The White Owl

Here’s my owl story, inspired by my owl print and the below words that I chose to use in writing this story snippet….

the word prompts….

tale, tall, texture, tingle, tone, torch, trail, transcend, transfix, transitory, travel, tree, tumble, twilight

“The White Owl”

traveling up the steep mountain trail
i stopped to light my torch as twilight approached
i had a late start

my pack was heavy
full of herbs that i had gathered for Maven
but this time
something was wrong
this time her usual monthly order
contained over a year’s worth of supplies

the tone of her note
felt urgent
rushed
hastily written
the texture of her usually fine handwriting
was sloppy with speed
she had forgotten to include yarrow
her favorite herb
on her list
so i gathered
a large supply of the flowers
and added them
to my pack

Maven was the local healer and wise woman
she lived in a tiny village
on the other side
of the broad mountain range
it took me a full day
to reach her

this time
i would be
traveling by
night

i paused to catch my breath
on the steep path

i shivered
as i felt the tingle
of the drift of evening chill

i was caught off guard
by an odd feeling
that i wasn’t coming back
i tried to hastily
dismiss
my fear
but the feeling lingered
and shivered
through my body

i passed through the tall trees standing like sentinels
at the edge of the alpine meadow
as my thoughts continued
to haunt me

this might be
the last
time
that i set foot
in this
place

as i reached the steep vista beyond

i lingered for a moment

stopping to gaze at the expansive overlook
as always i was in awe of the natural beauty
of waterfalls
of streams
of the vast forest
in the valley far below
and beyond

feeling nostalgic
i told myself

stop it

i will return to this place
tomorrow evening
after delivering the herbs
to Maven

but strangely
i didn’t feel fully
convinced

i turned toward the setting sun
as it was streaming out its final rays
the sky was lit with the soft filtered golden light
it filled me up with a profound feeling of peace
a quiet state of grace

that’s when i saw her

a solitary white owl
angelic, yet of this earth
silent in flight

I stood still
transfixed

the moment
was transitory
but far reaching and expansive
it felt as if, for a moment
i had transcended space and time
i felt the nerves throughout my body
tingle and pulse
with a rush
of energy

for a moment i couldn’t move
i felt a visceral change
that something
had shifted
deep inside
of me

Maven had told me the tales
of the transformational experience
of encountering a spirit guide
of the earthly realm

she told me
seek not to find them
for they will never appear upon command
but that the spirit guide
will appear when you are ready
but not necessarily willing
to hear and follow
their message
given

she said
take note
for the words

will give you guidance
in times of great
need

think of it as
your north star
she told me

the whispered words of the white owl
tumbled out quickly:

silent flight
wisdom within
the purity of truth

i wasn’t sure
what the three bits of wisdom meant
or how i would follow the white owl’s guidance
as i steadied my pack
and headed up the mountain
into the approaching darkness of the night
but there was one thing i knew
for certain

something profound
had shifted
in my life as
i had known it

maybe i wouldn’t return to this place
maybe i would be here tomorrow

but i knew that
my life
would
never
ever
be the same
again…..

Written by Susan Eileen Jizba
Weaver and Wordsmith….the Weaver of Words

……weaving fibers & fables
……………give me 15 words and I’ll tell you a tale…………

https://www.etsy.com/shop/theweaverofwords

img_1918

Posted in A Snippet of Story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Tree

…..the below “story snippet” was inspired by and written for my linocut print entitled “The Tree” – it was written using the following word prompts:

challenge, forest, full moon, grab, hidden, midsummer, night, pause, race, scream, solid, trap, utter, waver, weaver, wild

A print of my linocut “The Tree” is on display and for sale at the Angels Gate Cultural Center’s exhibition: “A Stone’s Throw from Water: Explorations from Angels Gate Cultural Center’s Community Classes” The exhibit is on display until September 15, 2018.

the link to this exhibit is:

http://angelsgateart.org/gallery/community-class-students-and-teachers/

…..here’s the story that I wrote using these words:

