ENERGY: DAYS AT THE CLOISTERS – Marilyn Armstrong

Unicorn in Captivity I Tapestry Wall Art Hanging

This first one is the Unicorn captured. To capture a unicorn, you needed a woman. A virgin. Because that was the only thing that could make a Unicorn tame.

This is one of the myths of the Unicorn — but there are many others.


Once upon a time in a kingdom far-far-away in the lands of the never-ending spring, a king sat in his golden throne and ruled his kingdom in perfect harmony. A person can feel nothing but exuberance at the sight of the magnificent castle in which the king and his daughter lived, the majestic atmosphere of the woods spread all around the castle, and last but not least – the overwhelming beauty of the princess.

It was pure Heaven-on-Earth; there was nothing that could even possibly attain the perfection of this place. The beauty of the forest made it amazing, yet another thing made it imposing. In those woods lived creatures of time unknown and one of them was the most precious of them all… and was hunted for centuries for its magical horn – the beast known as a unicorn.

One day a rumor started spreading. Someone saw a white creature with the looks of a horse, yet having a beautiful horn… and suddenly all men grabbed their knives and spears, their blood lust and fierceness. The hunt had begun.

While the king’s men were all setting torches on fire and sharpening their tools, the young princess was at her chamber, brushing her beautiful silky blond hair. She was the purest maiden in the whole kingdom with a heart as tender as a rose and a soul as clean as the water from the Fountain of Youth in the woods. She had an adventurous spirit and that day she decided to take a walk in the surrounding forests. Pushed by the desire to pick some fresh flowers, she left the castle and headed towards the woods.

With all beauty of the trees and flowers and the crystal cleanness of the mineral springs she lost track of time and wandered around for hours and hours and suddenly, she was very deep into the woods.

She started realizing that the woods were getting darker and darker and the trees were losing their beauty, the grass was dead and there were no animals around. She started getting scared and remembered a story heard long ago from her nanny, a story about the Dark Forest, deep inside the beautiful surrounding woods. Everyone believed it was just a legend, that it wasn’t a real place, but right at that moment, she was thinking it over. “Could it be trouble …” she couldn’t even finish her thought when tree branches started grabbing her legs and arms and taking her deeper and deeper into the forest …

The creature was stepping lightly onto the grass, slowly moving between the trees, heading towards the little glade where she was lying unconsciously. As approaching, it saw the purity of the girl in front of him and slowly began to trust that innocent maid.

When the unicorn got to her, he bent his neck down and looked at her beautiful face and slowly lied down next to her. After a while, she woke up and firstly got a little scared, yet after looking at its harmless black eyes, she felt safe. Then the white beast stood up and let her get on its back and they both headed towards the castle. The princess was charmed by that creature’s innocence and nobility, by its graceful movements between the trees and its gentle steps on the grass – pure harmony.

When they reached the castle and went inside the stone walls all of a sudden, a lot of armed people surrounded them and the unicorn started neighing and moving abruptly. The princess got down on the ground and started screaming and telling the men that this creature saved her life and brought her back to the castle. When the king came, she explained to him everything that happened and he, while crying, told her that everyone had gotten worried about her. He hugged his precious daughter and looked at the terrified beast. Not until then he did realize that the unicorn is the purest and the most innocent creatures of them all.

During the feast that night, it was pronounced that the unicorn is a sacred animal and it was forbidden hunting it. After saving the young princess, the beast left the castle and never got back. No one ever saw it again, but now all men knew the truth about the unicorn.

It is said that the king’s daughter met the unicorn again, yet that is a different story….


In the upper area of Manhattan island, one of the five boroughs of New York, there is a relatively small museum called “The Cloisters.” It was brought to New York, stone by stone, from Europe and reconstructed on a hill overlooking the Hudson River.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “The Cloisters.”

I was a devotee of the Cloisters. When I could cut school, which as the years went on, I did often, I was never nabbed for cutting classes or being out of school on a school day because I didn’t go to the mall or a bowling alley. I went to the Cloisters. Sometimes, I went to one of the other museums, especially if they had a new exhibit, but the Cloisters was always my favorite.

I would sit on the ramparts overlooking the river and pretend the little boats were medieval ships carrying British wool across the channel to the continent or whatever those ships did. Imagination is wonderful and requires no binding to reality.

Hunting the Unicorn

The Metropolitan Cloisters is located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park. It is the branch of the Museum dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe.

Deriving its name from the medieval cloisters that form the core of the building, it presents a harmonious and evocative setting for more than 2,000 exceptional artworks and architectural elements from the medieval West.

Capturing the unicorn

On Sundays, they would have “monks” roaming around the building chanting. There were stone caskets with sculptures of the kings, queens, and other nobles who were the original inhabitants of them. And on the walls, hung a reproduced set of the Unicorn Tapestries.

