My first ever features, so for this special occasion I chose a theme (although I may do so again, LOL). This week’s theme was ‘story telling’. I wanted to include images and writing that tell me a story and take me away to somewhere else.
The first one I chose was
What caught my eye was the soft ‘memory film’ treatment that Laurie has used and the soft focus on the boat and the people in the boat.
Here’s a lovely story by James Watson to go with it:
There are so many memories that I cherish. Memories of joy of wonder and yes even sorrow.
It is difficult to say what is the most cherished of these memories when they are like jewels and pearls set in the crown of life.
Some of those moments are very personal and will remain private at least for now.
I guess for today I shall share a childhood memory of joy and wonder.
I was so very young about four or five and we, myself my mother and stepfather, lived in what seemed to me the busiest of cities in the littlest of states in the US.
I have to mention the size of Rhode Island because it is somewhat of a national unit of measure often used in national news.
But I digress. Perhaps I digress because at the age of four or five you begin to get glimpses of just how large the whole of creation truly is.
Living in the city can be at times a noisy exciting and overwhelming experience for a child.
It was a time for me when walking out the front door of our home, a home that had become an extended womb, was a rush of sounds and smells,
It was a world of children playing laughing and screaming, of mothers shouting their names to recall them home and of their dogs chasing and barking all the way.
A world of smelly cars racing to and fro on the main street just beyond our little side street village.
But there was a blessing in this city just beyond that busy main street and it was called Roger Williams Park.
Roger Williams Park is the place where my mother introduced me to magic. It was a magic so powerful that it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
She would make a simple lunch for the two of us and we would walk, I with my excitement and her with that freshly made lunch and book.
Down our side street we would go, always holding hands when crossing that busy main street that was for me at that time a massive glass wall.
With me in hand she would cross that glass barrier at just the right time and place. She somehow knew where all the secret portals were.
We would arrive at the entrance to the park. A large black wrought iron gate marking the spot where we would pass from one world into another.
From busy city street to a manicured woodland that was surly modeled after Eden it was a passage I would remember.
Along what was to me now a country road we would go, hand in hand me sometimes skipping her always smiling and once again always knowing just where to go.
We would arrive at a small pond and my mother would rent for us a small boat. together we would climb in and she would row to the center of the pond.
The magic in that pond was so powerful that it would magnify all other magic, the magic of the park, of the pond of the boat, of the the book she would read, of the lunch we would eat.
But most of all it would magnify the magic of my mother and me. Magic like that lasts forever. (© James Watson)
The next image I chose was Myn B’s
I liked the way it seemed to tell a story of a woman reminiscing and taking stock.
Which goes well with one of my all time favourite poems by Lianne,
The heart, like an overworked farmer’s field,
sometimes must lie fallow for a while,
needing some seasons of replenishment
lest we deplete its rich topsoil of love.
Plow under the compost of last year’s crop,
let the toxin of losses leach away so that
it can do no more harm to body or soul.
The heart is not a thing to be forced
to keep producing what it does not have;
no phony artificial additives result
in a harvest rich with nutrients of giving.
No pretenses can cover the destructive truth
of the constant erosion of our spirits
caused by the greedy agribusiness of takers
who reap the heart’s profits without due care.
In the season when our heart-fields lay fallow
we learn what nourishing renewal requires –
let the birds of hope return like welcome guests
to drop the clover seeds of restful waiting,
let the boundaries of respect and self-care
contain the precious topsoil of our loving self.
Let our wildflowers of self-creative growth
attract the butterflies to play upon our petals
with nothing further asked of us than just to be.
And let the majestic oaks that line our borders
shade us from the fiery heat of thoughtless passion,
be receptors for the rainfall of personal reflection
that will renew, restore and replenish our hearts
so they might bounteously give from love again.
© Lianne Schneider March 2010
The next image
by Duffboy I chose because of the nail biting anxiety of the image and because it made me wonder why she was so anxious? What did she do? What is she worrying about?
Somehow the story in the image seems to go well with Bill‘s poem,
Dorothy tied her hair back
two long gray streaks of ribbon
from her temples to her shoulders.
Married all these years to a pastor
in a rural Kansas town
some connection to the unknown
Along ths sides of the country path
which she half way expected to spring to life
she avoided the trees
the light through which she said made you drowsy
on those long summer days
when you stretched out your legs
and longed simply to start walking
toward the edge of town
keep going and never turn back.
She’d been tempted
for who has more carnal thoughts
then one denied them.
Children had not yet come though she wasn’t barren
she often fanticized the people she met
had helium voices and cotton candy beards.
The voices consoled her
cleaning the pues alone in the church
the smell of polished wood
brought her back to the school days of her youth
following her dog though she’d forgotten his name
he ran off during one particularly nasty
late spring storm.
Thinking about it now
it was as if she had parachuted into Normandy
even in the far flung fields you could find
relics of farm machinery
yelling for that dog
what was his name
something hit her on the head
some deep voice swam in and out
whispering with corn stalk
at times choked with hay
the crows flew down around her
and then laughed
have you met our king
you’ll remember one day
and his brilliantly witless song
will live forever in your head.
When she came too
gathered at her bedside
were her inspirations
but the world outside was so complicated
it had given up and gone black and white.
