Rest thee Leonard

This year has taken many talented people – musicians, actors, comedians and more.

It has also been a year of political disappointment – Brexit, the election in the USA. Monsters have erupted out of the ground everywhere.

The far right moves across our Western world, openly. People collude knowingly or perhaps in ignorance, not believing that there is a swell of fascism under their noses. I find this hard to stomach – this kind of eery ignorance.

I have spoken often about the rise of fascism in recent months and feel that many don’t listen. Be aware. Know thyself.

And now Leonard Cohen has gone. Music is a precious gift we gave to ourselves. Use it wisely and with love, it will take us through times such as these.

I am spending the weekend with music. I cherish the musician, songwriter, singer and appreciate all that songs have done for me.

I also need to get back in to that rock choir and pluck a balalaika. Everything in the right order, at its own pace – winter is almost here.

 

Well I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
Well it goes like this:
The fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

I like a man in a suit and trilby…I can listen to a baritone voice and some exceptionally beautiful, poetic lyrics. Rest in peace Leonard and thank you, for the songs.

cohen

Why are so many strangler figs home to ghosts and goblins?

On ghosts and figs….

Under The Banyan

folk-tales_of_bengal_illustration_by_w-_goble_1912

No trees are home to a more motley mix of supernatural creatures than the strangler figs, whose eerie aerial roots are adept at seizing imaginations in their grip. Diverse cultures around the world say these trees shelter angels and fairies, gods and ancestral spirits, ghosts and other malevolent creatures.

There may be a biological basis to some of these beliefs. Strangler figs attract ghostly nocturnal animals such as leathery-winged bats and small primates with big eyes that reflect moonlight. In Indonesia and Malaysia, these trees are often home to small saucer-eyed primates called tarsiers (Tarsiustarsier) whose local names mean ‘spirit animal’ or ‘spirit monkey’.

Other denizens of strangler figs are decidedly less cuddly. In the folklore of the Philippines, they include giant tree demons called kapres, goblin-like duendes and the half-human, half-horse tikbalang.

On the Japanese island of Okinawa, folk tales feature impish red-haired spirits…

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