Pythian Games

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which character would you be in a painting

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Inspired by the delightfully irreverent description of a painting in Sheila Hancock’s book “Just me” I “googled” the painting. It is called “St Mark preaching in Alexandria” and was painted by Gentile and Giovanni Bellini. Hancock describes the painting thus:

“… is an extraordinary hotchpotch. It seems to be set in St Mark’s Square, with a version of the Basilica sitting amongst various mosques and obelisks and towers, as well as the odd camel and giraffe. St Mark is standing on a rostrum that looks like a portable canal bridge. And he is, for some reason, wearing a pink frock and a blue stole borrowed from the Virgin Mary. There are some ladies with flowerpots on their heads, completely covered with white sheets, and some men in huge turbans made from the same material. Standing in rows are the mystified members of the scuola that commissioned the picture, one of whom is turning his head to whisper to the man next to him, ‘who are all these weirdos?’”

Some years ago, on a long car journey, I came up with a writing prompt for myself:

If you were a character in a painting, which painting would it be, who would you be and why? You could extend this perhaps by writing something of a back story for your chosen character.

I made a note of my prompt and put it away for future use. It is only now that I have decided to do something with it.

Alexandria, March 15, 1507

For the last few days Alexandria has been a hive of activity. Easter has come and gone, hardly noticed by anyone except the small Christian community living here, to which I belong. However, today is the big day everyone else has been waiting for: St Mark is due to preach in the main square. Notices informing us of this unexpected event were posted throughout the city a few days ago and the possible subject of his sermon has been the main topic of conversation. I don’t know anyone who has heard him speak personally but by all accounts he is a charismatic speaker.

He was due to speak mid morning so I made my way to the square with plenty of time to spare to ensure that I got a good vantage point from which I would be able to see and hear him. I took the precaution of taking something to sit on as I feared I might be there for quite a long time. These traveling preachers are not known for their brevity! Sure enough the square was packed and, in the end, it was standing room only. Everyone had put on their best clothes. I didn’t have any choice in the matter for the members of our community all wear the same flowing white robes. The tall hats we wear under our veils keep the worst of the heat off our heads and the veils of course protect our faces from the gazes of the curious. It has to be said that we can’t actually see very much through the veils, really just enough to see where we are going. Most of us chose to sit as it would be uncomfortable standing later on when the day warmed up. The city dignitaries were all out in force wearing their huge turbans. I often wonder why the turbans need to be so big. I imagine the skull caps worn by the clerics would be much more comfortable. And their ceremonial robes, consisting of several layers of fabric, with the outermost layer being heavily brocaded, must make them unbearably hot. Fortunately the sun didn’t come out until much later in the day, for which I was profoundly grateful.

Everyone was chattering away until St Mark appeared on the rostrum. He was introduced to the crowd which gradually hushed itself into a rapt audience and he began to speak. I have to admit I couldn’t follow most of what he said as he had a strong accent and very soon my attention began to wander. Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of a strange animal. Camels are a common sight in Alexandria but I could see a man leading an animal on a piece of rope. It was very tall and had a very long neck. I later discovered that it is called a giraffe and had been captured in a far away part of our land. Other people must have traveled quite long distances to come here too as they had brought their horses into the square. Positioned at many windows and on every balcony were more people watching the spectacle.

Eventually St Mark finished his sermon and the crowd dispersed. I got up with difficulty after sitting on the ground for so long. I picked up my cushion and made my way back to the coolness of our sisterhood’s dwelling, down one of the side streets leading off the square. Tomorrow we will return to our ordered routines but today was something special and I’m sure I’ll never forget the sight of that giraffe.

Who am I? the woman seated at the far right of the group with my hands clasped round my knees.

I had been wanting to write from this prompt for some time but have not been able to find on the internet the painting I had in mind. In my mind’s eye I can see the painting in the Hospitaal museum in Bruges which we visited some years ago. It was on one single panel and depicted the story of Patient Griselda. Patient Griselda has become synonymous with the long-suffering heroine of medieval story, whose husband subjects her to numerous trials in order to test her obedience/devotion I was struck by the fact that this painting told a complete story starting at the left side of the painting and working across to the right. I could remember that the two main characters were called Nicholas and Griselda. After “googling” for hours I found the story of patient Griselda but not the painting I had in mind. A painting, or rather three separate paintings, dated circa 1494, depicting the story, is to be found in Britain’s National Gallery.

