Hunger

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947051, Pixabay

Preamble

I wasn’t sure how to proceed with this post. The word ”hunger’ kept ricocheting in my head, and as writers know the Muses in such cases are directing our attention to something of great importance. Or not.

My little tale started out as a love story (of sorts), then widened to gather in hunger of a different type. Hunger for power, which may be the most destructive of all. On the other hand, revenge, hate, envy, malice, and other self-destructive traits spring to mind.

Therein lie the makings of a dark little tale methinks, featuring a vampire and ‘fallen’ angel. I tend to use such devices in my posts to explore issues that may otherwise end up being dry and indigestible (for my new readers – you’ll get used to this). Instead they end up being impenetrable and indigestible, makes a change.

You may find the turn of phrase a little, old fashioned, and the names puzzling. They are very, very old Souls, bringing with them remnants of their culture. One that has to exist in the modern world and its ways.

At the heart of this tale lie the issues of love, sacred oaths, integrity, and right motivation. For those engaged in any form of esoteric and spiritual work these should be central to their work and existence. My opinion only dear readers.

Better get started then.

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darksouls1, Pixabay

Encounter of Powers

The story takes place in a café located down a side street in a city that shall remain nameless, and in a country that shall remain nameless. Dusk is approaching, being a time which is neither day nor night, but in-between. A time when the senses undergo an awakening, when the sensitive and empathic pick up ‘signals’ on their antennae. They feel the approach of inexplicable and awe-filled emotions and presences.

In the distance we see a huge Sun radiating rays of gold in varying hues. The setting Sun bathes the streets in a film of iridescence. It shimmers gloriously. A figure is silhouetted against this eye catching canvas.

The dazzling light recedes to reveal a woman with hair the colour of old gold and golden eyes. The lips are full and stained red, and manner calm and commanding. Her look is piercing, knowing, she can see through your masks and shields. There is no lie she can’t penetrate, no subterfuge that can’t be ripped apart.

The man standing outside the cafe watches her intently. He scrutinises every aspect of her figure with hooded eyes. His breath synchronizes with her steps. She glides towards him, offering a hand, which he kisses respectfully. He then holds the door open for her.  A gentleman as always.

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donterase, Pixabay

The interior is an eclectic mix of styles, eccentric even, and the reason why it’s located in the ‘bohemian’ quarter of the city. It has a relaxed atmosphere but allows for privacy if the clientele so require. They find a table at the back of the café and sit in silence. From time to time each glances at the other until the waiter approaches.

The drinks are ordered and then silence settles over the two figures like a welcome Summer downpour. It stretches into minutes as both contemplate the significance of this meeting.

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fietzfotos, Pixabay

They begin to converse in the original tongue, a habit both are often inclined to do:

She Who Is Silence Before The Storm:

Magic of an accursed kind, filled with envy and spite has been loosed. Its attentions have been directed towards individuals under my care. Initiates are involved, highlighting the seriousness of the act. I am, displeased.

He Who Is Clothed In Shadow And Strength:

With good reason my lady. Oath breaking and mischief are serious in themselves, but, the hunger for power brings with it serious implications for the perpetrators. Many Mystery Schools, esoteric and mystical orders have been prey to betrayals enacted by those they’ve trained and taken under their wings. I have seen much of this over the millennia. I know you have strong views on this.

She Who Is Silence Before The Storm:

Strong views? Your words surely do injustice to the depths of my feelings. Cracks present in the souls of those particular individuals can widen like fissures; where worldly ambitions and desires can take root. Perhaps the most heinous crime is that of seeking to elevate the Self above all others and gather together acolytes to enact their dark deeds. Knowledge of the human condition is put to detrimental and unethical use. Thus are Powers of a Higher Plane disrespected and the sanctity of the Higher Self torn to shreds. They are doomed by their own actions.

