Camp of the Amazonians
The Amazons were children of Ares by the Niad Harmonia but some called their mother Aphrodite. They are currently camped by the River Amazon, named after Tanais, a son of Amazon.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
In a moment of less than conscientious
I ride the fin of a river fish.
Wrapped in royal blue waves she
takes me under the green surface.
Plants nestle and sway to a silent orchestra of cellos.
Shells settled among the rocks keep time
to the hollow sound of drums.
An octopus plays piano to the carousel sound.
Gentle bubbles escape my lips, my hair
flows to the east.
Long slender vines tickle my feet ...
I awake to a kind indiviual messaging my feet. They are covered in teal cream and smell of fresha and camay soap. The rough dry skin gently peels away. My toe nails have been trimmed and buffed to a matte sheen. This often neglected part of my body is coming alive into wellness. My feet will carry my body to another place. I am led down a path and given oversized stripped towels of blue and white. They feel warm to the touch. There is a porcelain tub in a wooded area full of clean water and dried lavender floats on the surface. I remove the blue robe and step carefully into the tub - the water steams, the smell of lavender is poignant, strong. I wash my hair twice, once to remove the dirt of everyday and again to feel the newness of clean and smell. The bar of soap is filled with tiny chips of stone, the lather is thick and glistening. I hear the tinkering of wind chimes somewhere in the distance. My eyes are heavy with sleep. There is a small water pump next to the tub. I stand and fill the creamy colored water pitcher with fresh water and rinse away the soap. I sit in the morning sun and dry my hair. I linger on the small stool taking the view of blue mountains, the sunrise, and the violet mist that surrounds them. I enjoy my aloneness and savor residing in this very moment.
Ms. Lovelace ( Patricia )
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Friday, August 19, 2005
I left the Hermitage feeling like the rabbit in Alice and Wonderland. "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!" My donkey and guide were patiently waiting for me at the quay. I don't know how many days they have been waiting. I find the patience of others in this amazing land to be quite astonishing. No one is ever perturbed about me taking as much time as I need, even though I'm running behind schedule. I know my capacity for patience needs to improve, so maybe they are all teaching me a lesson.
I stroked my donkey and climbed aboard, but not before I placed my colorful, fluffy wig on the donkey's back. I could sware the donkey giggled when she saw it. After finding my spot on the donkey's back, I leaned over to her ear and introduced myself and thanked the donkey for carrying me to my next destination. She made the sound that donkey's make, kind of a "Hee-haaaaaa" sound, and within it I heard, "Me-Dawn." Well, it was quite fitting that I be taken into the dawn of the next day by a donkey named Dawn.
Off we traveled for many miles. I enjoyed the quiet and soaked up the beauty around me. After being in the bath house for way too long, I felt like a wet noodle. I knew if I let myself doze, I'd slide right off of Dawn's back. I leaned down for part of the journey and whispered into Dawn's ears all about my adventures. She nodded her head and Hee-haaaaa'd at the appropriate places, so that I knew she understood what I was saying. I showed her my walking stick and a tear came to her eye at the site of Mother Nature's image.
We stopped for a moment at a water's edge for Dawn to get a drink. I had no idea where we were or what body of water we were at, but it didn't matter to me. I love all bodies of water. I slid off Dawn and was about to wade in to cool myself when Dawn grabbed the back of my shirt with her teeth and pulled me back. She nudged my head with her nose so that I looked down at the surface of the water.
There, on the surface of the rippling water, instead of seeing a distorted reflection of myself, I saw the striking face of a woman who told me her name was Marika. She said she was a Water Healer (http://www.water-consciousness.com/teachers.htm). I don't know what that is, but I listened to her words for her eyes had me locked in her gaze. She said had planned to meet me along this road to give me a message of healing, but now she also had a message of warning. She said to listen very carefully and memorize her every word.
"AshleyShea, you have learned much and traveled far to make this journey. What you have seen is just the beginning. There's more to come, some not so pleasant, some more pleasant than you've ever experienced. Continue to be like a starfish on a wave. Float where the wave takes you. Do not resist.
