Here is the next part of Purnima (Book 7 of Waldmeer).
“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,” (T. S. Eliot)
Mr Peen’s Fire
Next full moon, Merlyn found herself not at Ajna Temple (the Manipura Dancers and Waldmeer Warriors collaboration had been postponed), nor at Purnima Passage. In fact, she wasn’t anywhere in Waldmeer. She was tossing and turning on Tom’s uncomfortable sofa bed in the city. It was Friday, and that meant adult ballet class, at the State Ballet, and then a visit to Tom & Hardy.
This short story (written in 2016) is in my newly published book, Touched by Love (Book 2 of The Great Love Affair Series).
Man cannot really live without attachments, but mostly we are reaching for the wrong attachment. (Thomas Hora)
Isobel watched Benedict walk unsteadily down his driveway towards the builders in the backyard. He hadn’t dressed properly. He had no underwear on and his track pants were ripped so that anyone who looked (perhaps, it was impossible not to look) could see his backside. Somehow, it was still a great looking backside for all that he had put his body through in recent years. There was no point telling him that he hadn’t dressed properly. He was too sick. Along the way, things like dignity get lost.
Here is the next part of Purnima (Book 7 of Waldmeer): Gum Flat.
Have you seen the bush by moonlight, from the train, go running by? Blackened log and stump and sapling, ghostly trees all dead and dry; Here a patch of glassy water; there a glimpse of mystic sky? Have you heard the still voice calling — yet so warm, and yet so cold: “I’m the Mother-Bush that bore you! Come to me when you are old”?
Did you see the Bush below you sweeping darkly to the Range, All unchanged and all unchanging, yet so very old and strange! While you thought in softened anger of the things that did estrange? (Did you hear the Bush a‑calling, when your heart was young and bold: “I’m the Mother-Bush that nursed you; come to me when you are old”?)
In the cutting or the tunnel, out of sight of stock or shed, Did you hear the grey Bush calling from the pine-ridge overhead: “You have seen the seas and cities — all is cold to you, or dead — All seems done and all seems told, but the grey-light turns to gold! I’m the Mother-Bush that loves you — come to me now you are old”?
(On The Night Train by Henry Lawson)
On the way to Gum Flat:
Merlyn read the Henry Lawson poem which was on the wall of the night train to Gum Flat. Written in 1922, the year of Lawson’s passing, it was his last poem. She looked out the dark window at the even darker bush running by and felt a profound sense of belonging and also a profound sense of separation – Have you heard the still voice calling — yet so warm, and yet so cold. It was the same land that Lawson saw, wrote about, and loved. This land doesn’t really change. It is too vast, ancient, detached, motherly. All unchanged and all unchanging, yet so very old and strange.
Here is the next part of Purnima (Book 7 of Waldmeer)
Urgent and Confidential
It was late morning before there was enough sun, on this biting mid-June morning, for Merlyn to sit outside her small rented flat. She sat there doing nothing, thinking nothing, staring at the sea below. This spot was the only place, at her home, where she could see the sea. It was worth sitting in the cold – coat, beanie, scarf, gloves. Anyway, cold or not, being outside always seems to change our perspective. It changes things that can best do with a change. The wind dismantles the heaviness, the light reorients the mind, the greenness invigorates hope, and the entire majestic dynamic of nature reminds us of our insignificance and also of our absolute significance.
Eventually, Merlyn checked her emails and read one from Prana Community marked Urgent and Confidential.
My grandfather, Michael John Pope, was a pioneer farmer in outback New South Wales, Australia. He built his small, four-room home, Little Oakey, from the creek-stones of the area. Behind the house was a wattle and daub (clay) kitchen and cellar. In that little home, with his wife Mary Jane, he raised five children in, what would be considered by today’s standards, primitive isolation. One of his daughters, my aunt, describes Little Oakey,
Our home was situated on Little Oakey Creek; a very pretty spot surrounded by lovely oak trees and mountains. There were paddocks, a creek running by the orchard, haystacks, a vegetable garden, wells dug in both gardens, wildflowers growing all around the flats, and a spring where we all swam. I always loved our home and dreamed about it many times and had happy times when going to school. Ann Pope
Although there were nicer shops a suburb or two closer to the city, Merlyn made a point of shopping at the Pittown ones. It seemed to her disloyal not to use them. Besides, she found the people interesting. Not infrequently, someone walked past her and turned their head to give her a second look. They looked like they thought they knew her, but then decided that they didn’t. Sometimes, they looked at her quizzically as if they were thinking that she didn’t belong in Pittown.
The bus driver announced that there would be a half hour stop at Wurt Wurt Koort to change a tyre. The road from Waldmeer to Darnall ran through the hills and forests of the Leleks. At the highest point was the little town of Wurt Wurt Koort. From the Wurt Wurt Koort Town Hall, if one looked further inland, one could see Darnall in the distance. In the other direction, one could just make out the sea. Waldmeer lay beside it.
At one time, Wurt Wurt Koort was a thriving, respectable hill-town, thus the presence of a rather pretentious town hall. However, the death of a local child changed all that and now it was surviving, but barely. Further, it was rumoured to be run by witches. It was said that they were the only ones who remained. They weren’t bad witches. In fact, a number of them had businesses and were visited, with some success, for healing, readings, and other mysterious type activities. There was a leadership group or coven of thirteen. They were all women, although, these days, they said that they were gender-neutral. They ranged from fifty to positively ancient. Their headquarters was the local cafe, the Wurt Wurt Koort Tearooms, which was next to the town hall.
After two days in Waldmeer, Malik said to his mother, “Enough lounging around. Today, I will get a job.”
“Alright,” said Faith hesitantly. “Do you have a particular sort of job in mind?” Malik had spent the first fourteen years of his life in a palace and the next ten in the Great Valley. He wasn’t overly qualified for Earth work. Aristotle, who was standing nearby, smiled. He had been on Earth long enough to realise the problem with Malik getting a job.
“I have many abilities,” said Malik. ”Someone will want me.”
Deciding not to dampen his enthusiasm, Faith refrained from giving him advice about the way things worked in Waldmeer and instead said, “Good luck. Anyone who gets you will be lucky.”