I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now? ~John Lennon
Summer Solstice by Carrie Richards
This was when the whole world measured time
This is when the light would turn around
This is where the past would come undone
and the spinning earth will mark a new beginning
Let’s go back in time, to when it all began
To the breaking of new dawns
Where moments bright with fire, would light the chanting song
Where pagans worshipped sun, and danced among the trees Wore strange masks of covered straw, and blessed cold ash with awe Wreaths hung upon the door against all spirit’s, dire
and when the winter’s grasp let go, the sun reversed the pyre
This was when the whole world measured time
This is when the light would turn around So that spring arrives, and seeds will sprout and grow
Oh, radiant sun, stretch the day, shorten night
Return earth’s darkness into light
This is where the light will turn around
And this was where the past has comes undone
Lauren McCarter is a watercolor artist living in Boise, Idaho. She generously gifted this art piece to me at a time when I needed a boost. Thank you, Lauren!
I’m back from 20 minutes timed writing. Things have been happening here, strange sounds from a grave sized hole we dug for a tree last fall, now filled with muddy water, lights in the sky, owls hooting, boulders I swear were not on the ridge last fall before the snow, a flash of my stepdad’s plaid shirt, his arm on the arm of my wicker love seat on the front deck, its back to the window. He died in 2008. I look away from the pane, realize what I have glimpsed and look back. Nothing there. But it felt so real. I’m sure it was there. The old dog’s frequent nose bleeds. All that blood, it is from the dog, right? That sort of thing. No doubt all can be explained but it’s fun to let my imagination lead the way and get something on the page. Since I spent a lot of money and time in a horror writers workshop in Transylvania last summer, I might as well practice the writing craft, fiction that is. It is fiction, right?
A pop of red blossoms through the greenery! A tall stalk of clustered trumpets glowed like amber and rubies in the sunset. LaWrynn was mesmerized. Ah, to be a humming bird this evening. But she had come to this world without wings, and though her feet were enormous for her miniature stature, she was thankful for a small nose that she felt made her look quite adorable.
She inhaled deeply while she stretched her arms up toward the pinnacle of crimson glass buds towering above the flower and even over the tree tops. Up, up, up to her tallest. A salute to the sun. She exhaled as she slowly stretched her torso down toward the florescent stems. Red stripes encircled them, warning her of the plant’s phantom poison. She wanted to climb a shiny trunk anyway. She wanted to balance on the bloom’s stigma and view the world from this so special place. LaWrynn continued her exhale, stretching down until she touched the soft moss covered ground. Spreading her fingers open alongside her toes she pushed one leg back and then the other extending her body into plank pose. Then she felt herself collapse to the ground and roll onto her back. She laid her arms straight out from her sides forming a T shape. Breathing rhythmically LaWrynn studied the clouds. She imagined ships and snails and faces in their strange shapes.
Suddenly a giant bud sprang open. Its stem swayed in response to the abrupt disturbance. She jerked into the fetal position and then scrambled for safety behind an emerald bush. Had the blossom heard her thoughts? Had she spoke aloud her desire?
Beyond the sheltering leaves she saw the sun sliding behind the green house roof. She felt an impulse to run inside before the doors locked for the night else she feared she would spend the damp chill darkness among giant insects whose homes she suspected were hidden within the enchanted glass garden.
About this post
I took a vacation away from my pretty-much-isolated home in the Rocky Mountains and ignored blogging for a couple of weeks. In that time on my travels I gathered photos and writing ideas. The day before my vacation Doug Warren invited me to join the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. I agreed to do it, but told Doug I wouldn’t get on it until I returned from my trip. Here is my first post in this challenge. It’s an Ekphrastic writing. That means the writing is inspired by or related to an art piece, be it visual, music, performance, architecture or other art forms. This art inspired this vignette in the collection of stories I’ve started about a spirit who emerged from the other world through a badger hole on the first night of Samhain. She gets stuck in this world because she failed to get back through the portal on the third night. You can read more about LaWrynn, who is as small as a wren, https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/lawrynn-stories-fantasy-and-celtic-lore/.
