Saturday, July 30, 2005

Empty Travel Journal

Welcome To Duwamish Gateway to Croatan

Where did the Idea for our Duwamish come from? Here it is, mystery solved the following quote flavors and color each word I write about Duwamish and Croatan.

One day I hope the rest of you will share the place your ideas come from.

Here it' is: it's a quote attributed to Chief Seattle....
So on behalf of me, Anita Marie, Welcome to Duwamish the Gateway to Croatan....

" And when the last red man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall become a myth among the white men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe; and when our children’s children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway, or in the pathless woods, they will not be alone."

Chief Seattle

Friday, July 29, 2005

Will The Real Duwamish Please Stand Up?

Hi All,

As some of you may know a lot of us have been having fun in a town called Duwamish.

The Duwamish we write about isn't real city, as some of you may know...however the Duwamish People are very real. I've enclosed a link so that you can meet them as well as their Chief, who's namesake is the city of Seattle.

In a way, he inspired my creation of a Werewolf named Kincross Benandanti, if you read to the bottom of this post you'll see that someone who grew up hearing about the Young Cheif Seattle was bound to be inspired by his bravery and daring.

SO PLEASE if you've enjoyed bringing our Duwamish to life, please please take the time to meet the Real Duwamish people and I hope that they will inspire you as they have inspired me.

Anita Marie

The Story of the Duwamish
Told by the Tribal Logo

The Killer Whale This represents the Duwamish people as they were sea oriented people

The Eagle (Dorsal Fin) The Eagle represents the high respect the Duwamish people had for it as the ruler of the sky, and the fact, that the main base for the Duwamish Tribe was in Renton. The Eagle represents the ruler of the sky

The Raven (Pectoral Fin) Clever and cunning, the Raven represents the knowledge and teachings of the Duwamish people

Tail Ovoid Represents the white man when he first came to the Puget Sound

Whale Eye Ovoid Represents the Duwamish Indian

Raven Eye Ovoid Represents the Duwamish and how they helped the white man from starving to death and how they took care of them for the first two years here in the Puget Sound. They taught the white man how to live and become self-sufficient.

Si'ahl’s leadership ( Seattle )

It is said that Si'ahl grew up speaking both the Dkhw’Duw’Absh and Dkhw’Suqw'Absh dialects of Lushootseed. Because Native descent was derived from both parent’s lineage, Si'ahl inherited his position as chief of the Dkhw’Duw’Absh Tribe from his maternal uncle. He built a strong alliance between the two Nations of his parents.

As a young warrior, Si'ahl was known for his courage, daring, and leadership in battle. In the 1820s, thirty years before European-American immigrants landed on the shores of Elliott Bay, local tribes waited uneasily for a threatened invasion. Rumors had reached Si'ahl that a large force of warriors from the White River tribes was on its way downriver to make a night attack on the Dkhw’Duw’Absh.

Si'ahl set up a night ambush at a strategic bend in the Black River, defeating over 100 warriors in 5 large war canoes. When word of the victory reached Old Man House, the important Suquamish longhouse on Agate Pass, a council of six tribes chose Si'ahl as the leader of a 6-tribe confederation in central Puget Sound. As leader of six local tribes of central Puget Sound, Chief Si'ahl continued the friendly relations with European-American immigrants that his father began in 1792.

Protector and Benefactor

By 1851, Chief Si'ahl was a venerable leader respected for his peaceful ways, not his prowess at war. Chief Si'ahl and other members of the Dkhw’Duw’Absh Nation greeted the first European-American immigrants when they arrived at Alki Point, near Duwamish Head in what is now West Seattle.

Graveyard Shift

The Duwamish graveyard is an interesting place...