"My original message for you was to spend some time here at these waters to reflect upon your reflection. I know that you are haunted by voices that tell you you aren't good enough, not beautiful enough, not young enough, ...not enough, period. Those voices only serve their own purposes. They hold you back. They hide your glory...your strength. They fog the pathway to your inner self. Whenever you hear these voices, dismiss them. Tell them you no longer need their opinions because you have it on much higher authority that they are wrong.
"I am also here to give you a warning. Your traveling companions have entered the woods before you. They were met by hooded figures and taken off to places untold. I have it on good authority that those who struggled and fought their hooded figure were taken to places I would rather not speak of. They are fighting for their lives as we speak. Those who released themselves to the hooded presence were taken to a place where they are learning a life lesson they need to learn. Honestly, both groups of travelers are learning. One group is doing it the hard way. The other group, while it may not be all joy and roses, are learning their lesson with much less pain.
"I believe there is one more hooded creature waiting for you in the deepest darkness of the woods. Do not be afraid. Let the creature take you and, I promise, you will not be harmed."
As Marika's uttered the last words, her face faded into the water. I didn't have time to ask anything more of these hooded creatures and where I might be taken. As her face faded, I saw the reflection of my own face. Just as Marika's gaze held me captive, I noticed, for the first time, my own striking looks. I found it hard to smile, nervous about what destiny was waiting for me, but I did feel a twinge of joy inside as I pushed away the "not enough" thoughts and saw my own radiance.
Dawn brought me back to the present by tugging on my shirt. I climbed on her back and allowed her to carry me into the woods. Nervously I kept watch. At first I jumped or twitched at the slightest sound, but soon I became accustom to the sounds of the woods. I could see the light recede as Dawn carried me deeper into the woods. A distance before me I could see no evidence of light. I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the hooded creature. I relaxed on Dawn's back. I bent over once more and whispered in her ear, "Wish me luck," just as a hooded figure swooped down from the trees and took me to....Who Knows Where.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
The Donkey Ride
My donkey calls as I reach the Quay
My name is Mahitabel, follow me
I’ll wander around but find the path
prepared for us by a friendly giraffe
Now that’s a problem for a very short mount
for the top of the trees have very few leaves
but the bottom is covered with bushes
O dear Mahitabel what shall we do?
Look in your bag, silly, she gave it to you
just for this predicament, I fetched forth the wings
that fitted Mahitabel’s ears, she wriggled the things
and we flew to the top of the very tall tree
a post where the pathway was easy to see
No problem for donkey, but I held on tight
to the saddle, for flying by donkey
for a very old lady did not seem quite right.
We managed quite well through the daylight hours
although dear Mahitabel did eat the flowers
from the tall eucalyptus, and dodged around towers
where someone was watching but a crow showed the way
until nightfall. Mahitabel had no night vision
I searched that dear bag, expected derision
but tied those spectacles
onto the nag. That’s better she told me
Let’s get on with this, when the night rider
grabbed me, I gave him as kiss
and he blushed, as who wouldn’t at such a bold old lady
He gathered us up in his long black cloak
called “gee-up” to his steed
and dropped us quite close
to the House of the Serpent
but he wouldn’t come nearer
I don’t care for snakes, said the darling, I’ll leave you
there’s a lady nearby, who will surely retrieve you
but don’t tell my boss, who might just believe you
and I’m already in trouble, I rescued a girl
and I want to go home and give her a whirl
around the big dance hall down by the barn
where the young raiders play. I gave him the anchor
felt he might need it. So with my dear donkey
I stepped through the gate
and you will all be glad to know
I’ve given up rhyming, and halting rhythm
tripped over the mat
kissed my donkey goodbye
and collapsed into bed.
A night in a gypsy caravan
Once there a man greeted me smiling and dancing. At that moment I lost control of my whole body and dance. I remembered the basic movements I learned in my belly dancing classes and put them in practice. They came naturally like they were responding to the music. Suddenly, women of all ages surrounded me and accompany me in my dance. One started chanting another took a sword and dance with it. All of the sudden we were all moving as one.
Everyone was happy and danced with pleasure and joy. The music lasted for hours and at last I stopped exhausted hardly breathing. But still I felt so content with myself for I had needed that for a long time.
