Friday, February 12, 2010

Swallow tails

Author's Note:

It is magic that waits to be noticed and yes, it is to those who look for it that magic comes.  This story was given up for 'lost' and yet was found when the magic visited the doused case of words crafted in a box.  'Found' again, the story lives and it is to SHE WHO CREATES I send 'magic of the sort that suits your aches.'  Thank you, JT!  Live on with story ...

The twin babes broke shells hungry for their future. Tusi had just returned from a spin along the full edge of the Lake. “I hope you’re packed with edibles dear heart,” Shelela smiled to her mate perched deftly on the mud latticed roof of their home. “They are here, and they are hungry!” Two perfect Wood Crafters with head, face, feathers and grace blinked into the soft light of the late spring afternoon. The new breed of Wood Crafters, Swallows to be sure was a version of my self and my sister with an unmistakable variation found in their tail feathers. Split they are into an aerodynamically perfect “V.”

Oh but hold still a moment, before moving into the vision of our new-bies let me re-wind a bit to lay the cedar plate for your sweet tastings. Even now as I bend forward to peck at the story well on its way into the future of your grand planet Earth it is in the recall of the past deeds that makes the present. As this tale breathes into a life of future times the magical connections warrant refreshment. Do you recall the silver ring with stone of pink first glimpsed in a story of the fore? Yes, it was that same ring that split between the grand Grey pair Shemaladia of Osprey and Freeill Noa of the South that birthed twins like none before. My own dear sister and I were the first born from the promise of reckoning the smallness of beings. Shelela and your own dear story teller were the Wood Crafters first lineage of Swallows. In our fashion we have paid well the attending of grace for the littlest of details and the finest of reserved nature. Nuance and peculiarities have been my particular favorites. It pays to have such grace when it is remembering the story that is your kuleana your responsibility. My twin sister has nurtured the love of small shiny things, some as minute as grains of sand others as grand as gold specks in the eyes of a wandering witch.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The affects of water on the tale

Sunday morning here on the banks of the salt marsh, and I thought it important to send word to those who are patiently awaiting new installments to the tale "Tree Skin".  Here is the short update:  when the hot water/tea poured liberally over the keys of Ruby the laptop, the most recent installments (stored only on Ruby's harddrive) were washed away ... like writing in the sand at low tide.  A borrowed computer (this one) is shared property and I must be respectful with the limits of my friend's machinery and my ability to be in the basement to write and gain access to the Muse.  Piecing the lost and found parts of "Tree Skins" will take a bit more time. 

Sorry for the interruption.  Accident or (Neptune or Mercury) Intervention?  I am making peace with the delay, and send you wishes of good cheer.


Friday, January 1, 2010

The nectar of place

The sound echoed sharp almost metallic, the quiet such an empty barrel. From the ledge Lokea looked across the Wood and found the flat top of the old fir. The woodpecker was done with the fir for the moment his wings carved space above all the others in search of some other Tall One with need of his vital service no doubt. Relieved that the noise was not a chain-saw the old woman set her cup down and let herself be absorbed by the quiet of the space. “You’ve been here all week,” her husband’s statement innocent enough. The fact that she had lived almost seven days without leaving the Ledge was something. “They measure in such small increments,” Tandalori assessed and wondered how Lokea would respond or if she would respond at all. The crone was now nearly four hundred cycles, well used to the many forms of change that take place in the Here and There. Criss-crossing the boundaries of space and time might have been tricky business for someone with less vintage. In this case, Tandalori was perhaps the most skillful of all at wearing time lightly. She had no business elsewhere and leaned from her vantage point to listen and watch.

Lokea Bird accepted the fact that she could not fold origami cranes. Day after day she picked up the empty red packaging that had held her English Breakfast tea bag, snipped the sides to make a square and began working the foil paper. Willing her fingers to remember what her mind could not Lokea began the complex folds that had once been a daily ritual. Somewhere between folds something was lost. The crane was there she was simply not where it was. “Maybe tomorrow,” she concluded. Memory for words faces and things lost their value for now. As complex as some days were she welcomed the shortfall with gentleness. Now that was something.