``Have you ever seen a ghost?” I asked my boss Stan when I first started working at the cemetery – so long ago, I’ve forgotten when.
He glanced at me sideways, and chuckled.
``Ask me again in a while,” he said.
We were filling in one of the graves. It had recently rained, washing away some of the soil, and the top of a blackened skull was showing through the dirt.
I didn’t have to ask him again, but I guess he knew that.
The first time I saw one I was waiting for the last mourner to leave. There was a steady drizzle, seeping down the back of my neck, under my raincoat.
The mourner, in his plain dark suit, his head bowed so I couldn’t see his face, didn’t seem to notice the rain. After a while, I saw that he wasn’t even getting wet.
I slid down the hill. The man didn’t look up, he just kept staring down at the grave as if he was really pissed off about something.
Stan came walking toward us, making shooing gestures with his hands. ``Come on now,” he said. ``Move along, you shouldn’t be here.”
I thought he was talking to me at first and I started backing away. But he was talking to the man by the graveside.
The man looked up. I couldn’t see anything wispy or ghostly about him. He looked quite solid, but something didn’t quite seem right - his features were out of sync somehow and his hairline kept moving, as if it wasn’t sure where it was supposed to be.
``Run along now,” Stan said, in a kindly way. ``They’ll be waiting for you.” He pointed off in the direction of the trees and the man’s head slowly followed, as he were one of those computer drawn figures in a game.
I felt a soft breeze as he moved past me, then he just disappeared.
``Forgotten already,” Stan said cheerfully. ``Once they forget, they don’t come back.”
``Forget what?” I asked.
``Who they were, what they looked like,” Stan said. ``You see, it all depends how long they can remember. Some of them have been here since the place opened. But once they forget, they’re gone.”
Then I saw Louisa. I was eating a tuna sandwich in my lunch break, and she stood near me. I was about to direct her to Stan’s office, thinking she was looking for a grave, when I realized she looked odd.
Ghosts look odd because they have to keep remembering. Try it - try remembering what you look like, where your legs are, how your arms move. It’s pretty hard.
Some of the ghosts are really good at it. They remember everything perfectly and you almost can’t tell them from the not dead. They hang around the funerals and the visitors and chat to them and you’d never guess unless you knew they were buried there. Mostly they like to remember themselves at their best, as you would.
Louisa’s memory wandered all over the place. Sometimes she was a little girl, sometimes an old woman. The ghosts say it helps if they are still remembered by other people. It’s a kind of collective thing, and it gets harder as the people die off and the memories fade.
Poor old Louisa had no one to remember, or too many people to remember - she slipped about, morphing like a dream. One moment she had rosy cheeks, the next sere and withered cheeks.
``Run along,” I said, ``they’re waiting for you.” But she was still there when I went back to work, cleaning up the graves.
It’s funny what people leave on graves. Little bottles of liquor - Stan takes those - birthday cards, little gifts, perfumed soaps, photographs. The church collects most of it. I guess they pass on anything useful.
The dead are mostly harmless. They usually don’t remember emotions, they are too busy trying to remember the physical things, where the ears should be, which way a nose points. They like to remember the good things, so we never saw any headless ghosts or dripping bloody wounds. Stan says ghosts who hang around graveyards just want to remember what it was like to be alive.
Every time I saw Louisa, I would say, ``Run along now, they’re waiting for you.” The last time I saw her, she actually listened. She was an old, old woman, bent and shriveled. In the end, that was all she could remember. I saw her arm raise, as if someone had gently taken hold of it, then she walked away without looking back. Maybe she had forgotten how.
Stan died quite a while back now – heart attack, under Louisa’s tree. He said goodbye after his funeral. ``Gotta get a move on ,” he said, ``they’re waiting for me.” He was very insubstantial, forgetting as quickly as he could. So I took over from him, and stayed among the dead.
Everyone here is dead except me.

And sometimes I wonder about me.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

In The Bath-House: The Ferry Woman's Tale

Luxuriating in the steamy waters of the bath-house, relaxing with my companions from the grotto, I sipped on Oolong tea and started thinking about the Ferry Women. I wondered who they were and where they came from, and what stories they must have to tell. Thoughts have an unsettling habit of manifesting themselves in Duwamis, so I was not surprised to see my own Ferry Woman sitting on the tiles at the edge of the bath, dangling her feet in the water.

She fixed me with a shrewd look. ``You seemed cheerful on the way back. Did you meet someone you know?”
``No,” I said. ``It was an ancestor I never knew, but maybe suspected – a strolling player, a minstrel. I know little of my family more than a couple of generations back. We were travellers, you see, we didn’t keep records.”

She nodded. ``Like us.” She said succinctly.

