Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Tree of Many Souls

orginal artwork by aletta mes
Out to the country, that’s where we were going. I wasn't fond of “the country”. There were nasty insects and outhouses instead of washrooms. Mams must have sensed I was displeased. I’d rather have spent this afternoon, at home, warm, playing with Lego. So she spiced it up a little for me. We would be going by car.

Only the wealthy had cars. My parents had their educations cut short by a war. Upgrading was done in their adult life. My father held down a jog at Shell Oil full-time and attended university on weekends and in the evening. In the midst of it all he also twice served in the military as a medic (as a pacifist/Buddhist this was agreeable). My mother had been a nurse and studied opera after I was born. At this point my father was at the end of his studies and my mother just starting her performing career. I can only imagine how tired they must have been. Most of our travelling was done on foot or bicycle or public transit.

Neither of my parents could drive, nor did they see a particular need to have a car. To want one would have gone against their deeply socialist sensibilities. Just occasionally we were offered a ride by someone more fortunate in their circumstances. To be so fortunate quite often meant that during the previous world war you had retained your considerable wealth by selling out your own countrymen. This is another reason that wealth was a source of embarrassment to many, and probably should have been.

My parents were devoted Buddhists with considerable interest in the paranormal. Their interests involved hypnotism, seances, bio-feedback, meditation and all other manner of psychic phenomena. My father's friend Wim was a respected psychic and hypnotist from Utrecht he and my father attended the University at Delft together.

He was a tall lanky dutchmen (as if there is any other kind), he had pale blue eyes and no eyelashes, his skin was very pink and he had waves of reddish blond hair....

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Unseen and the Weeping Lady

Under certain circumstances, fairies will just see a need to intervene. such was the case with Ms. Millar one warm springtime many years ago. It had not been long before that splendid day that Ms. Millar, they valley's school teacher had to bury her young husband. He had died in a faraway war, in another country far, far away. Ms. Millar was still living in a big city then, she'd just finished going to teacher's college. she was lonely and spent all her evenings in the darkness crying until she finally would fall asleep.

It was her cousin Elizabeth who invited her to come and stay with her in the valley, As it happens, and quite often it does, just then the teacher Mr. Rolf, decided he really needed to stop teaching after thirty years and open a candy shop instead. Perhaps it came about because after years of taking away candy from his pupils he decided he's just much rather make the most wonderful candy for children to enjoy. So he did, within weeks he's rented a store and was making the most wonderful candy.

The position did not come with a fabulous salary, just a small salary and a small cottage to live in just a hundred feet away from the little school house. It meant teaching all the grades and giving all the exams to all the valley's children (numbering no more than 20 per term). Mr. Rolf , the retired teacher, now the local candy store proprietor, even offered to substitute those times that Ms. Millar (only her close friends call her Kate) should fall ill.

The valley over a period of weeks was fast becoming the only place in the world where Ms. Millar could imagine living. so she packed all her things in the city and moved to the valley. She has now been here more than thirty years.

Back to that afternoon, that warm peaceful afternoon, when the fairies were swinging from poppy to poppy. The dog and cat were occupied chasing butterflies. the smell of weak bleach and laundry soap permeated the air. The fresh coat of white paint made her little cottage home sparkle in the afternoon light. The warm wind caused the leaves to make a gentle rustling sound. You could hear birds chirping and the occasional snap of a towel as Mrs. Millar hung the laundry on her clothesline. All the changes in her life had Mrs. Millar losing some weight and it was partly that and partly her damp hands which had the ring slip off her finger. Not just any ring either, but the very ring with which years ago she had become Mrs. Millar. The ring that Mr. Millar had slipped on her finger on that bright summer's day at their wedding.

Falling on the grass as it did it made no sound. Mrs. Millar was completely unaware. The dog took no note of it either. Two beady little eyes had noticed. The small rodent always noticed when sparkly things fell on the ground nearby. After all a tiny rodent like this mouse could not see much above the ground. This was his world, the ground and all that there was. The mouse scurried very quickly to the ring and ran off with it. He did not know precisely why he did it. He had no use for the ring, it could not be eaten, and mice don't wear jewellery, nor had they any interest in how much it might be worth if sold. It just sparkled so intensely and he had to have it. That, and nothing more, was all there was to it. It was heavy to carry and he did not take it far away, just to behind a large oak tree in Mrs. Millar's own yard. He sat feeling quite triumphant for the whole rest of the afternoon just staring at the ring, as it twinkled like a star in the bright sunlight. Well, he stayed, until he became hungry and was then off forgetting all about the ring.

It was an hour or so later when she was taking down the now dry laundry from the line when she finally noticed the missing ring. It was one of those suspicious absence of something. In this case the twinkling of the diamond in the sun as she held up her hand in the light was something to which she was well accustomed so when the twinkling was absent she noticed immediately. She shrieked. So loud was the shriek that several crows very nearly fell out of the tree above her. The shriek was followed by an absolute silence. The birds stopped chirping, the dog an cat suddenly sat in place, fairies and pixies stopped what they were doing, even the wind became silent.

There are all kinds of shrieks, but this one, was so incredibly sad, not just horrified but sad. There was no a soul who had heard it who was not profoundly saddened, just from hearing the shriek. The silence was broken by weeping and then sobbing and then for seemingly hours, a soft crying.
full version at

... the rest of this story at

Monday, February 13, 2006


copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Grove at Sakin'el

This is from a campfire meeting here

Breeze in Hand

Oh, how to capture the caressing breeze;
and carry it close to heart and presence?
As two are joined in pledge of love
and quick pace of life and gift eversong,
and troth bind their souls in rainbowed ties –
this – this is the breath of Sakin’el.

Explore the woods, HarpHenge and Joining Grove.
Come break bread and fast with compassioned wine,
and chat and touch and dream ‘neath Council’s walls,
where close friends bear witness to passion’s calls
and all are bound by ancient broom and dance
as thy will be known and by ritual found.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Walking under the Moon

photos, orginal artwork by aletta mes

One of those exceptional nights, that despite the cold, every step held a view worthy of the trip. The snow turned pink in the twilight of the sun. Ski slopes lit with lights that twinkled as did the stars above them. The grass grew crunchy by the time I was nearly home again. All the while a nearly full moon beamed, seemingly following me home. I'd had the good sense to pack my little camera. I am especially happy with the shots of the red and green light with scored of magpies sitting on high tension wires over the crossing. I could not resist a vanity shot of myself as I passed the bank's mylar lined window. Now I am tired and will have to rest some. If any thing I will be doing my writing.