Brushing the Leaves

With fondest regards to all our readers. This is another guest post from Chris, featuring pics taken during his recent trip to Dodona, Greece, and the exciting tale of his adventures at this remote location. Take it away Chris.

This has been a place of the oracle for thousands of years. The oldest of the oracle sites by far. Its origins spring from the divine 
feminine and Gaia millennia ago. I sat with my hands brushing the leaves of the sacred oak (long since gone of course but now replaced) as the wind rustled the tree. The oracle it seems spoke to the priestess in exactly this way.

The journey was its own tale. We set out the day before, following a straightforward route on good roads. One wrong turn will take a traveller onto boulder rivers that run for miles. And so for us. Here we collected two punctures. The car abandoned, we walked for miles without meeting a soul. Except one wild bearded man whose clothes seemed to be from a another age. He walked with bearing and indifference.

He reminded me of a Sarkatsan, as described by Patrick Leigh Fermor in his book ‘Roumeli’.
The wanderings of Patrick Leigh Fermor, have panache and romance and were always conducted with a deep respect for ancient peoples and cultures. 
His first honour as a human being was bestowed upon him when he was expelled from Kings College Canterbury. At the age of 18, he walked from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul. From here various adventures in Macedonia and Greece, where in Athens he met Balasha Cantacuzène, a Romanian Phanariote noblewoman. They fell in love and set up home in an old watermill outside the city. The couple stayed together till he returned to England at the outbreak of war. He was sent to Crete during the war, and after the end of the war, continued travelling and writing.

Patrick Leigh Fermor’s travels are remarkable enough (and pretty much impossible now), but as a writer he was unsurpassed. He died in 2011. It was said in his obituaries, he was the best writer of his time.
 Patrick Leigh Fermor spoke ancient and modern Greek and eventually learned Sarkatsan. That the Sarkatsans recognised him was unusual. Outside of a keen watchfulness of current ‘goings on’, enough to preserve their safety, Sarkatsans do not recognise or give attention to the values of modern Greece, modern living or the ways of foreigners. (Fermor was then writing of mid 20th century Greece). Sarkatsan rituals, dress code and nomadic way of life have remained unchanged for perhaps 3000 years and maybe longer. Well that’s how PLF described them in the 1940s and 50s. I have no idea how they have fared in the sixty odd years since. Our mountain route crossed areas that have fed and watered Sarkatsan animals for millennia. So I like to think the man we encountered was Sarkatsan.

We were blocked from Dodona that day, but the next day’s journey was error free and effortless. An air-conditioned tarmac smooth 90 minutes. Disgorging from a tin can is an odd way to encounter this place.
 To show some perspective of the site, there is a photograph of me, leaning against one of the massive supporting walls that surround the amphitheatre. For the purpose of scale, note the man walking towards the front of the amphitheatre. The  supporting wall (where I was photographed) is the second tier above him. You could not get a Euro note between those massive stones.

Yet the scale of the amphitheatre was no preparation for the energy at the place of the oracle and sacred oak. The smell of wild thyme, a warm breeze and the sound of bees. I did not want to leave this place. It is with me now. 
As for Sarkatsans; these people have a living memory of Dodona as the preeminent oracle of the ancient world. Through their oral  tradition and way of life, unchanged for millennia, Dodona breathes its spirit into the world.

 

Dodona small

 

Wasn’t that great? I hope you found it inspiring. Thanks are due again to Chris, and to all you good readers and followers. I have been very unwell again of late, If any kind soul wishes to say a little prayer for me, it will be truly appreciated. My sincere thanks in advance.

Until next time, may we know peace; and may we all come to enjoy the priceless blessing of possessing a clear conscience.

 

[I have] a heavenly vase full of autumn leaves.

They look so beautiful.

How much closer to God can one get?

Lotte Lenya.

 

Photography ©Christopher Hammond.

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The Face of The Facade

Art

Greetings, ten months in, and so soon the year is almost done. This pic was taken by Amanda, serendipitously, on a street close to the city centre. I believe it may be on the side of a popular bar.