She was a strong, muscular woman, as I would expect in her profession. She had pale blue eyes in a deeply tanned and wrinkled face and her hands were broad and calloused
``You’re Irish, aren’t you?” She said.
``What gave it away?”
``Oh, the red hair, the green eyes.” She chuckled. ``And maybe a fellow feeling – my name is Maeve.” Her voice was deep and rich, with the lilt of the west in it.
``How did you come to be a Ferry Woman?” I asked, ``and how did you come to Duwamis?”
``I came here because I answered a call,” she said, ``and as for my life on the sea – that was a call I answered too.

I was walking on the shore one day, watching the waves beating ceaselessly on the sand. The frothy white caps billowed up, curved over and leapt onto the shore - `white horses’, we called them when I young.

I felt the sting of salt spray, and as I watched, the graceful form of a leaping white stallion rose from the foam and galloped onto the shore.

It was Manannan Mac Lir, God of the Ocean. Sometimes he takes human form, sometimes he takes the form of a great salmon, but when he is a horse, and leaps ashore in a welter of foam – oh, that is a sight to see!

All morning I had been feeling a storm in the air. The wind was whipping my robes, and the sand shifting beneath my feet but I could not leave. I heard my mother calling for me – she hated the sea, where my father had been lost. But I could not stay away from it – it was as if it called me, ceaselessly, day and night.

The great stallion paused at the crest of the dune and his head turned my way – my heart was almost stilled in me as I looked into his eyes – human eyes on the head of a horse. Great dark eyes that looked deep into my soul.

That night there was a terrible storm – we heard the crack of a hip breaking on the rocks, and we all ran down with torches to see if we could help. My mother wanted me to stay behind, but I refused.
It was a terrible sight. The great ship was sinking and the water was full of souls desperately trying to reach the shore. The fishermen put out their boats and rowed out to pick up all they could, while others formed a chain to walk out and grab those washing up on the shore.

I heard crying on the wind and ran down the beach – I saw a child clinging to a rock, surrounded by buffeting waves. A great head reared up from the water and I saw Macannan Mac Lir swimming toward her. The child slipped onto his back and he came ashore, to where I was standing. I helped the child down, and he bowed his great head over her and blew softly on her face, drying her tears. I understood that this was a sacrifice he did not want, and I understood that though he is great and terrible, the God of the Sea is also just. In that moment I pledged my allegiance to the sea, to the endless white waves.
In the morning, with the wreckage strewn across the shore and bodies tangled in the weeds, I told my mother I was going to sea, and there was nothing she could do to stop me. And in time I got the call to come here, to Duwamis, to be a Ferry Woman, and I joined my sisters who came before me.”
I thought how wonderful it must be to know yourself – who you are, what you believe, to be so strong in your life’s purpose.

Maeve got to her feet. ``I must go – I must take another journey to the island of the Ancestors tonight.”
``Have you ever been there yourself?”
``Yes,” she said simply. ``I saw my mother – she has forgiven me.” And with a slight bow of her head, Maeve walked away.

In the baths...

After a wonderful massage by a large and silent creature of undeterminate gender, who had ten digits on each hand and enormous strength, my muscles were liquid. I walked slowly to the bath house in a cozy robe and slippers, and entered the hall of waters. The smell of lavender and other essential oils hung in the air, mingling with billowy clouds of steam rising from the blue depths of the pools. I saw familiar faces, leaning contentedly against the side of the pools, fellow travelers all. I slipped off the robe and slid quickly into the deep end of the first pool, one surrounded by rocks, plants and flora in a naturalistic setting that brought to mind a waterfall and pool in the rain forest. I sighed with relief and release as the hot water contacted my skin. I felt small creatures flicking around my calves and knees, and looked within the water to find tiny fish, a vivid blue, nipping at my skin. The sensation tickled but was not unpleasant. I leaned my head back and relaxed.

After some time, I felt others slip into the water, and opened my eyes. I felt a bit nervous about being with quasi-strangers, naked. Instinctively, I folded my arms across my chest. Some of the others were a bit inhibited, as well, but a few lay back in the water, arms open to the heat and bliss, uncaring that they were exposed. There was a bit of idle talk, some comments and praise all around regarding the performances the other night, but mostly quiet. The steam mingled with our breath, and rose from the pool like gossamer. I began to feel the need for a breath of fresh air, but felt uncomfortable getting out of the pool. The other travelers would see my body—the scars around my breasts, my slightly sagging belly, the bulges in my thighs. I waited, hoping for courage to descend. Instead, as we were quietly talking, a large woman entered the room, completely naked, no towel or robe or anything. She was at least 375 pounds, massively tall, and glistened with oil. Her great breasts lay atop her generous belly, her thighs rubbed together when she walked, and her buttocks quivered with each step. She had hairy legs, stretch marks, and a slight mustache, if I were to be truthful. She strutted in and announced to the entire room,

“That was the greatest single massage I have ever experienced. I feel as if I may melt.” She walked over to our pool, and actually leapt in, performing sort of a modified cannonball. Waves broke over all of us in the pool, wetting our faces and leaving us gasping and red.She settled herself in the corner of the pool, chuckling.

