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Boarding the train to Glastonbury made me think of the movie “Sliding Doors.” In the movie, different realities occur as doors of a train slide open and closed. Entirely different lives of the same characters unfold based on the door selected and the time at which each character passed through. In my mind, I sometimes engage in some sliding door imagination, envisioning what my life would be like had I chosen different doors. One tends to cheat at this game, imagining that one would end with say, the same children, only later on; or perhaps the same circle of friends, but then, that’s not quite true, or possible, is it?

 

For many years my gameplaying went something like this: If I had just been strong enough to stand up for myself, I would have become a “real artist.” I would be teaching in a classroom every day, and years of study would have created within me a discipline for the daily work of an artist—daily creative work being in no way my forte at the present. My life would have been full of travel, color, eccentricity, and passion. As I ponder this thought, nurturing the deep pain that it brings (has always brought), I notice the train is following the banks of a river.

 

As we know, water is a powerful force, shaping the very face of our world. But it is also a meek force at times, one that seeks the easy way, the way most traveled, the lowest points in any surface, where it settles and waits, reflecting the sky above in its still surface. In my younger years, this was my movement: the path of least resistance, following the way set for me, eventually running to ground, settling and reflecting a life created for me by someone else.

 

As a lake or small pond can do, I settled within my boundaries, satisfied. As water does, I birthed life. Two times, in fact; both delivered in a gush of the primordial stuff, and then I lay still again, waiting. In time, through a process quite mysterious—osmosis, absorption, evaporation, cloud seeding?—(I don’t recall the transformation of matter lectures very clearly)—I once again became forceful, cataclysmic, and I ripped through the landscape destroying many things in my path and forging a new channel in the earth. No longer a pool, a puddle, a still well of liquid, I joined once again with the river—she of many tributaries, she of the rapids, the slow eddy, the small waterfall, the deep and unpredictable currents.

 

So I find myself, now, in this riverbed, this bed of color, unpredictability, freedom, art, and wildness, and I see that moving like water has brought me here, brought me to a place of passion and, yes, instruction. My life is instructive, its course illustrative of one thing—motion, in any direction, brings change. I have movement, flow, power. And as I step off this train, I realize that all doors lead to me.

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Latitude, longitude, declination, hour angle, zenith, horizon…

I sail internal seas, seeking course correction as necessary, looking to the stars, the sun, the moon, the horizon as I steer my vessel. [The geographic position—GP—is the location on the earth immediately underneath a heavenly body, e.g. the sun or a star. That is, the GP is the point where a line from the center of the body to the center of the earth intersects the surface of the earth.] My heart line runs true, through a sea of rippling, undulating grass straight to Vulcan, blowing his mighty breath on earth’s molten liquid core.

[Latitude: 38.971N, Longitude: -95.235W.] Intersecting grids that become curvilinear as they wrap themselves around our mother connect me with all other beings, all other spaces. I am the intersection of time, DNA, cellular knowledge, and imagination. My latitude streaks from pole to pole, ricocheting wildly between two magnetisms, art and science. My longitude is one of many Great Circles, within which I am held.

When I know my position—revealed in true degrees, much like truth—I can calculate my azimuth. [The azimuth is the bearing from our position to the GP of the heavenly body.] The azimuth, my quantified relationship to the Heavenly Body, is closer or further from my true position depending on the day, the internal weather, and the inclination or declination of spirit that is present in this vessel. Heavenly Bodies may be static or in motion, leading, at times, to a profound sense of

disorientation.

The horizon splits heaven from earth [or sea.] What is possible, what is real, is defined by the horizon. Our expanse can be limitless, carried in the trust that we will not sail off the edge [but over and beyond]; or we may be trapped in fear, imprisoned within the harsh impenetrable edge of our world.

Throw away your charts and books. [Navigating by stars and planets alone.] Make your measurements of stars and planets at dawn or dusk, when the light is balanced, and both the horizon and celestial objects are visible. In the moment of perfection, [light, dark, yin, yang, male, female, joy, sorrow, birth, death] we see perfectly: our way clear, godspeed, sea smooth as glass.

