Hi, I finally made it! Again…

19 10 2006

Hello everyone, I finally figured out we’ve moved again, sorry, sometimes I’m a bit slow.  I’ll now try to copy and move my works from lemurian_abbey.blogspot to here, wish me luck!  I don’t really know if this is the correct thing to do Heather, so let me know if it’s not, nor do I know which category to put this in.

A Room in The Abbey.

My journey to Glastsonbury came as a surprise not only to myself but also to Gallahad and Angel. Not too long after leaving The Cave of the Enchantress a messenger caught up with us and handed me a scroll.

Intrigued, I opened it. I could not contain my joy as I read the words, ‘an invitation to claim a room at the Leumarian Abbey, Glatsonbury’. I smiled so much my mouth ached. Thanking the messenger, I turned to Gallahad and ordered gleefully, “a change of plans Gallahad, we’re going to Glatsonbury’!

“Glatsonbury”! What happenned to finding the Gypsy Camp”? Asked Gallahad. “We will still visit the Gypsy Camp but for now we go to Glatsonbury and I wish to hear no more about it”!

Gallahad is a donkey of distinction, dare I say a gentleman, who knows when to keep quiet so he decided to read my mind rather than ask any more questions. He also has an uncanny sense of direction and before I knew it we were on our way. “Not too long, not too long and you’re nearly home”, whispered Angel from my bag.

Morgaine rode quietly upon Gallahads back thinking, remembering. She had never been to the Abbey in Glatsonbury even though it was situated quite close to her beloved Avalon.

Avalon was like her second home, she had been moved there as a child to learn the ways of the Goddess and become the next teacher and keeper of those ways.

When the mists enveloped Avalon for the final time, Morgaine knew there was no return to ‘paradise’. Tears welled in her eyes as she remembered the happinness, sadness and the deceit that closed the mists of Avalon for all time. She, who was the pawn in the game, manipulated by others, felt like the mists had also closed around her heart forever. How could she ever trust again?

If all that was not enough Arthur had died and the Saxons invaded, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. Camelot, the once bustling, happy town was ruined. Morgaine escaped to the hills
and claimed an abandoned farm which she named Camelot, here, she could live in peace. A few villages and their families had followed her believing she could keep them safe, these she hired to work the farm.

The Saxons moved on and up to conquer, the villagers and Morgaine settled in to life and work on the farm, yet Morgaine was still restless. One of the villages told Morgaine about a journey called the Silk Road, she had also heard it from a travellor before the Saxons came, it was then Morgaine determined to take the Silk Road Journey, herself – it was what she needed.

Morgaine left her Camelot the next afternoon confident the villages would not let her down, after all, it was their home too. So here she is travelling to Glatsonbury, about as close as she’ll ever get to Avalon.


Third and Fourth Day at Baba Yaga’s Hut on Chicken Legs, Deep in the Dark Forest

12 10 2006

My third day began as the second, rising with the birdsong before dawn, drawing water and heating it.  Baba Yaga flapped out of her bed cupboard, giving me my instructions for the day.  Today I was to dye the thread in every color of the rainbow, in every intensity and shade, in exactly equal amounts.  No indoor tasks today, I was to prepare soil for a garden all along the bone fence.  I was welcome to shear the sheep and prepare wool for my knitting, should time allow.  Don’t forget to mill the flour to make the bread.


Then Baba Yaga was off in a flurry of rags, pestle and broom.  My little doll and I shared oat cakes and honey, fruit and tea, before starting our work.  She saw to the dyeing of the thread, and gave me a plow the size of a thorn. 


I lingered to watch the red knight saunter past, bringing a rosy dawn.  I plowed until the white knight trotted past, bringing a blue sky of midday.  By then I had turned the soil along the fence breaking clods into fine, rich soil; free of tares, roots and stones.  The soil felt like cool satin under my bare feet. 


When the Black Knight thundered past on his steed, bringing Baba Yaga in his wake, the kettle was hot, table set, bread hot out of the oven, and I sat on a stool by the fire knitting away.  My doll had surprised me with the softest of lambs wool dyed all the colors of the rainbow gradually blending into each other.  She also gave me a pair of knitting needles carved from hard oak, and a split oak basket to hold my work.  The wool was soft in my hands, like cloud, and softening to my hands by the lanolin in the wool.


