Monday, 27 October 2014

The Monk's message is Love

It wasn't until I had finished my novel, "The Monk who Cast a Spell", that I knew what the story was about - finding and losing love, life being incomplete without it, the importance of change and helping others to realise their dreams.

Each one of us has the natural ability to "cast a spell" for kindness and compassion if we choose to do so. We can give someone a hug, touch their arm in sympathy if they are having a bad day, or say a kind word. It's all part of the alchemy of love.

People in the 8th century were looking to survive as well as they could. They saw magic everywhere including the letters in the Monks' manuscripts and relied on spiritual belief as a form of protection from the Gods, a comfort in darker days. Their superstition was a way of trying to control the frightening situation in which they lived. 

Imagine not knowing whether a Viking long ship would appear on the horizon and with it the threat of death, violence or slavery. Equally, this might come at any time from another Lord and his men who were stronger than those at the Hall where you lived. Famine and disease were prevalent too.

I can understand why people changed their Gods often, and so many were fearful of the new religion with it's Christ God that their Ancestors didn't know. Choosing the right one could save your life, give you a better or worse opportunity, and be one of the most important decisions you would ever make.

The seasons in the novel change from spring through to midwinter when the old Gods are in the firelight and shadows at Yule. It's a time when the early Church continues not only to be challenged   by traditional belief but also the Druids.

And for us it's almost Halloween, the night of October 31st or the ancient Samhain when the souls of the dead revisit. The Church celebrates All Saints Day on November, 1st which has been it's tradition since the 4th century and All Souls day on November, 2nd to commemorate those spirits which are said to have gone to the biblical Hell. 

Apart from the different social and political setting, there's so much which hasn't changed across the centuries. We remain without world peace, most of us still consider spiritual belief at some point in our lives, create a plan for survival even if it's only financial to deal with the life changes we know will occur, and most importantly we all search for love as Durstan did in 794AD. 

There'll be more news on the novel soon. I have a poem, "Deo Gratias", published in the Autumn issue no:028 of The Dawntreader poetry magazine, and my short story "Lost on the Moor" was shortlisted by the new online publication, Kishboo It's been automatically entered in their next competition for the Spring issue.

And I regularly post Twitter poems, if you want to take a look. I would love to see you too on Facebook where there's different content.
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Thank you for reading the Hope and Dreams Blog. I hope you have a great week.