The Tarka Trail, a Red Book, and a Lamp

..

Bike under my kitchen table

Bike under my kitchen table

This post is linked to an earlier one last year – a poem-of-eclipse (1999) about my father and his violin: see  A Tendency of Concentric Rings.

Tarka Trail

For many years, I wondered if it was possible to visit Peter by bike from Bideford in North Devon.  He was getting too old to drive, and could no longer fetch me from the National Express bus.  It is about 15 miles inland, and very hilly.

I bought my fold-up bike for this purpose, six months ago.  But National Express run only one bus daily from London:  it takes five hours, and the evenings are dark too early now, for a long bike ride to my anxious parent.   I discovered the travel timetable is much more flexible – one every hour – if I take the TRAIN to Barnstaple – another eight miles further to ride.   It costs a lot more than the bus, but who cares!

The Tarka bike trail was opened up as a conservation project along a disused rail track. It follows the coast line from Barnstaple, then bends through Bideford into the Torrington district, all the way down to Petrockstowe.  The railway was closed in the 1970s.

Tarka Trail Barnstaple to Petrockstowe (red dotted line - about 21 miles.)  The train (Tarka Line) travels up to Barnstaple along the  river - centre wriggly line, which shows the road.

Tarka Trail Barnstaple to Petrockstowe (red dotted line – about 21 miles.) The train (Tarka Line) travels up to Barnstaple from Exeter along the river and the green A377 road – centre wriggly line. Then the Tarka Trail sets off from Barnstaple station into the sky, the dunes and salt marshes of the Taw estuary and the sea.

Tarka is the name of the otter in Henry Williamson’s novel, who was born and died along the Torridge river.  The entire region is alive with the Tarka mythos.  I always wanted to see the spectacularly beautiful river region between Bideford and Torrington.  The old railway gradient ensures no steep hills!

You can hire bikes on the Tarka Trail website, or on the spot at Barnstaple Station, Bideford and the Puffing Billy.   Mine folds up, so I took it on the train.

Bike last spring, near St Albans

Bike last spring, near St Albans – with Roman ruin

..

23 October 2013, near Buckland Filleigh

... Nearing my father’s house on its hilltop at dusk, hot and sweaty from the climb, soft thrum of the wind in the air, and an ever changing sky like the sea.  Woodlands feather the fields; delicious the huge quiet, sweet the smell and to be the sky, the open scent of cows.    I thought of my old Letter on the Gate poem:

Above a hidden loop of the sour Torridge river 
– brown and sleeping snake – 
coppice of toughened oak and beech 
with cow parsley’s tryst entangle; 
and on high rough meadows 
the rush pricked pasture 
is dotted with dry flakes of dung. 

To Dartmoor’s wide wing 
cloud-borne in the southern sky, 
acorn tufted slow sheep-back hills 
undulate an inland sea: 
and on the road from Sheepwash to Shebbear 
I found a notice on a field-gate, 
white paper pinned: 

a local dance, skittles champion, an eyesore planning procedure perhaps:  
or addressed to the Winsford Hospital League of Friends?”

Jim Ede and ...?

Jim Ede and …?

Idly I glance;  then widened eyes – 
an open letter is posted for all to see, 
fresh in the late Jim Ede’s 
unmistakable economy script … “

..

The poem goes on, it was based on a vivid dream-vision in 1999, which carried many depth messages and ancestral themes.   Jim was my grandfather – Peter’s father-in-law.

..

Apart from that, Peter and I have an interesting relationship:  he is like a guide.  He points to my path – a book I should read, or something he is interested in – without either of us realising how significant the detail will be for me.   It  happens when I visit him, and is always unexpected.

The journey in a nice chug-a-chug local train from Exeter to Barnstaple along the single-track Tarka Line, and then by bike along the 20-mile trail to Marland, was ROMANTIC beyond my expectation.  It awoke in my memory the recalled delight.   The drivers of the up and down trains stop and exchange keys for the single track between Eggesford and Umberleigh.

Later on … the hills, the lush woods, the brown river, the legends of the otters and of Victorian engineering, the gradient of the old railway line as it rises and falls, a high level aqueduct canal the Victorians built, and their ingenuity in “ramping” the 40 foot descent to the tidal-level lock;  the song of the place names dear to Henry Williamson – all sprang to life and love again.  It is among the most beautiful and secretive landscape in Britain.

My bike ride – with frequent stops to admire the view and the river – took nearly four hours, and by the time I was climbing through the old woods near Torrington to the hilltops and a familiar view of Dartmoor, I was very tired.   But I cheered up again with the gradient descending, and reached Dunsbear Halt – more scruffy than in the online photo.  A remote lane on the map crosses it – the line continues down to Petrockstowe.  I turned off to the right just after 5 pm, to toil the open hills.  In Devon just when you think you are reaching the top of a hill, it tosses its head.  It was heart warming to begin to recognise the lie of the farmland around my father’s care-home – the little tower beacon at 500 feet on a nearbye skyline curve, a fringe of larch forest, a dip of fields and zinc-roof barns.   Then, with dusk about to fall, the familiar lane towards Buckland Filleigh – I had found it!.

I rode into the farm – now a care home for the elderly, and for “supported living”, staffed by local good-wives, and the long root-runners of regional gossip.  The young entrepreneur who runs it, lives like a creeping buttercup.  He and his family are established in farms and cottages throughout the district, and thrive.  The care home has an excellent reputation, and runs on bio-fuels.  They had a very poor alfalfa harvest this year, so the place is running on wood-chip at present.

Later, I went up a ladder in one of the barns, to look at the process.   It moved, alive and warm in the vast woodchip pile, like a dragon!   A half hid wheel with wings slowly turned and rustled in the depths, as it laboriously ate the collapsing fuel:  the whole pile in slow motion:  warmth and sound – the serpent moves.

the old piggery

Peter’s self contained cottage is a converted piggery with a pitched roof, skylights and attractive timbers.   His arm waving in his kitchen window – his shout, Hooray!    A dyed-in-the wool Capricorn (like myself), he was waiting there for the last 15 minutes.   I rang him from the narrow lane at Dunsbear Halt.   I arrived just in time for tea.   He is nearly 91, and his heart weakens steadily and gives him trouble and anxiety.   But he looks well.   He is less puffy round the eyes, than when I saw him last.   His facial contour emerges in a different way, it has refined.  He might die at any time.   How will that feel?   We didn’t discuss it till the end of my visit.  He said for him there is no death.  One becomes “everything” rather than the single imagined “particular”.  But the physical body gets instinctively panicky.

“Listen to this,” he said again.  “One night I was told – I had to get out of bed and find my glasses and go to my desk and write it down – I was told by a Voice, very clearly – I am … You are … a particle-ar expressing of the Universal energy.  There is no separation.”

Then he reminded me, he joined a London buddhist Sangha back in 1957 or so, when we were living in Surrey.  He went to the Sangha leader, tense with questions about enlightenment and how to live.  The Sangha leader had a little room with nothing in it at all. He sat in his robe, looked up and said, “The Past is Over.  The Future has not come yet.  The Present is Now.  DO NOT WASTE IT”.

