Saturday, August 31, 2013

SUSPENDED - "I am half-sick of shadows,"

        said the Lady of Charras

Orchard Apparition

Instead of cats & dogs, it's been raining apples here, just like in Keresley, Coventry - "they fell out of the sky as if out of nowhere, but after all, they've had witches there for centuries."

December 14, 2011- West Midlands, UK

Everyone wishes money would fall from the sky instead of fish, frogs, toads, snakes, worms.  It did once in 1940, Russia -  a 16thc. shower of coins.  In 1969 golf balls fell from the sky on Punta Gorda, Florida.  In 1876 a woman from Kentucky reported meat flakes raining from the sky.  They were tested and found to be venison.  In 1976, San Luis Obispo, Ca., it rained blackbirds and pigeons for two days. 

For more fun facts, I refer you to Charles Hoy Fort's, "The Book of the Damned," published in 1917, considered the first book written in the field of "anomalostics."  He has chapters on "thunderstones", which fell from the sky during a lighting storm, poltergeists, UFOs, giants and fairy crosses and oh, so much more!

Charles Fort, Prophet of the Unexplained

"A procession of the damned.  By the damned I mean the excluded.  We shall have a procession of data that Science has excluded" - opening lines of The Book of the Damned.

Fort didn't give a fig for science, thought of it as a defacto religion.  He compared mainstream or close-minded scientists to religious fundamentalists and thought the "battle" between science and religion simply a smokescreen. 

(You can find it on Project Gutenberg)

Charles explained many strange doings & all manner of falling debris, UFO sightings etc., by a kind of stationary Super-Sargasso Sea, where all things lost on earth mysteriously turn up, occasionally to rain down on earth.  I'd believe this theory more readily if ever there had been a biblical rain of "socks". It  hasn't happened yet

Back to the Falling Apples - I decided to take a bite:

This one was like carved "applewood"
This one was poisoned - Jim De Lillo

Scent Wise - Donderdag

I fell into a deep sleep...

 And woke up in The Tower, late 19th c.
La Tour - Chateau de Charras
J.W. Waterhouse, Lady of Shalot, 1894
"Four gray walls and four gray towers overlook a space of flowers and the silent isle imbowers the Lady of Shalott."

Lord Alfred Tennyson

And moving thro' a mirror clear
that hangs before her all the year,                                                   
Lady of Shalott - Panifilth
shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot:
there the river eddy whirls,
and there the surly village churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls
Pass onward from Shalott. 

"She left the web, she left the loom,                        
She made three paces thro' the room,                                      
She saw the helmet and the plume,                                         
She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon  me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.

Cracked Ballroom Mirrors - scene from Polanski's "Vampires" - William Dudley

J.W. Waterhouse, 1888 - The Lady of Shalott - Art Everywhere UK Aug. 2013

And down the river's dim expanse-
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

J.A. Grimshaw - Lady of Shalott - 1878

Lady of Shalott, who is this? and what is here? Sayers & Lundgren

Could this be Sir Lancelot?

Here is Belladonna, The Lady of the Rocks, the Lady of situations.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see.  I do not find
The Hanged Man.  Fear death by water.                      
 --T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Francesca Woodman - Hanging Woman

Yes, "fear death by water" -- Ellen Lorenzi-Prince's XII Hanged One,
Tiamat, Babylonian Goddess of the Deep & her unusual take on the card:
"What has been lost, lives in hidden places." - Published by Arnell's Art -
78 female figures of magic, mystery, sex & death, sovereignty & shadow-

Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, Dark Goddess Tarot
Hanged Man - Marseille Deck
Hanged Man - 20th c. Unknown artist
 Pendu (Suspendu) - Hung, Suspended, from the verb "Pendre"

The Hanged Man XII - also known as the Spirit of Mighty Waters.  He's Odin who hung himself from the World Tree in order to seek out knowledge from within the Tarot cards.  The lessons cannot be learned from the physical world alone, only by tuning in to the inner voice.  Yielding, meditation, sacrifice, surrender, a lack of struggle, suspending expectations, REFLECTION.  What the Indians call "walking the land of I don't know."  You can see he is smiling. We gain a fresh perspective by hanging upside down, suspended between physical and spiritual worlds. It enables us to see the world in a different light. What fun! like being a child on the monkey bars.

When the HM appears it may indicate there is a sacrifice to be made, but by giving up one thing we may gain something greater.  Perhaps we give up a clinging illusion to find a greater truth. Or we let go of trying to control the world around us in exchange for a little more trust in ourselves, those around us and All That Is.   

