A Land That Time Forgot

This story came about from a complete failure of subject-agenda. A
friend and co-conspirator (blogger), Marian Youngblood of
Siderealview’s Blog invited me to do a bio of sorts for her to feature on the same blog, and requested I do a continuation of “A Visit With a Sirian.” This sounded like a wonderful idea to me, and so I agreed. Stories such as this take little effort for me, for I subscribe to the maxim that “An Idea is
One Whose Time has Come,” and so assumed the time had come. While I had more to say regarding my experiences with “the Sirian”, I was struggling with much in the technical aspects of execution – or composition. I was unable to compose this story.

Meanwhile, something else, or someone else, was pulling at my attention, insistently even. This little friend of mine was relentless in his need for communing with me, and wanted me to share a story that included him. I didn’t know this was to be the story I would share with Marian and her audience – I only knew that I must write this story – the one you
will be reading today.

Meanwhile, I questioned the Sirian regarding the “block” that I was experiencing with his story, and in a serious and austere way and winking at the same time, he told me, “This is not the time….” 

And so – I would like to introduce you to A-Bar in

 A Land That Time Forgot
Pete Madstone 

Today, I find myself living in the southwest of France in a place I could have never dreamed of. It abounds with life — birds, animals, insects and woodlands. There are more trees than people, and many of the inhabitants of these savage lands live just outside the arena of the physical world that we are so familiar with. In spite of the typical challenges that come with life itself wherever any of us might live, I would have to say this place is simply “exotic”.

So, let’s begin with Webster’s defining the word exotic –

exotic1 : introduced from another country : not native to the place where found <exotic plants>
2 archaic : foreign, alien
3 : strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual
4 : of or relating to striptease

Lets take this step by step –

definition 1. With this, it seems that I am the exotic one here, since I was “introduced” here from America – a member of a not yet extinct variety of humanity’s transitional sub-species – the evolutionary inclusionist.

definition 2. Foreign, yes — alien, likely. So this would be me, again. I am foreign and alien to this place (or at least its people), since I come from another with different ways — but from my perspective, this place is what is foreign and alien, so all things can, indeed, be seen in more than one way.

definition 3. Okay — now we’re talking, and not about the “famous” french cuisine (though the food certainly fits with this one, as well). Let me repeat this definition — strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual. If I apply this definition to this place, I would have to say that I couldn’t say it any better — it describes perfectly the environment that surrounds me. Because I cannot say things as simply as Mr. Webster, I will devote much more time and effort to describe this place that is far from south Santa Monica, the place where I cut my teeth on a surfboard. But first…

definition 4. This one is pretty much irrelevant, since the kind of place you might find “exotic” dancers would be in the nearest city – which for me would be a French city called Bordeaux, and like all French cities, this one is terribly intimidating. Along the same note, I will mention that it is not unusual for the french female to tan her chest freely on our summer beaches just as the males do – and so these beaches could certainly be considered “exotic” in this context, but I don’t live on the beach.

I would now discuss just what is strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual about this place,  for this is what I really have to share with you. It is not that what I will be discussing was never available to me in the variety of other places I have lived, it is just that never have these certain exotic flavors been so apparent to me — so evident, tangible or real. Maybe it is me who has changed, but I would have to surmise that it is my environment that has changed me — this exotic environment.

I live on a half-acre of land 500 meters (3 “city” blocks) from a medieval village in, as I said, the southwest of France. The road to my house is unpaved and few cars pass by on their way to some scattered homes beyond my own. Splitting off this small road by the gate to my land is an entrance to an old path which is used by the occasional equestrian, hiker or nearby resident of the village on an evening stroll. A couple of winters ago, I was walking this path more than anyone, for I had made a discovery that was reliant upon one condition for this peculiarity, or phenomenon, to be witnessed most easily — I had to be present at a certain place accessed by this path at the time of the “crack between the worlds,” the quarter-hour just before and just after sunset.

Into the land that time forgot...

So it was out my gate just about every evening, and down this path around 500 meters in the opposite direction from the village into a little tree-lined pasture. On the path were two old oak trees that became a vortex, or portal of sorts for me, for every time I walked past these two trees, everything became silent — there was a definite shift. Far away traffic, birds, insects, and the general buzz of life all stopped here. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was passing into a different time, and a different place — into a land that time forgot.

