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

After The Thrill Is Gone … Maybe

fireworks

“These people, who launch fireworks like every weekend is the fourth of July, just don’t get it, do they?” Sarah leapt from her chair, a look of worry planted in her eyes.

“What’s that?” Michael asked in all innocence. “I don’t hear anything.”

Sarah eyeballed him. “Of course you don’t. It hasn’t started yet. Just wait.”

Michael focused his attention back on the TV and the ninth inning of a cliffhanger Sarah didn’t get.

“Michael!”

The room fell silent as Michael, aware there was no way to side step his young wife’s anxiety, finally hit “mute” and turned to listen. The winning run had been scored. He could relax.

He sighed. “I wish I understood. Tell me.”

Sarah sat beside him on the two-seater burgundy leather sofa. She checked the time on the clock above the mantle and reached for her husband’s hand. Any minute now, the not-so-magic hour of 10 p.m. would be marked.

“Listen.”

More silence. Then …

Boom! Bang! Whistle! Boom! Boom! Boom!

… for ten solid minutes the still magic of a summer’s evening was a bombast of cannon and shot from some neighbour’s yard somewhere down the street.

After a final flourish it was all over, the night its peaceful self once more.

Sarah spoke.

“Do you realize that every Saturday night since Memorial Day someone, somewhere in our small town has bombarded the air with this stuff. In the process, something designed to be magical has become annoying instead. The thrill is gone.” She stood and walked over to the window. “Never mind the fact we can’t even see the damn sparks fly, but we must listen to it, every weekend because apparently a summer Saturday night is incomplete without noise.” Sarah closed the window and continued staring into the darkness. “I dread Saturday nights now. Instead of being happy for other people’s festive happiness, my teeth grate and blood boils because yet again the silence has been needlessly disturbed. I don’t know how Maggie and Steve next door manage their tiny triplets with all this noise going on. They must have to shut every window in the house which, frankly, isn’t fair.”

Michael watched Sarah closely. The sparkle of her heightened awareness not lost on him. He slowly flipped the TV remote in his hand, over and over. He knew his young, sensitive wife was not yet finished talking.

“And does anyone even consider the trauma inflicted on the tiny animals who must endure this unnatural disruption?  Poor babies. The birds; squirrels; chipmunks; cats; dogs must all tuck themselves away from the horror of it.” Sarah took a breath. “Mrs. McGregor across the street says her cocker spaniel, Rupert, hides under the bed every time a thunderstorm rolls through, never mind the worried look he gets in his eye and the chair he hinds behind when the fireworks start cracking. It’s traumatizing for the little ones, really it is … ” she paused, “and downright bloody annoying for the rest of us who prefer a quiet evening in on the weekend.”

“Isn’t that what Sundays are for?” Michael responded, not meaning to sound flippant.

Sarah turned and sent him a withered look of warning.

Michael smiled. He knew she was simply letting off steam.

“Come on,” he coaxed, “I know how we can have our own display of fireworks … and not disturb the neighbours … maybe.” He winked.

Sarah felt a thrill and smiled back.

“Of course you do …”

~*~

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_nMy response to Kellie Elmore’s image prompt for this week Free Write Friday.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

 

 

 

A Poet Out Standing In His Field

Bear relaxesToday I have the distinct pleasure of interviewing one Shakespeare “The Equine,” a poet out standing in his field and, reportedly, a legend in his own mind.

The Daily Haymaker: Good day, Mr. Shakespeare.

Poet: Hay! And please, call me Mr. Bear.

The Daily Haymaker: Right then, Mr. Bear. Lovely of you to join us from Poet’s Paddock today. How are things in pastures green?

Poet: Well, Mr. Haymaker, we’re pretty laid back out there these days. The cruel winter is behind us, but we’re still waiting for the grass to be greener on our side of the fence. Everything is very late.

The Daily Haymaker: Are you the only poet in your paddock?

Poet: Yes, yes I am.

The Daily Haymaker: Would you please tell our readers at The Daily Haymaker

Poet: Great name, by the way …

The Daily Haymaker: Well, thank you …. Now if you could explain to our readers just when you came upon your poetic prowess.

Poet: Well, it all started with the Scribe, of course.

The Daily Haymaker: Scribe?

Poet: Yes. As you might imagine, having hooves puts me at quite a disadvantage when it comes to recording my musings.

The Daily Haymaker: Indeed!

Poet: So, naturally when I was looking for a sucker, I mean horse mom to call my own I scanned the radar for someone who could write reasonably intelligibly.

The Daily Haymaker: And you believe you found him? Her?

Poet: Her, actually. Yes, I did, though I let said Scribe and horse mom believe that she found me. It’s easier that way.

The Daily Haymaker: Of course. So, how long did it take for you to plant the idea in your horse mom’s head that you had creative notions you wanted to get off your mind?

Poet: Not long, actually. She’s a sensitive soul and I could tell she was looking for an outlet. You know these artistic types, and if they’ve been in any kind of creative drought well, as you might imagine, they’re an easy target.

The Daily Haymaker: So, how does the creative process work for both of you?

Poet: Actually, Mr. Haymaker, I stand out in my field and eat, and she shows up at the barn one day and tells me we’ve written a poem.

The Daily Haymaker: Really, it’s that simple?

Poet: Absolutely!

The Daily Haymaker: How many poems have you written together? Any chance of a recitation? A couple of lines, perhaps?

Poet: Well, we have self-published three short chapbooks so far, and we’re working on a collection of sonnets. As for a recitation ~ from my Sonnet XIV, second stanza:

While beauty lies within the eyes that see

And no two eyes shall ever see the same

Believe, I must, her eyes were meant for me,

While others’ eyes their own beauty proclaim.

