transparent wall of her classroom showed no sign of interest of concern, involved in their energetic game. Had the visitors not known their story, they could have seemed merely a playful backdrop to the old woman’s magical poetry. Had they not heard the stories, though, none would have travelled to this place to experience the magic.

It was a story that started long ago, almost, as the poets say, in the mists of time. Perhaps a branch of the prototypal story of mankind, the beast who tells histories intermingled with legend, but the woman’s current tale was not taking them back that far.

“I was born in a shining city to a family of honored position in a time of peace and plenty.”

She almost sings. The images show a heavily stylized, idealized sketch of the thriving city. The child she had been smiled from a window of a well-appointed home. In her background were happy, smiling adults, gracefully yet busily attending to their day. They saw a well-loved toddler’s happy memories of a time when all was sunny and calm.

For all children, as they grow, life gets more complicated, less monotonally bright (or dark). By the time this child was big enough to carry herself on sturdy legs, her whole world had tragically changed. Her family was no longer honored, but castigated and cast out, part of a fearful, resentful, barely provisioned exodus of close to two hundred of varying ages and walks of life. The image of so many sad, bedraggled, carrying what they could, learning to succumb to a strange lifestyle of movement, preparing and sharing simple meals in unbroken fields, learning how to travel as nomads in the woods.

Even those who had some knowledge of this history, maybe even knew those who had seen it, been part of that time, had never thought about how it must have been for those unwilling bitter exiles thrust from comfortable, normalized lives. Those were not the memories of the city they had grown up in. Common knowledge was that those exiled were sneaky, dangerous possessors of secret power, unfair advantage, unable to be trusted. It was the goodness, the kindness, of those in charge to exile rather than imprison or (as some few expressed the necessity, to execute), or allow to remain until they died out, only at the lowest level of society, unprivileged to bare young.

Such were the choices offered in the panic of that time. It was kindest to cast them out, require them to travel by foot for months, to keep moving until they were far away from sight, mind, influence. There had been unfortunate incidents. Not murders; murder is a word for destroying one of one’s own. The threat was both palpable and realized, strong enough to send so many from their homes out to the unknown.

Some, if they hadn’t been discovered, braved it out. They pretended to be as those who considered themselves normal. They became very careful to exactly fit in, not expose any cause for suspicion. Not an ideal way to live, but a way to stay alive without losing property or position.

It is a newly dawning revelation to these visitors. This horrible, evil talent that forced the exile and brutal deaths of these reviled people was the wonderful magic they experienced now. It was the same gift given by this wise old woman whom they had travelled to see.

It occurred to some to ask, and one did: “Do you hate us for what was done to you by our elders back then?”

“Look into me, child,” she responded, opening freely to those who would see. “There is no room or cause to harbor hatred for a tragic misunderstanding. It did lead me and my people to becoming who we are. Hatred is a shield of fear. Shielding fear keeps it from effective expression that will allow it to safely dissipate. Fear has something important to tell us. We are better off to listen intently. It will go on its own once we work out useful solutions to what fear has warned us of. If we don’t learn that, fear can become a brutal master, when all it wanted was to be a humble servant.”

The graphic story emerging with the words evoked a terrible vortex of pointless destruction, a cowering monster reduced to shameful tears, sputtering its flame.

lovers’ meeting (from Persephone’s Notebook)

Moon in Cancer

We were picking flowers. “Oh, I’m sure you’ll want some narcissus.” “Of course, you’ll be wanting black roses.” “No, it’s a festive occasion. Just make sure to have red roses, white orchids and blue irises so no one can doubt our pagan patriotism.”

A casual planning committee for the Equinox/Full Moon celebration to kick off the Goddess Center’s New Year, we partied as we planned. The Cave, our coffeehouse/night club planning center, of course does not belong to us. We just appropriate our usual corner table for the price of a girls night out worth of drinks and bar food. It helps our illusion, however, that several of our friends are on the wait staff, and some of us occasionally get to perform and keep the proceeds of our tip bowl.