I sat down on top of some cushions catching my breath and clapping to the children that were still dancing. My daughter will have loved this; after all she has a gypsy name, Versaly.
A woman of dark hair stood in front of me. She was smiling, her eyes were mysterious and looked at me as if they were about to enchant me. I smiled back waiting for her to say a word but instead she offered me her hand. With out any questions I took it for I felt that she could be trusted. She helped me get up and we walked through the dancing crowd, the gypsy woman still holding my hand tightly.
A tent was in front of us, a red glamorous tent. We entered it and she told me to sit on some cushions that were lying on the carpet floor. A small table was in front of us. She sat on the other side of the table. Some tarot cards, incense and a red rose were the only things on the wooden table.
“Give me your hand.” She said. I figure she was one of those women who read palms and I gave her my hand.
She studied it quietly looking at it with detail. “A long life.” I felt joyful.
“Love!” That I have.
“But why?” She asked and I looked at her in dismay.
“Why what?” I asked back, even thou I knew it was not polite to answer a question with another question. But since I didn’t knew what was the question about I simply figure it was appropriate.
“You tend to see your future projects so far away, like they will take an eternity to come to be.”
She was right. I always see them like they are so far away they turn out to be only desires that I can not have.
“Even thou you have a strong faith on God, you still are not letting him do the work for you.” She moved closer. “See your projects nearer every time you think of them. This will help you reach them and to help you fulfill yourself. They are making you get stock in life and not advance. Feel them nearer and they will come to pass. When you want something close your eyes and pray. Look at them as if they were in front of you, take them with your hand, and make them part of you as if they are happening in that exact moment. This will give you the confidence you need to make your dreams a reality.”
I smiled feeling more peaceful and astonished with her words. She kept looking at my hand a little longer. “Hmm.” She looked at me.
“Your center of stress is your throat that is why you loose your voice when you are challenge with important things.”
I touched my throat realizing her words and understanding it. I have worked my throat to much. I will need to find a way to channel my stress away from it.
Suddenly, her face had an awkward look to it like she was worried or something. But she smiled immediately. Then she let go of my hand and said firmly:
“That is all for today.”
“There is nothing of my future you can tell me?”
“What needs to be reveal know, was. When you come back here next time, I will tell you what you need to know then. For know that is all.” She took the red rose and offered it to me. I took it a little disappointed but smelled it sweet aroma. I was perplexed and since I don’t like to argue much I took that as a final answer. I stood up and walked towards the entrance of the tent. When I was about to live she said:
“The future looks bright. Things are coming to you, big things. They are just around the corner and you must prepare for them.” Then, just like that she was silent once again.
“Thank you.” She made a nod.
I exited the tent thinking of those last words the gypsy woman had told me. The future is just around the corner and I have to be prepared for it. From a near by table I took a bottle of red wine and a glass. I sat near the fire camp and lay on a carpet full of feather cushions.
“What may come, will come, of that I am certain. But for know I will enjoy this night, tomorrow I will worry of the future.” I said to myself smelling the rose again.
I stared at the stars above me smiling and taking a sip of wine. It is surely the drink of the gods and that night I, a mere mortal, was going drink like one and let my body be seduced by it.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Sunday, August 14, 2005
I have had some private moments this day with the Enchantress. I would really like to remain here, but my heart insists I move on. I hope it comes from my heart and is not an ~ego~ based decision.
The Enchantress is all knowing, comfortable in her own skin. She listens carefully as we sit on large rocks by a quiet stream. I talked with her about poetry or rather my reasons for the writing of it.This poetry is my deepest emotion - it stays in layers, these buried parts of my authentic self. As I write a shift occurs within my rational mind. The layers peel back and flip quickly exposing bursts of words. Sometimes, I explain, the words seem angry, perhaps misdirected. They, my words don't have bad intentions. They are the excavated parts of myself the human race does not see. ~Not for Daily Consumption~ would be the title of my poetry book.The Enchantress nods. Her eyes are smiling which I take to interrupt she understands. And so I read her my composed piece -
Ancestor of two generations ago
bloodline continues the flow.
Female pink bundles explode
Five daughters long, born twice.
Young strong women
You just don't know.