Seasons had changed on the Ledge since the dandelion wagon first parked between Tutu and the families of fir, hemlock and pine. Travelling Frog and his queen Bernadette spent the ninety days of warming the old dears as they slept inside the wee wheeled wagon. The weariness of wet wool dried and like the rest of the outer wear it too could be hung on pegs. When the level of the pond neared the point of transformation Travelling Frog sat on the top stoop of his wagon sniffing, noting the thick hatch of flies and mosquitoes. “Summer’s come my darling Froggie,” Bernadette joined her mate and sent one slender arm the color of tea and milk around the Gypsy Frog’s shoulders. “It has in deed.” A taste of salty sadness filled him. Both knew it was time to leave The Bird and her man to their destiny. “There’s room for time to slow within the old ones just there. The dreams have come flush with their past dealings and both now see us Fairies as part of Ever.” T.F. twirled the sides of the fiddle ferns now towering over the roof of his wagon. Cloaking the tiny wagon home a usual fairy practice had been eased since Josephine drank the dose of nectar-of-place. “We can begin the migration to the Lake in short order my queen. I will be meeting with the grand of fir at the top of the slope this morning. He will be sure to know the warming is complete. The newest babes are freshly hatched from their shells of violet and between old and new there is a sliver of space for the mischief-makers. I have heard them in the night winds Tandalori has come on the dust of the last full moon. Our work is done, for now.” “And a fine manner of work it has been.” Bernadette had grown very fond of the round-bodied mortal and knew she would leave The Bird an open window to her best fairy magic. “I will miss them Froggie,” she said. “I know. It is the same for me.”

Lokea and Pat made room for the nodding of the firs and the electricity of pink rhododendrons in spring, time slowed and the trees began to bear their skins. “Who ever named tree skin bark?” Lokea finally answered. Pat was used to his questions being hung like summer laundry. Pegged on the line flapping in the breeze it could be answered with more questions or a variation that might serve as an answer. He laughed at the way his mate made sense of the rhetoric he often batted into the air between them. The two had spent nearly every minute of the past many years within a few yards of one another. There was a strange comfort that circled them because of it. Maybe the intimacy of Diaspora does that as a defense against the soul’s dissolution. Maybe it was sorcery. “A fool with no real acquaintance with them at all I’d guess.” The tall lean man caressed the top of his wife’s tangle of hair and kissed the back of her neck. “Some fool no doubt.” Her round face and full cheeks angled up for kisses and she got them.

Tandalori smiled to hear the woman’s question and nodded wordlessly to her longest time companion. “The Flicker was busy this morning. Are the crawling ones finding your old skin a fitting feast?” Nui laughed a deep low rumbling laugh, a slow sort of ripple that began in the feet of the grand fir nearly two hundred measures below. “You never lose your sense of humor Crone. I would say your question be better directed to them rather than me. It does not matter in the while the nibbling and the paring away of the old skin. But the hammering does annoy me when it’s a nap I’m after.” Throughout the Cosmos the Tall Ones have a reputation for being life-givers and seemed to simply accept things like burrowing beasties and long-billed birds with little concern. Kupuna Nui was nearing his four hundredth cycle on The Planet as this story begins. “It’s a fine day for the winds and yet they are pressed to keep up with the craziness that fills the skies today. They … Nui tilted his long deep eyes to the haze of cloud-like shapes …continue to tamper with the work of order and it tires us, but mostly it makes us weep.” Trails of exhaust from the human’s jet muted the deep blue of a daylight sky. The crushed glass leavings sprayed from the passing jets dusted the air screening the sweet tenderness of an innocent world. Tandalori felt the sadness and the irony in Nui’s comment. The community of Tall Ones and the winds who migrated or stayed close to the high mountain ridges all wept to keep the Cosmos clean and yet tears were not enough.

Only a handful of the crones as ancient as Tandalori continued to make Earth their ground of choice, and her reasons for staying bloomed with the season upon them this spring. “I tire of the arrogance that weighs so heavily on you from the mortal and still you give them life. There’s a tilt to the planet coming and you know that will mean …” Kupuna Nui knew what was coming and in unexpected fashion the patient one interrupted. “Things will turn top side down. What roots will fly. What flies will root.” The rhyme was powerful and true, a time of topsy-turvy waited impatiently. Tandalori cackled, spinning in tight circles just above the fir’s ridged top causing a clearing, emptying the chaff-scattered air. Like a drill the crone rose deeper into the sky, laughter echoing, wings held tight against her side Tandalori laughed her way through the poisoning jet streams to find her sister. It certainly was time for the next steps. Though Kupuna Nui was rooted to the slopes of Ever his soul had traveled from stars billions of light cycles long forgotten. Stars which were common to both Tandalori and Kupuna watched, and the old woman who questioned the naming of bark for tree skin was watched as well. Magenta Moon, Tandalori’s twin stirred the sticky syrup while one brilliant pink eye scanned the sickeningly pale sky between her and Earth. Conning in her sister’s direction she invoked, “Nectar of the place be ready tonight. The glass of the sky is just not right. Make it a promise. Make it a spell. The twist and the turn are upon them.”

The Tall Ones watched and they felt the air above them clean. Nui conned across the glen of Ever to Tutu who was alert to the happenings. “Those witches are making mischief. I’d be a frog or a goblin if that be a mistake. Seems the full breath of the Reassembling draws short in the making. What part will be played here, the Tall Ones are waiting.” “So you’d be a frog would you now?” Travelling Frog emerged on perfect cue. The two elders roared with laughter at the exquisite timing of the Gypsy Fairy’s entrance, and if you have ever been in the presence of a forest roaring with laughter you’ll know … laughter is contagious. Counting in singles from high ridge to lake’s edge the Tall Ones numbered more than five thousand. These fir, hemlock and pine considered themselves the remaining Woods of Ever. Except for Kupuna Nui who survived the original saws, these trees are the second and third generation of Tall Ones. Joshua Tree inherited guardianship of the Woods of Ever and it was his laughter the trees sought. In no small way it was his playfulness and sense of joy that was the essence of the nectar of place. Important this piece of information dear ones who listen and same for those who read: it was his laughter the trees sought.

