Lost and Found … Part II

The pathMy heart leaps. What could this exotic woodland gypsy possibly mean?

She doesn’t stop to explain, but continues her slow march through an archway of Sumac and into the thicket with the noble Chiron by her side.

This twist in our encounter intrigues me. My power to resist squelched. Chiron has shot his golden arrow into my heart and hit a bullseye. I am hooked. Whatever medicine the Wounded Healer has to offer is worth my curiosity.

So, I follow.

The walk becomes a meditation. I don’t know where we are going. I lose all track of time becoming acutely and, perhaps, even primitively aware of my surroundings. Not in a fearful flight and fight way, but with a feeling of wonder. Shards of late afternoon sunlight flash warmly through the trees. Leaves and twigs crunch underfoot along the grassy trail leading I don’t know where. Squirrels scurry in the branches overhead while crows caw their eerie cries somewhere off in the distance.

And still I follow deeper into the woods, the legion of maples and ash and pines standing sentry-like, protective and true.  Finally, we enter a large circular clearing ~ a small meadow, perhaps ~ which appears almost as if carved out for a purpose. The gypsy and her noble companion stop in the centre of the circle and turn to face me. I stand my ground some 20 feet away. A shaft of light illuminates her countenance in an ethereal, angelic way I find astonishing. I sense empathy there. Tears well. I dam them.

Chiron stands quietly beside her, his tail relaxed and brushing away the flies that dare to alight upon his muscled rump. He, too, is aglow with an energy which, though it comforts me I find difficult to comprehend. I feel a lump in my throat, and then hear the gypsy speak.

“I am Erzebet. This is Chiron. What is your name?”

I hesitate. Confused. Why is she talking to me as if we’ve never spoken before?

She repeats.

“I am Erzebet. This is Chiron. What is your name?”

Still I hesitate.

She sees my confusion and responds.

“We are now in the Sacred Circle of Chiron, the Place of Hidden Wisdom. Out of respect it is customary to introduce ourselves to each other, and thus this sacred place, before we begin. Please … ” she repeats again, ” … I am Erzebet. This is Chiron. What is your name?”

I swallow once in an attempt to clear the lump from my throat. “Grace,” I finally choke out with a degree of reluctance and then repeat for clarity … “Grace.”

Erzebet nods.

“Greetings, beautiful Grace. You are welcome in this Sacred Circle where the healing powers of love and truth are gifted to you inasmuch as you are able to receive them.”

“Whose love? Whose truth?” I ask, confused.

Erzebet looks at me quizzically.

“Why yours … of course.”

She smiles and nods her head gently in my direction to acknowledge our connection and steps away from Chiron toward the edge of the circle.

For a moment confusion continues to reign. While the horse stands quietly but for the occasional toss of his head to disarm the flies my heart beats profoundly against my rib cage as though it might burst through. I gasp for breath.

“Breathe, dear Grace,” the beautiful gypsy bids as she glides calmly toward me in a cloud of lavender perfume. “You must breathe, deeply. In through your nose to the full capacity of your lungs and out through your mouth to a complete exhale. It is the first step to healing. Come … breathe with me.”

Erzebet stops a few feet away and begins to breathe in a way that compels me to follow her lead. Her intonation is that of a soothing chant. “In … through … your … nose … breathe … into … your … heart … release …” And as we proceed and after a few of these deep, clarifying breaths my body begins to fill with an unfamiliar warmth. My feet feel heavy and glued to Mother Earth. I am grounded. My eyes closed. Feeling.

“Send your awareness to your feeling,” the gypsy directs. “Where do you feel? What do you feel? What is it telling you?”

For a moment I’m unsure what she means. I hesitate and then offer, “My jaw feels tight for some reason.”

“Good. Now,” she continues, “this tightness in your jaw … it brings with it a message, yes?”

I shrug.

“Focus gently … this pressure in your jaw has a message. It is your heart’s desire for you, in this moment. Speak it … please.”

The notion of listening to my heart through my jaw seems strange at first. How is such a thing possible?

“Do not judge, dear Grace. Let the mind go so your heart may speak freely.”

With another deep breath I make the conscious effort to clear my head and focus on this tightness in my jaw. I am impatient, I can feel that too, but again, that is my mind getting in the way. Another breath, the prison of thought cleared, a moment of peace and then … dare I speak it?

“Go on, Grace … you have something to say, I think. Please, you are safe in this place. With me. With Chiron.”

Chiron is close behind me now. I feel the warmth of his breath against the back of my neck, comforting somehow, as I exhale deeply. “I want to be able to speak freely and without judgement … that is self-judgement.” Tears mist my eyes. I choke them back. Not even these are free.

“Thank you, Grace,” assures Erzebet. “Now … we meet with Chiron. He waits.”

~*~

You asked, I delivered … here is Part II of a free writing piece started last week courtesy of Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday.

For Part I click here.