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/master-of-the-story-of-griselda-the-story-of-patient-griselda-part-i

you can zoom in on the paintings to see them in greater detail. For the purpose of this writing prompt I would have chosen to be one of the family retainers in the third panel. Perhaps I will get round to writing this up one day …..

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Written by traveller2006

February 27, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Alyce’s Journey Out of the Grove

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DSCF4460started at:

http://www.dailywriting.net/SpottedDogSundae.htm

ended up at:

http://www.dailywriting.net/MadPartyRoom.htm

I am not following any old squirrel.  I don’t care what it does.  I am tired of chasing after animals that talk and walk and carry watches and all sorts of other nonsense.  Oh, I am not saying, oh Alyce dear, keep your feet on the ground, dear.  NO!  Oh no!  I mean to run and fly and dream and swim and do all sorts of things.  I am merely stating the bold, probably brainless fact that say unabashedly—I am not following someone else around on his dreams and journeys any longer.  I am not ignoring my own dreams any longer.  I am not subjugating my self or my desires any more.  I have had more than enough of that.  I am thirty-seven years old.  Yes, thirty-seven.  It is about bloody time I picked my own self up and asked her, what is it that you desire, Alyce dear?  So that is what I am going to do.  Pooh on that silly old squirrel!  we can spike that thing on a stick and set it over the fire to roast and cook!

First things first, I may have been the one to plant this grove, but I did not plant it to contain me.  I built it to give honor to the Goddess.  I designed it to give succor to my bleeding heart in time of need.  To honor the child that moved on without me.  To give myself a place to go, a sanctuary, where I could do nothing at all but sob or dance or scream or sing or any combination thereof, unaffecting and undisturbed by any other outside influence.  This grove indeed is a thing of wild beauty, grown strong, though a might twisted, watered as it has been by the tears of my fears and pains and angers and torments and pleasures and joys. Yet, it has grown, under the light of the moon, and the light of the sun.  This is a place of peace.  I have succeeded there.  Yes.

Though, now, we come to this second thing.  It is a circle, this grove.  There is no beginning and no end.  I created it this way.  Quite specifically.  It is made so that I may fly in or out as I chose.  Yet, here I stand, without my wings.  Somewhere along the line of living other people’s dreams, my wings were clipped and they’ve never grown back in and I just hadn’t taken the time to actually notice until now that maybe that isn’t such a good thing.  The trunks of my blessed trees have grown thick, crowding close to one another.  I am no longer the thin wiry beanpole I was as a child either.  I have curves and lumps and hairs growing where they ought not to be.  I have not kept up with my calling, with my Yoga, so my flexibility may be better than most, but it is nowhere near where it should be.  I think I can wend my way in between this branch and that, climb over here, slink under that.  I think I can make my way into the wood behind and beyond the grove.  Surely, it awaits my travails.

So, yes, it would have been easier to follow that simpering squirrel.  It is always so much easier to follow someone else as he goes about obtaining his desires, rather than fighting and standing strong to attain your own.  I am nothing if not determined.  The fire and flame of a hundred hundred red-heads flows through these veins, even if I show up as a blonde without the latest dye with which I’ve tried to pollute the coloration of my lovely locks.  I do not take no for an answer and I can be both bitter and brutal once I set my mind to things.  I am hard to dissuade.

Sigh.  Why are these things always so hard?  Why can’t I be the princess locked in the tower?  I could grow my hair long enough to use it as a rope to climb down all by myself.  No.  I plant a freaking jungle that I have to crawl through on my belly, with sweat clotting in my eyes and stinging its way down my sides.  Yes, that’s me.  Never the one to take the easy road.  Give me the long dark and scary ride, every time.