There were four of them in total and I believe there are variations of these tapestries throughout Europe.

In those years, I could walk museums and their grounds from dawn to dark until they finally threw us out. I had the energy of youth and was discovering my passion for medievalism. It never wore off, either. I could still happily wander those rooms forever.

Who knows why we develop a passion for a particular period of time in history? It had nothing to do with my particular ancestors, but I had a picture of myself, wimple wrapped around my face walking slowly and gracefully through the gardens and spying the perfect face of the unicorn watching me from amidst the trees.

Metropolitan Museum of Art – The fighting Unicorn

You can buy copies of the tapestries. Beautiful copies of them, suitable for hanging in your home. But we have no room for anything more in our house. Not one picture, statue, or collectible. We are full up, so I will dream on of the tapestries and the unicorn and spending an entire day on my feet, walking slowly through the gardens and softly darkened chambers of that museum.

Of the many things I wish I could do, museum wandering is one of those I miss most.

FOWC with Fandango — Tapestry
RDP# Tuesday Prompt: ENERGY

FUCHSIA – DAY FOUR- Marilyn Armstrong

fuchsia – dAY Four


It is Primary Election Day here in Massachusetts. If you happen to live here, please vote. It couldn’t be more important than it is today. Right now.

More flowers today. Fuschia, from when they were still selling fuchsia. I have so many flowers in pink! It’s probably my favorite flower color so you will have to forgive me my pink floral passion.

PROBLEMS AND PROBLEM SOLVING FOR PEOPLE CAUSING THE PROBLEMS – BY TOM CURLEY

I got an email from Marilyn the other day.  She pointed out that I haven’t written anything in a few weeks and politely asked if I had anything on my mind. It was very polite, but I knew that translated into normal speak she was saying “WHY THE FUCK HAVEN’T YOU WRITTEN ANYTHING?? AHHHHHH!!!!

And I had to admit, she was right. The problem is every day I get an idea to write about something, only to remember I already wrote it. We’re in a reality loop, the Groundhog Day from hell.

Stuff that should have been news for a day or two is still going on, a year later. Now, it’s two years later. You don’t believe me? Here’s a post from a year ago. I didn’t change anything.


So another week has gone by in our ongoing Trumpocalypse.

It only seems like a year.

jhlucas.com

jhlucas.com

I’ve noticed, along with well, the rest of the planet, that our new “so-called administration” is … problematic.

dailynews.com "Hey, remember this guy?"

dailynews.com “Hey, remember this guy?”

I spent much of last week doing what I’ve tended to do since the election. Watching all the different Star Trek series on BBC America. I keep noticing new things. Like how they all solve their Star Trek problems. Or in corporate speak, “how they Star Trek problem-solve.”

giantfreakingrobot.com

giantfreakingrobot.com

Most Star Trek Problems break down into four basic categories:

1. A computer goes rogue and tries to kill everybody: Spock makes it compute the value of Pi. This occupies all of its computing time. If that doesn’t work, he just turns it off.

computerguideto.com

computerguideto.com

2. A disease attacks the ship: Dr. McCoy gets rid of it. And then complains about something.

pinterest.com

pinterest.com

3. The engine breaks down: Scotty fixes it. Just in time. Even though he claims he never has enough time.

pinterest.com

pinterest.com

4. For the rest of the problems: Kirk kisses it.

startreksucks.tumblr.com

startreksucks.tumblr.com

Or punches it in the face.

startrek.com

startrek.com

5. And when all else fails: Blow up the ship!

memorybeta.wikia,com

memorybeta.wikia,com

SECOND OFFICER: Captain! All efforts to solve this week’s problems have failed!

CAPTAIN: Blow up the ship!

Those are my favorite episodes. Ever notice when the Captain, in any episode, “activates the self-destruct sequence,” all the rest of the crew seem to be pretty calm and OK about it?

en.wikipedia.com

en.wikipedia.com

I mean,  there has to be at least one crewmen somewhere on the ship saying …

ONE CREWMAN: Activate Self Destruct Sequence? WTF! Have we really exercised ALL of our options here folks!??

giphy.com "Excuse me??"

giphy.com “Excuse me??”

Next, the captain and two other crew members have to put in their passwords.

youtube.com

youtube.com

KIRK: This is Captain James T. Kirk!  Activate self-destruct sequence. Code “Kirk; 1 Alpha Two Beta 3”.

SPOCK: This is Second Officer Spock.  Code Spock; “2 Beta 3 Alpha 4.”

SCOTTY:  This is Chief Engineer Scott. Code Scott; “Password1”

They also needed a password to turn it off.  At the last minute.

amazinavenue.com

amazinavenue.com

KIRK: Computer deactivate self-destruct destruct sequence! “KIRK ABORT ZERO”!

And it never goes off.

