Syren

31 07 2006

Syren

Photomontage on Terragen background: Lori Gloyd (c) 2006

Advertisements




Night Ride, Part III

30 07 2006

Being in the backwaters of my own mind, distance had no meaning, and Syren delivered me to the lighthouse almost immediately. We stopped in a clearing in front of the lighthouse, a single tower of stone with the light I had seen on the beach still pulsing at the top. Like the beach, there was no sound and no other movement.

I dismounted and slowly approached the door. Embedded on the door was an intricately decorated tile with a calligraphic symbol embossed in the middle. I fingered the symbol and studied it.

“Destiny.”

I jumped and spun around. Standing behind me was an old woman. She was red-cheeked and wrinkled, wearing a dress and apron that reminded me of traditional Russian peasant garb. She carried a bucket of water in each hand.

“It means ‘destiny’. Could you please open the door?”

Still staring at her, I pushed open the lighthouse door. The old woman set the pails of water on the ground and stepped through the open door.

“Could you please bring those dear?”

I picked up the pails and followed her in.

“Set them there. Could you throw some wood on the fire and get a kettle going for tea?”

“Whoa, whoa, wait a minute,” I said. “First, who are you?”

“The Keeper of the Lighthouse, of course. Fetch me my wrap please. It’s a might cold.”

“You’re the lighthouse keeper? Excuse me, but it doesn’t seem that you get many ships out here from what I can see. Not much action of any kind. So what’s the need for a lighthouse?”

“Oh, no, we don’t get any ships out here; you’re right about that. But I need to keep the light burning, nonetheless.”

“Why?”

“Oh, you know why, my dear.”

“No, I don’t. What’s so special about that light?”

“Please, don’t trifle with me. I know why you’re here. You’re here to steal the light.”

“What are you talking about? I just came out here to look around.”

“You can’t have the light! I’m the Keeper!”

“Fine, whatever.” I edged towards the door. Things were getting a little weird and I wanted to jump on Syren and go.

“No! You can’t leave. You’ll tell others about the light.” The old woman advanced towards me.

“No, I won’t tell anyone, I promise.”

“You lie!” Suddenly, the woman’s face contorted. Her chin began jutting outward until it had curled up over her mouth. Her nose began growing until it hooked down. Her face took on the appearance of a large-mandibled insect. Her eyes turned puss-yellow and her finger nails grew out until they curled under into claws.

I screamed and scrambled to open the door. Just as I slid out, I felt something grab the tail of my shirt. I yanked away and called out:

“Syren! Let’s get out of here!”

The horse bolted toward me and I swung up and into the saddle. “Go!” I commanded.

Syren took off down the beach. I craned my head around looking for our pursuer. I remember the tales told by the other travelers at the Inn. This must be the Baba Yaga and what she did to her victims was horrific beyond description.

Suddenly, a thought hit me so powerful that I reined Syren to a skidding stop.

“Syren! What’s wrong with all of this?”

Syren bellowed.

“Yeah, I thought so too.” I wheeled her about and we headed back to the lighthouse.

When we arrived, the hag was gone and the old woman, placid and calm, sat in front of the door peeling potatoes. I jumped off the horse before she had come to a complete stop.

“Hey! Listen to me, you old bat! This is MY unconscious; therefore, this is MY lighthouse, and if I wanted that light it would be mine too! Now, take a hike!”

The old woman dropped her knife and potato. She laughed so hard she had trouble staying on the stool.

“Of course, my dear, of course it’s your light!”

“What?”

“Yes, I wondered how long it would take for you to figure it out.”

“Excuse me? Did I miss something?”

“Apparently, not until today. Yes, that is YOUR light. It is the light of your intuition. It’s been here in your unconscious all these years, pulsing, waiting for you to come claim it. Here.” She handed me a lit lantern.

“Well….. I’m confused…. Why all the theatrics?… Why didn’t you just say so?”

“If I had just offered it to you, you wouldn’t have wanted it. I had to make you work for it. I had to make you want it. With the light of your intuition in hand, this world in your mind will now come alive. Just wait and see.”

With that, the Baba Yaga started laughing again and then vanished.

Still holding the lantern, I climbed aboard Syren. “Let’s go home now.”

Syren whinnied. I looked into the sky just in time to see a purple pig with polka dots fly by.

Lori Gloyd © July 29, 2006





Star Shower

29 07 2006

My stallion knew exactly where to take me. His name, Lit des Coeurs (reads hearts), is quite fitting. After mounting me and knowing I was secure in the saddle, he took off like the wind. He certainly knew where he was going, but I didn’t have a clue. I just held on tight and let Lit des Coeurs take me to the place he felt I needed to go.