“The Tree”

no one knew where it
came from
perhaps it was brought as a seed
by a bird
from a distant land
it was a tree unlike any other in the vast forest
i knew
every trail
every trunk and branch
every crest and vantage point
every hidden crevice and cave
of the vast dark deep wilderness that spread across the mountains
that surrounded our tiny village
but i had never seen
a tree like this one
ever before

the tree
grew in the middle of a natural meadow
facing due north
i always thought of it
as my North Star

the tree was always there for me
it had a calming effect on me

when i sat back against its
broad solid trunk
i felt enveloped by its peaceful energy

my earliest memory of the tree
was as a sapling
as a very small child
i had wandered away to find it
and fell asleep beneath
its tiny wingspan
of branches

the energy of the tree felt grounding and calming
i felt a rush of pure bliss
an expansive uplifting sense of harmony and unity with the tree
and the fulfillment of a deep belonging
although I was completely alone
i felt secure and safe
sleeping beneath it
in the warm sun

i screamed
when my mother found me
and took me away from my tree
breaking the connection so abruptly
shattering the sacred bonds
that i felt so deeply
with my tree

most of the villagers thought of me
as different
psychic insights
and prophetic visions
came naturally to me
i knew things
i could sense rain coming
on a sunny day
i knew whether a baby
would be a girl with blond hair
or a boy with dark eyes
i could tell which villagers were planning a nighttime tryst
and the hour in which would happen
some of the villagers
respected me
others feared me
and a few were openly hostile

my mother told me
that my unearthly powers were a gift
that it was one of the many things
that made me unique
and special

when i was a small child
my father carved a wooden amulet
he infused it with his intention to protect me
he created it from a branch that fell from the tree
after a fierce storm ravaged the land
i found the broken bough in the meadow
in the place where i usually sat
i felt it was a simple sacred offering
from the tree
to me

my father drilled a small hole in the amulet
and hung it on a leather cord
i always wore the amulet so that
i could feel the warmth of its worn wood
close to my heart

my father carved the remaining branch
into two larger talisman
he lifted me up onto his broad shoulders
so that i could hang one talisman on a nail above the front door
when i was done
he carried me over to the hearth
and i set the other one upon the mantel
i felt the energy of the tree fill our small cottage
with the safe cozy feeling
of home

my father was killed in an avalanche
he saved many villagers
but was unable to
save himself
i was still a child
for weeks i sat underneath my tree
visiting it each day even though the cold wind
cut through my coat
and the snow drift were high and deep
i sat and stared
at the jagged
bare
unforgiving cliff
that took
my papa

I screamed
I wept
I mourned
at his massive grave
under rock
under stone
under mountain

after my father was gone
my mother fiercely protected me
in her quiet way
even more than before
perhaps she understood
perhaps she
had a bit of
magic
too

my mother always had a calming effect on everyone
diffusing potential confrontations
she knew how to reach people
creating unity
and harmony
and a sometimes
uneasy
peace

as a young maiden
i was devastated when
my mother passed away from the fever
during a long hot summer
plagued with sudden cold spells
i didn’t see it coming
perhaps i unconsciously blocked it out

i

could

barely

function

for

a

very

very

very

long

t i m e

at a certain
point

the necessities of life

shoved me

back

into the world

i had inherited my mother’s
tiny cottage
and had taken up her trade
as a weaver
although unlike her weaving
my creations
always had a life of
their own

in the winter
wool blankets that i wove
would grow longer in length and denser in thickness
creating more warmth in the harshness of the season

in the summer
the blankets would shed tiny bits of fluff that would float
up into the air
it reminded me of watching clouds high up in the sky
drifting past
as i sat beneath the tree

sometimes the sound of the sheep
that provided the wool
would escape from one of my blankets
and a bleat or two could be heard
when a room was quiet
and still

sweaters that i wove
changed color with the seasons
thankfully though
they were not deciduous

the villagers seemed to accept me
and my life settled into a new routine

that all changed
one hot midsummer night
it was the eve of the full moon
I felt a sudden surge of darkness

perhaps
it was their fear of the magic in my weaving
perhaps
the growing light of the waxing moon had exposed and amplified their darkness
perhaps
they had simply reached some sort of breaking point
i wasn’t sure
why

