Tag Archives: Freedom

A Sisters’ Conversation

 a short story  by  Sha’Tara

Well hi Diane. Haven’t seen you in ages.

I was actually looking for you. Let me buy you lunch. I really need to talk to you Elise.

Yeah? What about?

First off, the family is worried about you.

Worried about me? Why?

They worry about your lifestyle, living alone and well, quite free-wheeling if you get my drift.

It’s how I live my life, how I like to live it. Simple, uncomplicated, nobody really to worry about and it’s nobody’s business but mine.  Years ago I figured that “the family” and associated friends were actually my jailers so I broke out of jail.

Well thanks for that. Do you have to live alone?

I do, but I am not actually alone. I have those friends of mine in my head. They don’t try to control my life and don’t ask for much, just a bit of time now and then you know, to touch base.

Touch base? How?

They talk to me; what other “how” is there?

You hear voices in your head?

Of course, don’t you?

I don’t have entities in my head telling me how to live my life, no!

Are you sure about that? No one, ever, insisting you pick up a tabloid at the supermarket checkout, which you do to find out later there is an article in it you’d been dying to read?

That isn’t someone talking to me, that’s me making a personal decision!

Would you say the same thing if you’d been with a friend and she’d suggested you buy the magazine because it has something in it the two of you had been talking about and you could read about it?

That’s totally different. You’re talking about someone real, someone standing right beside me.

So someone standing beside you is more real to you than someone inside your own head?

Of course. She wouldn’t be an imaginary friend as would be someone in my head.

This is interesting. You would find someone separate from you speaking to you audibly in actual words more real than another living right inside your head speaking to you directly without the use of words?

I don’t have imaginary friends.

Let me try something here. You are seven months pregnant and you meet your friend, say her name is Rosa, pushing a baby carriage with her six month old baby boy in it. Is her baby more real to you than your own whom you are carrying within you?

That is a really stupid comparison. I know my baby is real, I can feel it; I can see how he’s changing my body as he develops.

But someone inside you who does not take up space; doesn’t demand energy from you and doesn’t need to be seen, can’t be real because of that?

Look, this is ridiculous. The only person in my head is me. There is no one else there.

So you do admit there is someone in your head?

Yes, me. I talk to myself and that’s perfectly normal. Everybody does that sort of inner dialogue.

Why do you do it if the ‘you’ whom you are engaging in your head is purely imaginary, i.e., non-existent?  Why would you or anyone knowingly engage a conversation with no one and if no one answers why do you listen? What are you expecting from the exchange?

Nothing, it’s just what people do.

If you do something, should it not serve some purpose?

I’m not going to dignify this topic any further. I actually wanted to ask if you’d come to Danny’s birthday party this Saturday?

Danny? Who’s Danny?

My son!  Your nephew! It’s his sixteenth birthday, do you think you can make the effort?

Sure. Still in the duplex on Alexander?

My God you’re hopeless! When Graham got his promotion we moved out of that dump. We’ve been living on Mount Thom for two years now. I’ll text you the address.

You have my cell number, Diane?

Yes, got it from Gram. You gave it to her when you did the home care for her through her hip replacement.

Gram? Oh you mean mom. Yeah, of course, it’s what the grandkids call her I suppose.

I should have called you but thanks for doing that for her, I couldn’t have done it with the redecorating and Danny’s sports – I’ve been run off my feet, literally.

Don’t sweat it, I’ve done it for lots of people.

Like it doesn’t make any difference to you that it’s mom we’re talking about?

People need my help, they need my help, why should it matter to me who they are?

If you weren’t my sister Elise, I think I would hate you.

Don’t be jealous of my freedom, Diane. You exercised your own brand when you chose redecorating and your son’s sports over your mom’s convalescing needs. See you Saturday.

Yeah.  

 

 

 

 

When I was Nineteen

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~ ]

“When I was nineteen,” she said, “I thought about committing suicide.
Everything seemed cut and dried.  Art and music were fine, but could they
explain anything?  Could they tell me why I was alive or what the world was
all about?  I didn’t think so.  And ever since, I’ve lived a compromise: I
wouldn’t try to kill myself, because there was always a chance something
would happen to explain everything.”  (Songs of Earth and Power – Greg Bear)

It is the end of another year, my seventy-second year, which isn’t bad considering I’d set my “best before” termination year at fifty. It seemed reasonable at the time, what could I possibly accomplish of anything worthwhile past fifty in a society that worships (fake) youth and gobbles its world as if it is a melting chocolate ice cream?