Ok.  Now, I am out of my grove.  And, uhm, it’s dark out here.  So, three, where did all that sunlight go?  Hey, where’s my Mother Moon?  Round and glowing in her silver fullness?  I will gladly take the shadows, if only I may catch a glimpse of the returning light to guide me and let me know I am on the right track.  I can’t even see the stars for all the veg clouding and covering things.  It is rather disenchanting.  I can smell the ripe scent of loam and things that grow.  It is not always a pretty smell.  No little twinkle for Alyce here, hey?  Not even the smallest of glows?

Oh, look.  Lightning bugs.  All over the place.  Lying across leaves, piled two and three high in places.  I guess for them I shall look away, out of decency’s sake there.  Nevertheless, they are lights, tiny little butt-shaking lights, but there you go.  Ask and ye shall receive, right?  I shall not look a gift horse in the mouth.  I feel safer now, with this tiny bit of something, strange as that may sound.

Now, to clomp and tromp my way through these woods, right?  Do I make a great deal of noise?  Hoping to frighten predators and prey alike?  Or do I go quiet and meek through the underbrush, praying nothing catches even a mere hint of me?  No.  I am not longer the meek and small.  Humble, I may be.  But tiny and voiceless?  Screw that.  That party left the building eons ago.  Boom, boom, boom, here I come.  Fe fi fo fum, I’m coming to drink you dry, Englishman.  You had better have something more than ale, although water alone would be so fine right now.

As I stalk these woods, meaner than any mountain lion, screeching out my own warrior song as I go, hoping to turn away bears and beasts galore with my raucous song, where should my mind be?  Do I contemplate each vital leaf upon each hungry branch?  Do I reach out, plum my own depths, forcing my way into my darker crevices to pry out the loose bits that have long caused me dread?  Do I dig even deeper to excavate those long forgotten and now forlorn things I once called dreams?  Do I let go of the past, allow it to remain buried, and in many instances allow the wind to carry the ashy remnants far from me in every direction?  Or do I stop and cry to the wind to teach me?  To bring me new things, things I have not thought of, things I had not dreamed possible?  Am I stopping my own progress by wanting the things I want to want…or am I driving myself onward to attain these blessed goals?  Do I avoid the forest for the trees…or are the trees avoiding me in their own lost pursuits?  What does it take to be able to really see around here?  Where do I go to obtain some semblance of clarity?

I decide, as I push and shove and snarl my way through vine and leaf, that I shall think of not even one thing, and see what my monkey mind throws at me.  If the monkey mind throws enough…stuff…my way, surely some of it will stick, right?  If I can get past the smell, to see the diamond buried in the stink, so to speak, then, certainly, I shall have a winner on my hands, won’t I?

Here we are, now.  Where are we?  Four?  Five?  I’ve lost count, what with all this singing and the monkey slinging.  What is it here, the cream rising to the top….

I never really want the Barbie lifestyle.  The husband, the kids, the dog, the white picket fence.  I wanted all those things, yes, except maybe for that white picket fence thing, but not in the way everyone else does.  I never expected to genuinely settle down, to have that sort of peace that having a real family brings.  I also thought the children at my hearth would be brought to me, not had by me.  The man I never expected to stay that long.  Long enough maybe to create a child before moving on.  I have always anticipated and planned to be a single mom.  I don’t think til now I actually realized that.  I meant to have my farm, to have to fight to keep things together, to grow things to survive more than to be ecologically sound, to take in all manner of strays and heal them up and get them ready to live again.

That’s not all together what I want any more.  I still want the children.  I want children of my own.  If others come to me through whatever means, then so be it and blessings come.  If we have the farm, terrific.  If we plant the garden in our backyard in the middle of the city, so long as we can have some chickens and a goat or two, I would be happy and proud.  Well, fine, even without the chickens or goats, I’d be happy and proud.  I want that husband now, the good one, the one that stays and works through things, the one who does not lie or cheat or steal or any of those other things I am so used to when it comes to men.  I want that disconnect from humanity, while still maintaining the vital vibrant edge of things, so that I may share my journey with others, to drag them along and show them the way to set down their chains and let go of all the things they allow to hold them down.  I want to show them how they can stop following every rabbit, squirrel and corn nut that comes their way with a brilliant idea that is nothing like what they honestly want out of things.