After a session of woods-filled laughter a being is infused with stardust. Night or day the laughter of the woods beckons to the dust of past stars and draws to it the future possibilities. It is the most delightful sensation. Travelling Frog smiled broadly, and settled at last from the ecstasy. “Mortals are rarely quiet or slowed enough to hear or feel the playfulness of a wood during laughter. Few come to the Woods of Ever with light heart and easy rhythm of time. The old dear mortals who live within Pond and Lake had come fleeing the shatter of dreams and shifting functions of the physical body. Anna struggles with the loss of her once mercurial speed and quick wittedness, bound to a body that will not mind her, the Cosmos sent her Turtle who is Earth’s laughter specialist. Lokea Bird is new to the ease of a reassembled soul, her guilt and remorse like her weariness move with time. She remains in habit though, at least for this little while. The Bird is lost without the struggle … why that is for some I have never fully comprehended.” “It is the elasticity of the will bred into them. To their detriment or benefit, worn-out habits fit tightly. It makes our work that much more tedious.”

The crone was bent on corrections and yet knew the limit to her finagling. Tandalori listened in particular to the sideways brain ticklings of Patrick Nicely. “He’s a leprechaun in a very tall mortal body. Moving side to side he longs for the laughter yet gets swept up by the loudness of urgency. Time will teach him. Time will tell.” Of course you who listen and read the unfolding story have noticed … it is only Joshua Tree who first came to the Woods of Ever with young soul and easy heart. His legacy indeed is planted in his name of origin. He is a tree and that makes the difference.

The first heat of the cycle came with force. The breeze found comfort else where and EVER and everything alive relished the fullness of the sun. Blossoms miniature and miss-able to most popped from the ground coverings silently awaiting the green light. Pollens spread the fine dusts of creation without asking, it was their job to do it and so it was. Still resting in the high altitude of Kupuna Nui’s outstretched limb, the elder fir woke Travelling Frog from his revere.

“Tandalori and Magenta are mixing the brew of remedy. The tilt will come sooner than later. Timing will be sure. Turnings will come bright. Make things right. While in the Lake now turn your sights to The Big House. It is there the care is needing. Trust the small dog with one keen eye, and shift now your work to the dears inside.

T.F. understood his mission and accepted it with rekindled love for the man who had built the cabin now in shambles to the untrained eye. The Cosmos makes no mistakes. Will run riot is not pretty to live with, and yet when the stars, planets and celestial bodies slip into their groove mortal will gets set to right … or left. The recipe for the nectar of place was slipping into the groove and the worn cabin and its stove topped hut next door would play mayor parts in the further unfoldings of this tale.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Tree Skin


Mokihana Calizar

Copyright, 2009

Witches and crones are the dispensers of remedy. If not for the kin of Tandalori, story would be less interesting not because there would be no odyssey to recount or journey to describe. It would be the absence of humor and practical jokes that turn tragedy into a twin reality, a parallel universe where something different waits in offer. Incited with the bitter root of irony Tandalori and her coven have a recipe for destiny mortals cannot imagine. The story of Wood Crafters and mortals continues and draws on the simple phrase first canted by Travelling Frog when he used ‘the nectar of place’ as remedy for feline and canine who were far too precious to harm, yet the nature of both would have led them to destinies of edgier consequence. Put the spring water on for tea, get comfortable with quilt or sunny bonnet and listen to the tale of Tree Skin.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The final hank ... the last installment Shelela and Shenia ... She the Little and the Small

Shelela and Shenia … She the little and the small

Our story draws closer to its destiny, dear ones. The journey broad, the telling savory, the lessons wrapped in filigree and sennit, bundled in cedar boughs and hidden on bits of driftwood from islands far south of the high mountains. The tale cannot be finished without knowing more about my own dear birthing, and that of my twin Shelela. If ever you will need the nectar of the place to taste the truth, it will be here as I braid the final hank into place. Have you kept the kettle hot for tea? If you have neglected the small ritual it would be a fine time to raise yourself to the burner and bring the spring water to a boil. A story always tastes the nectar of the place with tea.

We must return to the beginning and listen as my own dear mother and father consider the choice Kaimalama Noa has made.

