Tunes for a Monday Morning
Myth & Moor update

Away with the fairies

And a Fairy Song by Arthur Rackham

I'm heading up to Oxford University to participate in the Modern Faeries project organised by Fay Hield and Carolyne Larrington: an interdisciplinary gathering of folklorists, folk musicians, writers and artists, all focused on stories of the Twilight Realm and their meaning in modern life.

I'll tell you more about it when I'm back in Devon...or you can follow Modern Fairies on Twitter, where updates will be posted as it all gets up and running.

In the meantime, here's some fairy reading:

Fairies in Legend, Lore, and Literature

Tales of Fairy Changelings

Italian Fairies: Fate, Folletti, and Other Creatures of Legend by Raffaela Benvenuto

Hungarian Fairies by Theodora Goss

Native American Fairies: Little People of the Southeast by Carolyn Dunn

Costa Rican Fairies: When My Hair was Woven with Duendes by Taiko Maria Haessler

Sketchbook drawing by Charles Altamont DoyleArt by Arthur Rackham and Charles Altamont Doyle

Comments

Have a wonderful time.

Wish I had known, THAT'S a conference I would have gone to!

xxxJane

Thank you for sharing the links for readings. Enjoy the conference!

I love the raven/fairy illustration, that raven is getting a serious telling-off!

I've never commented before, but have loved your blog for years. You've introduced me and many others to beautiful art and ideas that we may have missed without you as a guide. I value your blog as a very healthy and uplifting place to be. Just wanted to say thanks.

Hoping you had a lovely meeting with lots of likeminded fairies. I have one big wish: I just found your blog, and I too have a Desire for Dragons. Do you intend to make any more movable feasts?

Happy Lughnassadh/Lammas to all, Pagan and non-pagan alike. May all your first harvests be abundant and safely gathered in.

Harvest greetings to you too, Stuart. So glad to see your message here ... a way to keep the connection. Waves from the prairie on the Salish Sea!!

Mokihana, great to see your message too! I'm really missing reading everyone's thoughts and ideas here on Terri's blog. Is anything new happening for you in your part of the world? As I write this I'm trying to ignore the washing up, so any distracting news from your good self, and anyone else in the extended Myth and Moor family would be most welcome!

Still away with the fairies? Perhaps I should try my hand at brewing beer in an eggshell.

Yes! Your humor, I miss that and the many grand and silly inspiration that shows up here because of Terri W. Here's something to distract you from washing up. I'm preparing a storytelling event on the prairie where we live, on the Salish Sea in Washington. It's called Water Catchers ... all the ways we flow. It's been a few years since I've pitched the tent and gathered stories and I'm much looking forward to the stories, the music (there will be songs) and the Ancestors who show up in the audience. Wish you could be here!

Now was that distracting enough and on time? Hope so. Anyone else in a distracting mood? Love to hear about it, too.

Wish I could be there with the Water Catchers! The storytelling sounds great. Are any short enough to post here?

In the meantime I'm getting pictures ready for the Melbourne Art and Architecture trail in Derbyshire. I'm not sure if the Australian city was named after this small and neat village in the south of the county; it's certainly a lot older! It has a beautiful Norman church with some Green Man and very rare Sheelah Na Gig carvings. Obviously the stone masons who built the church were pagans!

Hope your storytelling goes well Mokihana, our spirit-ears will be there!

I hope it's a bloody enormous eggshell, Jane! Good luck with the enterprise, there can't be enough good ale in the world!

Hi everyone,
so good hearing from you all. Stuart good luck with your art show, sounds very interesting, Mokihanna wishing you, too, all the best with your water catches event. What a wonderful title and those stories I am sure will be amazing! Jane, hope the brewed beer turns out to be tasty and refreshing.

