Who was this woman?
Who chose her inscription?
Was it a last act of revenge from a spurned lover/spouse?
Were they the last words she wanted to be remembered by?
What comes to your mind when you look at it?
What would you like to be put on your gravestone when you die?
This gravestone had me contemplating what I would want inscribed to mark my place in this world.
Death is inevitable for every one of us but something that few of us like to contemplate. We are mortal beings but we fear our mortality. We focus on living in the here and now. But I wonder sometimes if we focused on how people would remember us after we die, if that would impact our choices and decisions.
How would you like to be remembered?
If I could choose one mantra to be remembered by it would be:
She lived and loved fearlessly.
The poem I would have as my last words would be:
~ the uncaged bird is set free ~
I can no more cage this poeme`
to trap my soul in earthly realms hollows my flesh
Poeme` is life fleshed into my Bones
A place where the intangible is material
A window through which the tears of God
break open the unseen cracks in a heart
A Love divine and Light surreal
is my heart free, my soul uncaged
the Bird of Poeme` soaring into the heavenly realms.
The CoffinHop has come to a dead end. But from death comes life and I know that Coffinhop has been a treasure chest of tricks, treats and inspiration.
It has been my honour to share the #CoffinHop with you my readers.
It has been my honour to spend the time prying open the lids of broken coffins of the other coffinhoppers.
A special shout out to Axel Howerton for being our Master Guardian of the #CoffinHop boneyard once more. You Rock Axel! 🙂
Please remember that The #CoffinHop Anthology, Death by Drive-In is now AVAILABLE and 100% of all proceeds go toLitworld in support of Child Literacy. Help a child read. Let that child enrich the world with their stories. Click on the anthology image below for purchase links.
The Prize winner for my “The Abandoned & the Disappeared” contest will be announced on 5th November, 2013.
There are so many amazing entries that it is going to be a close call to call the winner. Thanks you to everyone who entered. Your words awed me. Each and every one.
I am starting a website community of Poets with a dark side.
Turning dark cracks & broken fragments into golden seams of poetry ~ A Society of Poets who can turn the dark edges, the cracked pieces and the broken fragments of their experience into the golden seams of poetry.
The poets I am looking for write their poetry with a dark slant, twist. The poetry can be metaphysically/literally/figuratively/emotionally dark. It can be themed to a genre – ie paranormal/horror/suspense or it can be personal struggles/pain.
This will be a community of shared poetry and eventually I would like to publish some poetry anthologies of the poetry shared.
I am recruiting members here.
If you are interested, please let me know in the comments on this post.
Steam rises from the barren ground Liquid sand boils in an earthen cauldron Molten fire swims in a deep river The air above the toiling caldron stills Not a bird calls nor do creatures stir,
The waxen earth beats to an ancient drummer’s heartbeat Nature’s choir hums a song of still serenity The winds breathe and tremble a Beethoven sonata,
Air that stirs with a thundering Bassoon Clouds gather and clash with clanging cymbals Curtains drape the air in folds of darkness The stage is luminous in a ballet of ethereal light Ushered in a staccato of falling liquid notes
It is the Dead End of the Annual #CoffinHop. 2nd Year running and still my favourite Blog event of the year. It is a time of year when fears are bled out onto the page, where the horror that can grip us in daily life can be released. This is the last day, the DEAD END of the #CoffinHop. So hop around through the bone yard visiting all the other CoffinHoppers – *Click on the skull above to get to each coffin.* #CoffinHop is that time of the year when we can face our fears, admit them and then master them. It’s ok to be scared, it’s ok to feel fear…
Bravery is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it. – John Berridge
Twas the night before Christmas and as I lay down in bed I sent out a Christmas prayer. “Christmas Spirits, both ancient and present I plead with you this dark night lit only by the moon. My Christmas wish tonight is not for gifts of gold and silver wrapped trinkets or sweet morsels to fill my mouth. My Christmas wish tonight is not for earthly peace nor endless sunshine and cloudless skies. No, my Christmas wish is a touch, a kiss, a warm embrace, the whisper of my name on breath long disappeared. My Christmas wish is for the living and the spirits to meet once more, even for a few hours. My Christmas wish is to tell those that left me how I loved them and how I missed their presence in my life. My Christmas wish is to hear the sweet tinkling bells of their laughter and to feel the warmth of their smiles. My Christmas wish is to tell them that though their spirits now walk this realm and the next, their love remains alive in my heart. Christmas Spirits, both ancient and present I plead with you this dark night lit only by the moon.” As the moon disappeared behind veiled clouds of deep grey, I fell asleep with trickling rain dripping down my cheek. It was not long and I heard a sound and felt a warm caress dry the rain’s tears from my cheek. A voice bent down to my ear and whispered my name and I heard tinkling laughter coming from all corners of the room. I slowly opened my eyes and looked to see what marvel had appeared in my room under the clouded sky. There in a bed, covered up to the chin by a heavy blanket of death-white, lay a girl with a dried tear on her cheek. Her hair was smooth and dark against the white of the pillow and her lips were bruised as if some kiss had longed to punish them. I heard the tinkling laughter then and looked to my side and behind me. There were ethereal specters there all around the bed of this lost girl. The moon had disappeared but pale light shone through their shadowy forms. I looked back at the girl wondering where I had seen her before. One of these specters looked at me then for the first time and smiled a smile that embraced my soul in warmth and light. The specter’s lips did not move but a low melodious sound came from him like a cello chasing the sound of light in a moonless night: “We heard your Christmas plea little one. You did not ask for earthly peace nor endless sunshine and cloudless skies. You did not ask for gold and silver wrapped trinkets or sweet morsels to fill your mouth. Your Christmas wish was for the living and the spirits to meet once more. So here we come, at your call and as you wished…all the spirits who loved you once and missed you long.” But dear one the living must sacrifice life itself to walk with the spirits…Your sacrifice has been a tender gift for us this Christmas Past.”