Shemaladia of Osprey listened as her mate to be recounted Kaimalama’s disclosure. Both my parents were full-size Grey Wood Crafters. To see them now, their heights would surprise mortals for they were Giant in your vocabulary. Perhaps as large as twelve feet from ground to head feathers, Shemaladia and Freeilll were among the last of the Giants with coil of stardust and bird nearer fairy than human in spite of their size. My mother waited for my father’s final word, looked deeply with her eyes closed and sought any unspoken thought that might linger in his telling. When she found none there Shemaladia asked, “Are these mortals long in coming? Will it be within our cycles they be here on The Planet?” Freeilll Noa felt certain the mortals would come only when his name and that of Shemaladia of Osprey were as fairy tales or make-believe. “Do you see the lesson in our mating as a birth-place for our future coveys, a warming of a different sort to prepare our twins for change?” My father simply nodded, affirming Shemaladia’s intuition. “Kaimalama has opened a channel to the Ever of the future through his choice. What has been is reassembling, and though you and I have enjoyed the Grace of Grey and crossed the Cosmos with our gifts there comes a time for loving the small, birthing the value of reserve and it continues with our mating. We have been asked to value a concentrated version of ourselves, leaving behind that which no longer serves, embracing all that will likely flourish forward. My brother’s choice will reveal the nature of small when nurtured. He has lived one hundred cycles with a secret kept. Hording polyps, fish and the moving winds examples of secrecy and a grace ill-founded.”

Shemaladia of Osprey remembered the moment she first saw Freeilll Noa. “What will our twins be like from our mating?” She had thought that then, and now she knew the answer was “different.” The lid of stars that poured stardust from the constellation of The Big Dipper would open within three moon rising. Time was still on the side of destiny. My mother had received many gifts of gratitude and thanks over her long life. Souls lost and found often gifted Shemaladia with tokens of their appreciation. Thinking of her pouch of brocade that held those gifts my mother conned in my father’s direction, “I believe a clue has been with me all these many cycles. A gift from a sister lost to herself gave me a circle of silver with stone of pink quartz. The ring was too small for my claw. Pink quartz is for the healing heart, perhaps the perfect size for reassembling the size of a Wood Crafter’s egg.”

In the end the ring crafted of silver with stone of pink quartz was indeed the perfect size for twin eggs birthed by Freeilll Noa and his mate Shemaladia of Osprey. The lid of stars poured their stardust as it had for times back into memory, and as it has been for all those times, mates of destiny embraced their dance of bliss. One of those paired is said to have embraced with a small circle of silver held tight between their breasts. The ring of silver split between my mother and father. Each half was absorbed into their hearts creating two halves the size of perfectly reassembled eggs, twin girls named Shenia and Shelela Wood. In the scheme of destiny we were the first of the covey to be She the Little. My mother and father viewed the future knowing the new race called Mortals would grow with the spell of hording in their coil. Like my uncle the spell would be like a mask unconsciously worn unexpectedly risky business. My parents chose to value the small concentrated good that had until that point lived grand, large, and Giant. We sustain our Grace through that choice and look from our coveys and warrens at the mortals who are called Sensitives and Spell-binders and watch for one woman in particular who has memory of kin and kind. That mortal carriers the gift of Fantasy … a willingness to forget all and then, she will make room for us to join in. From the Ledge near the Pond of Ever a woman fitting that description has moved herself and her mate into a wee wheeled home. The fairies are keeping close watch on things on the Ledge, and warming on a branch is a pair of violet eggs the size of a mortal woman’s earrings.

This story is braided complete for the while. Mortal destiny lies tentatively on the balance between grand and small. Sensitive kin with dreams falling down around them are the clue to a reassembled beginning. Will the race who has been spell-bound by greed begin anew, release what no longer serves the original Creators’ song and step gently back where the nectar of place is sipped, shared and for goodness sake, never horded? Cross your fingers and make room in your dreams for fairies and Gypsy Frog kings to join in. Until the next wind gathers the dust of story ~ be gentle with your stepping and kind in your encounters.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Spring finally arrived in the high mountains that cycle, the rains ceased, the winds shifted into more often the breeze and the pond slowly began to fill in from the sides. The pond grasses and shrubs began their tangle dance of sprouting from the edges. If one was not watching you might say the pond was disappearin’ but really, does a thing ever truly DISappear? Jo and Lokea made a ritual of regular journeys from the vardo on the Ledge, Lokea often in the lead at first coaxing the stealth huntress from her den on the porch. “Come on Jo, let’s go.” “Doesn’t she know I’ve spent most the night out there and now she just wants a little hike for the fun of it?” Jo watched from the top of the trail her eyes scanning and her nose twitching. The chipmunk scolded from across the slope, taunting Jo “You keep away from THIS tree. Isn’t it bad enough you and your people have taken apart our ledge and made things different? You can’t move things around and not expect to disturb someone you know!” Jo listened; she’d heard this lecture again and again for weeks. She knew the truth of it. Born wild in a wood far from the pond there remained a knowing the black cat maintained. Her loyalty was to the wildness of her breeding and yet, the affection she had for Lokea and Pat tamed her. It was the price for regular meals and a place to sleep. She’d paid and was not unsatisfied with the bargain. She loved the two old people, and they had finally allowed themselves to love her. “Oh, she’s needing to feel the trail, can’t fault her that.” There was nothing better for transition than to feel the Planet with your paws, or feet. Cat was born to teach the lesson of loyalty. “I can sleep later, the days are so dang long any way,” and as if prodded with a switch Josephine was air born and talking a blue streak as Lokea gathered her wits and balance along the narrow over-grown trail.

