Lots to see today, so check it all out.
Links: Galore… from Magick Grandpa to India’s ghost man (Plus Link O’ The Day)
Articles: Four Fairy Stories from Scotland, England, Ireland and The Isle of Man
Poetry: by Fernando Rendón (In Spanish and English)
Whose Art? (New Feature!)
Not much to say today. Hope Wednesday treats ya well.
Magick Grandpa…. (Truly Amazing!)
Google bows to China…
Scary living for India’s ghost man
LINK OF THE DAY!
Earthrites.org Under Attack!
ARTICLES: Celtic Fairy-Tales x 4
THE FAIRY’S ENQUIRY
A CLERGYMAN was returning home one night after visiting a sick member of his congregation. His way led by a lake, and as he proceeded he was surprised to hear most melodious strains of music. He sat down to listen. The music seemed to approach coming over the lake accompanied by a light. At length he discerned a man walking on the water, attended by a number of little beings, some bearing lights, others musical instruments. At the beach the man dismissed his attendants, and then walking up to the minister saluted him courteously. He was a little grey-headed old man, dressed in rather an unusual garb. The minister having returned his salute begged of him to come and sit beside him. He complied with the request, and on being asked who he was, replied that he was one of the Daoine Shi. He added that he and they had originally been angels, but having been seduced into revolt by Satan, they had been cast down to earth where they were to dwell till the day of doom. His object now was, to ascertain from the minister what would be their condition after that awful day. The minister then questioned him on the articles of faith; but as his answers did not prove satisfactory, and as in repeating the Lord’s Prayer, he persisted in saying wed instead of art in heaven, he did not feel himself justified in holding out any hopes to him. The fairy then gave a cry of despair and flung himself into the loch, and the minister resumed his journey.
THE WOUNDED SEAL
THERE once dwelt on the northern coast, not far from Taign Jan Crot Callow (John o’ Groat’s House), a man who gained his living by fishing. He was particularly devoted to the killing of the seals, in which he had great success. One evening just as he had returned home from his usual occupation, he was called upon by a man on horseback who was an utter stranger to him, but who said that he was come on the part of a person who wished to make a large purchase of seal-skins from him, and wanted to see him for that purpose that very evening. He therefore desired him to get up behind him and come away without any delay. Urged by the hope of profit he consented, and away they went with such speed that the wind which was in their backs seemed to be in their faces. At length they reached the verge of a stupendous precipice overhanging the sea, where his guide bade him alight, as they were now at the end of their journey. “But where,” says he, “is the person you spoke of?” “You ‘ll see him presently,” said the guide, and, catching hold of him, he plunged with him into the sea. They went down and down, till at last they came to a door which led into a range of apartments inhabited by seals, and the man to his amazement now saw that he himself was become one of these animals. They seemed all in low spirits, but they spoke kindly to him, and assured him of his safety. His guide now produced a huge gully or joctaleg, at sight of which, thinking his life was to be taken away, he began to cry for mercy. “Did you ever see this knife before?” said the guide. He looked at it and saw it was his own, which he had that very day stuck into a seal who had made his escape with it sticking in him. He did not, therefore, attempt to deny that it had been his property. “Well,” said. the guide, “that seal was my father. He now lies dangerously ill, and as it is only you that can cure him, I have brought you hither.” He then led him into an inner room, where the old seal lay suffering grievously from a cut in his hind quarters. He was then desired to lay his hand on the wound, at which it instantly healed, and the patient arose hale and sound. All now was joy and festivity in the abode of the seals, and the guide, turning to the seal-hunter, said, “I will now take you back to your family, but you must first take a solemn oath never again to kill a seal as long as you live.” Hard as the condition was, he cheerfully accepted it. His guide then laid hold on him, and they rose up, up, till they reached the surface of the sea, and landed at the cliff. He breathed on him and they resumed the human form. They then mounted the horse and sped away like lightning till they reached the fisherman’s house. At parting his companion left with him such a present as made him think light of giving over his seal-hunting.
THE FAIRY GIFT
A FARMER in Strathspey was one day engaged in sowing one of his fields and singing at his work. A fairy damsel of great beauty came up to him and requested him to sing for her a favourite old Gaelic song named NighanDonne na Bual. He complied, and she then asked him to give her some of his corn. At this he demurred a little and wished to know what she would give him in return. She replied with a significant look that his seed would never fail him. He then gave to her liberally and she departed. He went on sowing, and when he had finished a large field, he found that his bag was as full and as heavy as when he began. He then sowed another field of the same size, with the same result, and satisfied with his day’s work, he threw the bag on his shoulder and went home. Just as he was entering the barn-door he was met by his wife, a foolish talkative body with a tongue as long, and a head as empty as the church bell, who, struck with the appearance of the bag after a day’s sowing, began to ask him about it. Instantly it became quite empty. “I’ll be the death of you, you foolish woman,” roared out the farmer; “if it were not for your idle talk, that bag was worth its weight in gold.”
