Category Archives: thresholds and destiny

On becoming a grandfather and carving a ferrocement fountain

Back from Gisborne where we met a new addition to this plane of being! Anna our daughter had a boy, and we got our first grandchild ūüôā About time. I’ve been feeling quite old… Both birth and becoming a parent or grandparent are thresholds which can open our eyes to the wonder of being here…

The baby (as yet unnamed) cried for the first half hour or so, inconsolably, indignantly, as if protesting the transition into the world. Then he heard Anna’s loving voice and began to calm down, and had his first feed, and began looking around. I stood beside Anna and saw his eyes fixed on her face shift to look at mine, then go back to gazing at her again. So aware, so new, and yet so wise and calm-looking. I thought of the wonderful Wordsworth lines:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star, ¬†¬†60
        Hath had elsewhere its setting,
          And cometh from afar:
        Not in entire forgetfulness,
        And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come   65
        From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

For the full poem see¬†http://www.bartleby.com/101/536.html¬†And I ‘told’ him to remember where he came from… We’ll see if he does…

It’s a big responsibility, being a grandparent. So, while staying at Anna and Marco’s nice hilltop home, I made myself as useful as I could while Raewyn of course gardened (and helped with the gourmet cooking), and built a ferro fountain/birdbath to go in the middle of the ferro raised bed circle I built last time I was there.

This is it on the morning we had to go. It’s nearly finished… The rain slowed the painting so I didn’t finish the two-toning. I did the little details at the base for the baby, of course! The gnome ‘wizard’ looks a bit like me, just shorter and no glasses…:) There’s a gnome lady sunbathing on the far side too. Note, if you will, the dwarf from snow white and rose red looking at a fish in the stream… There’s a rabbit, too, on the other side. I hope to be able to do another one up here for sale at Eutopia – and/or do some to order. It will help keep the wolf from the proverbial door, I hope…

annas birdbath 05 05 13 reduced peter in fountain Gisborne IMG_8857 copy

So, what does the baby LOOK like?

He is very calm most of the time. He was born about midday, and came back with Anna that afternoon! They don’t keep them in long nowadays. Here are a few images, which of course don’t really capture the 3d reality.

Anna and marco  baby IMG_8835 anna and baby great grandma and us IMG_8916 anna and baby IMG_8813 anna and baby IMG_8819 anna and baby IMG_8937

We found a secondhand book on becoming a grandmother and bought it, and it even had a bit about grandfathers too! So it is another tie that binds, though as with all life we are only here as it were passing through, and just do what we can while we are able… My recent ‘here and now’ realisation takes some practicing! Looking at a baby resting could definitely help us remember how it’s done…

And the ebook in question, a week after uploading as a free ebook on smashwords, has had 92 downloads. Not too bad… I hope someone reviews it some time… It is such a ‘black hole’ mostly, the free stuff – almost no one gives feedback. they just take it and who knows? get a fleeting something from it and then forget it. It is depressing sometimes. ¬†The age of surfeit.

Ah well, life itself goes on, and is real.

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Filed under Ferrocement and sculpture, news, thresholds and destiny

Three up, one to go – how to make an epic end

In between duties which I could not neglect (and some which I did), I’ve collected the graphics, edited the ebook bits, and uploaded three of the four volumes of the Apples of Aeden. Today the all-new illustrated (well, partially) volume 2, the Rebels of Aeden, went up on all known platforms via smashwords and kindle. This makes three colourful ebooks of the epic, the first of which is FREE at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/243499¬†until the end of 2012 (coming up fast!). The others are $3.99, pretty good for quality ebooks such as these!

But what about IV – the capstone, the end of the line, the culmination of the Fourth Age and the Doorway to the Fifth?

I was at our land on Sunday mowing the neglected grass with raewyn and remembering the writing of the others, and of the final volume which nearly pushed me over the edge when I finally stopped at the end of draft one. I thought, ‘Must push through, fall over that finish line… then I can really say, I followed it through to the end.’ What if something happened and I never had the mental capacities to do the last edits? Someone, a stranger might be paid to do them, and guess at what I was going to say or correct or omit or add… eek! Or it would remain forever unfinished, unpolished… ugh!

