Monday, October 10, 2005

Here I am...

I approach the Enchantress' Cave, weary and dusty from my long trek. It's a good weariness though, one that satisfies the physical as well as the mental needs of the body. I chose to walk rather than ride because I wanted to feel Mother Earth breathing beneath my feet. I felt as one with her as I walked through the woods and strolled across meadows sprinkled liberally with wild flowers of all varieties. Such a difference from a brief trip I made recently when I drove many miles to the State of Minnesota. Locked away inside a steel enclosure with the scenery flashing by at breakneck speed doesn't do it for me, though it is sometimes a necessity when time is calling the shots.

The dust fell away and the weariness vanished when I saw the Enchantress waiting to welcome me and any other travelers who might happen along. I know there are many like me who, having taken different trails, will end up here for a well earned rest before proceeding to BabaYaga's hut.

The enchantress is a welcoming sight as she stands there at the cave entrance ready to check me in. Her ivory gown shimmers in the morning sunlight … her eyes are bright, and the breeze ruffles her reddish hair. She embraces me and invites me to enter and join the others who are waiting. I am ready now for good company and conversation. We all have stories to share about our varied experiences on the trail. It's at times like this that I appreciate all the good that life has to offer.

Vi

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Courier message gone astray

My RaVEN messenger found Donkeys Inc. and tried to post this message in comments but it would not take it so I will try to reach you here. I am heading down the road in Ithaka Bound, on foot, leading Destiny. Hope you receive this message. I guess I should contact the Enhantress for a few more invitations.

MESSAGE FROM THE RAVEN COURIER: I know you are extremely busy right now but I was wondering if I could drop off my horse Destiny for the time I am on the silk road. At the moment I am just leaving the cave of the Enhantress at my first dawn on the Road to Ithaka and would like to walk a while. As your mules are magical I guess I had better mind the Enhantress once more and try out one after I have walked a while, so also please find one that would fit my spirit. I look forward to seeing you. Will you be at the Gypsy camp? (That is if I ever find it) Love, Jane

Friday, October 07, 2005

Morgaine's Arrival

Gallahad returned with good news. He knew the way to the Enchantresses Cave. 'Gather you're belongings Morgaine, we must make haste'!

Morgaine quickly gathered her bags, she climbed upon Gallahad's back, 'lead on Gallahad, let us depart'.

Awhile later Morgaine was at the cave's entrance with her bags. Gallahad munched on some grass a little way off.
'Quite a crowd had already come through', the Enchantress told Morgaine, 'it has quietened down now, so you're Morgaine, the Camelot Scribe, welcome to my cave and the beginning of a wonderful journey! What did you bring?
I hope you packed light'.

Morgaine assured the enchantress that her bag was light and its contents are a necessity. ' I have my journal, recorder for my interviews with fellow travellers, some clothing, my warm cloak, some food, my hairbrush, some herbs and oils, and some precious stones'.

'This is good Morgaine, so you plan to interview fellow travellers? That sounds interestinng, you will find many interesting stories, I'm sure. So you come from Camelot? '

'Yes and I am considered the Camelot Scribe, the Camelot Correspondent for the Camelot Chronicle. I am on a Crusade, the Camelot Crusade. I wish to learn about other places, people and communities and also to introduce and invite people to Camelot, this is one of the reasons I decided to undertake this journey, I look forward to meeting people, learning about different places and communities and hope to befriend many. I believe that if we all help one another we can all continue to exist in people's hearts'.

'Very interesting Morgaine, I'm sure others will share your belief's and you will find your journey very inspiring, once again, welcome aboard! Now, I must give you this bag, in it you will find some things to help you on your journey, a compass amongst other things and most importantly, a doll'.

'A doll? Why is a doll the most important thing'? Asked Morgaine.

'This is no ordinary doll, this doll talks and can help and guide you along the way, you have met and named your talking donkey Gallahad, now this doll is yours to keep and name too. You will find her very wise, with much insight to share'.