Baba Yaga said nothing, which I understood to mean she found no fault with my work.  We ate; I cleaned away the supper dishes, swept up.  Baba Yaga puffed her pipe and scowled at the fire.  I knit contentedly, lost in a world of rainbow soft wool. 


“Still no questions for me?” 


Baba Yaga’s question startled me out of my reverie.  “No,” I answered. “I am too tired and too content to ask questions.  The question I am trying to answer is ‘Who am I?’ but that is not a question anyone can answer for me except me.”


I was quiet for a moment.  “I’ve never been curious, never one to ask why or how or what for.  I like to discover things, in books or by observation on my own.  I never ask personal questions, preferring to let others share themselves at their own discretion, in their own time, in their own way.  Here, in your domain, I see many things I don’t want to wonder about or know more about.  Still, I am grateful you are so willing to answer any question I might have, Grandmother.”


Baba Yaga snorted.  “Asking you if you have questions does not imply I will answer them.”     


I sat by the fire and knit until my eyes drooped shut.  I think, but am not sure, that Baba Yaga led me gently by the arm and supported me in my stupor to climb my ladder.  I don’t remember curling under my blankets in the nest of my wool stuffed mattress.  But I do remember my dream.


I am sitting at my loft window, looking out at the night.  Silver moonlight spills over the landscape, changing it to fairy land.  The wind makes music in the trees, through the grasses, through the reeds along the murmuring river.  Deer, rabbits, and other creatures are frolicking in the meadows beyond the bone fence.  Bats swoop through the sky, black dancers on graceful wings.  My heart pulses in time with the music of the night wind.  I hear the wind whisper, “Dance with me.  Dance with me.”  Without realizing what I am doing, I rise, stepping out of my window into the air.  But I do not fall.  I am whisked away like thistledown in the arms of the wind.  We waltz through the sky until the birdsong of morning awakens me.


I am disoriented and confused.  The dream was so real, just a heartbeat ago I was dancing in the arms of mysterious lover, now I am solid and still in my bed in a loft.  Stranger still, my feet throb as if I had been dancing all night.


Yawning I climb down my ladder, wincing as my feet bear my weight on the rungs and support me on the wooden floor.  Baba Yaga is awake before me, she sits smirking as I draw water, heat it, and prepare her a breakfast.  She seems to enjoy my limping about on tender feet.  Today she is in no hurry to fly away.


“Today I want you to plant the garden with every herb and flower known by a name, any name, by every people in the world.  Use seedlings or seeds or grown plants, but do it.  Arrange them by their medicinal virtues.  Set up the looms for weaving.  Mill the grain for bread and bake it.”


I nodded, struggling not to yawn.  Baba Yaga sauntered away, well after the Red Knight on his red horse.


I brought out my little doll, declining to have any wine, as I was sleepy enough already.  She brewed me a strong, bitter beverage that helped me perk up.  She spat on my hands and set me to work on threading the looms, and she began work on the gardens.


We finished by midday.  I stopped to wave at the White Knight trotting past.  He did not acknowledge me in any way, but I sensed I was recognized. 


I slept in my loft until late afternoon, waking in time to set the table and lay out the viands my little doll had prepared before the Black Knight galloped past drawing down the twilight.


Baba Yaga whisked in with the dark.  The evening passed as the evening before, Baba Yaga asked me if I had questions, which I did not.  I went to bed before I was stupid from exhaustion. 

That night I had the same dream, dancing in the arms of the wind through the moonlit meadows and woods, across the sky, over the sea.


When I woke I was stiff and sore, though less so than the day before.  And there were leaves in my hair with an elusive scent, one I remembered from my dream.  Do we smell in our dreaming?


I dressed and climbed down from my loft, preparing tea and stewed fruit to top our morning porridge.  Baba Yaga instructed me to weave cloth today, in patterns never before seen anywhere on earth, using all the thread I had spun and dyed.  Of course gardening and housekeeping were assigned as well. 


My little doll spat on my hands again, and I began to weave.  “Think of everything that gives you pleasure, and simply weave.  What you make will be as unique as your fingerprints, as the iris of your eyes.  I’ll take care of the drudge work.”