I made the photos of glass flowers at Chihuly’s Glass Garden. It’s a permanent exhibit at the Seattle Center. I was leaving the center after a day with family and didn’t have time to linger if I wanted to catch the ferry for the home trip to the Olympic Peninsula so I took some shots into the sun as we passed it. Chihuly is a fabulous glass artist and teacher. You can find out more about him and the Glass Garden http://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/
About the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge
Join the challenge! You don’t have to wait for an invitation.
You can read Doug Warren’s posts for the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge https://dpw67.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/becker-vineyards-feb/. In Doug’s blog you can find links to read what other bloggers have posted for the challenge.
The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.
Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge. Don’t forget to tell the blogger you have nominated. Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command. And actually everyone can join in. So feel free to if you like the idea.
I am nominating “GonnaBeAWriter” for my first day’s nomination. I think she’s a deep thinker and avid writer. I haven’t seen many photos with her writing but from what I see in her banner, no doubt she can do this. Here’s the link to her blog. Look her up for some good reads. https://xavanessa.wordpress.com/
The Snow Fairy
by Claude McKay
Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,
Whirling fantastic in the misty air,
Contending fierce for space supremacy.
And they flew down a mightier force at night,
As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,
And they, frail things had taken panic flight
Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.
I went to bed and rose at early dawn
To see them huddled together in a heap,
Each merged into the other upon the lawn,
Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.
The sun shone brightly on them half the day,
By night they stealthily had stol’n away.
And suddenly my thoughts then turned to you
Who came to me upon a winter’s night,
When snow-sprites round my attic window flew,
Your hair disheveled, eyes aglow with light.
My heart was like the weather when you came,
The wanton winds were blowing loud and long;
But you, with joy and passion all aflame,
You danced and sang a lilting summer song.
I made room for you in my little bed,
Took covers from the closet fresh and warm,
A downfall pillow for your scented head,
And lay down with you resting in my arm.
You went with Dawn. You left me ere the day,
The lonely actor of a dreamy play.
About These Photos
This poem was in my e-mail today, so appropriate with last night’s new snow fall. The content inspired me to include the idea in one of https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/lawrynn-stories-fantasy-and-celtic-lore/ .
I looked for a scene to illustrate the poem, a small hill that could be “frail” snow fairies “huddled together in a heap.” Three large chunks of Montana Rose Quartz, each about the size of a football, rest on my deck rail, sending love energy to our home and surroundings. They appealed to me as a nurturing place for the fairies heaped upon them and I wanted to see how the pink would show against white in the overcast sky. One photo looks like an eye peering through the heaped up snow fairies. I got as close as I could with my Olympus E-10 for some shots, and I practiced using my new macro for others. They all turned out good enough. I liked these two for the post.
About This Poem
This poem inspires me to illustrate it and to use it in children’s theater for kids to choreograph creative movement with music.
“The Snow Fairy” was published in McKay’s book Harlem Shadows (Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922). Claude McKay was born in Jamaica, on September 15, 1889. His debut collection, Songs of Jamaica (Augener Ltd., 1912), was published when McKay was only twenty years old. He died on May 22, 1948.
You can get a poem a day sent to your e-mail from http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem-day?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Poem-a-Day++December+28+2014&utm_content=Poem-a-Day++December+28+2014+CID_3db5aadebcc44de8a6abdfe9f3b98bbe&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Poem-a-Day Poems in this site are in the public domain.
LaWrynn picked herself up and stumbled to hold her balance against the gusts. “Crap!” she thought. “If I had claws I could grip onto . . .” Thunk! Something slammed into her. She wobbled but this time she recovered more quickly. She reclaimed her space only a little further down the corridor.
“Not on the ground. Definitely not on the ground”, she muttered, sensing that there was no up or down in this blasting wind. She hovered for a moment, the best she could, and then stretched for the edge, any edge out of the way of oncoming forces. Incomplete forms whirled in circles, those unsettled souls so ungrounded they constantly twirl about as spirits, like they did in their lives. She needed to hang back and take stock of her situation.
She had been pushed before onto paths she wished she hadn’t taken, though she was glad for many of those wayward trails. This push felt more like a pull growing ever stronger, pulling faster and faster like a current in a rip tide. LaWrynn felt she was being sucked into a vortex she could not resist.
