Tag Archives: meaning

The Celebration of Mister Fox: bestial cluster…

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Bear and Wolf,

And Dog and Fox are all closely related.

It is tempting to imagine a common ancestor;

Bigger than Wolf but smaller than Bear.

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But the official line has something

Much less rapacious originally slink down from the trees.

To replace what?

The Dinosaurs whose more agile brethren had taken to the air.

I wonder what Linnaeus would make of the Mister Fox procession,

As it snakes its way through the alleys and walkways

Of the Saturday night revelers, encouraging all to join its wake.

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“We saw Foxes!” says my companion.

Well, yes and no…

We saw something less

And something more than Foxes…

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Annus Tumulus – Tomb of the Year…

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‘Well almost…quite loosely speaking.’

‘Very loosely speaking.’

‘And no, it’s not a new quiz show. And nor are there any prizes. A tumulus is an artificial mound.’

‘And a natural mound is what?’

‘One that isn’t man made.’

‘Has it anything to do with tummies?’

‘Possibly… Not.’

‘Oh!’

‘Six tombs in one week isn’t half bad though. We’ll  be getting a reputation for morbidity.’

‘And on the seventh day…’

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‘On that day once, somebody quite famous said that if the ruins of Ancient Greece weren’t ruined no one would pay them much heed…’

‘The notion of being ‘quite famous’ tickles me. Like bragging about having once seen the Pope in order to ‘prove’ your spirituality.’

‘ …I sometimes feel exactly the same about our tombs.’

‘A lot depends on whether or not they’ve been opened…’

‘Ah, but the Gates of Pluto must never be unlocked, Little Grub.’

‘Why ever not?’

‘Because within those subterranean halls, dwell a people of dreams.’

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‘…East Kennet long barrow being a case in point.’

‘And it also depends upon whether the field in which they are situated happens to be navigable or not.’

‘I’d go and lie on East Kennet long barrow if we could get up to it.’

‘Well, maybe we can…’

‘East Kennet long barrow in the sun is a pleasing prospect.’

‘Mounds, artificial or otherwise, though especially tumuli, make pretty good viewing platforms too.’

‘Platforms for viewing what?’

‘Platforms for viewing the stars.’

‘The idea of East Kennet long barrow under the moon I like, possibly, even more than the prospect of sunshine…’

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‘Those three ‘Monstrous Mamas’ though, don’t look much like they belong to the rest of the monument.’

‘They were put there quite a bit earlier and were originally covered by earth.’

‘In fact, the recumbent looks vaguely Arbor Low-ish.’

‘More than vaguely, it could have been transported there from Arbor Low.’

‘Or it could have made its own way…’

‘Oh, don’t start that again.’

‘They still don’t know how the Blue Stones got from the mountains of Cymru to the lowlands of Stonehenge.’

‘They are, though, fairly certain that they didn’t get there under their own steam.’

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‘No, no, no… movement by steam came much, much later.’

‘…It’s the Cap-Stone presumably, or at least, part of it. How about volition, if you’re not happy with steam?’

‘Volition, I like. They have will these stones?’

‘One can probably wish on them to good effect… Propulsion?’

‘One can almost certainly wish upon them, to good or ill effect more than likely and something undoubtedly propelled them but what?’

‘…It is so frustrating not to know.’

‘It is frustrating.’

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‘The recumbent resembles a land mass…

An island of rock in a sea of grass.’

‘The Calf of Man?’

‘Part of a larger map we now no longer possess.’

‘Would it have bridged or spanned the gap in the uprights?’

‘Possibly, or does it represent an internal organ…’

‘Like an exhumed liver from a body we no longer recognise.’

‘A field of hearts.

The lungs of the earth.’

‘No, the lungs of the earth are trees…

…are forests.’

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‘Did the fall split it?’

‘Did the fall split the stones at Arbor Low…?’

‘Did the stones at Arbor Low ever fall?’

‘…Running Elk didn’t seem to think so.’

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‘So what does it say to us now?’

‘What, as it is?’

‘Yeah, just as it is, in all its decrepit, pock-marked, mysterious magnificence.’

‘Denuded of its earth covering, it speaks very forcibly of the vertical and of the horizontal.

Both are separated allowing for ingress and egress.

The one, in and out, the other, up and down.’

‘So, put them together and what have you got?’

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‘A three dimensional portal…’

‘But a portal to where…?’

‘…To wherever you like.’

‘If you please, I would quite like to move from Salisbury plain to Preseli…’

‘Oh, bravo Little Grub, bravo!’

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France and Vincent… Finding Don and Wen

France & Vincent

img_3570Photograph by Helen Jones

It served me right for kidnapping a genius with one foot in several other worlds and eyes fixed firmly beyond any horizon I had ever seen. And I only kidnapped him a little bit. And he didn’t seem to mind too much….

We knew each other anyway, through the Work, but had never really had much time to talk so the meeting was just asking for trouble, really. We spent almost the entire night, wine in hand, talking about almost everything under the sun and then moved the conversation  outside to watch the stars.

When the meeting had concluded next day, I offered to run him to the station… we never got there, but did have a wonderful day exploring the Yorkshire Dales, cold as it was. It had snowed a little and in spite of the sunshine, small patches remained on the low ground while…

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Vortigern’s Tower…

France & Vincent

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“…Before Merlin was a soothsayer he was a miraculous child who solved the mystery of Vortigern’s Tower.”

“What mystery was that?”

“Every time the tower was raised by Vortigern’s men the hill upon which it was built shook and ‘swallowed’ the tower whole.”

“And the answer to that mystery?”

“The answer to the mystery is that the hill was hollow…

and in the hollow of the hill was a pool…

and in the pool two stones languished…

and in each of the stones was a dragon struggling to get out.

One dragon was White and the other dragon was Red.”

“And what was done to reveal this mystery?”

“The Hill was excavated…

The pool was drained…

The stones were pulverised…

and the dragons loosed.”

“But what happened then?”

“The dragons contended… and became One.”

 Thus was the braided tower raised upon a hill and remained standing forever…

Excerpt from…

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Why Myth? III…

The Silent Eye

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…We do not pretend to be expert in Australian Aboriginal myth.
We have probably in our whole life-time to date read only a handful of their stories.
We have though spent some time in Australia crossing the country bottom to top from Melbourne to Cairns in a, by today’s standards, somewhat dilapidated, ‘chippy-van’.
Had we known previously that height was an effective deterrent against mosquitoes we would surely have utilised such knowledge.
We have the utmost respect for anyone who heads out into that landscape alone and on foot and with only a digging stick for company.
I shudder to think what might have been the outcome of our trip had the ‘chippy-van’ broken down in the out-back.
Thankfully it did not although at the time that possibility barely permeated our consciousness.

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Why do such stories resonate so deeply with us?
They are so far removed from…

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Why Myth? II…

The Silent Eye

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‘…So, what is the significant act?’
‘All the acts in the story are significant.’
‘What is the story about?’
‘It is about a Dust-Devil.’
‘For the human body there are really only five significant acts: the first is breathing. The second is eating. The third is defecating. The fourth is sleeping and the fifth is… copulating.
At least three of these are represented in the story.
Is there one act more significant than the others for this particular story?’
‘The sex act…’
‘Would it surprise you to know that this was a story told by a father to his pubescent daughter?’
‘It is a cautionary tale?’
‘It is a cautionary tale now but there are signs that this was not always the case.’
‘Those signs are?’
‘The fire-stick at the outset of the tale may not be an original component of the story.’
‘We are not told the nature…

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