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Welcome to Quarry Hill's Blog!

Quarry Hill Creative Center in Rochester, VT, founded 1946 by Barbara and Irving Fiske, is Vermont's oldest alternative community and at one time was probably also its largest. In the 60s -80s, as many as 90 people lived here.
It was and is visited each year, often in summer (but in every season, really) by visitors from all over the world.
We welcome interesting and creative people who are peaceful, bring no weapons, don't believe in hitting children or killing animals, and enjoy the beauty of Vermont and of themselves.

Most of us do not adhere to any particular dogma or religion, though many do find Eastern philosophy closest to our own thought (some of us are also members of the Quakers/Society of Friends).
We value the individual, particularly people who are energetic and have a sense of humor.
Visitors are welcome-- and prospective residents, too. There are some places for rent, others for sale. If interested, get in touch!
And, please follow the Blog and comment whenever you like!

"The symbol is the enemy of the reality, and the reality is ever one's true guide, true friend, true companion, and true self." Irving Fiske, 1908-1990

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Elegy for Prospero

Today, April 25, 2012, is the 22nd year since Irving Fiske died in Ocala, Florida. He said, "I have created this myself" (Three times, as he believed no one really heard anything one had to say unless it was said at least three times). 
He was fascinated by the process of the passing of his body, and lay in the arms of his lover, at peace, till those with him decided that he ought to go to the hospital. It is there that I wish I could have been with him, for there the doctors would not permit anyone to stay with him, as they were not relatives of his. He did not want people to feel upset or frightened by this, so he said he was fine. But at one point he asked, "Who's with me?" At that point they allowed a nurse who was staying with hm in the forest to come in and reassure him. But by the time this person was allowed  to go in, Irving had slipped into unconsciousness from the massive stroke he had sustained.

William arrived not long after and was permitted to be with Irving. I wish I could have been there, as the physical manifestations of death would not have frightened me , and I know he would have liked for me to be there with him to remind him "all substances are part of my own consciousness..."
But Andrew was little then and it would have ben hard to get there in time.
When he left his body, all felt a great rush of peace and release. Our friend Peter,a gardener in Virginia, saw Irving in his garden. 
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."
Juliana of Norwecj.
"All love through all infiinity." -- Irving Fiske, 1990

Elegy for Prospero 


The landscape is without its central figure:
No gleam of silver hair
Nor laughter in the grove.  Gone is the wizard.
Singing birds move among the trees,
The sun is hot and rich, but he is gone.

I land my yellow boat upon the shore
And pull it in. Fish splash in reed and lily cluster
Round my bare feet in clear, still water.
Climbing the sandy path, I brush
An ancient, silvered stump which long ago
Served me for castle. Acorn kings dwelt there:
They, too, have gone.

This lush and tropic afternoon
A thousand-memoried scent
Emits from tiny budding figs
Which he’ll no longer taste. The squirrels
He shared them with now eat their happy fill.
The ivy vine he raised around his window
Curls: abundant, and untroubled by his death.


Prospero, you are gone. Your absence
Permeates all. This red clay road, the stars,
The water-- filled with your presence,
Filled with your absence. 
Forlorn now the owl’s cry:

´There was lived here so vast, so powerful a life
That they who journeyed to our strange abode
Lingered, enchanted and amazed.

Yea, in this magic place,
A thousand spells were cast, a thousand dramas played,
Here miracles were wrought,
Here human and spirit did cavort,
But our revels now are ended.

Unto this mysterious island I now return in wonder:
Into the silence, into the singing of birds
I inquire. The sky is deepening, empty.

Prospero, whence does that magic go
When the conjurer has renounced it? 
Has it gone hence with he
Who stirred the storms?

Pine forest and memory answer:
"It yet awaits. It is in you."

The whippoorwill begins its evening incantation.

--Isabella Fiske McFarlin

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