Well, despite the wild fires burning up much of Northern California, we are safely nestled in the south, the high desert area and are experiencing heat in the triple digits. In fact, three small lizards have taken refuge in our adobe house. They say this heat will even kill the desert lizard if left exposed. These are tiny creatures that grow to about only 1 and a half inches or to two inches- three quarters. We managed to catch them and are now nurturing them in a terrarium with green sub strata, little forest trees, stones, logs and a water dish. Plus, we're feeding them bug food and salad greens. They are the most delightful and interesting characters. We think we have two males and one female. They actually resemble slim salamanders with finely dotted skin. I have noticed they are avid climbers and each one is unique. One likes to take a dip in the water dish or pool, another does what we call weigh lift.She goes under a flat piece of bark and moves it around with her head, thus lifting it. Another is the acrobat who actually jumps from the stone to the lower tree branch. He swirls his tail around a thin branch and swings outward. Just amazing to watch. I have researched what type of species we have and have come to the conclusion they are a species called the "desert night lizard". These creatures are unique and unlike other lizard classifications, stay together as a family unit once their young are born. The females do not lay eggs but give birth to live baby lizards, one to three at a time. The babies are immediately independent but still stay with their family for a year or more. These are socialites, they actually live and work together in the wild. Come late September when the heat cools, we will release them into the wild. In the mean time, it's a joy to have them and watch them act and react to each other, us and their environmental conditions.

Let's see, other than our lizard adventure, I have been writing poems of a particular theme. Writer's block had set in in late June and then came the peak of the tragic, separation of immigrant families on our southern border. Truly heart-breaking and so many human stories that touch our souls. I read several personal stories and was inspired to write some poems. Also thought of my own grandmother who came through Ellis Island and traveled from Slovakia to New York in steerage class on a steamer ship, suffering through some harsh and often stifling conditions. Anyway, both things broke the temporary drought of ideas and I was able to compose. Still editing here and there, but that is part of the process.

I wish all of you a wonderful week-end and just wanted to check in and say
"hi". So great hearing from you.

Take care
Wendy

Wendy, great to hear from you! Your lizard family sounds fascinating. It must be unbearably hot if even creatures adapted to desert living are struggling to survive. It's not anywhere near as hot here, of course, but we have had record breaking temperatures and a drought to cope with. Something the web-footed Brits just aren't used to!

The plight of immigrants is touching all areas of the planet. It's truly dreadful and heart breaking. We're living in dark times and they seem to be getting darker.

Good luck with your editing and writing. Work can give us an anchor when all else seems chaos.

Thanks Stuart,

And yes, creative work can anchor us and keep us balanced and adrift in these periods of uncertainty, turmoil and as you say, chaos.

My best
Wendy

Yes, yes, thank you Wendy. So glad to hear you are safe in the south of California. ((Your lizards & you all)). We have felt the residue of the fires burning south, north and east of us here on Whidbey Island in the Pacific Northwest.

How wonderful this is ... to keep stirring the creative juices from our places, in this space of Myth & Moor. And if you are interested in reading one of the stories I will retell, here's a link to 'Turquoise Windows' a story I wrote many years ago while I lived in the house I knew as a child, only to revisit and rebuild as a woman. http://vardofortwo2.blogspot.com/2018/06/turquoise-windows.html

Aloha,
Mokihana

Hi Mokanna

I needed that gorgeous story of "The Turquoise Windows" to start my day with a sense of joy, grace and reverence for nature and the way things should be. What a beautiful lesson this narrative conveys. I love your descriptive prose and how beautifully you emphasize the nature of the people, the color and texture of the land and the way stories are told from generation to generation. The spiritual journey of the tinkers is timeless, something we should all evolve through -- especially today when greed and lack of concern for the environment have been ressurected, unfortunately with this present administration and elements of the Republican party. Your writing is enchanting; and I particularly loved how you described and referenced the beauty of the dolphins. What magnificent beings they are; they gift ourselves and our earth with their presence and spiritual sense of joy and even compassion. Thank you so much for sharing this story. It was a pleasure to read!

Take care
Wendy

Speaking of turquoise, several years ago I wrote a poem about "Sleeping Beauty Mountain, in Arizona. It gained its beautiful name from the shape of the mountain which resembled "a sleeping woman". It had been for decades, maybe a century, the site of a turquoise mine that produced some of the purest and clear form of the gemstone in the nation, if not the world. Originally, it had been a sacred site where the indigenous people valued the stone for its medicinal and spiritual powers. To them, turquoise was the stone that united earth and heaven, where "Father Sky" hugged Mother Earth" and created a sense of unity and wisdom. As with all natural resources/sites, when discovered by western man, it becomes exploited, used for purposes of greed and profit. The place is robbed of its resource, dignity and spiritual presence. Eventually the mine was closed. However, I wrote a poem about this place and personified the spirit within the mountain, addressing the issue of its sacredness and what had been done by mankind to its original gift.

