There are two ways of spreading light – to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. ~Edith Wharton.
Giving love to our hosts/bloggers. A lot of hard work goes into Touched By Fire, both the group and the blog. Like you, each of our co-hosts have lives outside of the bubble… families, jobs, and responsibilities. Yet, they always find time to devote to our blog and group, sharing gratitude, encouragement, and support with all of us without hesitation. I can’t express how much our little group of volunteers continue to encourage and wow me with their generosity and friendship to keep this blog buzzing along.
These wonderful people are also artists in their own right. In fact, it was their role and quality as artists that made me ask each of them to join TBF. I love the variety of styles, media, and ‘flavor’ that everyone brings to the table, and to see how that affects their choices in features and blog posts.
Touched by Fire, the blog, is nearing it’s 1 year anniversary. I wanted to take a moment this week to celebrate our co-hosts as artists and allow them to get some basking in the limelight they, without complaint, bestow upon all of you. I have chosen to showcase different pieces on the blog than on the features page, simply because I wanted to give their work more exposure than is allotted by the features page. Duffboy, MagpieMagic, Moonspiral, Rebecca Tun, lroof, and Linaji – I wholeheartedly celebrate each of you as amazing artists, incredible co-hosts and bloggers, and especially dear friends.
Duff was one of my first co-hosts and he has stuck by me through thick and thin. He really helped me give this blog a great running leap and was always entertaining us with terrific posts, tidbits, and helpful information. I first came across Duff as a writer. His ability to evoke sharp-shooting emotions within just a few lines really grabbed me. He’s a man of many talents, including photography and film-making. Here are a few pieces of Duffboy:
I’m your alternate ending
the button you
21 flavors in a single
I’m the passerby
who dialed 911
mystery man, scape goat
I’m the right words
to say when you need
to seduce, snake charmer,
whenever you must perform
spread legs forgery.
I’m the echo, the real deal
a surface just cleaned.
Sybille, otherwise known as MagpieMagic, is a photo manipulator of the otherworldly kind. I have been following her work since I first joined the bubble. Explore beyond her redbubble portfolio and you will find she is a creative in every sense of the world; her own blogs and websites display an array of beautiful things, jewelry, crocheting, writing, knick knacks, handbags, to name a few. She has also helped keep the blog a buzz with her features and giving spirit. Please enjoy a little bit of MagpieMagic:
The Secret Keeper
He stood in the dark wood, doubtfully looking at the moon through the trees. He shivered in the cold air. Before he had time to consider his choices and give in to his fears she stood before him.
Her hair was long and shimmered blue in the light of the moon. Ribbons were tied in it, each with a key at the end of it.
“You are the Secret Keeper?” he asks her.
He pulls a blue silk ribbon and a key out of his pocket and shows them to her.
“Any questions before we proceed?” she says with a low, soft voice.
He thinks for a moment, “Will my secret be safe with you? A lot of lives depend on it.”
“Of course”, she replies with certainty, “I am the Secret Keeper.”
He pointedly looks at the discoloured and scarred flesh of her shoulder. “Are you sure? Even under torture?”
She smiles and a soft green glow appears in her eyes, “Yes, I am sure. Even under torture, maybe especially under torture. This”, she looks at her shoulder, “happened a long time ago, when I was a new keeper and didn’t know my power yet. Do you want to change your mind?”
He shakes his head. “What happens now?”
She holds her hand out and after a moment of confusion, he gives her the ribbon and the key.
With another of her little smiles she leans forward. He whispers the secret into her ear, breathing in the scent of her, earth, smoke and a flowers whilst he does so. It makes him feel light headed. He finishes the telling and takes a step back, watching her as she ties the ribbon into her hair and attaches the key to its end.
“That’s it?” he wants to know.
“Yes, that’s it, no more is required. Your secret will be safe with me.”
“What happens if I ever need the secret back?” he queries.
“I’ll find you.”
“How will you find me? I could be anywhere.”
She laughs, and with a mocking tone in her voice she replies, “The same way I found you today. I will know if and when you need me. There is a connection between us now anyway”, she said.
“But how will you know which secret it is?” he asks curiously.