Hey, look, isn’t that the sun?  Is it dawn already?  Here I stand now, at the edge of a great cliff, looking down into the depths of a roiling river.  I can’t swim, but, you know what?  I don’t care right now.  I shall launch my frail frame into the air and dive into that swirling massive pool.  I shall learn to shift myself into the ever-regenerating salmon, the one who does not wither and die upon spawning, but the one who continues to swim back year after year after year.  I shall dive down deep, cleanse myself from the sweat and grit and grime of my overland journey, before bursting back to the surface with a renewed sense of…everything.

I look forward now, planning out, with very little detail and only bunches and bunches of hope and desire, the path I shall take from here on out…..look out, Universe, here I come.  I’m playing by my rules now.

written, drawn and painted by Tabitha Kietero

Written by Tabitha Low

August 31, 2009 at 8:47 pm

The Map of my heart – version 2

with 4 comments

I knew I would have to re-visit this exercise

http://www.dailywriting.net/MichaelianWeb.htm

A Journey across the Map of my Heart – or – My Life as Metaphor.

At dawn I broke camp on the shores of the Sea of Dreams.  The night birds whose beguiling siren songs had echoed through my sleeping had gone to roost and the day promised to be warm and sunny.  Kicking dirt over the ashes of my fire I shouldered my pack and left.  I had been told the city of Hope lay to the north so I set off in that direction.

‘Its four day hard trek,’ said an old timer I met in the bar at Sea Haven.  ‘That’s if you don’t get delayed on the way,’ he’d added with a sly grin.

Sea Haven was my home town.  I loved her crooked streets and the old weathered houses that tumbled down the hillside to the bay but I was young and had stars in eyes.  I wanted more than the murmur of the sea on the shore and sweet, known faces that whispered comforting lullabies.

The road to Hope was crowded with distracting diversions and I dallied a while savouring the exotic fare and tasting dangerous treats. Eventually the attractions paled and I continued on to the city of Hope.  At first I was daunted by the size of the place.  For many months I lived in the shanty town outside the city walls desperately seeking a way into the upper echelons.  Then, after years of striving, I carved out a niche for myself on the thirteenth floor of a gleaming tower block.

The citizens of Hope, it transpired, were hungry for dreams.  I gathered together all those I had garnered at the sea shores of my youth, added an alluring sheen with a lick of polish and sold them off.  I met a man who wrote love songs that sold as quickly as he wrote them and I fell under his spell.  We married, amalgamated our careers and worked together in our thirteenth floor offices selling our dreams and love.  It wasn’t long before we made enough money to buy ourselves a house in the suburb of Aspiration.  After a few years we had a brood of children and had purchased everything that opened and shut.

What we didn’t do was re-locate our business. One day those thirteenth floor bad luck stories caught up with us.  There was a price to pay for selling off our dreams and love it seemed.  The storehouses were running dry.  Sometimes we woke to stare into each other’s eyes not knowing who the stranger beside us was.  To salvage what few dreams we had left we sold up and left Hope for good.

‘We want to be part of the greening not the despoiling,’ we told each other.  We found a fine farm in the wooded hills that lay to the east of the city.  The Meandering Mountains they were called on the map but it wasn’t long before we learned the local name, The Heartbreak Hills.  The name had been coined in the early days of white settlement.  Clearing the steep slopes had been back breaking toil and bushfires, flooding rains and infestations of caterpillars added to the misery.  People walked off farms in their droves.  All that was past history by the time we arrived.  The name lingered on only in folklore as a quaint memory of times past.  Bush fires still raged in the upper reaches but down in the foothills the land had been cleared so much there was nothing left to burn.  Our own farm was flood prone but we put in a place a permaculture system to harvest the water.  The caterpillars we dealt with by using organic sprays.