Then he stretched out his hand and he touched mine. I trembled in fear at his words and wished to take back my Christmas plea. I had not wished to sacrifice life, what of all those I love this Christmas Present. His hand went right through air and though I could feel his strong grasp, there was no hand to cling to in return. I looked down again at the lost girl lying asleep in eternity and knew that my heart would ache to feel the tears of rain or light of the moon again. No more endless sunshine nor cloudless skies for me. No earthly peace nor gifts of gold and silver. No touch, no kiss, nor embrace, sweet laughter, nor whispers of my name.
These specters were only veils of what had been warm breath and soft laughter, shed tears and sweet memories. The lost girl lay in bed as the clouded sky gave way to the all seeing eye of the morning. All around I could hear carolers singing and in the house far away I could hear mother and father calling out “Merry Christmas.” The lost girl did not stir. Christmas Eve had come and passed taking her with it. I watched the two people I had once known as mom and dad come running in with gifts of gold and silver wrapped trinkets spilling forth from their embrace. I saw the woman collapse to the floor before he could catch her and the sounds that poured forth from both pulled a veil over the sun, their misery was so great.
I knew then, looking at the ugly grief of the couple where I recognised that lost girl. She had been this same specter once before when it breathed, laughed, hoped and loved. I took one last glance at the lost girl and the grieving couple and I bent down and whispered my forgotten name in the woman’s ear. She shivered at the sound of my whisper and glanced wildly around searching for that missing girl I touched the man’s arm but he shook my touch off as if a cruel thing had pierced him.
The specter who had spoken so melodiously before beckoned me once more. The other ethereal forms had drifted off as the moon had been swallowed by the morning. He looked at me once again and his face showed pain so great and so forlorn: “Come child, you are no more. Now you walk the realm with those who have gone before.”
Now I walk this realm and the next longing for a warm touch, a sweet kiss and shared laughter. I visit all the homes of my loved ones each Christmas, silently coming in with the moonlight and leaving with the sun. I am moonlight and stardust, wind and water but ancient spirit I remain.
Heed the wishes you make on Christmas night for twas a wish such as this that took my breath… Heed the living and love the present for the realm of spirits leaves much to be attained…
Heed the Christmas wish that regrets the past, forgetting your gift of Now but love life lest you sacrifice it.
Christmas Spirits, both ancient and present keep your silence, the living seek you out…
I thought I would share a little insight on December Solstice or Night of the Midnight Sun in honour of both the event and #Creepfest…
December Solstice usually occurs between 20/12 and 23/12 every year. This year it falls on the 22nd. This solstice celebrates the return of light and the continuing circle of seasons and life. Here are some ways that cultures around the world have celebrated the Solstice…
Yule is also known as Alban Arthan and was one of the “Lesser Sabbats” of the Wiccan year in a time when ancient believers celebrated the rebirth of the Sun God and days with more light. This took place annually around the time of the December solstice and lasted for 12 days.
Yule: The Feast of Juul was a pre-Christian festival observed in Scandinavia at the time of the December solstice. Fires were lit to symbolize the heat, light and life-giving properties of the returning sun. A Yule or Juul log was brought in and burned on the hearth in honor of the Scandinavian god Thor. A piece of the log was kept as both a token of good luck and as kindling for the following year’s log.
In England, Germany, France and other European countries, the Yule log was burned until nothing but ash remained. The ashes were then collected and either strewn on the fields as fertilizer every night until Twelfth Night or kept as a charm and or as medicine.
In Ancient Rome the winter (December) solstice festival Saturnalia began on December 17 and lasted for seven days. It was held to honor Saturn, the father of the gods and was characterized by the suspension of discipline and reversal of the usual order. Grudges and quarrels were forgotten while businesses, courts and schools were closed. Wars were interrupted or postponed and slaves were served by their masters. Masquerades often occurred during this time. It was traditional to offer gifts of imitation fruit (a symbol of fertility), dolls (symbolic of the custom of human sacrifice), and candles (reminiscent of the bonfires traditionally associated with pagan solstice celebrations). A mock king was chosen, usually from a group of slaves or criminals, and although he was permitted to behave in an unrestrained manner for seven days of the festival, he was usually killed at the end. The Saturnalia eventually degenerated into a week-long spree of debauchery and crime – giving rise to the modern use of the tern saturnalia, meaning a period of unrestrained license and revelry.
In Poland the ancient December solstice observance prior to Christianity involved people showing forgiveness and sharing food. It was a tradition that can still be seen in what is known as Gody.
In the northwestern corner of Pakistan, a festival called Chaomos, takes place among the Kalasha or Kalash Kafir people. It lasts for at least seven days, including the day of the December solstice. It involves ritual baths as part of a purification process, as well as singing and chanting, a torchlight procession, dancing, bonfires and festive eating.
In Guatemala on this day, Mayan Indians honor the sun god they worshipped long before they became Christians with a dangerous ritual known as the polo voladore, or “flying pole dance”. Three men climb on top of a 50-foot pole. As one of them beats a drum and plays a flute, the other two men wind a rope attached to the pole around one foot and jump. If they land on their feet, it is believed that the sun god will be pleased and that the days will start getting longer.
The ancient Incas celebrated a special festival to honor the sun god at the time of the December solstice. In the 16th century ceremonies were banned by the Roman Catholics in their bid to convert the Inca people to Christianity. A local group of Quecia Indians in Cusco, Peru, revived the festival in the 1950s. It is now a major festival that begins in Cusco and proceeds to an ancient amphitheater a few miles away.
Aside – One of my favourite books deals with the legends of the Solstice as well as other ancient stories that permeate early European cultures…