ZARDA Chapter Two

Walking on, I resist the urge to look back. The sun, the excitement and the physical exertion finally take their toll and I trip over the small root of a tree that has emerged into the narrow foot path.  As I fall, I furtively look behind, but the sun’s glare prevents me from seeing the familiar gates of home.

Lying on the ground, I recite the chant of initiates and wait for an answer.

Wheel, wheel spinning, spinning. Wizard, wizard grinning, grinning. What will be my future fate? What lies for me beyond the gate?

Wheel, wheel spinning, spinning. Wizard, wizard grinning, grinning. What will be my future fate? What lies for me beyond the gate?

The rumble in my belly reminds me I have not eaten. Wanting to remedy that, I shift my body to lean against the trunk of a large tree. My eyes are attracted to the exposed root that caused my fall and I gently stroke the top part of the root and then the top of my head where the blood is still drying. the sun is full upon my face. The warmth is soothing and friendly to my body.

Then I remember the spinning wheel and a fragment returns to me from a dream. “Your task is died within the yarrow.” What does it mean?…………………………………..

 

My novel, ZARDA, is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Book Baby as an ebook or paperback.

 

 

ZARDA Chapter One…

Today is the final day of my Woman Rites. For Nineteen life years I have followed the tradition of the Goddess Nede, my family, and the Temple preparing for my woman’s journey. Each new life year since I was nine, Morrigan, our Priestess, has given me a task to learn, practice and share at the Temple.  First I helped the Temple teachers with the young ones. Then Morrigan took into the woods and fields to recognize and gather herbs and wild plants used for healing. I have become an above average horsewoman, become proficient with the bow, sword, and hand to hand combat under the tutelage of my father King Hector. In the Temple kitchen I worked long days preparing nourishing meals.  Morrigan instructed me in prayer rituals, winemaking, dress, bathing, housekeeping, fire, and sacred sex. My favorite, though, was being trained as a Temple dancer. What joy there is in rhythmic movement.  These last two moons I have fasted, chanted, meditated, danced, and found my silent times. I feel clear, strong, and full of the Goddess spirit.  This is the culmination of my life’s preparation under Morrigan, my teacher, Rhiannon, my mother, and my father, Hector.  Soon my journey toward womanhood will begin. I will travel beyong these familiar walls…………….

 

ZARDA is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Book Baby as an ebook or paper back.

Preface…ZARDA

I love old books.  And flea markets. Being connected to the history of other people through their valuable treasures is very comforting to me.  The seller talks to you of family, when the item was bought, how the new puppy broke the fourth cup of a beautiful breakfast set bought at great personal sacrifice, and why did grandma ever think they would like a purple platter with white roses that she made as her first senior citizen project!

That’s what browsing in thrift shops, book sales, and antique stores is like. Used bookstores are the best. As I gently caress the faded cover of a poetry volume published in England, 1964, and read the inscription…”To Helen, in memory of our youngest”, I stand with Helen mourning the baby who died of flu that winter.  The wee babe cried until exhausted.  Helen bathed her daughter with cool cloths, held her to her breast, and walked the dark death corridor praying to the Great Goddess and Mary and the Queen to spare this one red-haired angel. However, dawn brought stillness to the child, emptiness to Helen, and the doctor’s steps, all to late to lock the gate to the nether world, if ever he could have. CONNECTION…………

This is the beginning of the Preface to my novel ZARDA.

ZARDA is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Book Baby, as an ebook or paperback.

ZARDA, the journey begins

My novel ZARDA is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Book Baby.  Both ebook and paperback.

Here is the blurb on the back cover:

My name is Zarda…I was chosen by the Goddess…Love will guide me. I will love all who cross my journey’s path.  This is a good day to be reborn as a strong female and begin my foretold journey into womanhood.  This is a good day to face the unknown.

Zarda represents Every-Woman in this mystical magical journey of spirit. Chosen by Arduina, the Moon Goddess, she leaves home after years of grooming and training by her Temple teacher, her loving mother, and her caring father. Zarda is charged to experience both the wonderful and the terrible events women have survived since the beginning. Always caring, always loving, she touches all she meets with her loving truth. She knows she is not born a woman. She must become one.

Woman is different

Woman is different.

Female is cyclical. That is a suppressed idea.  Every 28 days our bodies remind us that we are bound to our biological selves and that it cannot be ignored.  Of that 28 day moon cycle about 5 of those days is spent in the menses period itself. That leaves 23 days.

Of that 23 days about 7 days is spent in mood and physical changes in the body in preparation for the menstrual period. Elation, depression, tears, breast tenderness, bloating, heaviness all indicate a change. That leaves 16 days.

Of those 16 days about 8 of those is spent in a state of sexual excitement and expectation.

That leaves 8 days out of every 28 in a productive period where our bodies’ biological function is not controlling our lives.