I had noticed him from afar from time to time here. He was some kind of music promoter, I had heard. He was sex appeal personified, so why not stare and dream a lovely naughty scenario? He stood at fairly medium height, but seemed taller. His blonde hair and anglo complexion did not take a bit from his dark mysterious vibe. His brilliant blue eyes were bound to hypnotize any who dared to hold their gaze. Like me, now, as he clearly walks directly to my side. Not a fantasy, here he is standing beside our table, making sweeping, smoothly smiling introduction to me.

My heart has orgasms looking into those piercing blue eyes. “Thomas James River,” reaching to take my undrink laden hand, “requests the pleasure of a dance with Lady Persephone.” Lifting me to my feet and swirling us onto the dance floor in front of the band, kind of alternative fusion world jazz, just right for a dream come true, he dances into my heart. The night opens to us, closes us in to a private magic, goes on eternally. I never have to leave this night, this man, this exquisite ecstatic awakening.

http://caelastory.blogspot.com/2009/08/manifesting-destiny-pages-from.html

Dark (from night’s pages)

It is easy to become absorbed in routine,
habitual places and behaviors.  Small variances
feel like treats.  Little pings of awareness that
different choices are possible, even minor ones,
are welcome diversions.  To be strongly here and now
allows respite from that liquid fire of unwanted
memories, worse, contemplation of unrelenting
continuation.
Night creatures are skittish, unwilling to be seen.
Our stories are not for friendly campfires.
Our songs are silent, not of valor nor love,
simple cadences to drown out less pleasant sounds.
Night is more constrained in cities coldly lit
by technologies serving commerce than in
the ever more theoretical wild.  Still, artificial
light reaches only where it is paid for.
People of means know the value of judicious darkness.
The dark is an element, as strong a force as water,
fire, wind, chthonic earth.  Even when, where,
we can see the starry firmament, those distant suns
are but shining points in vast darkness.
What is more fitting to believe in?  Those who
worship light are doomed to disappointments.
Perhaps I would be less constrained, more wild
and free, even healing my constant wounds,
in what is left of more natural terrains.
Can the dead heal?
I have dwelt so long, for all my endless years,
among these low lifes of man, in these urban
jungles of guns, knives, desperation.
This is how I know to be.
With eternity to contemplate, it might make sense
to experience that natural world while it still
exists.
Strangely, I am neither tempted nor compelled
by reason.  What I am is not comfortable,
not secure, not rational.  I am accepting this
existence by instinct.  I move through, day by
night, an inevitability.  I am caught in the force
of darkness, tumbled, shaped, made whole.

 

http://nightspages.blogspot.com/2013/10/dark.html

and so it begins … (aod)

When the battlefield torn by mines is all the school or playground in which to grow,
how can the children be taught to know, to understand a lexicon of peace?
Bitter hatred permeates mother’s milk and what there is of grain,
permeates the very rain, gathered in barrels since the wells ran red
with poisoned blood, since the holiest of sites became blackened
with pestilence and shame.
Rumors expand on who is to blame; not much else to go around..

I like to walk the dark empty streets.  Late at night, the city becomes its own.  The smells, the silence, the stark black and white, shadows and streetlamps, without the people the city can become comforting, peaceful.  But never for long.

It was a cold night, early in January.  It hadn’t snowed much, but there were icy patches where puddles refroze after the hours of the traffic’s warmth.  She was huddled in a threadbare shawl, moving at a pace some compromise between care for the ice and keeping blood from coagulating to avoid frostbite.  I don’t like to get involved.  In the end you can only lose.

Sure enough, a large, somewhat threatening looking, guy appears, yelling after her.

I keep to myself against the reassuring bricks and steel, and watch the drama ensue.

But maybe I’m not as sheltered as I thought, since the next thing I know I am waking with a monumental headache in a far different place.  Bright lights, loud noises, sterilized activity, I am propped up against a wall in an overcrowded ER, a place where my disheveled, disoriented presence is sure to cause no alarm.

Then, I see her on a gurney.  She is deathly pale, still.  I am starting to wonder if this is all a dream, or some superdrug hallucination, but the sensory qualities are all too real, and distasteful.  I hate when that happens.  Now I’ll have to deal with all this gross stupidity without the benefit of knowing what it’s all about.