as a young maiden
my psychic powers had grown
in strength and clarity
but for some reason
i couldn’t
understand
their rage
i couldn’t
understand
why they came after me
with such hate
perhaps
their darkness in their hearts was too dense
for me to see it
clearly

this time
as the sun set
on this night
i didn’t linger outside
to watch the full moon rise
as it cast its shimmering silvery light
across the village square
throughout the marketplace
bathing the thatched rooftops
and spreading to the forest beyond

i bolted my door
i held my amulet tightly within my palm
but i didn’t feel the peace and calm
that i usually felt

the other talismans that my father made from the wood from the tree
were still in place
above the front door
and on the mantel above the hearth

it was very hard to wait
knowing they were coming
but i wasn’t sure
what else
i could
do

the villagers came
at midnight
there were just a few
and i knew each of the angry men
that were coming for me
Herne
Karney
And Dewain
i could feel the heat from their torches and
their searing pounding hatred
their blinding fear
they were far beyond the realm of reason
when they reached my cottage

they pounded on
my oaken
door

and although i knew it was coming
i was jolted
and jumped

they uttered the word
i knew
i would hear
a challenge
spoken in unison
with a dangerous hiss

witch
witch
witch

for a moment
i felt trapped
i felt my amulet shift
the knot on the leather cord unraveled
and it slipped out of my hand
and clattered across
the wooden floor
stopping
under
the
back window

i knew i had to leave

now

there was no time
to waver
i rushed
to the window
grabbed my amulet
off the floor
as my hand shook
and i climbed up and out
of the window
as quietly as
i could

i raced away
as my heart pounded
and pounded
and pounded
my breath shoving in and out
in quick bursts
as i rushed along
a small overgrown footpath

Bran and Enid
were two villagers
that had been kind to me
but i couldn’t let
myself put them
in danger

so i headed for the tree
i couldn’t understand it
but i felt i would be
safe there

i paused
as i reached the edge of the meadow
the tree dominated the landscape with its majestic and graceful form
although i had seen it so many times
it still stirred a quiet yet profound sense of awe
within my heart
within my soul
every time i saw it
i always felt a sense of wonder
as if i was seeing it
for the very first
time

even now
i had to stop
for just one moment
to take it in

the tree’s massive roots snaked all the way across the expansive meadow
it reminded me of one of the great sea serpents
in my mother’s bedtime
tales
i turned to look back
at my cottage
i expected it
to be engulfed
with flame

it was strangely dark

i saw the three torches
heading up the road
i knew they were
coming for me

i turned
to race across
the meadow
but my foot caught
on a root
and my body was flung forward
slamming down onto
the ground
my ankle throbbed with pain
i struggled to stand
but couldn’t

the villagers were close
i could see their forms
within the light of the moon
there was something strange about them

when they came closer
i saw a strange black web
spreading across their bodies
they didn’t seem to notice it
but it was very clear to me
i felt that the web was draining their energy
and depleting their
life force

when the men spotted me
they began chanting

Burn the Witch
Burn the Witch
Burn the Witch

i tried to remain as calm as i could
so that i could listen to
my inner voice
the one that spoke to me
but there was
no answer

the black web
grew more densely around their bodies
the louder they yelled
as they reached
the edge of the meadow
they tried to rush
forward

but couldn’t
there was some sort of force field
that stopped them
they couldn’t step past
the massive roots of
the tree

this infuriated
the men
they yelled
and screamed at me
and the black web grew denser and denser

i thought i heard my inner voice w h i s p e r

hatred kills
love heals

i knew then
they were creating their own darkness
feeding the hatred
that fed the black web

i tried to help them
trying to get them to feel
some sort of love
i knew they would die
if they didn’t

i called out to Herne asking if his baby had spoken his first word
i asked Karney how many puppies his dog had last week
i couldn’t think of anything that Dewain loved
i tried and tried
but i couldn’t think of
a single thing that
he might care
about

i noticed a change
In Herne and Karney
the black web thinned
and then receded
in the space surrounding
their heart