After my eyes had adjusted to the darkness and several minutes of riding, my senses started picking up clues regarding our destination. Even before we reached the forest, my nose told me that I’d see pine trees soon. Once in the forest and my nostrils filled with the glorious scent of pine and wood, I turned to my ears for a clue. I thought I heard the sound of lapping water, but wasn’t sure. It was being muffled by the sound of horse hooves pounding the forest floor. I had to catch my breath when this wonderous sight came into view.

Photo by NoTraces @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/notraces/with/4370983/ Permission granted to post with attribution.

Photo provided by NoTrace @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/notraces/4259383/

My lungs opened up and took in a gulp of fresh, ocean air. Ocean air is different. It feels like a completely new substance to my body. It erases all tension, stress, worries, fears…it lifts me up making me feel lighter both physically and emotionally.

When Lit des Coeurs came to a pause, I lept off his back, took off my shoes, and dug my toes into the sand. Cool and wet, the sand felt good between my toes and I felt grounded for the first time in a very long time.

After a few more gulps of cool, ocean air, I made my way to the rock wall and had a seat. Lit des Coeurs must have known that I love Thoughtful Spots such as this and left me there lost in wonder while he found a bit of leaves and grass to munch on.

Closing my eyes, the rest of my senses heightened. I felt the ocean breeze caress my cheek and the coolness of the rocks I was sitting on. I heard the waves lap the shore from a slight sound a few yards down the beach, to a soft splash just below my feet. I took in deep breaths of the clean, salty air.

I rested there for quite a while taking turns tuning into the star shower and then into the sounds and feel of being right there.

I had no idea the time when Lit des Coeur nudged me. While at once it felt like seconds later, I knew it had been hours by the way the color of sky had changed. Behind me, I could see the sun beginning to peek out from below the horizon. I knew I couldn’t protest, though I would have loved to stay much longer. I trusted Lit des Coeur’s judgement. Climbing on his back, I settled in for the spectacular sunrise view on my way back to Duwamish Bay.





Take Me Back

29 07 2006

 

Take me back
oh mighty Pegasus
Take me back
I whisper
urgently

Take me back to the Freestone Creek
To the Arches
Where Archie and Edna
lived
When I was but a girl.

Take me back
Wise Pegasus
Let me honour those
Who nourished my
imagination
gave me wings
upon which to fly

Let me stand just
for a moment
alongside Archie
while he cuts
the meat
to feed those hungry
Kookaburras

Let me sit once more
in Edna’s
tiny sitting room
with my parents
laughing
as she pours the tea
and passes the
kisses and
the Ginger Beer

Take me Pegasus
Let me climb
The tiny staircase
to heaven
To the attic
and let me lie
on those old grey blankets
gazing at the
colourful pages
pasted on the walls.

I listen for their voices
For the caress
The loving smile
But all I have
Are memories
And some china dogs
tiny treasures
found long ago
on one
of Archie’s treasure hunts

Take me back
Just this once
So I can look into their
gentle eyes
and
tell them that I loved them
and their home
more than any place on earth.

 

 

 





Charlie the Clydesdale

29 07 2006

I would like to meet him once again

the gentle clyde who took my sister

safely to school

but stoutly refused to go forward

when I held the reins

Perhaps in the distant island he has learned

to go forward even I’m the driverthe horse and the tobaggan





Ride with the Furies

29 07 2006

“Wanna buy a saddle?” Marty asked,openin’ the tack room door.
There she was, draped on’na sawhorse, big, rich, brown-tooled leather, inset with lot’sa silver.
“Naw, I don’t ride western.”
He shook his head, “Ya gotta’ try… She’d be perfect for your big ole Clydesdale.”
“How much?”
“$300, and you saddle up”
“Lem’me give it a go, and then decide.”

It was long dark by the time I rode out the barn, but there was plenty o’ moonlight. The saddle felt right comfortable, just needed to adjust my style a tad…this horse and me have gone a lotta of rounds together an’ it don’t take much to know each other’s mind. By the time we was half-way down the road I had her doin’ a nice rollin’ canter-I kid you not, you could balance a mug o’suds on her croup and never spill a drop. We was one harmonious body flying through the night. And, fly we did I swear on my Daddy’s grave.

There ain’t much ground in these parts I haven’t covered , but the scene slippin’ by was plain unfamiliar. The range seemed regular ‘nough, but those grazing beasts were straight out’ta a drinkin man’s delirium .Fer one thing they all seemed of the female persuasion, judgin’ from those dangles on their fronts. First I’m thinkin’ lamas judgin’ by their general shape, ’till one turned around and showed herself to be a kind’a female centaur.
Now I’m right known by most as a fair judge of women and horse flesh, and I can tell you these err… ‘gals’ had some of the finest lines of both.
So I is flyin’ along at a pretty fair clip, when four of them all of a sudden broke loose from the pack and come ridin head-on towards us. I reined in a little figuring I’d give them a polite acknowledgement, but they just came a-thunderin, seeming hell-bent on riding us right off the trail. Right at the last second they skidded their hindquarters to a grinding stop, raising such a cloud o’dust I dang near hacked my fool head off. When I come to my senses, there I was staring eyeball to eyeball with all four of them lined up facing me no more’en a foot away.

