Monday, June 14, 2010

Dear Mr Woodcutterman...

Picnik Fractal with neon effect by Gemma Wiseman ~ A birdfeeder at Tyabb Antique Village, Mornington Peninsula

Dear Mr Woodcutterman,At this moment I feel a creative urge. You will be glad to know it has nothing to do with a secret yearning to paint. But that is another story which did somehow or other resolve itself. No, I wish now to do some creative project with wood. Perhaps, by now, you are getting the idea I have never worked in wood before. I did some painting on an old wooden table of mine - but that's that story I just mentioned. I would like to try, however, with a little help from you.

I would like you to select some very special wood for me. You see, I have in mind to build a bird-feeder. My forest birds often have trouble finding food in the chilly days of winter, and I would like to help them. The wood must hold warmth and reject cold. The wood must be easy for bird feet, but not too slippery in case the birds taste the unexpected experience of ice-skating. The wood must be an inviting colour. Magical, varied tones would be just the thing.

The roof will be a pointed cottage style, so the birds have a ledge on which to land and so that the food is protected from damp in the rainy season. Hopefully you will supply some extra off-cuts of wood so that the birds may even have some resting perches on the side.

The base of the bird-feeder will be surrounded by an eating ledge. I intend to attach some wind chimes to the base of the bird-feeder so that the birds may eat in musical calm.

The whole bird-feeder will be raised aloft on a staunch block of wood. This block of wood should be different - a detrrent to any animals who thoughtlessly wish to attack the birds.

Wood lengths? I have no idea really. Perhaps if I just say I would like a large bird-feeder. The roof should be high enough from the base to allow even the large forest birds to feel comfortable as they eat. I would like the block of wood to be as tall as a small tree. I would like the base to be wide enough to hold many birds on all sides.

Perhaps you could supply me with wood nails. I have failing eye-sight, so the nails must be easily seen. I don't have a hammer - I've had no need for one. Perhaps I could borrow one. Do you think I need a drill? That will be a problem. You see, my little cottage has no electrcity. Will the wood have to be sanded? My hands are old and gnarled and not as steady as they should be. Perhaps I may not even see well enough to do the sanding properly.

And, I just realised, I don't have a ladder. I will need a ladder to put the bird-feeder on the block of wood. I'm not quite sure how I could manage to do that all by myself.

My unsteady hands, my failing eyesight, my no head for heights...

Mr Woodcutterman...I think I have an idea.
Would you be so kind as to make the bird-feeder for me?
Bring it over to my cottage when you're finished, and I will hold your ladder steady while you put it up for me...

I do make beautiful honey-meade wine...If I could tempt you try some when you're done...

Waiting in magical hope...

20th April, 1998

Zanzibar had reached the ocean...

Picnik Fractal in neon effect by Gemma Wiseman ~ created from the surf at Gunnamatta, Mornington Peninsula

Zanzibar had reached the ocean...What a giant...
As far as Zanzibar could remember
There was no rival to its sheer power and strength
Waves cascading on waves
Sheer power and strength

Zanzibar seated himself upon the rock-cliff

His soul was rivetted to the spectacle before him
Rolling and changing waves
Grasping the shore
Trying to drag it out to watery depths
Pounding the rocks
Looking for clefts of weakness

Seagulls serenading the hunt for fish

Time slipped by

The sun setting
Creating a multi-coloured sheen upon the water

Zanzibar noticed a sudden break in the surface of the water

A dolphin swimming toward him
It's body a glistening grey
It's snout breaking the water
And laughing for any to hear

Upon the dolphin's head
There shone a star
With an unnatural glow

Zanzibar's interest was piqued

The dolphin came close to shore and spoke

Zanzibar had seen many different sights
But this was a bit unsettling
Hail magician
How brook the tides of human nature
said the dolphin

Zanzibar could not believe his ears
What a complex question coming from a dolphin
He did not know how to reply
So he sat there dumbstruck...
Does man still tempt the divine wrath of the gods
I was with you
But my heart could no longer restrain the the pains of mankind
I could not bear the pain of love for the soul anymore

The dolphin said this as he circled in the water
Always with one eye upon Zanzibar

Again Zanzibar found himself speechless
Here was a dolphin with a star that shone on its forehead
It spoke and questioned the higher aspirations of man

Zanzibar managed a wry smile and a few clumsy words
It's getting colder with the sun going down
I believe I will have to be going shortly

The dolphin came upright on its tail in the water

I command you to stay
I have not talked to any man for ten years
And I need to know what is happening

Zanzibar kept his wry smile in place
He did not take orders easily
And a fixed smile is better than sour words

But Zanzibar did manage to say politely
If you tell me your story
Then I will stay and listen

So the dolphin started telling Zanzibar
Of how he was once a young wizard
Who endured indescribable anguish
His greatest torment was the fevered mind and twisted soul of man
His greatest quest was to seek the temple of light

In the form of a young wizard he found the temple of light
And then...
He is a beautiful creature of the sea
A dolphin

And that is my story
Now answer my questions

Zanzibar really did smile this time
He would not be commanded
And never said he would answer any questions

Zanzibar of course had been to this temple of light too

From a small black velvet pouch
Zanzibar drew out his treasure
A temple of light crystal
He had learned how to use it in many ways
Especially as a measure of truth

The crystal leapt from Zanzibar's hands
And blended with the light on the dolphin's head

For a moment the dolphin shivered
And then a husky voice
Emerged from the dolphin

The wizard came to us
And a dragon to all he met
Changing him into a dolphin changed his personality
He is now kind
And tries to be understanding
His only quest is the ocean depths
He even seems to enjoy investigating new worlds
Do not hurt him
He is an innocent

The connecting light dissolved
And once again Zanzibar held the crystal in the palm of his hand

For a few moments
Zanzibar stared out to the blackening ocean waters
He seemed entranced by the sounds of the ocean swell
And perhaps the odd glimpse of white frothy foam

But then
He remembered the dolphin

The dolphin was no longer close to shore
But gambolling its way out to sea

Zanzibar waved
And smiled
And walked away...

Moral #1 ~ In each of us there is good
Sometimes it just needs a little charging
Moral #2 ~ Dolphins don't talk do they?

~ 25th September, 1997
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