…and we’re on the air in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Dearly Beloved we are gathered here today in the site of this blog to talk about bugger all.
You may think that talking about bugger all would be a waste of time, yet there are no-things in this world that make an extraordinary amount of difference. Take the ‘zero’ for instance – who’d have thought it would one day rule the world – well you just try putting six ‘zeros behind a 1 & see what you get – of course you need to a magic sigil to make it $acred & £’eagle’ in silli-visation.
Anyway the nothing that’s been drawing my attention lately is AIR.
If you’re going to try telling me that you’ve given it a lot of consideration in your life, I shall expect to see a herd of pigs gliding majestically past my window any moment now.
It’s funny but it’s been damn hard to get a grasp on air long enough to write about. I’ve been delving into ‘ological’ books but science does not warm any cockles in my heart – from what I can see it has made Air, midling to downright ‘boring’ with it’s talk of gases, weather jargon, ‘o’spheres, ‘o’zones, & ‘carbon(e to pick with you) dioxide’. For any dearly beloved insomniacs out there, a surefire remedy to get you to sleep is by reading wiki-on-air;
“An atmosphere is a layer of gases that may surround a material body of sufficient mass by the gravity of the body and are retained for a longer duration if gravity is high and the atmosphere’s temperature is low.”
So is there more to air than meets the eye – actually that’s a bloody silly question isn’t it? We can’t even see it. AND YET, and yet, it is a part of every moment of our lives. With our first breath we become an inhabitant on this planet, we get in by breathing. A baby who lives for only one breath will be granted a birth certificate, a baby who fails to take that breath is given only a death certificate. It is air that grants us ‘life & right’ to this planet.
Without air there would be no beginning – this is a Maori myth – or is it?
“Ranginui, the Sky father, and Papatuanuku, the Earth mother, held each other in a tight embrace.
They had many children who, lost in the darkness between their parents, began to wonder how it would be to live in light. They talked amongst themselves whether it would be better to slay their parents or push them apart.
Tumatauenga, the fiercest of Rangi and Papa’s children, spoke first: “Let’s slay them” he suggested but Tane Mahuta said “No, it is best that we push them apart to let the heaven stand well above us and the earth lie under our feet. Let the sky become like a stranger and the earth remain close to us as our nursing mother.”
All the brothers agreed except Tawhirimatea, god of winds and storms. Fearing that his kingdom was about to be overthrown, he grieved at the thought that his parents were to be wrenched apart. However the others put their plan in to action.
Firstly Rongomatane, god of cultivated food and crops of man, rose up and pushed at his parents to part them. Next Tangaroa, god of sea and reptiles, rose up and he too tried to push his parents apart. Haumiatiketike, god of food that grows without cultivation, was next but he had no affect either. Each brother tried in vain including Tumatauenga, god of fierce human beings.
Lastly, Tane Mahuta, the god of forests, birds and insects, tried to part his parents. He paused before planting his head firmly on his mother earth, Papatuanuku. He stretched his feet upward to his sky father, Ranginui. With all the strength of his legs and back he forced, pushed and struggled to wrench them free from each other. With each tear, Rangi and Papa cried out with grief and pain, frightened by their impending separation.
No sooner had heaven and earth parted, than the multitudes of human beings created within the darkness were discovered.
Then Tawhirimatea, god of winds and storms who had wanted to keep his parents together, began to feel a fierce desire to wage war on his brothers; he dreads the world will become too beautiful so he ascends to his Sky father and dispatches his brothers to the four ends of creation to become the four winds.
The Earth mother and Sky father remain separated to this day. Yet Ranginui and Papatuanuku’s love continues and their grief ongoing. The soft warm sighs of Papatuanuku and her loving bosom still rise up to meet Ranginui, ascending from the beautiful mountains and valleys. These sighs, men call mist. And from the vast heaven, through the long nights of separation from this beloved, Ranginui drops frequent tears upon his wife’s bosom: man calls these dew drops.”
As is so often the case with creation stories, this myth is remarkably similar to the Egyptian version, only in their world the roles of male & female were reversed. What remains the same however is ‘the middle man.’
I guess that makes Tane or Shu or whatever name he is given, the original Air Force.
Recently a number of things have been catching my attention about the air.
My son, who has been having flying lessons every 3-4 weeks since he was 11 years old, recently returned from a low-flying expedition. He explained to me how they had taken the plane low & close to cliffs and he was taught about & experienced how air flows. What amazed me was his descriptions of the air movements – they were just like water, invisible water.
