You are currently browsing the daily archive for January 6, 2007.

Good evening to all who have gathered here tonight to enjoy the splendid hospitality at Taverna di Muse.  Not only the food but the entertainment has been top-notch.  Lori, I suspect you will be needing to set up a reservation system once word has spread throughout Cyberia of the delights available at the Taverna di Muse.  For a while I pondered what I could contribute to the festivities and I finally decided to sing a song for you.  It’s not a song  you’re likely to hear on the radio.  In fact, there’s only one kind of place where you could hear it and that is a science fiction convention.  If you should find yourself at a convention, just ask one of the staff for directions to the “filk”.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  I said “f-i-l-k”.  Rhymes with milk.  Both of which are very good for you!  Filk music is the music of sf and fantasy fandom.  Let me tune my guitar while I tell you this last little bit.  The legend goes that long ago-half a century ago-someone made a typo (typographical error that is) when writing an essay about sf music. Instead of  “Folk Music” it was printed as “Filk Music”.  Fans being fans–the name stuck.  So in fandom, a song is a ‘filk’, the activity is ‘filking’, and the singers/musicians are called ‘filkers’ or ‘filksingers’.  If this little tidbit whets your appetite, well-you know where to find me!

Words: Teri Lee
Music: “Those Were the Days”
From The Westerfilk Collection (Vol 1)
copyright 1980 by Jordin Kare.
                                                                                                                                                                  Once upon the time winds was a tavern
Where strange folk could have a drink or two,
Reminding us of their immortal wonder.
I saw a unicorn there, didn’t you?

Chorus                                                                                                                                                   Those days are gone, my friend;
The need is at an end
Of all those strange and mystic beasts of yore.
The dragon’s gone tonight; he went without a fight
And left us here with science evermore.

Unicorns sat perched on the bar stools,
Dragons parked their tankards on the floor.
Orcs and griffins fought for lovely maidens
While imps and demons traded arcane lore.


Witches once worked spells upon the tavern
To guard it from the sight of mortal eyes,
For mortals must not seek to know their betters;
What man can know the future and not cry?


In the dark alone I sit and wonder,
Will they come and drink with us again?
The tavern waits in sawdust-covered splendour
To be filled with laughing creatures, who knows when?
                                                                                                                                                             Chorus                                                                                                                                                   Those days are gone, my friend;
The need is at an end
Of all those strange and mystic beasts of yore.
The dragon’s gone tonight; he went without a fight
And left us here with science evermore.

This song and many others are posted at the website given below and are available to the general public for downloading.   I thank you for your attention tonight.  May the filk be with you always.


P.S.  I am happy to report that dragons have been sighted again.  In the Iburos Valley.  Has anyone seen a unicorn yet?



The chef at the Taverna has kindly agreed to let me invade a corner of his personal realm. When I explained to him what I wished to do, he smiled and said I would be graded on execution and finished product. So, now that the dough has been sitting in the fridge for 2 days I can finish making my family’s holiday tradition. If these aren’t made, there isn’t really a Christmas and New Year.


1 Cup butter

4 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar

1 teaspoon REAL Vanilla extract

2 Cups Sifted Flour

1 Cup Chopped Pecans

Set butter out until soft and at room temperature. Cream the butter until fluffy; add powdered sugar and beat until light. Add vanilla.

Add sifted flour and mix well, fold in the chopped nuts.

Refrigerate the dough for 24-48 hours. This was an accidental discovery. We found tht when we refrigerated the dough for a day or two, the texture was much finer and the flavour was intensified and richer.

A teaspoonful at a time shape into small balls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a moderate oven (350 F) for 12-15 minutes.

While the cookies are still hot, them in powdered sugar. To keep the cookies hot, cover with a terrycloth kitchen towel.

Note: A single batch is never enough, we make 4-6 batches and people are still sniffing around for more.


The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Mountaindreaming by Oriah, from the book The Invitation, published by Harper, San Francisco, 1999. All rights reserved. Presented with permission of the author.

as presented by Cyn Gaegan who invited Oriah to join us in the tavern.

I have asked Oriah Mountain Dreamer to join us at the table. She is such an inspirational poet and I find myself often turning to her work when I need an uplifting moment in a difficult time. I have been rereading The Invitation over and over again in the past few weeks and I draw strength from it every time. She speaks of the important things in life as far as I am concerned – of loving yourself and others, of valuing the little things in life, cherishing each and every day, growing from hurt and pain, and of seeking meaning and purpose to our lives in an increasingly more complicated world.