If you would like to read it and see a picture of mountain, here is a link to the poem on my blog --

https://gwendrina.blogspot.com/search?q=pondering+the+depth

Wendy and Mokihana, I've read both your pieces and I applaud their optimism and wisdom. Please keep up the good work, so that tired old cynics like me can be reminded that unwavering pessimism isn't the only way to regard this world.

As we're posting links here, I thought I'd share a link to the society of artists I'm a member of.
http://www.leicestersocietyofartists.co.uk/lsa-artists/Stuart-Hill.php

The link may have to be typed in manually

Hi Stuart

Thoroughly enjoyed browsing through your gallery of paintings. I really like the stark and bold style of your figurative works. They are stunning and in particular I loved,
"Fox and The Faun", "Avocet", "fire in the sky" and "Raven Moon". I think with the smoothness of your characters and scenes, with the deliberate lack of brushstroke texturing, they grab the eye and allow one's imagination, as the observer, to expand on the detail and content of the story each one is potentially telling. Thank you for sharing them with us. And I also really like your phrase -

" I think the time has come to embrace the 'shock of the beautiful". I agree with that and feel beauty needs to be recognized, in its many forms and perspectives. Perhaps, it needs to come in with deep impact, to startle us, shock and in the end, mesmerize and enlighten.

My best
Wendy

And thanks so much Stuart for reading my poem. I really appreciate it and agree we must stay focused, creative and optimistic through art. It helps and sustains.

Thanks
Wendy

Many thanks for your comments, Wendy. As I'm sure I've mentioned on Myth and Moor before, to some artists beauty is a dirty word; it's time the art world reclaimed it as a concept, not to the exclusion of all else, but as an equal and respected partner in a broad spectrum of styles and schools of thought.

I've just found out that it's International Cat Day (which should please the cats-at-the-top-of-the-hill). Our own fat feline is completely unaware of this fact and I suspect he couldn't care less even if he did know about it. All he wants is lots of food and a place to lie after each gargantuan meal where he can create noxious stenches from his all too active digestive tract! Does anyone else own flatulent cats?

Where is Terri, ?
I do hope all is well enough with her and her loved ones.
It's been a Longggkggg Time with no touch in.
carringly
beth

Like Hermosa and others, I'm hoping all is well chez Windling. I've learned so much from reading your blog, Terri. Hoping your silence here *only* signifies creative busy-ness up at the cabin.

It's sunday night and I'm bored! I've always hated sundays; I'm old enough to remember a time when kids weren't allowed out to play because it was 'A Day Of Rest'! All day I'd be forced to stay in and watch the world unfolding beyond my window! Worse even than that, it was school the next day and I'd have to have a bath ( a rarity)Then come the evening my parents would insist on listening to the radio where a completely hideous programme called 'Sing Something Simple, with the Mike Sammes Singers' would torture me with ancient and truly vile songs like 'A Bicycle Built for Two' and something else about a sodding bee and a some scabrous honey-suckle whose title I can't remember. Does anyone else in the UK remember this deeply horrendous example of aural torture?

At least I didn't have to go to church, coming as I do from an enlightened family of heathens. Though I'm reliably informed by friends who were forced to suffer this torment that they'd be lectured by some bloke in a dress and a dog-collar about how Christ would consigne almost everyone to a fiery pit for all eternity when they finally shuffled off this mortal coil. Comforting eh?

At the age of sixteen me and my mates finally managed to escape to the pub on sunday nights, where we'd happily and illegally sink a few pints before work the next day. Am I the only one who truly loathes this so called day-of-rest or am I in sad minority of damaged people?

Not that I'm expecting a response or anything, but I'd just like to commemorate that on this day 533 years ago the Battle of Bosworth was fought and the dead body of the defeated Richard III would have been thrown naked over the back of a horse and brought along a road, not two hundred metres from where I'm now sitting and typing this. He was on his way to be dumped in a grave in Grey Friars church, Leicester, with his hands still bound, the last king of the Plantagenet dynasty. Henry Tudor then established his own dynasty of blood-thirsty monarchs, who at least equalled the rapacity of those who ruled before it. For example, it has been estimnated that between fifty seven and seventy two thousand people were executed during Henry VIII's reign alone, though others have disputed this. Perhaps this is why I'm not a royalist; though I realise you don't have to be royal to be a murdering thug...just thought I'd say.