He Who Is Clothed In Shadow And Strength:

Doomed? A certainty. Such deeds have seen the light of day throughout history my lady. The material world is rife with individuals who are instruments of the forces of chaos and evil. I am not without blemish of character, and have perpetrated much upon legions of humanity before reigning in my baser instincts. Your attentions have been my salvation, as has your, love. I dare mention it as my soulless body yearns to see the light, your light again. You remain silent my lady. Have I offended you?

She Who Is Silence Before The Storm:

Not at all Shadow Walker. It was leading to this point, I could see the fire gather in your eyes. Please give me your hand. Such an elegant and strong instrument, clothed in silk and as deadly as a dagger. As is your mouth. What havoc you have caused with both Shadow Walker, taken us to the depths and then raised to the heavens. We have known love and desolation, and I could have destroyed you with fire and turned your bones to ashes. Yet my hand was stilled by what was glimpsed in your eyes and heart. You have never taken advantage of our relationship, why?

He Who Is Clothed In Shadow And Strength:

Do you need me to answer that my lady? My trust, faith and love are pledged to you and only you. We may walk different paths but there is honour between us. It was so in the beginning of all things when life issued forth from Nothingness, before I, transformed into what I am now…You chose to fall my lady, the enormity of your sacrifice overwhelms me at times.

She Who Is Silence Before The Storm:

It is an act never regretted, for I have been the hand that has guided and protected the lost, vulnerable and Seekers through the darkness. I have been the destroyer of armies of darkness swarming out of the gates of the Abyss, and I have served justice upon the breakers of sacred oaths. I guard the Temple gates. I gift you the fire and my love Shadow Walker, do what needs to be done and I shall do my part. The fire of the Sun behind the Sun shall purge the insidious growth of betrayal.

He Who Is Clothed In Shadow And Strength:

I serve as you wish.

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SplitShire, Pixabay

Withdrawal Behind The Veils

The two figures remain seated, with hands clasped together and deep in thought. They savour this moment, one of many to come. They are the epitome of the Sun and Moon, invested with their respective powers. They are the balance of forces flowing through the Universes, the arbiters of justice and guardians of the Path. The minutes tick by, eternity passes and then the Powers withdraw behind the Veils to do what is necessary.

Here ends my tale, an exploration of an issue that has been troubling me for a while. On the nature of initiates (or otherwise) who choose to seek the path of power for reasons of status and gain. Surely negating the very reason they chose to seek evolution and growth, in the end such actions only bringing down hubris upon their heads. FIN.

 

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Surf’s Up! – Twittering Tale #85 – 22 May 2018

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Photo by Tama66 at Pixabay.com.

I was rubbing my hands at Kat’s Twittering Tales challenge this week. A well-appointed (translation – ramshackle property on wind blasted cliff top) hotel set against brooding skies stirs the imagination strongly. Here’s my take on this gothic image:

Death lifted the bedcovers gingerly and sniffed dismissively.
Meanwhile the Green Man, Medusa and Poseidon ran in and out of their rooms excitedly.
This forsaken and blasted landscape engendered fear and loathing,
and the hotel, it crawled with dark foreboding. Perfect in every way.

(279 characters)

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Masque – Ascent #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

My offering for Sue’s Thursday Photo Prompt, is a strange entity as the story changed as I was writing it. Although its dark and uneasy energies were ever present, in fact as soon as I saw the photo. Please enjoy, or not. Remember to keep the lights on…

The Masque had left a disquieting atmosphere in the mansion, this was the opinion of the guests, the only guests strangely enough. Five individuals had been sent invitations handmade from the finest vellum and inscribed in a beautiful script. This had piqued their interest greatly, for they recognised the crest embossed on the card. It had taken them years to trace the last surviving members of the family and behold, here they were leading them to the lair of the beast.

The drive up to the mansion, which was placed solidly on the landscape, was like a scene out of a gothic drama. Thunder and lightning crashed around them, the sound being magnified by the mountains enclosing the estate in a crescent shape. It took about half an hour to get from the main gates to the house, half an hour of unsettling atmospheric conditions and a sense of foreboding. All invitees had converged upon the gothic pile at the same time, rather amused at its theatricality. There would be no sleep tonight!

