July 21

[Darkling Light]

My sorrow of having left Gobetween and Moondog is a weight I cannot afford to carry. I will return to them for the Showoff Dance, for the long awaited ritual, for the rest of my life. I wonder how our people will take to that. I have spent my life traveling the long road of inherent responsibility, restoring lives to harmony where none existed. And in doing so haul the burden of our people’s discord in my heart. It has grown too heavy.

A few miles north of the Great Circle is a thread of water that cuts across the road and trickles into the river, not any different than a thousand others that turned a mountain seep far, far away into the lifeblood of our people. One day years ago, weary of the chatter before the Showoff Dance I slipped off determined to follow this ribbon of water. It led me to a marshy meadow where umbels of white lace danced among sprays of rushes and red willow. I sat there most of the afternoon watching the swallows dart about while a solitary blue heron delicately eased his way through the marsh feasting on minnows. He didn’t mind his unique aloneness or the charge with which he had been endowed; he made me happy. I need that spirit to find me again today.

Dancing Grass and I have cut on to the trail that leads to the village in the Chalky Mountains. It will eventually lead us back to the Fens and Marshy Meadows. I harbor no dark fear for either of those strongholds. When the fall comes, and it will, they will simply disappear into the Shadowland. I can’t say the same about the abomination that slashed and burned its way through the old coast village. When I finally reach it I will find a people cut to shreds, a people who paint up daily in their death masks, a people so old I am uncertain what ancient realm will welcome them home. They are gone already, leaving a few harbingers behind to point the way back to the moment when prayers had meaning and songs were service, when dance bred devotional divinity and we were a sacred community. And no matter how well I live my life, no matter how invested, I cannot bring that back. Our people are going and I with them. Those left will no longer find wisdom in the dust we leave behind.

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Responses to “July 21”

  1. Angela Cheetham Wilkinson July 30th, 2013 - 10:12 am

    A chapter of remembrance, longing and mourning – these paragraphs seem ripped with grief.