Portals

I have talked about, that is, written about portals…portals and plants.

What do I mean when I say portals? It is more about what words can not describe. What?

Perhaps you remember some TV shows, Twilight Zone, One Step Beyond…but this is about real life. That’s right, real life.

For centuries, dare I say, millennia, people, humans have spoken about, written and explored the indescribable relationships between plants and humans. Portals is my effort to continue that chain of communication.

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This last week I had a birthday. I received from my dearest friend two books of illustrations by the Swiss, Ernst Kreidolf. Both images in this post are his work. He spent his lifetime addressing the communication relationship between people and plants.

Ernst used gnomes and elves to describe these indescribable relationships.

Let me share some of Ernst Kreidolf’s life story.

He was born over one hundred years ago in Switzerland. He was a classic artist, a pioneer of children’s illustration and picture books…and gnomes in the popular imagination! His magical illustrations have a timeless quality. To this day, his art is still very popular in Switzerland.

Ernst Kreidolf und die Pflanzen

Kreidolf’s famous books first appeared in 1901 Die schlafenden Bäume (The Sleeping Trees), in 1902 Die Wiesenzwerge (The Meadow Dwarves), and in 1903 Schwaetzchen fuer Kinder (Chit Chat for Children).  In 1904 Kreidolf was involved in Richard Dehmel’s Buntscheck, ein Sammelbuch für Kinder (Patchwork, a Scrap-book for Children).  In 1905 the book Alte Kinderreime (Old Nursery Rhymes) appeared followed by in 1908 Sommervoegel (Butterflies).  The latter was highly acclaimed by Hermann Hesse.  In 1911 Der Gartentraum (The Garden Dream) was published.

In 1920 Blumen Ritornelle (Flower Chorus), in 1922 Alpenblumenmaerchen (Alpine Flower Fairy-tales), in 1924 Ein Wintermaerchen (A Winter’s Fairy-tale), in 1926 Lenzgesind (Servants of the Spring), in 1928 Das Hundefest (The Dogs’ Party), in 1929 Bei den Gnomen und Elfen (With the Gnomes and Elves), in 1931 Grashupfer (The Grasshopper), in 1932 Aus versunk´nen Gärten (From the Sunken Gardens) and in 1935 Die Himmelreich-Wiese (The Kingdom of Heaven Meadow).

 His illustrations carry us off to the world of fairytales and dreams, where plants play a leading role.

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One cannot but wonder at his ability in both identifying the key characteristics of plants and giving humans a unique interaction with them.

His legacy endures as a tender ode to Mother Nature’s glory. The best illustrated web site with Kreidolf biography–a fantastic display of his water-color work.

And portals? His work was all about portals.

Lunch

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I had lunch, with a couple chums, over at my friend’s place today.

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In case you think it was too early to have a picnic…just nearby the first spring hay was being cut. And, oh how I wish I could share with you that sweet spring green fragrance.

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This is the pasture the morning before it was cut.

Neighbors

Neighbors—good, bad or indifferent.

Do they mind their own business?

Do they foist their life philosophy?

Or…are you glad for them?

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My neighbors—why are they always so jolly?

The Gnomist


Sharon Liese directed and produced the above video, The Gnomist.

Made me think about plants, trees, forests, landscapes…and how human access to them can occur on so many levels–physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual–amazing.

Shouldn’t every city have these gnome ecosystems within a ten minute walk from everyone’s front door? Why not?

Dreams, aspirations…realities…take the journey.

 

Irish Roots

…must be seen…

…Irish roots work magic in the forest…

I walked through the forest. Neither the date, nor the day mattered. It was in the north. It was in the mountains. Spruce forest. Densely packed, tall trees, more than 100 feet each.

I walked a ridge in that forest. The canopy sheltered. I wasn’t cold. Somewhere, way up there, was sun. Thin, narrow, fractured beams twinkled and sparkled near my feet.

Delicate cloud edges whisped. They came close…on the edges of forming or dissipating or both…here and there…from time to time.

I was tired from walking and climbing. I looked for a place to sit. My Irish roots have always worked magic for me in forests. So it was today when I was invited to sit down and take the shelter of a mushroom.

The ground was soft and the mushroom stem gently molded itself to my spine and rib cage. I was comfortable. My breathing became easy. It slowed. The rhythm eased my eyelids shut.

Gnomes, Chelsea 2013 or otherwise…

In 2013, the Royal Horticultural Society admitted Gnomes to the Chelsea Flower Show, but only by caveat that they be used to help grow funding to encourage younger people’s interest in horticulture.  This fit nicely into British tradition, well delineated by David Bowie’s 1967 single, The Laughing Gnome, available here on YouTube.

But the last word is, in a true Germanic sense, very serious, written by Franz Hartmann 1895, Among the Gnomes, An Occult Tale of Adventure in the Untersberg.  The Untersberg is a mountain on the border of Germany and Austria.  Within the Untersberg are unterwegs connecting…connecting to…Bonigen, Switzerland, where…

 

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I discovered these fellows doing their duties.