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Stone Bear July 26, 2018

Posted by wimynspeak in General, Story Tellings.
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Did I ever tell you the story about the time I met the stone bear? It happened countless lifetimes ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was on the hill where the old stone circle ruins now stand. Back then, the circle had not been constructed yet, and wouldn’t be for many generations, and the hill was higher, less rounded by time. The surface was covered with dark, jagged rocks and stiff, course grass; it was not the gentle, comfortable place it is now. On one side of the hill there was a very small cave, which was well hidden and said to be unendingly deep. In fact, the ooooold stories said that one could see the other side of the universe from the mouth of that cave. Of course, no one in my lifetime, then … or now, really, had ever seen such a vision, but I decided that I must do just that.

So, one morning in mid-summer, I woke before all the others and crept away from our encampment. We were nomadic, then, remember, but we would be in this place for some time yet, at least another turning of the moon, for food was plentiful and we could fill our bellies and put on necessary fat stores for winter. Though morning had just dawned, the stars still shone overhead as I made my way… they were much closer and brighter back then … and the spiky grass was damp with dew beneath my feet. I knew how to creep as silently as an owl moves in flight, and I am sure I disrupted no living creature’s rest, nor drew the attention of any of the nocturnal predators returning to their lairs with whom we shared the brightening landscape. I had just reached the path that led up the hill, where the cave and its mysteries lay silent and hidden, when I saw the stone bear.

He snuffled in front of me on the path, moving and breathing like any other living creature, but it was obvious his great hulk of a body was created entirely of stone. Even for the time it was back then, so close to the dawn of humanity, as we call it now, I knew that it was not usual for stone objects to move and breathe thus. This was obviously no carven object, such as the mage’s made, but a living creature made of stone.

I followed the creature, fascinated, and it seemed that, a time or two, it turned its great stone head to see if I was still following, as if it expected me to do just that. I seemed now to be captured by its hard, earthen energy, and felt that even if I were compelled to do so … and I was not … I could not have left the beast’s influence.

Of course the stone bear led me directly to the cave, which, from my vantage point a few steps back along the path, appeared gaping and dark, an abyss into which one might be swallowed whole and alive, to live out one’s allotted time in abysmal nothingness. But the stories promised something greater, a wide expanse of universe that would make the magic and majesty of the star-filled sky over my head seem ordinary, mundane. So I stepped closer to the bear, wanting the promise it seemed to offer.

“You must leave them behind,” I thought I heard the bear whisper when I found I could get no closer. There seemed an invisible field of force about the creature that repelled me, not in the sickening way, but in the true physical sense of the word. I simply could not come closer, no matter that I tried.

“You must leave your most precious thoughts, your fears and inhibitions, your expectations and disappointments, all of them. Leave them here. The others will not find them. Strangers will pass by without noticing them. The treasures of the mind are such that they cannot be recognized once abandoned by the thinker. Even you, upon your return, will not be able to pick them up again, not as they are now.” All of this the bear said without words, but I heard the message nonetheless and vow that this is a true telling.

Be this a curse or a gift? I wondered, and got no answer, and so I came to see that it was neither, but rather a choice that hung on the balance point of my desire. For good or ill, if I wished to see the wonders of the cave, all must be left behind, and the leaving must be understood to be undoable.

The great bear turned away and moved toward the dark entrance of the cave as if certain of my decision.

 

 

© 2018 Linda Maree

Please include attribution when sharing. Thank you!

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The Hive of HERstory: In the Garden of Thyme March 7, 2015

Posted by wimynspeak in General, Workshops.
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LogoThe Hive of HERstory: In the Garden of Thyme

Intuitive collage workshop for women

She follows the spiral path, glittering stepping-stones of light that lead her, ultimately, to the center of the garden. Here she finds herbs of every kind, all leaning toward her eagerly as she passes by, wanting to be of service. But she never takes what she doesn’t need and so, filled with gratitude, she walks on by until she reaches the patch of thyme, green and lush and richly scented. Here she takes a seat on a flat grey stone and waits for the message that will come to her, she knows, when the time is just right . . .

Come join us in the hive as we use the intuitive collage process, along with simple creative writing prompts, to explore our own inner garden, where all of our needs are met in perfect thyme.

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

Saturday, March 21, from 2:00-5:00PM

Open Pricing *   Please pay generously according to your means.

Advance registration is required.  Let me know if you are joining us.

MoonStone October 18, 2014

Posted by wimynspeak in Bee Write!, General.
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She had found the stone when she was still a child, amusing herself in the woods behind their home. She had had such freedom as a child, roaming the whole of the village at will, creating imaginary queendoms in the surrounding woodlands — the snakes, owls, and scurrying mice her unknowing subjects. Always they did her bidding, though, as her bidding was whatever the creature was doing at that moment: scampering, slithering, gliding, resting, eating, sleeping. She had had a strong imagination, yes, as well as keen powers of observation. And so she had found the stone.

She was by the river that day, the one place she was to avoid, particularly when the rains were plentiful. So of course it was the one place that drew her with the most potent magnetism. Still, she was careful not to go too often, and never after a storm. This day, the sun was shining, the river flowing quietly, gently. She squatted at the edge, her bare toes touching the cool water, drawn by the glint of sunlight on something shiny, gleaming, opalescent, as if the moon were bathing in the clear river. The stone seemed to beckon her and she reached for it, moving further and further into the water until her hem, even though she had raised it, was soaked, and she had forgotten the prohibition of the river.

When her hand finally closed on the stone, cold and smooth as polished marble, she felt a ripple of energy pulse up her arm and through her body, unlike any she had ever experienced before. Finally, now waist deep, she felt, too, the pull of the water, the current swifter here than it appeared. Thankfully she remembered, as well, the creed her family had lived by for generations: When caught in a swift current (life, river, it mattered not), remain alert and move with the flow.

And so she did.

Stepping carefully in the water of the swiftly moving river, and yet keeping an intense focus on the grassy bank where she would find firm footing once again, she navigated the current without incident and found her way out of the river, the stone, which had seemed to guide her, clutched in her hand.

When her feet touched the soft grass at the river’s edge, ribbons of wind caressed her, quickly drying her clothing and holding her shivering body in a warm embrace. In the river, just at that moment when the current had caught her unaware, she had felt isolated and small, her body like a tiny, lonely room in the house of the earth. This feeling of disconnection had been brief, but powerful. She knew then, as perhaps only a child could, how close she had come, knew in the heart of this living moment that holding on to that feeling of disconnection could only lead to her dissolution from this physical existence: death.

She had sat in the grass that long ago day at the edge of the river and held the stone up to the bright sun. She could see deep into the stone, as round and bright as the moon, to its very center, its essence, could feel all the phases of its life, from new to full to new again.

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