Morgaine was taken aback, a telepathic, talking donkey and now a wise, insightful doll! They say Camelot's ways are weird, she thought to herself. What is this magic? I must learn them so I can teach them back home to those who
believe. The more wonder, enchantment, magic, old and new ways introduced to humans, the more they will seek their own truth and belief and the world will be a better place.

The Enchantress interrupted her thoughts saying, 'it is time to go now Morgaine. Your first destination is to the Gypsy camp, where they are having a wake for Meagan's mother. Meagan is a fellow traveller on the Silk Road and it is a time to share, god speed Morgaine'.

With that the Enchantress dissappeared and Morgaine was left alone with the bag. She reached in and pulled out the doll, it was a very pretty doll. She decided to call the doll, Angel. In that instant Morgaine found herself outside the cave with Gallahad. 'Well Gallahad, it's time to move on in search of the gypsies'.

They departed in silence.


DAWN IN THE GROTTO Posted by Picasa

Jane : HERE!

Oh my goodness, it is dawn and I seem to be in the Grotto. I don't even remember presenting my picture of the doorway. From the moment I climbed onto Destiny’s back to the moment I woke up in this lovely room everything is a foggy . I just know that right now I am snuggling deeper into this feather bed trying to escape the loud speaker requesting everyone to show up for roll call at the cave entrance.

GROAN****************Now where are my shoes?****************

I do look forward to walking down the Silk road though. Hopefully there will be some shops on the way to the Gypsy camp so I can buy some silks for a gypsy skirt . I love the way they dress. When I get old ( : ) ) I am going to wear all the beautiful colors in the rainbow at one time. I must ask the enchantress if there is a blog for the Silk road when she calls my name as I look forward to the journey to Itaka, not the destination, and plan to take my time.

I think I will send Destiny ahead to Frans donkey shop and see if she will care for him tell I get to the gypsy camp. I don’t want to fly by things too fast and I defiately do not want to get on a donkey. I know a little more aboout donkeys then I need to as my husband was in a mule pack when he was in the army during the Korean war and it was hell. They are not pleasant animals, co-operative animals. Sorry Fran, but walking gives you a chance to use all your senses and that, to me, is the only way to absorb the world. Did you ever notice how you never really absorb a scene until you stand silent..and that no one speaks? I think it was Michaelangelo who said, : You can not appreciate a sunrise with another person.

" Where is that raven when you need him?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Unsure

I am not sure whether to post information about the Brown House here, or on the Ithaka place or the Donkey yard. I don't plan to take the girls to the wake. Until I understand better how this works I will hope the Tour Guide will repost or direct us to the right place.

Here is some information about us.

I have a better backpack for this adventure, but also an old gunnie sack with three pockets. This will work because I am going to carry three special people with me on this trip. We play an old board game called "Uncle Wiggly" and they think it is going to be like that. They like playing "make believe", but don't understand that you are all adults. Sometimes I have to tell them what your names mean, or help them look it up in the dictionary. This is a game too.

These three girls are my friends. I work at a small house set up for Developmentally Disabled Adults. Since they are over 16 they are not available for child service support, but can go to a Work Center everyday except Sunday. They could live in a group home, but their fathers all wanted something more "homey" (sp). They are all in Iraq right now and one of them had this large home and let the other girls move in. I am both a social worker and a substitute teacher, so I get paid a little bit over room and board. Another woman shares the long hours and all day Sunday, but doesn't like computers. I call them girls even though they are 17, 22, and 28 years old. Emotionally they are much younger, but capable enough to use the bus system and help cook and clean their rooms.

Together they decided to use "game pieces" for this trip. They will be gem stones and played a game to decide what to be. They are Coral, Jade and 'quoise. That way I can carry them on this trip without you knowing they have snuck along. However, Fran has now offered us a cart with donkeys to help on the journey, so them hiding out. They are not afraid of people, but sometimes give more affection than others are willing to deal with.

