Archive for January 11th, 2010

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The White Queen

January 11, 2010

In the darkness of the forest the young knight could hear the splashing of the fountain long before he could see the glimmer of moonlight reflected on the still surface. He was about to step forward, longing to dip his head, drink in the coolness, when he caught his breath at the sight of something dark, moving deep in the water. There was a greenish shadow in the sunken bowl of the fountain, something like a great fish, something like a drowned body. Then it moved and stood upright and he saw, frighteningly naked: a bathing woman. Her skin as she rose up, water coursing down her flanks, was even paler than the white marble bowl, her wet hair dark as a shadow.

She is Melusina, the water goddess, and she is found in hidden springs and waterfalls in any forest in Christendom, even in those as far away as Greece.

She bathes in the Moorish fountains too. They know her by another name in the northern countries, where the lakes are glazed with ice and it crackles when she rises. A man may love her if he keeps her secret and lets her alone when she wants to bathe, and she may love him in return until he breaks his word, as men always do, and she sweeps him into the deeps, with her fishy tail, and turns his faithless blood to water.

The tragedy of Melusina, whatever language tells it, whatever tune it sings, is that a man will always promise more than he can do; to a woman he cannot understand.

And with this telling of Melusina, ‘the Queen of Royal fiction’, Philippa Gregory opens her latest book, “The White Queen”; which is the first of a new series set amid the deadly feuds of England known as the Wars of the Roses.

(Now….there’s a movie that I’d like to watch again and which is strangely absent from the shelves of all the local DVD rental stores: The War of the Roses with Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny de Vito).

The excerpt in the previous post also comes from this book, which plays heavily on the mythical Melusina ancestry of Elizabeth Woodville, who historically was the Queen consort of Edward IV, King of England from 1464-1483.

Despite being, IMHO, not as well-written as other books I have read by Gregory, The White Queen is a page-turner with the weaving of the Melusina myth and the historical propaganda surrounding Elizabeth being a sorceress and having bewitched Edward IV into marrying her.

The book is a clever fictionalized account about a rather unstable time in English history. Particularly if you were a peasant-farmer and  were constantly being called upon to trot off with your pitch-fork and do battle with other peasant-farmers trotting to meet you with their scythes.

Surprisingly, there was no famine in England in the 15th Century although one did catch up with them in 1555.

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Accepting Grace, fully.

January 11, 2010

Sabian Symbol for January 11 2010

22 Capricorn: “A general accepting defeat gracefully”

Theme: Loss that does not diminish.

Inspiration: Greatness of character cannot be made less through worldly defeats.

Today: The question for the day is “Who would you be without…?”

Imagine suffering a loss of some sort today. It may be money or material possessions. It may be a relationship; it may be a love. If you believe your identity is bound up with what has been lost… well, not fun.

But if your loss takes nothing away from who you really are… that’s a different story.

It has been said that the only thing that can never be taken away from a man is his dignity and character. At bottom, this is not just about strategy: lose the battle; win the war. It is about going deeply into human character, a deeper resource than any worldly loss can fathom.
(Source Sabian Sage Daily)

As I blog, it is 2.32am, Tuesday the 12th, and the mercury is only a few notches below the record temperature of 44 deg Celcius that us Melbournians sweltered through yesterday.

Nobody sans air-conditioning will be sleeping tonight.  Many have gone down to the beach, to sleep on the cooling sand, under the stars, to be lulled to sleep by the waves.  Sounds like I live in Tonga or Vanuatu, doesn’t it? as opposed to a heavily populated bayside suburb in one of Australia’s capital cities.  Yet we are an island continent.  In the South Pacific.  And no man is an island entire of himself.

A  funny thing happened on the way to this blog.  On the evening of the 11th, some six hours ago, one of my neighbours knocked on my door with a unexpected request.  He wanted me to help him draft and write a ‘break-up’ letter to his lady-friend of the past 21 years; a woman he rubbed along with and settled for, and who decided on Sunday evening, that he was of no further use to her.