Since then off & on, I have contemplated this invisible substance. There is a cafe I like to go to & sometimes I get to sit alone in the garden. Somehow the air there seems ‘different.’ Perhaps it is simply the quality of light filtered through the overhanging trees, but on a number of occasions I have seen-felt an almost liquid substance – especially as birds fly by, they seem to glide in some nearly perceptible fluid.
I kept thinking of how air was like water & realised that if this was the case then we are living at the bottom of an ocean. For some reason this idea churned me up – I was used to the concept of living on top of the world (albeit ‘Down under’).
In researching I found that I was not alone with these thoughts, a little earlier (all right a lot earlier) Evangelista Torricelli wrote “We live submerged at the bottom of an ocean of air.” (1644).
Does this perchance explain why our old favourites the Egyptians, popped Ra in a boat, because they knew we lived at the bottom of an ocean, while a ship sails on top. The picture below does appear to have a rather nifty display of our not very thick atmosphere.
Lately I have been watching the air play with the world around me & again & again I recall the sea.
Across the snows,
Is she in air or water?
According to the Navajo “Wind is a unitary phenomenon that is the source of all life, movement, and behavior... Before the Emergence, winds are said to have given the means of life (i.e., breath) to the inhabitants of the underworlds. After the Emergence, mists of light were placed along each of the cardinal directions and four sacred mountains were created in each direction. Each direction is said to have an “inner form” as well as a closely associated wind. From the four directions these winds give the means of life, movement, thought, and communication to the natural phenomena, the Holy People, and the Navajo themselves. Wind’s Child is sent to guide and advise the Earth-Surface People. Finally, each Navajo also has a “wind within one” that enters at birth and guides the individual.”
We have become numbed to air. Should a room be without furniture or people it is called ‘empty‘ despite the fact that every nook & cranny is filled with air. A stupid person is an ‘airhead‘. Someone who talks a load of bollocks is said to be full of ‘hot air’ (oops apologies to all bollocks). Who hasn’t quoted the glass is ‘half full / empty‘ formula without realising that where the liquid ends the air begins & it runneth over.
So is there a reason that air has been relegated to the very, very back seat of life.
While scouring a number of books on air, a feeling arose that our atmosphere is to our world what the amniotic sac is to a fetus.
As I sat at the beach yesterday contemplating the air, a thought sailed majestically into view. As a baby readies itself for it’s birth, it manoeuvres itself into the head down position. I thought of our world, if we were in the process of ‘birthing’, that would make Antarctica the ‘head’ of this world. I recalled images I’d seen recently of the hole in the ozone over Antarctica – in fact just the other day I was telling my son how strange it was that the hole should be so perfectly focused over Antarctica (at least it was in the image I saw) – so could this hole be some kind of (dilated) birth canal for our world?
“SUN INDUCES STRANGE ‘BREATHING’ OF EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE: SAN FRANCISCO – New satellite observations have revealed a previously unknown rhythmic expansion and contraction of Earth’s atmosphere on a nine-day cycle.
This “breathing” corresponds to changes in the sun’s magnetic fields as it completes rotations once every 27 days, NASA and University of Colorado, Boulder, scientists said Monday at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting. “ (from a ‘sciency’ site)
I do not sleep I am a thousand winds that blow
In racking my brains to come up with a splendid description for air, which I’ll explain below, I inadvertently discovered that I, (along with a large percentage of the species on this planet) was in fact an air head, with three fifths of my brain being made up of air! What you don’t trust my scientific expertise? … oh well the equation is fairly simple – Brain = B+ RAI + N – rearrange RAI & you get AIR. Hmmm… I see we also have moisture in there with bRAIN – water & air just like in the ‘in the beginning’ myths. Well I guess I can’t leave the ‘B’ out as I don’t want to be accused of being a letterist in these Poletterically Correct times.
“Bet, Beth, or Vet is the second letter of many Semitic Abjads, including Phoenician, Aramic, Hebrew Syriac and Arabic alphabet. This letter’s name means “house” in various Semitic languages…” – how about that, your skull is a castle of air & moisture. All the more wonderful when you consider yet another Creation myth…Ahhh lovely… I was going to filch the myth I was looking for from a mythical site, but I found a wonderful warm article in Science Musings by Chet Raymo, & so have filched from there instead;
“A creation myth from Egypt of the third millennium B.C. has God bring the world into being with a sneeze. It’s not a bad image for the Creation as currently described by astronomers. Fifteen billion years ago the universe began with an outward explosion of pure energy. A blaze of gamma rays, x-rays and light. Then particles, atoms, stars and galaxies. A spray of material creation.
Ahh, ahhh, ahhhh–CHOO!