Nessie



More later.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Trap Door

I think I have fallen thru a trap door. I have never blogged before, if that is how you say it. I belong to many Yahoo Groups and may chat to much here. Let me know. My name is Norene Kness, but everyone calles me Nessie. The girls here at Brown House especially like that. They think that I keep appearing where I am not expected. They will be my traveling companions on this journey (adventure?), but it is supposed to be a secret. All three have developmental disabilties and I will edit and read your posting to them. Only one of them can use the keyboard well, so I will type comments for them occationally.

Your kindness is appreciated. I will explain more later as we travel along.

Right now they are playing a game to decide what they should bring. They are acting like it is their own Reality TV show (which they don't watch).

Nessie

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Letter To the Secretary of Donkeys Incorporated

A Letter To the Secretary of Donkeys Incorporated

Dear Secretary,
Hello from the open road. My name is Treasa O'Leary, a traveler along the Soulfood Silk Road...but then...you might already know that. I wouldn't be a wee bit surprised if you did, the way this fantastic adventure is constantly keeping me in a state of surrealness. I never know what expect next!

*shakes head in amazement* Certainly not a talking donkey! Jack has made the trip quite...interesting and humorous thus far--we've only been on the road two days. He's been helpful at times as well. And that's why I'm writing you, to tell you what an amazing trip this is going to be with him as a mount and to thank you.

I don't know how you choose which mount for which traveler, but, in my case, you hit gold. You see, I've never ridden a donkey before in my life; only horses a handful of times and not since my childhood at that. The longest I've ever ridden one has been two or three hours and afterwards I was saddle-sore for two days!

*as if the mere mention of it is their cue, all my various aches and throbbing pains intensify and I shift stiffly, trying to find a more comfortable position on my sleeping bag, unable to hold back a low moan*

*silent wry laugh as I resume writing in the combined light of flickering fire and flashlight* I'm in much the same position as I was then. Saddle-sore. But Jack is being an awfully good sport about it, thank goodnees. Right from the start it was painfully obvious to both of us and to my silent guide (whose name I've since learned is Ophelia) that I'm no natural horsewoman--or donkey rider. Jack's gentle swaying gait is as smooth and fluid as any donkey's could be. But until today, for the life of me, I couldn't establish a reasonably good rhythm that allowed me to move as one with him. My butt kept bouncing, up and down, up and down, hard on the saddle until my poor abused tailbone made its first throbbing protests. I felt like a Mexican jumping bean. *rolls eyes and shakes head in embarrassment*

Ah well. At least no one has laughed at this bobbing Irish lass yet--well, not very much and not because of my poor riding skills. For that, I have to give thanks. Jack has been really sweet and has been trying to give me pointers.

"Consider this a crash course in riding," he said after Ophelia helped pull me from the ground at his hooves that first day. We hadn't gone 20 feet down the road from the Enchantress' cave before I was bested by a low-hanging branch that caught me in the chest and knocked me from his saddle. "Rule Number 1: Relax! Your fear and uncertainty transmits to your fine noble steed, letting me--I mean, him--know he's the boss. Rule Number 2: Match your body's rhythm to your donkey's gait. The ride will be smoother and easier this way--for both of us. And Rule Number 3: You've got to be smarter than the average tree. Be aware of your surroundings too."

In my defense, I have to say I was in a state of shock when those leaves smacked me in the face and that branch connected with my breastbone! Jack had started talking--without warning--about the journey and introducing himself and Ophelia and her horse Nightshade. Who wouldn't be floored by a talking donkey when, where I come from, they don't speak?! Well, except for the ones in the Bible and Arabian Tales, but the one was from a parable I believe, the other from a fairy tale.

I gaped at his big gray-brown donkey face, blinking stupidly into his velvety brown eyes once I was back on my feet, repeating over and over, "He talks! He talks! My donkey talks!!"