“When I was nineteen,” she said, “I thought about committing suicide.” So did I, definitely, but my reasoning was much more pathetic: my lover dumped me. It wasn’t the first time and it certainly wouldn’t be the last, but each one brought its own degree of particular inescapable hurt.  It would be many years later, having survived (dig the maudlin self pity!) the many losses, that I realized these experiences in an otherwise sated and bloated consumerist society was how I manipulated reality to grow a bigger heart.

I began to sense that my personal pain was but one of endless extensions of this world’s pain. I began to look at ways I could use that sorrowful “me” to become a part of the rest; to make sorrow my bed partner. I learned to cry in the night and though the tears were mine, gradually they were no longer for me.

Unlike Greg Bear’s heroine in “Songs of Earth and Power” however, I did not hang around for the chance that something would happen to explain everything. I used my awareness as a key to that explanation. Since I am my awareness, my own mind, I would be the key that would open the door and allow the “something that would explain everything” to come into my life and claim me as its lover. Once more, I fell in love, this time with a very dangerous character, an actual terrorist, someone for whom there would be no secrets, the ultimate WikiLeaks.

If I desired to know, all I needed was ask and he took me upon secret paths, through mined fields, under electrified fences of razor wire, into secure, severely guarded places where explanations were taking place.  He made me listen in and I discovered that official secrets were constantly being made up with all seriousness.

The first time I saw this, I wanted to laugh out loud. Only my dangerous lover’s hand over my mouth saved me. We would leave those places, return to city traffic, lights, pedestrians, noises, smells and facades of endless body accomodations, find our own and talk through nights that became ever shorter.

“There is nothing new under the sun” he’d quote from Eclesiastes.

“But I still don’t understand” I protested. “How can there be secrets, then? How do we not know everything?”

“I will not lie to you. The truth is, there are no secrets. You’re a victim of gross mis-direction, all of the time. That is the System, how it controls you, makes you fear; makes you hope. Then it dashes your hopes, deliberately, and starts the whole thing all over again. Each time you are left drained, like losing a lover, and while you are in this heart-mind weakened state you are taken by something else, on the rebound. You don’t want to let go of that last thread of hope and the next lie weaves itself into your dying hope and pulls more out of you. This goes on until you die. Nothing is ever explained because there is nothing to explain – that’s the realization that made you want to laugh when in the vault of secrets: there are no secrets, just manufactured lies.”

“So, if I choose knowledge, what should I do?”

“Use your key. Use you. You are your own source of all the knowledge that exists; all you need do is free your mind. Trust your imagination and go along for the ride.”

“How will I know where I am going?”

“You won’t; you can’t. If you did, that would be another false path, another lie. Where is the freedom in following an already existing path? Obviously it wouldn’t be yours and if you can see it, someone designed it as a trap for you, to seduce you once again upon a way that isn’t yours and will prove disempowering and end in loss, again.”

“Why do the great teachers ask us to follow them? Their teachings?”

“Because they are lovers, not great teachers and their teachings are powerless to change anything.  Because they want you for themselves and have no intention of ever giving you anything of themselves.  Because they are liars.”

“So, no great teachers, and I know everything?”

“Yes, potentially. You need to trust yourself; believe in yourself. You need to realize you were meant to walk this path alone. In fact, there is no path, just endless choices, the best ones seemingly impossible but remember this: nothing is impossible.”

“What happens now?”

“Now I will leave you because you no longer need me. You are equipped to live your life as a self-empowered being. You not only possess the key to all knowledge, you are that key. Much of that knowledge does not pertain to this, your reality, so you must learn to choose wisely, what you keep in your pockets, in your pack, and what you leave behind for the time being.”

“I am scared to be so alone!”

“Fear is the mind killer. I will not fear, I will face my fear… do you remember that? You learned it because you already knew you would need it. Now is the time. You walk alone, you never look back, you never doubt yourself.  Goodbye, lover.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking Barefoot on the Underside of Life

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

When I was a child I wanted to walk barefoot but my parents, particularly my mother, forbade it. I believe she thought it would make us look poor in the eyes of other villagers, as if we were anything but poor and our poverty was any different than anyone else living in that forgotten place. Perhaps there were deeper reasons she would never share.