Don’t waste it.

To travel the contour satisfies the soul.  In modern high-speed trains, I feel nothing and I am cocooned and cut off, and I just want the journey to end.  The faster it goes, the longer it seems to take, and I only want to arrive.  In local bone rattlers I am in the present with the journey, and I see and feel everything: the wheels, the rails, my body, the passengers, the view;  there is no time.  The sun came out in my inner life, with an amazed smile.

..

I didn’t think to take my camera.  Perhaps this is just as well, because my journey would have taken twice as long.  These online images of the trail must suffice.  The rest of the photos in this post, are my old ones.

Impressions – non-chronological, but just as they come – of my ride:  a hire-bikes cafe deep in the woods called The Puffing Billy.  A lean youth in a hat and curly hair, broad Devon, potters affably, and his spaniel chews a rubber ball with ecstatic expectancy.  Here I enjoyed a tub of Cornish ice-cream and a flapjack, while admiring the power of the swollen brown river below, through steep forest.  Not far off is the titanic roar of the small falls, where salmon sometimes leap.   It was lovely to keep hearing the swirl and shout of the flooded brown waters.   The river winds and twists in a bewildering series of steeply engraved ox bows and sudden emerald meadows.  Wherever you come upon it, the current runs now to the left, then to the right.  Peter says the whole geology lifted while the river was carving its alluvian bed.

The ride goes through a tunnel or two, which was fun.  The beautiful oval bricklaying is illumined by regular lamps – the darkness, then the russet, ochre and olive splendour of the curve, the detail – like an alchemical secret in the bowels.

There are stopping points, with maps to illustrate the wildlife, the human history and the source – near the waterfall and the raised canal – where Tarka the Otter was born and began his journey.  The water, the stone and the woods are incredibly atmospheric.  There are footpaths away from the path, to climb, stalk and dream along.   Further down the trail  are startling sculptures of seated souls – or conversing otters? – decorated in lively mosaic by local school children – a strip-cartoon Henry Moore series, among the alder and the oaks.

..

More memories:  Setting out from Barnstaple against the wind, the dead straight lane into the enormous question of sky-weather, estuary, marshlands and the bumpy brown Burrows of Braunton across the water, was rather formidable with my long, unknown journey ahead.  As when beginning to climb a rock face, you don’t give up with one hold.  One leads to another.  You just keep going,  until you are the whole journey:  the flow and knowledge of each ledge and hold of the rock face.

So I keep pushing the pedals round and round until the landscape and horizons are embodied.   It is my life.   Being nearly 65, an instinct in my body is fearful, and protests.   The instinct is frightened my bike might break down, or I might be very late, and my father will worry.

Path

Path near Buckland Filleigh

Yarde is the last old station before Dunsbear Halt.  I was told at Puffing Billy back near Torrington, there is a really good cup of coffee at Yarde.  But the cafe was closed;  a middle aged hairy hobbit busy rebuilding some steps … a round-house in the garden (they put up travellers) … a remote and tender furred flow of landscape … a slight fall of the gradient just ahead, to rest in top gear, after a long slow climb.

The lane is metalled and smooth from Barnstaple to Torrington, but by Torrington where it enters the old woodland, it is a path of dark gravel, puddles and old leaves; and discreet posters at each crossroads or historic halt, proclaim the North Devon Biosphere project.

Passing Bideford – a strange North Devon “Riviera” with its terraced small city, elderly bridge and boats – was enchanting, as I left the coast and went into the unknown interior.   From the direction of far-off Marland came huge rain clouds against the sun, and a spattering drift of shower here and there;  yet they seemed to disperse and break up, on meeting sea currents.   Light spilled, glowed and was veiled.

I passed hikers, bikers and dog walkers.   Every single person smiled.

The Tarka Trail and its maintenance is part of a project to promote a conscious ecology.   It transformed the old railtrack – which began to close in the 1970s – into a sylvan liberation, a new way of life.  Some landowners along the route at first refused to allow the way to be opened, so there was a tussle, which the Trust won.   In its full length the Tarka Trail is the longest maintained bike path in Britain, off the road all the way.   It links with cross country hiking trails almost as long, to the west and towards Exmoor in the east.

Young cattle near Buckland Filleigh.  Buckland Filleigh is a curiously sinister grey mansion and chapel on a wooded hill.   In it, conferences and training-courses are held.  It would make a marvellous centre for a whodunnit series.

Young cattle near Buckland Filleigh. Buckland Filleigh is a curiously sinister grey mansion and chapel on a wooded hill. In it, conferences and training-courses are held. It is a splendid location for a whodunnit series incorporating the gossip-lines all over the countryside; the old peoples’ care home nearbye – where the prime suspects are! – and remote farms in frost-pockets off the grid.

..

24 October  Red Book

The dew is heavy this morning, and spiders covered the frames of each window with perfect jewelled webs that blow in the breeze.  Last night we walked out and saw all the stars come out, including two shooting stars, the tail end of a meteor shower, as the sky deepened to darkest night.  First we spotted Cassiopaeia, then the Plough and the North Star;  then the Little Bear;  then the long smudge of the Milky Way as the gloaming deepened to black … a diamond-studded galaxy.  But no sign of Orion!  Perhaps he was still climbing from the horizon’s haze.   My daughter rang up and sounded happy and said she wants to do this ride with me, to Grandpa’s.  We shall have a beer when I get back.

Patina

Patina

Yesterday I visited another resident, who lives in the converted barn. He is bipolar, and said he has been ill for 40 years. We talked about his condition and how frightening it gets when he is high, and how he misses Dulverton.  I liked his landscape paintings on the walls of his spacious quarters – he is wealthy.

We discussed Jung a bit, and he cheered up with my company and made me a good cup of tea –  and fetched his copy of THE RED BOOK and lent it to me while I am here.

The mysterious – The Red Book is my Miracle manifested.  It is a great slab of pure red gold.   He bought it on Amazon a year ago, but hasn’t been able to look at it much.  It cost nearly £100.  I shall buy one as soon as I get home.  It is every bit as important as getting  new specs to see properly with.  Isn’t it amazing to touch, and see Jung’s paintings and inner mosaic – his alchemical journey from the dark into the light – and to have that process to read and absorb, as I begin my new work.   I had heard something on the grapevine, but didn’t know it is published in full facsimile, with translation and history.

Jung & his house at Bollingen

Jung is so much more than the founder of Jungian psychoanalysis.  He is a Paracelsus reborn, and the composite of many great medicine sages before that.  He is depth.  He embodied the twentieth century Conscience, with all its Shadow;  he holds the medicine-Staff.  As I knew well during my 1980s odyssey, I stood on his shoulders, and where I went was because of where he had been.  He faced Baphomet and illumined the Way.

One of the paintings in the Red Book is a great face, mosaic’d in graded squares of blue and violet, with down turned mouth and great inward eyes, like many of Jung’s interior Companions.  The expression is how my old friend Elisabeth looked:  the down turned “jungian” intensity is classic – a medieval priest embodies a path of Awe in the other realm.  Without a doubt, Elisabeth today steers me to this treasure, and to learn to become an art-therapist, like she did when she was my age.   She met Jung when she was much younger.

