Monday, March 13, 2006

California Snow, March 2006

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Mystery of the Cathedral

When we were on our honeymoon we visited the Auch Cathedral in Auch, France where I took these pictures. Famous art critic Emile Male once wrote: “For the breadth of thought, no work of this period equals the windows of Auch.”

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Kiss

Friday, February 25, 2005

Wedding Flowers

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Two Directions Two Perspectives

Once upon a time there was a little boy. His name was The Boy. He came across a road. A road split in two.

Now The Boy had to make a decision. Which path does he take? Does he go left? Or does he go right? Which path is the right path to take?

There was no scarecrow around to advise him.

So thinking, he thinks, …”The right path depends on your destination. Confident of your destination either path would bring one to it if one were certain of the destination. No matter which way you go as long as you remember where your going you will find it.”

So wherever you are there you are.

The End

One path winding up the final hill where two paths become one…

The Beginning

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Romance in France

Walking into the Auch Cathedral

He had proposed to me on our vacation last year. We were in France and had just toured the Auch Cathedral where I had taken the picture above.

The Cathedral is dedicated to the Black Virgin and all throughout there are carvings of demons and monstors, spiritual images, beautiful windows and much much more. It is a place of vision, of symbolism, of hidden knowledge.

The place just vibrates with a spiritual message. But what is that message? What is the inspiration behind it all?

Well with the wedding fast approaching and my mind reminiscing the day of the proposal I have posted a story of a wedding....

The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle

ONCE UPON A TIME, A LONG TIME AGO, A Celtic Welshman, whose ancestors reached back into Homer's ancient Troy where they fought against the Greek Agamemnon, this Celtic Welshman rose to be the first King Pendragon over the Kings of Wales, Cornwall, Manx, Scotland, Brittany and Ireland: Arthur, named for the great She-Bear Goddess Artemis, born of the ninefold Sea-goddess and cast ashore on the ninth wave, to land at Merlin's feet.

King Arthur who still rests behind the vale in Avelon, was then Pendragon with 150 Knights of the round table. Knights who in their day stood for courage, courtesy, generosity and fidelity to their word. This tale begins when King Arthur was hunting. And with his great bow he wounded a magnificent white stag, and as hunters will do, even to this day, Arthur followed the stag deep, deep, deep into the woods, into a small glade shaded by eighteen great oak trees laced with mistletoe.

Suddenly King Arthur was confronted by a huge, giant knight dressed in shimmering green armor. "Ah, who dare hunt the stag in my wood?"

"I am King Arthur, Pendragon of these lands this be my wood."

"Arthur you are not my King Pendragon. This ancient sacred wood be my domain, my kingdom, and here I be the Wood Lord, and the old laws against poaching is death by beheading!" The green knight began to draw his great broadsword.

King Arthur dressed for hunting, without battle armor would only stand tall with the courage of knighthood. "Green knight, I hear your birds singing in yon tall trees, I see your aged Oaks are festooned with mistletoe, and your meadow with it's twisting, gurgling brook bedecked with bowers of flowers, hovering butterflies, buzzing bees and sheltered under white clouds floating through your blue sky. If Arthur must stand and die, what better day could be chosen so fair, for even the sweet fragrance of honeysuckle is in the air!"

"Ah, Arthur you have the courage of a warrior king. I'll tell you what I'll do. I will parole thee with riddle. Return within one year and a day, on your word, and bring a true answer to this riddle question. Arthur, what thing is it that all women desire above all else. A false answer Arthur will be your death be it rain or shine. A true answer will be your pardon for poaching."

King Arthur agreed and gave his word to return by the appointed time. During the year King Arthur, his knights and advisors went forth, north, south, east and west asking the riddle question and many, many, many answers did they receive. The year was near spent when King Arthur returned to the wood, mulling over in his mind the numerous answers, uneasy in thought, wondering if he had the true answer to the riddle question. As Arthur reached the edge of the forest he came upon a hideous looking woman seated between a tall oak tree and a green holly tree, dressed in bright scarlet red.

As Arthur was riding past the woman spoke. "Arthur hold and look on this grim personage. I am Ragnell. Dame Ragnell and I am sister to the Green Knight. Arthur I know the true answer to your riddle. And Arthur, I would trade what I know for what I want, if you want to see the sun rise tomorrow."

"Dame Ragnell, for my life, what thou want, on my oath, if able I will give."

"Arthur what I wilt, for your life, is for thee to ask, thy nephew Sir Gawain, to wed me and become husband to Dame Ragnell."

Let me tell you about Sir Gawain. Sir Gawain, who in his day, had the fairest flesh in the land; Sir Gawain who's strength and courage was greater then any knight of the Round Table; Sir Gawain who's strength and courage in battle increased three fold between mid morning and noon and mid afternoon and dusk; and when the battle rage was upon him, Sir Gawain could walk across a meadow of grass and not bend a blade; Sir Gawain whom all other knights held in great reverence for gentle was his nature and great was his modesty.

Let me tell you about Dame Ragnell. She was incredibly ugly. Green tusks grew from her mouth and curled toward her ears. Her face was shaped with a snout with little red beady eyes. Her hair was matted with filth and little creatures crawled among the strands. Her bent and twisted hairy body with crocked legs and massive ankles was covered with open oozing sores. Her dugs hung below her knees.

