Wednesday, February 29, 2012

5 May 2125 - From my Aerie (excerpt from wip)

            Quothe Malory in the 'before time', in his Morte d'Arthur, "Morgan le Fay was not married, but put to school in a nunnery, where she became a great mistress of magic."
            A nunnery?  I think not.  Put to "School", yes.  I can identify with that.  I was chosen and was put to school.  I was one in a long history of my kind - recognized at birth, sought out and nurtured by my own.  I was born in the year 2107 of Danai and Charon, an adept of the Wyse and the normal male who loved and married her against his families wishes.
            On the day I was born, Nanna Seti came from The School and she talked to me mind to mind from that day forth.  My earliest memory was that soothing mind-touch, like cool water washing away all the hurtful noises.  Slowly, day by day, Nanna showed me how to build the shield that would serve me all my life.
            It is her mind I remember as a warm blanket shielding me from all the thoughts from outside.  It is her teachings and stories I remember best, and her I regret most hurting in this stand I now take to take our story to the outside.  For it is she who brought me here.
            I remember the day as t'were yesterday.  As I sit in this highest window of 'The School', in this my aerie, I remember.
            I wonder if I am ready.  As I contemplate going out again into a world that views my kind askance, I am at once thrilled and not a little afraid.  I have become a mistress of magic, one of the Wyse, as have all of my kind since time out of mind.  But the time has come; the outside world beacons, and I have a plan.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Soloquy

no, no, no! no more t.v. – silence
off!  all the extraneous machines
and in that frightening void
let the mind fill of it own
accord.
hear again the vibrations
of the earth – gentle song
of the universe – music of the spheres
courage now, the ocean ebbs,
but it also flows
the sun sets, but it also
rises
quiet the din and venture
in
again. 
can i begin again, 
damn
no script at hand

Monday, February 27, 2012

In a far corner of my mind - some beach, some where

I ran away today.  When the sun didn’t come,
I sat back on the sheltered balcony and watched the clouds pour forth to wash fresh my world.

The steady din of rain upon the roof of this small place is a song, one of many that I love.  The storm passes and I’m free to walk on.

All the sounds of life surround me: bird song, wind rustling dead leaves that still cling to some trees.  The surf-like sound of distant drones returning to their caves of steel.

Tomorrow I’ll be one of them,
but for today I’ve run away to some beach
somewhere that exists in a far corner of my mind..

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Daily Write

The daily urge to write is one I must pretend some days for a while until it comes naturally – today is such a day.  I’ve committed to and will follow through posting a Blog a day for an entire year.  The challenge was posted on WordPress, but I’m simul-posting the identical post on Blogger and WordPress to see which one fares better out in the world.  Kind of like a dual experiment.

Seems all the other participants in the challenge have a focus, be it shoes, cooking, the ubiquitous weight loss, etc.  I don’t.  I’m a Jack or all master of none, but like the kid that learns to play an instrument, I’m practicing first this then that and hopefully my true love will show up.  I’m running scales that for me are words in all manner of configurations.   I’m hoping that as it did for my FB friend Ken, the daily writing will eventually lead me to my own focus.

For now it is enough just to write through to that magical place called flow, when ideas come so fast my pen’s speed is hard-pressed to get the words down.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Simple Things.

After reading and re-reading 'Simple Abundance' some years back, I started sporadically keeping a 'Gratitude Journal' on my nightstand.

Every night before turning off the lamp, I write 5 things I'm grateful for that day in my gratitude journal. It's like a pop-quiz at the end of the day.

I find myself grateful for things as simple as waking up to the heady smell of wet earth on a rainy day and knowing it's Saturday and I can just lie in bed and enjoy it, yet wanting to get up anyway and be out in the midst of it.

Nothing is as fragrant as wet earth, no memory of childhood as vibrant as walking in nature rain or shine.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Path Not Taken

Is this world all there is?

I find myself reflecting on the road I’ve traveled and those I’ve not. We are after all the choices we make, the roads we take, and those we don’t.  I’ve always thought I’d write my memoir and call it “The Memoirs of a Not-yet-Famous Lady”, or better yet, ‘The Memoirs of a Not-yet-Infamous Lady’.  Am I a lady? Sometimes.

I wonder, though, if this is all of it.  Is there something to the road not taken that is somehow a part of me? When the roads diverged, did a me walk on with the other decision into a parallel world?  Who is that she that is me having made other decisions.  Is her life any better or worse?  Would I like that me better?