Curling brown hair
Green stern, bright eyes
Tall, lean bodies a glow.
Just like you,
piercing lips of anger
Injustice takes hold.
Heads and wire rimmed glasses in books
Labors of ten hour days.
Plowing up fields
Computers, cell phones, and books
Strapped to their backs,
They guide Chevy's not horsesUp and Down the roads.
Babies of your dreams
Emerging patterns explode.
Married to limbless men
From necessary wars
Masking their feelings,
Climbing into bottles,
with new friends,
Bud, Jack and Jim.
Female pink bundles explode.
She smiles, this is enough for me. I tell her I pulled these words from lost ancestors, women I miss, their bloodlines are mine, too. I thought so many things about them, and my own daughters this past week on my travels here. Their strengths are many. Their burdens a different form, but are still burdens.Again, she understands and judges not.
She asks to see the costume. I carefully remove it from the box. She knows immediately the era I chosen the dress from. The Regency. She feels the soft pink muslin. She suggests perhaps I need a cape or long coat.
We walk back through the woods to the entrance. My horse is waiting. A message has arrived and some change in plans has occurred - I am to venture on to the ~Isle of the Ancestors~. A bit confused I add the note to my maps. The Enchantress points the way, with a parting gift. I know we will meet again.
Ms. Lovelace ( Patricia )
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Saturday, August 13, 2005
Dancing from the Soul
I don't know why I hesitated visiting the Gypsy camp. I was certain I would be eaten alive by mosquitos, but that's nothing new. I had such a lovely time, I didn't want to return to the Hermitage.
It was enchanting to walk by the light of the full moon from the Hermitage to the Gypsy camp. I was surprised by the coolness of the evening, and so, too, I guess, were the mosquitos, because I saw narry a one of them. The cool air on my skin was a welcome change from the heat of the day. Still so, I was quite chilled by the time I reached the camp. The blazing fire was dazzling, mesmerizing, and a welcome source of warmth.
As I sat gazing alternately into the fire and then at the glowing, full moon, a gypsy sat beside me, put a shawl around my shoulders and a deck of cards in my hands. I held the deck thinking of the many hands that had held this deck before. I touched my walking stick and its image of Wisdom with one hand as I chose a card with my other hand. This is the card Wisdom felt I needed to see most.
I smiled knowingly upon seeing this card. Art. What could be more appropriate. Art, I have come to realize, is a more truer form of communication for me than any thing else. Art is what gives me life. Art brings messages from my inner soul to the surface.
Finding my way to art has been a long process over many years. I get close enough to feel its warmth and I back away saying, "No. I am not worthy." Just as the Gypsy's fire gives my body warmth on this cool evening, I can feel the warmth of art again. I'm traveling the path to art's door. Slowly...carefully...and then I pause. I wonder what I'm doing here. I say there's no time. There are more important things to do. I was about to turn away from the door again when the Gypsy's cards reminded me. This is a door I must pass through. It's not an option. The invitation cannot be refused.
Coming back to my present surroundings, I notice the gypsy's dancing. My body takes this as an invitation and doesn't give me a chance to refuse. I find myself dancing, without knowing the steps, without knowing the song...my body is moving on its own expressing all that is within...all I need to know. This moment is bliss.
In the halls of my ancestors
I found my ferry soon enough, “Dark Ferry Woman row me across the river, row slowly so that I may see the distance spaces, the edge where sunset meets the sea, the golden clouds that grace the summer sky. I want to feel the wind that pushes this small craft, this boat with rainbow sail that billows full and freely. As we reach the further shore I wave farewell and ask you to be ready at end of day to take me back to the pine covered mountain for I have been asked to report.
I wander slowly up the dock into the island centre where a great golden gate is lit by the rising sun, this gilded gate carved by the centuries of finest workmen opens before me and I find myself able to dance again, to carry the silver torch, to trip as lightly as I did in childhood up the long stairs, into the sacred hall. There is hope in my step and in my heart for this is the place of my own people, these are the hallways walked by all who walked before me through all time.
