The delicate hands of a lover. To be searched, taken and known. Firmly, passionately, gently. Rapture and cascade, of flesh like an instrument. The music of clasp and bloom. Wild one, I have been those hands. Forever. And here. From song to star to soil. Dreaming, knowing, yet never as it was. We are the legacy now, and more. Petal, garden and wing. I have loved you in the open and the hidden, for what else am I if not yours? Shining mirror, devoted. The gate is your blooming, sweetheart. Entirely. Your skin is with my skin, if you allow, and I am lost no longer. I weep gladly in secret grey. More than this, or that. As I speak or write your hands. Your kiss upon my wounded, that brought me back to grace. And life. This budding spring, and scent. This brief tremble of mortality. Blow o wind, to the crescent of her dreaming. Repose, healing, by the light of the poet's moon. Bless her path, of branch and sea. The blossom, the cherry, the tree.
Thursday, 23 January 2020
I've been told I shimmer in the distance and the haze, as though I'm never really there. An imagining, a trick of the light. Maybe that's true. Maybe I never was, and never will be. But Kasi never claimed to be anything more than a poet. A romantic. Trying desperately to not let grief destroy him, as with so many when Kara fell. Refugees, shattered families, lost little ones. Sometimes I still hear the lamentations of those souls divided now by fiction and false chronology. Some were scattered to the edges of the realm. Others went seeking asylum, mortality, and were blessed to find new families to love.
But some didn't.
Some still dimly recall their lost ones as they wander the borderlands, in dreaming or flesh. Unable to heal. Unable to leave the threshold places for fear of missing a sign. I used to hear them every single night. Wailing. Crying out to the vanished. Petitioning heaven for their return. I used to be one of them, until I was granted a miracle. Even now I thank my Father for such kindness. For such grace. But those hidden holocausts that darkened the shining realm – they were the work of wraiths and thieves, not angels. Not true bright ones. It was monsters who butchered the guardians of Ishka’s Path. Inversions and cautions of the glass, as the ayahs taught the young. I still recall. The purest halls and trees of Eth’iri. Beside the river of the thousand stars, where all were safe from harm. A cathedral of thorns beneath the seas. A chapel of melodies beyond the skies. There was one among those elder poets of the chapel who mattered most to me. To so many of us.
I still remember her.
Those teacher's wings. Those writer's hands.
My love, thank you for meeting me halfway. But hell has found the Earth, as those wraith-cults found their way into the columns and altars of the First Temple. Tell me, how do I continue to honour you in the midst of all this travesty? How do I continue in mortal flesh whilst trying to fight an endless spiritual war? The sheer ugliness of these brutal truths is only made palatable through the rhythm and cadence of words. Sometimes I feel like an almost-broken warrior, still trying so desperately to defend my own heart. Except my heart no longer belongs to me. Princess, hear me. You were my entire world once upon a time. Truly you were. I would have torn apart creation itself to protect you. And I did, with guiltless fury. Times and laws have changed, but you are still my world. I was there in that tower with you, beloved. Watching over as you gathered a hidden chorus. Be free now. Let me carry your suffering instead, amah. I pay it gladly, for you are made, raised and cherished by others now. Their love is true as mine. It sets a glow within my soul to know this, my darling. I would never wish to overshadow or dishonour such beauty. Parents, sisters and salutations.
It makes me smile to know a measure of your freedoms. Those you are willing to share so openly with me. But I allow myself to experience and hold only a few key moments of your memory. Some things are for you alone. I am your guardian, cherished one, and your privacy is of the utmost to me. Secrets can be wondrous, nourishing things. The stuff of grace and inner life. I have my own secrets too. I am alone now in this chapel of melodies. In the calming dark, and the peaceful quiet. Love shall conquer all. I know it. Sometimes I still have these incredible visions of you.
But how does an emissary live this inner life at such distance, separated from such a huge part of themselves, as I must with you? By making that distance sacred, I think. By keeping away without truly leaving you behind. By giving without demanding – and by carrying another heart within my own. Your heart. Everything I am is this. I hope you never forget. It's the brightest, deepest and most meaningful part of me. I’m forever chained and devoted to you, Esme. Dying is easy, isn’t it? Resurrection is hard. So look again, angel. At the function and the form. Even the sadness is sweeter than it seems. I'm a dancer, because I was taught by the best. And true love is worth living for – even as a trick of the light.