The above drawing was done after Jung visited and spoke to me in a dream.   In my dream, we met in a secluded garden near a house.  I showed him four drawings arranged in a square;  at least two were new portraits of him – (which I hadn’t ‘done’.) He looked at them carefully, and asked me would I please xerox him a copy?

Thus prompted, I drew it “for him” the following day.   Here it is, above; and here is another.

Jung with pipe

He visits me again, and nudges.  Carl Gustav Jung you teach me, as I want to learn to guide others.   There are some unmistakable signs and symbols around at present.  You, the 20th century in full, come from deep history, a greater and wilder depth and breadth than is generally realised on the surface … greater than even you were aware of, in Yesod.

I knew just one thing about the Red Book, as described in Memories, Dreams, Reflections – it is the abyss, the ferment from which your life’s great work, and all the academic studies, emerged.   The Red Book and the Seven Sermons to the Dead (which I have) are your creative foundation.   It is the crucible:  the rest is for linear consumption.    Elisabeth Tomalin gave me her copy of the Seven Sermons.

Elisabeth Tomalin

The Red Book is the painstaking aesthetic completion – in hand script and with all the illuminations and paintings – of what was scribbled down in Jung’s Black Books.   The Red Book was an artist’s great labour to build a monument, a Gothic cathedral.  It took decades to finish, and it is not complete.   It breaks off mid-sentence.

It seems to have begun during the Great War.  It was born from a black depression which Jung feared was psychotic;  during which he continued his clinical work, and to support his family.   His capacity was to travel, to imagine, to visualise and to remember, profoundly.  The Great Archetypes of the Styx cohered into sub-personalities, psychopomps and sages.  I remember how impressed I was in the 1980s, to read about his deep, deep dives into the ocean, at his desk – into the collective Unconscious, opening the way.  He tumbled backwards into it, like a diver, down and down:  then he painted and wrote it forth.

The Red Book emerges as the secret Fire from the great black slabs of his depression, and from the two great Wars of that era.

fountain of life

fountain of life

I used to imagine him sitting at his desk, his study, and closing his eyes and descending from there into the collective unconscious, as he journeyed.  He might be in the Underbeing for hours – his family would not disturb him.  I think it happened as he wrote.  He wrote and painted it forth.  Like Paul Foster Case touching base with Master R, Jung in his black and red books and the Seven Sermons, laid the psychic foundation … on which he would build and fill in all the volumes of his academic work, shelf after shelf, room after room.

When a house is built, a concrete foundation is poured.   When a new psychology is developed, the contact is poured, a serpentine drift of luminous colour and profundity:  the seeing in the dark.

Jung’s artistic cliché is a Celtic-christian ornamentation, rather serpentine.   These curly motifs appear in nearly all his work.   The colours and their intricate labour and subtlety are extraordinary, like medieval stained glass.  They are serpentine.   Some of the images are wonderfully disturbing.  My father took a look, and said they are phallic.   Jung began having visions of the European Fate when he was a little child.

8n Stone and Jung

One of the volumes: “Modern Man in Search of a Soul

..

Depression is a great slab of confinement which either captures the soul in its dream for forty years or more, OR releases the Keys to travel and liberation under the slab.  Eventually they grow up and through and crack the slab like flowers.   The Keys are always offered, but few have the ability to accept and use them.   Depression is a locked-in creative potential, not really an illness.

Jung’s Great Keys are of fluid iron, and wrought into floral patterns.  I am sure he began his visionary paintings and mandalas by doodling first, these patterns behind his eyes, and slowly, obsessively colouring them in;  he descended into the dark;  the mandalas and the statements grew into colour, organically, expanding outward into Themes, Archetypes, Great Shadows and his guide, Philemon.

The Key is the devoted precision in outlining the strange shapes behind the eyes.  It was the way I worked also.   It is the way I shall try to follow again – my signature – and encourage others to follow their own, in due course.

Another similarity is that in some of his paintings are made-up hieroglyphs.   They resemble my made-up hieroglyphs.  The fascinating pressure – of ancient forgotten languages – is engraved in the Subconscious Stone.

outgrow the gods

outgrow the gods

Underbeing & topsoil

Underbeing and the topsoil person 1988

..

Suddenly I have the secret of his Sermons to the Dead:  the contact he called up:  the neglected mythos.  The living stone awakens through the grave.   Tolkien did this, too, in The Return of the King.

Discovery such as this, is ongoing, day by day:  the state of discovery tends to overlay and conceal its items, as it steams along.  It is a level of living:  the passion swiftly leaves the past behind.   But in the quiet hallmark of the Red Book and the converging Jungian hints recently, and the fact that my father introduced me to Jung (though it isn’t his way at all) – (he gave me Laurens Van der Post’s biography of Jung for my 37th birthday) – is a gathering together of threads.  For me, Peter tends to be a Messenger where major signposts stand.   He is there at the crossroads.   When he dies, I will find him still welcoming me at the crossroads, and passing it on.

Peter – whose process is somewhat more Zen:  he attends to the NOW –  observed rather stiffly that Jung seemed unable to escape Christianity.  Paradoxically, the items Peter passed over to me were usually Christian – like Jung … and the sacred geometry of Notre-Dame … an article in Resurgence about quantum-physics alchemy.   Peter was raised a Catholic and rejected it during the war.

..

26 October     Return

Home again.  Another equally wonderful long ride yesterday – Petrockstowe to Barnstaple, stopping from time to time, to read the history, talk to people and look around at where Tarka was born – near the waterfall and a little downstream from the stone canal-viaduct bridge:  also to understand the ingenuity of the architecture in the raised canal, its ghostly remains, and the steep inclined bit at Rolle where the clever Victorians cranked the watery conduit and its traffic up and down 40 feet between the woods and the riverbed.   The young guy mending bikes at the Puffing Billy told me one of his mates saw an otter today – they are coming back.  Salmon leap up the falls sometimes;  the otters like to eat them.  My daughter saw the leaping salmon once, when Peter took her for a drive/walk up the Torrington valley.

The weather all the way averted the sharp showers around Buckland Filleigh – just a faint spatter here and there, from far off;  warm blue sky and swift cotton clouds.   It was an easy ride up the line from Petrockstowe to Dunsbear – hardly any gradient.  I pretended I am on a Kabbalistic journey, and I “went up the Tree”.   I have the map in my body and being.   I am an old train.

I stopped at Bideford Station on the trail, for a bite – where a retired railway carriage is parked.  An elderly lady from Manchester runs the cafe in it;  she made me a delicious bacon bap and coffee, and I basked in the nostalgia of the crafted older trains with proper seats and windows (the modern cattle trucks insult their passengers) and took away two free Bideford newspapers.   Bideford is the Riviera-regatta of North-west Devon.   The revisit is enchanting.    I crossed the river and rode around the bright old town.   It was the gateway towards our family holidays on the Hartland coast, fifty years ago.

At Instow sands, I walked out across them to the water’s edge, little waves.   The brisk wind knocked Bike over, and nearly blew away my shoes – I had to run after them.