THE Phynnodderee, or Hairy-one, is a Manxs spirit of the same kind with the Brownie or the Kobold. He is said to have been a fairy who was expelled from the fairy society.
The cause was, he courted a pretty Manx maid who lived in a bower beneath the blue tree of Glen Aldyn, and therefore was absent from the Fairy court during the Re-hollys vooar yn ouyr, or harvest-moon, being engaged dancing in the merry glen of Rushen. He is condemned to remain in the Isle of Man till doomsday, in a wild form, covered with long shaggy hair, whence his name.
He is very kind and obliging to the people, sometimes driving home the sheep, or cutting and gathering the hay, if he sees a storm coming on. On one of these occasions, a farmer having expressed his displeasure with him for not having cut the grass close enough to the ground, he let him cut it himself the next year; but he went after him stubbing up the roots so fast, that it was with difficulty that the farmer could escape having his legs cut off. For several years no one would venture to mow that meadow; at length a soldier undertook it, and by beginning in the centre of the field, and cutting round, as if on the edge of a circle, keeping one eye on the scythe, and looking out for the Phynnodderee with the other, he succeeded in cutting the grass in safety.
A gentleman having resolved to build a large house on his property, at a place called Sholt-e-will, near the foot of Snafield mountain, caused the stones to be quarried on the beach. There was one large block of white stone which he was very anxious to have, but all the men in the parish could not move it. To their surprise, the Phynnodderee in the course of one night conveyed all the stones that bad been quarried, the great white one included, up to the proposed site, and the white stone is there still to be seen. The gentleman, to reward the Phynnodderee, caused some clothes to be left for him in one of his usual haunts. When he saw them, he lifted them up one by one, saying in Mania:
Bayrm da’n choine, dy doogh da’n choine,
Cooat da’n dreeym, dy doogh da’n dreeym,
Breechyn da’n toyn, dy doogh da’n toyn,
Agh my she lhiat ooiley, shoh cha nee Ihiat Glen reagh Rushen.
Cap for the head, alas, poor head!
Coat for the back, alas, poor back
Breeches for the breech, alas, poor breech!
If these be all thine, thine cannot be the merry glen of Rushen.
And he departed with a melancholy wail, and has never been seen since. The old people say, “There has not been a merry world since he lost his ground.” [a]
POETRY: Fernando Rendón
La fiera es la jaula
El futuro nos llega como oruga no guarda afán el júbilo
El pasado es un lirón que ronca con pocos sueños hermosos
La esperanza es un blanco fénix
Y mi afán es una gacela escarlata perseguida por los galgos del rey
Este zoo es una ciudad de jaulas en cada puerta candados y herrumbrosas cerraduras
en cada ventana barrotes y ojos
En los rincones simios que niegan ser parientes de Darwin panteras nocturnas con ojos
de incendio cocodrilos que lloran como arrepentidos del amor boas con apetito
de obispos y banqueros guacamayos con los colores de la poesía hienas que
ríen sin ganas ante el día deslustrado
leones que pierden la dignidad y la melena tigres jeroglíficos
hombres asomados a sus ojos en los ojos infinitos de los animales
y muchos carceleros encadenados a sus hierros
Cuando crezcáis ayudadnos a abrir todas las jaulas.
A los niños
The beast is the cage
The future comes to us like a caterpillar joy is not eager
The past is a dormouse that snores with few beautiful dreams
Hope is a white phoenix
And my eagerness is a scarlet gazelle hunted down by the kings
This zoo is a city of cages in each door padlocks and
rusty locks in every window bars and eyes
In the corners apes that deny being related to Darwin night
panthers with fire eyes crocodiles that cry as if
regretting falling in love boas with the appetite of bishops and bankers
macaws with the colors of poetry hyenas that laugh reluctantly
before the tarnished day
lions that lose their dignity and their mane hieroglyphical tigers
men looking into their eyes into the infinite eyes of the animals
and many jailers chained to their irons
When you grow up help us open all the cages.
To the children
Habito una zona de rayos y de revelaciones. El oráculo aún habla. Yo por mi parte no lo
escucho. No sigo sus admoniciones.
Me negué a ser iniciado. No repetí jamás en voz alta aquello que escuché de la boca de
la tormenta. Luché contra el ángel. Porque ellas encadenaron al espíritu humano al
abismo, desdeñé las religiones. Por las asoladoras matanzas que derribaron sin tregua la
desnuda certeza en la vida, me puse en guardia contra la naturaleza de los estados.
Porque vi caer a miles, supe que triunfaba provisoriamente el pacto del desamor
Sin duda es el tiempo del fin, se pregona, algo tan formidable como su surgimiento: el
hundimiento de los continentes.
