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RenConvention 2010

It has taken a couple of weeks to settle back in and recover from the experiences of the First Annual RenConvention.

RenConvention 2010 was a coming together of the diverse community of the Mythic Arts, Renaissance Festivals, and the PanCeltic Revival to celebrate the rebirth (the meaning of the term Renaissance) of art and handcraft that is accompany these diverse artistic scenes. The guest of honor were John & Caitlin Matthews, perhaps two of the worlds foremost authors on Arthurian stories, and Grail Mysteries. John is also a well published writer on Pirates and the Green Man. Artistic Guests of Honor, were Brian and Wendy Froud of World of Froud. Brian was the concept artist behind the movies Dark Crystal and Labyrinth as well as publishing the book Faeries with Alan Lee, who was one of the concept artists on Lord of the Rings. They were joined by Dr. Stephen D. Winick who is a folklorist, writer, editor, teacher, and singer, a dear BOG Brother, and close friend. He works with the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. Additionally, Stephen was coordinator/moderator for all the panels and discussions and did a great job.

The Convention was three days of arts and crafts, panels, of which I was honored to be a speaker on three of them, and two Masquerade Balls featuring the European Medieval Gothic bands, Estampie and their off shoot, Qntal.

For the festival we created a mask of the iconic image by Robert Gould portraying the Green Man.

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Mythic adventures and images follow...Collapse )

A lovely little Green Man article.

Short and sweet article in the UK magazine, History Today.
The Ballad of the Green Man.
http://www.historytoday.com/MainArticle.aspx?m=33897&amid=30306150

I liked the closing paragraph quite a bit.

"The reinvention of the Green Man as an ecological icon has been made possible by the need to censure a society for being anti-Nature, an entirely modern and not a medieval idea. It relies on the powerful notion that history gives credibility and authority, and feeds on an enduring myth that the past was different, more just than the present. The minor status of the image and the difficulty of interpreting it precisely have also helped alternative ideas to flourish. It is a perfect example in our modern world of how the past is reinterpreted to suit the needs of the present."

Incidentally, I found this page on a link on Barry Patterson's Facebook, whom I have recently friended. Barry is a storyteller and performer in the UK, who has been wearing the Green and Bringing old Stump Nose himself to life for many years.

http://www.songandstory.co.uk/

One day, I hope to seed a UK Grove of the Beneficent Order of the Greenman (B.O.G), and have folks like Barry along as Honorary and Active Members. One day.

Here is Barry in his Green.....

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RenCon is coming....

Well, I really must get back in the habit of blogging here. As is the case with so many, Facebook has been drawing me away. However, this cross posts to Facebook, and I can writ it have it post there. Perhaps one day they will indeed create the perfect social network that allows me to blog, host a webstore, share photos with family, friends, and fans, and offer random updates. One day. If you haven't friended me on Facebook yet,

Shane Odom | Create Your Badge


So I felt that RenCon was a perfect opportunity to start writing about our shows again. I missed a couple of events last year, but hey, I did post pictures of them to Facebook!...

We are looking forward to attending RenConvention 2010. I think the words of the organizers speak eloquently about what they are creating here.

We began to conceive a new kind of themed event that embodied the Renaissance spirit of "rebirth" that is vibrant and alive in the Mythic, Fantasy, Folkloric and Celtic Art communities today. The event would be a coming together of the finest craftspeople from these communities with internationally celebrated fine artists, distinguished authors and world renown Medieval and Celtic bands from Europe (many of whom have been featured at Faerieworlds and FaerieCon) for an indoor weekend of masquerades, music, crafts, conversation and celebration.

It is the first year for the show and the Guests of Honor are John and Caitlin Matthews. They are both well known and distinguished researchers and mythic authors. They have over 70 books to their credit, their website is HallowQuest. John's book, "Quest For The Green Man is what started me on my own quest so many years ago.

Artistic Guests of Honor, are Brian and Wendy Froud of World of Froud. Brian's book, "Faeries" with Alan Lee published in 1978 when I was only 8 years old shaped my love for fantasy art in a fundamental way, and may explain why I find women with fairy wings so attractive as well!