I’ll never know, but, I wonder where she is now?  That girl, that me, the one who married John and moved on.  Where is the one who had an abortion and sans child, moved on?  Where is the rock collector faery child, who lived in dreamscapes of her own design? 

Each is a piece of me.  I want to follow their trail.  I want to know where they are on their life’s path.

Did so many me’s diverge from this me that I am but a shadow.  Did I perhaps spin off a poet, too, and only kept for me a glimpsed flight of that fancy.
May Sarton said, “…if you dilute yourself too much and try to do too many things, you do none well.”  I digress.

Where is the artist never encouraged?  Is that why I only go so far then let each piece go?  Each a bubble blown from a child’s wand reduced to one little moment of brilliant iridescent color fading then to memory.

What if each was real? What if each was a real me, a me that diverged and in parallel worlds of infinite possibilities walked away.  What if a real me took each path, and my sole job on this plane is to dream – to begin each me and send her on her way.  Each a whole and complete life, and I just the dreamer with no real life of her own – destined at last to run out of dreams and paths and she’s to set upon them and at last empty to cease.

If that is the case, what now?


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Passages

childhood 
tomorrow is forever in coming
if it ever comes at all
boy! tomorrow is a million miles
away, tomorrow is
my birthday
youth
it’s coming soon that day
just you wait and then
you’ll see
21 and I’ll be free, free
to go my way on my
21st birthday
maturity
where did all the days go and
why
does the time seem to fly
seems I’d just begun
this one
and here it is again
today’s the day
my birthday…


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dreamscape

Merry paradise falls as
destiny posing, stops
to eat joy, kiss dreams
and fast grasp
celestial means
off to court the stars
frolic mid clouds
drink violet dreams
breathe orange skies
bathe in velvet winds
slide on moon beams
home again
oh dreamscape – so real
much more than
corporeal.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Seti recalls the Fall of 2012... (wip excerpt)

          The children asked her again and again to tell them of the before time.  Today, red-haired Jenna, thirteen and serious, asked.  "Tell us of the last day, the day of the Fall.  Please Mistress Seti, tell us about that day.  What did it smell like, taste like, sound like."
          Seti's clear gray eyes became the stormy slate of a winter sky.  "Smell?  It smelled of smoke and burning things - things that were not meant to burn.  It tasted bitter blood  and salt."
          "It sounded like a lullaby - I eyes grow moist when I hear it.  It was there by the roadside."  She began softly speaking while sending mind pictures to the children around her.  It was time they knew.
          "There by the roadside, a woman lay dead and flies buzzed around her and a little girl sat by her side and held her hand and rocked to and fro and sang over and over 'ToRaLuRaLuRa ToRaLu RaLa , ToRaLuRaLu, mama don't you cry...' singing her mother to her final sleep and I bit through my lip and tears mixed with sweat trickled down to sting the wound, and the acrid billowing smoke made rainless clouds that obscured the sun."
          “It sounded like a lullaby, It smelled of smoke and burning things - things that were not meant to burn.  It tasted bitter, of  blood and salt.
          That memory is forever forged into my very soul.
          "Who was the child, Mistress?  Did she live?"  Jenna asked in a voice scarce above a whisper.
          "Yes, she lived and thrived and she daily makes me proud.  That child was you.  You loved well, and you live well.  Your mother would be proud.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Ancient Footprints (an excerpt of WIP)

“The oldest known set of footprints… are 117,000 years old and thought to be those of a woman and possibly a child…” (New Scientist magazine, 31 January 1998)

I climbed the rock at dawn and gazed long at the footprints.  The scientists want to cut them out and take them away soon - seal them up in a back room somewhere far away from prying eyes and questioning minds.  Before they do, I must do this.  I step barefoot into the small indents of stone, and I fit.  I knew I would.  Like a glove, the stone holds close my soles

I close my eyes and feel deep into our mother’s bones, these stones.  Does she remember me?  I remember her, so long ago.  All our works are gone; it is so strange that our solitary prints remain.  What quirk of nature prodded the saving of so small a thing as the trace of two small pair of feet, when all else was leveled and washed away beyond all recall.

The prints tell but a breath’s worth of our trek; they do not show our haste, or the dampness of the child’s tears against my flesh.  They cannot begin to tell of the woman-child I was, the family I left behind all dead, the fear and dread of venturing beyond the ends of the known world.

The archaeologists in search of traces to prove we lived then will be sorely disappointed.  What traces remain are faint and deeply buried if indeed they are there at all.

We few souls have gone on rebirth upon rebirth to the world of now.  Too few of us remember the before time.  I do, and here I stand again, poised on a small precipice, looking out to the march of destruction that looms on this world’s horizon.