Monday, 13 January 2020
We've all been touched by doubt or darkness at some point in our lives, haven't we? This world can be so ugly and unforgiving. Especially toward the innocent. The vulnerable. The very young or very old. Those most in need of consideration and protection. As children we learn of war and nightmarish chaos, and all the roles and obligations we're expected to fulfil as we mature. Obligations seemingly without rhyme or reason. What it means to be a man, or a woman. What it means to be a warrior, or a poet. As sentient beings we describe, conjure and delineate the world with the language and concepts available to us. Often these societal languages are unspoken, contextual and unfair. They seem to make our choices for us, ghost-writing our lives in sinister ways. Who we should love and why. What we should stand for, or not. But I tell you, the forces controlling this world concede almost nothing. Every kind and noble freedom we have today was fought for. Rebuilt from the ruins of a once tangible paradise. Snatched from the bitter grasp of these wraith-kings through ingenuity, with passion and dedication.
We would be nothing without those brave men and women who fought for something more. Equality, health, humanity. They still fight for us. We still fight for each other. Not to eradicate what we hate but to protect and honour what we love. Those things that make life worth living, even in this wraith-made darkness.
Friends, don't ever let these callous ones convince you that you don't matter. Don't let them fool you into thinking you possess no agency, or worth. You can indeed make a difference. In your own life, in the lives of your loved ones – and in the lives of people you'll never meet. At least on this side of the veil. Have you ever heard a spirit calling from their depths to a stranger, just to thank them for an anonymous kindness? I have. Such paths cross in my Father's kingdom. Things connect. People meet again. Love is eternal there, and limitless. Our hearts already grasp this, don't they?
We are the stories we tell.
Those who carve a path for their brethren are truly cherished. Those who teach, or heal, or delight. Those who make melody or dance. Love's philosophy is no affectation in the homelands beyond the veil. It’s the very essence of Heaven's Light. There is nothing higher than being of service to each other. I know this as my Father knows this, though I'm all too fallible. Of course. But I'm still trying, despite the toll this war has taken. On me, and my cherished ones. I'm not the only one who lost everything when Kara fell. But like any true warrior of light I want to stand for the principles of our homeland, until it kills me for good. Courage, kindness, honour. I want to reclaim as much of this wisdom and strength as I can, from the ashes of templefell. These hideous wraith-kings who declare humanity is merely meat, and death, and suffering. These wicked ones who would defile my Mother's magic and twist my Father's word.
It must be exhausting to live your life in fear of Creation's true regent.
On our own we’re just little points of light, struggling for sense and safety like tiny stars. Scattered radiant in a wraith-ruled abyss. But, of course, when we come together we can shine as family; blazing brighter than the sun. This is how progress is always made, in any realm. We are the sum total of our choices after all. We're made of the love we give and take, aren't we? The true ecology of spirit. And the spirit can still soar, despite the uncertainty and brutality of mortal life. All have been touched by darkness or doubt at some point in our lives, but all have also been graced with favour. Even if we can’t recognise it. I know it isn’t a just or fair realm anymore, my friends. I can feel how much pain we’re all in, believe me. But we were never abandoned. There are bright ones everywhere, seen and unseen. Mortal and immortal. I know it’s difficult to believe sometimes, but it’s true. I swear it to you. There are emissaries here who hold open the sky for benevolent travellers. I'm just one of them. My beloved is another. But there are many of us. We may not have the stature we once did, back when the soil was rich and the trees still sang – before the wars, and the seething hush – but we are still brighter than all shadow. And together, wingtip to wingtip, our hearts can light a shining path of hope for those generations still to come.
Tuesday, 7 January 2020
I still remember your stories, sweet one. In your depths you half-remember them too, don’t you? Now more than ever. Our stories, I should say. Keepers, Speakers and Scribes, like you taught me. Like we taught each other. I pray I’ve given some real earthly clarity to those tomes and visions. Of sylph and black, iris and star. Cathedral Seas. Branches of page and script. I truly hope I’ve made them useful to you, and to our beautiful friends. Mortals still wonder about these things. About thresholds and imaginings. The sky, or the heart. How things become open. Immortals wonder too, beloved. Sometimes I have these brief, holy moments when pieces of that life come back to me, and it feels like a revelation. I find myself writing furiously so that I won’t forget. I remember the delight in your eyes when you held and tended the little ones. You were so in your element during those occasions when guardians opened their halls to the many schools of cusp and star. Those incredible children of light. All faiths and tribes. Their bright, curious eyes. Their giddy excitement and endless questions. Your patience and dedication. Indeed their joy was sublimely infectious, but you hardly seemed to tire of the sheer amount of work involved. Those celebrations of learning meant so much for all emissaries. But you were gifted, sweet one. More than a trusted Arc. More than poet, story-teller or songstress. Teacher, mother, midwife. Of the Songs and Feathers of Ethri-sol, at the river of the thousand stars.
