“Let Them Go!”

The essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth is underway! Estillyen is pleased that various colleges and universities–among them, Bethel University, Gordon College, Taylor University, The College of the Ozarks, Dordt College, Evangel University, Westmont College, Trinity International University, and Northwestern College–have seen fit to help promote the contest to their students of literature.

In conjunction with the contest, Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.

Reading Eleven, “Piercing Words,” is now available for download. Find it in its entirety here, along with Readings One through Ten.

“READER: A word must be spoken, scribbled, scribed, shouted, or something else, in order to become a word. Words are thought descriptors. They project thoughts from anonymity. They transfer thoughts into messages. Messages move the  world. . . .

VOICE: When does a message become a message, anyway?

READER: When it leaves its origin and transfers meaning in another place. That’s the mark of a message.” -excerpt from “Let Then Go!”

Stop Doubting and Believe

The essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth is underway! In conjunction with the contest, Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.

Reading Nine, “Stop Doubting and Believe,” is now available for download. You may find it here, along with Readings One through Eight. Read them all, and ponder the message.

From Reading Nine, “Stop Doubting and Believe”:

“Around the crosses three Freeze [death’s signatory] had surely crept, circling all their bases, waiting to leap, sensing time and pulses faint. Then upon the center cross Freeze leapt. Climbing up on crimson stain, Freeze moved to seize the One with the wordy plaque and thorny crown—the envy of the hill. It was time for pulsing to end its marathon of life. No more pulsing, no more coursing of the blood. Thick darkness draped o’er the land, eclipsing the sun.”

“A Cry in the Crowd”

christ-and-his-desciples.jpg!xlMedium

As part of the essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth, Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.

Reading Seven, “A Cry in the Crowd,” is now available; find it here, along with Readings One through Six.

From Reading Seven, “A Cry in the Crowd”:

“Down the Mount of Transfiguration Christ moved, no longer mysteriously incandescent, far above on the mountaintop. With his disciples Peter, James, and John, Christ made his descent with divine intent. Toward the plain below he headed, drawn down by humanity’s gravitational pull. Want and need were ripe for harvest. People were in pain. The oppressed and possessed mingled in the lowland that day, waiting to see in Christ a bit of hope they might profess.”

“The Word Became Flesh”

As part of the essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth, Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.

Reading Five, “The Word Became Flesh,” is now available; find it, along with Readings One through Four, here.

From Reading Five, “The Word Became Flesh”:

“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.”

“Lips Unclean”

 

faces-of-russia-1923.jpg!Blog

In anticipation of the essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth,
Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.
Readings 1-4 are currently available for download here.

Following is an excerpt from Reading Four, “Lips Unclean.”

“Lips launch words. Lips need no coaches. They carry out what the heart has in store. They’re ever so ready to ply and comply. Haven’t you ever heard the little rhyme, ‘Lips Lips Upon the face’? It goes like this:

Lips, lips, the pair, oh how we adore our place upon the face.

Below the eyes and nose, above the chin we sit.

To us words rise, as they receive their call.

We clothe them with form, propel them to function.

Through us they all must pass, whether it be to bless or bite,

for wrong or for right.”

Estillyen Tunnels

[This is an excerpt from Messages from Estillyen, Chapter Ten, titled “Tunnel House.”  Estillyen monk Drama welcomes the group that has gathered for a dramatic reading based on a Scripture narrative.]

“Hello, everyone. My name is Drama. It’s great to have you here at Tunnel House today. My colleague in the far corner is my dear friend and brother, Chronicle. He’s supposedly now retired, but have you ever seen a retired monk? Brother Chronicle will be assisting me with a bit of the reading.

“Concerning Tunnel House, we’re not sure why the house was built as it was, with the tunnel below. We know carriages have passed through, and it’s an obvious shelter from a storm.

“We like Tunnel House for readings because a tunnel is a space for going through; from one side you pass to the other side. One end of the tunnel may show through to clouds and rain, the other end sunshine. Smiles may populate one end, sorrows the other. Tunnels are an experience. Some people simply dash through them, while others tend to plod along. Tunnels have a way of silently transmitting to travelers the pace prescribed.

“In life, sometimes it can be difficult to discern one’s direction. In a tunnel, there are only two directions: this and that. But that can look like this, and this, that. Tunnels are funny that way. They can lead you in, or take you away. In and out you go.

“A tunnel is a tunnel true—never a passage or a pass. Calling a tunnel something else is like suggesting a crevice is a cave, or a canyon a crack. No, a tunnel is that which surrounds you. You see it all. There’s no denying you’re in it. Encased within you are; through its artery you progress. Whether short or long, you are the life within the tunnel. Yet the tunnel is not you. This you must always remember.

“And residing in a tunnel really does not work. A tunnel is not a place of residence. A tunnel may be quite short or expressly long. Certain tunnels have been reported to grow. Once you enter a tunnel of this description, the light at the other end does not grow brighter, as you might think. It looks as if the light is diminishing, but it’s not. It’s moved. The tunnel is growing longer.

“If you find yourself in a growing tunnel, let me suggest the slightest bit of advice. It’s not wise, particularly when inside a tunnel deep, to start racing towards what appears to be a dimming light. For if you do, the light can go out; it can disappear. Before you get to the end, another tunnel has begun, and tunnel two may be twice as long as tunnel one.

“It’s always best when in tunnel space to move at tunnel pace. Respecting the sense of tunnel enclosure is the mode. See it as a kind of caregiver, a respite from the elements that will bring you through, in tunnel time, to the life God has for you.

“Well, that’s a word on tunnels.”

Words Matter

Messages from Estillyen rings with the message that words matter, some more than most. Why do words have so much power? Why do they matter so?

In Chapter 20, the monks of Estillyen address this question at the beginning of the reading “Let Them Go!”

READER: A letter written but never sent, never read—should it be called a letter? A speech drafted and tucked away, never spoken, never heard—is it truly a speech? A composition never played, never sung, perhaps swept away by fire—how is it to be described? What’s to be said of the ashy notes? Is it a burnt melody, or something else?

In order for all three to be what they were intended, it seems that the letter should be read, the speech heard, and the composition played. If this they’re not, then something else they are. Their original intent they failed to become. They are undone, unsung, never spoken, never sent.

Similarly, a word cannot claim to be a word if it’s only a thought.

… Words enable thoughts to get dressed, come out, and speak their mind. As a word, a thought is no longer indisposed, undisclosed. It has entered the world. It is a word.

… Words are thought descriptors. They project thoughts from anonymity. They transfer thoughts into messages. Messages move the world.

Words are important because they bridge thought and message. Flowing words unleash messages that cannot be reversed.

What thoughts have become words whose messages moved the world?

Which of these thoughts were dressed in words appropriately? Which ones were not, sending destructive messages?

Words matter, some more than most.

Chips and Nicks of Life!

Picture of worn chair. Hollie's chair. www.estillyen.com
Chips and Nicks of Life!

 

That’s what Hollie Macbreeze thought, as she studied the primitive, painted chairs in the reading room of Three Pond Cottage.

Engrossed, she mused about all the chips, nicks, and signs of wear, adorning the charming red chairs. “Who sat in the chairs throughout the years?” She wondered. 

She thought of aging. “What does life hold? Will I age?”

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 17, The Point: The Redemption of Oban Ironbout.  It’s Hollie’s reflection, as she struggles to come to terms with her incurable kidney disease. Starting at page 200. Continue reading “Chips and Nicks of Life!”

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.