Her writings are spiritual but not of a particular religion – more of the idea of seeking out spirituality in the world, all around you. Reflecting on her writing makes me slow down, take a good long look at what I am doing with my time, and reminds me to be good to myself and those around me. Her three books of prose and poetry, The Invitation (her most famous which is an international bestseller and has been translated into more than 15 languages), The Dance, and The Call: Discovering Why You are Here and the latest book (2005), a practical guide What We Ache For: Creativity and the Unfolding of Your Soul all provide a look at people and the world and all they are and could be. The Invitation was first published in 1994 and has finally been released along with the other prose books in paperback form in the spring of 2006 (now being released simply under the name Oriah). I heartily recommend these books to anyone who wants to read something uplifting, inspirational, and more than that, something that really matters.

Oriah is currently on sabbatical from public speaking, spending her time in deep silence and solitude to replenish and envision what is next in her life. Perhaps she will take some time from her sabbatical to join us at the table for some lively conversation. I am sure an evening at the table talking with Oriah will provide anyone with an evening filled with pleasant memories and much to reflect on.


1970. 3rd class, St. Pius X National School in a suburb on the outskirts of Dublin, capital city of Ireland. Approximately 40+ children sitting in rows facing the blackboard and the teacher’s desk at the front of the room. Windows on one side of the class, stretching from one end to the other. Late autumn, not that there was much evidence of seasonal change in this newly built modern educational establishment featuring concrete blocks and empty glass, the newsest application of archetectural design, apart from the dark cloud filled sky and that very particular slant of light, the one that harbours the shadows of fast approaching winter. The school heating system was up and running, with water clanking like bricks through the pipes. There were no thermostats in those days, at least not here in Ireland, and so very quickly the room grew overheated, stuffy and airless. As the day wore on, children and teacher alike grew tired and lifeless.
”Take out your religion books”, announced the teacher, her voice tone emulating perfectly the children’s response at the prospect of christian doctrine class. Still at least we could sleep with our eyes open through this period. No special demands were likely to be made on our mental capacities. And so, like everyone else, I listlessly pulled my textbook from my bag.
”Open page 39. Begin reading Sarah.”
Sarah read slowly and laboriously, and quickly growing bored at following her pace, I read on instead.
”In the beginning was the Word,
And the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Feeling as if I had just been hit by a bolt from the sky, I sat up, holding myself rigid, heart racing and breath coming in short and quick gasps.
(H)e was in the beginning with God.”
I had no idea what these words signified or meant, yet something stirred within, jolting my soul awake to realms hitherto never even dreamt of. A few mere words had pulled back a veil and in doing so spread before my 9 year old mind the promise of possibilities and riches that far exceeded any that had previously entered the narrow confines of my world.
Reading the Prologue repeatedly, the words seemed to trip over each other, rolling and frolicking along. At first I had to devour it silently, but with hungry eyes, terrified that I might miss a piece and lose it just as I had found it, quickly and suddenly. Later that evening, alone at last in my room, I could utter the words aloud, over and over again, savouring each one, experiencing the secret, inner delight of newly discovered, previously hidden knowledge. In the space of a few moments my whole world, my entire universe, had shattered wide, wide open, and seemed to glitter with infinite shards of possibilities and promises.
On this day surely I was born again. On this day I found poetry.


These are my latest creations for a private RR, the subject of this book is ‘travel’. The quotation above the question reads “all journeys lead to secret destinations of which the traveller is often unaware”.

She wrote a passionate love story and frolicsome adventure that took my breath away and fed my imagination, inspiring me to finally seriously look at my own journey as a writer. Diana Gabaldon is the author of the “Outlander” series … a yummy group of historical novels which begin with the title of the same name and now totals six wonderful tomes.

The setting is eighteenth century Scotland though it begins in 1945 post-war Britain and starts as a adventuous and unexpected time travel incident through standing stones. It eventually makes it way to the British West Indies and onto colonial America.

This is just out and out fun reading … books you lose yourself in and fall in love with . She is a master story teller and I adore her characters … her scenic descriptions … her interweaving of plot lines … the very hot love scenes (big grin and wink!) … the heartbreaking sad ones … the deeply moving scenes and yes … even the all too realistically cruel ones.

Thank you Diana, for sharing your talent with me and come party with us as we schmooze and visit the nights away.

Donna – Mystic Guardian


Gail the Jester is back – by absolutely no public demand.
This time singing the clown’s song from Twelfth Night.

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O, stay and hear; your true love’s coming,
That can sing both high and low:
Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
Journeys end in lovers meeting,
Every wise man’s son doth know.

What is love? ’tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.

By Will Shakespeare

The Salon is in full-swing, literally.  Stories have been told, great feats of magic have happened, songs, spirits, and now the some spritely steps.  What will happen next?


Lori Gloyd (c) 2007

Cyn dancing

Cyn’s performance is of an expressive free form dance.

New Orleans was in full bloom when I was there last. We’d eaten at Acme Oyster, the briny mollusks cracked open by a dark man with a white scar running down his face. I didn’t ask how he got it. He didn’t tell. Afterwards, we wound through the twilight-blue streets, the weight of the moisture in the air rich with the smell of ocean, mud, trees in bloom, perfume and laughter.