The Big Sneeze. Better than the Big Bang. More poetic, more firmly grounded in the ancient human quest for origins. And more evocative of an explosion from nothing. “Big Bang” suggests a firecracker exploding in preexisting space and time. But space-time came into existence along with the universe, the way a sneeze sometimes comes out of nowhere.”
Is it a coincidence that the Egyptian god of air is called Shu (bless you!)- ti-Shu anyone?
Tucked into a previous article I also re-found this
“The symbol is also a hieroglyph which represents the sound ´nh (ankh) and the word “life” or “breath of life.”
Now we’re talking “Air is the breath of life.” Etymologically even our spirit is a part of air – from L. spiritus “soul, courage, vigor, breath,” related to spirare “to breathe“
So how is it that our spirit is umbilically corded to this life – I thought we were meant to suffer & be spiritually sculpted in this life in order to earn our place in ‘the next’ (non-breathing) world. Is air spirit? Certainly if we take things into our own hands we can re-sculpt Air to read ‘I Ra.’
Thankfully this leads me at last to the secondish part of this article (the one I keep nearly getting to, before being blown onto a side-track).
While contemplating the golden-lion-sun of the Mil-LION Man series, I got to thinking of the air as ‘golden‘ – for surely sometimes I could see-feel gold in the rays that reached my face.
Finding the sun god Ra, hiding in the air, was actually no surprise. But I wanted to go further. Try as I might, I could not get air to ‘condense’ enough to get a grasp of it.
I got to playing with the idea of Air as a sticky substance, something like honey or molasses. I sought out ideas & names for I wished to re-picture this intangible no-thing. I chased after sticky words (a word of caution to the pure of heart – be careful what you type into google), and eventually found resin, ah yes I like the feel of that, wandering a little further down that viscous path, I arrived at Amber – the resin that resin-ated.
So without further ado I would like to introduce you to the idea of contemplating your air, your atmosphere as a resinous amber substance. For a little while I call upon your wonderful imagination to now see yourself as seated here before your computer, bathed in a this glowing resinous substance (…ahem please keep any lascivious thoughts for later).
Remember that air has weight “This air weight means that, at sea level, there is a load of about a ton across your shoulders. But you do not notice it because pressure is pushing in equally on all sides of your body.” We do not feel the weight of air, we do not feel the spinning of the world, so now let’s also pretend that our air is a glutinous concoction – albeit one we are able to move in. In order to get into the sticky flow of things, I feel it is necessary to temporarily relabel our mucilaginous breath of life. Recently I recalled the liquids that allow our sight – vitreous & aqueous humour, & felt here was a worthy descriptor – I would definitely like to be swathed in a humourous substance. Therefore I propose (& I’ll second myself) that for the rest of this article air shall be known as the Gooey Amber Humour (or for short –atmoshumour).
Part of the reason I wanted to condense Gooey Amber Humour was to feel able to get the feel of what takes place in this substance. As long as I retained the empty-feeling word ‘air,’ I found myself struggling.
If I look with imaginative eyes that are filled with Gooey Amber Humour, I can see that every inch of this world is filled up with this atmoshumour & glowing. I see it flow in & out of every breathing creature. I see the constantly moving currents. I see that we live in a world where enormous buildings & monuments thrust themselves up into his substance. I wonder are they built to somehow capture & contain this humour?
What else do I think of, when I consider the substance that has flowed in & out of me all my life? Why I start to wonder about it’s life. I reacll what has been done to it & in it – is this the same thing?
And what is being done in it, to it now?
And just what purpose do all these ridiculously high building really have?
By watching nature’s attention to Gooey Amber Humour, I have come to the conclusion that she revels in it. How could I have believed that plants merely grow upward to reach the sun. I’m sure that’s part of the reason, but look at any tree & watch how it & atmoshumour interact. The other day I watched a willow as the wind carressed it’s tendrills OR was it the willow that caressed the wind – methinks ’twas both, & what a glorious sight it was.
Surely Gooey Amber Humour is no haphazard substance.
I rather think that it is ‘knowledge‘ – which is why plants open their branches to it. Atmoshumour is the story of our world, we are meant to read it, to hear it & to add our own stories to it. If you have played with this resinous theme then I think you must have felt as I have done, that we can not be isolated individuals, when our being floats in a substance that enfolds the globe. I find it wonderfully appropriate that the energy that allows connection all round the world gets it’s name from Amber.
“The Greek name for amber was ηλεκτρον (Electron) and was connected to the Sun God, one of whose titles was Elector or the Awakener… The modern term electron was coined in 1891 by the Irish physicist George Stoney, using the Greek word for amber.”
“The Greek name for amber is elektron, or the origin of our word electricity.”
