Passing Through: Weekly Photo Challenge

In,

over,

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through,

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(Oops! Missed some.)

and out.

Read this many years ago. Presume it’s from the Sufi tradition of teaching stories.

Years ago, a young backpacker set off travelling to new places.

Arriving in an distant city, he learned that a famous sage was speaking that night in the great hall. The young man decided to go along. An audience of over a thousand people heard the sage talk and many were as inspired as he was. They gathered outside in the square to talk late into the night about what they had heard and to plan their future.

Over the next two days, the traveller asked everyone he met how he might meet the sage in person. Three days later, he was taken to the place where the man had lived all his life. He rang the bell tentatively.

Stepping in the doorway, the young man noticed the home’s bare walls and basic furniture. The sage came forward and greeted him warmly. Together they sat by the fire to drink tea and talk.

After some hours, the traveller stood to thank his elder and bid him farewell. His host was curious to know what was had surprised him the most.

“You are so famous. People shower you with gifts. I expected you to live in grand style. ”

“You arrived with only a backpack!” retorted the sage.

“Yes, but I am only passing through,” muttered the young man.

“So am I,” replied his host.

Transient
All text and photos © Meg Philp are protected by Australian Copyright Law. If you wish to use any images. Please contact me thru Comments. Pass the story on. Thanks.

PS. And then there’s the song a Canadian teacher sang to me on the verandah of the Migrant Hostel in 1975 – the chorus is stuck in my mind.

 “Passing through, Passing through, … Glad that I ran into you, Tell the people that you saw me passing through.”

Google now tells me it was written by Richard Blakeslee and sung by Pete Seeger! … Learn something new every day!

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

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Ducks Round the Corner : WPC Security

For this week’s photo challenge, here’s my kind of security – Duck Alarms.

I love these two. They live in a garden round the corner from me and  are always on the alert. They quack “I spy!”

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Keeping an eye on passersby, both get louder as strangers get closer.

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Of course, they have their daily routines.

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And when it gets too hot, they love a bit of shade.

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One is always on watch. I like to stop and chat and pass the time of day.

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Love a duck!


Security

Hans Christian Andersen’s anniversary was April 1st. The Ugly Ducking is the best story I can suggest for this theme ‘Security.’ Do read the unexpurgated version (eg. the version translated from the Danish by Erik Christian Haugaard) which begins

It was so beautiful out in the country. It was summer. The oats were still green, but the wheat was turning yellow. Down in the meadow, the grass had been cut and made into haystacks; and there the storks walked on their long red legs talking Egyptian, because that was the language they had been taught by their mothers …

Carol McGirr, a great storyteller in Toronto, told this story and it was mesmerising! I heard her tell it twice at the “1001 Nights of Storytelling”  held every Friday night in that city since 1978.

All text (except quotes) and photos by Meg.  Reference

The Penguin Complete Fairy Tales and Stories of Hans Andersen. Translated by Erik Christian Haugaard, Harmondsworth, 1974 pp216 -224

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

Music in Story

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To me, stories have their own beat and music. When I’m learning a traditional story, I like to listen to music from that part of the world. It helps me travel to that place in my imagination, get a feel for the rhythm of the words and sense the flow of the story.

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Celtic fiddle music gets me in the mood for Scottish tales. I never really believed that a fiddler would be stolen awa’ to play for the fairies (and be gone for a hundred years) until I heard and saw Alasdair Fraser play his fiddle. He had the audience (me included) up dancing wildly, with him off the stage and in the middle of us all! Talk about carried away! Magic! See the video clip of Alasdair playing on his website. Hull’s Reel starts at about 2:40 http://www.alasdairfraser.com/

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I did a singing workshop last year with Sue Hart, who has often visited and sung with the Baka People of Cameroon. Their vocal music, meant to imitate the sounds of birds in their forest, is mesmerising. Learning to sing in their way, I’m carried off to dusk in the native forests of that part of Africa.

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Mark Knophler’s guitar title track for the movie “Local Hero” is very up-lifting. I recall coming in to land at my local aiport, with this being played as ‘muzak’ in the cabin. All I could think of was that I was coming home. I was ecstatic by the time I walked into the terminal!

When I’ve told my version of Parsifal and the Holy Grail, I began by playing an excerpt of The Doors classic “Riders in the Storm” sung by Creed. It’s very atmospheric.

But, to me,  the truest of all sounds comes from old instruments –  as they were played in the times when the old stories were told. In mythology, Cheiron the Centaur sang and played a golden harp. He struck it with a golden key and “sang till his eyes glittered, and filled the cave with light.” (KINGSLEY, Charles. The Heroes)

One afternoon I went along to a local church to hear American harpist Anne Heymann and was transported back through centuries.

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She had six harps with her. But the most treasured was a replica an early Irish harp kept in Trinity College, Dublin. It’s strings were made of Australian silver coated, depending on their length, with 9ct to 24 carat gold.

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This master harper has a deep knowledge and love of the Celtic harp.

Listen to Anne Heymann playing an Italian piece ‘ Lamento di Tristano’ in St Patrick’s Church, Kilkenny, Ireland 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifvXVaL-Ab4

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Here also is a Link to Downloads of soundtracks from Ann Heymann’s website

http://www.harpofgold.net/downloads.htm

Imagine that you are part of the gathering in King Nuada’s fort in ancient Ireland. Here is part of the story I have told this past year. Lugh is the gifted harper who transports his listeners with his music. These lyrical tales are meant to be accompanied by the harp.

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– Excerpt from from The Coming of Lugh From Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Fianna of Ireland by Lady Augustus Gregory (1904)

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cwt/cwt07.htm

“That is the harp of the Dagda. No one can bring music from that harp but himself. When he plays on it, the four Seasons -pring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter – pass over the earth.”

“I will play on it,” said Lugh.

The harp was given to him.

Lugh played the music of joy, and outside the dun the birds began to sing as though it were morning and wonderful crimson flowers sprang through the grass. Flowers that trembled with delight swayed and touched each other with a delicate faery ringing like silver bells. Inside the dun a subtle sweetness in the laughter filled the hearts of every one: it seemed to them that they had never known such gladness till that night.

Then Lugh played the music of sorrow. The wind moaned outside, and where the grass and flowers had been there was a dark sea of moving waters. The De Danaans within the dun bowed their heads on their hands and wept, like they had never wept for any grief before.

When Lugh played the music of peace, outside there fell silently a strange snow. Flake by flake it settled on the earth and changed to starry dew. Flake by flake, the quiet of the Land of the Silver Fleece settled in the hearts and minds of Nuada and his people: they closed their eyes and slept, each where they sat.

Lugh put the harp from him and stole out of the dun (fort). The snow was still falling outside. It settled on his dark cloak and shone like silver scales; it settled on the thick curls of his hair and shone like jewelled fire; it filled the night about him with white radiance.”

Such is the power of the harp.

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Text, except quote, and photos © Meg Philp under Australia Law.

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