I can literally say that I am who I am because of these two guys, Brian and John. So when I learned I was on a panel on Saturday discussing the Image of the Green Man with them and my friend and fellow BOG Brother, Stephen Winick, you can imagine the grin on my face. I feel like I am coming home. Stephen is a scholar as well. A Folklore Librarian for the Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

Suffice it to say, that being on a panel with Brian Froud and John Matthews has got me a little nervous. Geek boy makes good. We plan on having a BOG March early in the day, ending with a bunch of Beleafed BOG Brothers, Chanting and Rattling our way into the panel.

Additionally, we are creating a image of the Green Man based upon the artwork of Robert Gould. The image appears in the banner at the end here.

We have never had a show this early in the season and it throwing our internal rhythms for a loop.

Hope to see you there.

Kubiando!



Remembering David Wick

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Through the darkness on the pathways of life
Each invisible prayer is like a cloud in the air
Tomorrow keeps turning around
We live and we die, we know not why
But I'll be with you when the deal goes down
~Bob Dylan


After a long battle with lung disease, David passed away on March 11th, 2010.

David Wick was my stepfather.

My memories of David follow...Collapse )
Step up, give a few dollars. Whatever your financial situation, you are better off than those in Haiti right now. At this very moment, as you read this, a mother is cradling her dead child. A husband is searching the rubble for his wife. A family is grieving. Give something. If you cannot give anything, you can give a few seconds to repost this and get the links viral, spreading throughout the web.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/01/haiti_earthquake_how_to_help_a.html

Digging in the Dung of Life...

To good not to repost. This showed up today in a Buddhist newsgroup I read. This is perhaps some of the clearest, most straight forward exploration into the Dharma teachings and why the core of Buddhism transcends religions and is called Dharma(Truth) for a reason. The truth of the life skills it explores are self-evident.
From Here:
http://www.innerself.com/Behavior_Modification/brahm_12194.htm

"When I was a schoolteacher, my attention was drawn to the student in my class of thirty who came bottom in the end-of-year exams. I could see that he was depressed as a result of his performance, so I took him aside.

I said to him: 'Someone has to come thirtieth in a class of thirty. This year, it happens to be you who has made the heroic sacrifice, so that none of your friends have to suffer the ignominy of being bottom of the class. You are so kind, so compassionate. You deserve a medal.'

We both knew that what I was saying was ridiculous, but he grinned. He didn't take it as such an end-of-the-world event any more.

He did much better the next year, when it was someone else's turn to make the heroic sacrifice.

Unpleasant things, like coming bottom of our class, happen in life. They happen to everyone. The only difference between a happy person and one who gets depressed is how they respond to disasters.

Imagine you have just had a wonderful afternoon at the beach with a friend. When you return home, you find a huge truckload of dung has been dumped right in front of your door. There are three things to know about this truckload of dung:

1. You did not order it. It's not your fault.
2. You're stuck with it. No one saw who dumped it, so you cannot call anyone to take it away.
3. It is filthy and offensive, and its stench fills your whole house. It is almost impossible to endure.

In this metaphor, the truckload of dung in front of the house stands for the traumatic experiences that are dumped on us in life. As with the truckload of dung, there are three things to know about tragedy in our life:

1. We did not order it. We say 'Why me?'
2. We're stuck with it. No one, not even our best friends, can take it away (though they may try).
3. It is so awful, such a destroyer of our happiness, and its pain fills our whole life. It is almost impossible to endure.

There are two ways of responding to being stuck with a truckload of dung. The first way is to carry the dung around with us. We put some in our pockets, some in our bags, and some up our shirts. We even put some down our pants. We find when we carry dung around, we lose a lot of friends! Even best friends don't seem to be around so often.

'Carrying around the dung' is a metaphor for sinking into depression, negativity, or anger. It is a natural and understandable response to adversity. But we lose a lot of friends, because it is also natural and understandable that our friends don't like being around us when we're so depressed. Moreover, the pile of dung gets no less, but the smell gets worse as it ripens.

