healing haven

September 10, 2008

Whose Hands?

Filed under: memoir,poem,Pythian Games — by thalia @ 4:42 am


I remember her hands, slim and graceful,

gently rounded fingernails

sometimes painted with a soft rose nailpolish,

sometimes cut up from yardwork or from building something.


Hands that could wield a hammer or a needle,

 pounding work or delicate work,

                sometimes doing construction as when building her house

                sometimes doing embroidery or cruel needlework.



Hands that made crocheted gifts for Christmas one year and

hand drawn with the recipient’s interest painted on tee shirts the next. 

                sometimes making and carving candles

                sometimes making beaded flower arrangements for all.


Hands that hammered two by four’s

hands that carried large cement blocks

                sometimes up scaffolding while building a chimney

                sometimes making a retaining wall.


Hands that made things from scratch

hands reddened from boiling water or strained black raspberries,

                sometimes making tofu or bread

                sometimes canning veggies and making jellies.


Hands that hammered wallboard

hands that spackled and sanded each wallboard joint

                sometimes painting ceilings and walls

                sometimes slapping on tar to waterproof basement walls.


Hands that danced through the air

as explanations needed visual expression,

                sometimes in graceful dancing

                sometimes in pointed conversations.


Hands that changed diapers

hands that delighted to convey love to others through touch, 

                sometimes to hold and caress

                sometimes to massage and heal.


But what has happened to those hands?

Whose hands do I now see?

                sometimes bloated from water retention

                sometimes aching from too much work

                sometimes not seeming like the same hands of yore

                sometimes I wonder: whose hands are they?


They are my hands now: aging, not as graceful

hands that convey the passage of time,

                sometimes still able to massage and heal

                sometimes to make bread or draw

                sometimes to build something or paint

sometimes pull weeds and plant.


More likely than not they are dry, needing lotion

or aching from too much writing or weeding

                always wanting to impart love and touch

                always wanting to distill a little more beauty

                                into gardens, or recipes, or creative gifts

                                into life, work, people, love.


They are my hands now—no one else’s

 I am proud of the legacy they reveal

                only to those who have the wisdom to see

                life enhances, not detracts, from the beauty of hands.



September 5, 2008

Meeting Triton (15)

Filed under: Enchanteur,fiction,shape shifting — by thalia @ 4:14 pm
Tags: , ,


Settling into a steady swim with broad sweeps of her powerful tail, Thalia moved quickly over the ocean floor strewn with shells, little fish seeking food, a discarded can here and there previously tossed onto the beach by someone careless and taken out with the tides, pieces of beach-washed and eroded glass of various hues from old soda and beer bottles.  She wasn’t exactly sure where she was headed so she ranged along the shoreline a bit, looking for something that would show her the way.  There was enough of the human in her to be annoyed at people throwing things away rather than recycling or at least placing into garbage bins.  The fish part just observed the objects as part of the landscape.  Until one gets caught in a plastic ring holding a six-pack of cans togetheror swallows a metal tab from a can.  None of us seem to be really aware until us, or someone we love, are hurt.


She entered a current leading away from the beach, a current of warmer, faster moving water.  Deciding to follow that for a while, Thalia changed direction with a flip of her tail and her fins, and basked in the warmth of the water.  She could see lights flickering in the distance and assumed it was the play of sunlight on the surface, reflecting down.  But she could discern colors in the light as she approached, colors becoming increasingly vivid and tantalizing.  The colors of the rainbow!  Here is where the rainbow intersected with the sea.  How beautiful!  But the other fish seem to be avoiding the area.  I wonder why?  It would be like my time of riding the rainbow to Rainbow Beach.  All that color and light surrounding me, embracing me.  Dare I risk it?  Will it be the same or is there a problem? 




She circled around and around the area where the crayon-lights penetrated the water, watching the fish as they approached.  It was almost as if there was a barrier: they would swim up to a point, then turn around and dart away.   The colors sparkle!  It looks as if the light-crystals would penetrate into whoever or whatever was in its path.  Light therapy!  Let the body be immersed in colors of all hues to help heal and become whole.  But there is also a hum, a sound, emanating from the rainbow.  Light and sound therapy!  So each organ and body part takes what it needs to move to the correct vibration, whether of light or sound or any combination it needs for wholeness and wellness.  Each being knows what it needs.  This would allow each part to receive the frequencies necessary for its growth.  Synergistic!  The whole is equal to more than the sum of its parts.   The merging of sound and light—what could be better?


