once upon a time..

12-bagpipe-frog-redmer-hoekstra-surreal-animals-ink-drawings-www-designstack-co……there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. As he grew old, he began to wonder which should inherit the kingdom, since none had married and he had no heir. The king decided to ask his daughters to demonstrate their love for him. To the eldest princess he said, “Tell me how you love me.” She loved him as much as all the treasure in the kingdom. To the middle princess he said, “Tell me how you love me.” She loved him with the strength of iron. To the youngest princess he said, “Tell me how you love me.” This youngest princess thought for a long time before answering. Finally she said she loved him as meat loves salt. “Then you do not love me at all,” the king said. He threw his daughter from the castle and had the bridge drawn up behind her so that she could not return. Now, this youngest princess goes into the forest with not so much as a coat or a loaf of bread. She wanders through a hard winter, taking shelter beneath trees. She arrives at an inn and gets hired as assistant to the cook. As the days and weeks go by, the princess learns the ways of the kitchen. Eventually she surpasses her employer in skill and her food is known throughout the land. Years pass, and the eldest princess comes to be married. For the festivities, the cook from the inn makes the wedding meal. Finally a large roast pig is served. It is the king’s favorite dish, but this time it has been cooked with no salt. The king tastes it. Tastes it again. “Who would dare to serve such an ill-cooked roast at the future queen’s wedding?” he cries. The princess-cook appears before her father, but she is so changed he does not recognize her. “I would not serve you salt, Your Majesty,” she explains. “For did you not exile your youngest daughter for saying that it was of value?” At her words, the king realizes that not only is she his daughter—she is, in fact, the daughter who loves him best. And what then? The eldest daughter and the middle sister have been living with the king all this time. One has been in favor one week, the other the next. They have been driven apart by their father’s constant comparisons. Now the youngest has returned, the king yanks the kingdom from his eldest, who has just been married. She is not to be queen after all. The elder sisters rage. At first, the youngest basks in fatherly love. Before long, however, she realizes the king is demented and power-mad. She is to be queen, but she is also stuck tending to a crazy old tyrant for the rest of her days. She will not leave him, no matter how sick he becomes. Does she stay because she loves him as meat loves salt? Or does she stay because he has now promised her the kingdom? It is hard for her to tell the difference.

Excerpt: We Were Liars, E. Lockhart
Image: Redmer Hoekstra, www.designstack.com

Listening to: the rustle of the pups in the pen outside my window, and a breeze through the tree tops.   I love to write and work at night its when I’m most inspired.
Doing?  Friday night again folks….   Only this time, I’m taking a break from writing to work on my jewelry.

Parable of the Tower…

GodwickA man inherited a field in which was an accumulation of old stone, part of an older hall. Of the old stone some had already been used in building the house in which he actually lived, not far from the old house of his fathers. Of the rest he took some and built a tower. But his friends coming perceived at once (without troubling to climb the steps) that these stones had formerly belonged to a more ancient building. So they pushed the tower over, with no little labour, and in order to look for hidden carvings and inscriptions, or to discover whence the man’s distant forefathers had obtained their building material.

Some suspecting a deposit of coal under the soil began to dig for it, and forgot even the stones. They all said: ‘This tower is most interesting.’ But they also said (after pushing it over): ‘What a muddle it is in!’ And even the man’s own descendants, who might have been expected to consider what he had been about, were heard to murmur: ‘He is such an odd fellow! Imagine using these old stones just to build a nonsensical tower! Why did not he restore the old house? he had no sense of proportion.’

But from the top of that tower the man had been able to look out upon the sea.

Source: J.R.R. Tolkien, Beowulf and the Critics

Photo: Nick Stone

Inky’s Take: To understand is practiced art.  It requires desire, finess, a discerning eye, and the attention to detail that the artist gives his craft. Without one, it’s just fingerpaint, an unconnected melody, a lump of clay. Messy.

To understand is mindful.  It requires thought, dedication, attention, and vision.   Without one, it’s just a failed experiment, a lost thought, a hopeless cause.  A Miss.

To understand is human.  It requires patience, silence in which to listen, and courage to open oneself to the other’s possibility. Without one, it’s just gossip, rumor, folly. Misunderstood.

To understand is to open the heart. It requires practiced art, thought and humanity. Without one you fail.  Understandably. Sadly.

Source: Inky

Parable of the Crooked Tree..


In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, “Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome. Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.” And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, “Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.” So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.

Source: Tom Waits

Photo: Josh Lowe

Inky’s Take:  There’s something to be said for being strange, having the courage to not conform, thumbing your nose at the masses and being a crooked tree.  Of course, the reason you are crooked has a lot to do with it.  If you are just crooked because you couldn’t find the sky any other way, then the others helped make you who you are; a byproduct of your environment.  But if you are crooked simply because you said ‘what the hey’, I’m doing it my way!  Then it’s all yours. The fame, the fortune, the crime, the lawyer’s fees and the time.

If you’re still looking for a moral, here, catch this one – You’re either a load bearing beam in a gorgeous home, the toothpick between Jackie Chan’s bottom teeth, or a crooked tree alive and growing wonky in a quiet majestic forest.  Either way, it was a choice that lead you there, so – Own It.