Monthly Archives: March 2017

Considering White-Skunk III…

*

That White-Skunk possess power is not in doubt.

Bald-Eagle himself is wary of it.

The point at issue is the uses to which that power is put.

White-Skunk uses his power as a weapon to serve his own ends alone.

He heals Meadow-Lark of a wound, that he himself has inflicted, only in return for information on the whereabouts of his musk-sac.

Could any act be more worthy of the phrase ‘to take advantage’?

*

The camp of the Clever-Fellows appears to be a Star-Realm.

Here White-Skunk’s musk-sac sparkles like a star and is given as a child’s play-thing.

This is one of the highest honours that can be bestowed but it enrages White-Skunk who regards it as a slight.

When White-Skunk approaches the outskirts of the Star-Fields he is granted an object lesson in the proper use of power.

His musk-sac is shared freely, in turns, by all…

*

*

Heedless of yet another life lesson White-Skunk returns from this spirit-quest and uses his brush with real power for self aggrandisement and as a means of terrorising his peers.

He then proceeds to mete out gifts and punishments as he sees fit on the basis of past favours or perceived misdemeanours.

*

White-Skunk’s third and final encounter with spirit proves fateful.

He sees Rice-Bird only for the spiritual treasures he holds.

But the treasures of a ‘dead’ spirituality are redundant.

Even had they been procured for the use of others which they palpably had not.

The Wolf brothers finally put White-Skunk out of his misery as he talks to, and plays with, himself amid his redundant treasures.

It could, and perhaps should, have been so different.

*

*

I have a notion…

Sun in Gemini

I have a notion

That eons’ light and dark

Have left their mark

Upon our inner ocean

I have a shadow

Whose lengthening crease

Is cast on mood and body’s peace

When walking muddy meadow

We have duration

The dog and I endure the grime

Of Cumbria’s winter prime

Intent on silence in privation

But then…

Like surgical precision

Spring’s herald of the special day

Will set that spiral switch to ‘play’

In alchemy of healing human fission

Enduring soul, dark knight

That through the darkening days

Must hold and trust in its own ways

Embraces reborn outer light

©Copyright Stephen Tanham 2017

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Mother of all Living…

*

The Spirit planted a garden on its holy mountain in the east.

It was sown with trees whose fruits were blazing jewels:

diamond, sapphire, and agate, emerald, sardonyx and cornelian, opal,

beryl, and topaz, malachite, garnet and amethyst.

*

In the centre of the garden grew the tree

of life; four streams, of milk, honey,

wine and oil issued from its roots.

*

The golden leaves and bright, crimson jewels which adorned

its branches, surpassed in beauty all the other created things,

and its glorious crown threw a radiant shadow over the garden.

*

The garden in the east was tended by Yva, the mother of all living.

 

Hidden tales

The Silent Eye

A veil of silence closes around the stories of my day. They are stories of love, and of loss, and of the heartache that we each experience at some point in our lives. Of the tragedies played out behind staid lace curtains or ultra-modern blinds, in the quiet precincts of home or the corridors of aseptic impersonality. They are all our human stories that mark the rites of life and the seeds of growth, defining the learning curve of emotion. And they touch us all, as soon as we open ourselves to love in any of its myriad guises.

What is the alternative? A bland life lacking in the emotional peaks and troughs…? While we think that we could happily live without the heartaches perhaps… without them would we be able to look up to the heights and appreciate their beauty? You only see the true glory of a mountain…

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Considering White-Skunk II…

*

Winged creatures are almost universally regarded as symbols of spirituality.

Is there any evidence to regard them as such in this tale?

Bald-Eagle has fire.

Meadow-Lark has far sight.

Rice-Bird can play dead.

Not a bad ‘trawl’.

*

*

On his way back to the lodge to re-instate ‘natural law’, Bald-Eagle creates a valley with his wings.

This valley alerts Skunk to Bald-Eagle’s cognisance of his ruse.

It is tempting to regard the rest of the action of the story as taking place within this ‘wing-formed’ valley.

*

*

The sight which greets Skunk on his return to the lodge is not a happy one.

Does Skunk show any remorse for the actions which have led to this unhappy state?

He does not.

He thinks only of revenge.

He thus reinforces and perpetuates the consequences of his original error.

*

*

The ‘reflection trick’ played by Bald-Eagle and the Plover sisters on Skunk may further emphasise their spiritual nature and Skunk’s now inevitable distance from that ideal.