Ophelia nodded, an amused look on her face. She went to Nightshade, who stood five feet up ahead, with his ebony neck craned right in our direction and dug through his saddlebags. On her way to the stallion she gave Jack an admonishing look. Pulling out medical supplies from one of the bags, she walked back toward me and doctored the few cuts and scrapes I'd sustained from the encounter with the olive tree. (I thought olive branches were supposed to be peaceful?) Once she was satisfied I was ok and taken care of, Ophelia nodded to herself decisively, gathered the box of bandages and ointment and rejoined Nightshade. Putting the things away she mounted the black stallion and motioned with her arm I should do the same.

"Yes, I talk," Jack said, gazing at me with what passes, I suppose, for patience in a donkey. "And you're quite the observer. We have a lot of miles to cover before we reach the Valley of the Temples, where we will be camping over the next few days before reaching the Gypsy Camp. Are you brave enough to try again?"

Dumbly I nodded, reaching behind me to check and make sure everything in my backpack was ok after having landed on the bag in my fall. I mounted and we were off again--albeit at a slower pace--the guide and her black stallion, Jack the donkey and me, the Irish Mexican jumping bean.

As I said, Jack has been sweet and pretty understanding, only making fun of me once in awhile, laughing his braying laugh as he watches me move stiffly about the campsite or if I do some clumsy thing like trip over an exposed tree root. "It was right in front of you, in plain view! You shouldn't read that book of Roman myths as you walk." He admonished just today as we took our lunch break.

I have to thank you. Despite moments like those, I'm sure you're well aware he can be quite amusing. I also have no doubt you already know he can hold entire coversations with himself, for Jack can talk and talk. And talk. I can't help but laugh when he gets going. By no means would this journey be dull or ordinary without him; he just adds to the the wonder and joy of it. So, with all my gratitude, thank you. He is a wonderful companion and mount, and I will take good care of him for as long as he is with me.

Sincerely,
Treasa O'Leary, Awed, Amazed and Humble Explorer

*folds the letter written on the lavender stationery from the cave room and seals it in the matching envelope; writes the address on the front and hands it to a waiting raven who accepts it with its beak and a nod; spreading its dark wings it takes off and I shut the flashlight off, sliding and settling into my sleeping bag by the fire*

As always, I'm not ready! I'm never ready. I don't know what to bring with me. I look out my window and I search the sky for birds to see what they carry...feathers on their backs, a seed in their beaks and maybe a tiny stray piece of a tattered white chiffon dress in their delicate claw feet. So, that's what I'll bring -- my favorite feather, seeds I recently harvested from my beautiful moonflower vines, a white gossamer chiffon shawl and, of course, my journal and pencil. That's all I need.

The birds remind me that I can fit at least half the sky in my back pocket and... well, off I go.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Ithaka Bound - The Doorway to the Silk Road

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People are standing around with bags, rucksacks, suitcases, backpacks, carry alls and saddle bags at the door to the Cave. And to think Sibyl said to travel light! Lucky we have a big store room to keep things so that people can pick them up on their way back home. That room is filling because there hasn't been too many leave the realm.

The first instructions from our guide are at Soul Food Silk Road. Keep checking this and Ithaka Bound if you get lost. We are bound for Ithaka. Ithaka lies within the realm of the Silk Road somewhere, tucked away from view. It is a very enchanted place, a bit like the dreamlike lake of Nemi - Diana's Mirror, as it was called by the ancients. No one who has seen the calm waters of the lake where the Amazon Queen's summer palace nestles, can forget it. Sip from the waters and you forget about the earthly realm and feel the creativity pulsing through your veins.

Ithaka Bound will be open to the public for comment. If you don't get an invitation to join and want to post on this blogger please let me know. I will post out a swathe of invitations but it is very easy to overlook someone so for goodness sake don't let this happen and get lost.

If you are on the Soul Food Cafe mailing list do make sure to ask for an invite to join because I will not keep sending instructions to the whole group.