 

One of many side trips……

The Taverna di Muse is lovely tonight, warm and redolent with the spicy smells of delicious and exotic foods…the music plays, transporting me to other places, other times, and I rise to my feet. I begin to dance, inhabited by the spirit of flamenco. The crooner sees me, and begins to sing a song, a flamenco-poem, in Spanish. I move through the taverna as moonlight moves on water, swaying and flowing with grace.  I end the piece with head bowed, one hand high in the air, as the crowd of artists, writers, and musicians applaud and whistle.

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ROMANCE DE LA LUNA, LUNA

A Conchita García Lorca

La luna vino a la fragua
con su polisón de nardos.
El niño la mira, mira.
El niño la está mirando.

En el aire conmovido
mueve la luna sus brazos
y enseña, lúbrica y pura,
sus senos de duro estaño.

Huye luna, luna, luna.
Si vinieran los gitanos,
harían con tu corazón
collares y anillos blancos.

Niño, déjame que baile.
Cuando vengan los gitanos,
te encontrarán sobre el yunque
con los ojillos cerrados.

Huye luna, luna, luna,
que ya siento sus caballos.

Niño, déjame, no pises
mi blancor almidonado.

El jinete se acercaba
tocando el tambor
del llano.
Dentro de la fragua el niño,
tiene los ojos cerrados.

Por el olivar venían,
bronce y sueño, los gitanos.
Las cabezas levantadas
y los ojos entornados.

Cómo canta la zumaya,
¡ay, cómo canta en el árbol!
Por el cielo va la luna
con un niño de la mano.

Dentro de la fragua lloran,
dando gritos, los gitanos.
El aire la vela, vela.
El aire la está velando.

***

Song of the Moon, Moon
   to Conchita García Lorca

The moon came to the forge
with her bustle of nards.
The boy watches the sight.
The boy is watching her.

In the trembling air
the moon moves her arm
and lewd and pure shows
her breasts of hard tin.

“Run Moon, Moon, Moon.
If the gypsies came
they would twist your heart
into chains and rings of white.”

“Boy, let me dance.
When the gypsies come,
they’ll find you on the anvil,
fast asleep.”

“Run Moon, Moon, Moon,
because I hear their horses now.”
“Boy, leave my whiteness
unmarred.”

The rider approached
tapping his tamborine.
Inside the forge was the boy,
with his eyes closed.

Through the olive grove they came,
all bronze and dreams, the gypsies.
Their heads lifted up,
their eyes half-shut.

“How the owl sings, Ay!
how the tawny owl sings in the tree!”
Through the sky the moon takes
the boy by the hand.

Inside the forge, the gypsies
cry and give shouts.
The wind guards, it guards.
The wind is guarding it.

 

Federico Garcia Lorca

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My plan is to take an oceangoing vessel into London and then proceed by train to Glastonbury,  immersing myself in Arthurian splendor.

From there, I shall cross the channel into France and go directly to Paris, where I shall seek out art and la vie boheme.

Traveling into Italy, I plan to seek out not only the fine museums and Vatican City, but also to find a woman of the countryside to teach me some authentic cookery skills and legends of the area.

Greece beckons next, and then on into the Eastern European countries, up through Romania into Poland, my ancestral home.

I shall wind my way through Germany and Belgium, returning to Britain for the summer Solstice at Stonehenge.

To my dear aunt I leave the travel details. Who knows what interesting side trips may occur?

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On this tour, my companion will be my dear Aunt Therese. A formidable woman, she spent time in a convent as a young woman, but shortly before taking her final vows, she experienced an awakening of her personal sense of power. The night before she was to take her vows, she dreamt of a white owl, which flew into her cloistered cell through the small window that was positioned so high, she could not see out. The owl landed on her chest, and she felt its great weight, as it peered into her eyes with its own large orbs. She stared, terrified, and it snapped its beak at her and uttered one word, in a tone full and low: “Freedom.” It flew away then, and dazed, she fell back into slumber. The next morning when she awoke at first dawn, she found a single feather on her breast. She packed her few things, left the convent, and has travelled the world, dedicating herself to a life of freedom and to helping others, especially women, children, and animals, to do the same. She will meet me at designated points along the journey.