And so I wove, humming to myself, dreaming of dancing with the wind, of the feel of my yarn in my hands as I knit.  I thought of the sweet wine and fresh bread, of honey and ripe berries.  I conjured back the memories of my grandfather and the smell of his cherry tobacco.  Other faces came to mind, at each image my heart leapt in recognition.  I knew these were people I loved.  I thought of the Knights of Red, White, and Black, their nobility astride their magnificent horses.  I thought of colors, of loving, the scent of spice, the darkness of pine forests, autumn mists rising form woodland lakes…


My thoughts wandered, from peaceful scene to peaceful scene.  I hummed as I wove, singing snatches of half remembered songs.  The rhythm of the shuttle was as the purring of a cat in my lap, soothing and enchanting me. 


By the time the White Knight rode past, slowing to nearly a stop, I was finished.  I spread the cloth out on the ground, admiring its beautiful patterns and colors.  I wrapped it around me like a sari, and began to dance and laugh and sing.


Baba Yaga arrived home early, while I was spinning in whirling ecstasy wrapped in my cloth.


“You are finished.  Fold up the cloth and bring it in to me.”  Baba Yaga entered the hut on chicken legs as one to the manor born.


I slowly unwound the cloth from my body and folded its kaleidoscopic beauty into a neat bundle.  Slowly I walked to the hut, wriggled myself inside and stood.  I held out my beautiful cloth to Baba Yaga.  She grabbed it and threw it into the fire.


I gasped and sprang to the hearth to retrieve it, but it was too late.  The fine wool cloth burned quickly, and I burned my hands for my folly.  My hands stinging from the flames and eyes stinging from tears of shock and grief, I sputtered out my first question, “Why?”


Baba Yaga’s smile was twisted.  “Ah, at last, you have asked a question!  I might answer you, but first you must answer a question for me.  How is it that you, a mortal, can complete the tasks which not even I, an immortal, could complete?”


I remembered Bluebird Woman’s admonition that Baba Yaga accepted only the truth, and my doll’s warning she could not be fooled with a lie.  “Bluebird Woman gave me a little doll.  I feed her and give her drink, and she helps me.”


Baba Yaga erupted with fury.  “You despicable little cheater!  Leave at once!  Go, get out of my sight!”


I glimpsed my little doll at the edge of the doorway and grabbed her as I ran past.  Baba Yaga threw coals at me as I ran past.  The gate flew open letting me free.  I ran as if my life depended on it, as perhaps it did.  Baba Yaga did not give chase.  At last I fell breathless, weeping, under an oak.


I felt the tremor of my little doll in my pocket.  I pulled her out, and gave her a crumb of bread from my pocket, a drop of water from a dewy leaf.


“What happened?” I rasped, between pants for air.  “What was wrong?  I did everything she asked of me.  Why did she say I cheated?  She never prohibited me from having help…”


“You didn’t cheat.  Baba Yaga has given you a gift.  Let’s get up into the tree and sleep.  Things will be better in the morning, and you will be able to think better then.”


So we spent the night in the tree, or at least I think we did.  I remember falling asleep, and I remember looking at the stars glimmering through the leaves of the oak.  The wind stirred the leaves gently.  I heard Wynd whisper, “Dance with me.  Dance with me.”  Strange, the mysterious dance partner did not have a name last night…


I gave my hand to the air and was swept away in a waltz, until I awoke in the tree to the music of birdsong, stiff and sore.


The little doll helped me find wild edibles for our break fast.  We drank at a gurgling streamlet, bubbling up through wintergreen from the earth.  Nothing ever tasted so refreshing. 


We walked along, the stiffness working itself from my body.  We came to a hot spring and I bathed in the sulfur heat, thinking of Baba Yaga and what gift she had given me.  My little doll sat by my head, combing my hair.


“Can you give me a hint?”  I asked, half serious and half teasing.


“Yes.  Baba Yaga knew I was with you all along, because I am a part of her as she is a part of me.  We are both faces of the Goddess.”

That clue did not help, except to reassure me that my little doll was honest saying I did not cheat.  But if I did not cheat, why had Baba Yaga say I did cheat?  My little doll said she gave me a gift. 


So I listed what I did know.  I completed everything Baba Yaga told me to do, and completed it well, with out cheating but with the help of my little doll which is a facet of the Goddess, as is Baba Yaga.  Yet, Baba Yaga was not satisfied and sent me away.  She burned my beautiful cloth, and my knitting was lost to me as well.  I wanted to pout.


“Why did she burn the cloth?”  I asked my little doll.


“To trick you into asking a question.  As long as you did not ask her a question, she could not ask you a question.  She knew all along you are reticent to ask questions, especially if you are afraid.”