The millennia rushed past us at a dizzying pace.  The faithful once again prepare to meet their maker each in their own way.  Armageddon nears again.  It is not the first time, nor will it be the last.
I shake my head and smile; they’ve not yet learned the lesson of the mother, who, ever hopeful, gives us life again and again.  Some were with me then, and some are with me now.  Nature will once again wipe the works of man from her face and banish some of us for a small time, but some always survive. We will wait in queue to enter the willing wombs of those believing in tomorrow enough to harbor new life and bring it forth in joy.

Life is a circle not come full, always ending at the beginning.  We travel new paths and learn new things until, like the one called Christ and many whose names we never knew, we finally understand and can shed the flesh and ascend – never to return again.

© Perle Champion

Sunday, February 19, 2012

How sweet to do nothing.

Here’s to a wonderfully indolent weekend.
I at once enjoy and cherish spending time and
and reflect as the Italians do 'dolce far niente'

it’s a flip way to justify the doing of nothing which
has a place in our lives to be sure.
But I wonder, too, how many more days I have
that I can spend many more so out of hand
like so much loose change.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Do Robins know more than the Groundhog?

The Robins must know more than the groundhog, 
or they just want to prove him wrong. 
There are robins everywhere these last few mornings from the boughs of barren trees,
to the air and the noticeably greening ground.
I'm' with the robins -
I'm ready for Spring, even if
I must image it leafing through
the pages of 'White Flower Farms" catalog or
just watching robins from my aerie window.






Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday! Let's Party

Life is about balance.  You’ve given work its due all week long.  Now it’s time to set it aside and get your due.  Stack it all neatly, post-it notes attached, a quick to-do list perched on top, power down the computer, check your work mindset at the door; turn off the lights and leave.

It will all still be there on Monday.

The weekend is for family, friends and fun or just plain lying under a tree or basking in the sun or walking in the rain considering the forecast for tomorrow.

There’s lots to do in Birmingham, Alabama if you just peruse the Black & White and the Birmingham Weekly.  I’ve got my itinerary for tonight.  First stop is Forest Park for their monthly “Third Friday in Forest Park”.  All the shops and restaurants are open.  Check out Naked Art’s site for details - Vero keeps everyone in the loop about her neck of the woods.

From there off to Daniel Day Gallery at 3025 6th Avenue S.  Melody and Daniel know how to have an art reception - Great art, food and music.

Well, soon as I post this, I’m powering down and I’m out of here – happy Friday y’all.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I hate it, but I’m looking. Sigh.


I love my old Dell Inspiron 750.  It’s barely 12 x 10 and goes easily from home office, to kitchen bar to balcony bistro, to couch.  But it’s 9 years old.  Yep, once upon a time they made things that lasted instead of programming to self-destruct in 2-3 years.  Alas, recently, he caught a serious bug.

I was reduced to my iPhone for answering all e-mails and worse, posting my blog.  Reading that tiny little screen and finding the tag and post buttons without inadvertently pressing something unintended was a nightmare.

The techs at Office Depot on Greensprings were amazed, not only at my Dell’s age, but that it had survived so long without catching anything.  I left him in their care on a Saturday morning and did not get him back until the following Monday.  Although I don’t log on all day everyday, I felt somehow unmoored.  It’s like you car in the shop.  It’s not that you want to go anywhere, it’s that you can’t if you wanted. Rough couple of days.

When I picked Dell up, Andrew told me, “you know you may want to consider upgrading soon.  You’ve gone this long, but it is an old computer and it’s just a matter of time before we can’t resuscitate”. 

I thanked him and went home.  I’m not sure I’m ready to trade him in just because he’s old.  I can do everything I need to do just fine. 

If an iPad were MS Word friendly for editing etc., that would be my first choice, but it’s not yet.  Couldn’t they ‘channel’ Steve Jobs – he could do it. 

I hate it, but I’m looking. Sigh.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I want to know


I want to know what madness is
and where the edge of its beginnings are
I have skirted its hem and felt its cold breath
raise the hackles on the back of my neck
each hair with a life of its own
a cat’s whisker sensing what
comes in stealth
to rob me of peace
of mind of
me


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Seasons

 
winter's kiss lingers
spring's breath freezes
tender buds born
 too soon.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Let’s Get Organized? Sure.

Organized? I’ve read all the articles; I know all the rules.  In some areas of my life, I succeed.  By the door are 2 terra cotta white wine chillers.  They were gifts from some people who know I drink wine, but didn’t pay attention to one small detail.  I only drink red wine.  I found that their absorptive nature makes them the perfect container for wet umbrellas.
 
