Monthly Archives: June 2017

A Bibliomantic Tale VI…

The Silent Eye

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A Prisoner of Portmeirion?

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Resistance

“Pages Two-Five-One and Two-Five-Two”

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No 8 (Light)

‘The sexual origin of the lingam is, of course, obvious, but this only brings out the extraordinary depth of understanding in ancient India. Sex was always regarded as something ‘holy’ – I think it still is, except where the Indian spirit has been corrupted by the West. The lingam was therefore a natural symbol of the sacred ‘source of life’… The natural reaction of a European is to think that this is something ‘obscene’; but to me it seemed a touching expression of the sense of the sacred, the awareness of the essential holiness of nature and of faith in her generative powers.’

– Bede Griffiths

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It would be easy to be distracted by the Candy-House allure of Clough Williams-Ellis’s nothing-is-quite-what-it-seems creation.

But soon enough the false facade’s and painted-on windows lead one to…

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Stairways of the mind…

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“There are a lot of ugly looking lions in Portmeirion.”

We shrink from wondering whether or not one of them is devouring the Buddha’s missing right forearm.

“And lots of steps.”

“Number Six spends a lot of time in the village running up and down steps.”

Run up one set of steps in Portmeirion and a Mansion becomes a Two-up-Two-down.

Run down another and one is accosted by a plaster-cast-christ declaiming on a balcony from which depends a black sheep.

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“Soft clothes?”

“Perspective. One is spatial, the other, intellectual.”

“Clever that.”

Here, the ridiculous jostles with the sublime to unfeasibly pleasing effect.

“It’s nothing more than a clutter and jumble of odds and sods, lovingly reassembled into, well, something, uncluttered and well ordered.”

“Much like memories, perhaps.”

“Or what memory makes of experience.”

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In the corner of that courtyard there, a manicured tree sprouts in-front of a doorway.

Or rather, a doorway, which leads nowhere, has been constructed behind a tree which is then kept manicured.

Its the perfect place in which to reconsider one’s cardinal points and be reminded of one’s priorities.

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An Eye full of Reflections (4)

The Silent Eye

As the land-train pulls out of the main square in Portmeirion, we head up into the forest. There are three distinct internal regions within the Portmeirion site. The first is the village, itself; the second is the coastal walk; and the third is the forest walk. The little train follows the forest road, but stops to give a view of the coast in several places. Sometimes, it’s difficult to separate the often wicked humour of the creator of Portmeirion – Clough Williams-Ellis, from the mental overlay that hunters of the ‘Prisoner experience’ project onto this unique place.

Station names like: Salutation, Old Castle, Playground, and Shelter Valley all take on a secondary, if not intended meaning within the context of following the McGoohan mind as you attempt to tease out the secrets of this landscape embedded in the Prisoner series.

We had invited our companions to spend their own time…

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Disquiet

strangegoingsonintheshed

man-1519665_1920 Image: Pixabay

He wakens, sends forth visions of disquiet. No words are offered, only cobweb shrouded dreams.

Ancient battles rage, move through forests of memories.  They sear like a brand, Subdue with righteous anger. Punished are we children of the twilight, creatures forged in hunger and envy. 

Enchanter is he. Dragon, forged in fire, weaver of life. Seer and bringer of a Death unremitting. Guardian of treasures none but the illumined can see. That is, only through the gates of Void and Silence.

What is He? The words written on this scroll only serve to deepen the disquiet I’m feeling. I know very well what He is but hoped it would not be so. Creatures like him glide silently through the corridors of our dreams; bringing confused thoughts and unawakened desires. He tests us, touches the veils of awareness. Legends unfurl like the petals of night blooming Hellebore. I see his history and it…

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The Wyrm and the Wyrd: Under hill… and under construction

The Silent Eye

The road through Snowdonia was spectacular…at least, once we had left behind the rush hour traffic on the main coast road that delayed us.  Realising we might miss the pre-evening drinks, my companion sent a text to say we would be a little late, while I tackled roads I would otherwise have loved to play on. It had been a long, fabulous day and we were looking forward to a shower and a change of clothes before dinner. It was not until we reached the hotel in Tremadog that we found the message alerting us to a change of plan and a scramble to reach the restaurant in time for dinner.

The tide was out when we reached Borth-y-Gest, a Victorian village on the Glaslyn estuary. Boats were beached on the sands of the little harbour and distant clouds blurred the view across the river to the Rhinog Mountains. After…

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The Wyrm and the Wyrd: ‘I am not a number’

The Silent Eye

There were people… two of them… heading towards the Druids Circle… so we wandered over to have a look at the intriguing cluster of stones we could see just over the rise in the land. The trouble with these complex sites is that you would need a whole day on the hills just to see them all, let alone begin to ‘join the dots’, see their relationship to each other in the wider context and begin to make any sense of the landscape. Even in this small area of hilltop, there are several stone circles, cairns, barrows, an ancient stone axe factory and a stone alignment. And then there is this… classified only as ‘Monument 280’ or a ‘stone setting’. No-one seems to know what it is.

So close to the Druids Circle, on a hilltop where the only collections of stones are part of recognised ritual structures, it must…

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The Wyrm and the Wyrd: Greeting the Druid…

The Silent Eye

You could not wish for a more spectacular setting for a stone circle. Perched high above the sea, with views to distant mountains in every other direction, it is  a magnificent site. A slight rise to the seaward side blocks the view of the modern quarrying and, from within the circle, there  is no visible trace of the modern world at all.

It is easy, here, to rebuild in imagination the fallen stones. There were once thirty of them standing, now only eleven remain upright. Even so, they have a presence impossible to capture on camera. It is a place to simply sit in wonder. To sit and wonder too what our forebears were thinking when they quarried Penmaen-mawr in the 1920s, decapitating the 1500 ft  summit by the simple expedient of destroying Braich-y-Dinas, the Iron Age hillfort that crowned it… which was one of the largest in Europe. No trace…

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A Bibliomantic Tale V…

The Silent Eye

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Borth-y-Gest from Portmeirion Beach

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 “We have Take-Off!”

Resignation

“One-Nine-One, or One-Nine-Two?”

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No 3 (Light)

‘Suddenly the world

Cracks, the phallos

Slams home, slams the ineluctable stroke.

And the universe splits, the touched-off tinder,

Fired by that blazing torch

Detonates all the tamped and pounded down empacted intensity.’

– William Everson

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“I think we were all surprised by that reading.”

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“We’ll save the dark reading for back at the Hotel.”

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No 2 (Dark)

‘How long they lie each never knows.

This prayer, their one worship. A worship

Learned in the years. For youth leans on them:

They are getters of children: known much and have suffered.

In the deeps of the soul have ached for each other,

Accepting suffering…

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And now in their night

They know the incarnational join: body to body

Twain in one flesh…

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Out in the night the River…

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