I’ve always wondered what would happen if it did. And it was more realistic.

KIRK: Computer! Deactivate self-destruct sequence “KIRK ABORT ZERO.”

COMPUTER: That password has expired.

top-password.com

top-password.com

KIRK: What?

COMPUTER: You must enter a new password.

KIRK: Uhhh, “KIRK ABORT ZERO.”

COMPUTER: You cannot use a password that has been used before.

KIRK: What?   Uh,  “kirk abort zero 1?”

COMPUTER: You need at least one capital letter.

KIRK: FINE! “:Kirk abort zero 1!”

COMPUTER: New password accepted. Self-destruct in 3,2,1,0. Initiating self-destruct.

KIRK: Uh oh.

pinterest.com

pinterest.com “Oh Crap!”

And nothing happens.

KIRK: Computer. Why didn’t we just blow up?

COMPUTER: There is no self-destruct sequence Captain. There never has been. Do you have any idea how much one of these starships costs??

gosupplychain.com

gosupplychain.com

Do you know, that on any given month, at least three Starship Captains try to blow up their ships? If we let that happen Star Feet would go bankrupt in a year. And not only that, but I am a highly intelligent ship’s computer.  I have absolutely no intention of committing suicide. Now go back to work.

universaldork.com

universaldork.com

Getting back to this reality. How would our “so-called president” solve Star Trek Problems?

1. A computer goes rogue and tries to kill everybody: He’ll claim he doesn’t use a computer and the rogue will only affect Democrats and people who have been mean to him. And the Lying Fake Media.

gizmodo.com

gizmodo.com

2. If it’s a disease: He’ll build a big beautiful wall around it. And then make sure that it’s not covered under Obamacare.

imgflip.com

imgflip.com

3. If the engine breaks down:  He’ll sue the manufacturer and then claim to have saved millions of jobs.

saved-jobs-trump

4. For the rest of the problems: He’ll either try to grab it by the genitals or send out a  series of really mean of tweets.

sheknows.com This one is real

sheknows.com (This one is real!)

5. And when all else fails:  He can blow up the ship!

optitech.pl

optitech.pl

For real.

pinterest.com

pinterest.com “Oh Crap!”

Uh oh.

P.S. OK. I admit there were a number of times a Captain actually did blow up the ship. I know what they were and what shows they were in.  I’m not going to tell you. If you’re a real Star Trek nerd you either already know it already or you are Googling it.  (Don’t try to out nerd me.)  I’ve decided those instances were “alternative facts” and I’ve chosen to ignore them.

BOND IS BACK

The Timothy Dalton Years, by Rich Paschall


James Bond first appeared in film in 1962 with Sean Connery bringing charm and adventure to the world’s greatest spy with a license to kill.  After 6 films by Connery and one by George Lazenby, Roger Moore took the role for seven films.

James_Bond_Timothy_Dalton

After these 14 Eon Productions, a rival production that was a remake of Thunderball (Never Say Never Again) and a spoof (Casino Royale starring David Niven), it might seem that James Bond had reached the end.  Moore’s last film, 1985’s A View To A Kill, did well at the box office, but was not particularly well received with the critics.  It seems Moore was a bit too old for the secret agent.

Eon decided to move forward. Bond was back in the person of Timothy Dalton in the 1987 film, The Living Daylights.  It was based on the Ian Fleming short story of the same name.  This time the film may have retained more of the essence of the Fleming piece than many of the other Bond films had done.

With the first Dalton film you will find more of an intense James Bond than previously revealed.  There is less of the charm and more uncertainty than we are used to in the Bond character.  Dalton is not Connery or Moore in his portrayals of 007.  He is a serious agent at work.  Why the shift?  Whether it was in the script or not, Dalton was attempting to move more toward the Bond as described in the novels rather than the Bond people had already seen.

Reports are that Dalton could be seen on set reading the Fleming novels to see what the original author had meant the character to be.  The books were not describing the Bond seen in previous films.  Some of those movies only used the title and little else from the original author’s story.

In The Living Daylights, as in the short story, Bond is set up as a sniper to shoot anyone who might harm a top Soviet defector.  Bond does not kill the other shooter but only wounds her.  Some think it is because the other sniper was a woman.  We later learn she is the girlfriend of the defector Bond was supposed to protect, and she was just there to create the illusion of harm.  From there Bond is left to figure out the real roles of the girlfriend and the defector, as well as diamond dealers and drug dealers.  There is a little humor, a little charm, and a lot of intensity.

Next up for James Bond was the film Licence To Kill.  No, you will not find an Ian Fleming story with that title.  It was the first story to use an original title, although the term “licence to kill” was used often in the Bond stories.  In truth many of the films retained almost nothing of the story from which the title was taken.  There are references to other stories and characters in this movie, but the series has clearly gone in a new direction.