“Sorry, gals, can’t be helped. The best way to enter any situation is to jump right in, with both feet. She lifted first one giant breast, then the other, allowing the water to wash beneath them as they gently bobbed near the surface. “Ah, the old girls feel good, swimming free,” she said. She raised both her arms and stretched luxuriously. I looked away, politely.

Suddenly, she moved to my side. Her arm slid around my neck. She clasped me to her bosom.

“Sister!” she said, “It is so good to see you.”

I was shocked and somewhat panicky, skin to skin with this expansive woman, this woman I didn’t even know.

“Um, excuse me, but I don’t think we’ve met,” I said, attempting to free myself from her wet oily clutches.

“Oh, I’m sure we have,” she said. “Somewhere.” She loosed me then and went swimming about the pool, as graceful as a dolphin, splashing about and kicking her legs in the air. “La-de-da, la-de-da,” she sang.

“Really, madam,” I said sternly. “You are splashing all of us while we are trying to relax. Control yourself.”

She looked at me, winked, and threw a handful of water in my face. I sputtered and hiccupped. I wrenched myself up onto the edge of the pool, and reached for my robe, preparing to leave. But I was too slow. The impossible fat woman had grabbed it and plunged it into the water. It was soaking wet. I ducked back under the water.

“Oh, tut-tut, darling. You won’t want to get out of the pool now. I mean really, do you want everyone to see that tiny little stomach of yours? Why it’s hardly large enough to give birth to the world. And those thighs, darling…they are more like sticks than sturdy tree trunks. And your breasts don’t flop around at all; they aren’t really very festive, are they, darling?”

I was incredulous. This woman, this enormous creature, felt herself beautiful, gorgeous, voluptuous, and to her, I was nothing but a six foot, two hundred pound....stick woman. I sat hunched in the pool, feeling bitter and embarrassed.

“Oh, now, mustn’t pout, sweetie. We all can’t be…well, spectacular. You are lovely in your own way…”

“And what way is that?” I asked coldly.

“Well, darling, in the way that is somewhat…well, confined, I guess. Correct me if I am wrong, but you have worked very hard to stay as small as you are, and you still feel you are too large. Am I right?” I nodded, slightly. “And I watched you walk in from the massage hut, darling, furtively, as if wolves were after you. Meanwhile, I was doing a dance for all of the massage creatures and other guests. I figure that once I am relaxed and oiled up, everyone should view the magnificence that is me. I can tell you, I got quite a round of applause, and even a few coppers, though I lack a pocket at the present to keep them in.” She lurched onto the side of the pool and stood, water streaming off of her great curves. “This is who I am, darling, and I am luscious. Now, who are you?”

“I am…just…a woman.” I said, rather at a loss.

“Exactly, my dear. A woman. A woman is all lovely curves, generous spaces, hidden clefts, nourishing hills, succulent valleys, hidden meadows, and flowing rivers.” As she recited this litany, she moved. Her hips wound round in circles, her arms moved about in the air, her hands stroked her great curves, her dark hair slapped wetly against her back and breasts. “We must flow, like lava, like water, like air. We cannot be confined. In order to be the real women, the true women, that we are, WE MUST FLOW!” She reached down and took my hands, pulling me out of the pool. I struggled against her, but she brought me onto the surface. “Now, darling, look at me.” I glanced at my fellow travelers, but they were all watching the large woman. I looked at her. “Now, dance.”

She began to move, and holding my hands in her own, I was forced to move as well. I began to sway my hips, move my shoulders, and shuffle my feet. The air cooled my skin.

“Look at me, darling, look at me!” she said.

As I gazed into her eyes, I saw a vision. She was seated on a throne, dressed only in a belt of gold, and adorned with many jewels. Man and women were bowing down to worship her. Her bounteous flesh overflowed her throne, and her subjects reached out to touch it, afterward kissing their own hands and looking at their fingers with rapture.