It was to be much later in life that I would find or create my own personal type of freedom.  That was when  I rediscovered the joy of walking barefoot upon the earth, a joy I am constantly rediscovering even now at 71 years of age. I walk barefoot as much as my life allows, mostly in my own yard, in sunshine, rain, snow, mud, crush, mulch among the shrubs, in the garden, and I love to kick off my sandals and drive barefoot.

It’s not just the freedom of it, or the life-long rebellion against societal mores, so many of which are not just ridiculous but downright insane and unhealthy. There is much more.

When I walk barefoot, I can feel the earth reaching through my feet all the way up to my brain. I become aware of my body touching the rest of life. I care what I step on, and how I step on it; how I stand or where I put pressure on the earth. I feel a throbbing that is blocked by the wearing of artificial soles. I can feel the earth’s joy and also her sorrow.

In unfamiliar territory, bare feet become inquisitive and protective of themselves. This brings me to look down at what is around me. I will explain why that is important but before, I must say that I wish, oh I so wish, that I had had parents and teachers who had known about the powerful healing effects of the barefoot walk and had not only encouraged me (us children) to walk thus, but had explained why we should do so. But such knowing people do not exist, certainly not in Western societies.

Now I must do the explaining, although I know quite well that it is much, much too late for this society to learn how to walk barefoot by renouncing its societal mores.

When I walk barefoot I am both, mentally empowered and physically weakened. I want to focus on the benefits of such physical weakening because it is directly conducive to developing humility, probably one of the most maligned “virtues” in these societies built on entitlement.

In this hard and harsh materialistic society, feet are dangerously vulnerable to many dangers: stubbing of toes, cutting by broken glass, broken rocks and pieces of cement; slivers from chunks of metal or wood; crushing from falling crates, bottles, tools and various kinds of implements, burning from spilled chemicals, puncturing from rusty nails protruding from a fallen fence picket hidden in grass, or a number of such impediments.

In teaching myself the art of walking barefoot I have experienced all of the above. It’s inevitable really because people are incredibly careless, lacking the empathy needed to prevent them from being crass about leaving dangerous garbage about. This is a dirty, filthy, unhealthy society. How does the barefoot person approach such a condition?

One word describes it best: humility. Indeed. There is a park behind my house where I like to go and walk, or run, barefoot. I’ve had people tell me it was a stupid thing to do because there are those “horrible” homeless people that go there at night to shoot up and who leave needles on the ground. I don’t know, I’ve never seen “needles” in the park. More to the point, there are those who walk their dogs and can’t be bothered to pick up after their animals. I have stepped in dog poo with my bare feet many times. At first I was incensed. But it forced me to walk down to the river at the bottom of the park and walk in the water, rubbing my feet in its mud, or sand, or weeds, depending where I was and feel the washing and healing action of the water. That was an amazing realization.

After a few times in the dog poo, I learned to accept it as the consequences of barefooting. Whether people despoil their public or private spaces is really none of my business. I’m a walking observer, not really much of a participant. I don’t engage most of the things people around me seem to find pleasure in doing, certainly not in drugs, and I don’t have pets. I find my pleasure in things they know nothing about, or would not find pleasurable if they had to do them. I accept that now, as part of the change process.

When I speak of “barefoot humility” I’m not thinking of being poor, unable to afford shoes, sandals or flip-flops. I’m thinking of what it means to approach this hard/harsh world with my vulnerable bare feet. I’m thinking of having to bow my head and look down; look at the ground, the floor, the sidewalk, the road, the site, and guide my feet through obstacles that could prove painful or detrimental to them. There is no room for pride here.

In this barefoot exercise, I have the choice of cursing those who ignorantly leave dangerous or filthy things in the way of others, particularly on public streets, sidewalks, parking lots or parks. Or I can accept this aspect of society, refusing to react in anger, but rather with a sadness at the overt self-destructiveness of human nature. I allow my feet to do the talking, and I listen, very carefully.

Feet, in our materialistic society are jewels encased in hard boxes or crates called shoes, never to be exposed to what lies under them. We have no idea, until we remove our shoes and relearn how to walk on the earth, how much our protective equipment we call shoes and clothes, have taken away from our identity with our world.