In the hotel, a frantic message for my husband. He had to attend to business 1,00 miles away. Right away. Plane ticket waiting downstairs. I decided to stay. He raced to catch a plane. I wasn’t sleepy. I went back into the evening, walking aimlessly.

The French Quarter is laid out in a grid, so I didn’t need to pay attention. I could always use the Fibonacci escape. (Using the numbers in the Fibonacci sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc., make a right turn at every number in the sequence. You walk a large spiral—gets you out of any grid-pattern neighborhood.)

Music spilled from a bar, laughter tumbling down from a second-story railing, high heels tapped to an assignation. A light breeze brought the smell of cooking grease, beignets, a sidewalk being washed with a waterspray from a hose.

I turned by a big urn of Black-Eyed-Susans and walked along a high barn-wood fence. There was an open gate. The street was dark, but at the end of a narrow walk a fountain, blood-red cannas in bloom, and a porch were bright and warm. Sassafras and spice wafted up the walk. Without another thought, I strolled toward the porch. The front door opened; an old man stepped out.
“Been waiting for you,” he said.
“I’m here now,” I replied, not frightened, interested in the game.
“You come to have your cards read,” he said reaching into the corner of a porch swing, picking up a deck of Tarot-size cards.
“Yes,” I said, figuring that he must do a lot of card readings by leaving the gate open.
“Money first, so we don’t get no distraction.” He named a reasonable price. I paid him.Over the next hour, he flipped through the homemade cards, intricate collages of words and images. They were worn but clean. He was amazingly accurate about details I carefully kept hidden; often from myself. He rambled about the ability I had to know people, of things from the recent and deep past, of a few things from the future.
Finally, he put the cards down.
“You know what you gotta do. You don’t, your heart die. Won’t be easy, but there will be a light to guide you. You won’t always want to follow it, but it’s true.”
“What light?” I asked. “You’ll find it within a year of doing the right thing,” he said, patted me on Cardstandinlight_1 the shoulder and went inside the house, leaving me alone on the porch.
I got up and spiraled back through the French Quarter, knowing what I had to do, not wanting to do it.
My husband was back the next day, leaving a lazy day for us.
“Want your cards read?” I asked, knowing he was up for things I believed in, even if he didn’t.
“Sure,” he said.
I knew the way. We walked with determination for over an hour, but there was no urn, no flowers, no fence, no gate. I’ve been there five times since, and have never found the card reader again.
We returned home, and three months later, I went to coaching school, and within a year, quit my soul-searing day job, followed my vision to be an artist and creativity coach. The tag line for my coaching business? “Stand in your own light.”

–Quinn McDonald


Asmahan (1918-1944): Syrian singer and actor. Sister of Farid al-Atrash, a famous singer too, and a member of the famous Atrash family known for its role in the resistance against the French mandate in the 1920s. Asmahan lived started her career in Syria and Lebanon, then traveled to Cairo, Egypt where she cooperated with many famous composers like Riyadh al-Sombati and Mohammed al-Qasabji . Her films include ‘intisar echabab’ and ‘garam wentikam’.

Layali al-Ouns Fee Vienna (music by Farid Al-Atrash, 1944)- click on this link( you can also do this on the website) for the song- you will need Real Player

Asmahan’s voice will accompany you into the dawn light of the murmurring wood. I am trying to learn as much as I can about Damascus- to make its special places become places of my heart. Then I am off to the bath house for a soak before journeying on.



Official Lemurian Tavern

Authenticated by le Enchanteur

What is the Soul Food Cafe?

The Soul Food Cafe is an international group of writers and artists whose global mission is to promote writing and art-making as a daily practice through the use of interactive web-based technologies such as blogging and e-mail groups.

Exploring Lemuria

Lemuria is the fantasy construct where the participants of the Soul Food Cafe post their work, andThe Taverna di Muse is one of many places and realms within Lemuria. To see some other Lemurian destinations, select one below and start your journey:

Riversleigh Manor
Murmuring Woods
Cyberia, City of Ladies
The Hermitage
On the Road with Enchanteur
The Digital Atelier The Cave of the Ancients
Lemurian Abbey
Halloween Party, 2006
The Heroine's Journey
Aboard the Calabar Felonway
The Pythian Games
Isle of the Temple People
Isle of Ancestors
The Temple of Solace
Grand Tour
Lemurian Tour
The Gypsy Camp

Joining Soul Food

If you are an intrigued visitor now wanting to join the Soul Food Experience, visit the Soul Food Cafe for instructions. Or you may write the SFC owner and manager heatherblakey @ .

Disclaimer– Copyright

The opinions expressed by contributors to Taverna di Muse on this blog as well as on public domains outside this blog are not to be construed as an endorsement by Heather Blakey or Lori Gloyd. Material appearing on this site remains the property of individual artists and writers.


January 2007
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