Graceful Nature: Weekly Photo Challenge

When I wonder about ‘graceful,’ images of dreamy movement and soft curves come to mind.

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Sometimes graceful movement is so fast – like a butterfly. I have to follow till it rests. Standing very still, I hold my breath and ‘click.’

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Other times, a curve catches my eye. As I stare, I sense some infinitesimal movement within … an unfolding.

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and then … there’s my own, walking times, when what I see makes me feel infinitesimal … and my heart leaps!

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Sometimes I go about pitying myself, And all the while I am being carried across the sky by beautiful clouds. (Ojibway poem)

Here’s another graceful image from a story that I tell –

Out in the cattle kraal, a silver cord descended from high in an African night sky, down, down … to its dusty centre. By the light of the moon, a crouching man keeping watch behind the thorn-bush fence, saw his black and white, speckled cattle move apart. Hearing singing, he looked up and there, round the shining cord, he spied a line of beautiful women floating down, one after the other. Singing softly, they spiralled down till they touched the ground. All wore wondrous clothes and ornaments which flickered in the moonlight and carried a calabash held against one hip. Then they walked silently, gracefully, to an animal and murmured soothingly as they sat. Sing together again, they steadily milked his black and white cows.

As a child, Laurens van der Post was told this story about women of the sky by a black woman –servant. It’s on pages 132-4 of his book “ The Heart of the Hunter.” If you want to hear my version of the whole story, you’ll have to come to Storytelling Unplugged: the Meetup group I organise, next first Friday of the month!

Graceful

All text (except those in italics) and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Snippet 2: Some Times

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All the Rowan trees ( Mountain Ash)  I’ve seen lately, in different parts of the country, are loaded with berries.

Gerard Manley Hopkins called this ‘ the bead-bonny ash’ in his famous poem we learnt at school titled ‘Inversnaid.’

Locals shake their heads at this bounty, given the old superstition that it forecasts a hard winter.

Meanwhile  Autumn moves on a pace with cooler mornings

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and burnished days.

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I remember walking thru glorious trees, arm in arm …

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 … humming old songs.

Nostalgia.

Nostalgic Weekly photo challenge

Swanning in the Mirror: WPC

Walked in the park yesterday. Getting used to the change in the light here, this half of the world.

Take a piece of paper. Fold it in half. Drop different wet colours into the blank crease. Fold  it over again, pressing firmly to spread the paint. Open up to symmetry. (You should hear kids gasp when they see the wonder they’ve made so easily.)


Here’s one example created by five  year old Ella.


These swan boats on the pond reminded me of one of the grimmer of the Grimm’s tales “The Six Swans.”  A princess’ six brothers are turned into swans. Only she can break the spell by weaving them shirts from stinging nettles … Not speaking for seven years is the least of the her trials. Thank goodness this is 2016.

Wait … ugly ducklings … Dreaming of being beautiful. 

Four cygnets preening

So much from a walk in the park on a warm day in late summer.


Bees make the most of the last of the lavender and the chestnut tree is almost nut ready. 

Autumn, here I come.

Photos and text by Meg

Reflection: Weekly Photo Challenge

Eye Spy: Weekly Photo Challenge

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Some mornings, this plant on my kitchen windowsill has droplets of water on it. Is there a whole world in there? What do you see?

There be dragons …

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All text and photos by Meg.

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

 

 

Oh to be a kid! Fun WPC

Muffled squeals and the sound of a loud fan caught my attention, as I wandered thru the listless Departure Lounge.

Part of a promo, this inflatable snow globe, had a queue of kids outside. Inside, white ‘snow’ was swirling and a lucky few were dancing and jumping for joy.IMG_9814

Some kids were having a ball!  (Couldn’t resist that) Just standing there, watching their fun felt really good.

 As the fan began to slow down, I managed to take a pic quick! … thought it might be fun to tilt the photo here.

PS. Air Canada started a new route – Brisbane to Vancouver in June.

Fun!                             See Wikiwand for more info  on snow globes

All text and photo by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

 

Bee Details: Weekly Photo Challenge

Bees buzz and are hard to capture. I have been zooming in on these native, blue-banded bees with little success – they’re so fast!IMG_8730

Then I found this beautiful creature on my window sill.

