Category Archives: Creativity

Awakened and Enlightened ..Guest Post by Tallis Steelyard

HEAR YE! HEAR YE! 

Did I not promise you of great things to come?  I told you that I would be part of a team that would present fiction in a new way.  I am installment eight.  You know that little kid near the end of the line, costume on and ready to hit the stage and delight you.  Then the IT gremlins came out to play and put a halt to things at about installment four or five, so just to get the you in the mood I started posting from the beginning the installments.  Well! Gremlins conquered and we are ready to rock. So I am posting my part YEA! and below that I will have the links to the foregoing.

Visit Jim for more and more and more

Awakened and enlightened

Awakened and Enlightened

I decided it was time I made my way back towards home. One thing repeated exile teaches a poet is humility. Disappear to avoid the results of some unfortunate understanding and it doesn’t take long for people to either forget you or to shift the blame onto some other poor beggar who didn’t absent themselves so briskly. Hence I was sadly confident that my return to Port Naain would evocate little reaction.

I headed south to Port Naain, working my way down the coast. This is an area I know better and even have friends I can call upon. It was one of these friends who is largely responsible for my meeting up with the Venerable Order of the Awakened and Enlightened Siblings.

We lingered too long over breakfast, so that it made sense to take an early lunch, and it wasn’t until early afternoon that I finally set off. Thus I was still seven or eight miles short of my destination when I decided I really ought to look for somewhere to stay for the night. The first place I saw after making that decision was a sprawling old mansion set back from the road. It seemed in good repair, there were plenty of lights showing at the windows and by the gate was a sign announcing to the weary traveller that this was the monastery of the Awakened and Enlightened Siblings and that travellers were welcome to stay.

Thus encouraged I walked up the drive and pulled the bell pull by the main door. A middle aged lady in a long robe admitted me and led me through to a reception room where she proceeded to ask me various questions; the usual things, name, occupation, reasons for travelling. I admit to a degree of caution, as I felt it might not be entirely wise to go bandying about the name of Tallis Steelyard. So I merely said I was Torris Blurt, gave my profession as ‘clerk’ and said that I was travelling to Port Naain to seek employment.

I was shown to a small sparsely furnished room. All it contained was a sawdust stuffed mattress on the floor, but this was accompanied by what appeared to be an adequate number of blankets. There was a hand-pump in the yard for washing, and when ready I was encouraged to visit the guests’ dining room.

It seems that I was the only guest. So as I ate I had the undivided attention of the guest master who proceeded to expound the teachings of his order.

Their beliefs appear simple enough. That once one reaches a certain level of wisdom one realises that man is the only god man needs. This is called ‘the awakening.’ Once somebody is awakened they realise that it is the duty of the awakened to guide and govern the rest of the population who so obviously are incapable of governing themselves. These masses are known as the sleepers. But the awakened also realise that even they are not yet ready to govern, so they purify themselves by a strict diet, celibacy and abstaining from alcohol. Success in purification takes the initiate to the highest level when they become enlightened. It is to the enlightened that the populace should look for leadership and guidance.

Judging by the meal I ate, a dish of beans cooked in water, and served with some coarse bread; the recommended diet for the awakened or the masses was unlikely to include such things as meat. On the other hand I did get a glass of beer to drink. It was thin and sour and I recognised it instantly. It was ‘Abbot’s Ale’, sold by many taverns and inns in Port Naain. Even by the undemanding standards set by Port Naain brewers, it was bad.

So I tentatively asked the guest master about the ale. He held up a glass of the pale yellow liquid. “It serves two purposes. Firstly sales help to fund our order, so that we might continue our good work. Secondly and perhaps most importantly, those who drink this will not be drinking stronger drink, so it reduces drunkenness and encourages teetotalism. It is indeed fortunate that we sell such a lot of it.”

With that he poured me a glass of a fruit cordial. “This is what we encourage folk to drink instead and we supply it very cheaply to those places that take the ale.”

The fruit cordial was pleasant enough, but again I recognised it. In the sort of bar where folk drink ‘Abbot’s Ale’ it is customary for the person purchasing it to ask for their glass to be ‘fortified.’ The vendor would fill the tankard three-quarters full of the ale and then top it up with a mix of half fruit cordial and half cheap spirit. The resultant drink is, it must be admitted, considerably more pleasant than the straight ale, but one is advised not to drink too much of it. Opinions differ as to how much is ‘too much’. Personally I’d suggest the sensible limit is less than a full glass. I have known people drink it to excess and not merely lose any memories of that evening, but of the following three or four days as well.