Also by the door is a waist-high 3-shelf bookcase of sorts I found at a yard sale.  The top shelf has holds a carved wooden dish. This holds keys, sunglasses, outgoing mail and coupons, my hats…

The next shelf has two doors to conveniently and discretely hold my purse and anything else personal or messy hidden from view (the cat treats reside there- Jazmine’s toll charged each day before I'm permitted to leave for work).

The third shelf holds anything that needs to go out door with me the next day: library books to drop off, magazines to pass along, etc.  The big red bowl holds the smaller stuff. 
The bottom shelf holds books I’m currently reading, and the small space beneath it is where I kick off my shoes on entering

Each day, I open the little door, dole out a treat to Jazmine, grab my purse, toss anything outgoing into a carry bag and I’m out the door. Each day, on my return, I doff the hat, toss keys, sunglasses into the dish, tuck the purse behind its door, kick the shoes under the bottom shelf, pick up Jazmine and head toward the kitchen.

This part of my life is organized to the point of ritual.  But, other areas of my life just flat defy organization.  My studio is one of them.  My writing space is another.  Organization here is a carrot in the dangling just out of reach.  No matter how I try, I never quite reach it.  But I’m working on it.

© Perle Champion

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Homage to a Friend

I believe in continuity of life. That this world of flesh and blood is but a small part of who we are.  The greater part is a piece, or child if you will, of the universe.  At 4:15 a.m. a year ago today, fire took most of what I owned, but they were just things.  

More importantly, it took  a friend - that  sweet friend named Mark Roberts. I can intellectualize that we'll meet again, but I truly miss him in the here and now.  The picture from his memorial service graces my home office vision board. For a while our once daily conversations will be one-sided.

Homage to a friend.
miles and miles i’ve
come
some walked
many run
alone and not too
and with you i’d walked
but just a few
but there was something
familiar in the pace
my mind recalls that
gentle face
somewhere, somewhen
my friend
we’d walked in step
before
and somewhere, somewhen
we’ll fall in step again
and share a few
miles more

Roses,  Memory of Mark
The Smoke Detector Woke me...
Blue Skies and the Kindness of Strangers

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Sad Anniversary Looms

dawn – and seems
the sun will never rise
always a beginning
no end in sight
always perhaps
what if
never for sure
i’ve the key
to all the beginnings
but where are all
those happy endings
too bad i wasn’t
given a script
what to do and
how to do it
what to say and
who to say it to
it’s all improvisation
and i have to muddle
through
make do
for me
for you


Friday, February 10, 2012

Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow

count the moments
til tomorrow
it will be here soon enough
count the days until
next summer
it will come in its own time
none the sooner
for your worry
if only i could
have back again
all the yesterdays spent
wishing for tomorrow
would i spend them
anymore wisely
recall the past
yes
call it back
no
change it
never

Thursday, February 9, 2012

who am i

what i was
i am not
now
i know not
why or when or
how

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Melisande's Soliloquy. (novel excerpt)

Melisande gazed from the window.  The call had gone out suddenly and there was no help for it, but to make some lame excuse, take a few vacation days and fly to Mayax. It had been a long time.  

Everything these days seemed so long ago.  She had fled this city for a quiet job in a rural setting, determined to hate it and make it brief.  But she liked it there and her temporary flight, her banishment, became her passion.  A husband and children followed and she led an ordinay life ever keeping to her training ever keeping in mind who she was and ever at every turn using her powers and knowledge in the best tradition of the wise throughout the ages.

She always made it look natural, herbal and simple.  From the store she and Gerald ran with her father, she had slowly gained the trust of the town.  And, when she married a favored son, everything magically fell into place.

She became just like one of them, and not so frightening after all.  She just had gifts, special gifts and when the baby came the final ice melted away to distant memory - like this city which she now viewed anew from the hotel  penthouse suite.

There were six bedrooms with huge beds in each.  She had arrived first, her sisters from the school would all be here later tonight.  By morning, they would occupy the entire top three floors of the Mayax Hilton and they had booked the penthouse ballroom for their "Conference" for the next full week.

They was no choice but to intervene.  They'd worked so hard to build the people's trust - One of their own gone rogue would destroy it all.




Tuesday, February 7, 2012

To sleep, perhaps to dream or sure to dream?

Is there such a thing as Lucid dreaming.  Can we really decide not only to dream, but what to dream about?

Depends on who’s answering the question.  I say yes, but then I think life is magic, and dream is just the part of our life our essence inhabits when our corporeal self sleeps.