“Hmmm? What do you say, Darling?” She smiled merrily at me, still dancing round and round.

Suddenly her vision shifted, and I saw myself, naked in a room full of men and women. I was in the corner, and no one noticed me. But soon, I began to change, shifting and growing. My body became rounder, fuller, and more voluptuous. I could feel the sag of my flesh, the drop of my belly, the weight of my breasts lying on my stomach. I became voluminous. Suddenly, all of the people in the room were watching me, and I became aware of a sound. The people were all chanting, in a strange language, but one that I knew somehow. It was my name they were chanting, only they called me Gaia:

Gaia, who created us
Gaia, who comforts us
Gaia, who protects us
Gaia, who contains us
Gaia, who birthed the universe
Gaia, who nourishes the world
Gaia, bless us.

Suddenly I slipped inside my own skin, the skin that I had worn uncomfortably for forty years, and as I did, the woman embraced me, her tears falling on my skin, mingling with my own as they streamed down my face. We stood, flesh to flesh, skin to skin, woman to woman, and felt our strength, the strength of the mother of the world, the strength of the body, the strength of birth, death, and everything between it. A moment later, we stepped apart, and she cupped my chin in her hand for a moment, and said, “Now we both know who you are. Goodbye, darling.”

I looked at all of my travel companions, seated there in the pool, and I raised my arms overhead and began to dance, a wild dance of joy and abandon, followed by a leap into the pool that splashed everyone, even the ones in the next pool over. My fellow travelers just smiled and wiped the water from their eyes. I looked at the ceiling and whispered, “Thanks be to Gaia.”

Monday, July 25, 2005

A Ride on the Carousel

On my first visit to Duwamish, I spent most of my time at the bookshop and the curio shop. I am an inveterate fossicker and collector, and the curio shop was fascinating. I saw things there I could not identify and had never seen in my life. But I had vowed to travel light, so I sternly limited myself to one purchase in each shop. At the bookshop, the choice was really hard, as it seemed every book I had ever wanted was there – in the end, I settled for a beautiful old illuminated retelling of the legend of Dierdre andNaoise, and at the curio shop I bought a small handcarved box. I had found some lovely shells and pieces of seaworn glass on the shore, so I stowed them in the box. I love places like this, with the seaat the door. The coast reminded me of Scotland, where I spent some of my happiest years.

After the banquet, on my return, I heard a calliope echoing down the Marina, and resolved to find the source. I followed it to the Arima's Amusement Park. Inside it was just like all the sideshow midways I have ever known, but somehow even more colourful and enticing. For me, it was like coming home. I was born into the travelling life, my parents were performers, and so this place drew me like a magnet. As I wandered past the sideshows and knock'em joints, I found the source of the calliope – a magnificent carousel with gilded hand carved creatures.

The carousel stopped as I approached, and stepped up on the platform. In front of me was a magnificent shimmering jade green seahorse, fitted with a golden bridle and saddle. I climbed onto its back and the carousel started up again. I hung on to the pole that twisted in my hands like a stick of golden barley sugar, rising and falling with the music as the carousel turned.

It was a strange, dreamlike ride – the lights around the carousel blurred, and my sea horse seemed to sway on the pole – I felt the air ripple past me in soft, caressing waves, and tasted the tang of the ocean on my lips.Then the carousel slowed and everything came back into focus – the other riders on their fantastic steeds, the arch of the Big Wheel over sideshow alley, the blaring noise of the carnival barkers and the sweet smell of spun sugar.

One of the carnival roustabouts laughed at me as I climbed down from the ride, still slightly dazed and disoriented.

You're lucky it isn't Halloween," he said.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

How Henry Became a Muse--of Sorts--A Tale for Duwamish

He had lived in the abandoned theater along with a variety of other street people for what had seemed like years. Then again it might have been forever, it was frequently difficult for Henry to remember. He'd been to a nearby clinic once or twice where a doctor had given him pills and told him to come back when they were finished but he'd forgotten what the pills were for, so he'd never returned.

Henry was a slight, small man with thinning gray hair who tended to stammer when he felt intimidated, which was most of the time. On the day that turned his life around, he was sweeping the barroom floor behind the curtain when he heard a noise out front. He peeked through one of the holes actors use to count the house and saw a woman sitting alone in the second row. She had a notebook on her lap and was scribbling furiously. Henry nearly passed out.

