Copy-Editing and Ghostwriting

If there is anyone out there in the WordPress blogging community who is in need of either a Copy Editor, or a Ghostwriter, could you contact me on the blog? I offer both services – and now wa…

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The Hunt of Desire

The journey of the queen continues with the hunt…

 

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There was a time, perhaps a very long time as we like to measure it, when Guinevere was both the huntress and the hunted. As a mortal woman, she desired to be loved and to love, and she fought these wild yearnings of her body until she gave way to the truth of her heart. Until the Fae within could be recognized as a part of herself, the fair queen gave herself over to the hunt. Men, of which there were many, bared swords in battle to win her heart. The lucky ones, those who were most valiant and pleasing to her eyes, she welcomed into her chamber, not knowing that she would end up becoming imprisoned.

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For many years, when she was young and fair, Guinevere let herself be consumed by the hunt, thinking that this was love. Love became, to her, a passion of the body, its fire burning only so long as there was tinder feed it. Hungry knights and their pleasing gifts were consumed by her desire until they were thrown away, charred and humbled by a fickle heart that was never satiated. The beautiful queen cast aside her king, and many a brave and nobel knight, allowing herself, as she did, to become pray to more dubious pursuers. The fate of many who get caught up in the hunt.

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Time, as it will, took over the hunt, and Guinevere found herself its prisoner. She grew bored with change and its endless cycles. Age marred the pleasing visages of those who pursued her, and now, when she looked in the mirror, she saw a pattern of lines and found she didn’t like the history they traced. The births of her womb only served to repeat the maddening cycle.

Is this all there is? she asked.

When Guinevere looked around her chamber, she saw walls and a locked door. The men who had hunted her barred the doors, those who still pursued her, hacked away at an unforgiving bolt.

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This is not life, Guinevere decided, and she walked woefully towards the gated window and looked at the fertile land beyond. Spring lambs dotted the green expanse, and a soft rain fell from the veil of clouds above. Guinevere found herself taking deep breaths as wind blew into her chamber, and something inside of her began to open.

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The Fae within, dormant for many years, awakened, and Guinevere’s dulled eyes began to shine with new life. The heart, so long contained within her chest, began to beat a wild rhythm. As her head turned to greet the rising sun breaking through the clouds, Guinevere’s eyes caught upon her reflection in the mirror hanging on the wall of her sleeping chamber. For a moment, she let herself notice the creases around her eyes and upon her forehead, and the sigh that escaped her lips was not so much the sound of sadness as it was of relief.

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I have lost nothing but time, the queen whispered, and a smiled began to turn the corners of her mouth. Her hands clasped the iron that bars of the window of her chamber, and she shook them with a vigor that both startled and delighted her. How easily they give way, she exclaimed before she pushed her body through the narrow opening and flew towards the fertile land beyond.

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The Face of a Queen

 

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Legends tell of a queen of great beauty. Guinevere, thought by some to be part mortal, part Fae, a queen who seduced hearts and intoxicated the eyes. Her beauty drew admiration to be sure, of this there appears to be no doubt, but was there more beneath the surface? A greater passion born of the soul that sparks light. For legends also tell of a queen of not just man, but of the land. There is talk of a presence that is of the goddess and a marriage to the landscape, as though her fertile body nurtured the life of not just sons, but a country.  In this, she is much more than a mere woman, a queen of unsurpassed beauty that is more that just what one perceives on the surface.

In some ways it seemed perfect that I had been given this role, not because I consider myself a great beauty, as you will see, but because of my love for the land and for my connection to the fairy realm. I am a romantic at heart, and the idea of playing the role of this legendary queen brought back childhood fantasies, but it also brought back fears, also deeply rooted in childhood.

I was relieved, I confess, to see how few lines I would have to speak, daunted by the thespians I knew, by reputation only, who would be glorious in their given roles. Of course, as these rituals are meant to, I was thrown out of my comfort-zone when I was given, after the first act was completed, a role with no previously seen script. Suddenly I was thrown, literally and figuratively into the hunt. I was not only a desirable queen, but a the prey of man in animal form. I was Guinevere and also the boar.

The boar? I thought when I first drew the card. Why? It had never come to me before as a messenger, or had it? I could not, of course, be sure. An ugly animal, I thought, and not very exciting. Here my preconceived notions began to run the circuits of my mind until I turned the card over and read the script. Okay, I had to admit. It was perfect. For me. For Guinevere, who, like the boar, walks between two worlds.

And, I soon learned, if I was to not only play the roles, but become the roles I was assigned, to the best of my abilities, it would take courage. A certain courage that can perhaps be best learned by the boar. This ugly animal that slowly became beautiful to my eyes.