The talk then drifted delicately to the topic of donations. I cheerfully pulled out my purse and poured a small quantity of low denomination copper onto the table. The one ‘silver’ coin contained so much lead it had bent and I gently straightened it out again. Given the whole heap wasn’t worth much more than the value of a glass of beer, he gracefully declined. I assume he thought I had more money secreted about my person, but he was mistaken. As befits a poet, my penury was entirely authentic.

He encouraged me to contemplate joining the awakened. He pointed out that only the wise and properly educated could govern the populace properly, and the masses could only benefit with members of the order guiding them. After all, with us to lead them by example into lives of frugality and sobriety the world would be a better place. Then as I grew in wisdom and understanding, I would inevitably rise to join the enlightened.

I said I would sleep on it, and made my way to my room. To be fair the mattress was not uncomfortable, and there were enough blankets so I slept tolerably well. Unfortunately I awoke early feeling distinctly hungry and was unable to get back to sleep. So I dressed and went down to the dining room. It struck me that I might find the makings of an early breakfast and then I could be on my way. The dining room was empty and there was no sign of anybody in the kitchen. I was a little surprised, but it wasn’t until I looked out of a window and saw the false dawn that I realised how early it was. I continued to drift through rooms like a particularly peckish ghost, until I came upon a short corridor I’d never noticed previously. I walked down it and opened the door at the far end. This led into a dining room rather more elegantly appointed than the one I had eaten in the previous evening. Was this perhaps for the enlightened?

There was a door off the dining room which led to a separate kitchen and a substantial pantry. Here I was indeed enlightened. I returned to my room, collected my cloak and the trusty wicker fishing creel which had served me so faithfully as a pack and made my way once more to the pantry. There I nibbled on honey-cooked sausages whilst contemplating my possible breakfast. In the end I took more sausages, several slices of cold roast ham, some bread which I sliced and buttered thickly to save time later, a honey comb and two bottles of a rather fine white wine. I also acquired a quantity of black pudding and bacon which I could offer as my contribution to the meal should I stop at some peasant household that night.

I slipped quietly out of the window, closing it gently after me and made my way back to the road. It did strike me that within the order, it was obvious that abstinence from alcohol and decent food was only a requirement for those lesser beings. These were rules that the enlightened were wise enough to set aside for themselves. Whether the rules set aside by those who adjudge themselves wise also included celibacy is a question I am afraid I cannot answer.

At this point it seems pertinent to mention that the story of Tallis’s escapades continues on other blogs. They will be reblogged in what may one day be accepted by biographers as the chronologically correct order on his own blog. Thus and so you can easily follow his gripping adventures.

 Also, as an aside, the reason for this whole performance, (aside for being ‘Art’ with a capital ‘A’) is that another volume of his anecdotes has been published. Containing some work that has never appeared on the blog, this is ;-

 Tallis Steelyard. The Monster of Bell-Wether Gardens and other stories.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Steelyard-Monster-Bell-Wether-Gardens-stories-ebook/dp/B075DG5JJ6/

 

https://www.amazon.com/Steelyard-Monster-Bell-Wether-Gardens-stories-ebook/dp/B075DG5JJ6/

AND PREVIOUS LINKS TO BEGINNING CHAPTERS

https://scvincent.com/2017/09/24/guest-poet-and-raconteur-tallis-steelyard-a-family-saga/
https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2017/09/17/playing-the-game-guest-post-by-tallis-steelyard/
https://addandsomuchmore.com/2017/09/18/of-kings-and-kindness/https://tallissteelyard.wordpress.com/2017/09/27/the-spice-of-life/

https://tallissteelyard.wordpress.com/2017/09/27/the-spice-of-life/

https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2017/09/19/questions-happily-unanswered-tallis-steelyard/

https://jenanita01.com/2017/09/25/the-monster-of-bell-wether-gardens-and-other-stories-by-jim-webster-short-stories/

https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/if-a-tree-falls-and/

 

 

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Attacks of Brilliance are Exhilarating

Have you ever had an attack of Brilliant Thought?  You know it happens so rarely. I mean it may not be rare at all it just seems such a unique experience. And seems to happen spontaneously.

Brilliant

I mean you cannot say to someone, ‘Watch me be Brilliant.’  It just happens.  Then of course it could be that it is not at all Brilliant except in my mind.  You know that whole bit about perception.

But this is how easy it is.  As I sat this morning, moments ago actually, I was listening in the back ground to the music of Gerald Raphael Finzi (1901-1956) British composer, courtesy of Chris White at The 1951 Rolling Review while reading a Poem by Robbie

And the words just popped into my mind.  I found Robbie through Sue Vincent at her blog ( my newest addiction).  Any way as I wrote a comment to Robbie I thought ‘Brilliant’.

SUCCESS DEPENDS LESS ON INTELLIGENCE AND MORE ON PERSEVERANCE OF THOUGHT.

