[begin blog post #20]
Chapter 10 – Deirdre of the Sorrows
The heroine of a tragic Irish legend. Deirdre, the betrothed of the king of Ulster, eloped with one of the three sons of Uisneach. All three sons were slain by the king and his henchmen while Deirdre was unharmed and left to mourn them. Two well known writers have based works upon this legend – William Butler Yeats in “Deirdre”, and J. M. Synge in “Deirdre of the Sorrows”.
“I baptize you Deirdre of the Sorrows,” I say as the rich blood follows the creases in her forehead.
“Strange name,” she says. “Deirdre… I have a name!”
She says it so loud, I have to put my hand over her mouth, leaving blood all over her face.
“Shhhh you idiot. Yes, you have a name. You are the richest young woman in the kingdom of Tassard now. How do you like that?”
“It is good. But what does the last part of it mean? Of the Sorrows, is that also my name?”
“The name belonged to a young woman in a story from a land I knew a long, long time ago on another world. Deirdre was a young girl chosen to be the bride of a powerful king. But she loved another man, a younger one, and she escaped with him and his two brothers. But the king found them and killed her lover, his brothers and all the other men who had helped her or had ever looked upon her with love. Then he let her live in her permanent mourning. She never had another lover, never married, living and dying in sorrow for what her beauty and desire had done to others.
“She was a heart breaker, but she inherited the heartbreak, you see? What we do to others often returns to us. And now because you love me you must share in my sorrows, not just in the pain we all must endure because of how things are here, but specifically in the suffering of heart our relationship is going to entail for you and me.”
“I don’t understand.” She shrugs and shakes her head, her hair having been allowed to grow longer, brushing over my shoulder.
I try to explain: “As I have told you, I was not born here, Deirdre. I came here, full grown some years ago. I remember coming here with a single-minded purpose: to collect information about this world, store it in my mind and take that back with me to my home world. It has been my hope that in time, somehow, I may be able to help the women of Malefactus (it’s what I call this place) by creating change in the power structure that keeps things as they are. If I can do that, and if some of the women here catch some of my vision also we can create beautiful change here, not just for the women you must understand, but for the men also.
“Remember this: it is not normal for men to kill women. It is not normal that women should be the slaves of men. All the things done that hurt others, these are evil things. Evil destroys worlds. On another world which is called Earth and where I had many lives before this one I saw much evil too. When people like me see evil being done to others we experience much sorrow of heart.
“On that world, the people practiced slavery also, for a long, long time, and in some places it was still going on when I left, though it was not called that. They did many other terrible things that made their world in every way as evil and as abhorrent at this one. They made people starve to death if there was money to be made in it. Babies died along with their mothers, tens of thousands each day and very few of the people cared. Young women, often just little girls, were sold into prostitution, as sex slaves to men, just as they are here. Instead of chains, men used drugs and money to hold them. Millions over the years were abused, their lives destroyed and many were killed, or killed themselves in despair. Many more died of terrible diseases that continually plagued the people of Earth because they refused to understand the cause of it all.
“They tortured and killed millions of people for having different skin colour, or for believing different things. Many of their great religions (that is to believe in spirit beings like gods or goddesses) were ruled by male gods who hated women. There were times when women were killed by having stones thrown at them or they were burned alive, tied to a post because men were convinced these women were evil creatures, in league with a great enemy they called Satan or Shaitan.”
Even this child of Malefactus, with all the evil she had already known, gasped at the images my words gave her. I had never thought of Earth as having such a similar, if more diversified and creative path of evil, to Malefactus. Or perhaps I had seen, but never actually understood the depths of it. It is hard to see the evil of one’s society when born and raised in it; when programmed to take it all for granted for as they say here: it is the way of it.
I continued to explain. “Things were done to their planet that hurt the air and the water; the animals and the fish and billions of creatures, of non-human lives died, often entire species were destroyed. Poisons were spread by machines. There were always diseases and they fought wars all the time. There never was a time when there was no war being fought. I am not speaking of the small groups of men who rampage through a countryside and fight each other for honour or slaves. I am talking of wars that burned entire cities to the ground, poisoned lands and waters and killed everything in their path; when one bomb would leave millions dead or dying in horrible circumstances.
