caravans have pulled into the Hermitage, which is not far, as the
raven flies, from the religious scholar's town, Medina.
is much clattering of hooves in the old courtyard of the
Hermitage as everyone arrives and dismounts. The Hermit has
prepared rooms for travellers and stables for the animals. We will
be staying here at the Hermitage for four days before making our
way to Alexandria.
The exciting news
is that the Sheik of Araby has
sent a host of Magic Carpets for guests who will be attending
his Masque Ball. The carpets will take you to the Sheiks opulent
palace where the ball is taking place tomorrow night.
Guests will immediately
recognise the carpet that has been selected for their flight to
the palace. There is no need to pack or dress yet. Costumes and
masks will be provided upon arrival.
magic carpet ride by Heather Blakey
But first, prepare
to take a Magic Carpet ride to the Sinai and Saint
Upon your way be sure to find the Hermitage
Art Room and experiment and make some
icons and retablos for yourself.
December 16 2005
Seeking the Grail
Unearthed by a Syrian workman in 1910
near Antioch, an early centre for the Christian faith, the Antioch
Chalice is thought by many to contain the cup used by Christ at
the Last Supper. The gilded silver outer vessel depicts Christ and
His disciples. From Crucifixion nails to the crown of thorns, objects
believed associated with Christ were revered as relics with miraculous
Here at Soul Food the quest for 'a grail'
is like the never ending story. Travellers have set out on the journey
and beyond, trudged the Silk
Road, followed the footsteps of Bourke and Wills to the site
of the Dig
Tree, taken up residence in the Lemurian
chocolates with mysterious powers, lingered in the House
of the Muse, worked the Soul
Food Alluvial Mine, all in the endeavour to find the creative
grail and mecca.
One of the favourite stops on the road
that leads to Mecca and the Grail is the Hermitage, presided over
by Imogen Crest. Far away from the worries of the rest of humanity
the Hermitage is
a fortress. Within this fortress travellers have retreated the
world in a tradition that dates back over centuries.
Scent of Buried Treasure
Following the clear scent of buried treasure
Hermit, Imogen Crest has unearthed some special vessels for us to
inspect and wonder about the fragrant fluids they held.
Wandering was a way of life for many
in old Persia, and as they roamed their rugs travelled with them
in special ways. Knotted pile carpets, made like saddle bags (above)
were laid across the backs of camels, horses and donkeys to carry
the nomad's possessions. Inside their tents special carpet bags,
stuffed with household items and clothing, functioned as bureaux
and cupboards, and as cushions upon which to rest.