A nurse’s aide comes over with a form for me to fill out about insurance and next of kin.  I motion, slur, get him to understand that I am concerned about the young woman on the gurney.  He probably thinks she’s my sister or girlfriend, and tells me she’s lost a lot of blood, but they will be transfusing as soon as the right blood type comes up from storage.  It may be touch and go, but she’s in good hands.  He tells me a physician’s assistant will be calling me shortly to examine my contusions and lacerations, and I should tell her what drugs I am on.

I see the guy from the street come in while we are talking.  Should I try to hide or get away?  Or is he just here because of her?  I was just an inconvenient by-passer, after all.  I can’t get my legs to work under me anyway.  May as well just let it play out.

Sure enough, he sidles over to her, whispering something in her ear as the life drains out of her.  Like I say, I don’t like to get involved.

I waited for my body to figure out how to cooperate, and got out of there.  Back home, I’m hammering this out on my antique manual typewriter.  There’s no electricity here in the hole.  Thankfully, there is a working fireplace, and places to scavenge wood.

The city’s got a million stories.  I like to squirrel them away in these recordings I keep typing and filing.  You can see them unfolding, refolding, just out there, everyday.  The hard part is not getting sucked in, becoming the story yourself.

 

from:  Acts of Desolation http://caelastory.blogspot.com/2009/03/acts-of-desolation-when-battlefield.html

from Persephone in Fall (Something Sacred)

Moon in Virgo

The chill in the air has become pronounced. I dig out and launder sweaters, long underwear for Celia’s and my daily walks in the park. Gold and red leaves, colors becoming muddied on the trees, ever more of them drift along the ground. Early morning walks are met by frost and lingering darkness. Darkness encroaches earlier on the day. Spooky sparsely leaved trees make an imprint against the faded light, chill and blowing a mournful tune.

We are building a collage of junk mail circular images glued onto cardboard at the kitchen table in lieu of travel. Celia is comforted by her familiar routines and surroundings; she enjoys playing this game of fantasy, like putting on a play without fuss or break in spontaneity. I also enjoy the simulated adventures, the sense of possibilities.

Tom misses us, wants me to come home. Mom wants me to stay in this home we are building, our fantasy bubble where she feels safe, able to express what is left in her that demands sharing.

I told Tom I will return to him in the Spring. Meanwhile we can play at building our winter fantasies, apart but shared. It is a different kind of intimacy, exploring alternative forms of language, of touching, discovering, with other kinds of senses. He is not happy about our separation, but is intrigued enough to give this game a chance to enthrall — because we both believe in magic. Good magic work requires discipline and will, and excellent skills of metaphoric translation, transformation through psychic manipulation of subtle energies. The journeyman wizard in Tom appreciates the challenge. The timeless romantic imp in me enjoys the adventure of our game. Isn’t that what life so excellently can be, a romantic adventure, much more than a game of chance — a game of chances to fly or drive or quietly walk through charming wonderland hand in hand with wild laughing love.

I watch Celia across the room, stoic and cheerful, that intense underlying sadness acting as a restful foundation, where she has made her peace with disappointment and stale dreams. This place is filled with the products of her busy hands, beautiful needlework furnishings for human comfort, luscious growing green and flowering plants, some bearing fruit or savory herbal spices. Her self-contained world expresses her natural beauty. I understand her need to share, to be led by my acceptance into opening further to herself. I understand that she is wise, that I can be humbled and encouraged by her wisdom. These are lessons out of the everyday, yet lessons we can find everyday, any day, if we will to learn. Wise magic power is not about power over; it can be even more meaningful as power with intimate others. We exchange, merge, grow. Love, beauty, wisdom the will to magical life, isn’t that enough of a glorious game to engage with? Why all the petty bickerings and mean spirits? Is it that people think we are owed treasure we do not create together? Is the accepted myth of an omniscient dispenser of largess dividing us, each attempting to sacrifice the rest to find favor? Are these traps of DNA or cultural legend learned survival strategies? Are they a darker and far more clouded kind of magic?

 

http://caelastory.blogspot.com/2009/08/persephone-in-fall.html