So, how to fit in the important and hopefully non-urgent and treat it as if it might become urgent too late for me to action it? This is of course a recurring problem in any creative life – how to fit in the ‘BIG ROCKS’ into the only-too-full jar of life… the fact that according to the ancient Mayans a 20,000 – something-year cycle is possibly meant to end on the 21st of this month adds just a little to the gravity and timeliness of this question…

Here are the covers of all four – the Volume IV cover being there to spur me on to the magical ‘threshold’ of the finish line:

Before you rush off to download the Apples of Aeden for holiday reading:

What, friends who have followed this tortuous blog path through 2012, is your important but hopefully non-urgent BIG ROCK at this time? What little pebbles can you chuck out to fit the bog one in? What dregs of the past can you tip over the side?

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Filed under Free ebooks from the Wizard of Eutopia, news, paid ebooks from the Wizard of Eutopia, The APPLES OF AEDEN fantasy epic, thresholds and destiny

What’s in a name… What’s not? A rose by any other name? No!

I’ve just been looking at the story behind my name Peter, and all the connotations of it. Names are indeed compressed stories, myths in fact. All my life I have been Peter – named after the troubled disciple of Jesus who was a fisherman, who claimed he would never desert Jesus but famously denied him three times out of fear in the house of Caiaphas the high priest when Jesus was about to be tried…. And Peter means ‘rock’ – on which Jesus said he’d build his church. Etc. It ties in with the pre-Christian history of the name – a Petra was a standing stand, a threshold stone, etc. Associated with gates, keys, and roosters ushering in the dawn… I realized most of my life has been about being stopped at various thresholds, especially at the gates of the high priests of culture – art dealers, teachers and lecturers, editors… They all stopped me when I came to them, and I denied my own calling rather than negotiate with them – or overcome them. Hmm… ‘Peter’ as me.

I’ve been wrestling with this lately. Anne Hamilton who wrote a book called ‘God’s Poetry – ¬†The Identity and destiny encoded in your name’ triggered it. Just this week I thought ‘What about my second name and also the name my mother nearly called me until I was born and she changed her mind?’ I thought, ‘Maybe I can let those names tell a story that gives me power to go through the thresholds that stopped Peter-as-me?’ So James = Yamin, the Right Hand or sword arm – power, and also right hand man. All good for beingpowerful and going though with things, instead of ‘petering out’ at or just through the threshold. Then, the name my mother nearly called me: Timothy. Honouring God (or, Honoured by God). This is a simple calm powerful name for someone who really wants to go to the higher levels and meditate on the Name – the concept and nature of – God, or the eternal Transendental Order behind all transitory things. It felt great to add this name to my self-story. No more being stuck with Peter in the courtyard of Caiaphas!

Hope this makes sense. What lies behind your name? What could you add to it and live into? Maybe the answer is in your second third or other names… Maybe also in your nicknames. Or maybe those are what are actually stopping you.

Whatever you do, don’t think a rose by any other name… A name is a story, and stories are what we live by.

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Filed under Purpose in life - the Mainspring, the existence of God or at least a Transcendental Order, thresholds and destiny

