(Possibly) First Photograph– Heliography (Sun Writing)

Possibly the very first photograph (heliography– sun writing)
German exhibition to feature what experts believe could be the world’s first ever photo
The snap called View From The Window At Le Gras dates back to 1826. It was created by photographic pioneer Nicéphore Niépce at his Le Gras country estate in Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, France.

I told this story last Halloween.

ina Rock shared Celtic Mythology‘s photo.
THE DANCING FAIRIES OF THE RING came one evening late in November, which is the month when spirits have most power over all things, as the prettiest girl in all…
THE DANCING FAIRIES OF THE RING came one evening late in November, which is the month when spirits have most power over all things, as the prettiest girl in all the island was going to the well for water, her foot slipped and she fell, it was an unlucky omen, and when she got up and looked round it seemed to her as if she were in a strange place, and all around her was changed as if by enchantment. But at some distance she saw a great crowd gathered round a blazing fire, and she was drawn slowly on towards them, till at last she stood in the very midst of the people; but they kept silence, looking fixedly at her; and she was afraid, and tried to turn and leave them, but she could not. Then a beautiful youth, like a prince, with a red sash, and a golden band on his long yellow hair, came up and asked her to dance.
“It is a foolish thing of you, sir, to ask me to dance,” she said, “when there is no music.”
Then he lifted his hand and made a sign to the people, and instantly the sweetest music sounded near her and around her, and the young man took her hand, and they danced and danced till the moon and the stars went down, but she seemed like one floating on the air, and she forgot everything in the world except the dancing, and the sweet low music, and her beautiful partner.
At last the dancing ceased, and her partner thanked her, and invited her to supper with the company. Then she saw an opening in the ground, and a flight of steps, and the young man, who seemed to be the king amongst them all, led her down, followed by the whole company. At the end of the stairs they came upon a large hall, all bright and beautiful with gold and silver and lights; and the table was covered with everything good to eat, and wine was poured out in golden cups for them to drink. When she sat down they all pressed her to eat the food and to drink the wine; and as she was weary after the dancing, she took the golden cup the prince handed to her, and raised it to her lips to drink. Just then, a man passed close to her, and whispered–
“Eat no food, and drink no wine, or you will never reach your home again.”
So she laid down the cup, and refused to drink. On this they were angry, and a great noise arose, and a fierce, dark man stood up, and said–
“Whoever comes to us must drink with us.”
And he seized her arm, and held the wine to her lips, so that she almost died of fright. But at that moment a red-haired man came up, and he took her by the hand and led her out.
“You are safe for this time,” he said. “Take this herb, and hold it in your hand till you reach home, and no one can harm you.” And he gave her a branch of a plant called the Athair-Luss the ground ivy. In Ancient Egypt the ivy was sacred to Osiris, and a safeguard against evil.

This she took, and fled away along the sward in the dark night; but all the time she heard footsteps behind her in pursuit. At last she reached home and barred the door, and went to bed, when a great clamour arose outside, and voices were heard crying to her–
“The power we had over you is gone through the magic of the herb; but wait–when you dance again to the music on the hill, you will stay with us for evermore, and none shall hinder.”
However, she kept the magic branch safely, and the fairies never troubled her more; but it was long and long before the sound of the fairy music left her ears which she had danced to that November night on the hillside with her fairy lover.


In the course of writing practice just now, I made a discovery.  I have said that I wish to bind wounds with the gauze of spirit through art. I previously thought that this meant to do art– and when people looked at it their wounds might be bound. Now I realize that by drawing nature and other subjects, I am binding wounds as I give loving attention to the subject of the drawing. If others find it healing, that’s fine. But the wound-binding happens as I do the work, to whatever it is I am drawing (and wherever else the energy is supposed to go). I’m almost embarrassed to admit I didn’t “get it” before this!

Today I remembered the tower niche insert, and recalled how I took joy in maintaining it while we lived in the Cushendall Tower. I worked on the niche spontaneously and naturally. I was drawn to the niche even before I got there, but I didn’t realize why it beckoned to me until I actually began to clean it and did the paintings that reflected the moon, stars, and crows*. It was a kind of stitching heaven to earth:

Peace mounts to the heavens, the heavens descend to earth, earth lies under the heavens, everyone is strong.    

–Victory Song of the Morrigan, Book of Fermoy***

Drawing the Fairy Hill (Cushendall, N. Ireland, Sept 18, 2111)


The Book of Fermoy RIA MS 23 E 29

The Book of Fermoy was written in 1373 by Adam ó Cianáin on twenty-two folios. The first eight folios are still bound together, while the other fourteen were split off, and now form the “Stowe Fragment” held at the same library.

The manuscript contains The Book of Invasions, “Fosterage of the Houses of the Two Milk Vessels” (both of the Mythological Cycle), “The Wooing of Emer,” (the Ulster Cycle) “The Adventures of Art son of Conn” (the Kings Cycle), The Voyage of Bran, and many more stories, with numerous variations with those found in other manuscripts.

*The Morrígan is a goddess of battle, strife, and sovereignty. She sometimes appears in the form of a crow, flying above the warriors, and in the Ulster cycle she also takes the form of an eel, a wolf and a cow. (http://en.wikipedia.org/)

Turnly Tower Niche, Cushendall, N. Ireland (Sept 4, 2011)