Heavy, resin soaked oak doors opened to reveal a youthful man beckoning urgently.

“Sorry for the weather, please come in, Andre will get your bags.”

Everyone ran into the house, their mood changing from light laughter to silence. The interior was the epitome of lush glamour, but with an underlying darkness. They’d gone from the 21st century and entered into a world only found within the pages of historical tomes. An air of indolence and something intangible had infused the fabric of the building. Their hosts were absent from sight and sound, yet a heavy presence hung heavy in the air.

The next day they found themselves without their hosts once again, until nightfall. Then, the air stirred with figures appearing as if my magic. Opulent perfumes teased and whispered promises. The swish of heavy fabrics and footsteps were heard moving through the halls. Laughter drifted up from the main ballroom downstairs, and snaked its way through the hallways. There was a falseness about its joviality. The guests felt its oppressive hand and made their way downstairs. All five were on alert, tonight would prove to be a difficult experience. It’d been a decade since they last faced the unspeakable horror that almost killed a town.

The five guests entered the ballroom to find it filled with lavishly dressed figures, all masked. Their hosts were waiting on a stage the other end of the room.  The guest were escorted to their seats, then, the drama began. Tableaux after tableaux passed as if in a dream. A heavy scent hung in the air, redolent of poppies and cedar wood. Time passed slowly, it appeared to operate in a different way within the building.

Tick tock, tick tock. The sound was loud and maddening. The masque continued to play out, unravelling in intensity and emotion. It was hypnotic and disturbing. Then came the culmination.  Their hosts removed their masks, to reveal faces not seen since primeval times, when fire was a rarity and seen as a blessing from unknown forces to keep monsters at bay. They were fear incarnate and swooped down on the five humans sitting before them. The guests shed their human guises and appeared in their true form, Seraphim, dragons of fire. So did divine fire destroy creatures known in folklore as vampyr, drinkers of blood and life force. Justice had been served. The mansion was razed to the ground and the five made the ascent back to cosmic realms.

 

Love in Monochrome

StockSnap, Pixabay

My ode to the beauty of Shadow and Light, joined in eternal embrace, seeking meaning in the other and the Void in which they reside. Does it work? Does it really matter I say. Each one of us perceives something different, depending on where we are standing, and whether we are the Yin or the Yang.

She sits gazing at old photos, sees images in light and dark.

Scraps of mutable shades and emotions, creating moods most potent.

Eyes of deepest night gaze intently, speak of yearning beyond fulfilment.

Love in Monochrome, it speaks in volumes,

Invites answers and begs many questions.

***

She feels his fingers lightly brush, spell out deeds of intent.

Electric shocks cascade,

As memories press at doors closed shut.

They demand urgent entry, seek forgiveness all but lost.

How the heart weeps,

Searches in the dark for things best left slumbering.

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photo credit: Napafloma-Photographe Pierres Bretonnes via photopin (license)

The window of the Soul gazes outwards,

Eyes spy paradise aloft on seas of sensation,

Feels the passage of feet long trodden.

How far should each travel?

As long as eternal substance exists,

Yet leave no mark of its coming,

Just a featherlight touch,

A remembrance of things in waiting.

***

Soon the night falls,

Wakens them to possibilities manifesting,

Of Knowledge reignited.

His breath brushes softly, whispers declarations of Love and Sorrow,

Of times spent in Silence.

***

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photo credit: Catherine Reznitchenko Fragile via photopin (license)

Both contemplate the Void of Becoming,

Of possibilities unmanifesting,

And Yin and Yang reuniting.

Of two embracing, of two loving.

Love in Monochrome, it speaks in volumes,

Invites answers and begs many questions.

*** 

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SergiosInc, Pixabay

Esoteric Shipbuilding — The Silent Eye

Two weeks to go before the workshop and here’s a taster of things to come.

