For millennia they stood, tall and proud guardians of the hills. Humans, and smaller animals, sought refuge at their feet. Much later, villagers danced around them, and celebrated sunrise, touching the smooth stone for luck and prosperity. No-one knew what spirits, or forces of nature, had erected them, long, long ago, when the earth was young.
Then the floods came, washing away much of the ancestral soil, and the ground had given under their weight: tired after all, they’d fallen slowly to the ground, as if punished by the gods for their pride.
Now, the sleeping giants lay, silent, surrounded by ferns and the quiet voices of young trees. The earth is again at peace, humans, and smaller animals, still come here to rest at their feet.
Weekly Writing Challenge #127
She answered his wish, his urge to spend another year in the City, among the ghosts, in the parks, on the banks of the river: yet he knew she would soon crave the sight of another river, the high cliff, her sister the Mermaid. At night he would listen to the sailor’s scream for the fatal beauty.
As his dream faded, hers would radiate the green colours of the Rhine.
So far away… Yet this is now home, the shelter where we can repair, rebuild our strength.
Here they won’t find us, such a small planet, and a pale star, insignificant: on the edge of the known world, and the sea…
The blue ocean will hide us, we will build a village on these shores, our children will learn here, they will learn about Earth, and the Republic.
Then, one day, perhaps in generations, they will take again to the stars, and leave this world.
But, for now, the blue planet is our home.
Inspired by Sue Vincent’s last photo prompt of 2017, and a viewing of The Last Jedi.
Weekly Writing Prompt #120
Near the river,
which was, back then,
the divide, or near enough,
the link between our lost past and
our uncertain future,
we listened to her,
teach us to go back in time,
and learn from our mistakes.
Image: Time Warp, by Craig Sunter, from Manchester, UK
“If you had a choice,” she said in her most serious tone, ” between this human life, and its inevitable end, and becoming a cyborg, a machine, stainless, and forever serviceable…?
“Do you mean, you are considering… swapping me for a more dependable model?”
We laughed, perhaps we had been influenced by stories of the Golem, perhaps this was her way to say I was due for a refit!
“Just consider,” I decided to counterattack, “all these wires and bits and bobs to contend with, and then the doubts in your mind about what I really feel about you!”
“O, she said, I have all that anyway, maybe not the wires, but the doubts! Who would not, being married to a writer!”
Photo: Rabi Loew’s Golem, @jmberlin
It was an enchanted morning, sunshine and frost, near the lake. Saturdays are special, here in Wedding, calm, unrushed, often luminous. Between the trees, beyond the whitened path, I kept looking. What else is a photographer to do?
A few runners, well ensconced in woollen gear, gentle steps upon the hardened ground.
Then I saw you. You must have been observing me for a while. Suddenly the light changed, overcome by your radiance. You lifted your veil, I stood still, overcome by such beauty, such whiteness on your skin, such blackness in your hair…
Who knows why you chose to elect this sinner for such a gift?
As I got closer to the lake, I then noticed its surface was already frozen.
Inspired by a Saturday morning walk around the Plötzensee. Photography by me (one of the “Parks und Seen” series to be published on my photoblog).
Photo: Chateau de Brissac, France (“Even if you’re not into ghost hunting, this is a great place to visit. This ornate castle was masterfully rebuilt in the 17th century, and is overflowing with antiques, original tapestries, and the ceilings are even painted with gold. As soon as you enter the castle you get an eerie felling and a slight shiver runs up your spine. That’s because this was the site of a gruesome double murder. Jacques de Breze found his wife Charlotte and her lover one evening together in the castle. After his discovery, Jacques murdered them both. Legend has it the pair have haunted the castle ever since. Jacques was said to have sold the castle soon after their deaths, as he was so scared of the ghosts, and could no longer live alone in the castle.”)
Tirelessly, we walk along the shore, the light reflected from the trees, as if attracted to your beauty, the sea breeze caressing your hair: a summer poem.
Deep in the cove lie the lazy rocks, and, perhaps some deeper secrets, even a sea monster and her mermaid lover?
We laugh: waves lick the sand, wooing the careless couple, telling again the tale of her, whose face launched a thousand ships…
Are you Helen, the peerless beauty whose fate was to have Troy destroyed?
Or are you the mermaid, for ever courted by the many tentacles?
They approach slowly, through the landscape of rocks and dust, their steps forever silent.
It is as was written: the crater pocked by the impact of smaller asteroids, through millennia, and the uniform grey dust.
Their leader holds the white torch high, in their radio they have heard:
The slow rumble, punctuated with short burst of sharp notes, the sound of hyperspace messaging…
And the monolith rises in a shower of dust and rocks, dwarfing the scenery around them: the Sentinel has woken.
This text is an extract from Nancy J. Parezo’s “Emergence to the Fourth World”, in Paths of Life, American Indians of the Southwest and Northern Mexico, The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
In the beginning, Tawa, the sun spirit and father, impregnated Mother Earth, who gave birth to living things. These people, animals, and insects lived in the underworld, where they tried to live the Hopi way but were not able to understand the meaning of life and became mired in corruption and strife caused by sorcerers. Upon hearing footsteps above and the words of Hummingbird and Spider Grandmother, a brave group decided to leave the koyaanisqatsi, or “crazy life”, behind. They sent out birds to find a way to ascend and explore the unknown land. Catbird finally succeeded in reaching the sipapuni, a hole in the sky, and found Masauwu.
Masauwu, the Spirit of the Dead, gave the people fire and permitted them to settle on his land. The Fire People, who have a special relationship with Masauwu, emerged first, because they agreed to assume the responsibility of leading the others to their final destination. Chipmunk helped the good people climb to the sipapuni through a tall reed. As the people were resting before their journey, Spider Grandmother said, “The journey will be long and difficult. When we reach the Upper World, that will be only a beginning. Things are not like things here. You will discover new ways of doing things. During the journey you must try to discover the meaning of life and learn to distinguish good from evil. Tawa did not intend for you to live in the midst of chaos and dissension.”
Maria II, Kate Russell photographer, Freyr Marie and Rose B. Simpson, models – Arizona State Museum