Thalia edged into the whirling mix of colors and sounds, arching this way and that to be sure all parts of her were exposed.  She wound up automatically twirling in the encounter, not sure what she was seeing or feeling or hearing.  Closing her eyes momentarily, she gave herself up to the experience.


Once again she was riding the rainbow.  But this time she was not only riding the rainbow ever upwards through the ocean, she continued the ride into the air as the rainbow curved around the earth, then up into the heavens.  It was all part of her, one with her.  She was that and that and that as she encompassed all things.  She rose so high she was now coming back down, around the earth again, and then up through the earth and emerging into the ocean again.  She was back where she started, but was no longer who she was when she started.  She recalled the quote by TS Elliot: …the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.





Then suddenly, the colors and sound disappeared.  In their place was darkness and silence.  She waited, holding on to the sense of wonder.   The smell reached her before she could see what it rode on.  A putrid, disgusting, overwhelming smell of fumes and sulphur and noxious toxins.  She recoiled reflexively as her gills reacted to the smell of decay and corrupting flesh.  The darkness thickened, shimmered and took on a hideous form.  Was this the Triton she heard about?     Half man and half fish?  Exacting a price to allow anyone to pass to the Island of Mudjimba?  She remembered pictures from mythologies, teeth bared, grotesque smile. The better to eat you?   




The smell and sight was so overpowering, she wanted to recoil from him.  Not just odious, but a sense of evil emanated from him.  The hell-fire red eyes added to the sense of evil.  Was this Triton?  Or something else?  Much worse?  The smells became suffocating, and the baseness, the heaviness of his presence seemed to drag on her.  Repelling–yet drawing her as a magnet of negative pole draws one of positive pole.  Lumps all over his face and body, maybe tumors?  Black, sharpened teeth.  Arms outstretched as if to welcome but seem more ready to envelope and annihilate.       


And yet?  She knew she was that, too.  She needed to relax her fears and extend love to this creature, whatever it was.  A few deep breaths, a remembrance of the rainbow experience and the connections to all things, “this, too, oh Lord.  I am that.”  She could feel the love fill her from Grace, and pour out of her, from Grace.  She reached for the black crystal in her hair and offered it to him, in love, in connection.  His aura altered as he graciously received the crystal, and held it close to better see.  Thalia could observe the crystal first enhancing the red fire from his eyes, but then changing it into many colors, like the rainbow, and finally, into sparkling white light.  


His appearance changed.  Long seaweed-rope hair, crystal ocean-blue clear eyes, human upper body and arms with green fish tail.  Still strange but more familiar.  His words bubbled out:  Sirrssle…welcome home!  You’ve been away for a long time.  We’ve missed you.




What do you mean?  Who are you?


I am your father, Sirrssle.  You disappeared many, many tides ago.  We could find no trace of you.


My father?  How can that be?  You now look familiar, but…


I gave you this black crystal when you matured to the egg-laying stage, to protect and remind you of your ocean origins, no matter where you travelled.  And now you bring it back to me.  I am the Guardian of the Deep.  Those who are frightened of me in my other form, flee.  Those who can accept or even love, are allowed entrance.  You have returned to your family, from once upon a tide.


But I am human now.


You did not appear human as you swam here.


I am able to shape-shift.


Can humans do that?  I didn’t know that.


They can if they focus and are able to move beyond themselves and what they think is their identity.  Most don’t.  But I don’t look like you.


He held up a polished piece of glass, now a mirror.  She could see herself, no longer all fish but now a meld of fish below with green scales on a fish tail with human features.  Well, not exactly human—my face would be considered ugly by human standards. My long, rough rope-hair looks rather coarse and ungainly, and is such an odd shade of brown with green highlights.  And my skin is really slightly scaly with protrusions that I thought were tumors on him.  No, I would be considered ugly.  But somehow he…father? Doesn’t seem so ugly now.  He seems natural, like a mer-person.  Pre-Atlantian or future earth… or both? 






He swam off, to who knows where?  She hesitated, looked in the mirror again, then followed.


Thalia had met the Triton, and he was her.




(see also:  http://enchanteur.wordpress.com/2008/09/06/meeting-triton/#comments)




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