Another thought that springs to mind as I conceive of a more condensed atmosphere, is how like a woven substance it is – the suns rays shine & weave their way through earth’s atmoshumour – I have vague ‘unscientific’ recollections of how lasers shone at intersecting angles create holograms.
The humourous horizontal encircling of earth also reminds me a an old vinyl record…
I have read somewhere that animals fur is the equivalent of an antennae. There is a cat who lives with us, she is forever washing herself. Occasionally she has licked my fingers – her tongue has a very strange rough-grooved feel – is it really ‘washing’ that she does or is her tongue another stylus that picks up & reads what her fur has collected on the wind? I have read that cats are protectors of humans from forces that we cannot see – perhaps their fur traps negative energies & their licking is a way of neutralising or disposing of it?
Once again viewing our imaginary sticky atmoshumour, I wonder what happens when we speak – imagine if our words don’t just vanish into ‘thin air’ – what if they get trapped like insects in amber. The New Age tells us we create our ‘reality’ – is this is how it’s done – is our atmoshumour the philosopher’s stone of creation?
So we’ve been wrapped in this substance from the day we were born, we cannot survive without it. It perhaps holds every story ever lived. It may hold all the information we need to break free from the hamster wheel of the mulberry bush – a-tis-hu, a-ti-shu … hmmm I think we’re done with falling down – I reckon it’s about time to stand up, sneeze out a new world & fly.
I shall leave you with beauty. Although I can’t find it now I’m 99.9% positive that I read that looking at the paintings of Turner (Joseph Mallord William) increases the power of your immune system. I leave you look & decide for yourself. One thing interests me greatly is how the man, who is considered England’s greatest painter, so often painted magnificent amber atmoshumours.
“He [Turner] was a proto-impressionist master of atmospheric effects … He executed so many paintings in shades of yellow (lemon, ochre, buttercup, mustard, amber) that even a friend of Turner’s wondered whether he had been “afflicted by yellow fever“.”
“The significance of light was to Turner the emanation of God’s spirit and this was why he refined the subject matter of his later paintings by leaving out solid objects and detail, concentrating on the play of light on water, the radiance of skies and fires. Although these late paintings appear to be ‘impressionistic’ and therefore a forerunner of the French school, Turner was striving for expression of spirituality in the world, rather than responding primarily to optical phenomena”
“There’s something magical about Turner’s art. His Angel Standing in the Sun (above, from 1846) provided the title for one excellent biography, in tune with this magical aura surrounding Turner that, unfortunately, discounts the hard work and hard thinking that went into his works. Constable, again the foil of a Turner anecdote, reportedly once said to Turner, “I do not see nature that way”.”
” Turner’s late water-colours offer a vision of the world before the advent of things, a place made out of pure light and atmosphere, whose essence is a kind of heavenly instability: sky and sea become abstract washes of colour; a mountain at sunset, pink as a prawn, looks more like an explosion than a solid object...”
“They envisage the world not as an agglomeration of physical stuff, but as a process: they are pictures of flux, of a constant making and unmaking. They are as changeable as their subjects: light, weather, the sea.”
I was going to let it go by but my sister informs me that all the shops are shut until 1.00pm which means I cannot get my Saturday morning treat at my favourite cafe until then. Now this may seem like a trivial & selfish complaint & indeed for anyone who follows the forced unenforced guidelines of society, this is exactly what it is.
IF however, your mind is a little on the open side you may have wondered why it is so ‘bloody’ important that we ‘re-member’ the sacrifices known as War.
I’ve recently been doing some reading about time & the suggestion that the past is fluid & can be changed – one of the biggest thoughts that has sprung to mind with this concept is that IF this is so, does it help explain the enormous energy that has been put into creating & ‘re-membering’ the sacrifices, err sorry I mean wars of the last hundred years? Or does it at least show that there was something very important in their occurrence? What in history can compare to the psychic assault of WWI & WWII? Why are there monuments in prime positions all over the world that remind us to ‘re-member’?
Anyway I thought that for anyone who has not read it & as a gift of truth-seeking to those who suffered & lived or died, that I would repost ‘The Sacrifice.’
May all, living & dead, walk in truth & beauty.
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave,until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow
Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and Preserver; hear, O hear!
Thou on whose stream, ‘mid the steep sky’s commotion,
Loose clouds like Earth’s decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,
Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine airy surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head
Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith’s height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge
Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre
Vaulted with all thy congregated might
Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst: O hear!
Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams,
Beside a pumice isle in Baiae’s bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave’s intenser day,
All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic’s level powers
Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know
Thy voice, and suddenly grow grey with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: O hear!
If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share
The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O Uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be
The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seemed a vision; I would ne’er have striven
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.
Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of
thy mighty harmonies
Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!
Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawakened Earth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1819)
The blogosphere is a very interesting place. The weaving shuttle seems to pass effortlessly from hand to hand or keyboard to keyboard, without leaving any seams or loose threads.
A wee while ago The Accidental Alchemist threaded an image onto his site that ‘resonated’ & so I wanted to leave a comment. As it is my pleasure to play with words & ideas, a comment that would normally read as ‘eagle eyes’ got changed to ‘eyes of a griffin‘ – bringing in my fairly recent (& to be continued) leonine theme. Before publishing said comment I thought I’d better check that griffins didn’t have any uncomplementary traits, thus it was that I read the wiki page on griffins & thus it was that the penultimate sentence on that page led to this post.
” “Griffin” (and variants in other languages) may also have been adopted as a surname by other families who used arms charged with a griffin or a griffin’s head (just as the House of Plantagenet took its name from the badge of a sprig of broom or planta genista).“
As a teenager I’d been fascinated by the tale of Richard III, so the name Plantagenet was instantly familiar.
“ The Plantagenets were a French family that assumed control of the English throne in 1133. Although the Plantagenets were not successful in gaining power in France, the English Plantagenet Kings ruled until 1485. The line comprised 14 monarchs, and fell into extinction at the hands of the Tudor Dynasty ” from Wisegeek.
You are undountedly familiar with many names in this all boy lineup, either through history as in Richard the Lionheart or through literature. Francis Bacon-Shakespeare made many of these kings (in)famously famous, occasionally going to the extent of chopping them up into smaller bits (& getting away with it) – Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, Henry V, Henry VI parts 1, 2, and 3 and Richard III.
This combination of history with entertainment fits very well with the winding ramble that we are about to undertake.
So lets return to the wiki page from whence we began.
Heath Ledger died at 421 Broome Street. Previously all that came to mind with this address were witches brooms or the town of that name in Western Australia, neither were enough to get any bearings from. That all changed with the (re)discovery of a dynasty that took its name from a sprig of broom said to have been worn in the hat of Geoffrey V of Anjou, founding member of the Plantagenets.
Geoff’s son Henry was the first in the family to be King of England – he sits in the history books under the title of Henry II. Following wiki’s link to his home page, my eye was caught by a mis-read in the side panel – I thought I saw the words ‘Henry the Lion King’ & thus leaped before I looked to the webbed link – I found was mistaken, it was not ‘Henry the Lion King’ but ‘Henry the Young King’ (Richard the Lionheart was listed underneath & my eyes had got crossed).
As I wiki’ed Henry the Young King, I got an increasing sense of familiarity with a very recent knight & prince.
“...he is described as a charming youth of striking beauty, tall but well proportioned, broad-shouldered with a long and elegant neck, pale and freckled skin, bright and wide blue eyes, with a thick mop of the reddish-gold hair characteristic of his dynasty.” Although wiki has the ‘citation needed’ tag on this snippet, I did find other (copyrighted) material that backs up these claims of ‘handsome prince’.
Under the heading ‘Tournament hero and celebrity’ we find;
“...the Young King’s contemporary reputation ..had much to do with his place in the enthusiastic tournament culture of his own day…The History [of William Marshall] depicts him as constantly moving from tournament to tournament across northern and central France”
“The baron and troubador, Bertran de Born, who knew him, said that he was ‘…the best king who ever took up a shield, the most daring and best of all tourneyers… never was seen a knight so skilled, so warlike, whose fame resounded so around the world… as far as the River Nile and the setting sun.’ “
Now let’s check out A Knights Tale via wiki
“The film follows the story of William Thatcher, a peasant turned knight, along with his companions in the world of Medieval jousting. William poses as a knight and competes in tournaments, winning accolades and acquiring friendships with such historical figures as Edward the Black Prince of Wales.“
Ok so interesting enough, we have a few similarities, but where’s all this leading? Well lets just look a little longer in a mildly (or wildly) fanciful way.
Henry the Young King died young (he was never actually King, he was simply called thus to distinguish him as next in line to the throne). He was a mere 28 years old when he died.
“Heath Ledger, Actor, Is Found Dead at 28“
“He contracted dysentery at the beginning of June. Weakening fast, he was taken to Martel, near Limoges. It was clear to his household that he was dying on 7 June when he was confessed and received the last rites. As a token of his penitence for his war against his father he prostrated himself naked on the floor before a crucifix…”
“The police said Mr. Ledger, 28, was found naked on the floor”
“There were large and emotional gatherings wherever his body rested”
“memorial tributes were communicated by family members… and thousands of Ledger’s fans around the world.”