“Cowboy, we dunno where you come from”, announced the one appearin’ to be the leader, “but this here is woman’s space, and seems to us you got yourself two choices. One being to turn your sorry self around and ride back where you come from. The other being to take our neighborly semi-transformational tour, dependin’ if your up to it, and then skedaddle outta here.” Well this set me to thinkin… there’s one thing for sure I would have one hell of a story to tell back home if I took’em up on their invitation…
Seems they right read my mind as the tall one on the end spoke up again, “Sees as we might be spendin a little time together some introductions otta’ be made.” I started to open my mouth, but they all put up their hooves indicatin’ me to stay quiet. ‘Parently, talking ain’t appart of male privileges here abouts.

“This here”, pointing to the black horse-gal to her immediate left, “is ‘Plenty’, back there ya might have heard o’ her evil twin ‘Famine’.
and right next to her, this fine red horse-gal, we call ‘Peace’, she being the entire opposite of the sucker your people call ‘War’.”
“There on the end is ‘Life’, our pale-horse counterpart of your villain ‘Death’. That leaves me”, she gestured towards her white-horse self, ” ‘The Conquerer from Within’.”
Right about then the hairs on the back of my neck stood right up at attention…realizing I am about to be ambushed by the Four Horsewomen of the Hypocryphal. Now, for the most parts, I’m as brave as the next cowpoke, but my momma, she taught me well….
“You’ll always be out drawn son, when wimmin hold all a the cards.”
So I turned tail and rode faster than I could, not sparin the whip or lookin’ behind.

“Wanna buy the saddle?” Marty asked, still standing inside the tack room door.
“Naw, forgit it man…I doan ride western.”





Night Rider, Part 2

28 07 2006

Syren let herself be quickly saddled and then she rocketed out of the stable before I was properly mounted. I held on to the horn with one hand while trying to grab the reins with the other.

We pounded down the Inn Road, dark silhouettes of alder trees whipping past us. A waning gibbous moon raced along with us from behind the leaves. My vision could not pierce the darkness ahead of me, and I futilely tried to rein in Syren. Instead, she picked up speed. It seemed as though her legs had stopped moving and she was merely skimming along the surface of the road. The trees swooshed by faster and faster until they merged together into a blur.

I thought I heard voices, whispering actually, familiar whispers from long dead relatives, snippets of laughter from friends and enemies–I do not know which. Faces, like phantoms, faded in and out, faces of family and friends now forgotten, some by time and others by will.

I called out, “Syren! Slow down! Whoa!”, but the blue roan was out of my control. Wind whipped my face and after all time seemed to stop, I could no longer catch a breathe. Darkness descended and I no longer knew anything.

When I came to, I felt something soft and warm beneath me. I sat up and wiped a fine, sugary sand from my face. Syren stood next to me and watched with inquisitive eyes.

“Syren! What’s the deal!?” Before I could let loose with a barrage, I turned and was made speechless by the sight before me.

“We’re not in Lemuria anymore, Syren!”

The horse snorted and stamped a forefoot. I stood up on a beach and stared at the sea that stretched into forever. Not a breeze stirred, not a wave moved upon the shore. All was eerily still and completely silent. Islands in the distance reflected with total clarity in the stillness of the water. The moon, devoid of her ancient markings, a perfect white sphere, floated over the horizon, poised to set, yet there was no movement. It was like being trapped within a photograph.

Yet, something was familiar. I had seen this in a dream. And the water, the shore, the moon– these were all images that had at one time or another found their way into my artwork and writing.

Then it hit me: “Syren! This is my unconscious!”

Syren softly whinnied.

“But I’d thought there’d be more. You know, archetypes flitting around, or one of those quest characters, like the Trickster, hanging around– all that stuff Jung talks about.”

Syren shook her steely gray mane.

“No, wait, you’re right. That would be the Collective Unconscious. But…. if this is MY unconscious, then why’s it so dead? There’s nothing going on. No wonder I get writer’s block– my Unconscious is a freakin’ bore!”

“Great!” I picked up Syren’s reins and prepared to mount. “I’ll just pack up and head back to the Real World. Plenty to draw on there— war, pestilence, global warming,– who needs this place!”

My eye caught something. I paused and squinted. Away in the distance flashed a white and yellow light. At the extreme end of a point of land was a structure.

“What’s that? It looks like a lighthouse.” The light pulsed like a heatbeat.

“I knew there had to be SOME action here. Let’s go check it out!”

I mounted Syren. “Sweetie, your re-entry really needs some work, so let’s keep the speed down, shall we?”

Syren and I shot off down the beach toward the light.

Digital Construction and Text: Lori Gloyd (c) July 28, 2006