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From a slog, it becomes more of a glide. But the very smoothness of the transition makes it too subtle for my dulled perceptions at first.

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It arrives naturally, like the grass greening in the spring, or that gentle all-day snow that mantles everything. My internal climate faced its own El Nino. I was more often short with my wife, mildly depressed, more often sick with colds, less inspired to write, less likely to laugh, more tired and more critical of setbacks and annoyances.

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Then came the cancer, the near-breakdown, the stretch of several years where I seemed to move from doctor to doctor, test to test, treatment to treatment. Why should they be? A year and a day is the fairy-story time Gwion spends at it. The dailiness of effort and persistence.

The cauldron sits there each morning. The fire beneath it smoulders. Feed the fire, stir the liquid. Through the spring and summer, insects and sweat. Through autumn and winter, frost and chill and ice. The cauldron has not changed. The broth slowly thickens as it bubbles and spatters. Instinctively he lifts the hand to his mouth, to lick and soothe it with his tongue. He did, after all, put in the time. He sat there daily, through the seasons, tending the cauldron, stirring and keeping up the fire, swatting insects, breathing the smoke, batting sparks away, eyes reddened.

Part, too, was the simple animal instinct to lick a burn. And the greater portion was the effort, which catalyzed all the rest into a unified whole. Effort, timing, luck, chance, grace: For Gwion, his growth has just begun. It is his initiation, his beginning. In his case it distinctly does NOT mean an easier path ahead for him. In fact, just the opposite — more on that in a coming post. Tales like this story of Gwion can become a natwanpi for us, if we choose — part of our preparation and practice, a tool, a way forward.

Posted 18 December by adruidway in blessing , consciousness , Druidry , Mabinogion , magic , spiritual tools , spirituality , Taliesin , wisdom. Tagged with Hopi , initiation , Mabinogion , persistence , slow food movement , Taliesin. Those inclined to criticize contemporary Druidry have made much about how the specific practices and beliefs of ancient Druids are forever lost to us simply because they left no written records, and because the references to Druids in the works of classical Greek and Roman authors are mostly based on secondhand accounts and sometimes markedly biased.

But what such writers and speakers often forget is the surviving body of legend, myth, teaching and wisdom in Celtic literature. Here is Druidry in compact and literary form, meant to be preserved as story, a link-up with the perennial wisdom that never dies. To pick just one example, the stories from the Mabinogion , the Welsh collection of myth, legend and teaching have wonderful relevance and serve as a storehouse of much Druid teaching.

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Sustained meditation on these stories will reveal much of use and value to the aspirant after a Druidry that is authentic simply because it is grounded in knowledge and practice. The former leads one to inner discoveries. The latter is engaging as a worthwhile scholarly endeavor first, and only as a possible source of spiritual insight second.

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Bellamy founded Penumbra Theatre in , which for 40 years has provided a platform for the promotion of African American dramatic literature, honoring and telling the stories of the African American experience. For 38 years, Bellamy was an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, fostering appreciation for and understanding of African American dramatic literature and its context within historical civil rights initiatives.

This is a growing collection of more than rare volumes, some of which pre-date the Emancipation Proclamation.

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For more than thirty years, Jim Sitter has been one of the most prolific and effective arts leaders in the state. He embodies the spirit of the Kay Sexton Award with an extraordinary array of accomplishments, helping to make the literary and book arts community in Minnesota what it is today.

He assembled a board of highly influential arts and civic leaders, including former Governor Elmer L.

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Andersen, and served as the founding executive director of MCBA until He was also responsible for persuading Scott Walker, founder and Executive Director of Graywolf Press, to relocate from Washington State, further cementing his integral role in the creation of what has become a vital literary community. He also helped to form LitNet, a coalition of nonprofit literary organizations from throughout the United States that supports freedom of expression and promotes funding for the literary arts.

Sponsored by Common Good Books, the Sexton Award is presented annually to an individual or organization in recognition of long-standing dedication and outstanding work in fostering books, reading, and literary activity in Minnesota. It is named for the late Kay Sexton, an influential bookseller and B.

Dalton vice president before her retirement. There are only a handful of academic programs in the U. Lindberg Award for Excellence in Literary Editing in She continues to serve as the executive director.