If it were possible Lokea wished to experience life on the narrow band Pat liked to called the “mean” … living life evenly neither extremely infused with excitement and passion nor deflated by the humanness of living to the point of exhaustion. The fact that she was on a trail alone, sorry Jo … with her familiar, was an example of an Extreme. Many Sensitives cannot be in the woods where mold, trees, pollens and the general reality of life and death in concentration, is just too much stimulation. Lokea Bird had left one love after another: her island home, books and print friends and family, life in a house, clean air … and now that she had made it safely out of the city, the lure of freedom and fresh air refused to be denied. After the first couple of weeks she traveled without a mask on most of her hikes though she was still sure to leave her trail clothes outside the vardo, changing into her robe or inside only clothes after a hike. There are a multiple of steps that make a human Sensitive’s life less convenient and requires living by the rules of sequential access. A Sensitive lives the prototype transitional human experience…less convenience more consciousness. Like Gypsies throughout the history on The Planet, Sensitives often become Gypsies who choose to be Travellers not just because houses and walled structures create ill-ness. Sensitives like Lokea Bird find that the seed of migration has waited until the spell was broken. A family out for a Sunday walk passed the vardo on the Ledge. The young woman smiled in the direction of the dandelion colored wagon. Her father, pushing a child in a stroller looked from the vardo to the mansion across the driveway. What manner of questions crossed the man’s mind? What fantasies amused the young woman?

Then there is the issue of humans aging. Unlike our kin the human has a relatively short life-span. All four humans living within short trek from the pond of Ever are within a count of one to five from six decades. Each of them lives with degenerating functions that create a challenge in their own fashion; and two of them are Sensitives. Anna Paint was born with the air energy lit with fire. Her nature is quick and her mind a twin with two versions at once. The artist has dipped her pen or swept her brush into every conceivable paint, dye and glue available to a crafter of visions. Bundles of dreams began falling down around her. The Pond of Ever called, and she heard. Doctors have named the condition “Parkinson’s” and I suppose that is as good a name as any. Spell-carriers will be given many names before the Reassembling is complete. How fiercely and how long a mortal clings to the dreams that no longer make for a soul satisfied is different. What matters to our story is the manner in which the four friends smatter with the pieces of their differing dreams to create

No one the better

Nor the other the worse

Graced or gifted

With listening heart

Accepting, not rejecting

The pieces of the dream

Now re-done

One will be this

The other be that

And neither expects

More, in fact

Listening to words

Hearing them through

Connected, Respected

Bernadette knew the warmth of the season would light the fire of the kin’s migration. Many of the neighbors had already made the trek to the Lake, and Calliope prepared for his journey this warm evening. “I see you’re packing for the Lake,” Bernadette called through the window of her vardo. “The heat is making its presence plain to me my queen. Indeed I feel the cool deep water of the Lake calling my name.” Calliope arched his long body sniffed in the cool fresh water from below the creek-bed. “Will you and T.F. be coming with us?” “Oh, yes my froggie and I will be along in a stretch of awhile. There’s still a bit of the business to be done there on the Ledge, so be well on your journey old friend and know our night’s work be done before long.” “Then, so be it with you both. I will make my way to the crossing and bid T.F. my best while I’m there. Till next we meet may it be pleasant for you as Ever.” “The same be truth for you, Calliope.”

Travelling Frog rested silently on the lichen-covered stones that criss-crossed the gully. From his vantage point the Pond and Lake were equally near, or equally far. He could see the rails of Josh and Anna’s porch surrounding the mansion. Jane E. sniffed the air and noted, “Frogs and salamanders.” The chiz-shu had grown to understand their role in the cycle of things here. Before her unfortunate encounter with Melissa’s swift paw, young Jane was novice to all things wild. T.F. was the patient one, again using his knowledge of the ways the Gypsy Frog poured the nectar of the place into the large pottery bowl of water kept especially for Jane E. “To save you from your own young self dear Jane the nectar will sort the folk who are best left to their own goings and doings. You are meant for kinder things.” Indeed Jane E. was made to listen and love the two who came and built the mansion overlooking the Lake. Both Anna and Josh found comfort and confidant in the small dog even with one eye. “You are more than dog enough for the task,” Travelling Frog said as he finished his alchemy those nearly ten years ago.

