I'm celebrating my three years at Gather and you're all invited to my party.
I'm going to do my own tribute *smile* because I don't think that I'll get one of those erudite tributes that others get. In my three years at Gather, I've never received a tribute that I could use as part of my writer's CV, unfortunately. I have however, seen how others are honored by one, two and sometimes even three praise songs. So I know what a grand occasion it can be.
That does not worry me but I would love to one day rise above the level at which I operate at the moment in Gather eyes but I don't think that I'll ever do that. I have my own style of writing and my own style of commenting and I'm not going to change. However, from time to time, I have received many many very helpful and supportive comments and I'm very thankful for those. In general it may be said that I learned what I know of writing right here on Gather. Yes, those that write to me and about my writing have made a huge difference to my style. I bow to you and lift my glass of finest Rubicon to you.
I have my small group of very good friends on Gather. I love you all and I really appreciate your wonderful support over the years.
To all the others, those that know me but do not support me, I say that, in your eyes I may have been wayward and made you raise your eyes or your ire...I'm sorry... but you all remain my respected colleagues. Although my ways have sometimes not been your ways, I did what I did because I'm driven by what I see as the truth. My truth but perhaps not your truth. Although I've seen you turn away from me, I nevertheless respect you and wish you well.
Let's get to my big concern. I'm about to open up my international (=multi-language) web sites and also begin to publish my books one by one in quick succession.
Sooner or later, interested parties, from the outside world, will come to my site at Gather and see what kind of community I'm in and they may turn away disappointed, if there's not a single tribute page dedicated to me.
So here goes my Gatherversary tribute. It has one saving grace. It wasn't written by me. It was written by Daniela. Thank you Daniela. You always saw something in me. In fact, you saw more than what I thought was there. Thank you, from my heart.
WHO IS FRED HOSE?
I started with one of his stories, then two and then when I reached the third one, I knew that I could not stop reading his works.
His stories and poems are born out of knowledge gained from five different cultures. He is able to reveal that past myths bear a close relation to various peoples' metaphysics, to tribal memories, to the life of their language, to their view of their histories and to their self-portraits. He knows too that all of these collective pictures do not constitute discrete fortified enclaves of ethnic purity but an encompassing humanity.
If we should become able to look beyond the most apparent difficulties experienced today and the open animosities that exist between many groups, would it not become possible for the aims, desires and fascinating cultures of the different peoples to somehow magically blend? Is there not much to be shared?
One observer of this potential is the author. He looks at those desires and joys that are loved by all. He does this without conscious effort and is able to drink easily from that Universal Cup and then share his experiences happily with us.
His stories meld and merge with one another across time and place, in an organic process. He elegantly and wisely takes certain concepts and builds natural blocks of universal imagery. As he does so, he leads the way and makes us want to follow him through his jungles, caravan trails and shipping lanes. He uses a language that is easy to understand and draws us into his world.
We know that he is smiling, as he tells us of ancient songs, the beauty of the dance and the thrill of riding a horse racing across the desert sands.
Myths offer him raw materials and his procedure is eclectic. Nature offers him the womb from where
he is able find what he needs to blend his love of life, his traveling experiences and the subjects that he has studied. He recasts the elements of the teacher and the feminine figure. He reminds us how the teacher gives us knowledge while the female takes us to worlds where the true essence of creativity is revealed to us.
Many questions are answered for me and for the many people who comment on his work. Like him, I believe that Nature has inalienable truths for us. We all know that glib answers are often given to us by leaders but one must never forget that God left us timeless messages in the world that He created for us. He leaves them in many places in nature and also with the creatures of His world.
The author tells us that the messages delivered to us by storytellers depend on how well the stories are told and how well the stories are understood. I feel that he completes his mission in the most savage and yet, in the most caring way. You read on but then just when you are relaxed, he'll ask you, somewhat forcefully at times, to rise higher. He even asks us, to read or write, at a level higher than the level that serves only as elementary communication.
He calls on us to know, with firm conviction, that our lives could be magical. He reminds us, with the hint of a smile that we all need to see this magic, is to go into the world of nature, when it calls.
