#FiveSentenceFiction: Bedtime

Chaiwa by Edward S. CurtisSarah could not sleep, never did when she was flying.

Most passengers had abandoned their films or books, next to her, the beloved husband was deep in dreams, the attractive and cherished face twitching from time to time.

They were now over Greenland, the icy landscape, far below, lit by a frigid moonlight through scattered clouds.

It would take them another seven hours to reach home, and they would face a new day – for her, without sleep.

But in her mind, there was only the girl, who’d shown her the Path of Life, near the volcano, at the foot of the Sunset crater, and Sarah loved her, for eternity.

Image: Edward S. Curtis, Chaiwa, courtesy Arizona State Museum, Tucson

Hopivotskani: the Path of the Hopis #Arizona #Hopis #FourthWorld

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

 

Image:

Maria II, Kate Russell photographer, Freyr Marie and Rose B. Simpson, models – Arizona State Museum

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Weird Paris: Saints and Sinners

Secrets of a most secretive city…

Paris: People, Places and Bling

Whilst traipsing through the Jardin des Tuileries, watch-out for “Le Petit Homme Rouge” ("Spring" by sculptor François Barois, Photographs by Theadora Brack) Whilst traipsing through the Jardin des Tuileries, watch-out for “Le Petit Homme Rouge” (“Spring” by sculptor François Barois, Photographs by Theadora Brack)

Now, let’s go raise some spirits! (La Nuit, T. Brack’s archives)

By Theadora Brack

Calling all saints and sinners: Snuggle tight because it is time to crack open my slim, spellbound volume of spirited adventures in Paris for another retelling. For tricks, I’ve added a few new tales and photographs. I’ve also got the flashlights, pillows, and blankets, along with the marshmallows and bubbly for toasting. Here are eleven of my favorite spooky grounds.

Now, let’s go raise some spirits!

1. The Unknown Celebrity of the Seine

Among the artsy clutter that once adorned nearly every artist’s lair was a plaster face with a mysterious smile. These were cast from a famous death mask called “L’inconnue de la Seine,” made from an unknown 16-year-old who washed up on…

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#FiveSentenceFiction: Falling

fallingAt their school she had a poor reputation: a girl who “went” with men, and of course, he could not care less, what he felt was her kindness, the softness of her lips, the smile he wanted to drown into…

Later, much later, he looked for her, without realising it, he was now a writer, and this masterpiece needed a hero – so he reinvented her, and, kindly, she reappeared, transformed, the lover of his youth.

Like Pygmalion, he fell again for her, and this time, she would not let go.

At first he was surprised, charmed, expecting, and called her by the name he remembered, the name of their childhood.

And now he was enslaved, fallen back in time, the prisoner of his beloved ghost.

 

Dawn

Visions from Hell, Paolo GirardiThe small bird was close to our window: her voice rose high and clear in the light mist shrouding the garden. She was celebrating life and the dawn of a new day, she was saying hope is alive, and look at me: I am small, but I am here, for God is great and I am a small spark of life in His Creation.

So the dark thoughts of the night were dissipated: the ugly sight of a vicious murderer, walking free from a court room, thanking the corrupt judge, and smiling to the hapless “world press”, the thousands of women and children massacred by powerful armies over five continents, the despair of seeing a once great nation protecting the greedy, the torturers, the hordes of trolls masquerading under the symbols of hate and death…

As I write I hesitate to turn on the news. For it is mostly lies and irrelevance. This is not a place for a writer to tread: and it is Sunday, which used to be a day of peace.

Then I think of the small bird: this is a new day, and somewhere the angels are smiling, ready to turn the Devil and his legions to ashes.

Image: Visions from Hell, Paolo Girardi

#VisDare 77: Precocious #WritersWednesday

PrecociousI see your little family, slowly following the narrow track on your journey,

And I admire you, your beautiful silhouette, the narrow shoulders, and baby Lama in her cot.

This is a long route, but you are safe, for, secretly, the mountains are protecting you.

Here, behind the clouds, there is no shelling, no bombs, no beating:

You have left this war far behind, and are making your way to a new world of Peace.

 

Also inspired by the tragedy in the Ukraine and Novorossiya

#Confession ~ #Bergmannkiez

Berlin 2014 | airfield TempelhofI ride to Gendarmenmarkt, and stop, leaning on my bike in front of the Französischer Dom.

You are there, talking to a friend; I stay silent, just watching, petrified lest I break that instant.

But you see me, smile: la beauté du diable…

We stay for a few minutes, chatting.

An old man sells bubbles bottles to the children, the late Summer air is still warm.

You have been working at the library nearby, I am riveted to your eyes, your lips.

We say hello to the friend, and start riding towards Kreuzberg – you know the city so well now.

In your street, we have a couple of beers at the pub, just in front of your door.

Then we walk to Italo, pushing the bikes. We both like this place.

The young waitress has eyes only for you (I don’t blame her), and messes up the order. You say: good food, but lamentable service. We laugh.

I fear the end of the evening, but you have much to do still.

Finally we finish the wine, on the pavement we hug.

You ride away, waving.

I feel like death.

 

#DailyPrompt: Opening lines

Inspired by Take my Hunger, Inkubus Sukkubus

Max Ernst ~ “Euklides”, 1945Your love is crashing through my veins,

I do not know where, when it will stop,

I don’t want it to stop – I seek the forever,

And you, I know, you seek this blood,

Still human, for a few more days,

Perhaps… And then I will be like you:

A deathless monster.

Image: Max Ernst ~ “Euklides”, 1945

Full lyrics of Take my Hunger (© Inkubus Sukkubus):

Your love is crashing through my veins
Your heat has far eclipsed the day
Let nought but hunger take the pain
We’ve lived as those who’ve lived for fame

Take my hunger
Break my anger
Steal all madness
Slake my thirst

All those who would condemn our love
Know not the beauty in your sun
We’ll live for that which must be done
Release the bird to soar above

Read more: Inkubus Sukkubus – Take My Hunger Lyrics | MetroLyrics

#FiveSentenceFiction: Maps #Valleys #Normandy #Eu #1914

William and MatildeWe look at the map: in front of us runs the long road, above the shore, bordered by legendary harbours, and wildlife reserves.

Here Saint Laurent O’Toole came from green Ireland, and blessed the town where he now rests.

Here William took his future young bride, fair Mathilde, to the altar, and then, with his men, sailed across the sea to defeat Harold.

In the middle of the forest is the town, built by Gallo Romans traders and soldiers, for, in this country, there is no gap between the splendour of Rome and the new kingdom, between Caesar and Guillaume.

In the wide bay, flows the river Somme: the map shows on its banks the small crosses of the immense military cemeteries, where our grand fathers fell in infernos of fire and steel…

Image: memorial to William and his wife Mathilde, in Eu (Normandy)

© 2014 Honoré Dupuis

#VisDare 71: Ephemera

Ephemera

 

I have haunted these corridors for as long as my memories reach: a long way back…

Yet, as clear as stream waters in the mountains, I recall the day: your smile, the wind in your hair, all that united us, before we parted.

The world was young, we were innocent. Little we knew what was awaiting us.

The long hours, then the separation. So far, so cold, this war went on forever.

And then you were gone.