Calliope made his presence known with the low and almost chirp like whistle that only he and his old friend could hear. “And to you a good evening,” T.F. was glad to see his orange spotted companion. “I have seen the doe and her children at the Pond. The young are already at the tit and will be strong of foot before too long. Shelela and Tusi sit and warm a growing pair and soon the telling will have come a big and broad spiral.” Calliope clambered to the rock to sit beside his friend. “Will the changes come quickly when the twins be born?” “Change is slow Calliope rarely will nature’s course leap a rushing river when waiting a season ensures the crossing. Then again who can predict nature in a rage?” Frog and Salamander nodded sharing a small chuckle between them. “The Bird and her man unravel as the two eggs above in that mud-covered nest prepare for a criss-crossed nature.” Both frog and salamander considered the possibilities for The Planet. T.F. offered, “In the mind of mortals, beings such as you and I are of small consequence. The mortal mind views fairy as bug or worse something to be controlled as pest. It is a strange and ill-gotten belief that keeps a race spell-bound. Creators have sent messengers, Indigo children, beings of love, star travellers and Gypsies in all forms. Each has been misunderstood, threatened; physically harmed or worse controlled with concentrated doses of life or death … they call it medication. The two friends knew the risk of concentrating life or death and dispensing a dose without remembering how dangerous sedating a spell in the breaking can be. “So few know how to allow the breaking of a spell, and fewer yet make room and messiness as the piecing Reassemble.” Calliope winked at the Gypsy Frog and in a blink the salamander was gone. “Until we meet, fair winds and cool waters,” T.F. turned and hopped up the wild cherry trunk to the mud covered nest and found both swallows at home.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Inside the heart of the lion

Rain and wind love the high mountains. “You must have brought the gods along,” Josh teased Lokea. The two friends had their own brand of humor and friendship that brought the best from each of them. “One day out of a month the only day no rain, no driving winds. Here you are.” It was truly a gift to have a clear day in April for the move to the woods. After two years of planning and assembling, Pat Nicely had constructed the vardo of their dream. Hitched and balanced with a sand-bagged box on the porch end of the vardo, Pat secured the dandelion painted home to a heavy duty rental pick-up truck. The bed of the truck was loaded with his tools, the lengths of yet to be used oak siding, scraps of stainless steel left over from the inside walls, the spare tire. Once loaded, Pat and Lokea waited for their friends Briscoe and Baines to arrive. They were driving down from North County to be part of the caravan, emotional safety nets more than anything. It was a lot to ask of them considering Baines would not be awake until mid-morning and Briscoe probably never went to sleep the night before. Pat’s cell phone rang, it was Baines. They were lost. Any patience Pat Nicely had that morning was stretched to a thread. Catching a ferry always did that to him and catching a ferry with a vardo was really pushing his envelope.

Briscoe’s Volvo finally pulled around the corner. Her bright face behind the wheel of the taupe colored sedan and her waving arms comforted Lokea. Pat was already in gear behind the rental truck and was under-way. Lokea called to Briscoe, “Follow him. You can use cell phones to keep in touch.” The drive to the ferry was classic. Lokea was the designated lead car, but could never get in front of the rental truck. Pat was hell-bent for the ferry, and he was the only one who knew which route he chose. Lokea admitted to Pat that morning, “I’m doing the best I can with brain fog, do what you need to and I’ll just try to keep up.”

In the end both Briscoe and Lokea followed the dandelion vardo through the streets of Seattle, onto the ferry dock, off the ferry and through more streets again giving Pat his due reward of showing off his art. The tiny wheeled home bounced along the rough pot-holed city streets, at one point the old talisman Lokea had kept with each new move they made was thrown from the curved porch. A detail left during the frenzy to move, Lokea watched her good luck whirl through the air and onto the street. “It’s gone,” she said to herself as she watched the old dragon fall. Almost too tired to care, something within her knew to make careful note of where the wooden dragon had fallen. Lokea made another cell phone call to her ferry-bound mate, “It’s gone,” she repeated. This time aloud and to Pat. “What’s gone?” he asked. Through her muddle and tears Lokea told him. Pat found his compassion again, remembering he had already told his wife he’d stop at the light to pull the talisman from the porch. “You know where it dropped, right? Turn around and go get it, we’ll wait for you.” The words Lokea heard were clear and the sentences short. She believed she could do it. Prayers always help, she said a few more. The green station wagon and driver turned a “U” and as guided by angels The Bird found the parked cars where the old wooden dragon wind chime had fallen. “There you are! A bit more battered but perfect.” Lokea trembled with gratitude. What a small and insignificant detail. No a way to hold on to small things that simply continue to be important. An old biker dressed in full leathers passed the caravan as it traversed the streets of Shipton. Taken by the vardo, the biker turned around to take another look and ended up next to Pat at a red light, “Nice! Very nice,” the approval of a biker was candy to the craftsman. Pat beamed. So, that one sunny morning in early April a vardo painted the color of the lion’s heart pulled in and found a place on The Ledge in the woods.

The true test of building with care for his sensitive mate was in the comfort of the first night of sleep. With bellies filled with baked salmon, Baines’ famous maxi-mayonnaise potato salad and Briscoe’s anti-depressant replacement: chocolate and chocolate chip brownies, Pat and Lokea walked to their new home to hear the frog choir for the first time, “WOW!” To hear each other the old couple had to match, or try to match the decibels of sound coming from the pond. Jo was keen and alert that first night. “You’ll be good there,” Lokea reassured her familiar. The Bird knew it was important to give the panther a night of adjustment to the new smells and the place. The small cat looked through the grilled door of the carrier tucked on the porch. Jo did not argue. Her nose twitched with the avalanche of smells. “This old sweater is mine and you two are close by. I’ll wait. I’ll rest tonight.” Josephine was a smart one, a huntress with lives that knew transition. The night was dark, the sky clear, and the stars lit full tilt. “God,” Pat said. “And the Goddess,” Lokea added. It was the most incredible night’s sleep they had had for a very long time. The air was crisp and clean. The electric air filter rested for ten days without being turned one once. The years of inconvenience and deliberation had paid off. They weren’t in the city they were sleeping on The Ledge and the vardo was an oasis.

The dreams came quickly for Lokea. Dreams have always had ready access to her. It would take Pat a few weeks before he was able to slow down and let go of his need to do. T.F. and Bernadette knew their work and paced their grace skillfully. Lokea was unraveling a life line of ancient pathways and destinies. Bernadette trod gently with Lokea. The Gypsy Frog Queen watched the old woman revisit the regrets, losses and unresolved ifs of a lifetime. Bernadette fed the Bird energy for love and turned the juices of trust to the fully ON position. Bernadette could not fix the disease that tampered with the old woman’s body and mind. Pesticides, chemicals, fear, exhaustion and toxic thought permeated The Great Planet. Lokea was one of The Sensitives and absorbed exactly what the planet absorbed. The fairy queen knew her kin were dying from the poisons as well and found the strength of her grace grew with opportunity. Time? Time is timeless. Bernadette knew her place in the Cosmos and simply joined in. Slowly The Ledge and the Reassembling would affect the causes and with more time Lokea would become different, The Great Planet would become different. The Bird had brought a piece of destiny to the moment and care had been taken to remember her place. “One piece, a part, no thing untouched, no soul un-needed. One piece, a part, no thing untouched, no soul un-needed,” Bernadette canted the ancient song and called from the realms of all Fairydom the embracing wings that have healed planets time and time again. Mortals alone can touch the world closest to them … the people, the places and experiences they know can be affected. The links between mortals and stardust, fairies and the beings of All, now those connections cause grand change we call Reassembling. Traveling Frog and his queen poured the warming dreams into the two old mortals. Night after night the Pond’s choir filled the night body of the old woman and the old man. Darkness allows deep sleep. Dreams patch worn coil. Stardust found places where erasures had left remnant memories. What was worn and tired was laid to rest, composted. If a piece of memory missed a blade of freshness it was offered. Weariness began to fall away. There was time here, and there was the warming. Ninety days there were, ninety days of warming.

T.F. visited Pat in his dreams. Waiting he watched as the old man’s body twitched, his mind raced through the heaps of rubble: projects, resentments, imperfection, and expectation, his limbs ratcheted bolts, fingers grappled with stubborn fittings. Each night the Gypsy Fairy waited for a space, a crossroads in the dreaming where a slight pause might allow a small frog to tinker. “Any luck yet my dear Froggie?” Bernadette asked while she tended the kettle now whistling with freshly boiled rain water. It had been twelve nights now, and still Traveling Frog replied, “He’s a piece of work that Patrick. No not yet my bonnie, bonnie Bernadette. Soon now, soon the man will let the Pond pull him from his doing.”

Six weeks on the mortal calendar passed. “I think I saw a fairy,” Pat said to his wife. “It wasn’t the humming bird. I saw a flutter of wings and then they were gone.” “Well,” Lokea said, “You’ve made space for them now haven’t you? Fairies don’t come if there’s no space for them.” Patrick Nicely was a man of purpose. Without purpose and projects Patrick wasn’t so nice. Edgy would suit, but he was teachable. The years of living with his wife’s disease offered the carpenter a pile of situations that simply could not be fixed. Though he hated it, life truly was out of control. One place after another proved unsafe and chemically threatening. He watched Lokea crumble into someone he didn’t recognize. For too long he thought, I tested her to ‘make sure’ the reaction wasn’t just in her head. Every one around Lokea tested. For almost a decade Lokea defended, and explained. But defending doesn’t work when there’s no space for listening. Six weeks on The Ledge, and Patrick Nicely had seen his first fairy. It was he who was being tested and it seemed Pat Nicely had scored well enough.

It was Long Eyes who witnessed the event. The pale green frog watched from the pile of rotting boards at the far end of The Ledge. A young bumble fairy was very taken by the scent of the tall carpenter, and without reservation, buzzed passed Pat for a closer sniff. “It is always the young ones isn’t it Long Eyes,” T.F. smiled as his old friend and first cousin finished the last of his morning tea. Long Eyes was pleased and patient with the process of any reassembling. “The carpenter will need you to help with his vo-ca-bu-la-ry, cousin. His is a fertile and curious mind and like his hands that mind looks for projects and satisfaction. The words he uses. There is your space gypsy king. When he stumbles for words in his dreams help him.” Traveling Frog was keen to the offering. T.F. had been focused on the actions of Patrick Nicely because the man was a man of actions. Long Eyes’ clue mixed a new method into the magic. Indeed, T.F. would attend to the vocabulary of the carpenter’s dreams and apply the gift of grace.

Jo quickly adjusted to life on The Ledge. The fullness of the wild fueled the huntress with the gifts of her birth. The early visit from Traveling Frog and Calliope did not go unregistered in the soul of the panther. She knew the importance of the frog and yet her nature as hunter reigned. Her territory was broad her wanderings grew day and night. The scent pads left her brand between vardo landing and the reaches north, south, and west. Eastern pathways were problematic. The road, though not thickly traveled by cars was tricky. It was difficult to monitor the speed of cars: some slow, others unexpectedly fast. “Get off that road, shoo!” The road was sometimes the only place for good deep sun soaking. “What is wrong with him,” Jo was embarrassed at Pat’s lack of grace as he shoveled the black feline with his feet and forced her to the slope leading into the back of the vardo. Jane E. watched the corrective actions and snorted, “Hummm…that’ll teach that cat to move in on me.” The road and the saw dust piles around the seedling Josh had planted near the mail box were choice sunning territory. Jane marked the spot with her water and snarled through the hair following into her mouth at Jo who pretended not to see the dog. “Cretan.” A tentative truce kept Jo and Jane E. from outright battle. Jane E. had her job: she protected Anna and Josh and The Mansion. It was clear that her humans’ presence made the difference. On days when Anna and Josh piled into the little red car and headed for the city without her Jane leaned. “Hi Jane,” Lokea opened the front door without so much as a hi ho of a bark from the shaggy shiz chu. With no people to protect Jane was another dog all together. “Got your number, you little actress,” Lokea reached down and scratched Jane E.’s chubby chest. “Your secret’s safe with me.” Feline on the front porch was another story altogether. If Jane saw Jo through the window, she was ON high voltage bark alert. The panther tantalized and stayed within view. A closed door was a green light.

Visits to a cat’s dream were tricky. Since Josephine, like most of her kin enjoyed the sleep of restoration during the bright hours of the day, T.F. enlisted the help of the Tall Ones. Tutu was constantly aware of the movements and activity of the sleek little black cat. The ancient fir watched with interest as Josephine played and practiced. “She is exceptionally quick for a cat not born in the Wood. Her body responds quickly, her nose alert.” Still Traveling Frog knew the cat was a skilled huntress who needed the rules of discerning prey from fairy. “Will she learn without loss you think?” Traveling Frog posed the question through con. “Perhaps, she is clever but not arrogant. Leave messages in her water. Let her drink the nectar of place.” T.F. thought he heard the old tree laugh. “The nectar of place…what a good idea.” To gather what was needed the Gypsy Frog Fairy headed first to the tiny shelf in his wagon reserved for vials of concoction. Organized in his fashion … ‘disarray’ a word Bernadette used when the frog was out of range, T.F. scanned for the proper collecting vessel. When he spotted the squat glass receptacle, he held it to the window to check it for any malingering former specimens. Satisfied the vial would work for his errand, Traveling Frog set about gathering. Flying would be easy, but this work needed to be done with his nose to the ground. The scent of Jo’s pads would take him across her territory. At each spot along Jo’s trail Traveling Frog called to the kin who lives there. Explaining his mission, bug, beetle, bird and mouse contributed a bit to the potion. Like a honey bee collecting pollen Traveling Frog collected nectar of place. When he had nearly finished he stopped at the edge of The Pond. Looking deeply into the now green and grassy water Traveling Frog recited as he dipped the squat glass receptacle and filled it near to full, “The scent of the fairy so clear to the nose, so fair to the eye and like milk thistle grows. Cat will not chase. Cat will not taste. The scent of the fairy no longer so.” From under his cap T.F. pulled a tiny beeswax stopper, sealed the vial sure and rose from Pond’s edge with a flutter of wings. Jo was curled tightly into the old gray sweater in her carrier, asleep. Her water bowl sat next to the dish of dry colored bits she liked to eat when not eating prey. Silently the frog hovered over the water bowl, pulled the stopper and poured his collectings. “It be done.”