Dewain
continued his chant
over and over

Burn the Witch
Burn the Witch
Burn the Witch

Dewain finally
pulled both men back in
and they began to chant again
i knew they were lost
i tried to shout
but they
couldn’t hear

the black web grew denser and darker

and then

Dewain screamed and unearthly scream

Die Witch

Burn in Hell

Now

he hurled his torch up into the air
aiming directly toward me

the other men threw their torches as well

time slowed

i watched the torches
arch through the air
i touched a bare root
connecting one last time to my beloved tree
i was showered by sparks and embers
as the torches fell
and hit the roots of the tree
in quick succession

and as they
hit
the roots of the tree
each
torch

bounced

and ricocheted

back

toward
each of the men
who threw the
fire

the black web
that covered their bodies
caught the sparks from their torches
it was
too fast to feel
too fast to react
too fast to scream
for a sliver of an unearthly second they were fully aflame
three towering columns of fire
and then
they were
ash
then dust
whipped away
by a gust of wind
rushing down the mountain pass
and they were

gone

Written by Susan Eileen Jizba
Weaver & Wordsmith….the Weaver of Words
………………weaving fibers & fables………………
http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWeaverOfWords

Posted in A Snippet of Story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Art Exhibit Opening with my prints

Posted in Press / Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Spider’s Spell

In honor of the print of my copper etching “The Spider’s Spell” that will be on display at the exhibit “A Stone’s Throw from the Water” at Angels Gate Cultural Center from August 4 – September 15, 2018, I just had to write a story snippet.

Here’s the words that I chose for this “story snippet”:

believe, candle, command, fume, gather, haunt, heirloom, jolt, key, light, notice, south, specter, trinket, wood

and here’s the “story snippet” that I wrote using those words:

“The Spider’s Spell”

I had always been drawn to old things
even as a small child
playing in my grandmother’s attic
i couldn’t resist
the rusted skeleton key
that i found

no one knew
where the key came from

no one knew
what the key opened

no one knew
what the key locked away

as an adult
i felt i was searching for something
specific antique items
and although i didn’t know exactly what they were
i always had the belief that
someday
somehow
i would find
them

i hunted for treasure
at estate sales
at antique shops
at local flea markets
and at every county fair

one saturday
in late summer
i followed a series of signs
leading to an estate sale

at the end
of a very long
very overgrown
forgotten county lane
i first saw it
the crumbling mansion
beyond the tangle and neglect
of the front garden

i had a strange prickly feeling
which silently slithered up the back of my spine
i gathered my courage
as i parked on the crowded drive
and stepped through a crudely cut path
past thick thorny vines
and scruffy barbed bushes
the garden had long broken free
and returned to it’s wild
instinctual state

the front entrance of the manor was crowded
as people rummaged through books and boxes piled high
at the base of the stairs

i felt drawn to climb
to the upper levels
entering a small bedroom
near the back
the room was empty
except for a worn wooden wardrobe

behind it

i discovered a musty music box
the cylinder was cracked and beyond repair

as i lifted up the music box
a tarnished silver locket slipped out
and clattered to the floor

as i reached for and picked up the locket
i felt my heart beat faster
i felt beads of sweat gather and drip down
between my chest

the clasp on the locket was broken
it easily flipped open in my hand
revealing
a fragment of a faded picture inside
of a young woman
holding her beau’s hand

this was it
i knew
the very items
that i had been looking for
for such a very long time

i thought my search was finally over
i didn’t know
it had just begun

as i had done so many times before
i took my treasures back to my small cottage in the woods
first i carefully removed the dust, dirt and grime
as i prepared the antiques for a deeper cleanse

i set the music box and the locket
beside my grandmother’s old skeleton key
on the table facing the south window

as i lit a tall candle
i could sense the presence of spirits
specters from the past
still clinging to the heirlooms and trinkets that they once owned

i opened the window
and commanded them to leave
into the darkness of the night
the candlelight swayed
the wick sputtered
and fumed

but they did not leave

i waited
for the subtle jolt
that would signal
the release
of their former ownership of
the objects
that they held
in their past lives
so very
long
long
ago