“Earthians killed others in the name of their gods but it always was to take their lands or any goods or valuable thing they had. But even through those horrors the people never learned because in those days they were able to make more people than they could kill. So the deaths, you see, did not seem so obvious. It was as if they did not really happen. The people of Earth could not feel the pain they caused others.
“Not being able to feel the pain of another: that was the main problem of Earth just as it is here.
“You see Deirdre, on my home world which is called Altaria, we know there is one Great Law, written in the starry heavens for all the people when they evolve and become like us, having a concept of right and wrong doing. That Law says they have to care, Deirdre. They have to care what happens to you and me. They have to wish that only good happens to others. Even if it means that they will lose something. Even if it means they must forfeit their own life! If they do not care; if their life, their personal pleasures, their riches and immediate comforts, are more important that the well-being of others anywhere, but particularly on their home planet, then they have failed in their attempt at evolving. They reach a certain place but can go no higher. They turn in on themselves and begin a tumble towards destruction that increases exponentially year by year. Each day their death, and that of their world, approaches at a faster rate. That was the sickness of my adoptive Earth world.
All the evil I have experienced of life on Earth that was then my sorrow and it continues to be.”
Her questions indicate she is a sharp listener. She says, “You speak as if that world is gone. Or are the people better now? Did they learn to care, to feel each other as you and I feel each other?”
She hugs me tightly as she says it. She is a true healer-witch and has the gift of knowing. Her touch is a balm to body and heart. She wants the pain I feel in speaking of Earth to go away.
“No Deirdre, that world is not completely gone. It is going through a terrible purging. Billions of people have died and the population has dwindled to a fraction of what it used to be. Everybody that is still alive must now struggle just to eat or to find shelter. Everything hangs in a very precarious balance. Some of it has to do with you and me here, now. We are involved in a great project by billions of individuals from all human worlds to awaken the next level in our evolution – a non-predatory, non-violent way for all of us.”
“What is a billion?” She asks with a truly puzzled expression I can just make out as Albaral passes by one of our “windows” in the high walls.
How can I explain the chaotic madness of the teeming billions of Túat Har? I try the simple approach. “A very, very large number, like grains of sand in a full feeding bowl. Actually, if you understand what a million is, there are a thousand of them in a billion.”
“That’s so many, so terrible. So terrible!” She shuddres violently against me as she says this. “But why do they need shelter? Are they trying to hide from something?”
“Earth is a cruel world in its natural cycles Deirdre. It does not care about human people. It has great changes of weather in what are called seasons. Summer is hot and dry in many places and winter is very cold in other places. In between are other seasons that have unpredictable weather patterns. People can quickly die from exposure to the natural elements there. They have to have places where they can keep warm and dry; protect their bodies from the winds, the snows, the rains or just the freezing cold; where they can raise their children from predators – human or animal – and store food.”
“I don’t know what you mean.” She looks utterly perplexed and there are tears in her big round black eyes. “This place makes more sense to me than the Earth you speak of!”
“I know you don’t understand sweet. I’ll find some way to explain it all to you. Just give me some time. Or maybe I’ll find some way for you to discover these things on your own. Be patient.
“Now Deirdre, we were speaking of sorrows. To know sorrow is to be able to feel by choice the pain of others before your own. It comes from being compassionate. It is not something you naturally feel, Deirdre. It’s something you choose to feel, out of your own heart, something that desires only good things for all people, all things, not just for some who are special.
“Is that not what love is?”
“No sweet. Do not mistake compassion for love. Those who do can become very confused about their feelings when the feelings change and they no longer push toward what they know is right. Love is that special feeling you and I have for each other that we cannot have for others, see? No one else can share in our bonding. That is love. It is what I call an exclusive feeling. It keeps others out so we can have more of it between the two of us. It is a good thing for us when we are safe, not threatened, and we share our time alone together. When no one else wants to take one of us from the other to have her. When everyone understands our need to be together and gives us our place out of respect.
[end blog post #20]