I stumbled across a site with an intriguing title, strange and magical stories, illustrated with the most fabulous photographs. Loving the atmospheric artistry, I invited the photographer over to be my guest…
An excerpt from the Dune Mouse Chronicles
Many years back Cybele moved to Vancouver Island with her parents where she lives to this day. Though the area is beautiful, she longed to escape into other realms and take on the persona of someone far more adventurous than the nervous and solitary mouse she perceived herself to be. Her parents had a small library and she began nibbling through Greek and Roman myths at a young age, along with Hans Christian Andersen, and Oscar Wilde, before finally graduating to Shakespeare and The Voyage of the Beagle. Early on, in prepubescence, there was a diagnosis of depression and a severe anxiety disorder; the kind that turned simple germs into insidious and paralyzing agents of death. “I’m sorry Cybele’s mother, but she has only days to live.” Mother never cried, she would come into Cybele’s room solemnly with mystical fluids and unguents of Castor Oil and Vicks Vapor Rub, administering to her daughter’s poor flesh like an ancient Egyptian embalmer.
Cybele never made the journey to the heavenly Field of Rushes. She would miraculously survive. At other times when she emerged from her den, she could scurry about with enthusiasm while her mind raced with thoughts she tried to make into stories, and she is remembered in the neighbourhood as the girl who would suddenly turn cartwheels in the middle of a conversation. In spite of distractions and flights of fancy, she managed to graduate High School with decent grades and enter college.
Cybele did escape eventually. Her parents arranged for a five week trip to Italy to visit a cousin. She did not return home for almost two years. It was one of the more manic phases of the mad mouse. This type of occurrence though infrequent was perfectly explainable as she didn’t seem to dwell in the same time frame as everyone else. As she herself wrote “Sometimes she found herself in a perfect bubble of stillness while the warbling note of a robin hung on eternity’s edge, and sometimes everything would spin off in all directions!”
She wandered through the Mediterranean area and North Africa and lived for a while in Greece on Leonard Cohen’s former haunt, the island of Hydra, scribbling untamed thoughts and romance until the Sirocco winds blew- and her exasperated father sent a ticket for her to come home and answer for herself. Cybele knew “the answer had long been lost in the seductive dance of an oasis mirage and in the mournful wail of the dunes as they are created and destroyed by the desert winds.”
Her credentials are sparse but her penchant for stories both verbal and visual grew. She did eventually marry. The adventure was short lived and disastrous but, she had a beautiful little girl. They have since traveled together through Ireland, Scotland and France always keeping in mind, Murphy’s Law; “when all else fails refer to the map or GPS.” Her daughter has an unerring sense of direction and an intuition about train and other schedules and keeping her mother on track.
While touring through the Yucatan Cybele became fascinated with the mystery of ancient Mayan culture and myth. She bought her first real camera, a Canon and read the history of deciphering Mayan glyphs. She loves both forest and old stones, light and shadow. There is only a fine line between a perception of reality and a vision, and so, as with all things her work is constantly changing and evolving.
“No mission can be taken without intense spiritual preparation. According to belief all duty was sacred ritual. Like the tree that rose up from the bowels of Xibalba, the messenger’s quest would parallel the voyage of souls from the underworld to the ultimate portal in the Milky Way. Within the great dream, the tree of life joined earth and heaven, and as branches grew into the turtle constellation of Ak- Ek, the leaves trembled constantly from the shimmering rain of stars.”
All quotes are taken from Cybele’s stories. You can find them here:
Read Cybele’s short stories online:
Flickr: Memories of a Buttonhook Child
I still seek old bones, tomes and philosphers’ stones and other wonderful nonsense. I love history and also, paleontology and amateur astronomy. And of course I travel whenever possible even if it is only to the mountains in the interior of British Columbia. I have both Celtic and Mediterranean roots and love old legends, including those of the Norse who had a great influence in parts of Scotland and Ireland. I recently wrote a story about a Selkie who exists in both Scottish and Icelandic myth. Photography is also food for the soul and I hope my images tell stories of their own but I often use them to compliment my tales.