Instow sands looking across to Appledore - a Victorian painting

Instow sands looking across to Appledore – a Victorian painting

 ..

The hardest bit of the journey is the Barnstaple estuary because it is very exposed to the wind, and endlessly straight.  Footpaths off it invite you to the wild life sanctuary along the water-lands, which was reclaimed and nurtured by a Gaia society since the war.   This is an exploration for next time.   Along this five-mile part of the route, you have to be the sky and keep plodding.

Unknown-3

When I arrived at the station, there was a train waiting, the guard said “Come.”   Bike and I hopped on, and off we went, back up the River Taw and down the River Something-or-other to the Exe and Exeter.  All the rivers were brown and swollen with huge rains, the trees waded in them, almost spilling into the bright green fields.   More rough weather arrives this weekend.

At Exeter there was only a ten minute wait for the Duchy of Cornwall to London, which was full up, everyone standing and disconsolate.   Here I discovered I had lost my purse, containing memory-stick and dongle.   The only place I could have dropped it was at the train cafe in Bideford when paying for my bacon bap.   Trying not to fret, during the long stand-up two and a half hours to London … how to contact that nice old woman in Bideford through the Tarka Trail management …

At home I cancelled my debit card, but at the end of the evening I FOUND my purse in the blue rucsac – where I had searched before, unable to see or find it in the hugger mugger cattle-express.

..

Conversation

Conversation

An Old Man and a Lamp

I know a young woman who got trapped in a broken lift with a powerful persuasive personality.  The P.P.P. installed his voice and his beliefs in her Systems Preferences.  Now the lift is getting repaired …

Mixed metaphor of being trapped in a lift with a maniac – and of the way a programme installed in her operating system is being gently de-installed; for re-programming.   The System board on our computer is where we have all our settings of time, memory, security etc.  Doesn’t this happen an awful lot in difficult relationships?

When I wrote “trapped in a lift” up there, I mistyped “life” – life with a maniac.   Most of us live with our Inner Maniac in some form or another;  and fine ideas get nowhere.  The Maniac might be projected grotesquely onto our environment;  when we meet and fall in step with someone who is abusive.   The inner Maniac is a negative archetype – something we came to believe in.   Now comes a working insight:  going back long before the pattern of abuse manifested …  what, in the soul’s hinterland, brought to the foreground this particular Maniac?

I got a feel for it just now, like the wind on my wetted finger.    Psychotherapy can touch the place, by feeling and holding that interior thread as it comes to life; and becoming response-able to it.   The language may be a past-life memory, or it may be existential, beyond speech.  Therapy with a wise counsellor, is as transmutative as the Alchemy which self-hears.   It is the same process.

Jung sat down with his clients, and they investigated the subconscious together, like two old philosophers.

If you begin to feel safe with someone, there are lurching episodes when you don’t;  and that is where the living thread – the fishing net – is tested.

Something profound in my subconscious, born to receive the Laws of Karmic justice, welcomed the presence of a Maniac in my life, and in someone else’s.   I see that influence now, and I see its victim, not as someone I think I know, but as the greater part whose history I don’t know, the part which entered my life stream with its own burden and agenda.   The confluence made me the richer in understanding, and broke many shells.

I speak enigmatically.   Insights arise, which I want to share right now, but confidences are kept. The bearing of a heavy Karmic burden is yet a centre of gravity and truth, and it inspires respect and affection.

oak and ivy

..

I am reluctant to write about people I am close to.  I am shy to, without asking them.  I select matters of common interest – things which happen to us all.

We had a really good relaxed time together.   His lungs are a bit watery.   We took the keyboard action out of the Basche piano – it is a Petrof baby grand, made by his Czech grandfather for a wedding-present to his wife – and filed the small knobs of lead in between each wooden key inside, with a nail-file, so they won’t stick.   They tend to swell in damp weather.   Then I gave the whole inside a good clean – a century’s small dust and lead-particles!   My great-great grandfather positioned the wood sections under the keyboard, now clean and good as new:  his handiwork, his touch.

The whole task required concentration, especially our accurate coordination together to lift the heavy action back into the frame.  Concentration on the job at hand, third eye focus, is really a simple key to everything.   Skill is wellbeing;  and skill is application.

I had a few happy hours with some new favourite bits in the Beethoven sonatas.   Spell them carefully, concentrating with the finger detail, and sometimes getting it nearly right;   climb the amateur mountain towards the astounding spiritual beauty of Beethoven’s musical thought.  He jotted it down as he walked and shouted in all weathers, among wet trees with an open coat.   I  dreamed once I met him too, in an underground room.  He had a small daughter, who had already lived so deeply it was beyond telling, in her eyes.

The Basche Petrof is a lively beast – the action takes some mastering;  the bass octaves growl;  a lyrical voice is coaxed forth surprisingly, dusky with the depth and song of old Beethoven.   This piano had a hard time when it lived in the damp Pittbridge valley:  it does a lot better on the hilltop with discreet underfloor heating.

Allegro from the Funeral March Sonata opus 26

Allegro from the Funeral March Sonata opus 26

The Petrof

..

My father calls the care home where he lives, “the community.” It has a lush green garden, a couple of stunted old oaks, and a few young apple saplings drop fruit.   Around the main farmhouse live three or four elderly and independent folk in their barns and piggeries.  Inside the house is a convivial bedsheet chaos of the demented, the bedridden, and the lonely dying.  The place prospers with friendly root fibres all over the region, linking to farms and villages.  They have good cooks, and a cheery Devon staff, and the architectural conversion is excellent – but carrying my father’s dinner tray back to the kitchen in the main house, I skidded on mud and the dishes went flying!    When Peter first moved there, the manager rigged up a video link from a nest of young blackbirds in the garden to all the TV sets – it was rolling news.   But the residents in their armchairs dozed.   When Peter was stronger, he helped with the garden roses, and pruned fruit trees in nearby farms.

..

lamp outline

We saw his neighbour again for tea.   He got out a pile of his watercolours to show us.  He also read out some poems he wrote when he was high.

When it is acute, it is indeed incommunicable.   Depression is an obsession with oneself.   Depression is an inability to concentrate on anything else, and the sufferer gets shut out from humanity.

I found the poems authentic, deep and interesting.   But for a tiny neural imbalance and the ignorance in medical and family conditioning, the sad old poet had access to The Path.  He said that during his “episodes” he starts to “save the world”.  I know that feeling, and  the intense sorrow of its non-viability.  Nowadays the drugs knock it down:  a culture of addiction and isolation, which knows no other way at the moment.  I gave him my address to keep in touch.

It is astonishing to find the red book in the barn.  Before the barn was converted, and the poet came to live there, it was full of old zimmer frames, spare walking sticks and puddles from a leaky roof.   The red book glows and shines forth from within the depression, just as it came forth from Jung’s dark night of the soul.   The depression is a slab which covers the secret fire, until it is ripe.   The depression is a charcoal burner.   Inside it there are pictures …

..