There, at the far end of this grassy field where three hedgerows join is a small copse closing in an otherwise invisible corner of the field. Directly at the “entrance” of this little secluded corner is an old water well — a well covered and overgrown by years of non-use and neglect. This was certainly a forgotten place.

The first few times I had gone to this place, I would feel eyes upon me — many, many eyes from behind and in the trees and branches of overgrowth surrounding me — always blinking off and on, twinkling like bright little stars in a woods bereft of foliage. There was something here, and I certainly felt right at home. It didn’t take me long to begin doing sunset rituals of communion wand-less, and without any of the typical tools, talismans or regalia of the trade. There was certainly a bustle in these hedgerows, and well before the time of the May Queen.

My simple but raw ceremonies became a standard for me, weather permitting. Upon arriving, I would stop to take in the energy and air of this ancient place, and center myself in the open space defined by the leafless trees. Then, I began walking my circles, and defining my pentagrams, hexagrams and sphere of influence/reality. Salutations would be done, followed by invocations of the cardinal’s overseers. Then, simply stillness and release. It wasn’t a few days before I began sitting at the mouth of the old well after performing my ritual. I just wanted to just be with the land and its wild life, curious about the abundance of those shy and reluctant, but always blinking eyes. From the first time I sat at the opening of this well, I could sense the presence of our local Undines working in the watery realms directly below me — however, these were not the ones with the eyes in the woods.

These others , I found quickly, were of the earth realm, beings who never ventured into the light of day unless absolutely necessary (invoked), or simply overwhelmed with curiosity or craftiness — these were the Gnomes, working the same caverns below me that the Undines travelled. These caverns and tunnels are abundant in this region of France, with many of them open to the surface, and all of them are crystalline in some way. All these caverns are paradise to those who secretly dwell in them.

"No, it's not a hat -- it's my head!"

So it was at some point just after the winter equinox that I met this local group of Gnomes — builders they are, if you don’t already know this, and here I was getting ready to build a house. Every evening I was there, they would begin to crowd around me, these little Gnomes. Small they may be, but certainly strong and stout they are, for they are rock workers. Masons they are, Stonemasons, the prototypical Freemasons, and the earth they work is their temple.

So, I decided to ask for one of these earth-dwellers to help me with the building of my house, which had been at a standstill for 2 years. I specifically stated my requirements (I thought) that were as follows — The house needed to be done in 1 year, and I needed funds, materials, support from friends as yet unmade with the actual physical work, plus support from one of the Gnomes who was considered highly skilled at this work they did so well. Of course, it slipped my mind that these beings were best at rock-work, and other than the rock foundation, the house was to be of wood frame/strawbale construction — but Gnomes are builders, and the best in the world, so why would this matter?

One of the Gnomes did come for me, knowing it wouldn’t be a full-time job. He would only come around when I was actually working, and besides the other events he was to oversee, he still had his own personal time, and life. He was an A-BAR — this is the title of a Master Rocker, and his name was “Ephrana -yam.” He prefered to be called A-bar, or simply Eff. A year passed as agreed, and the rock foundation was done. So what of the house? Well, it was far from finished, but at least I did have a floor to build the house upon. Apparently, one year was not enough time for me to build a house, even when partnered with a specialist in rock-work. I still had wood frames to bring up, roofing to do, and everything else up to and past the kitchen sink.

Of course, A-bar did exactly as he understood — it was I who was somehow vague or a little unfocused/misdirected in my desires. So for my little Gnome friend, a year is what it took to complete his part of the job– a year for the foundation. Of course the funding did arrive to for the project within that time from an unexpected place, and I could not have continued without that, anyway. So Eff did do his job, as requested, and did it to the Tee.

So what of this exotic nature of the place that I call home (for now)? There is something about it that is so pure, untouched — unqualified even. In the history of man, very little has been done to corrupt, or even direct the energy here, and so it can be a little difficult to work with. It is very still and unmoving, and it is used to being still — it is an uncertain energy. It is tentative, having had little experience with outside direction or foreign influence. But we can both learn — both me and this energy. Some have said the energy is flat here, but to me, its potential is remarkable, for it has been unused for millenia, maybe since the beginning of time.

I still have to wonder, though – is this a place that time forgot, or just a place that man forgot?


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