At first all went well.  The children flourished in the clean air.  The gardens grew and my songwriter husband found new songs in the rush of wind in the tree tops.  As for myself, I was content in the idyllic world of organic gardens, healthy children and a loving husband. I felt I could meander in those hills forever.  Our winters were warm and cosy in the glow of love and our summers slow and joyous as we holidayed at Lake Tranquillity.  Always though the Heartbreak Hills were at our back waiting.  Death lurked in the twisted, narrow hill roads and claimed my husband one fine morning.

I struggled on alone for a while but The Heartbreak Hills had more to throw at me. The gardens wilted in years of drought and the money started to run out. The children threatened to grow as twisted as the roads as isolation and hardship gnawed at their minds.  I sold the farm and moved us all down to large regional centre named Reliable.  The solid buildings of the town protected us and I got a mundane job working for someone else.  I had no dreams left to sell.  The children straightened out in the paved, grid like streets and I no longer lay awake at night worrying.  Instead my feet walked the same streets every day, I shopped for the same things in the same stores every week and did the same job week in, week out.  When a man  with a storm on his back came riding into town on a Harley I was intrigued.  He wooed me with his sweet talking words that echoed  the dreams that had once sung in my head.  The storm brewing behind him was dark and fierce but I turned my back on it and listened as he crooned, ‘Come with me away from all of this drudgery to a place where romance and adventure will lighten your step.’

Pretty soon the children and I were all swept up in the storm and carried off by the man to a little cottage nestled at the foot of Mt. Disappointment.  ‘What’s in a name?’ I said to the children.  ‘It’s just a title some explorer gave it when he didn’t find the gold he was looking for.  It’s nothing to do with us.’  Another child was born as the man tuned the Harley’s engine until it hummed and the storm gathered force behind him.  ‘I’ll be off now,’ he said as the autumn mists closed in and reduced the world to a grinding round of wet baby clothes and sullen teenagers.  ‘I’ll earn us some money back in Hope and come  for you all in spring.’

Winter came and the winds blew cold off the snows atop Mt. Disappointment.  The baby was colicky and the teenagers sulked.  Spring came but the man did not return.  My mother called.  ‘Come home to Sea Haven,’ she said.  ‘The children need family’.  We went, glad to put distance between us and the disapproving stares of the burghers of Reliable and biting cold of the mountains.

Back in Sea Haven the teenage children grew up fine and strong in the embrace of family.  They scattered to the corners of the globe chasing dreams.  I wiled away the years working non demanding jobs, beach combing and catching dreams as the tides swung in and out.  My parents aged and withered away.  My youngest child grew withdrawn and silent in our now empty house.  He needed more than salt air and the lonely cry of the gulls over the headland.  I was restless with mid life energy and I wanted out myself.  We packed the car and headed off across the country to the far away town of Ambience, the place everyone wanted to live in.  The stuff of dreams itself.

‘Maybe,’ I reasoned, ‘I can resurrect some of my old entrepreneurial skills and sell my dreams again.’  When we got to Ambience it turned out the stories about the place were old news.  The place had gone up market and become an international tourist Mecca.  There was no way I could afford to buy a place there and the rents were astronomical.  The dreams I had for sale all reeked of yesterday.  They didn’t have the glitz the international tourists demanded.  We lived in dingy flat above the shop I managed selling very little.  The alley behind the shop was littered with used needles, ferals roamed the streets at night and I felt like howling at the moon.  The climate didn’t agree with my southern reared son and the rent was overdue.  We packed the car again and fled.

Life got serious after that.  We settled in the industrial city of Ambition.  I worked hard trying to tailor my dreams into something marketable in the gloom and doom of the post millennia world. Once again, nothing much sold. My son grew and avoided reality by taking endless tertiary courses that all seemed to feed into one another but never into the work force. The years rolled by. The map of my heart broadened to include secret destinations in my mind called names like the River of Solace, the Island of Resolution, the refined and cultured town of Ponder and the awful Lake Desultory where I sometimes drifted for long hours as I waited for the sound of my son’s car in the driveway at night. Worst of all is the Swamp of Despair where I have occasionally lingered for days.