I notice in my dream journal… 
Note: if you don’t keep a dream journal by the bed, get one.  We say, oh, I’ll remember.  But we don’t.  Dreams so fresh and vivid on awakening, are lost in moments as the day’s chores loom.  Write it down immediately – review at leisure.

Once more:
I notice in my dream journal that I revisit certain places over and over again.  There are familiar houses, stairs, rooms, places and people that I know from past dreams.

At first I thought, hmmm, odd.  But as I let the dream sweep me along where it would, I reflected on later reading that there were doors I’d never opened.  There were conversations unfinished, and I wanted to know more.  I woke feeling unsatisfied as if I’d missed something.  I had.  I had missed out because I didn’t exercise my free will.  It exists in dream, but you have to work at it.
 
Lucid dreaming is an odd place, and anyone can do it with practice.  I find that taking a tangible item in my hand allows me to feel anchored on that side of dream to the me I am on this side.  I use stones.  I have my smooth stones, a clear and a black, and a rather craggy frosty quartz.



Practice and it comes.  These are my steps.
*   Meditate for 5 minutes as simple as paying attention to my breath
*    Hold my chosen stone loosely in my hand
*    Turn off the lights, lie down and with closed eyes recite in my mind:
  • “I will remember my dreams.”
  • “I will know I am dreaming.”
  • “I have choices, as it is my dream.”
At first, I did good to remember the dreams, and slowly my recall became more intricate and detailed.  As time went on, I knew exactly when I entered a dream and my surroundings seemed more solid.  I could choose to explore more; pursue conversations and get real answers.  Things that frightened me before were manageable because after all, it was my dream.  I could will a light on in darkened rooms; sprout wings instead of fall.

I find I’m become more attentive on this side of dream, because I’m so attentive in dream.  That is a boon it did not expect, and I plan to embrace both sides to the fullest.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Date with Death - she's my kind of rain

Glancing through old journals, I came across one entitled “The House call – a Date with Death”.  I wrote it on this date in 2003, not on the actual day it happened - January 9, 2003

Journal Entry 2/6/03 – Aerie:
I can put it into words now, It’s been a month since Sabrina passed.  My beautiful star-white angora cat was 23 years old.  She could barely walk and refused food and water toward the end, but life would not let her go.  She needed my help and one morning told me so in the only way she could.  She stood, looked me in the eye, wet her blanket and lay back down.  I picked her up, wrapped her in a fresh blanket and made the call.”

I still remember the kind young vet who made house calls, sitting with me on the couch with Sabrina between us on her favorite blanket.  He and I stroked her as the drugs had their way, and she breathed her last as the strains of Tim McGraw's ‘She's My Kind of Rain’ played on the radio.  I still get moist eyed every time I hear that song.

Twenty-three years was almost half my lifetime, so it took several months before I could rescue another cat.  I briefly considered another white cat, but thought better of it.  I would expect her to be another Sabrina and that wouldn’t be fair.

I have Jazmine now.  She is shiny obsidian black – Yin to Sabrina’s Yang.

Where Sabrina was star white (yang), Jazmine is black satin (yin).  Aptly so, their personalities are as diverse as yin and yang, and I’m grateful.  Another white cat would only disappoint, as I’d expect her to live up to my first and that would not be fair.



Sunday, February 5, 2012

Resolutions on track.

At 5, I remember thinking 62 was really old. Now, at 62, not so much. I am sometimes utterly amazed that I’ve been on this planet so long. Lately, I’ve been pondering this next 3rd of my life. Yes, I think I’ll make it to ninety-something, but not as some fat frail old lady.

I can’t prevent getting old, but I can certainly prevent getting fat and infirm. A very real danger if I don’t begin and do it now. Somewhere around 57, I started slipping, and I can’t really put my finger on any one reason.

I think it was a combination: A sedentary job I knew would end in lay-offs, as the company was slowly divesting itself of all its properties; menopause that although symptomless slowed my metabolism; and then eight months on unemployment followed 6 months after that by a year on unemployment. 

For the first time in my long life, I look at the scale and do not like what it says. I look in the mirror and it confirms the numbers – 40 pounds in 5 years.  Like everything else, I'm taking everything in steps this new year.  

January was committed to a blog per day. February, I am back to walking daily rain or shine and art, being it photography, drawing or painting one by Sunday of each week while continuing the blog a day and a walk (5miles) per day. 

It takes 30 days to build a habit and only 3 to break it, so I'm committing to a minimum of one new thing per month  February is exercise, but I felt that 1 drawing a week is doable as well.