Memorial Fountain - Bordeaux

What do I do when my love is away?
(does it worry you to be alone)
How do I feel by the end of the day?
(are you sad because you're on your own)
No, I get by with a little help from my friends*
Mmm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mmm, I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends

John Lennon - ringtone
Back of Chateau early morning

Back of Chateau at Dusk

And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
   --T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

*for LOM

Sunday, August 11, 2013

" OUR DREAMS EXPLAIN US" & Another Way to Enter Fire

Witness of Light

Vincent Van Gogh - Wheatfields with Reaper at Sunrise

                                                 It wasn't absinthe or digitalis
                                                 in the Yellow House the two of them shared
                                                 that led him to layer the chrome coronas
                                                 or yellow the sheets in the bedroom in Arles
                                                 or tinge the towel negligently hung
                                                 on the hook by the door, or yellow the window,
                                                 be it distant view or curtain, yolk-lick 
                                                 the paintings on the wall by the monkish bed.
                                                 No, it wasn't sunstroke or the bright light 
                                                 of southern France that yellowed the cafe terrace
                                                 at the Place du Forum, a pigment 
                                                 intensified by the little white tables, the white stars
                                                 in a blue sky, the deep-saffron floor, it wasn't 
                                                 some chemical or physical insult that stained
                                                 the vase with 12 sunflowers a urinous
                                                 yellow, the water in the vase yellow,
                                                 also the table under the vase--such
                                                 a troubled life of yellow leading up
                                                 to Vincent's hurled wineglass arousing
                                                 Gaugin's rapier to sever his best friend's left ear,
                                                 the story they made up that Vincent lopped it
                                                 off himself, wrapped it, ran down the road 
                                                 to the nearby bordello, where his favorite whore
                                                 opened her present and fainted.  He would
                                                 have bled to death if Gauguin hadn't hauled him
                                                 to hospital next morning.  Even in "Self-Portrait
                                                 with Bandaged Ear," his necessary color washes in
                                                 despite greatcoat and pipe. Science has a word--
                                                 Xanthopsia--for when objects appear
                                                 more yellow than they really are, but who's  to say?
                                                 As yellow as they are, they are.

                                                         Maxine Kumin                                                                  

Mosaic on stone wall somewhere near Marval

Sunflowers & Wheat - Feuillade

Fading tournesol -  near St. Estephe

Sunflowers - Charras

"The Wound is the place where the light enters you" - Rumi

Golden spools of hay - Charras

Silver Threads & Golden Needles

Harvest time

Sauna days & hot sticky blue-black nights; wood doves calling (though never complaining).  Hard to believe in June the cows were knee deep in lush grasses, standing water. Now the bone dry fields look like they've had a crewcut, hay spun into golden spools; hawks in attendance waiting for the slip of a careless mouse. This thought crosses my mind:  how could anyone be sad living next to a field of sunflowers?"  Later biking home, I see the sunflowers drooping and fading.  Alors, a tiny bleeding edge of sorrow, like a razor cut.

                                             A Haiku from my brother Mark
"Our Dreams Explain Us"

  Like cats caught in snarls of light
Pouncing on mouse hopes 
Life stalks imagined joys

"Poetry is the past which breaks out into our hearts."  Rilke

There are so many ways to enter the divine -- light is just one of them, breathing is another; poetry, meditation, bells, Kirtan chants, birdsong, Beehive Flowers, painting, Sufi whirling,  Pavarotti, Sigur Ros, the color Indigo, the scent of a rose, une bouteille de vin de Bordeaux 2009, deux verres and Beauty, Beauty, Beauty.  

The Soul of a Rose - John William Waterhouse, 1908

And let's not forget TAROT...

Below, a mural on the wall of the Maisons des Associations, where they still play Jeu de Tarot.  Hiking  on the Voie Verte (old railway line) one fine summer's day, I saw a small sign exclaiming "Tarot Ce Soir" on the way into the obscure little village of St. Germain de Montbron. Oh how thrilled I was, rushing in like Madame Blavatsky thinking I'd uncovered another chapter for "The Secret Doctrine!"  Tant pis... instead, a group of garrulous, old Frenchmen, drinking tumblers of amber colored Pinaud, playing Jeu de Tarot.  They were happy for me to join them, but I didn't really know les regles (the rules), though I managed to take a tumble(r).   

Tarot cards from a deck intended for games, not divination - 15th c.

Mural - Club de Tarot - St. Germain de Montbron

                                                                  You can                                                                                                                    die for it--
                                                                   an idea,
                                                                   or the world.  People

                                                                   have done so,
                                                                   their small bodies be bound

                                                                   to the stake,
                                                                   an unforgettable
                                                                   fury of light. But

                                                                   this morning,
                                                                   climbing the familiar hills
                                                                   in the familiar 
                                                                   fabric of dawn, I thought

                                                                   of China
                                                                   and India
                                                                   and Europe, and I thought
                                                                   how the sun

                                                                   for everyone just
                                                                   so joyfully
                                                                   as it rises

                                                                   under the lashes
                                                                   of my own eyes, and I thought
                                                                   I am so many!
                                                                   What is my name?

                                                                   What is the name 
                                                                   of the deep breath I would take
                                                                   over and over for all of us?  Call it

                                                                   whatever you want, it is 
                                                                   happiness, it is another one 
                                                                   of the ways to enter
                                                                                        Mary Oliver

Sunrise by the stone table - Chateau de Charras