This post, in many ways, comes down to beauty, and our preconceived, learned and unlearned notions of what true beauty is. Beauty is a subjective feature we often assign upon first glimpse. When I looked at the image on my 5 pound bank note, the thought that took form in my mind was, She’s rather ordinary for a queen. In contrast, when I googled images of actresses who have played queens, in particular, Guinevere, I saw great beauty, upon first glance. Yet, I also noted the efforts that went into, for some, to create this illusion.

When Sue, one of the directors of the Silent Eye School, sent me this (very close-up) photograph that had been taken of my face while I was outside waiting in the cold to enact a final ritual, I thought, Ugh! Look at that chin!

Instead of beauty, which she insisted she saw, my eyes fixated on a chin that bore a history that was often uncomfortable. I recalled my husband’s off-hand comment many years ago, that compared my cleft-chin to an unsavory body part, and realized I was still harboring the hurt from his insensitive words. I rooted deeper into the discomfort, urged on by the energy of boar, and discovered that a chin I had once thought cute and unique as a child, also came with an uncomfortable history. An unspoken connection to a stepfather that liked to take ownership for traits that he also shared. The cleft chin, the blue, blue eyes. And, I realized, a dirty family secret had also soiled my perception of self.

As I looked at the photograph Sue sent me, I wanted to pull the mask  of boar that hid the forehead that reminded me of my birthfather, the one that could more honestly lay claim to my features, over my chin. It didn’t look at all cute to me, it looks pronounced and ugly. While I was at it, I might as well admit I didn’t care for the smile lines that spoke of age around my eyes.

No, to be sure, I didn’t see a great beauty. But, sometimes, when I look in the mirror, and at a rare photograph of myself, I allow myself to see beauty. I find that it is easier to bask in the soft light that may surround a mirror and take stock, privately, of what you have grown to love about yourself. Realizing, in that personal moment, that you have chose this face, this body, for a reason. And, in that distilled essence, there is beauty. There is perfection.

I believe it is too easy to adopt false notions of perfection. We are surrounded by unachievable ideals. Airbrushed faces and bodies sculpted by an excess of diet and exercise, and the nip and tuck of surgery. We compare these images to ourselves and see the creases in our skin, the bulges of fat instead of muscles. Sometimes we also go to extremes, plucking and coloring hairs to hide what nature intended, buying expensive make-up to conceal and enhance , while paying for expensive and risky surgeries to shape our bodies into something artificial.

So, perhaps we would be better served to ask ourselves not how can I achieve perfection (0r rather my ideal of perfection), but how can I love imperfection (0r my idea of imperfection) in myself and others? I find that when I first look at someone, I still see their outer features and make a judgement upon my own perception of beauty, but quickly this changes. Beauty blossoms into something wonderful and great when a brilliant light shines within. True sensuality is expressed in the woman, perhaps deemed by most too old to be a sexy, who has learned what it means to love and be loved, especially the self.

There is something to be said about taking away the mask we hide behind and truly look at what lies beneath. And, as we do so, to see beauty in all its imperfectly, perfect forms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Leaf and Flame – Sharing Life

This work with animal totems was one of the highlights (there were many) of this weekend for me. I will likely blog more about this aspect soon. Here is a director’s perspective.

The Saturday of any workshop is always busy. No matter how much free time you try and build in, there never is any spare time. The morning began by greeting the dawn and a reading on the hillside o…

Source: Leaf and Flame – Sharing Life

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The Return of the Queen

How does one condense a journey that is not over, but that began before a magical weekend where I played the role of Queen Guinevere at the annual workshop for the Silent Eye School of Consciousness? I am not sure, but here is what has come out of it so far. 

I walked the familiar path of day

 to meet Snake stretching the light, illuminating

what was ready to be shed, and

what was waiting to be seen

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Later, in the land of Avalon

under a full moon, old blood began its release

and I gave way to the hunt

running with the breath of Boar

into a landscape once veiled

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Here, you waited with your offer

and I bowed to receive the golden crown

but the habits of the false self

are a tight wrap and I held fear

in an unsettled heart and fell

once again, into sleep

only to be awakened by light

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White Phantom of the night, you pulled the shroud

of comfort with a power that unsettles dreams

and I returned to classrooms to unlearn

structure, direction and time. Lessons

from childhood asking to be forgotten

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Oh Guinevere, you, now I

break the threads that bind to reveal

the fertile land within. Avalon beckons

with her green heart, waiting

for the return of her queen

 

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The Foliate Man: A Knight’s Tale

Photo: Copyright Jan Malique It’s been a week since my return from a workshop in Derbyshire, a deeply profound experience. How dramatic this statement sounds, but there is great truth buried …

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The hand that grasps…

Guinevere What now for poor, brave Gawain… and what are we to make of his Nemesis? Morgan Gawain is doomed my Lady there is no escape for one on such a quest. It would be best to leave him to…

Source: The hand that grasps…

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