“His former chaplain, Gervaise of Tilbury, said that ‘his death was the end of everything knightly’.“
Is it even remotely possible that Heath Ledger might have lived some of the lives he acted out in his 28 years? Is it possible that he was more than he appeared to be?
Wiki again on A Knights Tale:
“Adhemar … discovers William’s humble origins. He alerts the authorities to his secret and William is arrested and sent to prison… When in the stocks, William’s companions all rise to defend him, though they accidentally cause the crowd to raise up against them. However, Prince Edward emerges from the mob, and tells the crowd that his historians have discovered that William is descendant from an “ancient royal line.” He then dubs him ‘Sir William’ .“
Apparently movies are fantasies (c.1325, “illusory appearance,”), but are they? Are they really just ‘images & sounds’ or do they create or allow another world to coexist within this one? Certainly they seem to have a life force of their own. They have become a part of our lives, just as dreams are a part of our lives. We don’t merely watch them, we step inside, them heart & mind. I know I have been ‘captivated’ (c.1374, from L. captivus, from captus, pp. of capere “to take, hold, seize”) by them in the past.
We return to A Knight’s Tale. Prince Edward or The Black Prince as he’s historically known was indeed a Plantagenet. So are Heath (& we) being told that he descended from an ancient royal line?
I thought I’d check out the name William for any little extra snippets & came across this;
“The name [William] was so popular, in fact, that history records an event in Normandy in 1171 where Henry the Young King held court for Christmas which included 110 knights named “William” – the Williams had gathered in a room and refused to allow any one to eat with them, unless they were named William.“
Honestly I’d never even heard of Henry the Young King until very recently & then suddenly he (& knights called William) are Wiki’s best friends.
Anyway lets move on.
Before Heath’s name spilled & spelled from world-wide lips, he was cast (you know, like a spell is cast) into a series of 13 episodes (enchantments) called Roar. Heath was celluloidily reincarnated as the golden Celtic Prince, ConOR.
“When Conor’s family is brutally murdered by a marauding clan led by King Gar (guest star Leo Taylor) and Queen Diane (Lisa Zane), an emissary of the evil Romans, Conor is forced to take up the mythic sword of his dead father and unite his people in the name of peace.“
Because this series of articles revolves around the death of three people, no post can be written without some interweaving of tales. Thus it is in the pilot of Roar we have the presence of Keri Russell as Conor’s girlfriend. Keri also played the lead role in the movie Waitress, thus linking her to both Heath Ledger & Adrienne Shelly. Much more is to come about her, but for now we note that she was there, ‘in the beginning’ so to speak. She is cast as the daughter of King Gar (Leo Taylor). She jumps in front of her Dad’s sword to save Heath & in dying she reaches up with Lady Macbeth-style hands & bloods Heath;
“There exists in England to-day a curious hunting rite, which is well known to all followers of hounds, but which, perhaps because of its very strangeness and barbarity, is seldom if ever mentioned in the copious literature of hunting. When a person—nowadays usually a child—is present at a kill of a fox for the first time, the Master, taking some severed portion of the animal, smears some of the blood upon the face of the person, who is not allowed to wash it off until the evening. This procedure of ‘Blooding’ or ‘Christening’, as it is called, is regarded as an honour, and, to judge from various accounts I have collected, usually gives great pleasure to the parents of the children who are blooded.“
Lets take a numerical turn around this blooded prince. From Ellis Taylor: “His full name, Heathcliffe Andrew Ledger totals 16 Born: 4th April 1979 Like his full name, a 16 numerologically, and probably the most mentioned number on this site relating to tragedies. It is the number of the Tarot Tower. Its total, by natural addition, is 7 (1+6) matches the total number of the apartment number in the Manhattan tower block 421. The address, ‘421 Broome Street’ has a numerological value of 16.”
I was quite pleased with the info I’d found regarding Henry the Young King & was quite prepared to leave it there, but I kept getting flashbacks to Bosworth Field, a place in England I’d visited many years ago.
Richard III died at the battle of Bosworth Field, on 22 August 1485. He reigned for 2 years & 2 months (note the numbers that pre-echo Heath’s demise on 22 January). He was the last English king to die in battle & he was the last Plantagenet king. One of the as yet not-overdue library books I have out at the moment, The Life & Times of Richard III also says this;
“the date of his death is said to mark the close of that otherwise indefinable episode known as the Middle Ages.“
As far as monarchical reputations go, Richard III has probably had one of history’s most tarnished & it came courtesy of the historic history-maker who went by the pseudonym of WILLIAM Shakespeare. Here’s an image to paint you a picture.
