Life is such a strange and wonderful thing, even here in these fallen places. I didn't always know the truth of this, my beloved. Still I hear the weeping of those broken souls for whom this Earth is an ungodly hell. Cruel, violent and unjust. A wraith-made darkness. It's hard to keep the wonder centred in my mind when I hear such constant weeping. It wears me down, Asha. And these shoulders have known the weight of many worlds. But it's no less true, that strange magic.
I know this because those weeping souls are never left unattended. If Man could see the unseen healers that surround the oppressed, his breath would be taken. If humanity only knew the truth of kind angels fighting always for their liberation. But that's what this deception of a world is built upon, isn’t it? The removal of truth. Theft of the ancient sciences. The obliteration of nuance and context. All genuine spiritual efficacy has been leeched from the realm and presented back to its denizens as frivolous romance, but in reality it was once the science of the shining realm.
The physic of Ishkara.
The deception sickens me, Asha. Fractured fractals, corrupted chronologies. And Mankind thinks Father hates them, and that Mother is dead. That's why I’m trying to restore this inverted sky, sweet one. Living here within a defiled dreamtime that consumes the earth, the weak and the young – it sickens the spirit. Witnessing a hierarchy that offers solace only to the most brutal and power-hungry. A hierarchy built on lies. I don't abide it. No true warrior among the Magi has ever abided such ugliness of spirit.
And so I try, Asha. Even though I'm murdered and abused for it. It’s so much better than the alternative. A hideous perfection of wraiths. Darkness, slavery, humiliation, and nothing more.
So I reach for you, with vision and choir, hoping to lift your heart and your step. Kissing the ground beneath your feet. Bleeding from both hands in the hope that you wouldn't have to. It’s too dark a gift, beloved. Despite your incredible strength. Too heavy a burden, especially for one so young. I'm just sorry I couldn't carry it all for you.
I'm sorry that I couldn't halt the falling, that I didn't have the words, and that it hurt so much. I treasured your centre even in those dreams of derangement. The way you held me like no one else. The way friends and lovers should be held. Your calm didn't shatter when you discovered the shriek of the world. But I'm sorry you couldn't always carry it with you. I pray I've been able to walk elegantly enough beside you, holding some of that breath of home. Earth beneath our feet, wild star. Emerald canopies above. Moss, leaf and branch.
Asha, I'm sorry for all the unfortunate things in the world. I'm sorry for anguish, and injustice. I'm sorry the gift of choice can result in such terrible extremes sometimes.
I went too far, my love.
Way too far.
But I can say with my hand on my heart that I went there for you. I go there still. To fall, or further, for love. Far enough for you to breathe again, but still close enough to catch a kiss. Beloved, please don't misunderstand this dreaming. We were never monsters. Neither of us. We were only dreamers and Magi who rewrote creation so that we might fight the monsters. Attempting to hold the blindness of an entire realm so that others might still have a chance at sight. I'll carry the weight of that burden now, sweet one, if I can. I'll try carrying it for both of us. I won't inculcate this living death. I won't prey and steal and feed as these dark ones do.
I knew that bringing you back was never going to be the same thing as always keeping you clean, but it's still my greatest regret. The regret of all loved ones torn by war, I think. That I couldn't offer you an unsullied life. My protection wasn't complete. Even the most profound sorcery couldn't achieve that. You still ached so deeply at times, because you were alive again. It hurt, your youth.
But you were alive again.
Held in affection by those who loved you, by the rustle of leaves and the birds beyond your window. Held in colours, and songs. Asha, your quiet little writer is still at work. She's finding the words at last. Please know it as I do. That all these pages are dedicated to you. Recall these feathers, my darling. This place of light and life. This Gate of Love. I will keep trying to move heaven and earth for the better, until my final breath. Even though I still recall the terrifying romance of night. The frightening allure of winter snow. But I was offered a kiss truer and greater than all of that. And I think you know it still shines in my heart like a diamond, more precious to me than anything. I can love because I was loved. Baby girl, I told you I would find a way.