It was a ‘stream of consciousness moment’; one of those that acts like a time machine. The flash of memories cut right back to my childhood – seven or eight years old. It included the sight and texture of the old bricks of our primary school playground, the beginnings of art at school, and learning […]

via Esoteric Shipbuilding — The Silent Eye

Bittersweet Kiss

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geralt, Pixabay

 

Two halves of a paradox, tantalisingly out of reach.

Yearning, emboldened glances thrown across the divide.

Fire in the belly, serpent rising to the heavens, scales falling from their eyes.

Her fingers touch his face, barely graze cheek and lips.

His fingers brush a silk waterfall, bury themselves within her hair.

Their dance is one eternal, between Dark and Light, between Yin and Yang, between Chaos and Balance.

Who can say what way the dagger will fall, how deep it will cut is yet to be revealed.

They stand on opposite sides of the gulf dividing the possible and impossible.

Is this what they call Life?

The blood pulses his veins, calls to his memories, of what was and could be again.

She pauses, urges a brief moment of caution, lest the world is set alight in flames all consuming.

How bittersweet their kiss is, how Love brands its name on their hearts.

Is this either real, or a memory carved on pillars deep within temples buried, sand blasted and melancholy?

Two halves of a paradox, tantalisingly out of reach.

Yearning, emboldened glances thrown across the divide.

Fire in the belly, serpent rising to the heavens, scales falling from their eyes.

How bittersweet their kiss is, how Love brands its name on their hearts.

 

Inescapable

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Engin_Akyurt, Pixabay

The Archivist picked up the book gingerly, it held the histories of all their kind, warriors who faced the horrors of the Abyss and more. He wrote the beginning and end of their task, of vanquishing fear in all its forms, of their conquests and failures. Hers was the most tragic, for she faced Love and lost herself in its embrace. Shadow and Light met, merged to become something else. They held the balance between Chaos and Order, between Becoming and Unbecoming. He gazed at the words, marvelled at his sorrow, it was done and could not be undone. It was an inescapable act:

The stars fall around them, lighting paths that lie receptive as shadows rise from within towers of silence.

Love lies spent on a bed of petals, as breath issues from lips that have tasted honey. Tasted other forbidden wine, tinged with iron, scarlet and burgeoning with life everlasting.

This path was inescapable, foretold in cryptic language, and hinted at in signs and symbols. Both play their role, of lovers unrequited, of assassins masquerading.

Hunger floods his veins, inflames at her scent, redolent of amber, cinnabar and damask rose. What price love? Worthy of sacrifice, revelation and surrender? She feigns languor, whispers words torrid.

The stars gaze impassively, gaze at futures possible, will the bait be taken? Will the dread beast succumb? They urge her caution, and she acquiesces.

Soft are his killer eyes, the fires of passion rekindled. Is she his lost love, snatched away in times long past? Pliant is his gaze, inviting yet more seduction.

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kalhh, Pixabay

Her heart hardens, steps back from precipice approaching. There is only eternal darkness and pain unending, if she falls, if she takes his bait.

Star fire floods her gaze, so begins the conflagration. She offers release, urges unbinding. Vampyr, his name is steeped in nightmare and longing. A dream risen from ashes of stars long vanished. He is one Fallen, from Darkness ascended, She is one Fallen, from Light descended.

Which life is worth ending? Which life is worth saving? Can Love spare bleak devastation?

Hunger floods her veins, inflames at his scent, redolent of Cedar, Hellebore and Myrrh. What price love? Worthy of sacrifice, revelation and surrender? She feigns languor, whispers words torrid.

This path was inescapable, foretold in cryptic language, and hinted at in signs and symbols. Both play their role, of lovers unrequited, of assassins masquerading.

Engin_Akyurt, Pixabay

Approaching Thresholds

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ulleo, Pixabay

I haven’t posted in a while due to being ill with a horrible bout of flu. A week is a long time in politics and even longer in blogging. This lurgy deserves to have all manner of nasty things thrown at it. It’s rendered me unable to eat properly, coughing like I’ve been smoking for years (I’m a non-smoker) and very tired. Today is the first day I’ve felt able to function properly and it feels goodish.

