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Mystical Realms newsletter for August, 2008

Subject: Mystical Realms newsletter for August, 2008
by Urulöké on 2008/8/17 21:34:43

Jef Murray sends this on...



Welcome to my newsletter for August, 2008! Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be interested in keeping up with me. To receive these newsletters regularly, please drop me an email or subscribe online from my website (http://www.JefMurra y.com ) or at: http://groups.google.com/group/Mystical_Realms . Notices of new paintings and events are at the bottom of this email.

Epiphanies ============ ==

The earth has changed. Not in the light. Not in the heat. Some delicate tremor has passed through the web of air-sea-earth. There's a restlessness that wasn't here a week ago….

I first noticed it on the beach last week. I was limping down the sand in the early dawn, taking small breaths because I'd bruised my rib body-surfing the day before.

And there they were.

I couldn't focus on them at first…couldn' t figure what I was seeing in the sand. Tire tracks? No. Marks where someone was rolling a log or a barrel down to the waves? No.

Then it struck me. A sea turtle. A sea turtle had crawled up the beach just hours before to lay her eggs.

Sure enough, when I scanned to my right, I saw the "tank treads" heading in a huge "S" up to higher ground. There, they stopped beneath shaggy sea oats, then returned again a few steps ahead of me, plunging straight into the surf. The new eggs must be, even now, under many cool inches of sand, ripening.

On our return home from Florida, more change. Figs that had been the size of thumbs were now nearly as large as tennis balls. Pea sized muscadines had swollen into blue black orbs within whose depths I could see myself…stretching out my hand to pluck.

There's a hint of hurry, a whisper of urgency to all of this. Everything is ripening, ripening, ripening; but there's only so much time to ripen before time is up.

Seasons of fruit, and grain, and turtles come to mind, each swelling unto bursting in its allotted hour. And human beings? Surely, we are meant to ripen?

C.S. Lewis once wrote "every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a Heaven creature or into a hellish creature…."

All our life long. All of the whole of our season in the sun. And along the way, we are either ripening toward goodness, toward truth, and toward beauty, or we are withering, withering away: like grapes broken from the vine; like turtle eggs abandoned on the broiling sands.

I can't stop the change coming. I can't extend my moment in the sun. All I can do is to sense this urgency and to act upon it.

Time is short. Carpe diem.

Nai Eru lye mánata (may God bless you)


Events ============ =======

- I'll be giving a talk at this year's Dragon*Con (D*C) conference in Atlanta, and I'm hoping to see many of you there! The conference runs from Friday through Monday of Labor Day weekend (Aug. 29-Sept. 1), and I'll be speaking on Friday at 1pm and Sunday at 10am. You can see the complete D*C Tolkien Track schedule details at http://www.tolkientrack.com/schedule.html . The larger write-up of my talk is as follows, and I hope many of you will find this intriguing:
- - - - - - - - -
Middle-earth as Muse: Using Art to Explore Tolkien's World
A Chat with Tolkien Artist Jef Murray

In this panel, Tolkien Artist/Illustrator Jef Murray will be exploring how artists "sub-create" using Middle-earth as their inspiration, and offering his own work as an example. The panel will be interactive, with participants encouraged to ask questions about Jef's work and techniques, and to share their experiences of trying to capture some glimmer of the magic of Middle-earth through their own art/music/writing.

J.R.R. Tolkien fully hoped and expected that readers of his works would feel inspired to celebrate Middle-earth through their own talents. And whether you are an artist, a sculptor, a poet, a costume designer, a musician, or just an interested Tolkien fan, this panel will provide a place to chat with a fellow artist and to share your own stories.
- - - - - - - - - - - -

- Divining Divinity, the first book of verse by Joseph Pearce, which includes my illustrations and cover artwork, was just recently reviewed in Dappled Things. You can read the review by going to: http://www.dappledthings.org/peterpaul08/review01.php .

- Lorraine and I will be attending the upcoming Tolkien celebration, "A Long-Expected Party" (ALEP) in Kentucky, on September 25th – 28th, 2008. I was also delighted to have been asked to develop some of the images that will be used for the event. You can see one of these on my website at: http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~jmu ... hes/Sketch_ALEP_logo.html
. The official website for ALEP (and registration info) can be found at: http://www.alongexpectedparty.org/ . Some other ALEP-themed images

• The Party Tree -
http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~jmu ... lkien/384_Party_tree.html

• Outlandish Folk -
http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~jmu ... /390_Outlandish_folk.html

- Although I will not be able to attend this year's Oxonmoot in England (September 25th-28th…see http://www.tolkiensociety.org/oxon/2008/Info.html ), I will have prints and perhaps some original works included in this year's art show (provided courtesy of ADC Books www.adcbooks.co.uk ), and may have some images included on badges and/or publications. With luck, a collaborative piece that Becky Carty-Hitchin and I worked on will be used as the main image for the art show.

- ADC Books now has an online catalog featuring Tolkien-themed original paintings and prints from Ted Nasmith, Ruth Lacon, Peter Pracownik, and myself. In addition, you'll find collectible items and rare books featured in the ADC Books catalog. Please take a look at www.adcbooks.co.uk .
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