Ethera

The Offering: painting and photo © Sue Vincent at scvincent.com

Photo prompt: Sue Vincent

 

She was Ethera, and she came at the peak of the longest night, on the cusp of the broadening daylight.

She was Ethera. A human. A spirit. A soul. Sometimes one. Often all.

She’d lived among them, flesh and blood and hope and heartache. She’d hungered and shivered and grew and raised and danced and cried and plowed. There had been nothing in her that foretold what she’d become once she passed the veil to the realm of Nether. Where summer did not come and winter did not grip the land and where the prayers of people held substance, unlike bodies, which did not.

She was Ethera. Unseen by most. Perceived by some. Hoped for by many. Feared by almost everyone.

Feared though she’d rarely brought on harm that wasn’t already in the making. Feared though she heralded truth, which for a reason she hadn’t been able to fathom, so many fought against.

She passed like air. Like wind. Like the willow whispering a breeze into one’s ear come silent night.

She was Ethera. And she came bearing gifts: Of scented fields. Of sunlit glens. Of fruit blushing ripe atop the trees. Of roots awaiting the fattening of rain. Of undulating earthworms sliding through the layers of the dirt to aerate the unseen.

As she could, too, pass between the layers of being.

She was Ethera. Some thought her fog. Some thought her ghost. Some knew her as the mist that rose to hold the moments yet to come and the droplets of the feelings those would bring.

She came at the deepest hollow of the longest night, and in her palms she held a bowl of alms, collected by the people’s dreams to appease the frost and sing the morning in.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s Write Photo Challenge

 

 

Devilish

steve-bruce-AoTcgNWfmiQ-unsplash

Photo: Steve Bruce on Unsplash

 

“It was the devil made those,” Aunt Beulah’s eyebrows almost met above the bridge of her nose.

“They’re just a form of volcanic rock, cooled down in a specific way …” Jedidiah tried.

“By which you mean, the devil.”

Jedidiah sighed. There was no way to reason with his relative once her mind was set. Science would find its way to be in service of her beliefs, and any fact would somehow be turned into further proof of her conviction.

In some ways, he knew, he was no different, only that his spiritual experiences had more to do with being one with the rock, fingers holding on to crags, feet clinging to the surface, defying gravity, confronting his mortality.

“You go climb the devil’s work,” Aunt Beulah muttered. She’d raised him and saw herself in his stubbornness. “And I’ll be in the church praying for Jesus to keep you from dying.”

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Tasmania, Australia

 

 

Kiss Bliss

Frog Ready for a kiss AnneToet

Photo: Anne Toet

 

Time had arrived

To make the shift

From frog

To handsome

Prince,

But then the kiss

When it was dished

Kept Frog’s

Amphibian

Bliss.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Fantasy

 

 

Pink Sky Won’t Lie

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

There it was.

Now she knew what would certainly happen. It did not matter that the calendar had counted down the days for many weeks. It did not matter that arrangements have been made, checklists marked, letters sent, particulars organized. She suspected, she resisted, she pretended …

Till now.

“Pink sky won’t lie,” her grandfather had always said. A fisherman all his life, he’d counted on the minutia of the heavens to warn or greet his days.

She’d learned to accept his observations, no matter how disappointed she was with a last minute reversal of plans he’d made for her to go with him. “The water is no place for children today,” he’d say. And saddened though she’d be, she knew enough to respect his judgment of the weather, and knew him well enough to know that nothing she could say or do would dissuade him once he’d made up his mind.

“God may control the weather,” he’d tell her (though always well out of earshot of her grandmother, who would’ve boxed his ears for speaking heresy, grown man or not). “But to me the weather is the real God. I can’t see God, but I sure can see these skies, and I know what they tell me. I heed those clouds. I heed those waves. I heed those colors in the sky.”

And heed he had. Though heeding did not mean one could always escape the wrath of what was coming.

The waves had claimed her grandfather when she was not yet ten. A fast-moving storm that all had later said no one could’ve out-rowed. She almost stopped believing after that. Stopped taking heed.