Now I look out through the driving rain that so often sweeps through this city to the steel grey hills beyond and wonder ‘What next?  Where to now?’  The Sea of Dreams lies in my past and I am not called to return there but I can still hear the murmur of the waves and catch a suggestion of dreams yet to be explored.  I lived in the city of Hope long enough to know that one day a chink of light will shine through all this rain and I’ll find a way out.  I’ll strike out to new horizons and the map of my heart will expand yet again.

map 2

Written by Suzanne

August 12, 2009 at 8:06 am

Posted in Pythian Challenges

Outsiders Family

with 3 comments

prompt found at http://www.lostsoulcompanion.com/

via  http://www.dailywriting.net/dailygrind.htm

100_2198

I’ve said it too many times before.  I am an Outsider.  I’ve always been an Outsider,  I’ve always been searching.  I’ve always been too afraid to be the person I really want to be.

What happens when one Outsider takes up with another Outsider?  Do you think we can recognize our own kind?  Whether the other one will openly admit to the Outsider status or not?

I knew the moment I saw him that we were kindred spirits.  Of course, I was fed a lot of felonious information about him before we met as well.  That turned out to be fine in the end.  We got over that.

We were friends.  Real friends.  I trusted him implicitly from the start.  For me, that may be the strangest thing of all.  Me.  Trusting a man.  And not even a thought about using my feminine wiles to entrap or twist things where he was concerned.  I admit, I set him up on a pedestal.  I expected him to keep me safe, without being as base as every other man I had ever known.

I knew all along, talking to him, what he was.  An Outsider, like me.  In conversation one night, he even admitted as much to me.  I don’t know if anyone else had ever heard such a thing from him.  He is such a good man.

Slipping from friend into the role of lover was, not always an easy process for me.  Any kind of relationship is tough on me, with all my baggage.  After trying for so much of my life to fit into molds that weren’t made for me just to please other people…and failing miserably.  Here was a man who knew me, knew all my foibles and misdeeds.  A man who stood by me regardless.  Held my hand and rubbed my back and wiped my tears.

Then we were alone together, much closer than friends can ever be, truly within one another’s space.  Working our way even deeper into one another’s hearts.  Having always been an Outsider, I was afraid.  Afraid the relationship part would destroy the friendship. I am afraid of any relationship.  And here was a man from whom I could not escape, even should I want to.  He knows me so well.  Plus, he is the only man I care about enough to stop fighting things, stop baiting, stop running when he asks.  He says please and I am defenseless.

Despite all the inherent fears that play havoc with me during this time, as we strive to build the foundation of our future together, I have to stop and look around.  Here I am, allowed to be my Outsider self, in all my glory.  Here I am able to do my work, to write all day if I so wish, to tear the kitchen table to pieces and stack it high with magazines and newspaper clippings, to cordon off the den as I pilfer through fabrics and patterns in search of just the right things for that perfect moment.  Here I am able to say let’s go for a drive so we can find some cool trees for me to take pictures of so I can bring them home to sketch and to paint.  I have a man who routinely bits up sticks and twigs and brings them home for me, anxious to see what doll will come forth from my fevered mind, once the energy to work it hits me.

What sort of family life can we have?  I am an Outsider.  I have given birth to Outsiders as well.  Are they born or are they raised that way?  I think we are born and raised.  Some born to it; some raised to it; some both born and raised,  I am a born and raised Outsider.  I am always on the outside looking in.

All I can say is I now have a network of Outsider friends.  We are not in daily contact.  That is simply not how we work.  But we do have contact.  We do know another of our own kind when we see them.  I cannot perfect things for my children, but I can help them acknowledge and find their own ways, their own space.  And I can include them in mine.

written by:

Tabitha

Written by Tabitha Low

July 22, 2009 at 6:21 am

52nd Avenue West

with 12 comments

by Anita Marie Moscoso

inspired by

Portals and Pavements

One night

in my neighbor’s front yard

I saw a man digging  a hole just up off of the sidewalk

by the orange glow of a streetlight

which kept flashing off and on with a buzz and a hum and a click.

I asked the man if he was burying something.

Buzz. Hum. Click.

