|This is what I call an Aunty Lily sky ... "God taking his sheep home" she'd say to me.|
Before and awhile ago ...
"There's not much to a sparrow is there dad?" The young boy whispered in his best quiet voice cupping his hands into a tiny megaphone to empty his words into his father's right ear.
Setting the binoculars aside David Courtney considered the best way to answer, "See for yourself. See how they spend time. Let's say a minute. Start with one minute." The boy with hair the color of wheat nearly-ready for harvest loved looking through the glasses. Small enough to fit his boy sized face the field glasses brought the tiny birds within reach. Though he knew -- through countless spying adventures with his father--never to get too close or move too fast the urge to do both itched the way mosquitoes bit.
Sandy Courtney waited til he heard the CLICK from his father's silver stop watch. When the man nodded the boy adjusted the lenses until the blur of a scene became four small brown sparrows.
What Sandy Courtney at age five-and-a-half was very, very good at was remembering what he saw by rendering. His depictions were skillful and included shadow and elements of proportion and perspective. He delighted in drawing! Whispering in bird chatter as the pencil stroked the page images coming as if from a prescribed map his small hand was privy to.
He narrated the sketches, "This sparrow has face feathers like mine. My face feathers -- under this face -- of course!" The boy giggled as he stopped for a moment to poke gently at toasty freckles splattered across his cheeks, under his nose, across his nose, above his pink-brown lips and cube of a chin." - A snip from the medicine story Ariel and I
|The Silver-haired Raven from the original medicine of The Safety Pin Cafe|
|Pinning the wild and beautiful self|
|"Dressed for the season with her red hibiscus over her left ear, tea cozy hat, paisley wool shawl." - describing Pale the Border Witch|
|A rendering of the Gypsy Woman ... a gift sent to the wild patience within a dear friend|
who inspired the mythic characterization
Terri Windling's blog Myth and Moor is a regular place of inspiration and discovery for me. Her gifts for words and story, and the storytellers who listen for the wildness of tales is a consistent one. This morning she offered food for the wild things. I was especially appreciative of this quote
"Storytellers ought not to be too tame," Ben Okri advises in his inspiring essay collection A Way of Being Free. "They ought to be wild creatures who function adequately in society, They are best in disguise. If they lose all their wildness, they cannot give us the truest joys."
It got me to thinking and appreciating the wildness and the disguises that make for a border-crossing witch's regular, or irregular, feeding schedules. I remember one of my first teachers and guides to the wild, my Aunty, who made the skies a living and movable being with many faces.
On the table here in the Quonset a sketchbook fills with the pencil notes and renderings of a Moon Watcher. Inside the first page "Welcome Mahina Lovers" . My husband's moon observation journal. He said the images from the story Ariel and I, the snippet that begins this post, were so powerful and visual for him. I see how those wild words of a small boy and his father noticing sparrows has fed my moon-ruled Cancerian partner.
Some days I'm not sure how I manage to function in society. Surely, I am not facile with the process. Oh well, maybe it's that I function adequately and that is good enough. When the Moon rises later today it will be a Hua moon. The moon fattens. There's empty space in Pete's journal for the Hua moon. He sleeps and perchance he dreams.