From that moment on she had figured
that a blanket comfort in her heart
and over all the world was needed.
Plus the pastor had a lovely voice indeed
late in the night
a cornstalk being swayed by a breeze
she closed her eyes and walked
out past the city limits
on streets that in subtle grayish light
had turned to gold.
© Bill Bell
The next image I selected was
This is an incredibly dramatic image which makes you wonder what caused the torment….
I’ve paired the torment with a possible answer:
Can you feel me dream you
when i fall asleep each night.
Can you feel it when i kiss you
and when i hold you tight.
Can you feel my breath
when i whisper in your ear.
Does your skin start to tingle
when you know that i am near.
Does your pulse start to thunder
when my fingers start to trace.
The contours of your body
the angles of your face.
Can you feel me dream you
curled up to me so tight.
Your body firm and warm
nothing else could be this right.
I wish that you could feel me
that you could hold me tight.
That you weren’t just in my dreams.
wish you were here with me tonight.
This image is full of the wonder and limitless imagination and hope of childhood.
and I’ve teamed this up with ShadowDancer’s myth because myths and childhood go together like ice cream and wafers. 🙂
She can smell the soul of the trees burning alive today. Their secrets are smoldering and a longing oozes through the cracks of their bark. She knew that trees can bleed but she never realized the color would be the same as loneliness. She translates the rumbling of the words that surge across their roots as it travels up into the core of her feet. They are angry, they say, about something taken from them. She furrows her brow, feeling pensive, and begins to move quietly through the woodland.
But it follows.
There is a restlessness brewing in her forest. The last piece of a dandelion, a miniature spiderweb of cosmos, floats by and urges her to follow suit. “Don’t you hear it?” he says, “just go”. She feels anxious and curious, all is wrong in the air and she can see toxins leeching onto every particle they touch. She inhales deeply and holds.
The water is chanting.
It taunts with a beat she has never experienced, forming in the base of her feet and pulsating into her lungs. This throbbing in her veins causes her to exhale just as she gathers the courage to look into the river.
There they are, an army.
Only now does she understand the quake trembling through the forest. The leaves have forsaken their protection from the boughs of the keepers of their timberland home. In a monumental uprising, they simply unfurled themselves to a new destiny. Soft and shimmering, the silken secret keeper of the woods receives them greedily.
They couldn’t deny the change in the air.
For too long in their season of green it gurgled at them, flirting. But they held fast, feeling nourished and appreciated from their hanging homes, as the breeze of hope tickled their toes and the sun of heated dreams kept them warm. But the stars became fainter and it began to grow cold. The breeze became a bully, always knocking them to and fro from their daily slumber. Weren’t they loved anymore?
Then magic became them.
They began to turn into the color of fire and gemstones. They became the most glorious parts of the forest, and all the earth danced and sang to their majestic adornment. But it was the water spirit that had the most beautiful voice of all, and it called to them day and night, never ceasing. They admired its fervent endeavors to worship their radiance. “Let go,” it would sing to them, “fly to me and I will give you all my secrets.” And when their sacred father ceased paying attention, they simply let go.
But they were misled.
They were too vain to realize the translucent ghost had set a trap. Rather than receiving knowledge of all the secrets of the forest, they were haunted by the whispers of death, images of faded dreams, and remnants of dying wishes of those passed on. They understood far too late that they had been taken to travel on the road that receives the dead from winter to push it out of the woodland. They still didn’t realize they, too, were now a part of this death.
Lost souls dancing for redemption.
But it is too late. As the forest fairy stares into the glistening tormentor’s path, she can see the noble protectors of earth, rooted and stationary, bending and twisting to reach their lost children. In a moment of panic, the leaves claw at the reflection of the trees as if they could reattach themselves to life.
They beg for help.
Still reaching, they implore the rocks and the shore to give them their sacred place back in the high places of the woodland. There is no response to their petition. And so they begin to cry and their life force sinks into the deep parts of the secret keeper, whose real name is ‘collector of despair’, until they became too depleted to remember their once-destiny. They are carried away listlessly, their voices become silent, and in their final act, they become the color of trickery.
They float towards death.
As the water churns and pushes them out and away, their lifeless bodies seem to dance on the shadows of the trees. Memories of what was, memories trying to hold on too long.
She spreads her wings.
This is the story of the forest that is never told. These are the colors of all the sadness of the wind, carried from cloud to cloud and dropped back to earth in liquid forms of regret. This is how it always has been and always will be.
The murder of autumn.
Yet with each death there is life. And as this fairy princess spreads her scarlet wings and flies through the still of winter, she can hear the trees whispering to each other of their plan. They will start again. They always do. And perhaps, just perhaps, this year will be the year that they win the war.
Last but not least, my final selectionAn image that reminds me of a scrapbook, of decisions made and of a life’s story:
My final writing selection was chosen because of the fulfillment and inner peace in this poem:
gentle ripples cross luminuous skies,
incantations of light raise ecstatic cries,
mountains lift to moonlight’s serenade
and shadows frolic in delicate masquerade.
moonrise from cradle sleep,
dreams awake from valleys’ deep,
from inner space a soothing glow,
all movement to time’s ebb and flow.
Hope you like….