Yes, it seems there will be a Part III.

Thanks for stopping by … and a sincere thank you to those of you who encouraged a next step in the story. I hope you have enjoyed it.

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

 

Lost and Found

gypsy

Prompt: Late summer. You’re wandering, lost in the woods. You come across a gypsy wagon, and you call out…”hello?”

~*~

“Hello! Is anyone there?”

The Gypsy Vanner stands quietly beside me. Such a docile giant I’ve just found wandering lost in the woods. I give him a gentle pat on his strong yet soft piebald neck, his thick mane tickling my fingers. He followed me willing, as if grateful for the company. Surely his people must miss him.

I call out again.

“Hello! Hello! Hello!”

The handsome horse tosses his flowing mane and let’s out a powerful whinny.

Then, a woman’s voice.

“Chiron?”

Finally, from between the curtains of the brightly coloured wagon she appears. Middle-aged and quite beautiful, her dark hair knotted in a nest on top of her head with tendrils of its brunette silk dusting the sides of rosy cheeks. Dark brown eyes dart while acclimating to the daylight. She sees me holding onto my belt which is loosely tied around the horse’s massive neck. It was how I was able to lead him here. The gypsy’s eyes widen in horror.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing with my Chiron?”

She jumps down from the wagon, skirts flying, and rushes over to where we’re standing some 20 feet away. Immediately she grabs the belt from my hand and releases it from around her horse’s neck, throwing it then to the ground where it withers into the grass like a dead snake.

“Answer me,” she yells to my face, “what are you doing with my Chiron?”

For a moment I am taken aback. I watch as she runs her practiced hands over her horse to make sure he’s okay. She plants a gentle kiss on the end of his muzzle and turns to me again, her expression not so tender.

“So?”

I don’t feel like defending myself. It was she who allowed her horse to wander and I who found him and brought him back.

“Next time I find your horse wandering in the woods,” I answer in a tone every bit as strident as the gypsy’s, “I’m taking him home with me. He’s too beautiful to be left to the wolves.”

I lean down to retrieve my leather belt from the grass and turn to walk away. To hell with her.

“Stop!”

And I do because I’m unhappy with the way this has resolved. I turn back. There’s a tear in the woman’s repentant eyes, her arms are wrapped around Chiron’s massive neck. I walk closer.

“I’m sorry,” she says haltingly in a thick Hungarian accent I didn’t recognize before. “It was unfair of me to take my anger out on you. Chiron means the world to me and I am angry at myself for not securing him properly so he wouldn’t wander off. Thank you for bringing him home.” She brushes the tears from her cheek and stands once again upright. “I am Erzebet. Except for my cat and my horse I travel alone. I am a fortune teller. Please, let me speak yours in gratitude for the return of Chiron.”

Now I’m uncomfortable in a whole other way.

“Really, it’s fine,” I say. “I’m just happy to have been able to restore him to you. The woods are a lonely place for the lost ones.”

Erzebet’s eyes seem to deepen in colour; almost mesmerizing. She turns to Chiron.

“What do you think, my beauty?”

Chiron puts his muzzle against Erzebet’s chest and sighs.

“Come … what is your name?” she asks me.

“Grace.”

“Come Grace … let Chiron, my wounded healer, be your guide.”

As the two of them walk away, bidding me follow, I feel their heart connection.

Erzebet calls back to me …

“You think you found Chiron in the woods today,” she stops, turns and smiles knowingly, “when, in fact, it is he that found you.”

~*~

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_nMy response to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

It Takes All Kinds

bride-of-poe

~*~

“Oooh, will you look at that! Look at what she’s wearing?”

Ethel did as her sister bade and turned to see Poe’s bride sashaying formidably down the aisle.

“I say, isn’t that a treat, then?” exclaimed Ethel with some enthusiasm.

“Whad’r’ya sayin’?” moped Mable. “It’s ‘orrendous!”

“What are you saying, you myopic mad woman? This is tremendous! Dark and sullen. Suits her perfectly!”

“But it’s a wedding, Ethel. What’s with that crow?”

“Mabel, Mabel, Mabel,” Ethel whispered to her sister, “Don’t be so blind. You had to know that Poe was going to choose a dark one. You just had to. His mum’s been dressing like a Gothic princess for years since our Malcolm died in that horrible spelunking accident. Always in mourning, that one. I mean, I miss our brother too, but at some point you have to move on. Still,” Ethel came up for air, “poor little Poe has never known anything different than the dark princess and it seems obvious to me that he would choose someone like his mum, so why would you be surprised? Besides, Isabella looks beautiful, don’t you think?”

Mabel pulled out a cotton handkerchief from her handbag and sniffed into it, dabbing at the tears that spilled in memory of her brother.