For handsome though I be to all who care

It matters most to she who calls me Bear.

The Daily Haymaker: Yes, a sonnet ~ like your namesake William Shakespeare?

Poet: Who?

The Daily Haymaker: William Shakespeare? The Elizabethan poet? You must have heard of him.

Poet: Neigh. The only other Shakespeare of which I am aware is my father, Shakespeare in Love.

The Daily Haymaker: Really?

Poet: Yes. And, just as a side, his father was Sherlock Holmes.

The Daily Haymaker: Indeed! An illustrious background to be sure. Where were you born?

Poet: Well, Germany. I’m Hanoverian. Some call me the Happy Hanoverian because I’m so, well, happy. Still, I don’t suffer fools.

The Daily Haymaker: And your relationship with your father?

Poet: I’ve never met him, but the Scribe has shown me a photograph. A handsome stud, to be sure. But then …

The Daily Haymaker: Of course, I can tell as you yourself are quite debonair.

Poet: Well, thank you, thank you very much. My mother, as I recall, was quite beautiful also. I have her even temperament.

The Daily Haymaker: And what do you do for exercise ~ you know, to keep the creative juices flowing?

Poet: Well, I’m trained in classical dressage, actually. One of my present challenges is to get back into shape since the Scribe has been unwell and I’ve had to back off my training. Things are picking up again, however, and this pleases me.

The Daily Haymaker: Any chance you’ll show?

Poet: I can’t answer that. It’s up to the Scribe. I’d be happy to but then, she must be comfortable.

The Daily Haymaker: That’s awfully generous of you.

Poet: Naturlïch.

The Daily Haymaker: And now, Mr. Shakespeare, I mean Mr. Bear, where might one read your poetic renderings? Actually first of all, please explain your nickname.

Poet: Actually, it’s not a nickname, it’s a barn name. It’s something the horse moms do to make life easier for themselves. Some equines, like myself, have rather sophisticated names noted in the breed registry which are quite cumbersome to use on a daily basis. Creating a barn name makes sense. In fact, I don’t mind the name Bear. I’m told it was given to me because I’m like a big, cuddly teddy bear, whatever that is. I try to maintain my dignity by not thinking about it too much. Still, I get the sense it suits me.

The Daily Haymaker: I’m sure it does. Do you get called “Bear the Bard?”

Poet: No.

The Daily Haymaker: Now, where can one find your poetry?

Poet: I have my own website, Poet’s Paddock. It’s currently being redesigned, but I believe it’s still up for grazing.

The Daily Haymaker: Marvellous! Well, thank you so much for stopping by The Daily Haymaker today. It’s been a pleasure to speak with you.

Poet: Pleasure’s all mine. Say, do you have some spare hay for a starving artist?

~*~

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_nMy response to Free Write Friday with Kellie Elmore.

Here is the prompt:

per·son·i·fi·ca·tion
pərˌsänəfiˈkāSHən/
noun
1.
the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.
Select something nonhuman and write about it as though it were human. It is up to you whether or not you reveal what it is, but I have found it a lot of fun to leave it a mystery and allow others to guess at what you were writing about.

~*~

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Just A Statue

“That’s a bit dark, isn’t it?” Mona screwed her mouth into a pouty knot and grimaced. “Miss Liberty looks like she’s had a few.”

“A few what?” asked Lisa.

“You know, molto vino.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! It’s a statue!”

“Whatever … she’s seen better days.”

“No doubt.”

Mona and Lisa stood together and studied the desolate rendering.

“I wonder what it means,” Mona offered a half smile only half interested.

Lisa withdrew into herself for a moment, an emptiness filling her eyes that Mona found profoundly disturbing.

“What’s up with you?” Mona asked between smacks of gum.

Lisa didn’t answer right away, trying to grasp the image’s message. Sharing how she felt was going to be a challenge. Mona was easily distracted.

“I’m trying to imagine myself empty, broken and as betrayed as that poor Miss Liberty,” Lisa explained. “I’m trying to imagine everything I represent crumbling on uncertain ground and me landing in a heap with my head smashed in.”

Mona wasn’t buying it.

“But it’s just a broken statue. It doesn’t mean anything,” she whined.

“It’s not the statue, it’s what it represents ~ liberty and freedom for all. What if we forget that freedom demands responsibility; demands it be supported by deeds and not just paid lip service.” A tear sprung to Lisa’s eye. “Imagine how you might feel if the very people who claimed to love you undermined everything you represented by their actions or, for that matter, inaction. When we forget who we truly are, when we forget what it truly means to be free and are unwilling to defend that to our deaths we are as fallen as that statue. We need to wake up. We need to wake up soon.”

Mona thought for a moment. Took another look at the image and sighed. She couldn’t see any meaning.

“You’re weird. It’s just an ugly piece of art.”

Lisa turned to face the friend she realized she hardly knew.

“Perhaps, but we’re both free … for now.”

~*~

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_nMy response to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday challenge this week. Follow this link to find the image prompt.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

The Writer’s Nightmare

Weekly Writing Challenge: Poetry

 The Writer’s Nightmare

No inspiration,
There is none,
I sit here, void, and
Twiddle thumbs.
It’s writer’s block that
Bogs me down.
The channel closed;
My smile a frown.
I patiently await a sign,
A notion that
Might just be mine,
That from the Ether
Will descend
And soon to Earth
Through me be penned.
But somehow it
Has missed
Its mark,
The channel
Unaligned; no
Spark.
A shift in
Wave length
Must be wrought
Before the
Words flow
Into thought.
So ’til that time I
Wait and
Wait and wait and
Wait and wait and wait,
Til once again Muse
Can be free
With words and thus
Inspire me.

~*~

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014