The Dreamers …

Do you see them passing, do you hear the ringing of quiet bells?
Do you see their robes aflutter in a non-existent wind?

Do not seek to stop them, do not meet their eyes, bow your head and let them pass.  They are the dreamers, the wanderers, they have no place in time or space.  They will steal your heart and wound your soul, you will see visions in their gazing, and you will follow them.

Through eternity they will lead you, through heaven and hell, until you will know no rest in any place in any world of mortal men, and other folk will call you mad.

Just one look from their far-seeing eyes and you will be forever lost, forever restless in the cold light of enlightened day.  No more content to stand and watch the homefire, no more to see the world the same.

I have known them, I have followed them, the pain and the joys of them.  I am consumed in the fires of their vision, and I will never know peace again.

Watch now at their passing and I will name them.  Name them so you know them, and know the fate you tempt.

There is Science, and there is Knowledge,
Bold Adventure and brave Fantasy;
There is Foresight, and Invention,
And the oldest mad Mythology.

But at their head their leader, their guide, their inspiration.  Do not meet his gaze, for he is the most powerful of all.  Do not seek his favours, do not ask his business, for his name is Imagination, and he will change you forever if you allow.

Go back to the gods of Ignorance, the safe world unchanged.  Do not heed the Dreamers or listen to their bells.

Untouched you will be content forever.

There – hear your mother calling.  The fire is warm beneath your supper, the pillow waiting for your head.  No dreams will trouble you.  You know how the flow of your life will lead you.  From your cradle to your grave it is mapped out.  It offers you no changes.

But do you see them passing ..?

We danced …

A short song/poem, inspired this morning by a request for ‘a love song, in which the person loved is referred to in the third person, using gender-neutral pronouns.’

We danced …

We danced.  Eyes agleam and hearts on fire,

Our fingers touched, their smile grew wider,

I leaned in close

Our kiss was laughter.

I fell in love

The day we danced.

 

We met that morning, a casual glance

They asked me shyly

‘Shall we dance?’

And in that moment, time suspended,

My life was changed, my sorrow ended –

Just because they asked me,

And we danced.

 

We danced.  Sharing the music, hope grew higher,

Our bodies touched, their heart beat faster,

I leaned in close

Our kiss was ecstasy.

I fell in love

We fell in love

The day we danced.

Save

Winter is come

The world outside:

Spray painted white.

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A shimmer laid with a casual hand

Over the outline of the land.

There, the scattered icing lies

Across the fields,

Bright with reflected skies.

Cloaking the webs that drape and hang

Early decorations spun, from leaf to land.

The morning crisp

With decorative air,

Winter is come, and all the world is fair.dsc_0045

Some thoughts on craft and crafting.

On the ‘About’ page for this blog, I have called myself a ‘crafter’ – which I am – but it’s a term that I probably need to expand on a little, since my definition is broad, than rather precise, and acknowledges working with insubstantial materials, like words, and with esoteric forces (like magic) alongside the mundane.

The Mirriam Webster on-line dictionary defines ‘craft‘ as:

Skill in planning, making, or executing;
An occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill <the carpenter’s craft> <the craft of writing plays> <crafts such as pottery, carpentry, and sewing>
Skill in deceiving to gain an end <used craft and guile to close the deal>;
The members of a trade or trade association;
plural usually craft a :  a boat especially of small size b : aircraft c : spacecraft

Put that last one aside for a minute (boats, planes and rockets being potential subjects of my crafting, rather than products of it), and focus on the others.  The word ‘craft’ comes from the Old English cræft, meaning skill, strength, and is related to the Old Norse kraptr power, skill, and the Old High German kraft.  The definitions as given cover a range of activities, all of which – arguably – focus on the creation of something.  That could be an item, an idea, or even the realisation of an intention.

Mirriam Webster goes on to extend the definition of craft with a wider discussion of synonyms:

Art, skill, cunning, artifice, craft mean the faculty of executing well what one has devised.
Art implies a personal, unanalyzable creative power
Skill stresses technical knowledge and proficiency
Cunning suggests ingenuity and subtlety in devising, inventing, or executing
Artifice suggests technical skill especially in imitating things in nature
Craft may imply expertness in workmanship

The common understanding of the term crafter (one who crafts) tends to focus on art, and skill.  There are, inevitably, discussions and disagreements about where the dividing line between crafter and artist lies (and even whether there is a line, for that matter.)  There is probably a spectrum that runs between making and creating, with hobby ‘crafters’ at one end, making things from kits and published patterns, through a variety of dabblers and amateurs, to the professional artist/crafter at the other.  I tend to hang around in the middle of that, mostly working in textiles, trying out techniques and being generally interested in all sorts of things.

When I’m not busy stitching (or weaving, or spinning, or painting, or dyeing, etc, etc) I’m something of a storyteller: a practitioner of wordcraft, creating characters and settings, exploring ideas, weaving words into new patterns, and wrestling with sentences in the hope they make sense.  (I don’t always succeed, but I do try …)

Occasionally, I practice another kind of craft.  One that brings in aspects of both cunning and artifice.

Which is why my definition of crafter extends from needlecraft, through wordcraft, and ends up with Witchcraft.

And sometimes, you’ll find me weaving all three together …

Quo Vadis?

How do you know you travel if you never turn to see
The signposts and the milestones of each day?

What’s the point of any journey if it doesn’t make you free,
Free to choose your path, or free to turn away?

There’s a map in every memory
You only have to look,
Learn to read the key you’re offered by your soul;

Pick your route and destination,
Pack your heart and hitch a ride,
It’s the only way you’re sure to reach your goal.

You may ask “Where am I going?”
Never ask “Where have I been?”

In case you look too far and wish you’d stayed.

You may fear each new encounter,
But step by step we learn
That to conquor fear we must know we’re afraid.

If you stay so scared of living
How can you claim to be alive?
If you never start the journey,
Then you never will arrive.

Sometimes you gain companions and the travelling is light,
Until the time you know you’ll have to part.
Sometimes the road is narrow and you need to walk alone,
So each step becomes a weight within your heart.

But still the journey matters
Without it we are lost
And wander without sense of self regard.

To know your true direction
And the goal you have in mind
Makes the price you pay seem not so very hard.

You may ask “Where am I going?”
Never ask “Where have I been?”

In case you look too far and wish you’d stayed.

You may fear each new encounter,
But step by step we learn
That to conquer fear we must know we’re afraid.

If you stay so scared of living
How can you claim to be alive?
If you never start the journey,
Then you never will arrive.

If you never start the journey, then you never will arrive.

 

‘From the Album – The Road to Herculaneum,  Recorded by The Immortals.
Words and music by A. Morgan   Arrangement by C. Hartley.
Issued on the Olympus label’