“Oh, Ethel,” she moaned as the shiver of fabric advanced sinuously down the aisle, “I know all of that. And I know Isabella is lovely, and Poe ‘as ‘ad to put up with a lot since his dad died, but I do prefer the traditional approach. This is a little bit too far off the tea wagon for my taste.” Mabel stopped and wiped her nose before finishing her thought. “Still, you’re right, it suits Isabella.”

“Yes, it does suit her. And they suit each other. It takes all kinds to make a world, and thank goodness for that or what a boring place this would be.”

Mabel turned to look at Poe waiting at the alter, darkly handsome and hormonal. Three bridesmaids adorned in black and carrying black and purple lilies and tulips with just a spray of baby’s breath here and there for contrast, wore make-up darkly contoured and defining. Almost haunting. The whole proceeding seemed more like a dark cartoon than a joyful tradition, in Mabel’s mind, but then, she was a simple woman with simple tastes, not prone to wandering into extremes. She offered up a deep sigh and an accepting smile as Isabella kicked the feathered train with a black-shoed foot and rustled by, leaving a wiggle in her wake.

Mabel turned once more to Ethel who was herself smiling at the independence of thought on display.

“Ethel?”

“Yes, Mabel, what do you want now?”

“Do you know if Hortense has set up tea during pictures?”

~*~

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_nAnother free write courtesy of Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday.

Thanks for stopping by …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Ignorance Is Rarely Bliss

vwquote

“It might also be possible that the world has whatever meaning you attach or, perhaps bring, to it,” Aunt Rose cautioned Sally. “Never take what anyone says at face value. Always explore something and measure it against your own truth. And, if you don’t know what your truth is, seek it out.”

“How do I do that, auntie?” young Sally asked.

“Open your heart to other possibilities. Use your mind to examine the evidence before you. Employ your gut instinct ~ that is, how does what you see or hear make you feel? If you are uncomfortable with something, it’s possible the meaning attached to it is not for you.” Aunt Rose considered further, “We all approach life from different departure points. My experience is not your experience. Our opinions may be the same on a matter but we will have to have arrived at our individual conclusions based on our own process if it is to mean anything. We must go through the process of personal affirmation and not allow ourselves to be bullied or blinded into something, it doesn’t matter what it is. And that includes your understanding of my point of view on this conversation.”

Sally thought for a moment. “Can you give me an example, auntie?”

“Well, dear, you know how your aunt Melanie, my sister, is uncomfortable around dogs?”

“Yes …”

“Does that mean you should be uncomfortable around dogs, too?”

“Maybe …”

“Why? Have you ever had a bad experience with a dog?”

“No, but … ”

Aunt Rose interrupted.

“Why should one person’s bad experience with a dog put you in the position of being afraid of dogs, Sally? Your aunt loves dogs but was attacked by a stray as a little girl. Since then she has kept a healthy distance from them, especially dogs she doesn’t know.” Aunt Rose paused for a moment, and then continued, “I ought to say, to be accurate, that she isn’t afraid of them as much as she chooses not be be around them. … That’s a healthier way of looking at it, I’d say. But should her experience make you fearful of them?”

Abbey copy 2Sally thought for a moment. “Perhaps the lesson to be learned, Aunt Rose, is to be mindful in the presence of dogs unfamiliar to you. For instance, I know I can wrap my arms around Abbey, our collie, but I would never do that to the neighbour’s doberman. He doesn’t know me and I don’t know him well enough to be that familiar. It’s about respect, isn’t it?”

Aunt Rose smiled.

“Yes, dear, if that is the meaning you wish to give it, it absolutely is. But that is a conclusion you have drawn yourself based on your own experience, and this is healthy. To assume a meaning without first giving something due consideration is born of ignorance and ignorance, as the great Charles Dickens said in his Christmas Carol is the most important thing of which to be aware. Remember the Ghost of Christmas Present when he said ” … beware this boy [who represented ignorance] for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”? Ignorance dooms us to misery. Look around you … how many miserable people do you know whose life might be changed for the better if they chose to look beyond their own ignorance?”

Sally recalled the scene from the old Alistair Sim movie, and and thought of her friend Francine who’d been peer-pressured into the drug scene and was ignorant of its long-term effects. She shuddered.

Aunt Rose leaned forward from her seat of power toward Sally seated on the sofa next to her and patted her niece on the shoulder.

“You’ll be alright, darling. Just keep asking questions and never be satisfied with assumptions. Ignorance is rarely bliss. Find the truth within yourself and you will find whatever meaning the world holds for you and be able to stand up to those who would lead you astray.” Aunt Rose’s mind drifted to her own friends ensnared in their own misery, and gave her niece’s shoulder a squeeze. “And for you, my dear, I hope it means a lifetime of happiness. … But that is up to you, of course.”

Sally smiled. “Of course. Thank you, auntie.”

“Now, young lady,” said the older woman, “let’s make some tea and find the chocolate biscuits. That was hungry work.”

~*~

Prompted by Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_n©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014