Maybe it was one of Mrs Figueroa’s many black cats which were always running around in the street in the middle of the night.

Was it one of her cats I asked.

Buzz. Hum. Click.

They were all fine he told me.

Maybe he was helping to move around one of Mrs Figueroa’s many rose bushes that dotted her fence line. Maybe Mrs. Figueroa wanted one of her white rose bushes right under her living room window where she could see it when she opened her curtains in the morning.

Is that what he was doing, moving flowers around? I asked.

Buzz. Hum. Click.

No.

So- come one- what gives I ask, what are you burying here in the dark under a streetlight that won’t stay on.

I’m not burying anything he told me.

Buzz. Hum. Click

I’m digging something up.

Click.

Written by Anita Marie

July 14, 2009 at 12:23 am

Standing At The Dig Tree

with 6 comments

Prompted by standing in front of the dig tree,

found here:  http://www.outbackonline.net/digtree/dig_main.htm

 

DSC08018

 

 

I don’t want to dig anymore.

I don’t want to think anymore.

My head is killing me.  Every little thing I turn to catch a glimpse of today is bringing tears to my eyes.

I don’t want to play this game anymore.

I just want to turn around, go back to bed, pull the covers up over my head and pretend I never have to move again.

I can’t do that either.  I know that.

The kids need to eat…the dog has to pee. 

So many people are depending upon me, my calming voice, my compassionate sense of integrity…at least that’s what they tell me.

 

How did I get to be this person? 

It is what I always wanted to be, always wanted to do, just not the way I thought it would be.  This isn’t exactly the how of what I wanted things to be.  I never wanted to be at the telephone’s beck and call day and night.  I do so much better with people when we are talking in person. 

Then there are my children.  All I ever wanted was a family, a safe place for the kids, for me.  A space we could trust. 

Everything is all in the details.  I have what I want, basically, mostly, simply not in the fashion that I have been wanting it.

it is in my power to change the way things are, to turn them in the direction I am wanting them to go. 

But my question returns again and again to how…

 

Let me blame it on the coming full moon….let me blame it on the weather…let me blame it on the economy..something..whatever excuse it takes to make me feel less weak and less out of control…less tossed about in stormy seas….

 

But, I can’t do that.  I hate blaming any and everything else.  I don’t like that.  I would rather accept the blame, man up and take the responsibility, even when I know it’s not me, not mine to shoulder and bear.  I know it’s easier for most people to blame others rather than accept things as their own issues.  Life with those exes taught me a lot about that.  More than I care to mention. 

 

So, where do I go from here?  What do I do?

Where do I start?

 

I was asked this question today, via bloglandia: “If no one had ever told you who you were, who would you be?”

 

Oh, the places within me that resonate for that question, crying to be heard, to be understood, to be set free…

I have no choice now, now that my whining here is done.

I have to pick up my shovel and go digging…

I will let you know what I find.  It may be easier for me to tell you than it is for me to tell myself…

Thanks for listening…

 

written by Tabitha K

http://onthewrongsideofthemirror.wordpress.com/

http://knittingjourneymanredux.blogspot.com/

Written by Tabitha Low

June 5, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Mirror, Mirror

with one comment

Prompt found at:

http://dailywriting.net/mirrorceremony.htm

 

Sweet ever-lasting life, here I am again, wandering through these corridors, trying to find the way, any way, the right way.  I know how I got here, trapped in the castle of my own mind.  I am not so certain how to get back out again.  I wander these halls, back and forth, up and down.  I don’t know what I am looking for.  There are so many locked doors.  Words like ‘oubliette’ scripted across brass plaques hanging across the thresholds.  This is my mind; this is my place.  I have been here countless times before, but I’ve never felt so lost, this discombobulated. 

There are whispers here.  The very walls speak, in hushed tones.  I am not afraid.  These voices are familiar to me.  I hear them every day.  Those shy voices, not always sweet or mild, but always consistent.  One may call them intuition, gut instinct, the higher self.  I know them simply as The Voices.  There is no meanness in them.  There is no taunting.  They keep the bitter voices from my past away.  These voices now, they lift me up; they support me.  Yet, as I wander like some lost princess in a faery dream, they offer me no assistance.  I hear the sound of them all, but am able to discern no words.  I cannot fathom why they should turn from me in this manner.

