CHAMBERS of the HEART
Copyright 2010, J.G. Pajot
This anthology of poetry and short stories has been over a quarter of a century in the making. Some of the poems and stories were written back in the mid nineteen eighties when I had first decided to try my hand at being a professional writer. I never gave up that dream, but it has been put on hold many times since then, as other things in my life would take precedence, and the continuous difficulty of getting the "traditional" publishers to even give my work a chance would squelch my spirit and hopes for a future for my works.
It has been an interesting project, taking these works from various periods of my life and trying to arrange them in some semblance of cognitive order. You will find that my semi-Wiccan theologies come through in many of these works, even before I myself had recognized them as such. I offer these poems and stories for their entertainment value, with the hopes that perhaps my own thoughts and ideas, so deeply embedded in these words, might also give the reader pause for more serious thought and conjecture of their own.
Light and Shadow (12/20/98)
There is, between the spiritual and the scientific ; between the mystic and the agnostic: between the light and shadow ... there is between these a place where reality is a presence which can be whatever we desire ; able to be manipulated by the sheer force of will and strength of belief.
I think this sums up the format of this book as well as anything can. I think this sums up the spirit of those of us who are compelled to write. It is a need, not just a want. We are truly driven by something within that has a voice that we cannot muffle. So here is my voice.
BY J.G. PAJOT
In the late 1960's and early 1970's scientists (astronomers for the most part) began to get an inkling of the extreme complexity of our solar system. Space was no longer just a vast emptiness in which hung a few planets and the sun. There were other things out there. Many other things. In fact, in celestial terms, our tiny piece of space was quite crowded. Huge bodies of ice and iron orbited our sun along with smaller bodies of various materials, flying through the dark voids at amazingly alarming speeds on orbital paths of their own. And some of these bodies had a course that brought them frighteningly close to our own tiny blue and green sphere. These scientists put up the first tentative alarms that perhaps our place in the solar system was not quite as secure as we would like to believe.
With little solid information to back up their theories these warnings were ignored as the educated ramblings of a small group of alarmists. Thirty years later the voices had multiplied as more and more information about the make-up of our solar community came to light. To those educated and observing the goings on outside our thin atmosphere it had become unerringly apparent that these objects actually collided with other bodies, including planets, with a frequency that was not entirely rare.
Even with these warnings becoming louder and more frequent the governments of the world could not seem to grasp the immediacy of the potential threat to the very existence of all life on their world. This, they all seemed to contend, was the realm of science-fiction, not science fact. There were more pressing problems to be addressed.
So, even though the technology was available to devise a defense against such a catastrophic occurrence, the powers that be deemed it far too expensive and time consuming to waste valuable resources on. After all, it was such an extreme long shot that such a thing could ever really happen. Also, the technologies available would have to be improved, altered, and specifically directed to such an enormous undertaking. Rather to spend their time and energy creating new and better ways to defend themselves against each other than against some theoretical threat from the heavens themselves. In short, it is proven throughout history that the governments of the world are known for, if nothing else, being the largest procrastinators in the world.
Thus, by the end of the twentieth century little if any time had been spent in any serious research into averting such a cosmic disaster. A situation that the population of this small world would rue in frustration twelve years later...
NIL SE'N LA' (It Is Not Yet The Day.)
(BOOK III of the Raven's Winter Tales)
By J.G. Pajot
This series started as one book, entitled DANCING WITH SHADOWS, which was a fantasy/romance/murder mystery. That was all the further I had intended to dwell within the stone walls of Raven's Winter, and all the longer I had intended to linger about with its strangely mystical yet somehow commonplace residents. As I became engulfed in the goings on within that oddly familiar clan I found myself being drawn into avenues I had not counted on. The characters were too endearing to simply fade away at the end of that first brief tale. There was something more to be said, many another tale to be told, and so I must continue to bring them out.
Oddly enough, this all began soon after I had gone to see James Cameron's "TITANIC." The music as much as the story tripped some long closed switch to "on" within my mind and I found myself suddenly obsessed with Celtic music and the wonderfully unique Celtic mythical lore. With the music of Loreena McKennit; and later Enya, Clannad, and others; playing in my ears I began to read the tales of ancient Ireland and of the beliefs that have carried through to this day among more than a few. Perhaps it's the Scot-Irish from my mother's side of our family ...whatever... these tales somehow produced a spark that none of the more common myths I had read had ever ignited. There is an earthiness, a humanity, to these tales that is more acceptable, more comfortable, than the towering myths and aloof Gods of the Greeks and Romans. There is a soft hopefulness that glows much brighter than the dark inevitable doom of Norse mythology. There is something even more than that...there's the "what if?" factor...in big bold print across those deeper nether regions of my mind where my imagination often rummages around for ideas.
In Celtic myth there is another group of "people" that plays a major role within most if not all of their tales. These are the sidhe (pronounced "shee"), the faery kind. These are not the tiny winged pixies of children's fairy tales, nor the pointed eared elfin creatures of many later fantasy tales. They are just as you and I...with one slight difference...they are immortal. Not invincible, for they are as easily wounded and killed as any mortal. And, oh, yes; they live in a world where magic is the order of the day. As a matter of fact much of Tir Tairngire, the land of the sidhe, the "Promised Land," is inhabited by a group of people and their descendants that were once as mortal as you and I...the Tuatha de Danann, the tribe of Danu. When defeated by the Milesians they were invited into the world of Manannan, the king of the sidhe, where they were gifted with immortality. From within this strange and mystical place they would often return to the realm of mortals, interfering for both good and evil with the doings of this world.
So, you say, what does that have to do with "what if?" Okay, here goes. What if there really is a Tir Tairngire? What if the sidhe really exist? What if they are as real as we are, and live in a world not so unlike ours? A world in an alternate universe? And what if they chose to follow the path of the science of magic (here that means the manipulation of their surroundings through the energies of their minds) rather than the science of technology? So..."WHAT IF?"
If there are two themes to these tales beyond this rather trite question one would be, as Shareena Kent points out in The Two Dragons, "a world without magic is na' world at all." The other is one that each of us knows in our hearts is true . There are only two enemies left within this existence, and they are ignorance and intolerance. Think about it.
At this point you have two choices. You may set this volume back on the shelf and continue on your way. Or you can open your mind and your heart and let the dream sail in...
I would like to again acknowledge the beautiful music of the many Celtic and New Age artists that have helped inspire the continuance of this series. I would also like to again thank Mrs. Joyce Topping for her assistance in proofreading and editing this work.