Art is a journey…

"Artists are people who make art. Art is not a gene or a specific talent … Art is the unique work of a human being, work that touches another … Art is who we are and what we do and what we need. Art isn’t a result; it’s a journey. The challenge of our time is to find a journey worthy of your heart and your soul." - Seth Godin - The Icarus Deception
"Artists are people who make art. Art is not a gene or a specific talent … Art is the unique work of a human being, work that touches another … Art is who we are and what we do and what we need. Art isn’t a result; it’s a journey. The challenge of our time is to find a journey worthy of your heart and your soul." - Seth Godin - The Icarus Deception

From the Preface

Words from the author about his Estillyen visit …
and the birth of this book

I joined the curious, who gathered in Estillyen’s structures. I watched. I listened. The message makers wasted not a word, drawing their audiences into a surging current of spiritual intrigue that flowed swift to the heart of human worth. I scribbled all manner of notes and scrolly bits. Much I heard about self and spirit.

I was astounded by this order of monks. How dutifully devoted they are about weaving their messages! Most carefully they clothe thoughts with words. Deep and abiding truths I encountered. Matters great concerning God and man were posed. No wonder travelers journey from afar to hear the Estillyen readings.

During those memorable days, among Estillyen’s hills I often strolled. Deeply I pondered. It was there a vision dawned: Messages from Estillyen. My notes and scrolly bits would be my book! Self-stitching was set aside; I captured what I observed. Characters unique I encountered. They spoke; they told their tales. I listened; their stories I vetted.

Messages from Estillyen is not a fairy tale told for the telling. With wit and wisdom sure, the message makers weave words that truly matter. With missionary grit, they ply their passion. A bit peculiar, certainly, these monks are. Just the same, they tend to be very thought-provoking.

Scripted more like plays and not at all like lectures, the readings have a way of speaking wellness to present-day maladies. On Estillyen, pretention is offered repose, given a respite. The present’s rapid strike is stilled. This I witnessed. It was so.

Given the makeup of the Isle of Estillyen, Messages from Estillyen is not a simple book. Its complexity blends themes in a way that sets the mind racing and the heart charging to keep pace.

On the Isle of Estillyen I discovered light within darkness and darkness within light. Therefore, the world presented here is not black-and-white. The ancient and the mysterious are welcome, not cloistered and closeted away. In certain light they live – this is the way of Messages from Estillyen.

What more might I say? Messages from Estillyen is to be read. To the Isle of Estillyen I commend you go. Step ashore! Words await you.

From Chapter 7, “The Word Became Flesh”

A reading and reflection by Epic, of the Ancient Order of Message Makers

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
-John 1:14

Words wither, many much swifter than others.

The pendulum of time swings; it sweeps, brushing the present into the past’s repose. The present always goes; it never stays to become tomorrow. It can’t wait. Another present takes its place. Once swept into the past’s vast repository of days, the present becomes like all the rest: gone, parceled in the past.

Voice, Listen to a few ancient words from Solomon by way of Ecclesiastes: “There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.”

Words of wisdom, these words remembered, not lost and forgotten. For most words this is not the case. As time’s pendulum swings, the words of most men, and those of their kin, disappear without a whisper.

Epic nodded into the circle. 

“Why? Why do the words disappear without a whisper?” Voice asked.

Do you not know, Voice? The mooring for words spoken is life. When death comes around, the words attached to life depart with the departed. What was spoken soon fades and falls away. Eventually the words are forgotten. They enter the vast repository of was. Their echoes are no more.

The present is history’s living patch, abiding between the future and the past. The present has paths to both but is owned by neither. The present daily reaches, stretching for the future, yet with each passing hour it surrenders and slips into the past. Each forward grasp is matched by what must be released. The past, with a force unstoppable, gobbles at the present, pulling in those words no longer to be heard.

From Chapter 8, “Get Up! Don’t Be Afraid.”

Hollie’s Search for “Normalcy” and Worth

“How are you feeling, love? You seem well enough.”

“I feel great. In some ways I wish I’d never gone for that scan and those tests.”

“No, you needed to; it’s very important that you found out.”

“It’s scary, babe. Just the name – polycystic kidney disease – I never dreamed. We simply have no idea what it will do in time.”

“Well, for now they’re saying it’s only a couple of small cysts. The main guy, Dr. Steiner – he said a lot of people lead very normal lives.”

“It’s not normal, though, Win. Don’t try to make it sound as if it is. I loathe that. I’m not normal, which means we’re not normal. The idea of having a romping family, growing and giving, nurturing and watching our kids have kids – that may not be, not at all. That’s normal. Not us. Not now.

“I’m abnormal, not normal. My abnormality now extends to you. This disease is robbing you, not just me, which makes me feel even worse. Do you get it? The symptoms are already showing – a crack here, another there. We can’t decide this or that because we wonder, we wait, and all the while we change.

“That’s another reason I hate these stupid hiking shoes. They speak of vitality, normality, all gleam and glow, while inside I know I’m curiously ill. If I had an ax I’d just chop them up right now. I should take your pocketknife and slit ’em, cut holes in the soles so I can’t wear them. I’m never wearing them again.”

“You’re wearing them back, aren’t you?”

“You’re not hearing me. I don’t think you get how I feel inside. Disease is such a stupid word. What does it mean, a lack of ease? Who talks about being well as a state of ease? ‘Oh, you look so ease today!’ What I have is not just a lack of ease; I have a life challenge, a conditional difference, and an abnormality that makes me view life differently. It’s not the ‘dis’ of ‘ease.’ Knowing what I know changes who I am, and that is not a lack of ease.”

“Hold on a minute, Lee, will you? You’re adorable, that’s what you are. If you’re abnormal, then I never want normal. This thing is a part of you; it is here, but you, Hollie the person, the one I love, will always transcend it. It will not transcend you. You’re not a sickness. You’re not a disease.

“You’re Hollie Lee Macbreeze, and we have a lot of living to do. Let’s never let our aspirations die. There’s no telling what will spring to life from your canvas, your floating strokes. And not just that – you have a way of touching people, you really do. You’re a gift.”

“It’s just that this thing, it’s never off my mind. I’m so glad we came up here today, Win. I want to come back…”