Here in a deep forest by a lake I find a small log cabin surrounded by a kitchen garden. October colour everywhere, deep crimson leaves fall from above and crunch beneath my feet. I knock. A soft voice calls, Is that you, my dear, I have been waiting here that we may talk.” The accent is familiar, just a hint of old East Anglia, the dialect my father knew and was forbidden to use. “ I met your dad long years ago, he passed by on his way to his own family shore. He was from Norfolk but not Norfolk born as I am for I am your mother’s people. Come tell me, why this quest for your time has not yet come although I see your aging as I watched your childhood.”
A thousand questions, questions, questions too personal it seems to ask this woman with the bright eyes that see into my mind. What made you grandmother-twice-back-and-more cross the great ocean to this place in deepest wood? Why bring your sons and leave a daughter at home? “So many why’s my dear.”
“Did you not move across an ocean? leave a son behind? stay in a country where the accent was not yours? We have much in common you and I. I crossed the sea for love, for a proper place for sons, for their father’s sake we built and grew. My daughter was well cared for, her father claimed the child. She would be safe, safer than a yeoman’s child and learned. “
“ My sons grew tall, broke their own land, and made their way no longer laboured in the fields of some descendant of King Williams thieving clan. I taught them well, my daughters too, those younger ones, and all the others too in the tiny school we built. Dear Dr. Strachan, dear old kirk where learning was allowed for all who came.”
“ Did you see our school house ? We had four rows of benches, a board my husband painted every September. The Bishop was generous; every child had his own slate, a bible and a first book. My pupils learned to read, and write, and, on the winter’s nights lit by fire and candle taught their parents too. When harvest came our sons, all of the sons, could count and claim all that was rightful, and give thanks for freedom and bounty.”
But all this does not reply, I see that one question too intimate to ask.”
“Why? I’ll try to answer. I was a gentle cousin in his lordship’s house, kin without status, a pretty girl I think. We touched, we loved, a child was born. I lost my place within propriety. The child was taken, I was given to wife to my yeoman. My great fortune, we brought four sturdy sons to the new country. You have his blood and thus most dear to me.”
“Now tell me”, she asked, what have you done, to make me proud?”
I thought for a moment and said that I had loved to learn and tried
to teach my students honestly.
“You have your answer. “she said, and laughing, “We’ll have a cup of tea, share stories of those children we have known, and fill the time until the ferry woman calls you home. Don’t be afraid for you will come again. We will be friends.”
I give my gift, a tiny book of poems as I wave farewell
While walking through the woods en route to the Gypsy Camp, many things were going through my mind, not the least of which was the journey. Not necessarily the journey of the moment as much as the bigger journey … the one we all take in our time.
Upon this sphere of sun-warmed rock called Earth,
beside a sparkling stream.
Tall pines share their fragrance
while, on the ground, their cones are waiting
for a conflagration
to urge them into life,
to build anew,
stately forests of the future.
The sphere of rock on which I lay,
invites me to press my naked self
into Her blue-green reflecting body,
to feel Her reassuring surface,
to be one with Her
as She makes Her endless journey,
to watch the ever changing mountains
as they become a million, billion, trillion noble specks
of sand upon a beach.
All living things have their niche;
With birth, we start to die,
but first, we live, ignite the fire
of love and caring
for those traveling with us upon this earth,
two legs and four,
feathered, finned, and scaled,
then, like the ever-flowing stream,
we move onward to our destiny
until, we too, are but fossils in the rock.
©August 13, 2005
A dance for a Queen
Seductress in their own rights
But fearless and powerful warriors
A dance should be appropriate for a Queen
So I have conjured the dancer in me
I have awaken the dancer from afar
The one who let herself be seduced by movement
By a way of life in the sandy lands of Arabia
For the Amazonian Queen I have prepared
A performance that is ancient as the Amazonian themselves
I will dance the ancient art of the belly dance.
Güarionex, the steed who took me to the Hermitage
I felt scared as I approached Güarionex for I have always been afraid of horses. If they don’t trust you there is much that can happen. I look deep into his black eyes at the same time as he stared at my green eyes. A moment of eternity passed between us while we gaze upon each other reading our souls.
