The Soft Emptiness of a Liminal Place -Alethea Kehas

Image by Adrian Campfield from Pixabay

I am already missing her and she is not wholly gone. When I search for her presence, I find the soft emptiness of the liminal place. Holding. Waiting. I don’t want to think about grief, again. A prolonged letting go that takes me on a journey to uncomfortable landscapes. We grasp at the tangible only to discover that we will eventually reach the cliff of letting go, not knowing when we will arrive there.

And sometimes there is no liminal place to linger.

It is a test to step into the space of soft uncertainty and feel the soul cocooned between the life and death of the temporary vessel. I do not want to think about pain and heartache. Those sitting beside her, holding the space. Holding her hand. I do not want to think of the labored breath before it breaks free. Pain seems incredibly unfair for a life filled with such grace.

I want to think of what came before and what comes after. That vibrant spirit that touched so many lives with magic, including my own, finding joy once again. Yes, I want to think of joy. The unbound soul flying free…

Continue reading at The Light Behind the Story

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Lost in translation


We were talking today about how much is lost in translation. This was being discussed from an abstract, as well as a literal viewpoint.

It started with a conversation about books and moved on to language in general and thence to poetry and song. I mentioned Jacques Brel, a poet, singer and performer of, in my opinion, utter genius, who wrote almost exclusively in French. Many people know the songs for which he was best known, even though they are generally known best in English as cover versions.

To take one of the original songs and translate it into literal but literate English is fine.. it allows access to the meaning, but not the poetry. To take the original and make it into a song that has rhyme and rhythm is wonderful…

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

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A Fear of Heights blog tour… a new novel from Tallis Steelyard aka Jim Webster

Running in, please pass?

I suppose that because we helped Maljie acquire her new sedan chair, we are all somewhat to blame. She had had a chair of her own but frankly it was getting old, tired and a little bent. Not only that she had trouble getting chair-men and it was often easier just to hire a chair with the bearers for the evening. But the mendicants put their heads together. It appeared that they came to the conclusion that Maljie, with a chair of her own, would

travel more and thus spend less time around the Shrine of Aea in her Aspect as the Personification of Tempered Enthusiasm, bothering them. They raised this issue with Laxey, and he pointed out to them that whilst the chair was important, so was the possession of a reliable team of bearers.

“Ah,” said one of the mendicants, “We can be the bearers.”

Reliable team of bearers.” Laxey repeated.

The mendicants went away and there was another serious discussion. Then they came back and pointed out that if they formed three, four person teams, they would always have a team ‘on duty’ and ready for immediate deployment. Laxey agreed that this would work. The mendicants pointed out that obviously the team ‘on duty’ would have to be excused work so that they were available to fulfil Maljie’s slightest whims.

Shuddering slightly, Laxey asked dryly whether the team excused work would also miss meals? The mendicants suggested that the team eat their meal next to the chair. With this level of planning and dedication, Laxey decided that the mendicants should be given their heads in the matter. After all, he too was not entirely unaware of the advantages which could accrue if Maljie was kept suitably busy harassing somebody other than him. As he said to the mendicants, all they had to do was to raise the money for a chair.

Sedan chairs are not cheap, and two person chairs don’t often appear on the second-hand market. Yet, within two days of Laxey giving his permission, the mendicants appeared in the shrine with a chair. The fact that they arrived during the hours of darkness and with the chair shrouded with sheeting, would make anybody suspicious. As was their insistence that it ought to be repainted immediately.