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A native bee, Amegilla cingulata – miraculous in its detail. How I wish it was still buzzing.

……………………..

All text and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Reference source:  https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Amegilla_cingulata

Details

Story Told on a Tree of Life.

Here are images of a story carved in Western Red Cedar that’s not mine to tell. It belongs to the Coast Salish People. You will have to use your imagination, Dear Reader, as you look up the pole to piece a story together which makes sense to you.

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The tale starts and the bottom and ends at the top.

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The characters, human and animal, are in the order they appear in the narrative …

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… from the diligent warrior, all the way to the runaway couple at the top.

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The images of frog, heron, the Creator, octopus, and a canoe are split so they wrap around the pole and can be seen from both sides. That frog’s split/shared tongue symbolises a betrayal – the failure to keep a secret / a broken promise.

This story pole or legend pole stands in the grounds of the University of Victoria. (The label ‘totem’ is incorrect for it is an Objibwe word.) It marks the territory of the Coast Salish People of the Pacific NorthWest.

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I was in Victoria BC. for the conference ‘Narrative Matters 2016.’ My first session was right here on the UVic campus- “Vertical Narrative: Reading History in a Coast Salish Pole” – led by the Director of the U.Vic’s Legacy Art Galleries.

The pole was completed in 1990 by master carver Charlie Elliott, of the Tsartlip First Nation, in negotiation with local elders. It faces east, towards Cadboro Bay because this traditional story is set there.

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The warrior has his arm around his wife to protect her, but to no avail.

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Look up at the top. Can you see a black stone, a type commonly found in Cadboro Bay, embedded between the pair? This gives a clue re the couple’s fate.

This cultural message is regarded by the First Peoples as a true story. They regard Western Red Cedar as the Tree of Life.

…..

All text and photos by Meg Philp.

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Look Up

For more info see
https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Charles_W._Elliott

http://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/assets/2009-11-17-Coast-Salish-Fast-Facts.pdf

http://www.firstnations.de/development/coast_salish.htm

 

 

 

White Samite, Mystical, Wonderful

 

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This abstract image reminds me of a scene in the Grail legend, when the vessel, covered in white samite, is reverently carried aloft through the Great Hall.

The words, ‘Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,’ come from Tennyson’s poem Morte d’ Arthur , and was a line I heard but couldn’t see: something not of my time and wasted on me in high school English class.

Many years later, on a raw, winter’s day in Cornwall,  I stood at the edge of Dozmary pool, listening to Canadian Ed Kylie telling the story of King Arthur’s death based on Tennyson’s poem. This was the  place where Excalibur was said to have been returned to the Lady of the Lake. In my minds’s eye, I did see the glittering sword flung, turning, end over end through the air. The arm I imagined coming up was pudgy and chilled pink.  All I could see of the ‘samite’ was a draped, white, sodden bedsheet. I couldn’t see more of the story for the cold.

Wikiwand can give me interesting facts about samite. It was the most important silk weave of Byzantium, reserved for kings and church leaders. But, clothing is such a personal, fragile artefact. I like to feel fabrics. Mostly, it’s the colour and patterns, the warp and weft that draws me in. I have only poured over many fascinating remnants under glass in museums – from christening gowns, to shawls and mummies.

Visualising the colour and texture of fabrics and matching these to the clothing characters wear helps make them, and the story, more visual, more believable, more memorable.

The ‘fabric’ in this image might not only be white Samite, but also

  • a cloak for the wicked lead in Andersen’s ‘The Snow Queen.’
  • the stone horse’s hide in the Asian folk tale about a magic brocade, when the horse is magically brought to life.
  • Sleeping Beauty’s coverlet
  • the magic tablecloth Mannannan spread before Cormac when he was in the Land of Faery
  • a dress for the woman in the moon
  • What do you imagine?

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Abstract

This week’s Photo Challenge was to turn the concrete and familiar into something new and mysterious.

Sources: Poem – Morte d’Arthur, http://www.bartleby.com/42/637.html

Wikiwand entry’Samite,’ https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Samite

All text (except that in italics) and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.