His subsequent attempt to ‘storm the ramparts of heaven’ lead only to a further loss of status and also the loss of his, potentially, one and only saving grace.

Skunk’s musk-sac, caught in the current of the river, drifts off downstream without him.

*

Tipping the scales

Shamanic Paths

Field mouse (Found on Pinterest)

I hadn’t really thought it through properly, had I?

It has been a long, hard battle; over twelve years and counting; to control the problem. No, not mice – the cats!

When we moved into this house, whilst aware that the property had lain empty for over two years, we never imagined that, in that time, the local cat population would have, in our garden, established a de-facto latrine.

We were completely unprepared for the daily visit from every Moggie within prowling distance. Their right to befoul the entire area was never in doubt, in their minds at least. The derision with which they treated any human daring to enter their domain was, in equal measure, both frustrating and funny. Finding their little, fetid “presents” snuggled amongst the plants, underfoot, sprayed in your face, as the lawnmower picked up a fresh one, was…

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Exit in Trance…

*

…Face of moving water

Breathing in water

The water a breathing face…

*

Today I will speak to you

For, today, we hold a race

A sprint to the death

Whose spirit yields to the swiftest

The fleetest of foot…

*

He, who with the most fateful

Imagination of mind

Can picture the year

Bearing fruit

through a carnival of fear…

*

It is he whom we call great

He, who grants freedom to stars.

Magic in the night

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

A long time ago in a decade far, far away, a little girl sat enthralled, reading her way through the Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies.  She already knew that these were ‘fairy tales’…  real faeries were very different; not tiny winged fashion models, but something far deeper and older. The stories were good, though and anything that lived between the covers of a book was always magical.

There were tales of missing mer-children, silver slippers and all manner of poems and folk-tales. The only poem I remember was a tale of fairy music, calling as the fairies danced in the moonlight and the only line that always stayed with me was, ‘when a ring’s around the moon‘.

I looked it up. That’s the magic of the internet, right there. As soon as memory resurfaces, our fingers can trace what our conscious minds have lost…

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Considering White-Skunk…

*

The Opening dynamic resembles the ‘Edenic’ in so far as a prohibition is transgressed…

‘Do not eat from that tree, for you shall surely die.’

‘Do not cross the lodge, for you shall leave a stench.’

*

…And there is also a spacial parallel in that Skunk moves from a state of relative equilibrium to a state of outright hierarchy, although it could, perhaps, be argued that a state of equilibrium in which prohibitions are issued is no state of equilibrium at all.

*

At any rate, Skunk moves from a  safe and protected ‘inner’ state to a dangerous and unprotected ‘outer’ state of being, as a result of his actions, as do Adam and Eve as a result of theirs.

*

There are, though, some important, differences.

Were we to read Skunk’s tale literally, no one could blame the Plover and Frog sisters for Skunk’s ‘fall’ and no one could regard the sensual life as intrinsically ‘sinful’.

But then, why should we read the tale literally, it is a story after all?

Since when did ‘once upon a time’ suddenly become ‘this is how it is’?

The substitution of a dogmatic belief search, for the willing suspension of disbelief, in relation to stories, is an error which can never lead to  enlightenment.

Skunk’s error, on the other hand, is one of ‘natural order’.

The feminine prerogative of choosing a husband is perverted by his desire.

In satisfying this desire he also, inadvertently, transgresses the original prohibition.

He has to physically move the Plover Sisters from Bald-Eagle’s bed to his own.

From this, all Skunk’s ‘woes’ follow…

*

unfathomable and vast

dhamma footsteps

POSTCARD #256: New Delhi: No memory now of the journey, the three-legged hop from Chiang Mai, Bangkok to Delhi. Nor the specific sense of my wormhole through space-time, large enough but no bigger than my body size, songs of the mind, and belongings – things we cling to/ clings we thing to. The urgency of speed, an immense engine sound deafened, hidden, obscured and bubble-like enclosure built over it, designed with the dynamics of flight … the same plane flying to and from the same route all of its working life, and the ‘to’ becomes the ‘from’… no end, no beginning. Maintenance crews service the parts when it lands. From the engines’ point of view, everything is stationary. It’s the world that moves.

Arriving at the Delhi house then, with ears sucked out and everything familiar yet creepy, the coldness of known objects that’ve been unheld for all this time…

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