P.S. I've just read this through again and realise that the opening comment sounds very agressive. I didn't mean it in that way; I know people are very busy/incapacitated and so find it diffcult to respond.

Hi Stuart

That is fascinating and so is the history and plight of Richard the Third. He was fabled to be a hunchback and a monster -- and yet from some documentaries I've seen on the subject, there are questions about the total accuracy of that. Anyway, I did see a program on BBC America about his skull being discovered and dug up in a modern day parking lot. Again, it was eerie and yet rather spellbinding in its own way. Do you have any poems written on Richard III in his own voice from an observer's point--of-view? I think they would very interesting to read if you do..

Speaking of the Tudors, I have always been rather mesmerized by the times and the history of the period. So many adjectives that can describe the royal lot and his progeny from ruthless to vulnerable to briliant when considering himself, his daughters, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth and his son who barely made it past 16 or 17 (I believe). About two years ago, I came up with an idea for a poem about Mary Stuart, who has always fascinated me as well. I was drawn to her story and plight. But getting back to the subject of the Scottish Queen, it became a monologue of the character's reflections and thoughts; inspired by listening to a poem , over at poetryfoundation.org, called "Bloody Mary" by April Bernard.

On the June podcast, she read her poem and mistakenly said that this was about the infamous queen, Bloody Mary, Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, when she should of said, Mary Tudor. The mistake is easy enough to make but when branding a murderous reputation on a queen who was considered to be compassionate and a victim of political ambition and power-play, it gives thought to what the ghost of this sovereign might feel and think. So my work gives her a chance to speak about it.

Here's the poem

Two Marys

I

Do I move through stone walls? No
I glide within them -- a shaft
of gleaming satin. Sometimes
you hear my gown rustle, sometimes not.

But I have heard many
confuse my reign with hers -- "Bloody Mary"
first daughter of the heretic king.
Both queens, we shared the same name
and faith. Close to the breast, we held
a crucifix, our secret letters and sins, a lover's head,
( My brave James of Bothwell.)

Yet, the killings were hers. Pikes and swords
moved from field to town, stained
barn and tower scarlet. My hands were clean;
they clutched heather.

II

Do I breathe letting the tapestry flinch,
its lords and ladies lick dust? Perhaps,
but at one point, I also shared with her
the most grievous sigh -- the womb
befallen to an empty bowl. Hers

held the belief of a child
that stopped the menses, swelled the belly
until her condition waned
in truth. Nothing was there --
except the shadow of want.

Mine broke into sudden spasms
then blood. The twins' pulse
fell silent, their presence left

as pale moths to gnaw
holes in my voice. And I sobbed
killing the light.
___________________________________________

so if you have any poems on Richard or others of that time period or some other historic figure, please share.

BTW -- Certainly did not think your opening statement was aggressive. Just thought you were sharing some very interesting historic facts. So thank you, I enjoy history and learning more about it.

My Best
Wendy

Do I move through stone walls? No

I glide within them -- a shaft

of gleaming satin. Sometimes

you hear my gown rustle, sometimes not.

But I have heard many

confuse my reign with hers -- Bloody Mary

first daughter of the heretic king.

Both queens, we shared the same name

and faith. Close to the breast, we held

a crucifix, our secret letters and sins, a lover's head,

( My brave James of Bothwell.)

Yet, the killings were hers. Pikes and swords

moved from field to town, stained

barn and tower scarlet. My hands were clean;

they clutched heather.

II

Do I breathe letting the tapestry flinch,

its lords and ladies lick dust? Perhaps,

but at one point, I also shared with her

the most grievous sigh - the womb

befallen to an empty bowl. Hers

held the belief of a child

that stopped the menses, swelled the belly

until her condition waned

in truth. Nothing was there --

except the shadow of want.

Mine broke into sudden spasms

then blood. The twins' pulse

fell silent, their presence left

as pale moths to gnaw

holes in my voice. And I sobbed

killing the light.

