Hopping Into It

“If you look closely you can see that they are all interconnected, symbolic of a never-ending circle in which it is simply impossible for the dog to catch the rabbit.” – Kit Williams

Well, here is our first entry of the year. As this is the year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Calendar, then I am right in step for once. I have had a fascination with Hares, and Rabbits since I was quite young. If anything, I am even more attached to them now. With that said, we have a few items in this entry that reflect that. We also are featuring a performance group that I am just becoming familiar with: Beats Antique, and we are dipping back into the fount of Celtic Poets.

Here is to the New Year, with all the possibilities that it offers. May you find what you need in the coming seasons.

I hope you enjoy this entry, as much as I did in putting it together!

On The Menu:
Parallel Dreams
Rabbit Quotes
Beats Antique – Sweet Demure
Cherokee Tales: How The Rabbit Stole The Otter’s Coat
Celtic Poets – From The Four Remaining Lands
Beats Antique -Live Bass Nectar Tour ’08
Parallel Dreams
I awoke this morning rather abruptly (oh that alarm after a late night!) from a dream about a life I was having with Mary in a parallel universe, another place. In this dream, I hadn’t met her in London but in some town in Mid-America, a university town. We were younger than we were when we met here, and we grew together from our late teens. The dream was focused around a band that we became involved with, and the club they played at. Eventually everything in our life revolved around the band, and the music (oddly how this runs along our earlier days with our involvement in music…) In the dream, the band and club was a stable part of the community. It was a good and deep dream. The reality in it was as clear as sitting in front of this computer, only seemingly more so. People flowed in and out of the scene around us, and our love grew over the years. The band got better as well. Solid rhythm section section… 80)

I would imagine that we live in many parallel dreams/universes with different versions going on simultaneously. I have found this crossing between realities a couple of times in so called waking hours, but more so in the world of dreams at night. Sometimes we can dip into them for a brief moment, and taste our various lives. The emotions tied to this experience can be quite deep. (The alarm awoke me just at a crucial moment, when we were beginning a family.)

Funnily enough the emotional state was not unfamiliar, even if it were a different reality. I remember the love we shared with each other, and all who were around us. It seems a parable about the state of the universe, and what the major constituent is, or at least in my POV.

Rabbit Quotes:
“The other day when I was walking through the woods, I saw a rabbit standing in front of a candle making shadows of people on a tree.” – Stephen Wright
“A sly rabbit will have three openings to its den” – Chinese Proverb
“When Rabbit said, `Honey or condensed milk with your bread?’ he was so excited that he said, `Both,’ and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, `But don’t bother about the bread, please.” – A. A. Milne
“Make me, oh God, the prey of the Lion, ere you make the rabbit my prey” – Kahlil Gibran
“The dog and the rabbit are telling us not to chase unattainable material goals.” – Kit Williams

Beats Antique – Sweet Demure


Cherokee Tales: How The Rabbit Stole The Otter’s Coat

The animals were of different sizes and wore coats of various colors and patterns. Some wore long fur and others wore short. Some had rings on their tails, and some had no tails at all. Some had coats of brown, others of black or yellow. They were always disputing about their good looks, so at last they agreed to hold a council to decide who had the finest coat.
They had heard a great deal about the Otter, who lived so far up the creek that he seldom came down to visit the other animals. It was said that he had the finest coat of all, but no one knew just what it was like, because it was a long time since anyone had seen him. They did not even know exactly where he lived, only the general direction, but they knew he would come to the council when the word got out.

Now the Rabbit wanted the verdict for himself, so when it began to look as if it might go to the Otter he studied up a plan to cheat him out of it. He asked a few sly questions until he learned what trail the Otter would take to get to the council place. Then, without saying anything, he went on ahead and after four days’ travel he met the Otter and knew him at once by his beautiful coat of soft dark brown fur. The Otter was glad to see him and asked him where he was going. “Oh,” said the Rabbit, “the animals sent me to bring you to the council, because you live so far away they were afraid you might not know the road.” The Otter thanked him, and they were on together.

They traveled all day toward the council ground, and at night the Rabbit selected the camping place, because the Otter was a stranger in that part of the country, and cut down bushes for beds and fixed everything in good shape. The next morning they started on again. In the afternoon the Rabbit began to pick up wood and bark as they went along and to load it on his back. When the Otter asked what this was for the Rabbit said it was that they might be warm and comfortable at night. After a while, when it was near sunset, they stopped and made their camp.

When supper was over the Rabbit got a stick and shaved it down to a paddle. The Otter wondered and asked again what that was for. “I have good dreams when I sleep with a paddle under my head,” said the Rabbit.

When the paddle was finished the Rabbit began to cut away the bushes so as to make a clean trail down to the river. The Otter wondered more and more and wanted to know what this meant.

Said the Rabbit, “This place is called Di’tatlaski’yi (The Place Where it Rains Fire). Sometimes it rains fire here, and the sky looks a little that way tonight. You go to sleep and I’ll sit up and watch, and if the fire does come, as soon as you hear me shout, you run and jump into the river. Better hang your coat on a limb over there, so it wont get burnt.”

The Otter did as he was told, and they both doubled up to go to sleep, but the Rabbit kept awake. After a while the fire burned down to red coals. The Rabbit called, but the Otter was fast asleep and made no answer. In a little while he called again, but the Otter never stirred. Then the Rabbit filled the paddle with hot coals and threw them up into the air and shouted, “It’s raining fire! It’s rain- king fire!”

