Photo by Sue Vincent
Jay looked across the lake at the distant mountain. Nothing was moving over the glassy water.
He slipped the kayak into the water, stepped in placing his little backpack on the floor between his legs, and pushed off. After a couple of hard paddles to get the boat’s momentum up, he relaxed into a routine of gentle, quiet, yet efficient strokes.
Silent. That was the key word. Didn’t need anyone to hear, and there were a lot of ears, not to mention the Guardian.
After several minutes, Jay glanced back. The kayak created a small wake as it sliced through the smooth water. Eddies swirled where his paddle had pushed the water back, propelling his tiny craft. The shore was receding, but still near, too close. There was no movement, his theft had yet to be discovered. Continue reading →
Lisa and I had been hiking for three days when found ourselves at our destination. Our “destination” was a 150 meter drop straight down into the blackness. The locals called it “the mouth of the dragon” and I could see why. It was the type of cave that inspired local myths and legends. But we had to do it, one more item to check off of our bucket list.
We camped overnight and studied the guides one last time. The little guide pamphlets seemed to have been translated into English by a madman and it was hard to make heads or tails of some sections, but we were able to understand all of the technical parts. Some things don’t change from country to country. The night passed quick, with just a few of the typical “day before the adventure” nerves. In the morning we quickly got everything ready.
Lisa and I descended into the cave. I consider myself an experienced spelunker and thought I had seen just about everything, so I wasn’t too concerned about the “old-world hazards” that the guidebook mentioned. I mean, what could there be I haven’t seen in the Americas? Continue reading →
“The art of slaying a dragon is an ancient practice known by few alive today. I have been instructed in secret by he who last lay sword on said devil’s beast. It is a grim business, aye, but one we have to understand. Listen to the gory story of slaying beasts, monsters and dragons.”
George’s audience moved in closer as his tones grew darker and more hushed.
“Every worm has a soft spot,” he said. “Every one has a vulnerability. Only a fool rushes in, sword or spear in hand, and tries to take on such a mighty beast without knowing the brute’s secret Achilles’ Heel. Only a fool.”
He was greeted with nods. Continue reading →
“Daddy! Daddy! There’s… there’s a…there’s… Daddy!”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down a minute. Take a deep breath. OK, what’s up?”
“Yeah, I saw it slithering behind the houses over on Forestview Drive.”
“Oh, what dangers lurk in that untamed wilderness, the Great American Suburb! Careful, evil beasts can be found on those placid streets: minivans, poodles and dragons.”
“Daddy, don’t tease me. I saw it. It was as long as a house. It was blue with red horns and yellow cat’s eyes.”
“Honey, how can a dragon as long as a house hide on Forestview Drive? All of the dogs would be barking like mad and someone would see it. The cops would be here in a jiffy, and perhaps the National Guard as well. Helicopters would fill the sky. If a dragon was patrolling the neighborhood we’d all know about it by now. OK?” Continue reading →
I poked my head into the sunroom. The wet,miserable day visible out of the large windows gave lie to name of the room. It had been raining nonstop since early morning.
Idina looked over and wagged her tail. She was perched on a chair next to the sliding door. All morning she stared out of the window. Occasionally she barked, but by the time I got into the room she would be calm again, looking at me happily, wagging away. Continue reading →
Recently I was digging through old music and rediscovered St. George and the Dragon. I was surprised at how much I liked it. Although there is a huge history behind this music I’ll tell you the essentials about this video first.
The third and final movement of St. George and the Dragon is titled “St. George”. It is a kind of character sketch, but the character is almost a cartoon. Here is how I think of it: A 21st Century person is looking through an ultra-romantic early 19th century picture book. The book is about a 3rd century saint but is filled with 11th century armor and 16th century castles. So this music is making fun of the mish-mash of history and some of the over-romanticized story lines. And for your listening pleasure: Continue reading →