Sorry for the double posting of the poem -- my browser is in a really bad mood today and so is this computer. Somehow I posted twice or the machine doubled it. You never know with these temperamental techie things.


Wendy

Hi Wendy. I enjoyed this. Mary Queen of Scots was such a tragic figure, executed by Elizabeth I (those bloodthirsty Tudors again)her own cousin! I wonder if it was the guilt of this that made Elizabeth name Mary's son, James, as her heir. So began the Stuart dynasty in England (already long established in Scotland)and this would eventually lead to Charles I and the so called English Civil War that was actually faught throughout these islands!More bloodshed caused by royals! Though it has to be said that Cromwell, the victor in that war, was little better.
Anyway, I'm waffling on. The poem's great! I love first person narrative poetry; something of a rarity nowadays. In fact one of my favourite examples of this form of dramatic monologue is 'Ulysses' by Tennyson. It's certainly worth checking out if you don't know it.

Hi Stuart

Thanks so much for reading and commenting on this poem!! I deeply appreciate your commentary and am glad you enjoyed the poem. I think you may have something there about Elizabeth's guilt leading to her naming James I as the heir to the throne. I saw the movie "Mary Queen of Scots" back in the 70's starring Vanessa Redgrave as Mary and Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth. In that version, the character of Elizabeth seemed very tortured by her decision to put Mary to death. It may have some validity, who really knows? Anyway, I have read Tennyson's " Ulysses; and agree it's a brilliant and dynamic monologue. I love Tennyson and feel he is one of our most accomplished and insightful poets.

Again, thank you,
Wendy

I saw that film too, and if I remember correctly Elizabeth and Mary actually meet in one scene, something that I don't think ever actually happened. Brilliant acting though from two mighty queens of the acting world, if not of historic royalty itself!

Well, it's another sunday (oh joy) but instead of being my usual doleful self, I've decided to celebrate the day as it's a full moon (Barley Moon apparently)and I have a bottle of 'Special Reserve King Goblin Beer' that's only brewed at the time of a full moon. This will be duly drunk, by myself and Clare this evening, along with a few glasses of autumnal ginger liquor! There's definitely a cool and bonfire-scented breath in the air today. I'm pleased to say we've begun the journey to my favourite time of year! The days are drawing in and stories are waiting to be told at the fireside.

As I write this Clare is baking scones (to rhyme with 'bones'; no other pronunciation is acceptable)which we will scoff with lots of butter, cream, jam and anything else that's both delicious and unhealthy. Happy Barley Moon to you all and may the barley be used to brew lots of good ale!

Dear, Dear Terri, I am missing you. Please surface long enough to let us know you are here.🦋

Hello all! Just checking in to say hello and that I miss you too! Summer activities have kept me busy and I haven't checked in or read nearly as much as I'd like. We have a new pup, Luna, who is the primary distraction at the moment. But like Tilly, I hope one day that she'll accompany us on a great many outdoor and literary adventures. If she'll just stop chewing everything to bits... Ha! Love to all from Seattle.

For those of you who are concerned about Terri, I don't know for sure, but I think she's just tremendously busy this season. At least that's what the Facebook Fairies seem to report.

Much love,
Edie

Yes! My favorite time of year too, Stuart! And the King Goblin does sound delightful. (Though I might enjoy the autumnal ginger liquor even more!) Happy Barley Moon to you and yours.

A chilling poem, Wendy, and a powerful one. I haven't seen enough poetry on pregnancy, birth, and infertility in my life. I'm grateful for this piece.

Great to hear from you, Edith! The ginger liquor is wonderful; beautifully sweet and warming! Luna sounds great fun. I love puppies when they think the whole world is a playground and they approach life in a frenzy of excitement! I suspect my rather portly black cat would have a different opinion though. Happy Barley Moon to you and Luna.

Hi Edith

so good hearing from you and thank you so much for this lovely comment on my poem! I deeply appreciate it!

Take care
Wendy

Hi Edie

What a joy your new puppy must bring! I wish you lots of luck with training her and can only imagine what happiness and new experiences she brings to the family. And I agree with you about Terri -- I hope and pray she is just busy making creative progress on all the projects she has wanted to complete and accomplish.

