Tuesday, May 11, 2010


It is said of Merlin he lived backwards. The Buddhists say of reincarnation that one consequence is everyone has been everyone else’s mother at least once. This is the reason for not stepping on bugs. You crush your mother. Crows are spirits. So are butterflies.

The elves have departed middle earth for the lands of the west, but elven blood is still part of our heritage.

(Did you hear? Scientists are now claiming that Neanderthal and Sapiens could in fact interbreed and did. Many of us have a variable amount of Neanderthal DNA, between 1 and 4%. They have typed the Neanderthal genome from bone fragments of three 40,000 year old Neanderthal women in order to figure this out. We interbred mainly in the Middle East, it is said.)

When you paint your face and begin the dance, try to remember where you come from and how ancient your soul. Do not fall victim to your supposed inexperience. Do not claim you do not already know. Look deep. There within is the chanting of your former selves, the gathering around the primal fire, the awakening of the ancestors, and the praising of the Gods. Behold your elven kindred. There within is the counterpoint to the way the day has gone, the way your life has gone.

Kindred is rooted in very old words, kin- (exactly the same but also the child or children as in the German kinder) goes all the way back with cognates on every side of the Indo-european spread, though in oldest German one of the cognates is chun-, Latin and Greek is gen-, and Sanskrit is jan-. -red goes back to Old English, thus before 1200 AD, from raedan, meaning to rule, advise, guess, read. Thus to rule or read the child, to measure the lineage. Kindred is an ancient word, rich and dripping with the experience of the human species, like a juicy cut of aurochs or mammoth. In the poem, another old word, hang and hung, a different way to signal the past - hang and hanged (new), hang and hung (old). This is how it changes.



But crow still flies true
and releases one long call
to remind you where
you belong. Mirrors
don't hang well on those warm walls.

What we have hung there
are pictures God drew
of us when we were older
than this strange young world.

May 16, 2009 10:19 PM


  1. I like this post very much.
    And the poem is lovely. Kind of in the same feeling; mysterious, mystical.
    And when i dance to remember, i will paint my whole body:)

  2. Allow me...I shall paint your body.

    Then I will beat the drum wildly as you prance and twirl and steam the place up.


  3. I loved the paragraph beginning with "When you paint your face and begin the dance..." It was - profound - in one of those ways that is bigger than a mere human could speak. I was very moved by it, comforted.

    When I was in Hawaii I went to a couple of Nia classes (a form of dancing that includes anything the body does, to heal and express through movement and sensation). We were dancing to a primal drum beat and when I finally bent fully to it, it was the most sensual and ancient thing I have ever done. I was surprised to find my face wet with tears when all I felt was joy.

  4. Yes. The trick is to recall such an experience in the middle of ordinary things. It is unrealistic to expect to live that way all the time. It is realistic to aspire to it and to recall it as often as possible. It is unrealistic as escape. It is realistic as a value that transforms the rest of the day.

    Even if I achieve a new state of being, as the Zen masters assert, I shall still be assigned such tasks as chopping the wood, carrying the water, swabbing the latrines.

    I shall still die, and suffer illness.

    I shall probably still pick my nose in idle moments and fart noisily at unexpected moments...

  5. Ha! I have long held to the belief...the knowledge really (perhaps born of those ancient winds) that I shall be the one cleaning toilets in heaven.

  6. When I encountered the Divine in my 21st year, I very soon realized that while many come to Heaven (to speak this way) up the steps welcomed in through the front door, I snuck in through a back window and donned the disguise of a servant I found hanging there.

  7. snort!

    I love this...

    can I have my skin back now :)


  8. I must admit it is a very fine skin, with a peach blush to it and a subtle perfume all its own. I am reluctant to release it. I will give it back. I will give it back just as soon as I complete the Maori tat up and down front and back. Tap tap tap.

    I don't believe this. I just finished writing that and scrolled down. Word verification says: prick. Wow. I guess keeping your skin awhile isn't such a good idea. *blush*

  9. snort!

    gotta love that HP stuff...


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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