Because if Grandfather couldn’t read the sky or if the sky could hide its meaning from him, why even bother trying? What will be, will be. Que Sera sera.

And yet, someplace, she never did stop checking the color of the heavens every morning. Somehow, she never did stop glancing out of windows, no matter where in the world she found herself, or how far from any seas or oceans.

Oh, she listened to the forecast. She had the Telly on while she got herself ready for the day. She checked the extended before she packed.

Yet she trusted few things better than what her own eyes showed her: Pink sky at night, sailor’s delight. Pink sky in the morning, means sailor’s warning.

The sky were ablaze.

It was dawn.

She considered herself warned.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto Challenge

 

Fates and Faiths

the old city osnathalperinbarlev

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

In the depths of the city

Where new rubs shoulders

With old,

Uncounted passes of prayers

And woven statements

Enfold,

Fates and faiths of what’s been

And may yet find

Better ways

To be told.

 

 

For Wits-End Weekend Photo Challenge: repeating patterns

 

All That Shines

Gilded AdiRozenZvi

Photo: Adi Rozen-Zvi

 

All that shines

In the glitter

Of candles lit,

Stories told,

Holds the breath

Spent in prayer

O’er Gods

Dressed in gold.

 

 

For the Photo a Week Challenge: Gilded

 

Copious Fortune

Doi Suthep AdiRozenZvi

Photo: Adi Rozen-Zvi

 

Where gold leaf

Lends good fortune

And the crowds

Come to pray,

Shines the hum

Of the many

Wishing for plenty

Today.

 

 

For the RDP Monday challenge: Copious

 

 

A Shared Pedigree

Fossil OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

In the lineage of eras

Where fossils yet live

Ancestry beyond measure

Offers paths to believe.

Time unfolds on itself

Memories seek a reprieve

As humble roots we all share

Still continue to give.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

Jujus

magic all around you

Photo: Samantha Mars

 

She dragged her book bag up the stairs.

Step, bang. Step, bang.

“It looks heavy,” I noted.

“Yeah,” she huffed and paused to frown in the direction of the patchwork of princesses on the backpack. I found myself wondering whether she was directing discontent at her idolized figures not using their royal powers to, at the very least, summon genie help to manage gravity.

“Want me to help carry the bag for you?” I offered.

She raised an eyebrow as if the mere thought of my definitely-not-princess hands handling her bag was beneath the Disney figures that dignified it.

The first-grader lugged the bag another step and stopped, perhaps to reconsider if there are times when commoners’ help is better than none at all. “Yeah,” she nodded.

I walked down to take the bag from her. The thing was heavy!

“What do you have in there?!” I asked. “Rocks?!”

“Aha,” she nodded sagely, skipped a few steps up ahead of me and swiveled her head to look back at me. “Come faster. I want to show you.”

I lifted the bag (and an eyebrow) in her direction and she giggled. “Sorry… Thanks.”

Once upstairs she indicated I was to clear space for whatever that was, then ceremoniously unzipped the top of her school bag and pulled out a succession of boulders. She placed each with care onto the desk. Several pounds of them.

I waited. The lot looked to me like run-of-the-mill New York stones: mostly dark gray schist dappled with a bit of quartz glint.

She leaned back in her chair and waited. Clearly a reaction was warranted.

“That’s a lot of rocks!” I managed.

“Not regular rocks,” she admonished. “These have magic.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah,” she proclaimed. “They have real magic. And gold, too. Inside.”

I tilted my head a bit to one side and nodded my interest.

She narrowed her eyes at me, weighing the merits of talking to grown ups about matters of magic and gold. “They can even make your wishes come true …”

“But … ” she regarded me before adding, a bit haughtily and perhaps to punish me for my lack of immediate awe, “you do have to believe in them, so they’ll only do the magic for me.”

 

 

For The Daily Post

Fraud or Dare

Take a sip OfirAsif

Photo: Atara Katz

 

When your mind wants one truth

But all facts show another,

Will you see what is there

Or mold sooth as you’d rather?

When you seek to believe

What you wish

Not what’s real,

Will you claim truth a fraud

Or urge gyp

Be revealed?

 

 

For The Daily Post