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The Stone at the Old Same-Place

by David S. Warren

The Old Same-Place, as we called it when we lived there in the seventies, was a nineteenth-century farm house next to a small, unmowed cemetery under tall White Pines as old as the stones where Blackcap Raspberries thrived in a couple of patches. Wild Morning Glory vines hooded the tomb stones and climbed the old pines to their first branches twenty or thirty feet above the ground. The old Pines had grown so large that their sprawling roots tilted the vine-hooded tombstones so that they seemed to be running away

One morning I was poking into the cemetery with my dog Kasha to check on some ripening BlackCap berries in which Kasha had no interest, she lay down in patch of Morning Glory vines near a stone I had never noticed before. It was mostly obscured by the vines but the thing was bigger than a bowling ball and glowing red.

I bent to it and parted the vines , opening what looked an eye an eye with a deep fire in it. Was that a reflection of the sun and were those clouds I saw swirling in the stone ? Suddenly I didn’t know where I was, wether I was within or without, nor, for that matter, who I was.

I heard a roaring in my ears, or was it nothing?
The sound of me being sucked through that eye to the center of being or nothingness? Help!

It could be that my dog Kasha heard the roar too, or maybe my stunned face alarmed her; because she began barking, which freed me from the spell of unwilled concentration, and was able to turn away and rest my eyes on the grey slate tombstones around me.

When I looked back ever so glancingly at the stone, it no longer seemed to be actually glowing. But almost.

I blinked the vines back over the stone for the time being, but because of that disturbing first experience, (when I had not been taking drugs and wasn’t totally unhinged) , I continued to be fascinated by the stone and returned to it often, opening the vine-lids considerately. The stone was very polished, translucent,and globular for a natural occurring stone .. and yet it was not a perfect globe; having a few swells and dimples like a moon, and a semi-flat area like a base, seat … or a screen.

The obvious first explanation for such an almost perfectly rounded stone of that size appearing where it did, is that it was made to sit on top of those towers you see for marble globes in gardens and cemeteries, but there was no pedestal stone in this cemetery, and that stone was not perfect enough to have been made for that purpose.

Some people would want to hear no more before assuring me that this was a celestial arrival from an alien planet, a sort of cyst set to erupt with spore beings that will take over your body and turn you into a mushroom farm. Or maybe it was an eye camera sent by other aliens . Or, along slightly more likely lines, maybe it was the reminiscent heart of a nearly burnt-out meteor.

I don’t know about aliens, but I knew that a meteor makes a deep crater when it hits, and so would not come popping up in a cemetery.

I had made it through an introductory geology course and understood that years and years ago, before this millennium, before dogs and the horse-faced humans even, back when snow had fallen for so long without stopping that the weight of it on top of itself packed it into a mile thick sheet of ice, and it kept on snowing, and then it snowed some more, pushing that ice down over the face of the world, moving , grinding and gouging its way over and through the mountains. You know the story.

I supposed that stone to be part of some Adirondack or Laurntian mountain, broken off by the great glacier, over which it moved as on ball bearings, until the rough bolder had become so nearly perfect.

Perhaps it would have gotten to be more perfect if that ice age had not ended, and an age of global warming begun. The glaciers melted, dropped their stone loads, and began a slow retreat, leaving a lake of which the Great Lakes are remaining puddles.

In recent years, Paleontologists have discovered the fossil remains of giant beavers, quite like those of today, except they were big as Bears.

But to this day the existences of a primitive people in association with them has pretty much escaped notice even by people who just like the idea. It would be easy enough even for a scientist or a hunter not to notice one of the “Yellow” People, as they have been called because of the chameleon quality of their skin, which seems to become mottled with the colors of their immediate surroundings ranging from puddle water blue to Aspen leaf yellow, and, even if they were always totally yellow as Chanterelle Mushrooms, you might not notice one of the Yellow People, because they themselves are seldom as large as a groundhog .