Where'd she come from! Street people stayed in the building all the time, Henry invited most of them, knew them well and the reasons they'd come but, not only was this woman not from the streets, she was bare foot and wearing pajamas, as if she were in her own bedroom!

Henry had lived in the theater so long, it was in fact, or at least in his mind home and, despite his natural timidity, he intended to find out what she was doing in there.

"You there, behind the curtain, come out and show yourself," a shrill voice demanded, breaking Henry's resolve and nearly tumbling him backwards. He grabbed at the curtain to keep from falling and she asked again, "Who are you, and why are you hiding back there?"

Struck mute, Henry felt the floor buckling beneath him, but then the woman spoke again, and in her voice he heard uncertainty and the beginning of fear. "I don't do plays," she admitted and I don't understand why I'm here. Will you please tell me who you are and what you want of me?"

He cleared his throat and prayed he wouldn't stammer. "Henry," was all he could manage.

"Henry, please come out so I can meet you."

Henry peeked out and realized the woman was on the verge of tears. He parted the curtain a few inches and watched as she self-consciously lifted the notebook in front of her breasts. He squared his shoulders, drawing himself up to his full five foot seven inch height and strode out with as much confidence as he could muster.

"My name is Barbara," she told him, "Are you an actor?"

"Oh, no, no, not an actor!" Henry said vehemently, struggling not to dive back under the curtain .

"Please don't go. I mean you no harm. I'm a writer, but all I can write lately is blah, blah, blah, and then suddenly I saw the curtain move--and I thought someone had come to inspire me--to be my muse."

Henry blinked, struggling to keep up. He remembered the empty pill container in his pocket. He really should go back and get it refilled. He'd missed something--the woman was babbling on--what was she saying?

". . . . . . but if you wanted the job, I'm sure we could work something out."


"Anything you could do, I'd be grateful." She wiped away a tear. It's very hard. I come up with plots, I'm quite good at that, but I have problems finding the right characters."

And that was how it began. Henry told her to come back in the evening and when he opened the curtain at last, he introduced her to Phil, the bartender, who pointed out the lovers seated at a table for two, and the kid down the end with his uncle who'd just bought him his first drink. Henry brought over Mrs. Flynn, who knew all the local gossip and would gladly get back to her after she tracked down Mr. Flynn, and a frazzled blond with purple eye shadow came over and said she'd love to play the girl-next-door or a prostitute with a heart of gold, whichever was needed and, finally, a middle-aged English teacher, who painted houses to make ends meet over the summer, told them all he'd once been a drama major and would be thrilled to appear in one of her stories.

The bartender apologized that the place wasn't as crowded as usual and warned the writer not to approach the solitary figure drinking alone in the shadows.

Henry took a deep breath after musing it over, and added that if she was working on a crime novel, for a few dollars more, he'd consider asking the man about his friends.

Experience of reaching Duwamish

I have tidied up my beautiful cave...I like the word Grotto which means a small picturesque cave...and that's just what is was so warm,inviting,magical and mysterious..when one thinks they can at last meet someone who they have thought about many many times,my Grandmother Sophie.

Time to leave ,alone I walked down the mountain to the road where the little old man with the horse and cart had dropped me the day before...but how far was it to Duwarnish Bay ...only one way to find out, get going Lois.

I walked for about an hour or so it seemed and it was mostly uphill...bushwalking is not one of my strong points......I had just sat under a tree in the shade for a rest ,and at the moment around the corner coming in the opposite direction was a young man on a black horse,cantering along with the main and tail blowing in the wind...He pulled the horse up slowly and alighted ,walking over to me holding the reins he said "Good Morning to you"

"Good morning to you too I replied" "It is unusual to see someone walking up the mountain unless they are a trader or a beggar..."I am neither I said I am on my way to Duwarnish Bay and then on to The Lemurian Abbey".

"You have a long walk ahead of you mostly up hill" said the young man...Oh well as today is Sunday I have the time to give you a much needed ride to your destination"..He beckoned me to the left side of the black horse ,putting my foot into the stirrup ,instructing me to throw my right leg high in the air ,and through the I sailed....Having only been on a horse as a young teenager I must have some idea left in my head because he commented that I looked like a professional rider.....