A quick search to find the artist, (which I hope was successful) came up with the name of Rebecca Wright.

I truly appreciate the scale of the challenge the artist must have faced. A long time ago, I spent a very brief period painting landscapes, and abstract scenes, on living room walls, for a handful of art loving clients. That was me below, sporting a beret. I never received an opportunity to attempt anything of the above proportions, but thinking about it now, I would have loved having a go.

With thanks to all our readers, and welcome to our newest followers. Your good company is deeply appreciated. We are a most talented, and creative crew, each and every one of us here on WordPress. I hope to return with more great photographs very soon. Until then, namaste, and very best wishes for all the good you do. (Written during Diwali).

Beret

If the eyes and ears are open, the leaves of the trees become as pages of the Bible. If the heart is alive, the whole life becomes one single vision of His sublime beauty, speaking to us at every moment. ~ Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan.

 

Photography ©Amanda Moloney.

An Enchanted Ingress

Photo 09-07-2017, 14 05 39

Hello there to all readers. This whimsical pixie doorway exists somewhere in England. I suspect it’s hidden from mortal eyes, normally; yet Amanda spotted it, serendipitously, one day during her travels. Hence the pic.

It reminds me of a time, long ago, when I allowed a friend to take me on a journey by way of a guided visualisation. I became a case study for his psychotherapy assignment. This doorway is just like the one he bade me walk through at the beginning of our first session. Looking back, I remember it was a fascinating, and revealing experience, and one which I would recommend any keen psychonaut to undertake.

The last few weeks have continued to challenge my health, and I find myself quite exhausted for much of the time. As a consequence of this, it can take me a while to catch up with online developments. Please bear with me, and thank you so much, as always, for dropping by.

So, with the sound of hooting coming from the tawny owl perched just outside my window, it’s farewell from the faerie realms, (and until next time, along with prayers of peace for our human world, it’s best wishes from me).

 

The ego wants what you do to be important. As a way of intruding on your spirituality and delaying the truth, it tries to make what you do in the world important and special.
How can anything that occurs in an illusion be important if you actually understand it’s not real?
Only forgiveness and your healing matter. True, that kind of a teaching may not be the basis for a popular religion that takes over the world and tells everybody else how they should be living their lives – but it is definitely the truth.
~ The Disappearance of the Universe

 

 

 

Photography ©Amanda Moloney.

Set Sail for The Sun

Liverpool Sunset

Hello readers. We’re back with a quick post, and a lovely pic of a serene sunset. It was taken in Liverpool by one of Amanda’s sisters, and I think it’s beautiful.

The last time I visited Liverpool was over twenty years ago. I was on business. I arrived very early, and went in search of breakfast. The only place I could find open was one of Ronald’s notorious eateries. Having never used one before, I was curious. In I went, and ordered a meat free meal; payed for it, looked at it, and left it. I went instead to the news agents next door, where I bought a Mars Bar. One of life’s little lessons, I suppose.

We will have more from Liverpool soon. In the meantime, may you be at peace with yourself, with your friends, and with your neighbours.

Farewell from Amras.

 

May my thoughts be ever pure,

from true love my actions spring,

may my ways be strong and sure,

and my heart life’s praises sing.

 

 

Photography ©Jayne Perry.

The Grace of The World

Greetings. I have been a bit more poorly than usual for a while, so please do bear with me if this post seems brief. All of our lives are in transition, and nothing exists but all that is becoming. Only the giver of grace is eternally motionless, yet waits far ahead of all that moves, in the silences of forever.

One of the nicest things I find about our community is the respect we share, and I wish for the happiest of futures to find their way fast to all our doorsteps.

These pics were taken today, at Kingsbury Water Park in the West Midlands, UK. Please enjoy.

Until next time, and may it be soon. Peace from Amras.

“When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be ……I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

~Wendell Berry, “The Peace of Wild Things”

Water Park12

 

 

 

Photography ©Amanda Moloney.