They live in burrows and Beaver lodges, and they wear boots made out of Dog feet. I do not ask you to believe in the little Yellow People as they have been called, or to believe everything just because I say it; this the stone told me:

Years and Ages and Epochs ago people lived along the lakes where the glacier stopped and spent long winters telling history. Their ancestors, they knew had come from the south and driven out the Algonquians but the Algonquians themselves had vanquished or eliminated tribes before them, but nothing was known about the little yellow people who had stopped the glacier and lived with the great big Beavers.

Until one day a boy whose name I do not know …. call him Bearfoot … was on a bird hunt when he crossed a Bear track and diverted to follow it. It may be that he was of the Bear Clan himself and merely wanted to have some significant contact with Brother Bear, which would give him bragging rights in the Long House, or maybe he was from the Wolf Clan and wanted only to say he had snuck up on the Bear, kicked it in the buttocks, and gotten away. Or maybe he only meant to do everything except actually kick the Bear in the butt, then go home and say he did.

Meanwhile back at the story, Bearfoot, lost the track in a swamp, and had entirely lost his way as well, but still carrying a string of three Grouse over his shoulder, he came to a flat-topped, rounded stone in a mossy forest and, laying his string of birds beside it, sat on the stone to rest and eat his lunch. He pulled his feet up under him and looked up inside his head for just moment and then he heard a voice which came from nowhere and traveled up his back. Or maybe it came from the stone; it was not a stoney voice or even a gravelly one, it had a deep watery quality The voice said,

“Do you want to hear a story?”

Bearfoot’s mouth dropped open, but no words came out.

After a moment measureless to the boy, the voice from somewhere repeated. “Do you want to hear a story?”

The voice was undeniable, not in his head, more like in his body and not all that easy to interpret, but he knew for sure that he did want to hear a story, so

“Yes”, he said.

“Then stand off me and give me your birds,” the stone said.

Bearfoot sprang to his feet and lay the string of Grouse upon it.

At that there was a sort of rumble like a cave clearing it’s throat and the boy stood as still as a tree told, about the world when it was a fire and then of an age when it was ice, then of an age when mountains were pushed up and when they were ground down and scattered around, much as we have told it here; except that it took a long long time in the stone version, which included much grumbling and rumbling as of mountains moving over each other.

At last that day the voice said that there was no time for more of the story right then, but that it would continue the story if the boy returned the next day bringing more birds as gifts.

So the boy hunted quickly the next day and brought more birds to the stone, for which it told the boy of the small, yellow people who had originally lived in the great chasm before they filled with water, and then retreated to the gorges until one called “Old Man” wandered away from them and, mating with a woman from the sky, started a new race which, because they didn’t who they had come from, cannibalized the yellow people until they themselves were all but one eaten by ravening bears out of the north. In the tine it took to tell that much, another day had nearly passed.

On the third day the stone told the boy of his own people, descended from the one survivor of the people who were eaten by bears and from a woman of the West who brought corn, squash and plums. Then it told him the stories of all the clans and the clan animals, until another day had passed.

The boy was supposed to be hunting birds, but each day he had been bringing fewer and fewer to the long house, saying that he had already killed most of the birds near the village and so had to spend all his time getting to where the birds were and then back again. The clan mother didn’t believe this story, so she had two scouts follow the boy. They saw the boy in conversation with the rumbling stone.

The boy was confronted with this information and he confessed it was true, so then the scouts, the clan mothers, and several of the warriors carrying gifts of corn, plums, and Duck eggs accompanied the boy to the place of the stone.

The stone trembled and, through Bearfoot began a story bout how in the beginning were the Dogs, or rather, One Great Dog, before there were people, cats, or birds.

It is a long story, never reaching the present, even back then, on and on, with only him to translate from the stone, until Bearfoot the boy became an old man with a cracking voice.

And so old Bearfoot taught the stories to another boy who years later passed them on to another, and so it went on through generations, often to tellers who memorized the stories but could not really hear the stone.



Petitioners who presented the largest gifts to the Story Telling Stone often hoped to hurry the stone through its stories and past the present into an account of the future, but every time, well before it got to the future, the story would start all over at the beginning, before Dog even,when the world was just fire and ice.

The rest is history, and you know the story: the big white people came to the area and were soon at war with each other and the natives. During the war of American revolution, George Washington’s soldiers chopped down the Iroquois orchards and burnt the villages.

