THIS IS A SAMPLE OF THE STORY, LA MURALLA.  A COMPLETE VERSION IS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.

 

Overview:  This is the illustrated story of an oak tree, a magpie and a wall they watch everyday.  The objects they see in the wall evoke memories of events spanning Milena.  The wall is in Spain.  The illustrations are all transparent watercolor.

Sunlight strikes gold on a grain of sand and lights a wall in a distant land, The scent and sound that ride the breeze all waft through the boughs of an old oak tree who watches and sleeps and dreams on time fed seas...the tales born on the wings of centuries. Some are old, some just begun...he’s seen them all, he’s missed not one. The warm Autumn breeze sends the rust colored leaves scurrying up against the wall like mice running from rain. The smells of harvest ride on the sunlight brewed over the months, its rich amber nectar bursting upon the senses shoring from the vine and apple, the squash and tomato. Upon its breath can be heard the whisper of winter and like a brandy rich and full it bathes the senses in the tales born of time. The old wall like the glass of amber spirit looms and glows with terroir. The ancient Oak and the Urraca drink in the harvest sun and watch the wall the way dogs watch a table and old men watch young women, looking for something that glimmers and sparks a memory of a time they once knew well. Itzal is a stalwart old oak still growing in the same place where his fruit was laid by flooding waters many seasons past. O is an Urraca, a Magpie, his age is as unknown as his story. Blessed with perspective and the beauty of flight and humor he lives with his mate in a nest atop the great oak tree. For eons he has chased away the woodsman and the overhydrated hound. He is brother to the oak. The light of dawn finds them every morning waiting for the sun to warm their world and light the wall of rubble, and on this stage the windows to the past are flung open wide and the wall becomes a bridge through time. At the base of the wall far above its foundation is a stone, quarried by the Roman 9th legion nearly four score before the birth of modern mythology. It was a dull grey granite mass cut to absolute perfection. Its compatriot rocks dispersed among other parts of the wall and throughout the town are a gallery of time, each part of a great fortification guarding the conquests of Rome from its rightful owners... Now the cornerstones of churches and schools guarding their conquests of the mind from the rightful owners. The mind and soul of the ancient tree reside in every root, leaf and acorn. His sight and all his sences reside in all his parts sending the glow of sun throuhout the giant warming his massive trunk. They drink in the cool rain and wind and shade the Summer’s heat and wander where the mighty trunk can not. Just there said the oak, see the glimmer of horn? Long before the Romans, before the Kelts, the Euskara, before the wall there were a people here. A small group of them lived in a cave now covered by the wall. They called themselves, Bolltelak...The People. Their lifestyle was simple, their needs easily met. They did not burden the world with their numbers or needs. The horn is that of an aurochs, thousands of years ago a trophy and cup. It remained in the cave as an offering to the spirit of the giant bovine. The horn was thrown into the wall as filler and seen only as rubble when the wall was being repaired in the wake of a Moorish raid that layed waist to the town. They were people not living in the shadow of desperation. Their environment accommodated them well. They were besat upon by people expanding to new lands. They brought with them the habits born of the desperation to survive as well as diseases foreign to this land for which the Bolltelak had little defense. The Bolltelak were unprepared and unaccustomed to the need for defense against other people and with time they seized to exist as a people. They were people of the oak and we were both sacred and kin to them. They were people of the forest not people of the wall. Walls tell the story of desperation and fear not of welcome and generosity. The horn of the aurochs, the cup which bore the jubilant fluid of happy hearts does not lie empty. It is filled with lessons. A curious mind would drink from this cup and a generous one would as they did give tribute to those whose life gave them sustenance. Magda Oh I remember said the Oak, not so long ago, Autumn was falling hard and the men would burden all day and often nap and take afternoon wine beneath my boughs. Young, boisterous and unaware of their role in the play they toiled and made a mighty wall. There is on the backside of that stone, said Itzal gesturing, a note that tells of a young man’s longing for a girl he knew in the Alps near Emona. It is simple and misspelled but it says, Magda. That’s all. But it was written so it would not be forgotten. This wall is over 2000 years old and has stood strong against attack but it is the name that has made it a monument. The intention was to be a monument to the strength of Rome, what endured was a monument to young love. All the toil and all the blood, when the day is done what do you ask yourself, am I a Patriot, am I an honest man? The only questions to be asked whether incited by honor, duty, tradition or expectation are: Did I waist my time, did I harm or did I create Beauty, was I kind?

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