Putting out the open sign

The back and front doorways of the Ark are more or less complete, painted etc now. but the SIGN for the front – ah, what do i write on that? I am so many things to as many people – and to myself.
Last night I was in an elevated, ¬†clarified sort of state after watching Midnight in Paris, where the writer hero gets to explore the idealised past, and has to realise that his place is in the present – that’s where he must create, and love, or not at all. I saw from that higher place that I wanted to have the cosmic perspective in all I do. Which may or may not need to be written on that sign. Jesus – the carpenter, to those he served and made a living from in his home town! (Assuming he was a carpenter like his father of course! But for the sake of the illustration we can assume he was…)
I felt again that the ideal for life here on Earth, embodied as we obviously are in the humble flesh, is to be as the burning bush in which I AM appeared to Moses – on fire with the divine energy, yet not consumed. Still a bush – but what a bush!
 A balance of the fiery airy divine transcendent and the earthy watery immanent.
I know there are a dozen Shoulds and Duties (and people and banks who embody them!) that would tell me right now what I¬†should¬†be doing right now to earn my daily bread by the sweat of my brow. Yet that higher perspective is demanding an answer –¬†What will I put on that sign?¬†It is up to me, though every should wants to tell me it isn’t.
I put this halting journey up here, as it’s a journey that might entertain or inform, though painful for me! It is a journey of discovery too and a privilege – and a ‘right’. Just the constricted financial circumstances and pressure make it seem ‘wrong’.
Incidentally, what’s YOUR ‘sign’? Officially and unofficially. What’s written on the lines and what is between the lines. Which is most important? Should they be reversed? What if you wrote on your business card the things you DON’T say about what you do – and did them much more? If you ‘came out’? It’s a big question I know – we still want to be able to find an honest-to-goodness plumber, or carpenter – or book printer and binder. But more and more we are looking for someone to help us unblock our life energies, or repair the house of our spirit, or help us tell our story. Wouldn’t it be great to honour that more and see more business cards that had those things just as honestly offered?
So, what will I put on that open sign in front of the Ark, already?
Watch this space…

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A tale of Two Thresholds

(Well more of a sprawling esoteric epic)…

How nice it is to have ‘random’ friends (but there are no true accidents, only more or less obvious synchronicities) who sometimes know you better than those who are so close they only see the (often tangled and annoying) trees. Today I got a third email from an email friend I’ve never met in person, about what she calls ‘name covenants’, and about mine in particular.

I had said this about my name, Peter:

‘it is … intimately associated archetypally with the threshold and doorways. The ancient name Petros …was part of the sacred threshold of temples. AND associated with the gates of dawn, and therefore the rooster – as in the gospels too. I got that i am or can be the ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’. Very like Peter Pan too! He was a psychopomp, leading the children to Neverland. and back – reluctantly!
‘So i guess i need to take my own medicine and know how to go in and out the gates myself. ‘physician, heal thyself’.’

She had said:

With regard to ‘petering out’¬† –¬†this is how we see it: there are two spirit guardians of a doorway/threshold and also several traps. (And a third beyond, but that one doesn’t concern you until you actually get beyond). They are very high in the hierarchy of things and very dangerous. They mimic the cherubim. One is a spirit of constriction and the other of wasting. The latter one¬†¬†is in charge of ensuring we peter out. (More especially true of people named Peter.) You probably have fewer problems with constriction or constricting circumstances than other people. (Though maybe not – the wine on the laptop could be a constriction.)
From ancient times, the threshold was the place of sacrifice.
Therefore when it comes to spiritual thresholds – that is, passing through the door into destiny – a sacrifice is required.
Some people actually sacrifice others to achieve their destiny. (And by sacrifice, I don’t mean minor stuff like be a workaholic and ignore relationships to achieve, I mean – make the decision to destroy someone mentally, emotionally or spiritually to get the desired end.) Most people have a sense of the real nature of the sacrifice required and are unwilling to do that. So most people sacrifice themselves, at least partially. This too leads to wasting/petering out.

SCARY! and then this:

For most people in the modern world, the constriction generally seems to be financial. I’m not sure how to describe the thresholds – man-made or daemonic –¬†I’m still struggling to understand their nature. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re independent-minded or not; the crossing of the threshold is about a willingness to make a sacrifice – to pay the price to come into your destiny.
As for what the Bible teaches about thresholds and the covenants governing them, again I’m not sure. I think the idea was so common in ancient times that it is assumed everyone could pick up the references to it. When Jesus renames Simon and calls him Cephas (Peter), I think there’s a multiple play on words – the word is not just rock, but threshold stone in a gateway or doorway¬†…Most Christians take the simplistic view that any problematic¬†threshold covenants were undone at the cross and that therefore no Christian these days suffers from this problem. Which, in my experience, is not the case at all. Christians don’t come into their destiny much, either. In fact, very few do. They suffer just as much from the threshold problem as other people. Mostly I think it’s ignorance that leaves them stranded. And a kind of fatalism (more of a Muslim than Christian kind) about the will of God.’