I’m reserving judgement until the virus is dragged screaming from my system and thrown through whatever portal it came through. A tad dramatic admittedly, but when you’ve had a raging inferno inside you there is no other option but to use harsh language. It passes the time and occupies idle hands.

The day’s been mild and sunny, which has lifted my spirits. Although there was one minor blip on my horizon. Our kitchen door has a habit of sticking and it happened this afternoon. I’d left my phone in the living room and couldn’t climb out of the kitchen window (either I need to lose weight or the window needs checking for malfunction); a valiant and embarrassing effort was made though. I managed to free myself eventually.

I was seated at the kitchen table consulting the Oracle and wondered whether this was a test. You know, to see whether I was taking notice of the messages being conveyed. My divination skills are rather rusty and ripe for refining. Illness has a habit of focussing one’s thoughts and attention towards the inner. Living in a world filled with a cacophony of noise can render you almost deaf to important messages emanating from your subconscious. It can also blind you to things that need to be noticed, prevent you from seeing through illusions, of situations and people not being what they appear to be.

The Oracle from the Magician’s Tarot (Quareia), Jan Malique

It feels like there are many thresholds approaching. Thresholds are intriguing places, both in the waking and dream states. They’re places of transition and transformation, and in architecture are decorated appropriately to denote their significance. They signify the separation of the profane and sacred, and are assigned guardians to prevent the incursion of those not prepared for the experience to come. They are also places through which we pass from consciousness to subconsciousness, we thus descend into the Underworld if the Guardians permit us to.

Which brings to mind the descent of the goddess Ishtar into the Underworld. There is no way of avoiding this fate if we’re to gain one ounce of self-insight.

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5477687, Pixabay

The unravelling is necessary but its power must be restricted once the objective has been achieved, that is self-awareness and self-mastery. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be permitted access to the doors waiting further on the horizon until further trials and lessons are completed.

The threat of destruction (either real or symbolic) is heavily infused with ambivalence, it implies sacrifice and is part and parcel of the journey. The process brings fear but should not be allowed to overwhelm us. I’m not seeing things clearly and perhaps allowing the fear of whatever destruction implies, it isn’t always something negative.

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Dustytoes, Pixabay

I’m a different person to who I was a year ago, and a year before that, and beyond that. The passage of time has involved the shedding of old personas, much like a snake sheds its skin. Transitions and Thresholds have come and gone. Like the Shaman I need to face the invader (either physical or symbolic) within my system and ask why it’s there and what it wants. What lessons are to be gained from the interaction?

Self-awareness and self-mastery? For that I need to commune with the beings populating the inner landscape and my own self. I look to my ancestral line for answers to present day dilemmas and the gifts they’ve bequeathed (for good and bad). My healing will benefit them, for that is the greatest gift we can bestow upon them. It involves reintegration at the deepest level. A positive endeavour don’t you think?

Hidden 

DasWortgewand, Pixabay

I felt the need to further explore my character Amunet’s past and this is the result. There appeared to be an underlying message in this “communication”. It was connected to the land and a people that seemed to vanish into forgetfulness and legend. In this chapter she appears as a woman called Magali (the Occitan form of Magdalene). Magali, as she was named by the Cathars who took her in, was considered a living embodiment of a Sleeper. One who decides at death to step back from the cycle of life and death and instead remain asleep in the land, dreaming, foretelling, and communing with all life.

The Cathars (“Pure Ones”) were condemned as heretics by the Church in the 13th century, in an age when its doctrines had hardened into dogma and politicking. The fate of these people was terrible, ending in 1244, in a nine month siege of their mountain fortress of Montsègur (in the Ariège department, south-western France). It culminated in a massacre. Many legends have grown around these mysterious people, with their true essence being hidden beneath a covering of subterfuge and illusion.