Oh how men kid us women along knowing just the right thing to say at the right time....Enough nonsense Lois ....

The young man was up on the horse before I had a chance to say what do I owe you for this kindness,and off we set up the Mountain of Umbria.

I wrapped my arms around his waist and was transported back to when I was a girl of 18, walzing around the dance floor at the St Kilda town hall so many many years ago....Then I had a tiny 18 inch waist.

We spoke very little, he did most of the talking describing the countryside and the stories of the myths of the mountain....We rode into town with many a person in the street quite surprised to see the young man with me..Who was she they were thinking........We stopped outside a small inn ,the horse stopping as if it knew where we were.....This was a creature of habit ....I eased myself down very gently from this wonderful black horse.

We had not exchanged names the young man and I but it did not seem necessary,he accepted me as just someone he had helped find their way to Duwarnish Bay ...He beckoned me into the inn ,where we were greeted by a tall man with a rather long black beard ..."That was a quick journey my son " he said...It was then I knew he was the inn keepers son.

After explaining the what's and why's and how's I was shown to a small room where I was to spend the night ...and after a meal that was brought to my room I was ready for sleep......Its not every day you half climb a mountain and ride on a horse for miles on a country road with a handsome young man (did I mention he was handsome) ........So this was the stop off point on the way to the Lemurian Abbey I would ask my landlord in the morning when I set off once again on another part of my journey.


I slept well that Sunday evening ,it must be the country air ,I know I could not smell the sea and this worried me a bit....I like being close to the breeze that smells of the salt and brine from the ocean or bay.

I washed,combed my hair put on my black track-suit pants and top then my heavy boots,I wasn't sure how far I had to walk and also there may not be a young handsome man on a black horse this time.

Throwing my small cotton backpack over my right shoulder I descended the old timber staircase ,and into the front area of the Duwarnish Inn.

I could hear chattering and laughing over to my left and as I opened the door to one of the large front rooms there seated either side of a long table were I think 9 women and me made 10.

They beckoned me (I like that word beckoned) to come join them for breakfast...I was hungry ,this mountain air is not for those on a diet.

We chatted as old friends ,names shared experiences told ,all very different on how we had come to the Duwarnish Inn ....All spoke of a cave/grotto where they had been greeted by a stranger who took their hand and settled them down for the night ...some told of caves that had beautiful lace/satin curtains and big mirrors on the walls,hand woven mats on the floor and night clothing laid out on the bed ready for a restfull nights sleep.

But...........We women had one story to tell that was common to us .....not about how we got to the cave,not about what we had in our backpacks ,not about who we met at the cave entrance ..But ..The chocolates that awaited us ,4 beautiful dark chocolates ,chocolates not seen before so rich and tasty....I then reached into my pocket ,Oh damm I have left my chocolates on the bedside table ,I excused myself ,rushed up the old stairway and into my room to retrieve the 2 chocolates I had left there on Sunday night..........

They were gone and in their place was a small flute ,only about 5 inches long made from the most delicate timber and on it a small card that said......This is for you to sing yourself to happiness".

Well over the years I have done much to give myself happiness ,and have learnt that it comes from within not without .

o now I have this special gift from whom I know not, but something tells me it is very very special,as I wrap it on my small handkerchief and put it at the bottom of my backpack I know that I will play it one day soon......I now join the girls in the front parlour of the Duwarnish.


As I sat around the table with my female friends I listened intently to what they would be wearing for the performance at Lemuria in the Great Banquet Hall.

In the corner of the large front parlour at the inn were boxes filled with bright coloured robes,scarves,hats,ribbons,wigs etc etc ....I was told to help myself to what I need ...Now I am not fond of clothes at the best of times and only get dressed up when pressed to do so......but dressing up for a performance brought back memories of my days when working in Aged care ,no money supplied by the nursing home owners,so we staff improvised ..

I remember over the years being....a Hula dancer, Cinderella, Sweet Sixteen and never been kissed,one of the 3 little girls in BlueLand, a maid,a child going to the football with her Mother.....No rehearsels,we went on cold but it was a joy and such fun for the staff and residents as well.

So as I rumaged through the box I found a long brightly coloured cotton skirt and an off the shoulder white cotton this would go with walking boots I hated to think.