In other words, he says, that in order to find this magic, all we need to do is live life as it was meant to be lived...with joy.
INTRODUCTION TO "WALKING WITH POETRY"
In Walking With Poetry, the author, attempts to achieve something unusual. He asks us to pause and take notice of events all around. Events that we too often ignore.
Even someone like Alisha, who has planned to begin her journey into the world of poetry by entering a college for literature, has apparently not fully understood the real reason why she has chosen this path. As the story proceeds, she is stunned, at every turn, by what the stranger Dinel reveals to her and therefore to us, the readers.
They meet on a train. The very slow train to Halma. A train that lulls us, for a moment, into feeling that time does not matter. Halma is a place that she has been destined to visit. Will it be a place of learning or a place where she will realize her dreams? Perhaps the process of going to Halma is all that Alisha has had in her initial vision and she has not thought of anything beyond the initial enrolment? Is it possible that there is a destiny awaiting her that will surprise her?
Life has its own way, Dinel tells her, in his own inimical way. If you want life to open up its secrets for you, he tells her, you'll have to first open yourself up to life.
Through Dinel, the author takes our hand and leads us into a very real world one that somehow doesn't seem to be quite so real. At first, Alisha is hesitant and even reluctant. She has many fears. She knows that she's entering an unknown world in the company of someone that comes across as being quite strange. She's unfamiliar with this new environment and her imagination can't match Dinel's mystical approach. However, she soon becomes interested and eager to learn more.
Yes, Walking With Poetry is a mystical experience, drawn from the vision of the storyteller. He offers us the secrets of nature's Sacred Grail and it soon seems that only by holding this chalice in her own hands, will Alisha have any hope of becoming a poet.
We become aware, through this couple that in spite of living in a world dominated by scientific truths and superficially viewed natural events, the true boundaries of our human experiences is infinite and that the life force in our hearts can exceed our wildest thoughts. This, however, can only happen when we free ourselves from the shackles of society and from the rules given to us by staid mentors who may still be somewhat earth bound.
Our modern society needs a new poetry to enable us to soar above everyday events and to enter the world of wonder and the extraordinary. To rise in this way will open us up to experience the true nature of things.
Walking with Poetry is walking with life in its purest expression. This story will appeal to both children and the child within most of us. Are children not always nearer to the source? Are they not always more ready for a life full of wonders? Are they not still in a world where they know that miracles can take place at any time? Is it not sad that as we grow older, wiser and more pragmatic, we seem to forget all about this magic?
In this story, wriggling fishes and wild apple trees replace flying carpets and magic lamps. Here animals, birds, snakes and an ordinary hunting knife play their roles in the places of those dragons, spells and magic swords found in the stories of our youth. But the message is as old as the hills. Deep within us and there in the heart of nature, are other worlds. Worlds that may we may find if we would just open up our eyes. So come, let us walk with poetry.
The setting, at first, seems bizarre to Alisha. Some of us have seldom slept in the open and most have never held a wriggling fish in our hands. This most unusual quest for poetry becomes a sort of imaginary journey into an unreal world. In the end, however, we find to our happy astonishment, that it's not an unreal world at all. One that could really exist, if we could become spiritually ready to experience it.
We become characters in the story through Alisha, the wide-eyed learner, through Dinel, our supernatural prince and finally through the wood, in the background. This corner of nature becomes to them a happy version of a Pandora's Box. Dinel fills us with a marvelous sense of awe and touches deep primal emotions in us.
Nature, seemingly in league with him, becomes the perfect source of real living poetry. We must learn to look at this source with new eyes. We should fantasize about Her and then reach out to Her inner life before we dare to say that we understand Her beauty or, for that matter, any beauty whatsoever. The essence of poetry, or what Dinel calls Jungle Poetry, is for Alisha the Golden Fleece and Dinel is her Jason. He brings the prize to her, all the while delighting us with his knowledge of the wonder of being alive.
Rumi once said "out beyond the realms of right and wrong, there is a field. I'll meet you there."
Dinel would agree with him.