Wow.  Well a Wow moment for me.  I mean I could write for a year on those words alone.  However I have a personal task, a Beta reading I am doing for my author friend in Cuenca Ecuador Joss Burnel on her newest book.  Sunday past I sat to begin reading and suddenly it is Wednesday.  So the next few hours will be dedicated to this fascinating tale.

I just had to take time to declare a moment of Brilliance.  Hmm perhaps they are rare.

The Two of Me

Well leave it to Celi at thekitchensgarden to stimulate my morning creative flow with her post.

This morning she talked about how there are two of us, the one we see, and the one they think they see of us.  I suppose it could be broken down even further like the structure of the universe, but it’s a pretty good basic to begin with.

Celi asks, ‘If you only had one word to describe yourself what would it be’?  Herself she describes as Eclectic which seems to fit exactly with her diverse and exceptional life.

The very first word to mind would not have been my first choice.  Nothing magical, strong, or adventurous.

oil-spill-flotsam-washed-ashore-19017934 from:Dreamstime.com

In fact it is FLOTSAM.  I know it is a marine term and means floating pieces, parts, etc., from a ship that has been wrecked and alas that is how I think my life has been. I seem to have very little control of it myself. Sometimes I feel like I am just along for the ride and must weather it as well as possible. Not a very strong word at all, but a surviving as cheerfully as possible word.

I have had times when I have determined to take control of my life.  Ha! Inevitably something happens with a bang that was uncontrollable and smacks me upside the head.  Foolish girl.

Anyway, FLOTSAM is my word.  What is yours?

I Love a Rainy Day

Unlike the Carpenters‘ Rainy Days and Mondays song always getting them down, I like rainy days.  The kind of day that begs for hibernation, curling up with books, and reflective thoughts of life.

When I awoke this morning to that delicious half light that accompanies immane cloud cover (BTW immane is a new word I learned – means monstrous, huge), my consciousness cuddled with my soul and prepared for one nice snuggy day.

I love skies filled with clouds (note I say that while staying in and looking out.  Not unlike my admiration for snow filled days also).  The best clouds in the sky photos are taken by my friend Celi so pop over here at thekitchensgarden to have a boo at this header.  

*and catch up on her farmy adventures!  Below is one of Celi’s skies.

Celi's sky

I must admit that retirement has rendered me one of the lowest maintenance gals around.  My needs are simple.  Gone is the need to impress anyone, including to dress to impress, to speak to impress, or anything else of the ‘ess’.

Especially days like this.  Some tea, clouds, and of course reading material.  I figure I will never run out of material because push come to shove I can make up my own.  But I love well written books and my sources are many.

One of the most exciting things I did this year was to make an effort to get out of my comfort zone in the literary world.  I know what I like.  But this year at the encouragement of my dear dear New Zealand blogging and Skype buddy, Judith who chooses how she will spend each day and who started another blog near and dear to her heart, about of course, books and more book 2017. I ventured out to other sorts of books.  I am glad I did!  I just wish I kept track of every book just to impress the daylights out of you. OH! forget the ‘impress’ anything.

Another wonderful source that soothes is Joss Burnel, words to live by, breathe by, dream by and who has found Eden in Ecuador.

 

Quiet days like this means leisurely perusing the news.  So today I see that Vancouver has beaten Toronto as the most expensive in Canada to live.  Of little matter to one such as I but an interesting fact.

Also Canadian, is that in a bar in Dawson City, Yukon, you can buy what is known as a ‘sourtoe cocktail’ and that said toe is a truly mummified toe that must touch your lips as you drink your cocktail, AND that said toe was stolen, AND that the alleged thief sent a letter to the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) saying that he had returned the toe to the bar by mail. And you think we Canucks don’t have news?

Next I read an article that the approaching solar eclipse is expected to cause a terrestrial problem for us.  It seems it will cause a 70% reduction in energy output which will in turn put stress on regular old energy production.  If you rely on solar power, we are forewarned that at 2:30pm on Monday August 21st production will drop.

Well, other than a fine chap from the Ottawa area who won 22 million dollars in one of our lotteries, and who is NOT related to me, or is one of the people on this earth who adores me, but intends to benefit others with his win, I think I am finished with news.

I will make another cuppa, work a bit on my own creative endeavor, and then resume reading. AHHH lots to be grateful for.

 

On Waking Early Ridiculously Clear of Mind

‘It seems to be an age thing, this waking up at 1:45 am, all rested and bright and mercifully doesn’t happen every day – yet.  However there seems to be a certain creativity in the hour or is it merely misguided perception, or I guess really, misperceived perception?