It was at this point that the deacon put his foot down and gave them a long lecture. The Idiosyncratic Diaconate is well named. The deacon excoriated them. He pointed out the quality of the wood. He bewailed the poor quality of varnish and paint that already defaced a potentially fine chair. He showed them how to take a chair apart and then had them sanding down all the pieces. Then he inspected every piece of wood carefully, showed them how to look for signs of strain and splitting. Then where a piece was perhaps worn, he used it as a template and showed them how to make a new piece. The next problem was that there was a mixture of woods and so the chair would have to be stained. Various stains were tried on small test pieces, and then somebody had the bright idea of just staining the whole chair gunmetal. This had two advantages, as far as we knew, there wasn’t another gunmetal sedan chair in Port Naain. Also the mendicants had acquired a large pot of the stain very reasonable. So reasonable that when she heard about it the Incumbent insisted they take it back, but fortunately they produced a receipt to show they had genuinely purchased it. Or at least had been given money to carry it away.

To be fair, whilst our mendicants may have a somewhat nebulous grasp of property rights, the transaction costs inherent within the system, or even basic theology, quite a few of them are well on the way to becoming useful carpenters.

Eventually, the various parts of the chair were stained. It was then reassembled varnished and polished. As a final touch, I had Ingenious Trool, painter of chamber pots, paint to bucolic scenes on the door panels. Here I feel Trool had rather exceeded his brief. I’d asked for bucolic and to be fair, nymphs and shepherds are indeed bucolic. Still I felt matters were rather more down to earth than was perhaps called for.

Still, on Maljie’s birthday, when four well-scrubbed mendicants carried the chair to her front door, it was obvious Maljie was genuinely touched. She was obviously impressed with her new acquisition. She was forever using it to travel distances barely more than a stone-throw. Any number of friends were offered lifts over similar short distances. It was indeed a splendid chair.

Obviously, such things produce jealousy amongst those lesser lights who seek to substitute the excellence of their possessions for the natural good qualities they personally lack. Whilst the chair was unique and drew gasps of admiration, the bearers did not have the same response. The problem is that mendicants remain mendicants, no matter how much you scrub them. Laxey had even gone to the trouble of issuing each of the sixteen bearers with a new robe. But still, other ladies had professional bearers. These would be superbly muscled individuals with tight britches and silk stockings to show off fine legs and firm buttocks. The mendicants didn’t really shine in this regard, new robe or no new robe.

After an evening of disparaging comments from two ladies who prided themselves in their well balanced and exquisitely proportioned teams, Maljie had had enough. She challenged them to a race around the city. Eventually it was agreed that the race would start at the fane of Aea, Guardian of the Roads. It would proceed down Three Mills Prospect, then along Ropewalk, before following the road through the Merchant Quarter and the race would finish at the Shrine of Aea in her Aspect as the Personification of Tempered Enthusiasm. Personally I suspect her competitors agreed to finish there because they hoped to humiliate Maljie in front of those at the shrine. But Maljie had her own plans.

At the first mile, Maljie and her chair were lagging. This was only to be expected, mendicants, however loyal, are not as fit as professional chair-men. But at that point four fresh mendicants, identical in their robes, their faces obscured by the hoods, took over and the first four faded quietly out of sight. At the next way point, the two other chairs were in sight but were not exactly close. Still, as the gunmetal sedan chair passed between two loaded wains, four more indistinguishable, but fresh, mendicants took up the shafts and ran with renewed vigour. This team, perhaps Maljie’s strongest, overtook the two other chairs and built up a good lead. So when passing through Usurers’ Gill it was the work of a moment to make the last swap when nobody could observe what was happening. Finally the last team kept up a good steady pace. Here we must give credit where credit was due. The bearers of the other two chairs made truly gallant efforts to catch up, but Maljie’s lead remained unassailable. At the finishing line, Maljie had to wait a good five minutes for the other two chairs to finish. There, debts of honour were paid and Maljie, triumphant, bade her vanquished foes good day. She and her younger sister, Margarita, had an invitation to dine at the house of friends. It was no great distance, the evening was fine, and they decided they’d walk rather than summon the chair.

In the Shrine, there was what Laxey euphemistically described as a ‘choral evening’ in the mendicant’s quarters. Certainly, there was singing. It appears that somebody had bought them brandy.

And now a brief note from Jim Webster. It’s really just to inform you thatI’ve just published a full Tallis Steelyard novel. Yes, the rumours are true.

