Culture

The Wanderer speaking to Death

by Herman Hesse

You will come to me too one day,
You will not forget me,
And the torment ends,
And the fetter breaks.

Still, you seem strange and far,
Dear brother Death,
You stand like a cold star
Above my trouble.

But some day you will be near
And full of flames.
Come, beloved, I am here,
Take me, I am yours.

The Origins of Gaelic

According to legend, the Scythian king, Fenius Farsa (or Fenius Farsaidh), visited the Tower of Babel shortly after its failure, only to find that that the builders of the tower had already dispersed.

Babel?

Babel?

Fenius stayed at the tower, but sent out seventy-two scholars to study each of the seventy-two languages that were now spoken by the builders of the tower. After ten years the scholars returned, and Fenius took the best parts of each language in order to create a “selected language”, which he named Goidelic after his companion Goídel mac Ethéoir. Fenius is also reputed to have discovered four writing systems, Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Ogham, and as Ogham was the most perfect of the four it was chosen for writing the Goidelic (i.e. Irish) language.

The fact that there are different languages is the most sinister fact in the world. It means that there are different names for the same things.

All linguistics hides the striving to reduce all languages back to one. The tale of the Tower of Babel is the tale of the second Fall of Man. After losing their innocence and eternal life, human beings wanted to grow artificially to the heavens.

First they had tasted of the wrong tree, now they had mastered its ways and grew straight up. In return, they lost what they had managed to retain after the First Fall: the unity of names.

(Elais Canetti)

The Family Healers

A village in Carmarthenshire in Wales, at the end of the 12th century. (more…)

Herblore

Agrimony – under the pillow, you won’t awaken until it is removed – it cleanses the goblins of the unconscious.

Alder – a tree of unity – Eaidor (Chief). For syeing, a fairy green from the flowers, brown from the twigs, and red from the bark. Sacred to the defeated, but still Bran.

Amaranth – flowers into a wreath for invisibility. Take the whole plant on a Friday full moon, and leave an offering. Wrap it in white cloth, and wear it against your chest, to be bullet-proof.

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Further Riddles

1.

He found some beautiful, sparkling pearls,
And gave them to me to keep,
But Alas! I can’t find now where I kept them,
I have searched every corner, even in the bazaar;
What to do, o my friend?
What will I give, when the beloved asks?

2.

A woman carrying fire on her head,
Hopelessly waiting for her lover;
Her body melting, can’t seem to control herself,
Crying, crying till the dawn.

Bruce Lee Speaks

To realize freedom, the mind has to learn to look at life, which is a vast movement without bondage of time, for freedom lies beyond the field of consciousness. Watch, but don’t stop and interpret, “I am free” – then you’re living in a memory of something that has gone. To understand and live now, everything of yesterday must die.

When our streets are green again

by John McGrath

And when our streets are green again
When metalled roads are green

And girls walk barefoot through the weeds
Of Regent Street, St. Martin’s Lane

And children hide in factories
Where Burdock bloom and Vetch and rust.

And Elms and Oaks and Chestnut trees
Are tall again and hope is lost

When up The Strand foxes glide
And hedgehogs sniff and wildcats yell

And golden Orioles come back
To flash through Barnes and Clerkenwell

When governments and industries
Lie choked by weeds in fertile rain

For sure the few who stay alive
Will laugh and grow to love again

Where the mind is without fear

by Rabindranath Tagore from Gitanjali

Where the mind is without fear

And the head is held high;

Where knowledge is free;

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments

by narrow domestic walls;

Where words come out from the depth of truth;

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way

into the dreary desert sand of habit;

Where the mind is led forward by thee

into ever widening thought and action –

Into that heaven of freedom,

Father, let my country awake.

The Voyage of the Arctic Tern

by Hugh Montgomery

The Jesters sometimes make their way
Past Wembury beach to Heybrook Head,
And in these places sift the sands
With patience, through their gentle hands,
In hope of finding on the shore
Some scarps of silver washed ashore:
Return, though, laughing if the beach
Has kept its treasure out of reach.

And if you take a stroll one day,
You too can walk to Heybrook Bay.
But if you search all day and find
No more than shells, then never mind.
It’s not just fools, but wise men too
Who know to value what is true:
The warmth of friendship – that’s the best,
Worth more than any treasure chest.

Weather Lore

Clouds flying in different directions, at different speeds and heights, foretell heavy rain.

Clouds sailing against the wind = rain

Clouds descending over hills = rain.

Clouds rising over hills = dry.

Rooks flying low = rain.

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