The Secret Dakini Oracle 37 represents TWO fires.  The fire in the background consumes the Earth (planet).  The flame in the foreground is a crucible of the Self, observing the other.   There is a radical letting go – a burning up – of past confinements and attachments.

Lamps get rubbed and release genies.   Dark,dirty lamps.

Most of the old poet’s landscapes are Devon and Exmoor scenes – knotted trees, fields and the colourful personalities of cattle.   He did a farming life.  In some of his more manic and radiant watercolours, he sketched a lamp of the soul – an oil lamp, clear and lit.  He fetched from another room the lamp which is their model.  I remembered the sound, the glass and chink of old oil lamps in cottages which didn’t have “the electric”.   Such a lamp with its glass amber glow, took us upstairs to bed.

The poet’s lamp was spotless clear and clean.  It is dormant.   It is in his life.

The issue of rubbing old lamps, and releasing the genie, is interesting.  The image was in my Watershed dreams from time to time, in the 1970s.   Old lanterns! – a pile of them – and old water-jars;  and changing the light-bulbs in hell.

The lamp is covered with Karmic smoke, and when Aladdin rubs it, out jumps an unknown genie in a snaky whirl of smoke and light, who asks him what he desires.

The genies are denizens of the soul.  Their first appearance can be very scary and unpredictable.

butterlamp - Version 2

..

Secret Dakini Oracle 27 – The Magic Carpet – takes us to the Arabian fables and Tales of the Lamp.

When I discover the Treasury of the Self, as Aladdin did with his Lamp, I then decide and learn how I will handle it for the rest of my life.   Learn the psychology of my wishes, and what they bring forth.

self portrait, 1975

..

..

..

**

My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link – posts about Master R and “What is Love?”

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2013. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Tales from the Watershed: “House Life”

Another old wives’ Watershed Tale – (See under Categories in sidebar)…

daffodils in Alex Pollock

But first …

Celebrating Easter, last week’s equinoctial Full Moon, Pesach?  My secret of the golden flower is buried somewhere in the grim weather here – a biting cold, sad wind, grey like a gravestone, the trees have nothing on, and are shivering, little birds are huddled under their wings.   Holy things are shrouded.

My ingredients are basic:  visualise fluffy yellow chicks and daffodils:  the full Moon radiance through my window.  In London, she blushed silvery pink.  Symbolically unleavened bread suggests its opposite:  the Presence, the yeast:  Ascension, timelessly.   The bread of life is pounded down to wait, to rise.  The spores are stars.   In Hebrew, Bethlehem was the House of Bread.

Both faiths – Hebraic and Christian – combine great loss, grief, rebirth and joy, within the elder pagan Spring Festival … the Passion of the Passover and of the Cross.  For every woman, childbirth is her Passion and Renewal.

The symbolism in the Hebrew Names for the Moon, including Levanah, is for me, breathtaking: see the above link.  But I might add a more Kabbalistic one later.

..

sunshine boy with house 1954

sunshine boy with house 1954

..

Part One:  “House Life” – Dreams No 275    November 1976

IN THE kitchens of this large house, we romp about and slide down chutes of dry mud.  Many people live here among great rooms and staircases, and the place is semi ruined.   In the spacious warmth of its untidy mysteries, great chunks of life are lived and games are played, as in the womb.

parties in gathertegen 1954

parties in gathertegen 1954

..

Once it was a house I wanted to rent.   It had then a large clean kitchen.   I rode my bicycle very fast up the road and back again to talk to a priest about it – to Father William, whom I asked to instruct me in the catholic Faith – a stout, red-cheeked Jesuit at Farm Street.   He is jovial, for he knows he’s on the Rolls Royce escalator to Heaven.   He strolled with one of his wealthy Mayfair parishioners to and fro along the road by the trees, in his smart black cassock and heavy gold watch.  He told me, alas he could not receive me into the church, unless I promised not to have sex with my unborn baby’s father occasionally – to whom of course, I was not married.   My logic to try and keep the relationship stable for my child to grow up in, went further than the Jesuits’, and I’m afraid I was angry, and very rude to him.   The J’s were touchingly kind, however.   They passed the hat around.  They gave me a pram, two dozen terry nappies, a pile of babygros and two big boxes of groceries from Sainsburys, so I didn’t have to spend a penny.   That is logic!

house lit up and the moon

house lit up and the moon 1954

..

Father William changed his job. He now belonged to a church next door to the house, which was both Catholic and Anglican, and more permissive.

And in other dreams, the house belonged to an elderly Jewish gynaecologist whom I have painted portraits for.   He is a wealthy gnome, performs abortions safely for very distressed ladies, and loves to keep a woman on his arm.  I had bad dreams about him being a terrible dentist – all my teeth shouted and hurt.   He is a bright magpie with his possessions; every treasure he owns must be of great market value, and he was sure that I would be, one day.   He showed me and some other visitors around his lusciously furnished domain.   The property was vast.   It covered the area of many streets.   It was a great field.   It was busily inhabited by anxiety, hope and drama.

It is easy to get lost in this house.   It has staircases, galleries and big musty rooms at different levels.   The opulence is tarnished, it developed a patina of neglect.   It is rather  warm because the windows are not often opened, even in summer.

chimneys and balloon 1954

chimneys and balloon 1954

..

Then it became another house.   I entered it several times through the garden gate.   In the sultry night both indoors and outdoors, the house stood four-square and Georgian in its garden or space.   It had large windows, some of which were lit up from within.   Like the kind of house and garden which children draw, it had a fence around it.   It was also very stately.   It was alive, big and heavy, and shadows lay with oppressive sensitivity in the worn and flaking stone.   On some nights that I went there, there would be only one light on upstairs.   My baby’s father lived there.   But the night that I remember, three or four windows were lit up, and I could hear the sombre sound of his typewriter upstairs.

fragmenting house & dreamer, 1987

fragmenting house & dreamer, 1987

I went up the path to the front door.   I opened this door, inserting my key into the delicate chambers of the lock and turning it with great deliberation.   I could feel the shape and teeth of the key probing inward.   It was a Yale, the same as the ones that I keep outside my Greencroft Gardens flat, in the garden wall, and which he asked me to move to a different hiding-place so he wouldn’t know where they were.

The keys to this house were given to me in trust.   How long would I be permitted this privilege?   As I went in I said to someone boldly,  “What a barn this place is.”   Some parts or sections of it were not fitted up and lined with a skin of plaster and damp-proofing as a house for people is.  They were like the farmyard, with walls of mud.   I knew my way.  I was fond of the different textures and moods of this house.   I never knew what to expect, because the walls within it were porous and unsealed.

A vague, oppressive fear also kept me on my toes.   Life in it could change as rapidly as the weather over the moor.  Bruised and broken soldiers in the walls, awake and bleed.  I reached the upstairs landing.   Here several doors opened off a wide balcony or gallery to other rooms.   I could still hear him writing.   I didn’t want him to stop.   I didn’t want to disturb him.   He did not live alone here.   Other people inhabited this house as well.   But he heard me arrive, heard my voice say “What a barn this place is”  and he appeared on the landing and might be very angry.

My memory of what next happens is vague.