Tallis Steelyard, the man who considered jotting down a couple of anecdotes to be ridiculously hard work, and considered the novella form to be the very pinnacle of literary labour, has been cozened into producing a novel.

It is, ‘Tallis Steelyard. A Fear of Heights.’



In this novel, recounted by Tallis Steelyard in his own inimitable manner, we discover what happens when the hierarchy plots to take control of the Shrine to Aea in her Aspect as the Personification of Tempered Enthusiasm.

Will the incumbent be exiled to a minor fane in the far north? Will Tallis end up having to do a proper job? Does ordination and elevation beckon for Maljie?

This story includes the Idiosyncratic Diaconate, night soil carts, Partannese bandit chieftains, a stylite, a large dog and some over-spiced food. On top of this, we have not one but two Autocephalous Patriarchs and a theologically sanctioned beggar.

Available both for kindle and in Paperback.

About the authorJim Webster

Someone once wrote this about him:

“Jim Webster is probably still fifty something, his tastes in music are eclectic, and his dress sense is rarely discussed in polite society. In spite of this ,he has a wife and three daughters.
He has managed to make a living from a mixture of agriculture, consultancy, and freelance writing. Previously he has restricted himself to writing about agricultural and rural issues but including enough Ancient Military history to maintain his own sanity. But seemingly he has felt it necessary to branch out into writing fantasy and Sci-Fi novels.”

Now with eight much-acclaimed fantasy works and two Sci-Fi to his credit it seems he may be getting into the swing of things.

Find and follow Tallis (and Jim)

Jim Webster may be found at his blog, on Twitter, Facebook and on his Amazon author page.

Tallis Steelyard may be found loitering at his own blog while their books have their own Facebook page

For many more books by Jim Webster (and Tallis)…

Click the images to go to Amazon.

collage of covers 2

collage of covers

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I See You – Helen Glynn Jones

Helen Glynn Jones

I see you my friend

In the green grass and the soft heather bloom

In the ancient stones and wild peaks

In the tumbling stream and the dark woods

I see you

In the scattered light upon the path

In the crouching hare in the long grass

In the turning wing of the hunting kite

I see you


Enjoyed this post? Want to read more? Find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus you’ll find my books on Amazon (and A Thousand Rooms is available from all good book retailers). Visit my Amazon Author Page or my website to see more.

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Crouching Tiger…

Images and Text from the Silent Eye Workshop: Whispers in the West…

HM15 1058Or maybe…


HM15 1107 Not quite…

Continue Viewing at The Silent Eye

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Morana and Spring Equinox – Gary Vasey

Reblogged from G. Michael Vasey:

Way back at the start of winter, I engaged in an old Slavic tradition and collected materials from around my neighbourhood to construct an effigy of Morana, Goddess of Winter. I used natural materials gathered from the forest and a couple of rubber bands to hold it together. Morana has sat in the room close to my desk since then.

Then yesterday, on the Spring Equinox, I continued that tradition. After meditating and invoking Morana over the three winter moons, it was time to say goodbye. I chose a beautiful spot in nature outside of Brno by Hrad Veveri to conduct this simple ritual that many Slavs would also have been conducting throughout history.

Continue reading at Earth Magic Brno

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Silver Hand

Melor of the Silver Hand

His father murdered for a throne, his own life under threat,

He lost a crown to envy and so he would not forget

His sword hand they had cut from him, so knight he could not be;

They took his left foot also, that the child might never flee.

A foot of bronze they fashioned and a hand of silver too

But as the child grew older, then magic metal grew.

Alarmed they had him kidnapped and his jailer took his head.

Yet climbing from the castle wall the jailer’s son fell dead.

The jailer journeyed onward, soon exhausted, grieving still,

Till, nigh to death and sick with thirst, he rested on the hill,

He recognised his faulty heart and wailed about the deed

That took his own son’s life as well, and now he was in need;

“Take up your staff,” said Melor’s head, “And in earth let it stand.”