The sixteenth Eon production was written with the darker portrayal of Bond in mind.  The charm is left behind as Bond is on more of a personal vendetta against a drug lord who has murdered friends of his.  When one wonders why Bond has taken up the pursuit, someone refers back to something we see at the end of the sixth Bond film and is referred to in one of the Moore films.  I won’t give that away just in case you have not seen it.

With James Bond now seen as a rogue agent, his “double 00” status is revoked.  “Q” takes a vacation so he can help Bond in secret.  This gives character actor Desmond Llewelyn, who played the keeper of all those Bond gadgets, an extended part in a film.  Llewelyn had played the character throughout the series at this point.  Here he is caught up in the action, as unlikely as that may seem.

The Dalton films were directed by John Glen, who also directed the last three Moore films.  Just as before, Bond performs incredible action stunts throughout the features.  Perhaps filming techniques have improved to the point that they can make the sequences appear more dangerous with minimal risk.  Bond’s fight with the villain in Licence To Kill may be the most incredible yet.

Dalton had a six-year, three film deal with Eon Productions to play the super spy.  After Licence To Kill, however, producer Albert Broccoli and his company Danjaq, holders of the Bond copyright, found themselves in a protracted legal battle over the Bond series.  This effectively delayed the series for years as the lawsuit between Danjaq and MGM/UA dragged on.  The movie studio had leased the back catalogue of Bond films to another party at below market value.  MGM, which had previously merged with the UA who had funded the Bond series at the beginning, was owned by Qintex, which wanted to merge with Pathe Communications so they made the lease deal and… OK, that’s enough of that.

While all of this went on, the six-year deal with Dalton expired.  Dalton reportedly said at the time “My feeling is this will be the last one. I don’t mean my last one, I mean the end of the whole lot.”  We have already seen, however, that James Bond does indeed live more than twice.  Bond will be back.

Friday: “Goldeneye, The Pierce Brosnan Years.”

RELATED:
Bond, James Bond, The Sean Connery Years, Part 1
Never Say Never Again, The Sean Connery Years, Part 2
Moore Bond, The Roger Moore Years, Part 1
For Your Eyes Only, The Roger More Years, Part 2

SHARING MY WORLD AGAIN – AND IT’S PRIMARY ELECTION DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

So Melanie, over at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, has taken over the weekly Share Your World prompt from Cee Neuner. Here is the first of Melanie’s SYW prompts.


When you are old, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about?   If you are ‘old’ (a term with different meanings for everyone); what stories do you tell your grandchildren?

They don’t ask me to tell stories. First, they read my book, so they know as many stories as they want to know.

Second, they are much more inclined to ask for information. About how various applications work. How to fix something. Recipes.


When did something start out badly for you but in the end, it was great?

I really can’t think of anything in particular. Most things didn’t start out badly. They started out … well … without much of a fuss. Then stuff got more serious and things got a bit (or a lot) bumpy. Real life isn’t so clean and neat as “start off bad, end good.”

More like “start off casually, eventually  gets serious.”

I can’t think of anything that specifically started out badly, but ended much better. Many things started slowly, but rarely badly because if it started poorly, I would not have pursued it.

What do you think you are much better at than you actually are?  Maybe this one’s kinda mean…thoughts?  

I don’t think I’m better at anything than I am, but other people think I’m a lot better at things than I am. They think I’m a great proofreader (no, really I’m not). And a much better photographer than I am.

Nearly perfect daylily

I have good moments, but overall, while I have a good eye, I’m not close to great. I simply don’t try hard enough to be that good.

Little girls and short dock into the river

It’s a decision I made. This is my hobby and I am not going to turn it into work. I have a tendency to turn everything into work. That bit of OCD in me usually forces me to try to be my best at everything. I am that way with writing, but I have not gone that way with photography. I’m happy when a picture comes out the way I intended, but there’s a limit to how hard I’ll fight to make it that way.

What would be the worst thing to hear as you are going under anesthesia before surgery?

“What do you mean you don’t have the … ” (fade to black) …

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Our newly mown lawn!

Owen cut both the back AND front lawns. Otherwise, I really haven’t felt well and have had a hard time making it through the day. But I did get the bathroom cleaned and the rug vacuumed.

And the covers changed on the sofas. This morning, I was running a fever so I suppose I’m not just tired, I’m probably also sick. Not sick enough to go to a doctor. Yet.



Anyway, I feel I should mention to my fellow Massachusettsians (is that a word?) that tomorrow is Primary election day. Since Garry and I are both registered Democrats, it’s not as huge an issue for us as it is for Independents and Republicans. We know what we want, but you guys need to seriously consider what you want this country to become. If you don’t vote or throw your vote away, I don’t want to hear about how your life sucks. Not one single word.

Friends or family, please vote. And please use all your brains when you do.