Friday, March 26, 2010

Ars Terra Website

So we completely overhauled the Ars Terra website. It is much more our style now and completely updated with all of the house projects. Stepping back and looking at these photos floors me... It really is amazing when you work with Nature on making changes to the landscape, and brings me such peace. I still need to create a greenhouse section, but as I am just getting that sorted, it will be a bit later. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


William and I went to see Avatar, and we both left teary-eyed and very misty. Seeing it in 3D was indeed like entering a new world, but at the same time, it all seemed so familiar to me. This was the world of my dreams as a child. I longed to live in a place like that, and my first tales were of an imaginary lion - Apolleon. I began writing about him when I was about 8 or so, and had a complete book of stories as well as a short opera about him. We lived in a gorgeous jungle-like world together with otherworldly creatures and I was part lion myself. "Sheena Queen of the Jungle" was about as close as I ever saw to what I had dreamed of, but it paled so much to what I had imagined.

What floored me was the concept of the Na’vi people: world-wide matriarchal cultures were merged to create this special tribe who understood the Mother Goddess. Cameron based their words on the Maori language of New Zealand. The idea that their tails connected like electricity to other species, plants - that killed me. To our ancestors, life and land have always been deeply connected.

One idea that I really loved was the fact that the Humans were actually the evil Aliens. Their directive is that which people fear so much should UFOs actually come here: to destroy the earth and all its inhabitants in order to get something out of it - but isn't that what we do to ourselves?

I have read that people have been feeling depression after seeing it, that something tugs them so deeply from seeing this movie - I believe it is because it is the forgotten Truth in our hearts, in our primal brain - the lost connection we once had! People want to live there, because they KNOW they were there once. It makes you KNOW how the way of the modern world is wrong, and that it the very truth we must all look for...

I wrote about this in The Book of Annwyn, its conclusion that I return to often: "Thus, here we are, our modern sense of knowledge completely disconnected from the people we once were. Imagine what it was like to have only the facts of Nature all around you. Watch a thunderstorm with new eyes, where no weatherman exists to explain its coming, or its meaning. Imagine the Moon’s consistently changing shape, the heat of the Sun’s rays, the mists of clouds causing the tops of mountains to disappear, and the falling of snow and hail. Here is the essence of Myth, the awe of the Unknown, where recognizing each tiny change in climate, watching the habits of an animal’s migration - all held a key in Understanding. Our instincts were fine-tuned, and our lives were held in the balance of the seasons... The ability to create art, a skill so misunderstood in this day and age of Art-openings and tiresome criticism, was viewed as simply magical. Music and singing, in its earliest form, was also mystical, and it’s creation had the ability to calm the murderous beast. Some still find this Truth deep within their hearts: some art and music touches a place before memory could be given dialogue..."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring: Awakening

This has become my favorite time of year - out here in the desert, it can either be too hot or too cold. March brings hope - moisture to the soil we have been building over the last three seasons, new shoots, flowers, frogs and birds... A ground squirrel has set up a home next to the duck barn...

I am itching to go on the road, but hate the fact that we are going to be gone through Spring... Missing out on the roses, tadpoles, budding grapevines. Before I began planting and gardening, the seasons really meant nothing to me. Now I bend with them. When a frost happens after new shoots have risen, I take it in stride. I have learned that Nature must do what She will, and we must simply work with her, create shade and micro-climate, build soil, allow things to move naturally... Something changes in your heart... hard to explain...

Musings: A New Start

2010 - Musings are starting over in a whole new place... and are part of my creative thought process. A diary of ideas and thoughts that will help me to further explore my current projects. I have been going through years of writings, old poetry, short stories, papers from college... While returning to Graves' "The White Goddess", I love the following quote, have used it often - even on the pages of the InfraWarrior CD. It just gets all the more timely:

"We are now at the stage where the common people of Christendom, spurred on by their demagogues, have grown so proud that they are no longer content to be the hands and feet and trunk of the body politic, but demand to be the intellect as well - or, as much intellect as is needed to satisfy their simple appetites. As a result, all but a very few have discarded their religious idealism... and come to the private conclusion that money, though the root of all evil, is the sole practical means of expressing value or of determining social precedence; a morality of common honesty is not relevant either to love, war, business, or politics. Yet they feel guilty about their backsliding, send their children to Sunday school, maintain the churches and look with alarm to the east, where a younger and more fanatical faith threatens.

What ails Christianity today is that it is not a religion squarely based on a single myth; it is a complex of juridical decisions made under political pressure in an ancient lawsuit about religious rights between the adherent Mother-goddess who was once supreme in the West, and those of the usurping Father-god.

The propaganda services of the West perpetually announce that the only way out of our present troubles is a return to religion, but assume that religion ought not to be defined in any precise sense: that no good can come from publicizing either the contradictions between the main revealed religions and their mutually hostile sects, or the factual misstatements contained in their doctrines, or the shameful actions which they have all at one time or another, been used to cloak. What is really being urged is an improvement in national and international ethics, not everyone's sudden return to the beliefs of his childhood - which, if undertaken with true religious enthusiasm, would obviously lead to a renewal of religious wars.

Since all contemporary religions contradict one another, however politely, in their articles of faith, can any definition of the word religion be made that is practically relevant to the solution of the present political problems?

Cicero connected relegere, 'to read dully' - hence 'to pore upon, or study' divine lore. Some four and a half centuries later, Saint Augustine derived it from religare, 'to bind back' and supposed that it implied a pious obligation to obey divine law; and this is the sense in which religion has been understood ever since. Neither took into account the length of the first syllable of religio, or the alternative spelling relligio. Relligio can be formed only from the phrase rem legere, 'to choose or pick the right thing', and religion to the Greeks and Romans was not obedience to laws but a means of protecting the tribe against evil by active counter-measures of good. It was in the hands of magically-minded priesthood, whose duty was to suggest what action would please the gods on peculiarly auspicious or inauspicious occasions...

It must be explained that the word lex, 'law', began with a sense of a 'chosen word', or magical pronouncement, and that it was later given a false derivation from ligare. Law in Rome grew out of religion: occasional pronouncements developed proverbial force and became legal principles. But as soon as religion in its primitive sense is interpreted as social obligation and defined by tabulated laws, inspired magic goes, and what remains is theology, ecclesiastical ritual, and negatively ethical behavior. If, therefore, it is wished to avoid disharmony, dullness, and oppression in all social contexts, each problem must be regarded as unique, to be settled by right choice based on instinctive good principle, not be reference to a code or summary of precedents.

There seems to be no escape from our difficulties until the industrial system breaks down for some reason or another, and Nature reasserts herself with grass and trees among the ruins. But the longer her hour is postponed, and therefore the more exhausted by man's irreligious improvidence the natural resources of the soil and sea become, the less merciful will she be."- Robert Graves, 1948