I keep on walking.  There is a thick layer of dust everywhere.  It clings like murky disillusionment, caught in the spider’s web, turned into stunning silks of greys and browns, coverlets to protect this world from turning old and disintegrating.  I used to love to amble through these wide halls.  There used to be torches every few feet, set deeply and soundly into sconces.  There used to be well-polished chandeliers in every room.  Musicians playing in the ballroom.  People dancing.  Others with which to while away the hours, talking and laughing, exploring the depths of the place, inside and out.  The castle is surrounded by a huge garden, full of flowers, tall trees, chattering birds.  Or at least it used to be.  Every time I find a door leading out I find myself at the entrance to a  mammoth labyrinth, overgrown, dark, and strangling.  Whenever I look out any window, I see the same thing, all over again.  This hungry ravaging labyrinth, lying in wait to swallow me up inside.

How did all of this happen?  Where did all the glow go?  Why did everything start to die off?  What happened in here?  Better yet, why seek out the past?  There is no reason to cast blame, to find out who could be responsible.  What is done is done.  Better to let it go and leave it lie.  Better to touch it, hold it, kiss it good-bye and lay it all to rest. How do I bring back the light to my inner realm?  The life?  To whom can I go to hire cleaners to scrub and dust and buff?  Where can I go to gather up my violin players and pianists?  Where is he with flute and fife and drum?  Let them come to me and play.  Let me play.  Let me roam with freedom and glee throughout these hallowed halls of memory.  Let me taste love, success.  Let me know me once again.

It is no easy process this.  It took time to sink into ruin.  It will take time to raise it up again.  Where can I find paint and brush?  Maybe even just a crayon or two.  How can I part these heavy leaden curtains, bring back the light, the glow of the Moon?  I am more than willing to get down on my hands and knees, use my shirt to scrub away the grime.  I shall use my tears to wash away these cinders.  Let my castle be my own once again.

Please.  Oh please.  Just give me a clue.  Give hint to which direction I should turn.  I am not afraid of hard work.  I am afraid of the gloom.

I hear one whisper, now louder than all the rest.  I am drawn to the mirror, gallant and gilt, standing at the end of the hall.  I see a face there, a fabulous conglomeration of reds and bronzes.  My own wind dragon, beckoning from the other side of the mirror.  Which side is mine?  Where do I truly belong?  How do I fix things?  If things can change on one side, surely they can change on the other.

I reach out, my fingertips stroking the chilled silver surface, as my dragon friend writhes like a dog, trying to get his head scratched through the filmy glass between us.  The scent of burning amber floods my mind.  Something reaches out, grabs me.  I am off.  I fly.  I can see nothing at all around me in the split second it takes for me to be snatched from one realm to not quite the next.

When I am able to see, I find myself In-Between.  There is nothing here, just me, just my dragon floating gently in the non-air around me.  There is no reason to ask silly questions, so I skip the normal ‘where are we?’ and head straight for, ‘what should I do now?’  Dragon chuckles, chuffing warm air into my hair to calm me.  I get no other response.  It seems everything then is to be left up to me.  I shake my head.

Who am I?  The Queen of Dreams?  Do I know what to do?  Or even where to start if I did have a clue?  I am seeking guidance and receiving none.  I look around once more.  Dragon does not pause.  I see support before me.  I am not alone.  That is where I shall start.  What to do now?  I dragon ride is surely called for.  I reach out and grab one hefty paw.  He helps draw me up so I can swing onto his back.  Time to take a ride and see what we can see along this side.  Time to find that space and then decide.

 

 

Dragon in the Mirror

Dragon in the Mirror

 

 

written and drawn by Tabitha K

http://onthewrongsideofthemirror.wordpress.com/

http://knittingjourneymanredux.blogspot.com/

Written by Tabitha Low

June 5, 2009 at 4:12 am