Amazing we do so well!

Possession

Possession is an insidious concept.

We think we own our parents, our children, our lovers when the only thing we own is ourselves.  Somehow, when some cultural myth or psychological weakness creeps to our brain we are convinced that our lovers or children or parents don’t love us unless we have their exclusive attention. Yet we esteem most those who allow us freedom to grow and share.

How do we fall into the trap of possession? It is a trap that crushes us in its vice where we struggle to be free of the pain and restriction. If we are lucky, someone will spring the trap with love, and licking our wounds we will continue to love and grow. Uncrippled.

Reflections on thinking

There are moments when analytical, logical thought seems irrational.  Those moments seem most apparent in intimate relationships.

What we feel for the other person should be the overriding concern.  Not who or what or how they are. That is simple and straightforward, but somehow it gets mixed up and feeling is not enough, or at least, not the only thing.

We talk, we listen, we analyze, we reflect.  That is the problem. We reflect and try to recapture the feeling and in so doing, we think. Why?

a grey silent sunday

The quiet fog enshrouds the city with cold wet arms.

We stay within our shells so as not to be touched by its penetrating fingers.

But it seeps through the cracks in the doors and comes creeping with the soul unwelcome and unwanted.

We fall back. We dive for cover. We turn away.

But it enters and stills and freezes our hearts and forces us to turn inward and see the ugliness we hide within.

We move, but the sinister air does not allow escape.

Fires will not burn it.

Lights will be dimmed by it.

Hearts are melting under it pressing weight.

We cannot escape the mirror it brings, for our hearts and souls are exposed to its intemperate gaze.

Look within.

Look within.

Confront the ugly creature within your soul.

Stand up to the darkness you alone can control.

Sear it and blind it with red hot tears and pulsing blood.

For you are exposed and you must deal with the nakedness of your flesh.

You must see the blackness of your inner being.

For only then will the light prevail.

Mood

My mood is as grey as the sky and I question.

I reflect upon my life, my friends, my lovers, my very purpose in being here.  As the time flows on, there seems to be no real purpose to my life.  No real goal.  No consuming passion.  We are born. We travel through.  We die.

I question whether that is really all there is and that we are fools only when we consider there might be any other purpose. If we add the possibility of a God, Goddess, or Being orchestrating all this, our will is unimportant.  The Shakespeares and Mozarts and kings and Picassos have been chosen and their scripts are written with a careful hand.  How dare we think we can intrude upon that grandiose plot with our little lives. The guru who meditates all his life to reach nirvana seems no more strange under those circumstances than the success or goal oriented person striving to somehow “improve” the world.

We take up space. We do our job. We bear our children, We sweat and weep and strainfrom the burden of living, only to die and become fodder for another beginning.

One must ask why we cherish so highly this temporal thing we call life. Why do we make such a simple task so complex?  Why not accept the parameters and scale and just move from day to day and deal with what comes to each of us? Why do we, as humans, bring complexity to our lives with emotions and self doubt? Is that why so many seek solace in a belief in the Almighty or Jesus or Buddha or Mohammed? Are we always searching for that perfect union which only comes with death?  A cynic would laugh at such serious struggle and point out the futility of the search, for the map is there and each of us just paws to be moved around the game board at the appropriate pace. Why fight?  Why search?  Why struggle?  Silent resignation should be the key action plan.

Deirdre

The second book in the Journey series is DEIRDRE, who was born to Zarda at the end of Book one.

I based the story of the Irish legend, a tragic heroine. She is known by the epithet “Deirdre of the Sorrows” and her story is part of the Ulster Cycle, the best-known stories of preChristian Ireland.

In Legend Deirdre was the daughter of the royal storyteller. Before she was born, the chief Druid of the king of Ulster, prophesied that she would grow up to be very beautiful, kings and lords would go to war over her, much blood would be shed, and Ulster’s three greatest warriors would be forced into exile for her sake.

Many urged the storyteller to kill the baby, but the king decided to keep the child for himself. He took Deidre away from her family and had her brought up in seclusion by a poet and wise woman (Zarda in my book).  The king planned to marry Dierdre when she was old enough. As a young girl, she lived in isolation.  One day Dierdre tells Zarda that she would love a man with hair the color of a raven, skin as white as snow and cheeks as red as blood.

Zarda tells her she is describing Naoise, a handsome young warrior, hunter and singer at the king’s court.  Deirdre meets Naoise and they fall in love.  They flee to the desert and live a happy life.

The King hunts them down. Zarda tells the king Deirdre has grown ugly. The King sends a spy to find that Deirdre is indeed most beautiful. The king attacks the place where Naoise and Deirdre live and kills Naoise and takes Deirdre as his wife. Of course the story has an unhappy ending and Deirdre dies.

My tale will be somewhat different, but the bones will be the same.

Look for DIERDRE in 2020.