We were in a room.   It was an upstairs dining room, bare, with a long table.   I lay on my back along a bench.   This house is inhabited by a group of people governed by a matriarch and a patriarch.   The old lady wears lace and musty-smelling clothes, the sort you might find in a Victorian fancy dress box in an attic,  and she is very powerful.   In long Saturnine waves, her dominion increases, because the patriarch, the old man, is now dying.   He has a long white beard.   He visibly fades and wanes.   Lv – my baby’s father –  tells me I must, for his sake, and with all my loyalty, concentrate every atom of my strength to resist the persuasive authority of the old matriarch and her mockery.   An intense battle of will is developing between him and Her.   I try to stay on his side.   It is very hard to fight off the dominance of the old lady, which is ascendent in myself; for the old man, moribund, is failing fast.  I need to be neutral, but do not dare.  If I am neutral, Lv will feel abandoned and betrayed, and abandon me:  so I play the old game.

What of the relationship, this three-fold tension between us  – the grandmother, Lv and myself?   She and he are absolutely opposing forces, yet they work together.   He is not shouting now.   Centred, quietly decisive, refined, he survives minute by minute, a cataclysm in his soul, which we struggle to protect with conscious spells.  He is himself, an unborn child.  I might lose the thread, any moment, and fail.  He needs me to fight, and not  succumb to the old woman, he tests my metal with his fate.   If I lose the fight, I forfeit my right to those keys.   Because of her very great age, She is stronger than he, but he holds one card :  to be beyond the law.  To answer to no one.

I have wondered who these unknown people are, in the magician’s house.   Are they anima and animus, or are they his parents?   His father is dying, is mortally ill in Hungary.   He hates  his mother,  he hates all mothers.  He hates Her.   The old people and the archetypal miasma that surrounds them, come from a place where I was not.   I don’t know whether or not I came clear from this battle, whether it happened in my soul, or in his house.   Some of the spaces in that house are not lined, and they are not contained, either.   In the extreme difficulty of combating the astral magick power of the old matriarch, I was what she was becoming.

 ..

16th C midwives & astrologers

16th Century:  midwives & astrologers – womens’ work and mens’ work, back to back:  practical feminine and romantic male – Our human nature both sides!   I’m glad I drew/copied this, rather than just paste the original engraving.  It gave me a direct insight. I am moved to draw something when I wish to embody it.

“De Conceptu et Generatione Hominus 1587” by Jacob Rueff (copy)

..

After this, I began to have dreams about a pregnant lady, as I always do when my bladder fills.   The growing womb presses on it.   I have to get up two and sometimes three times in the night.   She was overdue, poor thing.   I transferred to her my discomfort, so that it was she who ran around lonely in the night, though she always found helpers in streets and on country lanes near Taunton.  She seemed to have been pregnant for years.   This was all very well, but I was still looking for a lavatory.   I found at long last a row of them in one of the barn-like scruffy areas of the house – I was desperate for relief –  a great big open place of hard earth and timber props like the pigsties of derelict Rome.

a minim on the stave

Then I found myself in the kitchens – still wanting to go –  by the fuel burners and the chimneys.   I sat at the table and looked at a book.  It was a picture story, like a strip cartoon.  The rows of pictures came to life as I turned the pages, so it was no longer a book but happened to me, as botanically described:  the story of a penis.  He was shown in every state of arousal and repose.  He glistened red like a rare flower, he lived and grew within two loamy darknesses of many hues, in a garden.  I forgot I needed to pee.  “A rose in dark soil is penis love.  The penis is a seed.  Children grow up,” it said, under the pictures.   What a tender, strange thing!  I was moved almost to tears.  It first repelled, then I rode it.  I didn’t know anything at all about sex.  I had never heard of it.  This was a plant, a botanical process in the garden:  my education.  I was at primary school – a biology lesson.

lovers 2 j&d6

I recognised it is his.  I began to grow up.  In each successive picture, it curled and grew like a serpent.  I saw the whole genitalia, in a secret earth among the roots, like an illumined manuscript.  He was a sperm, with two “heads” like fishes, one at the growing tip, and one about half way down, like a branch.  The long sperm grew some more, and moved its glowing crimson flower in my garden soil.  As I learned, it penetrated, the bud grew up, right up my spine to the back of my throat to speak, I desired – pain, pleasure, bad girl, heart’s desire – what if I wet the bed?  I need to pee.  The occult work is such a LABOUR.  But I have no choice.  He carries me like a flood.  I bore down as it came, I didn’t care if I wet the bed, I pushed out the newborn child to him, the child he conceived from so deep inside.  Love.

IMG_0822 - Version 2

In the garden, conception, orgasm, childbirth, are One and the same.  Fused with heaven and all human history, the One indivisible moment outshone everything I knew.  It blew the fuse.  I was a child.

To receive is simultaneously to give.  It doesn’t matter, if the linear world pulls time apart into different times, and does not see the eros Rose, or if we see for the time being, only our fantasies, and suffer.  She washes out for ever deep down, those sad soapy sexual beliefs that rocked us to sleep.   A Rose is the risen:  the law is for giving.

..

I woke with it, but slept again and dreamed I bled.   The blood came in thick drops,  brown in colour.   Had it made me miscarry?  I looked and willed the blood not to be there.   But it was.   I made up my mind that this is a dream, and woke at once.

Finally I dreamed again about the house.   It was now enormous, of many many storeys.   I lived very high up in it, in Greencroft Gardens.   I went visiting down the road, and lent my spare keys (the ones I keep outside in the garden wall) to my best friend’s husband the Architect, who wanted to fetch something from my flat.   He came back.  The keys were sometimes of metal and sometimes of soft balsa wood (for building model boats), and so frail they might break in the lock.

balsa boat

Next, Lv visited me and I gave the keys to him.   I was glad he wouldn’t find the Architect inside.   In all innocence it is not right that these keys be passed around, for whatever reason.  He said the whole building gave him the creeps.   He was feeling rather jumpy.

A “Watershed” Dream – November 1976

..

..

Jung with pipe

“Jung looked up at me and said, “When a man’s anima meets a woman’s animus, it is bound to be A HELL OF A BUSINESS.”   (Joseph Campbell)

..

Part Two: Sacred Geometry

The following Easter-bunny reflection is based on Nassim Haramein’s seminar “Crossing the Event Horizon” (2005, published by The Resonance Project), which I just began to watch.

Kabbalah 1989 pentagramic pattern

A rose is a rose is the risen:  the law is for giving.  The “House Life” dream telescoped everything I would later study of Kabbalah and the Tree of Life.  It was stored in my cellular memory.

How borderline we are!  The language we use is a projectile interface.  It moves with light and shadow:  easily the Veil is imagined as evil:  lived as devil:  eve, the level responsible for it all.  Indeed she is:  She is the subconscious – God’s own womb, no less – the oven to bake the bread;  the house of life.

Archetypal forms of the soul, are sacred geometry. Sacred geometry opens the understanding, visually, with less need for explanation.  As we can browse beautiful tetrahedrons, blueprints and isotropic vector metrics online, to our hearts content, here are mostly, my old doodles of discovery and photos of nature – of water, wood and sky.

