Sue and Ani at Wayland’s Smithy #writephoto #suevincent

Sue & Ani

Thursdays were days when Sue Vincent would post a photograph writing prompt challenge. In honor of this ritual, I have posted one of my favorite photographs of Sue, which I took two years ago during a shared trip to Wayland’s Smithy. It’s a photograph I hold dear. Filled with memory, magic and love.

I’m not sure if Sue knew I was taking this photo, but Ani sure did. The presence of these two beings made this afternoon extra special for me. Although I can count on my two hands the number of days I have spent with Sue, they rank among the very best of my life thus far. Sometimes you are lucky in life to encounter a teacher/mentor/friend who takes you under her wings and guides you in that gentle way to open your awareness to the magic that exists, but is not always acknowledged. I consider myself one of those lucky individuals.

I can’t tell you exactly when I first met Sue, or exactly how. But, I can tell you she entered my life just when I needed her presence. That is often the way these types of relationships occur. The teacher mysteriously finding the student, the student, the teacher, just when the moment is right…

If it were not for the internet, perhaps we would not have met, but I believe when there’s a will, there’s away. If you had told me twenty years ago that I would meet a woman named Sue who would lead me into the magical landscape of the soul and also the living lands of ancient Albion, I would probably not believe you. Yet somehow, one day, our paths intersected through our blogs, and the rest is our brief history in this lifetime together.

A lifetime that, I believe, stretches well beyond this one, to a far distant past when magic was not so extraordinary…

The photo featured in this post was taken just over two years ago. It almost didn’t happen, but somehow Sue managed to arrange an afternoon, packed full of magic, to take myself and a friend to Uffington. Here, Sue sits with her beloved dog Ani on the chamber of Wayland’s Smithy. It is, for me, a precious photo. The winged soul and her guardian canine in a place the bridges the realms of corporeal and spirit.

It is, most likely, our last day together in this lifetime. And somehow even though I’d like to have more days with Sue, it was fitting and perfect. As much as we may wish to, we cannot control the length of time we have with those we love and hold dear, yet when we review it, we often find that its length was perfect in its essence.

When I first learned of Sue’s illness, I cycled through the emotions of impending loss. There were moments when I decided it was wholly unfair, for Sue, for her family, for all those who love her, and for, selfishly, myself. Our adventures have only just begun.

But who am I to say how long a lifetime should be and when it should end? It is, instead, a choice to accept what one has been given and to realize the fullness of the gift wrapped in this temporary form. Knowing, at the same time, that infinity lies beyond the temporary form. For me there is peace in this knowing. When I look at this photograph, uncertainty disappears and faith takes its place. Although I may resist a plan that is beyond my control, with the surrender there is a doorway to the beauty of truth.

You can see it here. In the place of stillness, it opens. The winged soul bending down to touch the Earth, never truly leaves.

The Return #return #writephoto #SueVincent

Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

The last star reader was called down from the hills to prophecy the outcome of the divide. He stood on the cusp of the morning, more sure of where he was going than all who stood below. To understand the language of the stars was a gift seeded into the womb and those who received it could not pass it along. Only their words carried forth the song of the light. A light to which he longed to return.

Yet it was his duty to translate when beckoned. How weary he was of trying to reduce the vast into the limited. Minds trapped inside longing were not easily opened, and for the star reader this was another futile effort.

“I see it!” hollered a tiny voice. “I see the dragon!”

“What is she talking about?”

“Shush the child.”

“What insolence. Put her back to bed!”

The crowd below grew angry together, feeding upon the rise of their wrath bestowed upon a wee child who spoke only the truth. The last star reader watched and waited. He listened to the rise and fall of dissonance and sighed.

“See what I mean?” he muttered up to the sky.

“What are you waiting for?” the sky replied.

“It will not work. It never does.”

“Speak to the girl then.”

“Come here,” he beckoned in the softest of whispers, yet she heard him.

Softly she crawled the tangled roots, grabbling hold of the grasses for support until she reach the last star reader. He said nothing, just nudged the staff towards her waiting hand. One finger and then another curled the weathered wood.

No one knew she was missing. No one knew she had left their masses. Filled with their wrath, they had forgotten all meaning.

“Why don’t they see it?” she asked the reader as she peered at the angry mob below.

“Because their eyes have turned blind.”

“But it’s so beautiful.”

“Those who cannot see truth cannot see beauty.”

So the wee child turned her head back to the sky and the dragon, every-so-gently, swooped down to receive her.

For Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge #return.

The Tower of Hope #WritePhoto #SueVincent

For Sue Vincent’s  #writephoto prompt, “Tower.”

An ancient tower
Source: Sue Vincent

She thought the climb would be worse than the descent. Instead, the air buoyed her above the bracken, and her bare feet hardly touched the broken stone. The hem of her green skirt swept the dew-laden grasses, and she felt their kisses linger as she pushed open the door at the base of the tower. He had told her, Go within to find the key, yet she felt doubt.

Columns of white light split the black space around her, as Grace stepped beyond the threshold and heard the heavy thud of the door shutting her inside. She had cried for weeks until the ocean inside of her became an arid desert. There is life in the void, he had said before death took away his last breath, but you have to open to it. 

The air inside the tower smelled of sulfur, as though someone had lit a fire inside to ward off the damp, but no flames remained. Grace tried her best to stay inside the columns of filtered light as she made her way to the altar in the center. A book lay open on a dais, its width greater on the right side than on the left. He hadn’t told her there would be a book.

There was no script on the pages, only a foreign matrix of symbols that Grace had never seen before. Yet, her cells stirred with energy as she gazed at the parchment. Triangles overlapped with more triangles bisected by circles, and in the center of it all there was a tiny crystalline stone glowing with a blue light. Grace has hardly aware of her hand reaching toward the stone, and before she could take stock of what she had done, the stone was inside of her mouth.

Grace felt heat pressing against her tongue. Swallow it, a voice that sounded like his filled her mind and her throat convulsed to bring the crystal into her belly.  She felt the floor gave way beneath, but instead of pain, Grace felt bliss as she fell through time. In the black abyss surrounding her, visions of the past swirled by, and she watched without need as her body burned through its layers from within.

And then, suddenly, there was only light. Grace’s cells were no longer her own. They had become photons in a galaxy that knew no division. Individual thoughts become one harmonious stream of song, and in that instant that felt like eternity, there was nothing else.

Grace felt her own life return to her with a hiccup, opening her eyes to catch the blue stone in the palm of her hand. The inside of the tower was the same as she had left it, and Grace was surprised, although not disappointed, to feel the cool earthen floor once again beneath her feet. Before she turned toward the door, she looked again at the book opened upon the dais. Its weight, she noted, appeared to be unchanged in its distribution, but the spread pages were now blank. Impulsively, she lifted the page on the right and turned it over. It too was blank, and she knew the rest to follow it would be also.

The sigh that escaped her throat was not of despair, but of hope, as Grace glanced up toward the winding staircase she no longer felt a desire to climb. When the time was right, she knew she would see him again, and Grace pushed open the door, blinking to take in the brilliance of a sun that had parted the clouds.