“If I can dodge thingamabobs that come hurling through this ruckus and keep myself steady, I’ll like to see where I can go”. She considered a new adventure. She felt the mightiest draw to jump back in and let the speed and danger dash her to the other world. She hoped this time for a chance to live in that tangible place again. She had peered at it many times before through thin veils between her spirit world and the world of mortality. But she doubted she would touch it once more. She felt she could not inhabit that world one more time. It was like looking through a window and not being able to join what she saw. And not certain she wanted to go there.
How long had she dwelled in the world of souls and spirits and sprites, of angels and demons, and things that were things and yet had no identity? An instant? An eternity? Time had no meaning, and all those things, including LaWrynn, had no form. It was what she knew and felt she understood.
She let go her grip. Now she tossed and thumped in a current she could not control. Thingamajigs heaved through space; things with shapes and substance.
Her world had no real forms. Material things simply were not present and not needed. Macaroni, socks, tea cups, bicycles, hammers – what need? No obstacles to being, just being, that was her reality. Her world was without surfaces and shapes and forms and weight; without bodies; without hunger, hurt, and hindrances.
Smack! “Ow!” The sensation of pain! Whack! She grabbed onto the spinning water can that had smacked her, lifted herself up its slippery round side, and clung to its handle loop. It was spilling water, real water, not the idea of water, the real stuff. She had seen water before but now she could feel it. Cool, wet, what a feeling!
LaWrynn rode the can in the flurry, wind tumbling with water, spinning too fast for her liking. She held tight with one hand and reached out with her other arm for a hold on the next open door in the passageway. “Get me outta here!” she screamed and let go of the handle to use both arms on the door jamb. She swung her leg out and pulled herself through the portal, away from the swirling force.
Dizzy, she lay in darkness on a cool damp mound of dirt. Ground! “On the ground? Definitely on the ground!” she assured herself, free from the disturbing uproar. She had poked through the portal, back into the world of humanity once again.
Read more stories about LaWrynn here.
LaWrynn Answers the Proust Questionnaire
LaWrynn and her stories were inspired by this illustration created by Lorie Davison http://loriedavison.blogspot.com/
Look for stories with LaWryn on Sky Blue Daze’ blog, right here, emerging soon.
I started writing stories about a tiny fantasy spirit inspired by Lorie Davison’s fantastic image. Today LaWrynn answers the Proust Questionnaire. You can get a link to the questions and interview yourself of anyone you know or create. It’s at the bottom of today’s post. Enjoy!
LaWrynn answers the Proust Questionnaire
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
What a perfectly stupid question. There is never true perfection in anything. I feel happy when things are in harmony, in balance. No, wait, is that more like content than happy? There’s a difference.
What is your greatest fear?
I fear getting stepped on by a non-mindful range cow. I’m afraid The Great Horned Owl will swoop me up, too, when I am not being mindful. I’m afraid I won’t ever find the portal back to the other side and I’ll be stuck in this material world forever. Yuck! That’s my greatest fear.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Letting things happen. I can’t control everything, but I might try harder.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Which living person do you most admire?
Well, I don’t know very many living people so I can’t answer this, having only lived on this side for a little while. I admire a lot of people, spirits, really, on the other side. There are so many living people in the world to admire, so I’ve heard. What is the world population now anyhow?
What is your greatest extravagance?
How can I be extravagant? I don’t own anything. I did decorate the mouth of the mound I live in, so that might be extravagant. But I have to keep it camouflaged for protection, so even that is not really what I call extravagant. Perhaps the pile of leaves I sleep on is extravagant with the colorful fleece cover. I borrowed some hand dyed wool from the lady of the farm’s knitting basket. Really warm and pretty.
What is your current state of mind?
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Cleanliness. Let’s face it, when you live in a badger hole how can you really be expected to keep your clothes and hair dirt free all the time? That would just take way too much time. So inconvenient.
On what occasion do you lie?
If I tell you, everyone will know when I am lying. Duh! (giggles till she snorts)
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My size. Being small enough to fit in a cow’s ear is a pain. People don’t take me seriously. And my feet are too big.
Which living person do you most despise?
There’s this deranged man that lives up the road from the farm where I nest. He’s just mean for no good reason.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Non-competitive loving sisterhood. Period.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Oh, man! Really? What’s that about? Right?
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
You mean this life or a past life or the next one in line? I love roasting marshmallows. Right? (sniggers or snickers?)
When and where were you happiest?