With no one to there to hear its stories, it was silent. The humus built up by the years of food, fish, and game offerings made such a rich rooting place around the stone that billows of moss soon surged up its dies, cover it to the very top. Eventually an oak took hold in the moss, grew up, and locked the stone in its roots.

 

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Places of Power
an Introduction

by David S. Warren, Editor

Here is a map showing supposed lines of force, or connection, or power transmission, or something simply mysterious called “Ley Lines”. When they intersect, Ley Lines are said to create places with a special power - typically the habitat of Bigfoot or powerful spirit beings, the landing place of aliens, or serving as portals through which one communicates with other worlds or other states of being. Spiritual centers, sacred places, and locations of political power...
(Go to Story)_______________________


Places of Power
Earth

by Tarka Wilcox PhD

Reply: Have you ever seen a small chunk of pure sodium metal burn, shriek, and tear itself apart when dropped into water? The energy release during the extremely rapid oxidation is impressive. It’s not the same as the earth, but in some ways it’s analogous - earth is burning (slowly), and tearing itself apart constantly - as a result of trying to cool off.
(Go to Story)

________________________

Montségur
by David Rollow

At this site on top of a rocky outcropping a castle once stood
that was the main stronghold of the Cathars, the heretics who were systematically wiped out in the Albigensian Crusade. At the time, I knew nothing about the Cathars. I went to Montsegur because
a friend put it on the map for me... (Go to Story)

_______________________

The Brook
by Franklin Crawford

The most powerful place I've ever known isn't there any more except between my ears.

It was a flat swampy wetland with a brook flowing through it that once fed a shallow lake that Mom said she had skated on in long ago winter times. I imagined Mom skating in a mental newsreel, black and white and shaky; not a memory of my own at all but of something else I never knew but wish I did. (Go to Story)________________


(more "Fish Eye" cartoons by Mark Finn)

______________________

Water Power
by Georgia E. Warren

It seems that humans can’t resist following water. I am sure that it didn’t take primative peoples long to know how much easier to get from one place to another perched on a fallen log and then a hollow log, a canoe and then finally a boat.

If you get tired going down the river, you pull to the side and stop. If there is a waterfall too steep or rapids too rough, you pull to the side and stop. Build a hut and eventually it becomes a community. (Go to Story)
_______________________

"Collector's Luck
in France"
review by
Josiah Booknoodle

It seems that humans can’t resist following water. I am sure that it didn’t take primative peoples long to know how much easier to get from one place to another perched on a fallen log and then a hollow log, a canoe and then finally a boat.

If you get tired going down the river, you pull to the side and stop. If there is a waterfall too steep or rapids too rough, you pull to the side and stop. Build a hut and eventually it becomes a community. (Go to Story)
_____________________

The Stone at the
Old Same-Place
by David S. Warren

The Old Same-Place, as we called it when we lived there in the seventies, was a nineteenth-century farm house next to a small, unmowed cemetery under tall White Pines as old as the stones where Blackcap Raspberries thrived in a couple of patches. Wild Morning Glory vines hooded the tomb stones and climbed the old pines to their first branches twenty or thirty feet above the ground. The old Pines had grown so large that their sprawling roots tilted the vine-hooded tombstones so that they seemed to be running away

One morning I was poking into the cemetery with my dog Kasha to check on some ripening BlackCap berries in which Kasha had no interest, she lay down in patch of Morning Glory vines near a stone I had never noticed before. It was mostly obscured by the vines but the thing was bigger than a bowling ball and glowing red. (Go to Story)


______________________

Entering a
Powerful Place
by Davey Weathercock

Connecticut Hill, about the wildest part of Tompkins County, has some reputation as a portal between worlds, a landing spot for space aliens, and the habitat of Bigfoot. I don’t know about all of that, but I have hunted, prospected, and skied for years on that hill, and I don’t get how people manage to come across Aliens and Bigfeet there, and not even notice the numerous Littlefeet: the small yellowish natives who retreated to the Gorges when the pre-Iroquois Algonquins arrived, and left the gorges for the hills when the Iroquois took over.
(Go to Story)