Let me tell you what King Arthur did not know, yet our Celtic ancestors, listening to this story, two thousand years ago, knew and understood. The ancient audiences knew when they heard the name Dame Ragnell that she was the raging storm, the devastating tornado, the erupting volcano. The ancient audiences knew that Dame Ragnell was the great floods, the mud slides, the destructive earthquakes. They also knew that Dame Ragnell was the rolling hills, the valleys, the snow topped mountains, the rippling brook, the waterfall, the lakes, the streams, the ground we walk on. The ancient audience knew Dame Ragnell by many names: Morriga, Bridget, Macha, Frey, Dana, Diana, The Queen of May, The lady of the Lake, who gave King Arthur his sword Excaliber. You should know as they knew that Dame Ragnell, the sister, was our earth mother incarnate, the ninefold Goddess with nine faces and nine names.

And you should know that the Green Knight, Dame Ragnell's brother, King of the Sacred Grove, Dagda or Fray is that which lives and dies on mother earth. You should know that he is the spirit of vegetation, fertility, peace. He sends the rain, the sun shine, he makes the crops grow, mothers to bring forth, flocks and herds to multiply, even the crystals in mother earth to grow. The Green Knight, is father May, and he was known too as Lug, Dionysus, Osires, Adonis and the Celt's Aryan ancestors, the Kurgans, who crossed the Himalayan mountains into India called him Krishna.

But King Arthur, the Celtic Pendragon, in this story, did not knew this ancient knowledge. King Arthur did not know who Dame Ragnell was but he did know and love his nephew Sir Gawain. And he did know Sir Gawain as a loyal, courteous and generous knight. And did I tell you the ladies knew the handsome knight Sir Gawain? Did I tell you the ladies knew that Sir Gawain's words, thoughts and acts were always in balance? Did I tell you the ladies knew Sir Gawain never told a lie? Did I tell you the ladies knew he was integrity and fidelity? Did I tell you he was loved? Did I tell you he was chivalry?

"Dame Ragnell, I will ask Sir Gawain to be thy husband but I will not command, it will be his choice."

Dame Ragnell smiled and nodded her head and told King Arthur the true answer to the riddle question. Arthur entered the forest and again found the Green Knight. "Augh, Arthur! Do you have true answer to my riddle?" Answer after answer after answer Arthur gave, collected from all his advisors and to each the Green Giant said, nay. The Green Knight began to draw his sword.

"Hold thy hand Green Knight there be one more answer to what all women desire above all else and that is sovereignty, the right to choose, the right to be free from outside interference."
"Well, Pendragon Arthur, you have learned your lesson well. I pardon thee from poaching."
Arthur thanked the Green Knight and returned again to Tintagel but now with a heavy heart. He sought out his nephew Sir Gawain and told him of his agreement with Dame Ragnell and described her in all her odorous foulness. And Sir Gawain said, "Be not concerned uncle I will wed the lady." And he persisted, and Arthur reluctantly consented.

The wedding day arrived and the wedding took place on the rising sun but not with the usual jocularity. All had a heavy heart at this wedding for even after cleansing Dame Ragnell was unsightly. That afternoon Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell talked of many things and as the sun set, they retired to their rooms. Sir Gawain turned to fall asleep.
"Sir Gawain, be it not your duty on your wedding night to bid thy wife a good night before sleep?"
And Sir Gawain answered, "Aye, It be my duty to bid my wife a good night, and to kiss my wife and to hug my wife and more too and all that I will do!" And turning hand and eye to his wife he found beauty!
"Ahhh, husband, you like this form? But first you must choose. I can be beautiful for you at night or beautiful for your friends by day, but not both, I must share my other form."

"Lady Ragnell. You have your own will I yield to your choice."

And the Lady Ragnell having sovereignty recognized, chose to be beautiful both day and night. And the handsome Sir Gawain and the beautiful Lady Ragnell choose to be faithful to each other throughout their lives.

This be the end of this old legend, The Green Knight, well he later became a Knight of the Round Table. However our ancient ancestors, when they heard this legend, they were reminded that not only was this legend about a woman's right of sovereignty but also when exercising choice one needs to stay in balance with the people one is bonded to. Did not Lady Ragnell choose on behalf of her mate. These legends reminded one of the bonding between a young couple that lasts into the craggy lines of old age, the love of the young for the old, the love of a parent for a child who is not perfect.

The ancient Celts understood that in this legend not only was Dame Ragnell a manifestation of the Earth Mother but so was the perfect man Sir Gawain also a manifestation of the Love of God for the Creation in all its manifestations and so was the Green Knight but one more manifestation of the Earth Mother who in olden times came to us in many forms in order to teach us how to live one with the other.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Secrets of Eternal Love

Telling your secrets to someone can be hard. But for love to grow, for love to be real, and for love that lasts, it is a process that must be completed.

In the movie “Meet Joe Black”, Jeffrey Tamber plays Quince, the son-in law of wealthy William Parrish played by Anthony Hopkins. Quince explains to Joe Black that by telling ALL your secrets to your partner gives you the freedom to just be loved.

A book I highly recommend to every woman is Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PH.D. In this book she writes:

“Shameful secrets cause a person to become haunted. She cannot sleep, for a shaming secret is like a cruel barbed wire that catches her across the gut as she tries to run free. The secrets of shame are destructive not only to a woman’s mental health but to her relationships with the instinctive nature.”