“I am the Secret Keeper and in my presence each secret will always know it’s owner” ,she explains and pulls on one of the ribbons. A key shimmers in the moonlight. He recognises the swirls and curls at the top of the key as the one he has given her.
Her dignity and serenity surprise him. She seems very young for such a responsibility.
“Is it difficult carrying all these secrets?” he wonders.
“Sometimes”, she agrees and then, almost inaudible, “they whisper to me, late at night”, and in a normal voice she continues, “you are full of questions, aren’t you? Remember, curiosity killed the cat.”
He grins, “It’s what I do, ask questions. How did you become a keeper of secrets, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“If I told you that”, she laughs at the look on his face, “you’d have to take over. Are you ready for that?”
He shakes his head and raises his hands, “No, thank you. My job is difficult enough.” He takes a step back to make his point.
“Our business is finished then. Unless you have more questions?” she asks him with a mocking smile.
He shakes his head again. “No, no, we’re done.”
She smiles, “So be it then.”
“Take care of yourself”, he tells her.
For the first time surprise shows on her face. “I will take care of your secret, don’t worry.”
“I am sure you will, but that’s not what I meant. Take care of yourself. I wouldn’t like to see you hurt.”
“Thank you”, she smiles, but this time the smile lights up her face and he finally sees that she is beautiful, scarred shoulder notwithstanding. His fear leaves him and he smiles back at her. He is tempted to ask her something else just to keep her here with him a little longer.
“One last question?” he asks giving in to temptation.
She nods, amused by his curiosity.
“What happens if I die? What happens to the secret I mean?”
“The ribbon and key will crumble to dust and the secret will die with you.”
“Good. That’s very good.”
“Goodbye, be safe”, she says and when he looks up she is gone. There is a tinkling sound as of metal clinking against metal, but then that fades, too.
He stares for a moment at the place where she stood before him, then turns around and finds the path back to the city, his heart a lot lighter than it had been earlier.
© Sybille Sterk
Tammy Mae is a deep and loving artist that I have adored for some time. Her stunning paintings, women and goddesses with deeply expressive eyes and emotions, typically represent deep-level subconscious or spiritual conveyances. Her work blows me away every time. Enjoy a little glimpse of her stunning work:
Rebecca’s photography won me over from first glance. Just one look at her portfolio and there is no doubt she will go far in the photography world. She is also a model and you may find her in some of her own, and others, work. Her work always focuses on the emotion of her subject along with storytelling. Please enjoy a few pieces of her work:
I came across Lauren through the homepage layout forum on redbubble. I loved her keen eye for great work, and especially for her ability to put together a collection of pieces that look great together. She is a budding photographer with a youthful, whimsical style that I adore. She’s one of the new kids on the block and came on board specifically to help me out with some of the things I stopped having time for, and of course I love her for it! Please enjoy a few of her fabulous photos:
Seriously, is there someone on redbubble that doesn’t know Linaji? Photography, digital painting, storytelling, poetry, and not to be overlooked, her enthusiastic support to everyone else’s work. It’s no secret that Lina is a dear friend of mine, but truth is when I first started TBF I asked her to join me, but with commitments to many other groups she declined my invitation…. for a year. However, I’m a persistent little squirrel so I kept squeaking away at her until she finally had room in her life to be a part of us. Lina is seriously one of the very first persons that I ‘followed’ on the bubble. I found her because of her writing but also appreciated her visual art as well. I love the way Lina’s written word gets a hold of my insides and squeezes them until I gasp.. and the way she is constantly forging new paths in her photography and digital painting. Enjoy a few wonderful pieces of Linaji:
We were waiting together
The lines of communication were all out
Wired up to find the sound of hearts like our own
Grey matter silver lined clouds
Amassing in the south
Waiting it seemed to rain on our parade.
However, we then looked toward each other
Our peaceful conversation seemed endless
And In our connection
There grew a peerless strength
Within each of us as we remembered
the world was our oyster.
It was then I began to feed you the pearls you were wearing
You took each one with a sensual understanding I cannot
quite describe except to say
I was in awe
My hands touched your skin like raw silk
Smiling you said you liked the itch of remembering with hands like mine
You liked the connection
As did I
And soon we forgot
How painful growing up can be.