I replied,

‘It is a comfort to have someone else looking deeper, even gropingly, tentatively, when all the world seems so hasty and surface-dwelling. When there are obviously (to me) things going on beneath the obvious, things that stop us year after year. And you are right – most Christians assume they are exempt. Then they go and live aimless lives, serving Mammon, or man in the form of pastor and the church fashions, while the poor starve outside their gates.

I am for honesty, and reality. If there’s a gate to go through, i like to say so, or be told so. I have seen many people baulk at their own destiny-gates, and retreat in haste lest they go through and walk with God – and confront their demons.
i note that Cephas/Peter when the cock crew denied Christ, ie baulked at following him through the gates of self-sacrifice. Many years later he himself was led away ‘where he would rather not go’, and was crucified – but upside down. hm. hope it doesnt have to come to that!
So many synchronicities at present between these thoughts and my life:
– I am currently carving a taniwha/mosasaur pendant for my brother’s monster movie, called (working title) In Depths Below, with the tagline ‘No-one Wants to Believe’.
– I happen to be changing both thresholds of the Ark where we live and i work: the front door now has a round window in it facing east to let in the dawn light, and the back has a whole wall of window glass closing in the porch, and the double doors are now out at the end of the porch. And where the doors used to be is an interior threshold with a thick board of totara milled from a ‘sinker log’ – donated by a young man who raises these logs from the river where they have lain for 100 years since the logging days. (The finial i carved for the front of the Ark with an owl and celtic knots, is also made from that totara. When i can afford the time i plan to make a rooster weathervane to go on top of the finial…)
When i was just nailing the doors in their new position, i went out the back of the section and saw the sun was an orange ball behind the clouds, just setting behind the hills.
So, thresholds, sunrise, sunset, depths – and monsters from the deep. (Also the Taniwha of that river was said by the Maori to take the form of a log which floated (spookily) UPstream.)
Meanwhile at ¬†cafe Eutopia I finally got round to improving a (sliding) door to the big tent, and put handles on it which it had lacked. And issues at the cafe with finishing, with the lease for the cafe business – covenants, penalties, thresholds, stuckness…
All this time I’ve been attempting to relax enough not to get the migraine which keeps threatening, long enough to get my ‘Wizard of Eutopia – for hire’ sign composed, printed and put out the front of the ark. This is all about ‘coming out’ and¬†being¬†a contribution (serving others as they wish to use me) rather than only ‘building‘ a contribution (in the form of (complex, hard to finish) structures and products I hope they will find inspiring). Quite a lot of inner issues here, think i am working through them. Not easy when you dont know exactly what they are.
One issue is claiming the name ‘wizard’ in the first place – evil to my christian relatives, while charming to many others, who like the fun of finding someone willing to be a stereotype, and do it with conviction. ūüôā Of course I aim to be like Gandalf or Dumbledore, not Saruman or Voldemort (of course!). Gandalf was a steward, of all that was worth saving in Middle Earth, and of the ancient kingship and its return. His life’s work was the ushering in of the new age with the return of the king.¬†Meanwhile I as would-be Wizard of the Epic plan to make a bold foray back into Aeden, revise volume 1 one more time, and then revise vol 4, and the whole will have some completion, even if it is not yet ready to take on the world… That epic being of course the story of the end of the Fourth Age (the one Gandalf ushered in) and the dawn of the Fifth, the diamond Age.
Here endeth the Tale of Two Thresholds.

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Filed under How to be a Wizard, other wizards, the Wizard archetype, thresholds and destiny