Now as I belong to a choir where we sing a lot of folk songs from other countries also lullabys and protest songs etc etc I was thinking I might like to sing something from Portugal .......The CD it comes from is called CRISTINA BRANCO corpo iluminado.....This music is guitar predominately ,but I think a few notes on my small flute might go well..What do you think ?is there anyone in my group that could give me a few quick lessons on the flute.?
Any offers most welcome ,but I am a slow learner.

Now this is the song I have chosen to sing
ll Faudra que Tu m 'Arrives
In English it is
Because life happens to me
I myself am forced to happen,
as the day that fades away
turns unhurriedly into night

What magic draws a curve
Inside this deep circle
Who draws a wave on the ocean
how many in the world did he draw

And whoever knows love
as I percieve it in you
Because life happens to me
you must happen to me too.

I will think of the young handsome man on the black horse, as sing this beautiful song,and I will think of a man I loved way back in 1956...I was young and unromantic I think,but now I would be much more romantic ,age does bring wisdom,I am feeling sentimental ,but not sad, just thinking about the song.

I am off to practice my beautiful song and later join the others hoping to find that elusive flute teacher.

Whirling ,spinning, floating ,my skirt is the finest of cotton and settles easily around my feet ,it feels cool against the sunbunt skin on my legs from my horseriding experience ...Oh to be young, to be young again,we should be able to come back to earth again with all our learned knowledge.

Exploring Duwamish

Relaxed after my travels and my performance at the Abbey under control I decided to take the opportunity to explore Duwamish. The Inn was crowded with people rehearsing, captivating the audience of locals. The Enchantress is bustling about, overseeing rehearsals and getting all in order for the banquet at the Abbey.

Armed with my backpack, journal pen and camera (I am learning to travel light!)
I was off, but not before collecting the Duwamish brochure at the front desk. My first stop was the shops along the Marina and a chance to perhaps collect some treasures.

I stopped in at the Art Gallery; it was rather an eclectic mix of artists and works. I made a most pleasurable acquisition. The gallery had a selection of sketches -rendered by our friend Heather – of the Duwamish Bay. I could not leave without this purchase.

My next stop was the Curio Shoppe. Full of the weird and wonderful. I browsed the store, not looking for anything in particular. I knew that if there was something here for me then it would point itself out. And there it was, amongst a collection of apothecary jars, bottles and tools. A slender glass bottle within which a single raven’s feather was suspended, as if held there by magic.

A brief stop at the Sweet Shoppe, I now know where the Soul Food Café get their chocolates. I was quite literally was the kid in the candy store. A small selection of sweets and chocolates were purchased and I was on my way again.

Livia Cotard’s bookshop was the next stop on my Duwamish expedition. That could have been the end of my adventure; I could spend hours in such a delight as this bookshop. I had been browsing in the bookshop of exquisite books when Livia herself came to me. She said “I do apologise, but I must ask you to leave, I must go to collect a story. Please accept my apologies and please do return before you leave Duwamish.” As she said this she pressed a small leather bound book into my hands. I told her I could not accept such a gift. “Nonsense” she said “it is yours.” I thanked her, promising to return before our party departed Duwamish.

Then it was time for the most important destination in my exploration, but first I had to find some flowers. I walked towards the end of the marina and purchased some flowers from a woman with a cart laden with flowers. Then I started toward the Leaning Birch Cemetery – where the forgotten were laid to rest. I met no one on the way. At the cemetery it seemed that no one came here at all.

The graves were overgrown; some of the headstones had fallen over and lay where they fell. I had to search for what I had come for checking headstones and clearing vines. It was then that I found it. A small headstone with the inscription:
The Forgotten – in memory of the stillborn babes
I cleared around the grave as best I could and lay my flowers down. This was how it was so long ago. There were no records, no names or numbers, but this is the site of many a stillborn babe.

I sat down by the headstone and took out of my backpack the book that Livia had given me. I opened the book to the title page; it read – The Forgotten – the story of lost souls.

Duwamish Players

Image Hosted by

A group of us have been staying in Duwamish on our way to the Lemurian Abbey. After successful dress rehearsals with the Duwamish Players, our group of travelling players will ride with the Enchantress of the Cave of the Sibyl to the present 'From the Cave of the Enchantress' to Abbey Residents.

Before departing we have some free time and I have been out with my sketchbook.