______________________



A Note from
Gabriel Orgrease

In the 70’s I was known in Tompkins County as someone that had an interest to play with stones and this fellow wanted to find a particular boulder to set on some property in Ellis Hollow at the northeast quadrant at the corner of Turkey Hill Road and Ellis Hollow Road. He explained there was a confluence of ley lines in the area and that it was full of power. He wanted to place a boulder at the intersection to make it even more powerful a meditation space. This was, as I recall, to be called something like The Temple of Light.
(Go to Story)

_____________________


by Franklin Crawford

Before Alcoholic Anonymous, or AA, there were Ancient Astronauts, the first-ever AAs. I met some of them when I was drinking spiked Mother’s Milk in a far away Power Place called The Womb and later, after getting deported, at the Friday night Mensa meeting in Halifax.

They were a fast-talking fun-loving crowd but none too clever given they chose Earth as a crash pad. That was their big mistake and a dead give-away that these so-called Ancient Astronauts were on the interstellar lam and just looking for a new place to party. (Go to Story)

_______________________

 

PRAIRIE LAKE

We would drive the buggy where
apart from the wheel tracks
we’d left last week
there was no trace of anyone
the land was so very flat
in all directions
we must unknowingly have crossed
one horizon after another

we might have been
let down from an angel chariot
for all the time
that distance seemed to take
your summons uplifted me
when the horse had its head
the prairie just rolled back
as steady as knitting

and in that pleasure
the body takes when it is
inured to hunger
and the fierce desires
in the renewed
appearance of tranquility
in each moved moment
we rehearsed our satisfaction

over and over so that
later I would find myself
repeating it even in my sleep
where there could be no expectation
of sharing it with you
how your call abides
that invited me
to look from that grassy shore

across a blind eye of water
with the ducks returning as
soon as our carriage-sounds stop
in a line that flattens as the surface
approaches beneath it
only to spill apart
and splash into several gratitudes
at the last moment

Chris MacCormick
___________________

Wake Me
by Mary Gilliland

In the treeless light of Delos
mullein flowers burn round
and the stone lions
have waited so long
some have lost their smiles,
others their heads.

In Eleusinian bus exhaust
rain beads like wax
drops along a candle
toward the smashed ruins.

In Samaria the temples
are not slabs of stone.
Water cold as fire
channels the gorge.

In the neglect at Dodona
Persephone has burned
to a shade thinner than sorrow
and fled to the caverns
leaving a painted turtle
to stare down the lizards.

'Nice Girl' first appeared in
The Greenfield Review 14, 3/4 (1987)

__________________

Places of Power
Mt. Shasta

SISKIYOU COUNTY JOURNAL

In the fall of 2016 our prose writing workshop (“Traveling, Thinking, Writing”) read books by Eddy Harris, Linda Grant Niemann, and Robert Michael Pyle. Pyle’s book is called Where Bigfoot Walks and one weekend in early November we endeavored to go out walking in one of the places where Bigfoot is reputed to walk, Siskiyou County in northern California. We drove north for five hours—in a rented van—from Berkeley. (Go to Story)
____________________


Places of Power
Mt. Shasta
OR NOTHING
LIKE THAT AT ALL
by Peter Fortunato


I’m originally from Kansas, and that’s why the name has stuck. A guy I met when I first hitchhiked to the Mountain started calling me that, and I liked it, and so on Shasta I became Kansas for keeps. That was my first time up there, 1976. I came down from the Mountain when Rinpoche arrived in the Bay Area, and there I made some new friends and we all stayed in the same house with him in the hills near Orinda. A lovely, friendly little town in those days—I wonder what it’s like now? (Go to Story)
______________________


The Texture of Music
by Peter Wetherbee

As a musician, audio engineer, and listener, I would like to define beauty in sound. What is it that makes something sound good? What is my favorite kind of music? If there could possibly be such a defining measuring stick, how would one quantify the magnitude of a given piece of art or music, the depth of beauty, or the absolute weight of meaning in the artistic gesture or statement?

I would like to call this magical sweet spot the location of power in music. (Go to Story)
________________________

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