I was happiest on the other side, always. Living has so much drama, annoying drama. On the other side, it’s all cool. We don’t have emotions there, we just exist, let it be.
Which talent would you most like to have?
It’s not really a talent, but if I could fly it would sure help. And I wish I could know things like how to get back to the portal I used to enter this side.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My size. Whose idea was it to put my spirit into such a small body? It’s just not working. Sheesh!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
In this life, I haven’t achieved it yet. I think it will be when I can find the portal to the other side again and get outta here.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Which time? I’ve been a fish, a dragon, a sunflower, a spider, an amoeba, and many more mortal life forms. I’ve been a human, and I never want that curse again. I’d be anything but that. So much drama. If I come back again, could I just be a cloud?
Where would you most like to live?
On the other side again, but if I have to live in the material world, I liked living in the ocean once. I like living on the farm at the edge of the woods. I don’t like living in the badger hole but it’s pretty safe.
What is your most treasured possession?
My smarts. If I didn’t have intelligence, I’d be dumbfounded living on this side. But for real things, like things, you know, you’ll find out when you read my stories. OK, a hint…I need a key and I need to find out what it unlocks. I need clues. There. Don’t tell anybody. Don’t ruin the stories.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Loss and extreme loneliness. Like you lost a relationship that was feeling good, and then it’s gone. You’ll never get it back the way it was. It’s like smashing a wine glass in a trillion jillion pieces, you can’t ever put it back as good as it was. Or someone you love, or a place you love, it leaves or you leave, or even someone or a pet dies and you are left here, in the finite material world to go on without it all your days and nights. That’s loss. That’s loneliness. That’s misery.
What is your favorite occupation?
What I like to do, to occupy myself, is go to a river bank and just be there. Look at what’s around me, even if I’m not at a river. Notice and pay attention to where I am in the present moment. That occupies me. If you mean occupation like a job, that pays people, I think I’d like to be a waitress at a ski resort.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I’d say my size, so minute. Others remark about my wild hair or my long pointed ears. I wish they didn’t stick out so far. If I could fly with them….And I have a nice smile. It just happens.
What do you most value in your friends?
Fun and loyalty. They have to be loyal, and they have to like to have fun.
Who are your favorite writers?
I like Kay Addington MacDonald. She’s the one writing this interview and my stories. I also favor A. A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh) and Lewis Carroll (The Walrus and the Carpenter) and Kurt Vonnegut.
Who is your hero of fiction?
Tarzan, for today. But he’s be nothing without Jane. Or Lemuel Gulliver (Gulliver’s Travels). He’s dorky.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Queen Hatshepsut the first woman pharaoh.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Bridgette, my badger friend, and Mayhem, my Stellar Jay friend. You’ll find out why when you read my stories. Oh. Do you mean this life or those in my past and future?
What are your favorite names?
The names of emotions and good things to have like Hope, Faith, Happy, Penny, Treasure, Jewel, Summer, Autumn, Dawn, Wag, Mayhem. Like that. And Max. If I had a brother, I’d name him Max. But would that be up to me?
What is it that you most dislike?
Right now I most dislike how long this interview is taking. How many more questions are you going to ask me? And I dislike confrontation. I bet you couldn’t guess that.
What is your greatest regret?
Once, a long time ago, I lived in the material world, one of my lives. I had a swell beau and I let him go. Another girl snatched him away and I didn’t try to get him back. See what I mean about how I sometimes let things happen when I could take more control? I just hate the drama of life on this side.
How would you like to die?
Are you kidding? Really? Oh, man! What’s that about? Right? Who likes to die? I’m seeking a way to get back to the other side without the pain of death again. So, if I have to die again, make it not painful this time. And let me feel that the people I love know I love them. I just want to feel that it’s all good next time I die, whether it is or not. That’s a good way to die.
What is your motto?
Oh! Crap! I don’t have one. You mean like, “to infinity and beyond”? Ask me again after I’ve experienced a few stories about me. Maybe I’ll have one by then. You are going to read my stories aren’t you?
Read more LaWrynn stories here:
Chapter 1, In which LaWrynn pokes through the portal https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/lawrynns-portal/
The Proust Questionnaire: http://thewritepractice.com/proust-questionnaire/
David Bowie answers the Proust Questionnaire: http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/07/10/david-bowie-proust-questionnaire-vanity-fair/