Nature - the bottomless

Nature – the bottomless

..

balloon

My “House Life” dream gestates  the point.   A single point – like a full stop –  is said to have zero dimension:  yet its geometry is of the sphere. It contracts or expands infinitely, according to magnification.   No balloon is inflated – the cosmic Doppler shift – without an emptying lung.

Who is the blower?   Who blows a black hole into a widening star?

Every law arises from its opposite.  We are not nouns but verbs – the transition.   Respiration in and out, is the law of Kalpa aeons:  cosmic speech and stars.

..

We are fluid points of transmission, the stars are not fixed.   A point, or dot contains in infinite series,  EVERYTHING.  A circle is a magnified point.   When we begin in the womb, we are nothing.  But as the interior process unfolds, we are everything!  Every thing is ensphered by its boundary which is No thing!  A boundary – a circle or sphere – contains the potential of Infinite interior division.  This is our union.  Each of us centres no thing:   the tiny mustard seed when opened, is empty.

“In a painting, as in life, keep the centre empty, for light to flow into it.”

..

When we are illumined, the dots join up.   The relevance of this to everyday life, nature and each other, is love.  I am empty for You.  I am built open.   It becomes intuitive:  the natural state.   As some of us begin to see things in this way, it tinctures homeopathically the fantastic off-centre slavery of today’s world.  Oasis develops, and is gradually contagious,  like evening stars one by one coming out:  shalom – peace.

Does peace then, emerge from its opposite? – the tension we see around?

Consciousness, and therefore All, begins from one place only:  HERE.
This point, which is All.

soul tetrahedrons

soul tetrahedrons

“The most stable structure in Nature is the tetrahedron.”  The nesting of infinitely decreasing Tetrahedrons inside themselves, is identical to the human mind’s manner of mental invention, pastime, panic and creation.  Absolutely ANYTHING when focused, creates its own expanding rationale – the menu on your screen.   So practice peace!

(This lifetime, I have a private leitmotif – it dropped into my mind when I was twenty.  I had a job at a second hand bookshop in Charing Cross Road, and scribbled my thoughts on brown paper bags:  “Turn it round.  To forgive, I must give way to the force.”   It felt very profound. There was a house in a storm. This Karmic theme which reaches a long way back, concludes or bears fruit, now.)

Justice is done, but not in a place where I can see it.  Trust is the unbroken love of life, the Underbeing:  sur-render.  Render unto heaven’s law and rejoice in the fresh clean air.  The Point is subtle, and fills everything.   Tifareth:  beauty.

parent tetrahedrons

..

I meant to write just one para about the Point circumscribed by nothing: the point being everything tucked up inside it, a sleeping child. In India it is called the bindhu, and on it the entire cosmic lattice depends. Today I ran aground in slack water, low tide, I needed to curl up and doze for the day – holy black bare Saturday:  tomorrow the little fluffy sunshine chicks come out.

bumble bee 1954

bumble bee 1954

So I awaken through a sleepy bumble bee – black and yellow stripes.   Easter Sunday is the last day of March.  The clocks change to summer time, with the Risen Bread.  That is a beautiful alignment!  even with wind-chill frost on the ground.

Remember the Sun’s golden semi-circle, the arc of the day:  the secret of the Golden Flower.

This year is a bardo of endings through beginnings.  My festival, my true worship, is the Unknown:  the no thing:  and like the mustard seed, fulfilled.

..

The full blown Eros Rose is also FOR … GIVE.  As you see in the photo above, of the rose in an egg, it spirals to petal from the centre sensory point.   Nothing matters or happens, but this.  The Chymical wedding is deeper than the human veil.  The human veils Shekhinah.

..

floweroflifeheader: Nassim Haramein: davidicke.com

floweroflifeheader: Nassim Haramein: davidicke.com

Sperm, fertilization, vesica pisces, gestation of the embryo, earth,
Sol, Star, sacred geometry cycle, you and me

..

GALLERY

..

Ready to post this, at last.  Happy Easter !  The Sun is having another go, this morning.

Daffodils in Douglas Hardingdaffodils in Douglas Harding

..

..

**

 My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

 

Aquariel Link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Tales from the Watershed: “Spelling”

..

Hermetic Key, 1987

Hermetic Key, 1987

“The Spelling” (1976)

Some dreams are impossible to describe.   I knew, waking from this one, the futility even to try ;   nuances of knowledge, and the “spells” integral to it receded from my conscious language.  To write it down, fetters it in the ‘prosaic’ of ready letters and conditioning.  These are meaningless, without direct access to the tool-room of the psyche.  What seemed then beautiful and vast – the suggestion of extraordinary riches – was it my vain delusion?   I had been some place other, but could not retain enough to know, or judge. 

I found myself willy-nilly starting to note down, even while still dreaming, what I could recall.   The “morning after” the vision, barely outlines what was seen and done.   Parts of it translated into H.P.Lovecraft’s language as an approximate vehicle, as I woke ;  the American writer Lovecraft had got under my skin and blended with my feelings.  Yet the vision had authentic clarity.  Additionally, Mr V  at that time admired Lovecraft’s literary style.   He enjoyed the way different levels of meaning overlapped one another as living entities in the multi-dimensional fabric of the same paragraph,  and the way each paragraph encountered and gave colour to the next.   It was like a walk in the Massachussetts forest.

I think this “dream-story” records the perennial struggle – at birth and throughout life –  with that monster,  language.   For a poet, words, when learning to read and write, as often also in speech, or in the stammered struggle to relate, are “spells”.   They are keys to the inner world, and they live and glow and alter perspective.   A spell condenses an intangible potency into substance and response.   So the title of this story is “SPELLING”.

Many years later, I learned about the elementals – invisible forces of our collective miasms and fears.

..

Dreams No.265   1 September 1976

IN THE dark gulf of nightmare I called up monsters.

One of their manifestations was as shadowy frog-like creatures that hopped on the sheets of my bed.   I regarded them and my dealings with them with a mixture of horror and triumph.   Many times I made huge mental wrenches of imagery and screamed out “key” words and sounds.

My control or mastery over these dark amphibious entities was touch and go, as if I drove a herd of madly galloping black horses.   I, in mortal combat with these entities, was at the same moment in alliance with them.   The battle and the alliance were synonimous and mutually meaningful, lifegiving to the relationship.   It was all paradox.   The paradox flowed in the lucid river of all that happened.   I must have talked in my sleep.   For I yelled out things like YOG SOTHOTH, and I was sharply aware at one time of the warning in the Lovecraft stories :   “Do not call up that which you cannot put down,  lest it call up something greater in its turn against you.”   I recalled these words ad verbatim in their archaic English at a time when I was very active with these terrifying forces, and very very much frightened.   I woke from time to time and dived straight back into the fray.   I turned from side to side, to realise and explore the things I must do.

 ..

gallery

..