So good hearing from you!
Take care

Wendy

I well remember the awfulness of Sing Something Simple. It sucked the life out of any pice of music performed on it. In my case though, I would tuning the radio ready for the FM frequency to pass from Radio 2 (home of SSS) to Radio 1, which in those days was AM for the rest of the week, for the Top 40. It was a fine balancing act to miss all of one and none of the other.

Terri, you are SO missed. How are you? Please drop by here and let us know.

Terri's facebook page has been active up until the end of last month for those who want to keep up with her latest posts...http://facebook.com/terriwindling Missing her blog entrys though.

This afternoon myself and Clare were invited over to a friend's house to view a wonderful collection of books that had been amassed by another friend who recently died. Many of them were published by the Folio Society, for those of you not familiar with this company, I should explain that they publish the classics (literary, historical, philosophical etc) in beautifully bound and slip-cased editions. Apparently, this friend's immediate family were going to throw them away(!!!!!!!) and so we were told we could take what we wanted!!!!! Needless to say we came away with a car full; everything from PG. Wodehouse and Thomas Hardy to Suetonius and John Donne (with a side order of Robin Lane Fox's definitive biography of Alexander the Great and an in depth study of the Pre-Raphaelites amongst many others). But there was so much else we took away with us, not only an apalled amazement that anyone could even consider throwing away such beautiful books, but also the comforting thought that our friend's personal library is now being distributed amongst those who cared both for him and for the many and varied subjects that were represented in his collection. Well done Tim, you were truly a Renaissance Man of the first order!

A very happy morning to everyone! For you see, if you will go to your Twitter today you will discover Terri has been posting her exciting journey about the Fae and the like all along since July!
Happy trails y'all!

Hi Stuart

What a wonderful opportunity to add some beautiful books to your personal library enriched with fine literature and finely crafted book-making or binding, whatever its called. My first love for poetry came when I was about 12 years old. My Great Swiss Aunt who lived in Florida went to an estate sale and found several sets of books put forth by the Spencer Press, dated 1924 and purchased three sets of the same collection. These were hard-bound, gilt pages and woodcuts depicting crucial scenes/characters/sayings in each book. My Aunt generously gave one set of these beautiful books to my family. They ranged from Ivanhoe to Pluto's Lives. In-between. Shakespeare's plays and "The World's Greatest Treasury of Poems". In that last volume alone, I came to adore Tennyson's "The Lady of Shallott", Byron's "She Walks in Beauty Like the Night", Shelley"s "Ode To A Skylark and Ode To The West Wind" among others, Keats "Ode to A nightengale and Grecian Urn, Poe's Raven and Ullame ... and the list of classic poets and works goes on. But I cherished the whole set and began writing my own poems and short stories shortly afterwards. Indeed, a very special gift. So I truly understand how you and Clare feel! Thank you for sharing this -- it lets me reflect back on my Aunt Emma's gift to me and my family and what an influence it had on my creative development and love for
literature.

My Best
Wendy

Hi A"Vonne,

Thanks so much for the info. I will definitely check it out and so glad to hear Terri is Well and enjoying her exciting project and journey through the creative and magical world/legacy of "The Fae".

Take care,
My Best
Wendy

Sounds wonderful, Wendy! But considering the time of year, don't forget Keat's wonderful 'Ode to Autumn'. As I write this we're on a short break in Malvern in Worcestershire, Clare's home town, and we're definitely being reminded that now is the 'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness'. The weather is soft with mizzle and the greenery of the region is a welcome relief after the arid summer we've had.

No Stuart,

I haven't forgotten that beautiful poem, one of my all-time favorite by him and about the season, itself. When you say "soft with mizzle and the greenery of the region", it reminds me of my home back in New York State. I grew up in the province not the city. We had the greenery, the scent of apples in the fields, Queen Annce's lace, fox tail grass and cornflowers growing along the fences and the out rims of the woods. It cooled off in September and was very beautiful. Here in the high desert of Southern CAl, we are still in the high temperature range, dry heat and no rain. But the nights are gorgeous with the desert moon shining over the Joshua tree fields and the hills n the desert. No bugs out here and cool winds blow down from the mountains at night.

Enjoy your trip,
my best
Wendy

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