That seemed more than I knew about myself.  But my little doll was right; I was timid to ask Baba Yaga questions.  She is dangerous, after all.  I did not hesitate to ask any question of my little doll, for she was so loving and helpful.  Still, I knew asking her what the gift Baba Yaga gave through her inexplicable behavior was a question she could not answer.  Somehow I knew the answer was linked to the fundamental question: Who am I?


Soaking in the hot water, feeling the in and out of my breathing, the soothing brushing of my hair, the sound of the water and the music of small birds, I was lulled into the land between waking and dreaming.  The in-between place where answers lie waiting.


I remembered myself as I was, trying to be perfect so that I might be worthy of love.  And failing, for I cannot be perfect.  For Baba Yaga I had been perfect, and still was discounted.  If perfection made me worthy of love, Baba Yaga should have loved me, not rejected me.  My little doll loved me without asking perfection, willingly helping me to succeed. 


So what is the gift? 


Perfection, or lack thereof, has nothing to do with my value.  I deserve love simply because I exist.  Those who make performance conditional to loving me do not love me.  Love accepts the beloved with out demanding they meet expectations.  I can let go of trying so hard to measure up.  I can accept myself and my best efforts as good enough.  I can choose to love those who cannot love me.  Gratitude welled in my heart to Baba Yaga, and to my little doll.


A saying rose in my mind, and I spoke it aloud.  “You like someone because, you love someone although.”


“Yes,” whispered my little doll.  “You understand.”

Second day at Baba Yaga’s Hut on Chicken Legs, Deep in the Dark Forest

6 10 2006

The first trills of the morning birds woke me.  I dressed and descended my ladder with dignity this morning.  I started the fire in the hearth, and fetched water from the well for tea, before Baba Yaga emerged from her cupboard over the fireplace.


She snorted when she saw me. 


“Follow me.”


I trotted behind her into the yard.  “Besides spinning the wool into thread, fine thread, mind you, I want you to re-thatch the roof, re-stain the timbers and whitewash the walls.  Clean the chimney as well. I expect it completed by my return. Bake the bread, too, but today you will have to mill the flour.”


Before I could ask “What is whitewash?” she was up and away in her mortar and pestle, sweeping her tracks behind her. 


Entering the dancing hut on hen’s legs was getting easier.  My little doll and I supped on tea, bread and cheese.  She assumed the work on the hut and gave me a spindle no bigger than a dill seed for my spinning.  Considering the incredible job the infinitesimal combs did yesterday, I had no qualms about my success.


I entered the wool barn as the Red Knight was passing, at a steady canter today.  I stopped to watch his passing.  And admire the imposing, regal figure he made bringing dawn to the dark.


Spinning was complete by the time the White Knight rode past on his gleaming white horse.  I stood bug eyed and watched him pass.  His beauty rendered me wordless.


My faithful doll had completed the tasks of thatching, staining, whitewashing, chimney sweeping, and bread baking.  Had the hut not been strutting about on those hideous chicken legs, it would be a quaint little place.  All it needed was roses blooming about it, and an herbal garden surrounding it. 


My doll helped me bathe in a tub of fragrant, hot water. We washed my clothes in the leftover water, the stains coming out of my apron like magic.  My doll then combed my hair while my clothes hung to dry on the bone fence. 


Well before Baba Yaga returned I had the table set and the kettle boiling. 


The old hag clattered in as the Black Knight galloped past.  The stars were hidden by thick curtains of storm.  Thunder made the house jump, lightning illuminated the yard.  Baba Yaga stirred some foul smelling fungi into her cauldron, muttering in her growling rasp of a voice words that made my scalp prickle.    


Fortunately we did not eat from the pot this evening.  Its foul stench made eating the sweet fruit, oat porridge, and thick cream difficult.  I ate what was placed before me without complaint.


After washing dishes and sweeping up, I joined Baba Yaga by the fire.  She puffed away at her pipe, glowering at me.  “Well, any questions for me?”


“Yes, I’d like to know if I might knit in the evenings here by the fire.”


Baba grunted.  I took that for assent.  I rose, curtsied, “Good night, Grandmother.”  And retired.  I found my bed strewn with fresh lavender, welcome and soothing relief from the stench still wafting in from the cauldron.  I was grateful the chicken legs had danced my window away from it.


I undressed, wrapped myself up in lavender fresh blankets, and listened to the wind song and star song lull me asleep.