Richard died a young king, he was just 32 years old. He was betrayed, dragged from his horse & slain. His last words are reported to be “treason, treason, treason.” Richard’s death brought the War of the Roses to an end & heralded a new dynasty – the Tudors.
Out of interest lets follow the signs from Bosworth Field.
After he was killed “Richard’s naked body was then paraded through the streets.” We know that Heath was found naked, so this description does bear a rather striking resemblance to the now famous image below (apologies for using this picture I just wanted to emphasise the similarity in this one tale from two cities).
Both real & screen kings have other striking similarities. Another image will reduce the amount of words needed.
These two kings share the same treatment on the silver screen, re-membered as characters deformed in mind & body.
From a Heath Ledger info site:
“His most favorite Shakespearean play is “The Life & Death of King Richard III.“
Before, during & after the first anniversary of Heath’s death this year, a grand production took place in Australia. It was called The War of the Roses & condensed Will Shakespeare’s ‘Plantagenet Period:
“Over eight hours, The War Of The Roses spans eight of Shakespeare’s history plays, from the elegance and melancholy of Richard II through to the barbarity and catastrophe of Richard III.“
I’d put Heath & Richard together in the Google blender & that’s how I found this.
Check out these other rather interesting quotes from that performance;
“Shakespeare himself knew this in conceiving his Richard III – the character is deliciously, theatrically evil. And this is the cue picked up by Pamela Rabe – magnificent in the part – where even her character’s own deformity is cause for an inverted self-mockery, almost narcissistic self-deprecation. Revenge is FUN! Rabe’s Richard III is, in this manner, the ancestral sponsor to Heath Ledger’s Joker.
Rabe gets to dazzle in one of the overtly virtuosic roles Shakespeare ever created. Richard III is a character that shines: in the sense that true evil emits the starkest light. Like Ledger’s Joker (one of the most distressing characterizations ever realized on screen), Rabe’s Richard of Gloucester is beyond morality. He is out there simply to create more pain. I wouldn’t put Rabe’s performance in the same league as Ledger’s Joker (she would not be still alive)… “.
Cate Blanchett of Tudor Elizabeth fame also starred in this production – here’s a snippet from a rather glowing report:
“gold rains thick on the stage. It is just little rectangles of tinsel, but so much of it that the actors become wreathed in goldenness, stuck to their hair, shoulders, sometimes to their eyes and mouths, and to their hands and wrists like gloves.
Cate Blanchett, seated at the front of the stage all in cream, a crown on her pale hair, her luminous face through this golden downpour, is a mesmerising King Richard II.”
In case you’re confused girls portrayed guys in this production.
A few more observant quotes;
“The advent of the Joker, one of the greatest pop-culture villains since Richard III. ”
“And we get Ledger’s now-iconic stand on a deserted street, hunched like Richard III, roaring “Come on, I want you to do it. Hit me!” ”
Last year Gavin from Atlantean Times expressed his belief that Laurence Olivier was Heath’s father. Following this trail (wiki again) proved interesting –
“Richard III is a 1955 British film adaption of William Shakespeare’s historical play … It was directed and produced by Laurence Olivier, who also played the lead role..”
Skipping sideways for a moment, lets see how a random example seems to highlight the intricate weaving of story & history. I found this actress somewhere along the way & was amazed at how she wove her way through the Fair Phantom theme.
“[Claire] Bloom also appeared in Laurence Olivier’s film version of Richard III,…the following year, she received great acclaim for her portrayal of Ophelia in Hamlet (we’ll come to that in another post),…and playing Cathy in Wuthering Heights with Keith Michell as Heathcliff …On continuing television series, she has appeared on the New York-based Law & Order: Criminal Intent (the show that did a take-off of Adrienne Shelly’s murder) ….The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962) is a Cinerama film directed by Henry Levin (we’re coming to that) – [she played] Dorothea Grimm (Aferrismoon, I thought you would appreciate that little word-play) … her romantic relationships with Richard Burton and Laurence Olivier.“
An interesting floral thread can be woven in here with the Lady Bloom. We started this trail following a sprig of blooming Broom. Meanwhile …
“Heath is a ground-hugging plant often considered to be a small shrub. It is identified by it’s needle-like foliage and small, bell-shaped flowers ranging from white to pink to purple to deep red.“
It’s botanical name is Erica. If we check out the name Erica, we find it means ‘Eternal ruler’ or ‘Ruler Of All’. With a title like that it’s just too hard to resist a little playtime – grabbing hold of the Eternal Ruler Yahweh & removing his ‘I‘ (oh is that what happened to Horus!) but keeping his surname we get ‘AM,’ add Heath or ERICA & we get AM+ERICA (‘am the Ruler of All?) – a kingly title if ever there was one.