Sufro la presión de las tinieblas forjadas por la imaginación humana en el rapto de una
edad ya sin cielo. Sé ya que seré invisible. Y aunque hace poco un rayo descargó su ira
de raíces blancas, poblando mi cabaña de troncos de densas energías, yo no cejaré en
desoír al oráculo, pues aún amaré a los hombres que sufren y a los pueblos que resisten,
oiré las dulces voces de las piedras y los árboles que nos llaman al retorno, el lenguaje
secreto de los pájaros del primer día para quienes los estados y los dioses son sordos ya
I inhabit a zone of light rays and revelations. The oracle still speaks. I for my part do not
listen to it. I do not follow its warnings.
I refused to be initiated. I never repeated aloud what I heard from the mouth of the
torment. I fought against the angel. Because they chained the human spirit to the abyss,
I looked down on religions. Because of the devastating massacres that without respite
brought down the naked certainty in life, I put myself on guard against the nature of the
states. Because I saw thousands fall, I knew that the pact of human indifference
No doubt this is the time of the end, they proclaim, something as formidable as its
emergence: the sinking of the continents.
I endure the pressure of the darkness forged by the human imagination in the rapture of
an age already without a heaven. I already know I will be invisible. And even though a
while ago a flash of lighting unloaded its anger of white roots, filling my log cabin with
dense energies, I will unflinchingly turn a deaf ear to the oracle, for I will still love the
men that suffer and the peoples that resist, I will hear the sweet voices of the stones and
the trees that call us to the return, the secret language of the birds of the first day to
which the states and the gods have been deaf for many centuries.
No existe un poema
No existe un poema
No hay una música que te llame a ti
Que te alcance a ti
No hay una melodía que haga viajar a tu espíritu
No existe un poema
No hay una música que te nutre a ti
Que te toque a ti
No alcanzaron las canciones para ti
Ninguna canción arcaica te abrazó a ti
Mi amor pobre de canciones de amor
No te correspondió ninguna herencia
Los dioses no te arrojaron llamaradas de flores
No hicieron descender sobre ti todo el rojo oro del universo
El oro de la música legendaria
Todo el embriagador son de las hojas al viento
Configurando el universo de seres que te abrazan
En el entretejido de todos los tiempos
Mi amor sin canciones
There is no poem
There is no poem
There is no music that summons you
That reaches you
There is no melody that makes your spirit travel
There is no poem
There is no music that feeds you
That touches you
The songs for you were not enough
No archaic song embraced you
My poor love of love songs
No heritage was accorded to you
The gods did not hurl blazes of flowers at you
They did not make all the red gold of the universe descend upon you
The gold of the legendary music
All the heady sound of the leaves in the wind
Shaping the universe of beings that embrace you
In the intertwinement of all time
My love without songs
Fernando Rendón [Colombia] 1951
Fernando Rendón is founder and director of the Latin American poetry magazine Prometeo, which has published 70 issues since 1982. He is also founder and director of the International Poetry Festival of Medellín, which has been held on fifteen occasions since 1991. He has published four books of poetry, and the Universidad de Valencia, Venezuela, will soon publish A Radiant Question, from which the poems above.. are taken.
Now… a bit of a treat. Intrigued by the art in this edition? Look No Further!
Have A Good One!
Margaret Macdonald (1864-1933)
Margaret Macdonald was one of the most gifted and successful women artists in Scotland at the turn of the century. Her output was wide-ranging and included watercolours, graphics, metalwork and textiles. Arguably her greatest achievements were in gesso, a plaster-based medium, which she used to make decorative panels for furniture and interiors.
Maccdonald was born in England and came to Glasgow with her family around 1890. She enrolled as a day student at Glasgow School of Art where she met Mackintosh and Herbert McNair. She left the School in the mid 1890s and set up an independent studio in the city with her sister, Frances.
The sisters worked together until Francess marriage and departure for Liverpool in 1899. Mackintosh and Macdonald married in 1900.
Collaboration was key to Margaret Macdonalds creativity. The partnership with her sister in the 1890s produced metalwork, graphics, and a series of book illustrations. Her collaboration with Mackintosh comprised primarily the production of panels for interiors and furniture, notably for the tea rooms and The Hill House. The precise nature of their partnership is difficult to define, because little documentation survives. However it is certain that Macdonald played an important role in the development of the decorative, symbolic interiors of the early 1900s, including the House for an Art Lover portfolio, the Rose Boudoir, Turin and the Willow Tea Rooms. Ill health and the strain of Mackintoshs declining career contributed to a decline in her own output and no work after 1921 is known. Macdonald died in London in 1933, five years after her husband.
The largest single holding of her work is housed at the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow. For further information, consult ed. Jude Burkhauser, Glasgow Girls, Canongate Press 1990 and Janice Helland, The Studios of Frances Macdonald and Margaret Macdonald, Manchester University Press, 1995.