Leaving the sanctity of evergreen forest and still wrapped in winter wool, he warily approaches me. I stand riveted to a wet nose and open mouth sniffing and tasting the evening light; the bear’s gaze rekindles an ancient fire. A golden arrow pierces the shadow of my longing, forcing me to acknowledge the depth of my grief. Hungering for details I scan his face, noting his widow’s peak, mole brown-marbled eyes; curved claws pop the top off the can. Recognition parts the Veil of Bears as I acknowledge him for the second time. One image of my Beloved is this bear.
Taffy (Robert) Seaborne was born in 1944 and raised in Wales before emigrating to Australia in 1967. He has enjoyed a wide variety of life experience in mechanical engineering, and supervision of state forests, national parks and indigenous Aboriginal lands. From 1990 to 1995, he was District Supervisor and Manager of Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park, Australia’s best known indigenous icon, and had further experience on the Pitjantjatjara lands in Central Australia, and at Broken Hill 1995-1998.
A family story told in art, names, places, denied cultures,
black and sensual madonnas, diversity of beliefs,
visionary and healing Santa Lucia of Sicily
blackbird and a pear tree book cover (c) 2014, Trent Nahas
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all share the same ultimate religious beliefs—except that Muslims insist that their prophet Mohammed be honored along with Jewish and Christian prophets, Abraham and Jesus. This tension over prophets catches fire in the Middle East (west Asia) where the immediate pain is being killed and killing.
In the 7th and 8th centuries CE, Berbers, who had earlier come to Sicily, came again, this time with the large African Muslim migration from Africa. Berbers, now Muslims, may have kept their earlier African beliefs in the equality of all believers and in the political premise that leaders of Islamic communities be selected from among those most authentically pious, regardless of ethnic identity (see my preface to Remi Omodele’s book on Ulli Beier).
JANINE CANAN is the award-winning author of over twenty books. They include original poetry such as Mystic Bliss, Ardor, Changing Woman, and National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient Of Your Seeds; the story books, Journeys with Justine and Walk Now in Beauty; and cultural essays, Goddesses, Goddesses and My Millennium (forthcoming). Janine has published key translations of 20th century European poets, Francis Jammes and Else Lasker-Schüler, as well as the acclaimed women’s poetry anthology, She Rises like the Sun, and several collections of sayings by renowned Indian saint Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi). Graduate of Stanford University with distinction and New York University School of Medicine, Dr. Canan is a private psychiatrist in California and a volunteer for Amma’s Embracing the World project. Contact her at JanineCanan.com and on Facebook.