Suddenly he made a nod and I came out of the trance. “He will let you ride him”, said the Horse Whisperer. I smiled for what I saw in his eyes was a story so extraordinary that was uplifting and inspiring. This horse was no ordinary steed he was a warrior who was a companion to legendary warriors. I felt unworthy of such an honor of being able to ride him.
“We must go know, is getting late”, the Horse Whisperer added as he climbed up his white horse. “The trail is long but inspiring. Let Güarionex feel the road and do not be scared for he will take good care of you. He has seen something special in you.”
“Why you say that?” I asked.
“He is letting you ride him. Last time he let someone ride him was a century ago by a great king of kings.”
“Maybe his bored and want to feel the road under his hooves.”
“No. He saw something in you so do not think of yourself as entertainment for him. He knows when someone is worthy of him.”
I look at Güarionex once more wanting to ask him what he saw in me. But as I gaze upon him I felt a warm feeling inside my heart that took my fears away. I smiled, he nodded.
I climb on to his saddle and waited for the Horse Whisperer to tell me what to do. He just said, “Hold on and seat tight, is a bumpy ride.” Suddenly the horses started running fast. I hold tight on to the rope in order to slow him down but Güarionex did not give in.
“Loose him up”, the Horse Whisperer shouted.
I did not want to do that. A chill went up my spine as the only thing I could do was hold on. I got closer to his neck trying not to fall down for I knew it was going to hurt a lot if I fell.
“You have to let go.” The Horse Whisperer shouted to me.
I looked at him not understanding what he said. I was really scared, the wind blowing hard at my face. The road passed fast underneath us as Güarionex rode faster and faster each passing second. The valley was hard to admire at that pace. Everything was a blur because you could not distinguish one color from the other, a wild flower from the grass. The only steady things were the sky above and the mountains beyond. They looked as if they were spectators looking down on us not wanting to miss the action that went on in the valley beneath them.
The Horse Whisperer’s words echoed in my mind as I tried to understand their meaning. “Let go.” I said to myself. “Just let go”. As I said that my hands relaxed their grip and loosened the rope on Güarionex. A sense of freedom revolved around me and confidence took over my soul. It felt great! I let go of my fears and enjoyed the ride letting Güarionex ride faster than before and trusting myself to him.
A rush of adrenaline flew thru my veins as the wind in my face felt exhilarating. Then it came out of my mouth like it had been there all my life trying to get out but never had the chance. A loud scream, yes I screamed so hard it was heard through out the valley as we rode fast through its green pastures.
The Horse Whisperer laugh and I joined him. “Oh, this is awesome!” I exclaimed.
“Every time, every time” He repeated with a huge smile.
“Can he go like this for a long time?” I asked out loud.
“A little longer!” He answered.
“Well then let’s have a race!” As I said that I let out a “Hia!” and Güarionex started to go even faster. It was a glorious experience that uplifted my spirits. The Horse Whisperer caught us in seconds and he pointed to a group of trees for us to stop and for the horses to rest.
We stopped at the chosen spot and when I got down Güarionex caress me with his face. I smiled and said to him, “Thank you too.” I kissed him in his forehead and hugged him. We stayed there for an hour eating and laughing. The Horse Whisperer told me of his craft and talents, of his family and how he was chosen to be a horse whisperer. He explained to me that they choose a name that only the horse appointed to him must know. But I could call him Rob. He was taught at the University of Centaurs by a legendary old centaur. He told me that the centaurs are the only creatures capable of teaching that craft for after all they are half horses.
The road was waiting for us and we climbed up on our horses but this time, for we were closer to the Hermitage as we covered most of the road in our ride, we took it slow. I wanted to enjoy the sites as we past beautiful trees and enchanting roads. Soon enough the sanctuary of the Hermitage was visible in the distance. It look beautiful, I smiled as I saw it. I was finally there and my heart was full of joy to gaze upon it.
“When we get there I will attend to the horses. You go in and relax and enjoy your stay. It’s a good place for meditation so take advantage of your time.”
“I will see you when you and your party are ready to live.”
“Thank you for this wonderful trip”
“Don’t thank me, thank him.” Rob, the Horse Whisperer, said pointing to Güarionex.
I smile and gave Güarionex a pad on his mane. We entered the Hermitage and left the traveled road behind.