as i waited
in the stillness

i noticed

a solitary spider

it
dropped
down
on its
thin
silken
thread

dangling
like a fine spindle

twisting
turning
swinging

back and forth

twisting
turning
swinging

back and forth

in a slow
hypnotic
rhythm

i couldn’t look away
once
twice
three times
i tried

but
just
couldn’t
do it

i was
mesmerized
by
the
slender
slight
swaying
swinging
spider

maybe it was just a moment
maybe it was many minutes
i wasn’t sure

but finally
i felt a subtle shift
a release
within the room
and i was finally able to
force myself
to glance away

the locket on the table was newly polished
and tightly closed
its clasp was fully functional
i heard the music box tinkling a classic tune

the room was furnished with unfamiliar items from a bygone era
with antique objects that were
brand new

i heard the handle of the door turn
the knob shook
the door rattled and rocked
but held in place
firmly locked
keeping me
safe

i heard a thump
and felt a brush
as if an unseen force had passed by
the skeleton key from my grandmother’s attic
lifted from the table
and flew across the room
it neatly fit into the keyhole
and clicked
within the lock
and the door
swung
slowly

open

Written by Susan Eileen Jizba
Weaver & Wordsmith….the Weaver of Words
………………weaving fibers & fables………………
http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWeaverOfWords

Posted in Silly Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a fireside tale: travelling further down the road

…this one took a little while, but here it is. my latest “story snippet”, continuing the story of a “fireside tale”….

here’s the chosen words: amulet, bind, burnish, bury, cast, challenge, connect, fairy tale, haunt, hidden, midnight, path, porcelain, trick, wilderness….

and here’s the “story snippet” that I wrote using these words…can you find each word embedded in the tale?

“a fireside tale: travelling further down the road”

vaguely aware
………i wandered toward wakefulness

………………stepping forward

drifting back

……struggling against the pull

……………….holding ground

…………………feeling the force

…………….of the mesmerizing seduction of sleep

………………challenging it

…………………fighting it

………………………stepping forward once again

……………………………….this time

……………………………………all the way across

…………………………………………………..the t h r e s h o l d

………………l e a v i n g   behind the  ethereal  realm  of    d r e a m s

groggy
confused

as my hazy sleep logic

touched
………the edge
………………..of waking reality

i paused.
 

trying to
remember

there was something
important

something
vital

in my dreams

i struggled to recall
but the images were just out of  r e a c h

i could feel them

hidden
in a subliminal space

……………a half-step away

haunting me
taunting me

as i tried so very hard
to remember the images
to understand the message

but the dream was
……………………………………………….g o n e

i felt cold
perhaps the fire went out
i felt wet too
i opened my eyes

i wasn’t in my bed

i was lying on thick dewy moss on a forest floor

i bolted awake

shocked.
stunned.

then
i remembered

the odd night in my cottage
the enchanted embers
lifting up and out of my fireplace
one by one
my midnight flight
following the trail of their light
into the cursed wilderness
becoming entangled in a swirling vortex of spells
cast backwards

i felt a faint filmy residue
of the sticky gossamer web of magic
of binds that had been broken
and flung aside

but now
aside from fading remnants
from the night before

the air around me
felt oddly
clear
fresh
and completely free of magic

in addition to the absence of magic
i felt something else
as if an enormous shift
had taken place

i looked around the dense forest
faintly lit by the approach of dawn
but i couldn’t find any trace
of the enchanted embers from the night before

i couldn’t shake the feeling
something was wrong

i decided to head back to my cottage
i wanted to make sure everything was okay
i could see bits of the meadow through the trees
so i headed out to the meadow
trying to retrace my steps
from the night before

a light morning mist hovered a foot above the ground
covering the large expansive meadow
i looked for the ancient oak tree
to gain a sense of direction

but the meadow was clear
it should have been there
but it wasn’t

i crossed the large meadow
stepping carefully in the fog
but i soon became concerned and careless
and started to run

i made it half way across the field
when my foot caught on something
i stumbled

it was a small sapling
an oak tree

i had an eerie feeling

i had never seen a sapling in the middle of the meadow before
only a single massive oak tree

i stood up
i wasn’t injured
just shaken
i felt my heart pounding and pounding

i raced across the rest of the meadow
heading for the area
where i thought i could find the path
back to my cottage

the mist dissipated at the edge of the meadow
i found a faint earthen path
it wasn’t the broad footpath that i knew