There was a battle in a dark cavern under the hills with these entities, it seemed to be an subterranean river, one of them grasped and pinched my finger painfully in its great pincers.   I saw other human beings with me.  There was a titanic anger and destruction.  Yet the alliance with these lethal entities sang of an exquisite and far-reaching rosy folklore, a vast fragrance of dawn, which even in those murky caverns revealed humanity, a human race, the mountains, sunset skies, and untold secrets,  in all of which I was aware.

They had given me a small carved wooden crucifix which I wore round my neck, and which had little points or thorns at its junction.   In the last battle in the cavern it was damaged, one of its wooden arms was broken off.  At some point I woke into my bed and felt for the little engraved-silver cross he gave me and which I always wear;  it was not the wooden one and not broken,  and all was well.   It had twisted round on its chain.

Even in the victorious joy of clear vision there lay a depth of shame in my humanity, for our dark ways of trafficking, for the things that must be exposed and endured before we are free.

Every time I woke I was full of fear.   There might be mud and grass stains on my sheets.  The Lovecraft character walked in his sleep.  There is the local pressure of a cosmic responsibility.   Where had I been?   What had I done or stirred up?

..

Plutonic Mysteries 1987

Plutonic Mysteries 1987

..

My next memory takes me outside the caverns, into the steep range of mountains with the other human beings.   My whole being was filled with awe, with well-being and the fragrance of tremendous things seen and done.   I was the leader of this group of people.   I attempted to explain to them what had come to pass.   We journeyed through a forest on a high alp;   across a valley soared a great rosy coloured hill,  the Canadian Rocky Mountains.   We were chasing or being chased by a big brown bear who yet was our friend, from one mountain top to another.   This bear was our guide.   I understood and could explain to my companions everything that was going on, and where we should follow and find the bear; but I cannot now.   I had reached that state of total fatigue which finds the second wind, the air of the heights, rare and pure.   My body, languid and alive with adrenalin, could do what I asked of it, over any distance.   I was free.

We came now to the old hills of Scotland, near Inverness.   In that delicious and serene twilight of the Rose, I ran down a mountainside or almost vertical cliff, followed by the policemen in their blue shirtsleeves and helmets, and all the other people, including my sister.   I set the pace and they followed.   Though I hurtled down, flying from one rock or mound of earth to another, too fast for belief and out of control, I knew I would not fall or trip.   I knew I could slow my momentum when I wanted to.   There was a vast exhileration in this plunging race, my balance barely sustained on lightning footholds:  running, jumping down the falling scree.

..

We reached an upland lochan or sea.

Its shores were jagged with needle sharp rocks, the waters of limpid pure crystal, infinitely soft and still.   We stopped there.   My sister immediately dived into that lovely water and began to swim.   I did not, because I had clothes on and was bothered about getting dry afterwards, and because I was lazy.   The waters were those of the Scottish lochs and rivers, cold, fresh and transparent.   Golden sunlight spilled into their silvery depth, and near by, arose the Rocky Mountains in majestic peaks of forest.  The policemen too played an interdependent and paradoxical role.   They were there as policemen and as protectors.   They punished and cherished at one and the same time.

I went and sat on the rocks and began to cry, the waters rushed out with the clarity of the lake.   I cried with an overwhelming, yet severely objective grief and ecstasy, for being washed clean, and for the haunting, crucial beauty of a folklore I discovered.   I cried for the love of immeasurable things, in the dawn of the Rose.   Compassion, grief swelled so my heart must burst, and still there is more.   I was cleansed, it was baptism.   The waters poured through me as the world, when I looked into the lake.

The policemen stood near me on the rock.   Whether they tried to comfort me or whether they just stood by, I do not know.   I knew they understood.   They did not interfere.   It was indescribable, blending despair and joyful hope in tears, with the overpowering and sacred presence of … what is immensely beyond and greater than me.

I woke again.  Is that mud or blood?   Where have I actually been?

..

gallery

..

The remainder of the night was coloured by this experience, which returned in different forms.   I only recall fragments:  I was in America and laughed with an irrepressible hilarity at a certain urban arrangement of leisure persons in glass houses along the edge of a big green meadow – like bathing-huts by the sea:  a greenhouse effect along the wilderness.   I laughed with their entire culture, with an extraordinary welling of happiness.   And my period began with a rush of blood somewhere in a cellar, before its due time:  and so I sorrowed again, because it meant I had not conceived from these extraordinary events.   And I took LSD at one time.   I wondered fleetingly – shouldn’t I have listened, during it, to Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jesus?

There were drawings on my bedroom wall at Manor Farm, which I had covered up with new tight delicate geometrical designs.  I had almost forgotten my Bransdale boys with great heads like ripe pods, and serious eyes.  They could just be seen here and there through the frieze of later designs which overlaid them like crystals of frost on the winter window pane.

Something big had happened.

..

collage 2

collage 1

..

I told my parents, both of them, I mustn’t try now to talk.   It’s too big.   It’s unsayable.  I knew this within the dream.   They knew.   They do know.   They smile.  Their very agreement is formidable with the secret.

breck farm bransdale

There came a time, through the days and rooms of my house with them, when I must try to explain.   It – some details – must be communicated somehow.   What if they don’t know, what if it is never known…?   – I’d better write it down after all.   “The brown bear …”  I began,  to fix it in my memory piece by piece  “ …  the Americans live in glass houses, on TV all the time for everyone to see, yet try to preserve their privacy, not throw stones –  that …  rosy dawn,  the sky,  the Cross  – pincers,  they were titan entities –  it all happened in the – yes the water, water the tears – the Word it drowns in grief and beauty,  welling up inside.  God.  Oh yes, dark places, fighting and then the light,  all of it in the waters, it happened like this,  I knew,  I spelled the code,  I did,  I led them,  it …” 

Sunset over Rhum, seen from Eigg, western isles

Sunset over Rhum, seen from Eigg, western isles

So near, so far!

How thin on the ground, like a rime of salt on sand that is left by the receding wave …    words only;  my poverty,  my recall.

My mother’s voice:   “Jane-crane, don’t forget your promise! – it cannot be ‘told’.    You can keep it safe, open bud in the dark, where it flourishes and nourishes the garden.   If you expose it too soon to common currency, you debase and betray it.   You know that.   It’s not yet time.  You might miscarry the just.”

My parents in on this conspiracy? – how so?   But I couldn’t stop talking and trying to tell of this thing.

Other voices from time to time during the night sounded a warning bell.   They alerted me to what could become an infantile impasse.   “That is a narrow world,” they said   “that dreams itself a mighty one.  It is not the craft of love.   You have heard.   Don’t entice to you a Force without the Formation, or it will rule you in a sad mad narrow place.   And you won’t come out.”

 * *

Loch Quoich

(QABBALAH …)

I read that the angel closes the mouth of an emerging infant for a very good reason.   To really know is to be all over again the very beginning:  genesis.   To really know – the gnosis – is for vision to grow as the sap – through osmosis – within the Tree of language on earth.

But I tried and I cried against nature to tell.

To spell of the fruit.   On such a Tree.

..

Kabbalah 1989, Tree of Life

Kabbalah 1989, Tree of Life

..

..

**

Other Watershed tales can be found on their own, or embedded in a post – in the Search box, or in Categories/Watershed tales.

My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/