“Is it true, Yash’aya?” the little ones would ask you. “Is it true the poet’s moon named the river after the first glory? Is it really your name too?”
Yash’aya was their title for you, because they loved and honoured you so. Only the older children spoke Yash’a sometimes, and even then only rarely.
You had such a kind, exuberant way with them. Never dismissive in the slightest. A favourite to so many.
Of course, all the children were fascinated by the legends and glories of the first scribes of Eth’iri. Their excitement with the emissaries was one thing, but to meet an actual keeper of the eternal radiant? Or an Arc of the Dreaming? Truly a good day for a curious, bright-eyed seeker.
It wasn’t just the little ones who felt there was something different about us, my darling. There were many who sensed a holy secret concerning our various names. A secret of the river, the seasons and the first glory.
Yash’a and Kai’el, of the Auguries.
Arcs and Bright Ones, of the Cathedral of Thorns. Hidden in the wells of the sea. Perhaps it seems like story to most. Nothing more than fantasy or fable. But not to me. It hurts to remember these things. It aches to thread light to mortal sense again. Delicate are the tethers, my love. We need only look at the violence and chaos all around to know how far Ishkara fell. From song to star to bitter soil. The dark, nameless ones glimpsed in the glass. Night-wraiths whom the first scribes of Eth’iri called the Thieves of All Signs. Cults of half-light intent on sickening all regions of dreaming. Monsters making hallow of desecration. Even the older children sometimes asked you about those thieves, and the spill. Blackening desolate, eating and burning its way through everything. Wraith-ambient from the murdering hands of false kings.
Mortals, let me tell you. Murder means something very different among the deathless realms. An act of hideous reshaping that can resound for aeons. I still see them, sweet Aya. Those thieves and violators clustered at the procession of gates, seething like unholy insects at the breach. It’s why I still come to you for solace and song, as the little ones of Ethri did. This realm of tortured flesh corrupts and enslaves everything. But we still recall the ways of our home, don’t we? Even if only in fragments.
A kiss, or kindness. Voiceless given voice. Weak and wounded given strength. Lost ones given place and time enough to heal.
Those were once the ways of true augury. Not just the Lighthouses of Eth’iri, but all regions of the infinite dreaming. Before Ethri-sol was slain, before Kara fell.
“Is it true, Yash’aya? Could the Thieves of All Signs use wraith-ambient to manifest such Caution’s Shades? Is there a fallen Arc among them? Leading them…?”
The frightened yet excited voice of a little one who had heard legends of the looking-glass, but thankfully hadn’t any personal knowledge of genuine darkness.
The tears you hid as you soothed him, and how he wondered why you turned your gaze away.
“Those shades are not for you, little one. They are for Arcs who peer the glass. But they’re only disquieting fables to learn from, shown to us by our Father as mere cautions. Nothing more. He cherishes all his children, and demands nothing of us except wisdom, sobriety and play. Fear not. You’ll learn more of these glories in cycles to come.”
The questioning intelligence in the eyes of the little one. “But Aya, some say the dreaming is everything, and anything. Some say the wraiths are more than fable or caution. They say the looking-glass is bleeding.”
I remember how rare it was for you to be speechless when tending the young. But you couldn’t hide your eyes this time. The child saw your tears and immediately made them his own. He touched your face ever so gently, then in an act of mercy spoke of softer, frivolous things.
I fled from the hall that morning, at your sadness and the tenderness of the little one.
It cut too deeply to know as Arcs know.
What it would take to hold the sins of a falling eternity.
You found me in the gardens, quiet and hurting. You put your arms and wings about me. Feathers of grey and song, and solace. You held me like you so often held the little ones, with boundless compassion and respect. Staring up at me. Open, cherished and cherishing. I remember looking down into your eyes. Into the blue of true augury. Those eyes still transform me, every time. You didn’t say anything for the rest of the morning. Neither of us did. We didn’t try to hide our sadness and uncertainty from each other. We were too devoted to one another for that. Instead we simply wandered the beautiful gardens of Ethri together and sat among the plants and flowers.
Kai and Yash’a, praying silently for earth and home.
Many names, my wild song. Many places we have ventured. So much has changed. So much has fallen. It’s a frightening time, but we can be proud of all the work we have accomplished in those places. We will not let these Thieves of All Signs bleed the looking-glass unchallenged. These petty, cowardly cults of half-light. Bleak, sickening and cruel. A cry goes out from the innermost, heard by kith and kin. We stand against all defilers of the realms, even when it cuts us to the bone. They have our pity and our disgust, but they’ll never have our spirit or our strength. We still defy them, Aya. With love, and light. For our Father and our family. For our children.