Laying very still listening to thoughts on free range you might say before the presence of the day cages and labels them .. these were this morning’s treasures….

Thoughts-

What do Judge Judy and Liam Neeson do for us? (Honest honest this was the first thought.)

What if your world changed in a blink?

Are you capable of looking after yourself?

What am I not seeing in this moment?  And why does it take decades to be able to look back and wonder why we could not see what is so obvious now?

‘Decisions we make today

The things we do or do not

Temptation to evil is less glitzy, glamor and noise

Heralding its arrival and intent –

And more the quiet seductive luring and alluring procuring

It is not the roar of cannon fire warning of danger danger danger

Giving time to suit up, armor up, prepare

But the barely heard snake like slither sliding, guiding and twisting into our minds and hearts

Mindlessly following, allowing, plowing past caution.

The nonsense of consequence easily dismissed ,

Until we see the collalteral damage of broken hearts, broken children, broken homes, broken futures.

Broken us.

Now where did that come from? Guess I should go tackle that Judy/Liam thing now cause I think my mind has reached the deepest it is going to go for the day.

A Few Random Thought on Humaness

Scale model of the Earth and the Moon, with a ...
Scale model of the Earth and the Moon, with a beam of light traveling between them at the speed of light. It takes approximately 1.26 seconds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The limiting Humaness of our species persists; a thought that occurs, leading to other considerations.

Human beings by virtue of self-definition set boundaries that previously did not exist, guided by ego and belief that proclamation makes something true?  Just a thought.

Scientists working endlessly of ‘laws of nature, of the universe, actually limit development by declaring physical truths to be, well, truths.

What if – travel through space and time has nothing to do with mass, propulsion or energy?

Did ET’s build ancient complicated structures around the world such as in Malta, Egypt, England, Central America or India?  Not likely, at least in the sense we consider.  Perhaps all of us are ‘T’s’.  Just terrestrials and none in the organism that is the cosmos is really ‘extra’.

What if we all had knowledge now lost, where space, time, and matter flowed as a single organism, and it is only our very human egos that persist in making us believe we are more than part of the universe?  Man, (generically speaking here), has in the past declared we are the center, first of a flat earth, then of the solar system, then the universe.  And always there seems to be a sense of surprise to find out that oops there is more.

What if there are multiverses? Do they have doppelgangers reflecting our existence as some scientists postulate?  No.  Again our egos insist we are so important that another universe cannot exist unless it mirrors us.  Human Ego, Humaness.  Have we not learned from the ‘earth is the center of the universe’ mind set?

Does this very idea make us less than we think we are?  No.  In fact it makes us even more important in a cosmic sense.

Here’s a thought;

Stop believing in what you see before you and stop believing you can only apply manmade, man conceived laws of nature.

Suppose for instance that The Speed of Light is not absolute.  But until you let go of that idea you cannot see ‘the other’.

Suppose physical travel through time and space without machinery is possible.  Clinging to our current beliefs we will never know.

Suppose building and design of massive weights and structure without ‘modern’ equipment is easily done?

Suppose communication by defined language is not necessary.

 

Suppose the teachings of Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Buddha, just to name a few were in fact the true message and our humanness absorbed them and turned them into ‘my God is better than your God’ and ‘if you do not belief as I then you are condemned to eternal hell’.  Maybe the messages were never meant to be humanized, or limited, or politicized leading to that most evil sin, judgment of others.

Suppose the human body can self-heal but we lost that knowledge by egotistic limitation.

The answers to these rambling sorts of questions lie not in what is out there to be learned or discovered. They lie in the very center of our own being which is not a small singular entity, but the connection to the vastness of everything.

What if the only thing we had to do was to quiet our hearts and minds, tune out this noisy world of ours, and listen?

Just a thought.

Creativity takes a swerve

I have been wonderfully busy these last few weeks – being creative that is – however none of it is writing.  I have done a lot of thinking about writing and spent some time pondering if there are any new stories to tell.  Of course there are.  New twists and turns to entangle the mind of the reader in a web of intrigue and interest.

I have not come to any great conclusions because after all there might not be any great conclusions at least for my mind, in the here and now.  So I took my focus elsewhere and the idea was to create something that required concentration and to complete the task (I am a great non completer).

We took walks
We took walks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of us
All of us
I began to knit - fancy dancey scarves like this
I began to knit – fancy dancey scarves like this
2 aran knit sweaters for the boys
2 aran knit sweaters for the boys
a boy a bike and a spanking brand new sweater
a boy a bike and a spanking brand new sweater

Creativity thrives and now as I am almost finished the last sweater I will do for awhile (it is for a 95 year old friend – so I must not dally), it is time to think about words, stories, and adventures.   Have a wonderful weekend all!