The Black Madonna of the Darker than Dark Forest

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The place closest to my heart in the whole of Switzerland is the Monastery of Einsiedeln. “Einsiedeln” is a German word for “hermitage.” Surrounded by a dark, mysterious forest, situated near a sce…

Source: The Black Madonna of the Darker than Dark Forest

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The Black Madonna of the Darker than Dark Forest

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The place closest to my heart in the whole of Switzerland is the Monastery of Einsiedeln. “Einsiedeln” is a German word for “hermitage.” Surrounded by a dark, mysterious forest, situated near a scenic lake, adjacent to glorious mountain peaks, the place is second to none of the famous holy sites of the world in its beauty. It is in this area that Paracelsus was born, and perhaps more importantly – it is a place of worship of the Black Madonna of Einsiedeln, a delicate statue carved lovingly in lindenwood in the first centuries AD. She was a gift from Abbess Hildegarde of Zurich to Saint Meinrad, a monk who established the hermitage of Einsiedeln.

Meinrad was born into a privileged family but he felt he needed to walk his own path instead of rising in the ranks in an established monastery of Reichenau. He wanted to leave the familiar and…

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The Dreary Dystopia of Madhouse Earth

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The Chrysalis

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

These opening lines to Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities are brilliant. It could be said that, right there, is the…

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Another Timeless Tale Just For You.

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Have We Had Help?

Goblin

The Grand High Goblin – Obadiah Fingletook

Following on from my previous post A Timeless Tale, I have much pleasure in presenting another from my much maligned fantasy anthology Goblin Tales.

These are stories you can so very easily get lost in as you accompany the goblin brothers on their adventures. Now instead of moving on as many of you normally do, why not do me the courtesy of actually reading the tale. You never know, it might even make you smile…

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The Time Before Map

                                                  Held for Ransom
In which Globular Van der Graff, (Glob), Makepeace Terranova (Make), Byzantine Du Lac (Byz), Eponymous Tringthicky (Mous) and finally, curmudgeonly old Neopol Stranglethigh (Neo), set out on a quest to rescue the grand high goblin, Obadiah Fingletook.

A loud knock on the goblin brother’s front door an hour before dawn, one day in early spring, woke Glob from a deep sleep…

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Oh For Goodness Sake – Stand At My Grave and Weep Already!

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Full Voice -- Barbara McAfee

Death has been visiting my life a lot in this past year. During those times, I have frequently heard Mary Elizabeth Frye’s well-known poem, “Do No Stand At My Grave and Weep.”

This morning as I was lolling abed, I began naming my departed-beloveds in my mind, calling their sweet faces to mind and silently speaking their names one by one. This is one of the ways I honor them and deal with their absence. In the midst of that familiar ritual, I “heard” a distinct voice speaking into my mind. This is what it said.

Now, Honey. You just go ahead and stand at my grave and weep. As a matter of fact, you could fall to the ground if you wanted to. If there’s snow or mud, no matter — you can always get that funeral suit cleaned later on.

Or you could forego the suit altogether. Wear…

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