Now I have a feeling I’ve been going on for a long time, so I think I’d better get round to rounding things up (for now).
Way back in a previous post when I looked at jokers & jesters, I used this quote ‘the jester is the symbolic twin of the king’ & suggested that in Batman, the Joker is his ‘twin’. Looking at Heath’s royal screen lineage, I find that I keep thinking that he, in HIS portrayal of the Joker, was actually the Dark Knight of that movie.
This quote seemed to say more than it perhaps meant – ” ‘The Dark Knight’ has officially been knighted into the very exclusive billion club. The Batman film has become the fourth film to take in more than a billion dollars in worldwide box office.”
Looking etymologically at the word fame we find:
“c.1290, “celebrity, renown,” from O.Fr. fame, from L. fama “talk, rumor, report, reputation,” fromPIE base *bha- “to speak, tell, say“
I was wondering today if fame simply means that a great deal of people know & speak the ‘spell’ that is that person’s name. In this world our names are one of our most valuable possessions. The name Heath Ledger is now surely bigger than the man ever was.
One of Heaths most acclaimed roles was in Brokeback Mountain. Shakespeare painted Richard III as a deformed character. He was portrayed as a hunchback & given the name Richard Crookback. Heath’s character in Brokeback Mountain is Ennis del Mar –re-form that name & you get Lamed sinner.
How about another name.
Heath’s daughter is Mathilda Rose – but of course, you say he was Australian, how patriotic to name his daughter in keeping with his heritage… but there was another Matilda
“Empress Matilda, also known as Matilda of England or Maude (c. 7 February 1102 – 10 September 1167) was the daughter and heir of King Henry I of England. Matilda and her younger brother, William Adelin, were the only legitimate children of King Henry. Her brother died young, leaving Matilda as the last heir from the paternal line of her grandfather William the Conqueror.”
“As a child, Matilda was betrothed to Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor. From her marriage to Henry, she acquired the title Empress. The couple had no known children. When widowed, she was married to Geoffrey of Anjou “
You do remember Geoff don’t you? He was the lad who wore a sprig of Broom in his cap. Matilda was the mother of the Plantaganet line – her son Henry II was the first Plantagenet & he was father to Henry the Young King & to Richard the Lionheart.
Matilda’s second name ‘Rose,’ while being very pretty, is also the symbol of England.
“The Tudor rose is a combination of the white rose of York & the red rose of Lancaster and takes its name and origins from the Tudor dynasty.“
This symbol could perhaps be said to signify the death of Richard III as his death gave the Tudors ‘life’.
I’ve seen this comment a few times:
“Is it just me or does Matilda Rose look exactly like her daddy, Heath Ledger?“
What I have wondered as I researched this article is whether Heath Ledger was indeed of royal blood line. Is it possible that he lived previous lives as Kings. There was a time when royalty was everything, I don’t think that’s changed, but I’m wondering if royalty has changed shape & shapeshifted into superstars. In every way they are portrayed as gods, giant beings living giant lives, while we the peasants look on in awe.
These gods are not above sacrificing for their own ends. As much as I loathe politics I find myself wondering if there is a kind of repeat pattern happening of back then (in England) & now in the ‘Land of Erica’ – where a new dynasty (a)rose as a Dark (K)night fell.
“and while the King was looking down,
the jester stole his thorny crown.“
One final name to add to the loom (for now)
Anne Neville was the wife of Richard III.
Richard & Anne had one son who died in 1484. She died in 1485, just 5 months before The Battle of Bosworth Field. It was she who the above mentioned Claire Bloom, portrayed in Laurence Olivier’s version of Richard III.
This series began with the death of Adrienne Shelly. She died 15 months before Heath Ledger. Her real name was Adrienne Levine – if we re-spell her name a little, we can make this
In French the word ‘rien’ (as in adRIENne) means ‘nothing’, so I figure that gives us the ok to remove it. Rearrange ‘rien’ & you get Erin – the name of the character they copy-cat murdered in Law & Order. Re-arrange Levine & you get Nevil(l)e. Richard III’s mother’s surname was also Neville.
So just what is in a name? And what ‘Rose’ was Mr Shakespeare talking about?
……………………….to be continued
By the way this portrait is of Richard III
Additional: Another name synch popped into the shower with me this morning. Pamela Rabe is the name of the woman who portrayed Richard III in the Australian production ‘The War of the Roses’ that took place during the first anniversary of Heath Ledger’s death this year. Richard III’s Mother was Cecily Neville, she was known as ‘The Rose of Raby’ (Raby Castle being her childhood home).