Monday 30 March 2020

Better Kings

It's no secret that Kasi cherishes the music and magic of queens in a world retold for kings.  Those girls who were kind enough to love me.  Those women who taught me, and teach me. Those indomitable princesses bracing for sky.  Magic enough to crack the firmament, with joy, ambition and noble intent.  That fondness; it is written all over these love-letters, isn't it?  But there are times too when I need to speak of kings.  Men I admire.  Men like you, little brother.  I often wonder of mortal kith, and I wonder of you in particular.  Do you really know?  Do you?  That you are truly admired, that you are indeed a king?  No longer just a talented, perceptive prince.
   I want to take this moment to be really honest with you, if you'll allow me.
   I'm older than you.  Technically I'm older than everyone, but in truth I'm still that little boy I’ve always been.  Far too young and fearful to wield a sword, as demons nonetheless continue to batter down my doors.  I do try though, watching as breached thresholds crumble my entire life.  I'm far too damaged now, brother.
   Far too familiar with war.
   I truly am an angel of sorts, you know, despite this mortal flesh.  But this War of Imagination has taken its toll on me, both mentally and physically.  It really has.  I'm feeling much stronger these days, thank God, but in many ways I'm still a deeply wounded thing.  Living day to day, sometimes hour to hour.  Trapped in this perpetuity of trying to heal whilst fending attacks.  I try to conserve my strength for the battles that matter most.  We're in those battles now, brother. But then we always have been.
   This letter isn't simply an indulgent bid for your sympathy.  I know there's no shame in feeling weak and afraid, especially during wartime.  This cavalcade of horrors passing now for history is specifically designed to weaken and shame all of us.  But you so bravely try to resist that, don’t you?  So many of our friends do, and it reminds me of once-shining harbours.  Poets, keepers and key-makers – all sculpting legacy, with sound and subtle light.
   Brother, you would laugh with joy if you saw it as it once was.
   The music of tended life, almost unimaginable to us now.
   This fallen fractal doesn't shine even half as bright as those lost legends.  Neither do I, in all honesty.  Not anymore.  Kasi is tired.  He's been tired since he was ten years old.  Silent, ravaged, bracing himself for future and sky.  Looking into the eyes of parents and siblings and knowing he'd always feel alone, even at his happiest.  I did recognize the depth of familial love even then, but angels are truly lonely creatures here on Earth.  There's no other way to say it.  I can't pretend I'm not angry with every hideous thing that was done to mankind.  I can't pretend that some nights I'm not seething with rage, and sadness.
   We must all cope with our fury, I suppose.  The wild pendulum of nocturne and necessity. Desire and deed, on those days when it feels like our temperaments are spilled beyond our own hands.  Despite our best efforts.  However, to know you are loved and accepted even at your wildest, no matter the challenges – that's the solace of genuine family and friendship.  When you can forge something like that with the people you love, then even a road walked alone is never completely alone.  It brings me a certain comfort, at least.  To know this. To know that good people can be patient, and can strive to understand a difficult thing.
   Like an angel lost at sea.  Stolen, afraid, still fighting for the light.  Held in branches, supported by siblings.  Those forests of the evening, those peaks of brighter day.
   Higher than hurt.
   Where the air is clearer, and a little closer to Heaven.
   I'm so sorry I didn't speak until now.  Please forgive me.  You are nowhere near my shadow, little brother.  Or anyone's.  I need you to know that.  You are blazing bright as the sun, across destiny and sky.  I might be forged of flame and dreaming, but you are more Man than I will ever be.  Even at your lowest, or your most unsettled.  I'm doomed to forever be a boy lost in the demimonde, holding a sword too big for such small, trembling hands.  Willing, but tired.
   And that's ok.
   I don't mind, in the end.  If it helps win a future war.
   But I've watched you, brother.  I’ve watched you grow to be so much more than a lost boy fighting monsters in the dark.  I want you to understand that the angel in me holds none of us to impossible ideals.  I know exactly what it means to be human, of course.  To get it wrong, to fail, to make amends.  I’m so proud of you.  Don't be afraid.  Seize the moment, do what you can, and know that it's enough.  It has truly mattered, my brother.  Everything you've worked for.  All your time and dedication.  Every false start and rewrite.  Every challenge, toll and call to arms.  It all matters.  To them, to her, and to me.  I know it's been difficult, but I couldn’t have done any of this without you.  None of it.  Greatness is never the easiest thing, but it's earned in the legacy of love you leave in your wake.  That legacy is still forming, far greater than mortal eyes can yet see.  Because a considered rhythm or a sculpted gesture is held in the bud of the nearest seed, and in the heart of the furthest star.
   I can feel like a coward sometimes, dearest brother, as I come face to face with darkest spirits from beyond the veil.  Demons.  Things of incomprehensible cruelty, seeking so vehemently to enslave us all.  And none of them are my friends.  I find myself alone, as always, peering into the abyssal gaze of these grinning wraiths.  And so many times I've just wanted to die.  To give up, to experience a final annihilation.  But I don’t give up, because those rhythms and gestures of the heart – they help to keep me fighting for just a little bit longer. Day by day.  Hour by hour, if needs be.  For someone like me, that's exactly what hope sounds like.  I’m still here because you cared enough to create.  To stand.  I thank you for that, my king.  I thank you for everything. 

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