…To the Matter-of-Britain…
Back in the low slung car I stare into the gloom.
A quiet has descended with the mist.
It is the silence that preludes any portentous event.
The car lurches and veers suddenly and we bounce up a dirt track and skid to a halt at the foot of Dragon Hill.
“You didn’t mean to come this way did you?”
“This way, that way…what does it matter?”
It is my turn to look mysterious as we set off up the hillock.
The chill snags my breath as we climb and the mist swirls and eddies, clinging to our legs and arms like star stuff.
I nearly lose my balance a number of times for no apparent reason, a sure sign if one were needed that we are approaching the numinous…
It cannot be taught.
It can only be known from experience.
The chattering world is forever formulating conceptions
of the philosophical states…
They are all false.
The spirit of boundless exuberance,
running hand-in-hand with a severe dialectic
is deemed incredible.
That serious thought can move as swift,
easy and divine as dance is an unsuspected dream.
The Artist, with his or her subtle sense of play,
though, may know more…
May know necessity and free will as one.
… Rice-Bird now knew the thing that Skunk feared and he began to throw his voice in a whistle from Skunk’s back-pack.
“Ugh!” cried Skunk when he heard the whistle and he turned and fled in the opposite direction.
But Rice-Bird threw his voice into a whistle again and again stopped Skunk in his tracks.
“Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!” cried Skunk.
But whichever way Skunk fled, Rice-Bird threw his voice into a whistle which sounded like it was coming from up ahead and it was not long before Skunk was exhausted from running in circles without getting anywhere.
Skunk collapsed onto the ground, prostrate. “I am tired,” he said to himself, “it is too much for me to be carrying such a weight on my back, I will hang up my brother, here, while I go on and then return for him later.”
So Skunk stripped off all Rice-Bird’s adornments, for Rice-Bird was again playing dead, and hung him up on a thorn bush.
As Skunk turned to leave, Rice-Bird emitted a low whistle, and Skunk swiftly scampered away from the thorn bush in fear.
With one long, strong, final blast of a whistle, Rice-Bird sent Skunk far and away up the valley at a pace before he finally disappeared in a cloud of dust.
“That’ll teach him,” laughed Rice-Bird, unhooking himself from the thorn bush.
He had lost the beads from around his neck but at least he was still alive…
to be continued
… “There is nothing I fear!” sang Skunk going his way, “there is just nothing I fear! Should a boulder roll at me as I pass I would squirt it with musk and blast it into a thousand pieces, there is nothing I fear! Should a pine tree fall over me I would squirt it with musk and split it into a thousand splinters, there is nothing I fear!”
Just then Skunk stopped in his tracks for a thought had come to him.
A long buried memory of the one thing that he did fear.
“Just one thing I fear,” went the song before Skunk could stop it, and that made Skunk even more nervous. He started running to and fro from one side of the valley to the other, “Only one thing I fear,” went the song as Skunk wheedled his way up the valley.
Rice-Bird, who had been feigning death in Skunk’s back pack the whole time could hear all his prattling.
“Oh, I do wish Skunk would name his fear,” thought Rice-Bird.
“There is one thing I fear so I will have to name it,” went on Skunk.
“Oh good,” thought Rice-Bird.
“The thing I fear is whistling, the thing I fear is whistling!”
With his fear out in the open of the wide valley, Skunk became even more frightened and he bolted at top speed up the valley…
to be continued
The Ancient Greeks…
Studious yet peripatetic…
They pursued a noble notion of religion.
Nature based, gratefully borrowed from the mysterious Egyptians
And equally graciously passed on to their eager followers…
But when the ‘Hoi Poloi’ got wind of God,
Fear entered the arena and religion,
in the Mediterranean, at least, never recovered.
… “When in doubt,” smiles Wen, producing a battered copy of Longmans from the murky depths of her shoulder bag, and, rather too conspicuously, for my liking, clearing her throat…
Sure enough, this unwarranted live event has now started to draw the attention of some idle strays who sidle over and form a crescent around Wen as she finally gets her reading specs onto her conk and launches into the definition…
“Incantation – noun the use of spoken or sung spells as part of a magic ritual; also, a written or recited magical formula of words designed to produce a particular effect fr Latin incantus, past participle of incatare, to enchant…”
“That’s not too bad, considering,” I concede, after I have finished dragging Wen away from our audience of somewhat bemused looking spectators.
“It’s bloody brilliant,” says Wen, “and so precise!”
“A chorus, it is then.”
How mean minded our ‘lovers of wisdom’ can be.
Annoyed by the ‘airs and graces’ affected by proponents of a famous Athenian School…
One reclusive savant became renowned for snorting from the fastness of his rural retreat,
‘They are all actors!’
Actors, or nay…
There cometh a point in any theory of life when true conviction crashes the scene.
The Donkey’s bray.
“So many questions.”
“Chief amongst which, perhaps, is why would the Temple be built by a demon?”
“By the Prince of Demons?”
“It may just be that we are meant to ‘subjectivise’ this story?”
“In which case, the ‘temple not built with tools’ equates to the ‘temple not built by hand’.”
“And to that inner space where speaks, and can be heard, the still small voice of the spirit.”
“And the Naxian Stone?”
“Emery, a grind-stone which is found on the Greek Island of Naxos, reputed dwelling place of Ariadne, who lays the thread that leads from the labyrinth.”
“And the cistern in the mountains?”
“A somewhat elaborate allegory again referring to the precedence of spirit. Benai is the ‘son’.”
“And the hoopoe bird?”
“The hoopoe bird is traditionally regarded as both ‘king’ and ‘demon’ and also has associations with the Queen of Sheba.”
“Solomon and Asmodeus are, in the final analysis, indistinguishable.”
“Small wonder, then, that in the dead of night, the king still fears the return of his ‘demon self’.”
“Sixty armed men is excessively fearful!”