Fortunately, there's a second way. When we are dumped with a truckload of dung, we heave a sigh, and then get down to work. Out come the wheelbarrow, the fork, and the spade. We fork the dung into the barrow, wheel it around the back of the house, and dig it into the garden. This is tiring and difficult work, but we know there's no other option. Sometimes, all we can manage is half a barrow a day. We're doing something about the problem, rather than complaining our way into depression. Day after day we dig in the dung. Day after day, the pile gets smaller. Sometimes it takes several years, but the morning does come when we see that the dung in front of our house is all gone. Furthermore, a miracle has happened in another part of our house. The flowers in our garden are bursting out in a richness of colour all over the place. Their fragrance wafts down the street so that the neighbours, and even passers-by, smile in delight. Then the fruit tree in the corner is nearly falling over, it's so heavy with fruit. And the fruit is so sweet; you can't buy anything like it. There's so much of it that we are able to share it with our neighbours. Even passers-by get a delicious taste of the miracle fruit.

'Digging in the dung' is a metaphor for welcoming the tragedies as fertilizer for life. It is work that we have to do alone: no one can help us here. But by digging it into the garden of our heart, day by day, the pile of pain gets less. It may take us several years, but the morning does come when we see no more pain in our life and, in our heart, a miracle has happened. Flowers of kindness are bursting out all over the place, and the fragrance of love wafts way down our street, to our neighbours, to our relations, and even to passers-by. Then our wisdom tree in the corner is bending down to us, loaded with sweet insights into the nature of life. We share those delicious fruits freely, even with the passers-by, without ever planning to.

When we have known tragic pain, learnt its lesson, and grown our garden, then we can put our arms around another in deep tragedy and say, softly, 'I know.' They realize we do understand. Compassion begins. We show them the wheelbarrow, the fork, and the spade, and boundless encouragement. If we haven't grown our own garden yet, this can't be done.

I have known many monks who are skilled in meditation, who are peaceful, composed and serene in adversity. But only a few have become great teachers. I often wondered why.

It seems to me now that those monks who had a relatively easy time of it, who had little dung to dig in, were the ones who didn't become teachers. It was the monks who had the enormous difficulties, dug them in quietly, and came through with a rich garden that became great teachers. They all had wisdom, serenity and compassion; but those with more dung had more to share with the world. My teacher, Ajahn Chah, who for me was the pinnacle of all teachers, must have had a whole trucking company line up with their dung at his door, in his early life.

Perhaps the moral of this story is that if you want to be of service to the world, if you wish to follow the path of compassion, then the next time a tragedy occurs in your life, you may say, 'Whoopee! More fertilizer for my garden!'"

This article was excerpted from Opening The Door Of Your Heart, ©2004, by Ajahn Brahm. (North American edition published under the title: "Who Ordered this Truckload of Dung?: Inspiring Wisdom for Welcoming Life's Difficulties" published by Wisdom Publications, www.wisdompubs.org )

My Twelve Days...

To delightful not to post...

On the twelfth day of Christmas, wildwose sent to me...
Twelve faeries drumming
Eleven labyrinths piping
Ten muses a-leaping
Nine deities dancing
Eight myths a-maskmaking
Seven ancestors a-storytelling
Six animals a-shapeshifting
Five la-a-a-and spirits
Four art dolls
Three collective unconscious
Two sacred places
...and a sidhe in a druidry.
Get your own Twelve Days:

Operation Migration needs your help...

Perhaps this year, you can give a little to our feathered friends.

Hey Friends, Raising the Signal. Operation Migration, the organization that the movie
"Fly Away Home" was inspired by, has had terrible break in and lots of damage. They are a VERY small operation, and it seems to be that the vandalism was directed at them.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime_and_courts/article_fdbfb248-d9ec-11de-a3da-001cc4c002e0.html

I read this on Bird Chick's Blog, a birder, park ranger, and b...ee keeper to Neil Gaiman,

http://www.birdchick.com/wp/2009/11/operation-migration-needs-our-help/

Operation Migration's website and store, where you can donate:

http://operationmigration.org/

This video will show you a bit about the them and the work they do.



Maybe some of you could consider this your gift to the Animal Kingdom this year.

If nothing else, please help up the signal to noise ratio and repost this.

The National Parks: American's Best Idea

"When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty" ~ John Muir

Desperately, madly, astoundingly, obsessively, passionately, enjoying the new series. This series, is about what I love best, and few things fill me with as much joy and happiness as wild places.

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