Occitan is a Romance language spoken in southern France and other areas. Occitania is the nomenclature given to the area where the language was first spoken and covers the Occitan Valleys in the Italian Alps, the old Aquitaine, Languedoc-Roussillon, the Aran Valley in the Pyrenees and the Principality of Monaco. Here ends my very brief outline. I visited the region many years ago and can testify to its special atmosphere. There is more, but that journey is for another time when the inner silence reveals another piece of the puzzle and allows me a clearer vision of these people. My fascination with them has a purpose. What does Magali have to say?

Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

Where is here? A place where there are remnants of a people I once knew. I dreamed their fate, touched their fears and yearning, but they’re gone. Crumbled into dust, and scattered by the winds. I slept but was stirred back into life, heard their cries for help, saw what approached. Their eyes stared unseeing at visions rising from the horizon, an omen of things hidden within, cloaked from recognition. Their time was at an end, was foretold, of an age when hate and ignorance would rise in the place of greatest darkness.

My eyes saw their disintegration, as piece by piece their souls flew from shells burning on a multitude of pyres. Danger reigned supreme and the river of poison ran fast and deep, dragged their carcasses to places that should not be uttered aloud. The wind mourned them, brought whispered entreaties, and showered these ruins in melancholy. What an ignominious end to such a civilisation! Yet, hope clung on and Light retreated to a place of safety, waiting and watching.

Where people once enjoyed lives of serenity and contemplation is now shrouded in a loveliness born of sadness and tears. We search the past to find meaning in the present. Brush away earth and sand to reveal artefacts to catalogue, name and display as a manifestation of a knowledge that is ultimately empty. The land will not reveal its secrets to those who have no understanding of the meaning of this life and the mysteries of the Universe. I will not reveal knowledge and understanding that must be earned, in hardships many times. If you will not listen to me, then you are free to meet your fate on the road ahead, do not bemoan what befalls you.

These ruined buildings of stone and mud brick decay in this dry, wind and sun blasted place but life always find a way. It sends roots deep into the earth, is nourished by the heart of the planet. The spirits of this city sing to me, welcome me back but know it has come at a cost. More than they care to acknowledge. What glories this place has seen, drawing in luminaries from worlds seen and unseen. Bejewelled towers sprang forth to vanish into the clouds, testimony to a civilisation worthy of its name, now forgotten. I call to it, urge it to rise from its untimely grave. Hear me my beloved heart, take my hand and walk the roads of illumination and majesty that were once your right. Perfection of the spirit was your ultimate destination, it was the spring from which your people drank and bathed their sacred centres. I tended to the gardens of their soul, taught them the ways of mysteries, brought them to the place of death, and rebirth into a second life.

Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

As for me, I stand with feet buried in sand and memories, see dreams cast shadows across eyes that stare unseeing across the ages. See me for who I really am and be welcome. I bring the deep comfort of a mother’s arms, nourish your soul and aspirations, and cut the cord joining us when the time comes. My blade has a sharp kiss, and draws blood that fall like rubies, embodying both beauty and terror. I hold your ancestral history and my blood is your blood, ruby red and filled with wonders. I was Hidden but reveal myself now. See me, hear me.

 

Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

Amore – Twittering Tale #62 – 12 December 2017

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Image: Photo from the Commons at Pixabay

Kat Myrman’s photo for this week’s Twittering Tale challenge gave me pause for thought. How so? The lure of messages in bottles is quite seductive and rather poignant reminders of human need. We enclose our notes in carriages of glass, urging the ocean to seek out safe harbours. This bottle is carrying a longing of a different need, desire and love, tinged with saltiness and expectation, loss even.  Who is the unknown author of this love letter?

Dear love, feel my heartbeat
Brush your fingers across my lips
Whisper words of unbridled love
Come to me bare of all fear and insecurity
Feel my heartbeat
For I would walk across the oceans
To find you and only you
I speak your name, will you answer me?
I am your Soul, I am your Heart.

(279 characters)

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