The jailer did and water bubbled up beneath his hand.

The wondrous head fell silent as the jailer drank the stream

Above him branches bearing fruit as if within a dream.

Yet, once refreshed, his greed renewed, he sought out his reward

And took poor Melor’s severed head and gave it to his lord.

The King, delighted, gave him all land that he could find…

They later found the jailer on the hill he owned… struck blind.

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Unseen #midnighthaiku

beyond  outer sight

beyond all expectation

gifts and shadows wait


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Night Nurse…

Sniff, snuffle, wake up… open eyes…. yawn, stretch…. still dark… go back to sleep…

‘Ello, though… the two legs is moving… and she’s not s’pposed to! At least, not on her own…

Where do you think you are going?

Alert! Help! Oi!

Crawl off sofa…keep one eye on her… tap dance on floor in front of bedroom door… give it a scratch or two with the paw…

Phew… rescued… I’ll just check the bathroom is clear for her…


You could, quite clearly, see the thoughts and emotions of the Small Dog as she responded to the perceived emergency. She has been coming to terms with my much-reduced mobility over the past few days, even deigning to place the ball in my hand so we can play fetch. Normally, she throws the ball and I do the fetching,,,

But I’ve not seen her in ‘night mode’ before.

When I fall asleep, she is usually on her bed in the hall…so she can guard all the doors.

But she must have tiptoed back in while I slept so that she sleep on the sofa… and keep an eye on me. There was absolute panic on her face for a while until Stuart came to the rescue… even though he had been asleep too.

Once I am up and in the wheelchair, she goes back to her bed and snores away… And we wondered why she was so tired all the time…

Posted in cancer, Dogs, france and vincent, Friendship | Tagged , , , , | 70 Comments

Found Mounds: the Call of Albion…


‘…Maybe it is because it is our third visit or maybe it is because there are three of us, or maybe we had to work out the St Andrew thing before we were allowed to ascend, who knows?

Whatever the reasons, we re-convene on top of the man-made-conical-mound which hides behind the Church of St Nicholas, High Bradfield and Wen has an interesting take on proceedings.

“If St Andrew of Scotland is Andrew the Disciple of Christ then he may have come over here with Joseph of Arimathea.”

“And remember at that time there was no Scotland. Scotland was North Albion!”

“North Albion,” smiles Wen, “I like that.”

“Why did they come here?” says Ned.

“If we knew that…”

“If we knew that, then what?” says Wen.

“If we knew that for sure, we’d probably all be millionaires,” I say wistfully.

“Not necessarily,” says Ned, who may already be a millionaire for all I know. “After all this time, nobody is really all that interested.”

“That’s true enough.”

“It would still be nice to know though.”

“Why does anyone go anywhere? Why do people go to Glastonbury? Why do people come here now? They’re still doing it. Why?”

“They come because they’re called,” says Ned simply.

The Call of Albion

And then a still silence descends

Upon our three-fold gathering

And we look out to the far horizon

Each of us from a slightly different angle

To where the mists are gathering form

And preparing to roll in to greet us one and all…’

Extract from, ‘Doomsday: Dark Sage



Doomsday book Two

Stuart France & Sue Vincent

The Dark Ages appear in the copybook pages of our historical records like an ink spot. An insidious black mark; a veritable blot on the landscape of time. There are some who claim they never actually existed and that the two hundred-odd years represented by their darkness are a fabrication designed to fit the grandiose plotting of an ego-driven king.

There are probably only two people mad enough to take such a notion seriously

“Is it another Don and Wen book?”

“It is!”

Across the Derbyshire landscape, scattered with sites of ancient sanctity and strange, otherworldly places, our two unlikely companions begin another chapter of their quest to understand the roots of human consciousness and the source of inner light that draws the eyes and heart towards to sun.

Available in paperback and for Kindle from Amazon UK, and worldwide

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