In the latter half of the fourth century, there lived a man named Pelagius. He was a Celt, a prominent British theologian. A large man, tall, heavy, slow to move, thoughtful, Pelagius was rather intimidating in appearance, by all accounts, with flowing long hair that was shaved at the sides and back. He loved his food and drink. He adored babies. He found God in all living things. more “Walking with dogs, “friends of the soul.””
She wore the golden crown with regal bearing, and it reflected brilliantly in the sun. Her gown brushed against her ankles in the slight breeze that also swept through her hair. Her right shoulder dipped in casual elegance, arm draped languidly at her side. Her left hand rested smartly on her hip, bracelets dangling. more “The princess in the pink mask.”
There were six women seated around a dining room table at a private country club in Aiken, South Carolina. It was an otherwise empty room. There was coffee in china cups. Silver spoons. Pedestaled glasses of ice water. It seemed appropriate somehow to be gathered around a dining table. Because this was a gathering of a few of the Aiken residents who have hosted dinners in their homes for Saratoga WarHorse participants. more “Saratoga WarHorse and the “shadow” connections.”
“Ahab and anguish lay stretched together in a hammock.” – Herman Melville
I am a great admirer of that sentence. Much less so of the experience.
Yet there I was, “lying stretched together with anguish” in an ambulance cot on the way to a hospital emergency room in Charlotte, NC. more “Fighting Off Lions and Whales.”
Her stage name was Wee Bonnie Baker, and she performed primarily throughout the late 1930s and early 1940s. She was a singer with a small voice, a voice that resided somewhere at the top of her throat and behind her nose. It was a child-like voice, but clear and sure; and she was best-known for the song “Oh Johnny, Oh” – with lyrics that made vague promises and was delivered with naughty innocence. more “Singing like Connie Francis in a poodle skirt.”
I could see nothing of the flying thing except its shadow.
It was an odd sensation watching the small moving shadow flit in a silent lilting ballet in front of me, almost whispering to me to follow. And yet, looking up and all around me, I could find no butterfly or moth or bird or bee or any kind of winged creature or even a wind-swept blossom or leaf to account for this shadow’s existence. Yet there it was – a well-formed shadow; dark-edged, animated, dancing across the ground, across my path. more “The shadows of things not seen.”
The woman had both hands drenched in paint. She pressed them onto the large canvas in front of her. Working with one hand and then the other, sometimes both together, she smoothed and swirled, stroked and shaped, covered and revealed the image into being. It became a face. more “Painting life upside down.”
I wondered if you could feel me – you little blue egg – feel my presence, my energy. I could feel yours, just as surely as if I’d been able to see the face and touch the wings within you. I held your warmth, your bit of weight, your smooth oval shape, tucked in the hollow of my hand. And, for some reason, I whispered in your presence, and I hoped you could hear my voice and feel my breath and sense my awe of you. more “The Little Blue Egg”
Walter reached up and pulled a branch of the blooming dogwood tree closer; he used his pocketknife to cut off about 12 inches of it. Most men of his time carried such knives – certainly a young man who was working-class and a jack-of-all-trades, especially if he had just a bit of the “bad boy” about him, all of which Walter was and did. He handed the cutting down to the beautiful young woman seated at his feet beneath the tree on his outspread jacket; then he joined her on the ground, leaning next to her against the trunk of the tree. more “The Dogwood Tree.”
“But are my footsteps silent?
Are they just holes within the sand?
Or does another hear them, follow,
And find me where I am?”
― L.S. Hartfield
I never saw the boots myself. But I can imagine them. Combat boots. Sturdy, durable, high-ankled, “rough-out” boots, standardized in color and style. Boots designed for mud and muck and desert sands and jungle wet. Boots made for war.