The hot coals fell all around the Otter and he jumped up. “To the water!” cried the Rabbit, and the Otter ran and jumped into the river, and he has lived in the water ever since.

The Rabbit took the Otter’s coat and put it on, leaving his own instead, and went on to the council. All the animals were there, every one looking out for the Otter. At last they saw him in the distance, and they said one to the other, “The Otter is coming!” and sent one of the small animals to show him the best seat. They were all glad to see him and went up in turn to welcome him, but the Otter kept his head down, with one paw over his face. They wondered that he was so bashful, until the Bear came up and pulled the paw away, and there was the Rabbit with his split nose. He sprang up and started to run, when the Bear struck at him and pulled his tail off, but the Rabbit was too quick for them and got away.

I haven’t dipped back into the native pool for awhile, but one does get a hunger. These poems are drawn from over 1500 or so years of the tradition, which of course is far older.

Celtic Poets – From The Four Remaining Lands

“Castle Varrich on a promontory high above the Kyle of Tongue” photo Harry Willis

The Harp of Cnoc I’Chosgair

Harp of Cnoc I’Chosgair, you who bring sleep
to eyes long sleepless;
sweet subtle, plangent, glad, cooling grave.
Excellent instrument with smooth gentle curve,
trilling under red fingers,
musician that has charmed us,
red, lion-like of full melody.

You who lure the bird from the flock,
you who refresh the mind,
brown spotted one of sweet words,
ardent, wondrous, passionate.
You who heal every wounded warrior,
joy and allurement to women,
familiar guide over the dark blue water,
mystic sweet sounding music.

You who silence every instrument of music,
yourself a sweet plaintive instrument,
dweller among the Race of Conn,
instrument yellow-brown and firm.
The one darling of sages,
restless, smooth, sweet of tune,
crimson star above the Fairy Hills,
breast jewel of High Kings.

Sweet tender flowers, brown harp of Diarmaid,
shape not unloved by hosts, voice of cuckoos in May!
I have not heard music ever such as your frame makes
since the time of the Fairy People,
fair brown many coloured bough,
gentle, powerful, glorious.

Sound of the calm wave on the beach,
pure shadowing tree of pure music,
carousals are drunk in your company,
voice of the swan over shining streams.
Cry of the Fairy Women from the Fairy Hill of Ler,
no melody can match you,
every house is sweet stringed through your guidance,
you the pinnacle of harp music.
– Gofraidh Fion O Dalaigh. 1385]

The Oath

I love, wild and passionate work,
A noble girl, Esyllt’s niece,
A wild white little painter with golden hair,
She is full of love, a goldfinch,
Of the same colour as Fflur and shining gossamer,
A very elegant branch of fierce white.

Some say to me, strong bound love,
‘The best girl is taking a husband
This year, a second Eluned,
Joy of a treasure, it’s a sad man who trusts her’.
I don’t dare, a weak mind,
(Woe to the poet who is a faithful fool!)
Twice the colour of summer, to take the girl
By force, of the colour of thorn flower.
Her proud family, the hawks of Gwynedd,
The best of our country, the host of its feasts,
Would kill me for preventing her
From marrying the man, a hateful battle!

Unless I may have, gentle one with golden word,
Her for myself, the colour of the beautiful appearance of Mary,
There is not, my hidden life,
At all in my serious and sad mind,
By the image of Cadfan – is it infallible? –
And the living cross, a wish for a wife ever.
– Dafydd Ap Gwilym

Love Song

In the white cabin at the foot of the mountain,
Is my sweet, my love:

Is my love, is my desire,
And all my happiness.

Before the night must I see her
Or my little heart will break.

My little heart will not break,
For my lovely dear I have seen.

Fifty nights I have been
At the threshold of her door; she did not know it.

The rain and the wind whipped me,
Until my garments dripped.

Nothing came to console me
Except the sound of breathing from her bed.

Except the sound of breathing from her bed,
Which came through the little hole of the key.

Three pairs of shoes I have worn out,
Her thought I do not know.

The fourth pair I have begun to wear,
Her thought I do not know.

Five pairs, alas, in good count,
Her thought I do not know.

–If it is my thought you wish to know,
It is not I who will make a mystery of it.

There are three roads on each side of my house,
Choose one among them.

Choose whichever you like among them,
Provided it will take you far from here.

–More is worth love, since it pleases me,
Than wealth with which I do not know what to do.

Wealth comes, and wealth it goes away,
Wealth serves for nothing.

Wealth passes like the yellow pears:
Love endures for ever.

More is worth a handful of love
Than an oven full of gold and silver.

The Sorrow of Delight.

Till death be filled with darkness
And life be filled with light,
The sorrow of ancient sorrows
Shall be the Sorrow of Night:
But then the sorrow of sorrows
Shall be the Sorrow of Delight.

Heart’s-joy must fade with sorrow,
For both are sprung from clay:
But the joy that is one with Sorrow,
Treads an immortal way:
Each hath in fee To-morrow,
And their soul is Yesterday.

Joy that is clothed with shadow
Is the joy that is not dead:
For the joy that is clothed with the rainbow
Shall with the bow be sped:
Where the Sun spends his fires is she,
And where the Stars are led.

Boxing Hares, Islay – photo Robert Rutherford


Beats Antique -Live Bass Nectar Tour ’08
Beats Antique

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