Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A sheet of snow...

The saying “like a sheet of snow” is considered clichéd when used in reference to a blank piece of paper. But like most clichés it is so close to the truth. This winter I was, for the first time, living in the countryside and when the snow came and covered my world with a crisp blanket of white, it elicited exactly the same response as a fresh page on which no mark has yet been made; a strong desire to fill it with marks and colours and shapes. So I was delayed in reaching my destination, leaving a trail of spirals and smiling faces in my wake.
A handprint atop a wall, footprints by the river, the absolute joy of making the world more beautiful, or at least making my mark upon it with the intent of beauty, is priceless. The grey faces of people huddling under woolly hats and muffled in scarves were a direct counterpoint to the smile on my face as I danced in the snow. So what if it is cold? The world is gorgeous today. So what if our hair and clothes are damp from snowflakes gracing us with their presence, they will not last long and we can always go inside and sit by a heater (no longer a roaring fire, alas) and watch them fall outside in graceful wafts or pouring sheets, catching the light as they arrive in our world. And I wonder, momentarily, about the people who cannot retreat to a warm place, about the flowers that have sprung before the late snowfall and the buds on the trees, and I admit that I shrug and enjoy the snow, saddened only for a moment by thoughts of things I cannot, at that moment, change.
Then I move on, enjoying a moment in my life where the entire world lays itself open to me, fresh and white and clean and ready for the patterns that will share my joy with the world.
And as I leave the playground of an artists dream to melt the traces of snow from my boots in the warm, I think to myself, perhaps, next year, I can use food colouring on the white, I wonder how that would turn out…

Sunday, June 25, 2006


She sits, fingers caressing the time worn beads. Silence surrounds her, washing over her between waves of sound from cars passing by in the twilit evening.
Her pulse, not like a drum beat, but like waves crashing against the shore, rocks her softly in time with her heart. She hears a voice in the waves, a voice that calls her from the silence, deeper into the sound that fills her. Here she finds the sound within holds her, like an ocean inside her holds her tight in its arms. The salt sea of blood is an ocean of love cradling her in its arms.
The rocking expands into spinning, she expands into the ocean, sensing the spinning of time, of the earth. Her spirit spins and swirls, dancing in the ocean of salt, of blood, within her own veins, grown to fill her whole world.
She sits and rocks and spins and waits. Her own voice silent to those around her, joyously sings inside her head, joining the call of the ocean in a melody of beauty, a symphony of sound. Her heart opens, and the ocean responds. She reaches out and waits, patiently, for her goddess to join her.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


You are running, dodging through the trees, heart in your mouth, branches catching your hair.
There is no path. You make your own path through the forest, dodging through the undergrowth, through the trees, no idea of where you're heading, only that you're pursued.
The dark green leaves surround you, catching at your hair, thorns claw at your skin, tearing, droplets of blood well up and mark your skin with threads of red, a pattern that reveal the shapes of your soul.
Even as you run, even as you dodge the branches overhanging your path, the path you make, that you forge in your fear from the forest, even then you realise that you are unsure of your destination.
You begin to remember that this, this is a test, that the patterns on your skin forming shapes and symbols in your blood will reveal to the priestess where your duty lies.
You hear the howling in the distance, the wolfsong calls your name and you remember, you know your heart of hearts, you know how to call the wind, to use words to reform the world. You know how the fire in your belly gives you strength, how to use this fire, how to flow like water and transform the earth of your body by changing your mind.
And you choose.
You stop and turn to face the hunters.
You feel the fire rise within you and you rewrite the language of the world, claim a new shape.
You too can walk as a wolf, you know how to wield the magic, and you do.

Harlequin's Leap, A Fool's Story

See the city far below, its streets darkened by the night.
Draw closer.
See the streets, murky with grime, lit by spluttering street lamps and dim washes of warmth spilling through the windows of taverns, open late to patrons swilling drinks of their choice.
Draw closer.
See a glimpse of motion from the corner of your eye… a young gang member slips silently from the shadows and slinks along the street as though they are perfectly within their rights to be here, nought wrong here officer.
Follow them.
From street to street the youth steadily travels, and certainty dawns that they are heading for something important. Momentarily you catch sight of their skin, bright colours glisten, inked onto their body. They have newly gained their gang markings, the bright colours of the Harlequins. Perhaps they lead the hunt tonight?
And see, here they slip between the houses and through a boarded window. This must be the place they were seeking.
Follow between the boards.
Behind the window is a corridor, the youth disappears around the corner to where faint light can be seen.
The light flows from a room of gorgeously garmented gang members, all with more colours than you ever realised could exist covering their skin in splashes and spirals and shapes. The walls are draped in cloths of dark red and green and gold, cloths which move gently in an unfelt breeze that causes the candles shedding their light to flicker.
You see the youth approach the room’s centre with some uncertainty, before bowing to one who appears no different from the rest, until they rise, revealing an elderly face but moving with more grace than any dancer, more certainty than any monarch.
The elder tips the youth’s face towards their own, and the young harlequin straightens up and meets their gaze. It feels as though a challenge is being issued, but what this challenge is you cannot be sure.
The youth nods. A challenge issued, a challenge accepted. The elder glides backwards and all present raise their arms, hands joined, in a circle surrounding the youth.
You sense a presence behind you and turn to look, but all you see are shadows in the corners, you turn back, and movement catches the edges of your vision, but when you focus, nothing is there.
In the centre of the circle the youth waits, their eyes closed, face raised to the ceiling, a slight smile plays at the corner of their mouth.
The presence behind you grows stronger, the sensation of something, or some-things, passing you at speed increases. But still you cannot see anything but the ripples of the phantom breeze in the cloths, the flickering of candles.
A subtle sound begins, a humming arising from the throats of those gathered here, and you realise that in the circle shapes are forming, creatures are surrounding the figure in the centre, you can see them take shape, but not quite what shape they take.
The shapes begin to buffet the youth, who stumbles sharply, the smile fading rapidly as their feet leave the ground and they tumble earthwards and are caught, suddenly, inches from the ground. Eyes open in panic, they catch the elder’s gaze, and seem reassured.
The youth holds out their hands, palm up in offering to the shapes that hold them. And the shapes place something in each palm, and the unease that has been steadily growing is replaced by joy, the unsettling humming by faint music that touches your heart and the youth is lowered gently to the ground, clutching something to their chest. The presence recedes and you feel pulled to return to the place you came from. For a moment you see the new gang member helped to their feet and welcomed by the other gang members, more colours and patterns will grace their skin after tonight, one for every choice made and challenge met.
And then... you see no more.