You are gone.
But I was porous in your presence.
Every leaf of you
left its mark
casts shadows still
beautiful but dark. — Annette Marie Smith
The Speckled Ones
“This is a story my gran told me about the speckled people. She told it every year on Morgda Eve and as she told it the autumn winds swept the forest floor outside our small home beneath the trees and the trees caught every crisp star in their branches where they lit up the night like a great chandelier.
The speckled people are freckled people: spots of color dotting and dashing their skin. Nowadays this peculiarity is attributed to a substance we all have in our skin in varying degrees and differing manifestations. But my gran said freckles are the remnants of the markings of a forest people well known in their time but now all but forgotten.
Silent on their feet they were, moving to the whisper of breeze on leaves and windlets on grass. The sighing of the woodland marked their passage through it. Magic it seemed and invisible too because they (like the gray and brown and orange and black array of colors you see in the squirrels and other wild things of fall — matching their colors to the world around them) wore the colors of harvest on themselves and in their skin and thus they blended in so perfectly that they could hardly be detected — whether moving or still. Their “freckles” let them bend in with the fall foliage much like the squirrels and other wildlings.
Their face markings were gold leaf, metallic bronze, tourmaline, and soot. Red bled in lines radiating from their chins and sprawling downward in a path that covered their bodies in green lines and brown, gray and dun. All looked to be painted on but this was their natural coloration.
Beings that personified the forest in their long twiggy fingers and their bramble hair, their swaying walk and their skin so strange-a-shimmer.
Gran said they were known for their true-seeing into the other world and that the spots on their skin also signified all the possibilities of worlds within worlds.
Well this species of magical being intermarried and over the long years lost much of their distinctiveness but two things remained, my gran always told me, as the wind moaned and the stars twinkled: their spots (now merely freckles) and their unerring ken to true-see.” — Lyssa of the Arboreal Shades from the Night Fairytales series by Annette Marie Smith
Walking to car, coffee mug in hand this morning: raindrops in my brew. ❤
There are many hard hearts, many hearts of stone in this world.
She pulls them up by their mountain roots and carries them,
like a load of heart heavy laundry, to the river.
She uses the soothing properties of water
and in that way she softens the stones.
Her hair is made up of every color in every conceivable
(and inconceivable) spectrum
and as she launders those hard hearts she cries
shining, shimmering, multi-colored pearls of tears.
She polishes the stony hearts to brilliance with her tears
and as she does so her hair (each time she does this)
is drained of all color. It swirls to her feet
like a silver cape and she smiles through her tears.
Her smiles are like kisses that melt in the rain,
fleeting but oh so beautiful.
As she disappears her hair flames
with legion color once more. — Annette Marie Smith
Letters hold small spirits of their senders
bright in the form of thoughts, ideas, emotions.
Guiding these spirits from one person’s world to another’s
who steer Charon paper boats
fragile on the river Distance
and the thrashing Angeliafóros sea. — Annette Marie Smith
I find that in the process of creating, something of my soul is caught up, captured, and included in the piece. But I lose nothing. The pruning increases the flowering of my soul. — Annette Marie Smith
Italian artist Giuseppe Penone removed the growth rings on a tree to reveal the tree at a younger age. Photo via Inverse
This speaks to me of how we all carry our younger selves within us. Some can access this inner child by walking through the forest of themselves. Leaves tremble, the wind stirs many branches. Glass birds, their throat feathers ruby, diamond, and sapphire, sing. A susurrus of memories moves through the woods and suddenly, there you are, on the path meeting yourself.
Read more about the artist here.