i had a deeply disturbing feeling
i knew that this was
the path

i followed the trail
through the trees
ducking under branches
stepping over tree trunks
as my heart pounded and pounded

it felt like i had been walking for hours
when i finally reached the place
the clearing where i knew
my cottage
should be

but there was nothing

this time i knew for sure
the forest was denser than it had ever been
the familiar mountain with tall spires was in view
it reminded me of the church in my grandmother’s fairy tale
a tale she told us long past bedtime
when i was supposed to be
fast asleep

it was the same majestic mountain
that i had gazed at from my cottage door on so many early mornings
as its long spindly shadows
receded with the rising
of the sun

i rushed to the place
where my cottage should have been
searching for the outline of its foundation
searching for burnt ashes from the fireplace
searching for shattered fragments of porcelain
searching for any artifact
that could prove
the existence of my home
the existence of my life just a night ago
in order to find proof of the very existence and identity
of who i truly
was

as my heart pounded and pounded and p o u n d e d

i found

………………..nothing

as the sun rose further
i saw a flash
then another quick glint
half buried underneath a clump of earth
on the side of the clearing
i discovered a small amulet
it was shiny and burnished
newly handcrafted
i picked it up
and held it in my palm
i felt deeply and strangely
connected to its energy

i felt the presence of someone approaching
i slipped the amulet into my pocket and looked up
an old man in rough homespun clothes rushed toward me

he whispered loudly
motioning to me to follow him

they’re coming
they’re coming
hide
now

he urged me

i rushed after the old man
heading into the thick undergrowth
at the side of the clearing

i looked at him
as we settled into our hiding place
wanting to speak
he motioned me to be silent

in a few moments
they came

five horsemen

their approach was so chillingly silent
like a growing shadow
i felt a strange
tingling

they halted their horses
in the clearing where my cottage used to be

one horseman dismounted
as the others waited
the horseman
knelt in the place
where i had found the amulet
in the clearing

the horseman touched the ground
in that very place
and closed his eyes
i felt the strange tingling again

he opened his eyes
and then slowly scanned the forest surrounding the clearing
i knew this was not a trick
this was trouble

i felt a strange instinctive reaction
take over my mind body and spirit

time s l o w e d

i thought i felt
a slight vibration
from the amulet in my pocket

my mind body and spirit filled up with the expansion and growth of the forest
vines twisting and wrapping
branches swelling and extending
leaves unfurling and spreading
the furious action
stopped

as the horseman
turned to stare
at our hiding place

i felt an unnatural
stillness
i knew
that the horseman
was scanning the stillness of the clearing with his mind

i felt it

he was sensing his surroundings for signs of life
he gave a subtle sniff of the air
oddly enough i could hear him listening for sounds

i felt a sense of relief
when a small sparrow hopped out of the bushes
capturing and diverting his attention
and finally convincing him
to move on

the horseman stood up
mounted his horse
and after scanning the area
one last time
he rode off
with the
others

after the horsemen
disappeared down the trail
we waited
in stillness
until i felt the forest awaken again
as the flora and fauna
rustled
murmured
and swished
and the air
fresh
cold
and clear
once again

when i felt it was safe
i turned to the old man

the words popped out of my mouth without politeness or polish

“who are you?“
i asked him

“who are you?”
he replied
“and what was that?”

i didn’t know.
i was stunned to realize.

after the strange sequence of events and the loss of time and place i wasn’t sure about anything anymore.

written by Susan Eileen Jizba
weaver & wordsmith… the weaver of words
…………………………weaving fibers & fables
https://www.etsy.com/shop/theweaverofwords

Posted in A Snippet of Story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Art Exhibit includes my work

I’m very excited to have my work included in the Art Exhibit “Marina del Pedro” at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, California.

A video of Barry rowing and a photograph that I took at the Port were included in the exhibit on display through May 19, 2018.

Link to art exhibit:

http://angelsgateart.org/gallery/marina-del-pedro/

this is another picture that I took of the port (from my wordpress site textured tales)…

Posted in Press / Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

new words for the next “story snippet”

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Here’s the next set of words to be used in writing the next story snippet, as “a fireside tale” continues…..  

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment