Flashback..., Reflections


Today the past came calling in a dreadfully (yet exciting) day, when I found myself, quite literally, a few decades astray. For a time (pun intended) it was so real that “surreal” meant something other than the exotic rush such words are meant to convey; it became an apt descriptor of the times I found my Way!

I saw myself, I felt myself exactly as I was then. And just as suddenly I knew my self exactly as I am. There was no awakening accompanying this moment, no reflection…. No epiphany at all. Just a lifetime of remembering in an instant of total recall!

There was joy and sorrow, grief and regret, a happiness I still haven’t experienced yet. There was laughter tainted with madness, and tears diluted with grins. And a sense of belonging so deep in my be-ing, it choked on my definition of One.

I heard Her voice, I claimed her rage; I understood it as my own. I passed it on to others because I sensed it could be done. And when the terror rushed in, seeking its attention, I tossed it aside quite easily; a flick of the wrist, a tiny twist, and… poof… instantaneously gone!

But wait! No no no no no no… Back up! Rewind! Slo mo! Before I forget, I must admit… I must admit….

What?! Or when? Or why (always why)?!

Who is She and how… am I?

Too late! Too late… It echoes… Reverberates.

Now. What was it I was trying to say? Hmm…. Sorry. So sorry. I think…

I forget.

And far away… in distance? In time? An emotionless voice in a vacuum, a void…

“Sorry. So sorry. But this model’s been recalled.”


Re-Post of “Mommy!”

I am re-posting this poem I wrote originally in December 2015. It calls to me this Mother’s Day, reminding me of all that we are losing day by day. I can’t stop crying, and the cold rain outside merely mirrors my distress…


Standing on my porch I hear

the sounds of children playing near:

Peals of laughter…

Squeals of delight…

Wails of woe…

Cries of sorrow.

And occasionally a word

I can actually make out:





I remember only too well

what each one means:

“Mommy, I’m hungry!  Feed me.”

“Mommmy, I’m hurt!  Heal me.”

“Mo-ommmy, I’m lost!  Guide me.”

“Mom-mmm-mmyy, I’m scared!  Protect me.”

And suddenly I hear the echoes

deep within my soul…



“Mommy!…  Mommmy!…  Mo-ommmy!…  Mom-mmm-mmyy!”

But there is no relief coming

not this time…

not for me…

My Mother is dying

Right here at my feet…

I fall to my knees



Knowing She cannot help me…

And in my heart

I hear her soft response

Her quiet plea:

“Daughter, I cannot feed you, for I am overwhelmed.”

“Daughter, I cannot heal you, for I am much too weak.”

“Daughter, I cannot guide you, for I do not understand.”

“Child, I can’t protect you when I need protection myself.”

“Help me, Daughter…”

“Please help me.”

I lay down

upon my Mother’s breast…


And confused…

For I know not what to do.

I am only one.

One child among billions

and powerless to boot.

And rising from the Earth beneath me

I feel love and comfort still.

Knowing She will support us until her final breath.

Never abandoning…

Even if it means

Her death…

And then the anger comes…

A rage against injustice!

For all that She has given us

that She should be treated thus!

And lifting my head, my soul cries out


Loud enough that every heart should hear:

“Wake up, you fucking morons!!!”

“Wake up, everyone!!”

“Wake up, you stupid humans!”

” My siblings all…”


“for our Mother’s sake…. Unite!”

Set aside your petty rivalries

However big or small they seem

After all our Mother has sacrificed

How can you be so mean?!

She needs our help!

All of us…

Working together

In Love and trust.

Deny your Fathers and their demands:

Their greed…

Their wars…

Their pride.

And know

if we do not save our Mother

then all your causes

cannot save you.

For soon enough

there will be nothing left

worth fighting over

or dying for…

And then what will we do?

Flashback..., Poetry, Reflections

A Timely Reminder…

I don’t usually have a lot of good things to say about social media, but every once in a while Facebook surprises me with a timely reminder.  This is one of those “share a memory” things, when Facebook suggests you re-post something from your past.  This one posted 3 years ago on this date, before I had started this blog.  I was surprised to see it and read it today, so I thought I’d share it here, in a more “appropriate” medium…

Sitting here in the dark, listening to music and the rain, cuddling with my cat, feeling deeply grateful that my roommate is home safe and well, and that my grandson is feeling better…

Pondering the sheer perfection of this moment, knowing I am alive and surrounded by so much that is magical, mysterious, and moving…

And these words snuck up on me, without warning. They felt significant, though, enough so that I thought I should share…

If you feel like reading them all, of course… lol

In the Darkness, I sense a Light…
It shines without blinding,
Reveals without harshness,
Guides without demanding…

In the Light, I seek the Fire…
That warms without burning,
Comforts without suffocating,
Spreads without overwhelming…

In the Fire, I discover a Heart…
And know that it loves without coercion
Gives without expectation,
Honors without judgment…

In the Rain, I hear a Voice…
Speaking gently of the light,
Speaking warmly of the fire,
Speaking softly from the heart…

“I love you…
“Now, and forever…
“Just be your Self…”

“Be the Light.”


“The Covenant” (Revisited)

As I explain below, this is one of those pieces that occasionally calls out to me for reinterpretation.  Now residing in my “Pages” folder, I found it calling to me yet again in my morning meditation – replaying over and over again, and so blocking any other info from entering.  With such demanding force expressed, I cannot ignore it.  Perhaps it is in response to my recent interactions with Sha’Tara and rawgod, or perhaps it is relevant again for some other reason entirely.  In any event, it is the first compelling “lead” I’ve received in days, so I offer it to you once again…

***  ***   ***

Originally published as a regular post, I have chosen to move it here [Pages folder] for more permanent, easily accessible status.  This poem (?) originally came to me as a “flow of consciousness” piece that bordered on an unplanned case of automatic writing.  It came with such force that it drove everything else out of my mind until it was captured in writing.  Unedited, except for spelling and formatting issues, it has become one of those “go-to” works that repeatedly becomes relevant in different situations and times in my life.  Almost prophetic, it has not only explained and corrected my path from time to time, but I have been driven to share it with others occasionally to similar results.  I share it here, now, because I find references (both obvious and subtle) appearing in many other works of mine, even new ones, forcing me to acknowledge its ongoing influence in my life today…

“The Covenant”




and you, T.O.O. shall know

what I have come to learn.

It begins with This,

for this is what I know:

The time is Now…

time now to learn what each Other knows.

Why we are…

Who we are…


as before…

let us Be…


As it was in the Beginning.

For in the beginning,

there was One.

And One spoke in the Silence:

“I Am…

Alone am I…

I would be Other…

So I am.”

And as each Word was,

so it Was,

and so it was,

that One became Other –

Twelve Others.

But with Otherhood

came Different-ness.

And from different-ness

came War.

So it was through war

that each Other came to know:




And Regret.

And with regret,

came a Desire

for One.

So it was that a Council of Twelve

gathered in the presence of One

seeking Peace,

instead of War.

And a Great Covenant was sealed:

“Beyond Time and Space,

there is Truth.

Within each Heart,

there is Power.

Through each Life,

there is Hope.

Between the Lessons of History,

and the Promise of Tomorrow,

Lie the Meaning and Purpose of Today:

Peace resides where Love reigns.”

And from this Great Covenant

sprang Three Sacred States,

each a world of Four,

with Four each to guide and protect the Three.


in the Name of One…

in the Spirit of Other…

in search of Peace.


Here we are – three

in a world of four.

Our world of four

but one of three.

And the message of the Pyramids

is on the Surface

for all to clearly see:

Four Sacred Children

gather as One

to learn of What Was.

Three times they come,

and through them, we come

to know of what Will Be.

The Promise of All…

The Lesson of One.

And one is asked,

“Who are you?”

And the Answer comes:

“I am Nobody…

But because I am nobody,

I am the same as Everybody.

And being everybody,

I am the voice of All.

As All…

I am…


So who I am

is irrelevant.

All That Matters


that I AM.”

And the Truth is this:

There is no Other!


© Lisa R. Palmer, 1995

Flashback..., Poetry

“Living Logos…”

** An old one, but since the topic came up…  😉 **

“Living Logos”


Star to star…  Heart to Heart…

One step closer to being a-part.

All we can be…  All we can know…

All we Is, and All we are.


Hand to hand…  Soul to soul…

Each to the Other too other to know.

Mind to mind, the truth is One (won)…

The union of Stars, the birth of a Sun!


“The Little Soul…”

I don’t usually reblog my own work, but I was led back to this piece by someone rummaging through my archives (yay!). It moved me in a new way, and so I felt compelled to share it again. Special thanks to whomever led me back to it, as I had totally forgotten its existence. 🙂

the otherhood of one

The time was long ago.

The place was far away

in space, if not in memory.

And there was born a soul

newly crafted and complete.

But what is it, One wondered,

about this particular soul,

on this particular date,

in this particular place,

that will make this soul unique?

What face will it choose to wear in Time?

What expressions might it reveal?

What will those shining eyes

choose to see

in a world of hidden grace?

And what masks will it then choose

to hide behind

to help define

its self?

***   ***   ***

“This is the mask you choose to wear?,”

The Creator asked the soul.

“You realize, I’m sure,

that it hides more than it shows…?”

“Of course,” replied the soul

adjusting its mask just so,

“but that is how I choose to live this Life

that you have now made possible.”

“Suit your self,” the Creator…

View original post 559 more words


“A Moment…”

I found this today on Facebook, reminding me I posted it a year ago today.  It was odd, because I don’t really remember it.  Still, having been in an unpleasant place these last few days, and seeing my motivation to create evaporate, it seemed like a “gift” from the Universe – a reminder that there is still creativity within me, however suppressed it might be in this moment…  

So I’m sharing this moment of rediscovery with all of you… 🙂

Sitting here in the dark, listening to music and the rain, cuddling with my cat, feeling deeply grateful that my roommate is home safe and well, and that my grandson is feeling better…


Pondering the sheer perfection of this moment, knowing I am alive and surrounded by so much that is magical, mysterious, and moving…


And these words snuck up on me, without warning.  They felt significant, though, enough so that I thought I should share…


If you feel like reading them all, of course… lol


In the Darkness, I sense a Light…

It shines without blinding,

Reveals without harshness,

Guides without demanding…


In the Light, I seek the Fire…

That warms without burning,

Comforts without suffocating,

Spreads without overwhelming…


In the Fire, I discover a Heart…

And know that it loves without coercion

Gives without expectation,

Honors without judgment…


In the Rain, I hear a Voice…

Speaking gently of the light,

Speaking warmly of the fire,

Speaking softly from the heart…


“I love you…

“Now, and forever…

“Just be your Self…”


“Be the Light.”

Essay, Flashback...

“The Circle of Life…”

The following is a re-posting of something I put on Facebook last year for Mother’s Day.  It was one of those long posts that would eventually lead me to blogging as a more appropriate format for such content.  It only seems fitting, then, that I should share it here now, with all of my WordPress friends…

At the time I wrote this for my daughter, she only had one child, and Aurora (my granddaughter) was still just a visitor in my dreams…  It makes me happy to post it again, knowing both my grandchildren are now present and accounted for, and my daughter grows ever more amazing as a mother in her own right…

** I apologize for the font changes and formatting errors.  I imported this file and cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to fix it!  Ahh… technology, you obstinate but necessary imp…**


The Circle of Life

In every girl child born upon the Earth, there exists a seed of what she one day may become…

As that girl matures, becomes a woman, a new seed grows within her: pure potential, undefined, a breath waiting to exhale…

And should she be blessed with child, by birth, adoption or fostering, she gains an opportunity to plant that seed upon the Earth…

And so the Circle of Life rolls on…

So what is motherhood all about?
Is is nurturing, protecting, teaching and strengthening?
Is it support in times of sorrow, and times of triumph, too?
Is it seeing the potential in each of us, and loving us for what we actually do?
Is it seeing us as we really are, and loving us still, sometimes even in spite of what we’ve done?
A mother loves the best and worst of us alike…

And so the Circle of Life rolls on…

Throughout my life I heard the words of others, expressing their opinions about how I never knew the one who gave me life.
I heard their sympathy, their empathy, even their pity sometimes…
How hard it must have been for me to grow up never knowing what it’s like to have a mother of my own.
How hard it must have been to raise a daughter, without the example, and the strength, of one who nurtured me.

I understood those words, and the sentiments they expressed; I even owned them and repeated them myself.
I excused my many motherly mistakes upon those very facts, believing I’d done the best I could with what I’d been given at the start.
And I began to feel compassion for the one who’d let me go…
For if she could not nurture me the way I certainly deserved, then wasn’t letting go the kindest and most loving act she could, as a mother, do?

And when I look upon my own daughter, grown now, and a mother, too,
I wonder how much I really lacked?
For she is strong, and beautiful, nurturing and compassionate, and sure of her sense of self.
And I cannot help but be impressed by the mother she has become…

And so the Circle of Life rolls on…

Though I do not always agree with everything my daughter does,
I nonetheless respect her, and do my best to honor those choices she makes for herself and her son, regardless of what I myself might have chosen or done.

Yes, every mother one day faces that very moment, too, when letting go is the kindest and most loving act of all.
For no child can fully grow while still attached; each must seek a life out on their own.

So sacrifice must also be one of the great motherly attributes, regardless of how often, or how early, such a wrenching must occur.

So the Circle of Life can roll on…

And, if I am honest, I must admit that I was never truly alone.
My Mother existed always within me, and around me, everywhere I looked…
In green and growing things…
In creatures of feather and fur…
In claws and talons, tusks and fins…
In smiles, and sunshine, and purrs.
In rivers and lakes and streams…
In rocks and sand and dirt.
For the same Mother who sustains me now, sustains all Life on Earth.
All life depends on Her today, as it did before my birth.

And so the Circle of Life rolls on…

Then what,pray tell, is motherhood all about,
If not the Circle of Life itself?
We are born of seed.
We grow.
We flower, blossom, and bear fruit.
We nurture that life, whether it be fostered or birthed.
We plant seeds within that will one day mature and bear fruit of their own.
And we let go, standing back to observe, but not interfere too much, as our children seek their own fertile soil.

And the Circle of Life rolls on…
Ever changing, like the seasons,
yet always the same at its core.

Regardless of race, religion, cultural identity or sexual orientation,
Motherhood remains a sacred trust.
So take your cues from the Life that surrounds us,
And imagine yourself as a tree.
With roots dug deep into the Earth,
With trunks strong and supple, however thick or slender they may be,
And branches reaching high to touch the sky,
Supporting the winged and climbing beings,
And sheltering the grounded ones…

So the Circle of Life may roll on.


Happy Mother’s Day!

Flashback..., Stories...

“The Princess and Her Prison…”

I have often joked about having no romance left in my soul.  That is not entirely true.  The truth is that I placed that softer side of me, that one who believed in intimacy, in some distant and secure place, far away from my reality…

“Why?,” you might ask.  Hmm…  The answer, I guess, is that she was too much of a distraction, and her naivety and gullibility made her a hindrance to all I was trying to accomplish for my self…  Driven by an obsessive compulsion to find that specific “one,” that mythical being whose soul was promised to me, led me down many dark and twisted paths, into narrow alleys without escape, across dangerous minefields promising maiming consequences for any wrong steps, and up to countless dead-end walls blocking my access to that imaginary “promised land.”

Turns out, I have been much happier without her around, so I do not regret my decision to bench her at all…  But times change, and so have I, and for some, as yet, unexplained reason, I find that lately she has been clamoring for a way out.  I don’t know why, and I don’t really care; I know it is not about someone new coming in to my life, for her restlessness is not directed.  Rather, I suspect, it has to do with Wholeness, and the fact that my soul is missing some vital piece by keeping her locked away.  And so today I choose to release her…

Am I afraid?  Yeah, a little bit, I guess, as we did not part on the best of terms, she and I.  But I believe the time has come for me to integrate all my “bits” into a cohesive whole, so I will take this step regardless.  Vulnerability is not a bad thing in and of itself, and I trust myself today to handle the consequences of such a decision…

So… With all this in mind, I offer you the following story in its entirety.  That makes it a very long read.  Please do not feel obligated to slog through this madness simply because you follow this blog; my offering is mostly symbolic, and I would probably be relieved if you didn’t see this side of me. (Lol!)  This story was completed in December 1997, and would become the last actual writing of significance I would do for almost two decades, until just before I started this blog last year.

Please accept it as my gift and my confession;  I am not always as rational or grounded as I try to sound…  🙂


Photo of me, circa 1983, when I still believed in romantic love.

Photo taken by an ex, Jeff Schramm


The Princess and Her Prison”

Once upon a time there lived a princess… At least everyone assumed she was a princess because she lived in a huge castle high upon a hill. But there was something different about this princess. For example, this princess lived alone in her castle, and always had. No one knew how she came to be there, or even who she was. Since she had always been alone there, she had no name. This wasn’t really a problem, since she had no one there to call her, but she wondered sometimes what she might have been called if there had been others there. And she couldn’t help but wonder why she was alone.

The castle she lived in was made of steel and more closely resembled a fortress than a castle. The walls were high and smooth, with no obvious crevices in the dull sheen one could see. They curved around to create a great circle with only four doors and one window to disturb its perfect form. The doors were evenly spaced, one each facing East, South, West and North, with no visible means for opening them. In fact, the doors were so perfectly fitted into the walls that the only indication of their presence was a tiny keyhole cut into the steel at each of the four cardinal points. (Of course, none of this really mattered since the doors were locked and the princess had never seen a key.) The only window looked south across a large meadow and an ancient forest, but the steel bars that covered it marred the tranquil beauty of the scene. And so the princess’ castle was also her prison.

The princess grew up there in that steel fortress. She often wandered through the labyrinth of dark corridors within wondering why she was imprisoned. But there was little of value within the castle walls to answer the questions that plagued her. So she would often turn to the window and look longingly outside her prison for answers she could never reach. And that was how she came to know that others lived beyond the walls, as bands of merry travelers passed by her forest home. She would watch them from a distance, and wish that she could join them  But she could not leave the prison in which she had been born.

That’s not to say she didn’t try. She spent many years, and many tears exploring the dark inner sanctum of her home. And she had examined every inch of the outer walls of steel. She had crawled upon her hands and knees in search of loose stones upon the castle floor that might yield to her probing fingers. She swallowed her terror and crawled into the tiny nooks and crannies where even light would not willingly go. She threw herself against the doors to see if they would budge. She pushed and pulled upon the window bars until her hands were bloody and raw. But in all the days and ways of searching, the princess never found a single weakness in the structure of her home, and all the wishing she had done fell worthless on the cold stone floor. Even her prayers seemed trapped within, as though some magic force prevented their escape, as surely as the walls of steel kept light and warmth without.

When all her efforts failed, the princess looked to others. She stood proud and tall behind the bars of her window and called out to those who passed. And when they came to stand below her, the princess would tell them her sad plight, and ask them for their help. Many stopped to hear her tale and add their efforts to the cause, but none succeeded because the outer walls were as impenetrable as what she’d found within. And when all ideas had been exhausted upon the walls of steel, the travelers would offer sad good-byes and empty words of hope as they moved on.

But there were those who would not quit when they promised her release. So taken by the young girl’s beauty, so moved by her unfettered spirit, they each longed to be the one who set her free. And long after wiser souls had given up, they would continue to beat their hearts against the walls, leaving blood and sweat and tears to mark their paths. Until the princess begged them to leave her be and save themselves. Yet even then some would not listen, and the princess could only stand helplessly by while they battered their souls to death. For never was there flesh that could force its way through steel.

When the sound of their assault died down, the princess would look out between the bars of her window to see the bruised and broken bodies lying prone, like weathered stones upon the ground. Their still and lifeless forms strewn haphazardly about her walls would make her shudder with regret. And while the tears she cried could obliterate the sight, they could never wash away her guilt and shame. Grief and sorrow weighed heavily upon her soul, and with listless steps she would retreat to the dark inner sanctum of her home. As the years passed, and the pattern repeated itself again and again, the princess began to understand that no matter how perfectly her flesh was imprisoned, it would never approach the isolation of her soul. And she grew grateful that Fate had decreed her unworthy of life among the people outside, and had locked her up inside.

In time, the princess abandoned the fruitless hope of youth, and settled in to live her term without conviction or reprieve. When the loneliness drove her to her window seat, she was careful to stay out of sight. When curious travelers called out to her, and the urge to respond overcame her, she chose to speak in cryptic code that none would understand. And when the need to affirm her existence drove her to expose her self, she used the magic of mirror and smoke to cast shadows upon the walls. In this way she showed herself, that others might know she was there and she was real, without ever endangering them. So skillful did she become with her tricks and illusions that the princess no longer recognized her own reflection in the dull shine of steel, or understood the messages she cast beyond the walls.

But there were times, in the twilight hours of dawn and dusk, that the princess would catch a glimpse of something shiny in the distance. And it would stir long forgotten memories she couldn’t understand. In the still silence between day and night, the young princess would awaken with but one thought: “Four doors, four keys, and not one of them within. Could it be that somewhere, out there, is a key that can set me free?” But when the sun moved on into its rightful place, and the distant gleam faded, so, too did the remote hope within. And acceptance of her destiny became the cloak that comforted her through lonely days and nights.

***** ***** *****

One day while the princess sat beside her window with nothing but the scene to fill her mind, a knight encased in shiny garb advanced toward her castle on the hill. He rode proud and tall upon a midnight steed, with royal robes and ribbons fluttering in a gentle breeze. So lost was she within herself, she hardly noticed his approach. Until at last, with regal stature, he stood before the door.

And finally the sight impressed itself upon her feeble senses, and gradually she became aware that something here was different. Without a word, the knight below approached the southern door. As she watched he reached beneath his breastplate to remove a silken cord. On that cord, a single key, he slipped into the lock. And silently the door slid open as the princess sat and watched.

In an instant the princess realized that she was free at last. And in a sudden panic, she ran deep into her fortress. As she raced through twisting corridors, she caught a glimpse of her reflection in the steel, and she was stunned to note how much she’d changed during her imprisonment here. For the beauty of her youth had fled with the slow passage of time, and left in its wake a dim reminder of all that she once was. The thought of being seen like this by any human being was more unthinkable than any thought should be. And she realized, in a flash of insight, that she’d always been alone, and had never had to face a man with eyes level to her own.

As these thoughts raced through her mind, the panic grew within, until she knew that she would never have the courage to even look at him. So she ran ahead into the deepest places of her home, and found a place to hide where he would never go. And there she fell upon her knees and prayed that he would leave.

But the silent knight was not afraid, and he had come here on a quest. He would not leave this steel fortress without the lonely princess. So he searched for days within the walls, leaving nothing there to chance, until at last, the final room lay just within his grasp. The door gave way with little effort, and slowly he advanced, into the very center of the prison Fate had Fortune cast. The room was small and dark, cluttered with mementos of a long-forgotten past. And there amidst the litter the princess kneeled, and sobbed into her hands.

Go away,” she shouted at the knight in a voice husky and low. “You don’t belong here! This is my prison. This is my home. I cannot go!”

Of course you can,” the knight responded his tone gentle and warm. “Why else would I be here, if not to set you free?”

But you don’t understand,” the princess promptly countered. “This prison is the only home that I have ever known. Outside its walls I would be lost, I wouldn’t have a clue. And I’m too old for fairy tales, I know they can’t come true… So go away while you still can, and leave me to my fate. No other soul has walked these halls or looked upon my face.”

But I have traveled far to be with you,” the knight insisted. “I have to say I am surprised to find you so resistant. Still, you needn’t be afraid of what lies beyond these walls, for I will walk along with you; you’ll never be alone. Outside this place the sun is shining and everything is bright. I’ve but a single purpose here – to lead you to the light.”

And if I refuse,” the lady asked, “will you force me to go with you?”

Why would you refuse me, when all I offer you is refuge?”

My mind’s made up; I will not go, no matter what you say. I cannot face the world beyond, where the sun brings forth each day. This is my home, where shadows play, and it is always night. Know this, brave knight, I will not leave my home without a fight!”

Exasperated, the knight stepped forth to bring her out by force. But the princess kept her word and struggled; ‘til objects flew with curses and the scene became a battle. As they rolled among the broken pieces of the past, the lady caught a fatal wound from a broken shard of glass. As the last strength of her will subsided in a gushing flow of blood, the princess felt herself aloft, and whisking down the corridor. She closed her eyes and drifted off to somewhere safe and warm, where armor clanged like silver bells, and the scent of Life was strong.

When she awoke, she found herself laid out on grass so soft and green, and gentle hands caressed her brow like the fragrant summer breeze. She smiled at the radiant sun, so warm upon her face, and reached out for the stranger who had brought her to this place. “Before I die I’d like to see the face of him who set me free. Remove your mask before I go, and let me gaze upon your soul.”

Without a word the knight complied, removing his shiny headpiece. And as he turned to face her, she saw tears slide down his cheeks. The reflection that she saw in them revealed the true beauty that she was, as eyes the color of emeralds gazed down at her with love.

Who are you?” she whispered, “Why have you come? Do you know me? Or why I was imprisoned?”

Sadly the knight began to nod, but his voice was slow to follow. “You are the one I’m promised to, for many years I’ve searched. But everywhere I went I found no one who knew of you. Long ago, before this life, we swore that we would meet, and I have spent what time I’ve had trying to fulfill that destiny… We knew we might forget these words by the time we came of age, so we took our case before the Fates to ask them for a way. After much debate we won the chance to prove our love to them, and if we were successful, we’d never have to be apart again.

We’d argued that our love was true, that we’d pass any test. So to prove our point we’d have to love, even if one did forget. So they placed you here, within these walls, and gave me the only key. You agreed to wait for me, and they took your memory.

Four times I’ve tried to get to you, and all four times I’ve failed. By the time I found your prison here, you’d already lost your faith. Every time it ends the same, and I am left alone. This was our last chance at this, and soon you will be gone.” And as these final words slipped out, the knight began to cry. The princess held him close to her, and sadly closed her eyes.

As she lay there upon the grass, she thought her heart would burst. To have him here, so near, and yet so far… And lost memories returned to her. Slowly they came back – such love, such trust, such hope, and she knew that she had always known that someday he would come. She remembered dreams, and distant gleams so bright against the dusk; a dark-haired knight who filled her sleep with promises of love.

Eagerly she pushed him free, searched out his eyes of green, looking for the proof of what her inner eye had seen. But when her hands were clear of him, she found his warmth remained, which drew her eyes away from him, to see the stains his blood had made, while she had held him near. “I couldn’t face this end again,” the handsome knight revealed. “This time we’ll go together to meet eternity.”

When the shock had passed, she realized that he would soon die, too. And she laughed at him, the irony, of what she understood. “Too late, I think, to stop our fate, but not too late for us. Alone I’ve been, without you here, but in spite of that I loved. It’s love that trapped me here, I know, because it was so true. No other love could set me free, while I belonged to you… I love you now, and always will, and it’s clear that you love me. And now we live, though soon we won’t, and as the Fates decreed…”

She held her breath and waited, her heart pounding in her ears, and wondered if he’d get her point while they were both still here. As she watched, his eyes lit up, and joy replaced his misery. “We’ve passed the test,” he shouted out, “and now we’ll both be free!”

***** ***** *****

The two lovers embraced, rejoicing in their triumph, and the princess gazed back at the prison that had held her fast through all the lonely years. Only now there was no sorrow or emptiness within. As her mind traveled back along the corridors of her home, she saw promise in the empty rooms of what would come to be, and there was love in every corner of her darkest memories. Gratefully, she recognized how the walls had protected her and kept her true to course, even when she could not understand her fate. She wondered at her lack of faith, her fear, her ignorance; she marveled at the perfect way it all worked out. She realized her only prison had existed in her mind, so limited by what she saw, so terrorized by time. The greatest gift was always there with her, carried in her heart, and all her greatest efforts had gone toward finding a way out. Had she escaped her prison, she would have lost her way, and she’d have never known the one she loved with all her soul!

When the sun slipped over the western horizon, the lovers followed suit. A fog rose up from the valley floor to shroud the castle hill and obscure its walls of steel. Legends were born to tell the tale of the Princess and her Prison, and there are those who still believe she lives upon that hill. They claim the fog arose to protect the naïve travelers who would waste their lives pursuing the long-imprisoned princess. They believe the walls that held her tight were created by some evil, who lies in wait for others who are pure of heart and spirit.

But there are those much wiser still who know the truth. They smile when they hear those tales, and keep their secret close. They know the only evil is created in men’s minds, when the prison of illusion distracts them from their lives. There is a plan much greater than the human mind can grasp; it leads us on our journeys whether we’re aware or not. For things are never quite as dark as they may at first appear, and nothing is impossible so long as Love is there…

— C. 1997, Lisa R, Palmer


Flashback..., Stories...

“Freddie the Fish & The Lure of Old Scotch (Part 2)

This is the conclusion to the story…

“Freddie the Fish & The Lure of Old Scotch”

(Part 2)

********** ********** **********


So… What’s your name, fish, if you have one?” asked Old Scotch.

Uh…” began Freddie, still dazzled by the dragonfly. “My friends call me Freddie the Fish.” Then voicing his greatest confusion, Freddie asked innocently. “But why would you choose me, Old Scotch?”

Chuckling softly, the dragonfly answered. “Maybe because I saw something special in you, boy! It’s my job to know who is ready to receive the secrets of the universe, Freddie, because not many are. I recognize you as someone who could benefit from what I know.”

From far below him, Freddie heard the Old Fish’s voice. “Don’t listen to him, Freddie… It’s a trick! He will only lead you astray and you will get hurt. Come back to us, boy, for we are your friends and family. We know what’s best for you. Be a good fish and come back to us now.”

Hah!” laughed Old Scotch. “If they really cared about you, Freddie, wouldn’t they be encouraging you? If they wanted what was best for you, they wouldn’t try and distract you this way, would they? After all, I’m promising you the secrets of the universe, boy! What fish in your pool has ever known them? What fish has ever had the chance to learn them?”

I’ve chosen you because I believe you are special,” the dragonfly continued, more seriously than before. “It’s a great honor to be chosen by a dragonfly, you know. Your friends are trying to confuse you because they are jealous, Freddie!” Waiting only a moment to allow Freddie the chance to process what he had said, Old Scotch pressed on relentlessly. “After all, would your real friends prevent you from bettering your lot in life, just because they didn’t have the same opportunity? Are they really your friends if they would deny you this chance, Freddie?”

Terribly bewildered now, Freddie could not answer at first. Anxiously he glanced at his fish-friends below, and the mysterious and beautiful dragonfly above him. Who should he believe? He’d known those fish his whole life; surely they would not mislead him now… Still, he had always known he was different from the others somehow, deep in his own heart. Sure, they’d always treated him the same, but he’d never really belonged here, had he? And he’d questioned himself about the futility of his life in the pool, so Old Scotch was doing no more than echoing his own thoughts. Surely a creature that beautiful and wise could not be truly dangerous…

Maybe Old Scotch was right about the others! Maybe they were jealous of him. Maybe he really was different, special even… Oh, how he wanted to believe that! Besides, what did he really have to lose by listening? If he returned to his friends, he would only go on swimming silently until he was too old and weak to fight the current anymore, and then he would die like all the other fish before him. The dragonfly offered him something different, something more – wisdom, adventure, knowledge… Surely that was worth more than an eternity of safe, silent swimming in this tiny pool he called home…?

And with that thought, Freddie turned toward Old Scotch, never to look back again… “So, what do I have to do?” he asked eagerly.

Old Scotch smiled and answered warmly. “Stop fighting the current, Freddie boy, and let it carry you away to a bigger, brighter, more exciting future!”

But…” Freddie began, confused. Finally, he went on. “But if I stop fighting the current, I will be smashed against the southern wall, and I will die… How can there be a future in that?”

Laughing, Old Scotch reassured him. “Trust me, Freddie! I didn’t say the journey would be easy, but I did promise it would be worth it. And it will! The trick is to stop fighting the current, to flow with it instead.” Old Scotch stopped a moment, looking away into the distance. “From up here, I can see what you can’t, Freddie,” he continued. “And I see that the water rushes over the top of the southern wall and on down the gorge. Just beyond your pool the stream spreads out into a wide, gentle place where you can rest and observe the outside world. When you’re ready to move on, all you have to do is slip back into the current and let it carry you onward to the next place you want to stop…” The dragonfly took a deep breath before promising Freddie more. “Beyond your pool there are no traps, my friend, just wide open spaces, beautiful scenery and magnificent creatures. And I will travel along with you and tell you all about the wondrous things you will see!”

Still Freddie hesitated, held back by a lifetime of warnings. The southern wall meant certain death. The whole point of living was to avoid being smashed into that end; that’s why they all swam so diligently against the current. But could he return to his fish-friends now, after he’d ignored their advice?

Recognizing Freddie’s distress, Old Scotch pushed on, trying to convince him. “I know what you’re thinking, boy!” he claimed. “You’re thinking your friends might be right, aren’t you? But the truth is, they don’t know any better, Freddie. The reason your fish-friends die on the southern wall is because they continue to fight against the current until it destroys them… The secret to surviving the journey is to surrender to the flow and let it lift you up and carry you away. You must not fight the current, Freddie! That is the secret that will deliver you safely beyond your world.”

For a moment longer Freddie hesitated, remembering his life. He thought of the many friends he had known and loved, and lost. Always they left him, to be smashed against the southern wall. Maybe, he thought, if he could do this right, the other fish would see. Maybe he could save lives by taking this journey! Maybe this was his destiny! After all, he was the one chosen by the dragonfly, wasn’t he? Perhaps this was his reason for being… And with that thought, Freddie stopped swimming for the first time in his troubled life. And the current quickly caught him and carried him away…

For an instant all was right in Freddie’s world! As the current lifted him with the gentle caress of a lover, he knew a joy he had never known before. He felt light, alive, buoyant and free! Euphoria rose like laughter in his belly, bubbling up to be released into a world of perfect peace and happiness… But his ecstasy was ripped from him, before it could be expressed, by the hard, jagged point of a rock in the southern wall.

Stunned by the sight of his own blood around him, awakened by pain that throbbed through his tiny body, Freddie felt fear grip his heart. Driven by the terror of his own fleeting mortality, Freddie began to swim again, swimming harder than he ever had before. Far away he heard the voices of his friends and family encouraging him. “Swim, Freddie, swim! You can do it! Come on!”

High above him, he heard Old Scotch yelling. “Let go, Freddie! Stop fighting! Trust me, boy!”

But Freddie struggled on, trying hard to swim against the current. But here, at the southern wall, the current was too strong and chaotic, even for Freddie. It swirled around him, sucked him down, then smashed him hard against the rocks. Over and over again, the water threw his bruised and broken body against the wall. Freddie swam valiantly on, lost in the nightmare of rushing water, distant voices, sharp rocks and searing pain… Until, finally, with a last faint kick, Freddie gave up the battle.

As the welcome relief of oblivion reached up from the stream depths to claim his tired soul, Freddie thought lovingly of the friends and family he’d left behind. “I’m sorry,” he thought to them. “I tried. I really tried! But the current was too strong for me… Good-bye.” And as his last breath was driven forcibly from him, Freddie sank one last time to the stream bottom…

********** ********** **********

Then, miraculously, the current reached for Freddie’s body and lifted it with gentle fingers. Moving with love and joy, the stream carried his still and lifeless form high above the rocks of the southern wall, and sent him effortlessly beyond the confines of the little pool he had called home for so long. And the world beyond was everything that Old Scotch had said it would be – with its wide, open spaces, gentle pace, beautiful scenery and wondrous creatures. But Freddie’s eyes were blinded by death, and so he never saw the promised land he’d sought.

The Creator of All-That-Is looked down upon this scene and a single tear was shed in honor of Freddie and his brave, but seemingly fruitless journey. Then the Creator smiled and turned away, knowing that all was right in this Universe, that Life survived in perfect balance, that Purpose triumphed again, and always.

And far below, in a small park in western New York, in a small pool created by a restless current, a community of fish swam diligently on, made more determined by Freddie’s fate. A lone dragonfly buzzed along the brook humming a song in Freddie’s honor. “Peace, brother Freddie. Peace, my friend.”

The wind rushing through the gorge picked up the song and carried it to the four corners of the Earth for All to share. And so Freddie’s destiny was fulfilled…

— © Lisa R. Palmer, 1996