Expendability.

My neighbour, let’s call him Ahab, is a 70 year old man who in his youth, survived two tours of Vietnam, only to return to Australia angry, confused and scapegoated for performing his duty as a soldier.  He buried his war memories in alcohol, drifted into a life of crime; he has murdered, robbed, bashed and gone through three wives and fathered a son who won’t give him the time of day.

Ahab has done all sorts of things; the good, bad and the downright ugly. He has lived a very rich and full life in experience, if not in material possessions and financial wealth or matters of the heart.

Tonight he sat in my lounge-room weeping for all the choices he did not make and for having invested 21 years in a woman who, now that he is in failing health, has decided to discard him after he has stood by her for a generation. 

Ahab has been in-and-out of hospital many times these last three years and she has never been by his side and he has always made an excuse for her ~ how shall I put it? ~ narcissism.

After writing the letter for Ahab, (he currently has a badly broken arm which is not healing), I joined him and another male neighbour for some beer and sympathy and listened to them talk; open-heartedly, broken-heartedly about women, love and loss.

Two men sharing their feelings; a younger man comforting an older man; two tough and rough Aussie blokes.

And then there’s my perspective: You see, Ahab has told me on many occasions that he didn’t really love this woman, that she once betrayed him very badly when she cheated on him 10 or so years ago. He has confided in me his intuitive feelings about this woman many times before now, and he has never acted on them. 

Yet, Monday evening, he mused about what his life may have been like if he had cut himself loose from the habitual part-time relationship with this woman and made a space in his life for something more.  Maybe a woman who could have taken his drifting soul and steered it into a safe harbour, encouraged him to give up the booze and shoo-ed off the criminal mates.

Maybe in an alternate reality, we are all living the life we thought we would be living before war, illness, relationship breakdowns, and the vicissitudes of living on this shining Blue Marble separated fact, fiction and fantasy for us and brought us into sharp awareness that our backbones had really been wishbones.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Synchromystically, a haunting paragraph from a novel I have just finished reading, came to mind as I listened to the men mourn:

“You choose,” she says to me. “You choose which one you draw out.” She spreads out the three threads in my left hand and I hold them tightly.

The moon comes out from behind the cloud. It is a waning moon, fat and silvery; it draws a line of light along the dark water, and I choose one thread and hold it in my right hand. “This one.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

At once she takes a pair of silver scissors from her pocket and cuts the other two threads so whatever was tied on is swept away into the dark waters.

“What were they?”

“They are the things that will never happen; they are the future that we will never know. They are the children who will not be born and the chances that we won’t take and the luck that we won’t have,” she says. “They are gone. They are lost to you. See instead what you have chosen.”

The moon comes out from behind the cloud. It is a waning moon, fat and silvery; it draws a line of light along the dark water…….it is still; it is  too hot to sleep.

“Who would you be, without……..?”

 

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Words from the Fringe

January 11, 2010

Synchromysticism: 

the art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance.

~ Jake Kotze~

Synchromysticism is a study of coincidences, synchronicities, connections, esoterica, symbolism and possible hidden agendas in all aspects of reality. Everything’s connected! ~ The Blob

Cool word, but can you play it in Scrabble?

Sophia's Body

Sophia’s Body by Rowena Pattee Kryder, Creative Harmonics.

SOPHIA’S BODY Seeing Primal Patterns in Nature by Rowena Pattee Kryder 128 pages of vivid color 8.5″ X 11″  Behold the basic 16 pattern “archetypal alphabet” of creation, and learn how to use it in design and energy work. “Rowena Kryder has shown once again that she is one of the foremost visionary visual artists of our time. Her painter’s eye for the beauty of nature, melded to a mind attuned to sacred geometry, shows us the secret formal symmetries in animal, plant and mineral life. Sophia’s Body is a paean to the Goddess, a celebration of beauty and delight for the eyes of wonder in all of us.” — Dr. Ralph Metzner, psychologist, author of the Unfolding Self