Encased in our various types of armour; driving our polluting and destructive machines; locked in our equally unhealthy air-conditioned/centrally heated box homes, we storm and stomp through the earth as conquerors, rapists, violators and murderers. We do not feel because we cannot feel. We live in artificial exoskeletons that deny us our natural heritage which demands that we daily touch the earth with our natural nakedness. We are denied, and we deny ourselves and we become “more machine than man” as we progress towards the ringing bells of our earth’s death knell.

There is a movement under way called “Free the Nipple” by people who believe that women should have the same right to go topless in public as men do. Perhaps we need a movement called “Free the Feet” so we can once again walk barefoot wherever we choose, including in restaurants and all other type of stores or offices.

Beautiful feet are not found inside prisons called shoes. They are found naked and free.

Totally out of context perhaps but a truly fine expression: “As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” [Isaiah 52:7]”

 

 

I Like Thinking

              [thoughts from    ~burning woman~    by Sha’Tara]

I like thinking.  I think it’s quite my favourite occupation.  Much of the time spent thinking, I even think about thinking.  I wonder too, while thinking, what thinking really is.  I know what it does, but how has that incredible ability develop so that “I” could have it, and for free too? 

You don’t get much of any value for free these days, and what remains the powers that be are sitting in board rooms, and expanding R&D facilities to find ways and means to steal that from the general public and sell it back to them, drugged and artificially flavoured.

I’m wondering, which is a sibling of thinking, if they are trying to find ways to steal our thinking freedom to sell it back to us in the form of pills, propaganda, brainwash and blatant stupidity?

Oh, what am I saying!  They’ve always done that.  They brainwashed you with Religion since the infancy of the species.  Then came the “short fingered vulgarians” (a term I am borrowing from Emma in https://goodmarriagecentral.wordpress.com/2017/10/08/our-positive-disintegration/ )which she used to refer to Donald Trump, but which also serves equally well for all the BadBullyBoys of our past and present who have masqueraded as rulers, leaders and general psychopathic mayhem makers and thieves of gargantuan proportions.  Otherwise known as government, and banking, of course.

In this last century, half of which I slipped through unseen but observing, we experienced much more intense brainwashing in the form of ads from newspapers (remember those?), magazines (ditto?) radio, TV, and now the Infernet.  Some have the brainless gall to think of it as informational.  Gag me!  “Ads by Google” and “Rate this Ad.” – Rate an ad?  Are they serious?  Are people so unthinkingly, utterly brain dead that they would consider rating an ad as “good”?  “Please rate our slap in your face: was if effective?  Like it here.” “Rate this lie, here.”  “Tell us how we’re doing.  Are we stealing enough of your money or can you find ways to help us improve our Corporate Thievery? Click here to participate.

Then, in case anyone got through all of that and is still capable of an iota of free thinking, they lathered society with sports and various entertainment and entertainers to make up your mind for you.  Here you cheer for the reds, and here you’ll get clobbered if you don’t support the blues and oh, don’t miss this on YouTube: rapper JarPlixBop was interviewed and gives a brilliant analysis on the coming election.  If you’re still hesitant on who to vote for, listen to that interview: just brilliant!

There’s a whole Walmart super store of other prepackaged thinking that’s part and parcel of civilization.  Most people like shopping, enjoy wasting money on stupid stuff and stunts.  It’s all there, on the shelves, in the bubble packs, hanging by the checkout counters.  Buy, buy, buy and say goodbye to your own thinking powers.

The only problem with pre-packaged thinking is, a pile of feces freshly dumped can appear shiny and even brilliant in the proper light, but I’d still advise not to get too close. Look at it the next day and you’ll notice that much of the sheen has gone and the “shit flies” are having a field day on it.  That in itself should be food for thought, and thought, which arises from thinking, is what I was going to write about.

I like thinking.  I like linking thinking, stringing it out as far as I can make it go, wondering, which is another aspect of thinking, how far I can think it.  Did you know you can’t out-think thinking?  It just keeps on.  All you need do is follow, and open doors and gates as you get to them, keep following.

There’s all sort of thinking.  There’s directed thinking, like when you want to participate in an open discussion and try to stick to the subject at hand.  There’s recreational thinking which is a lot of fun, especially if you happen to be alone and need someone to play with.

Nothing however beats wild thinking.  That’s my favourite type of thinking.  Suddenly you encounter it, as if out of nowhere (which as everybody knows, is left of everywhere and what’s left of everywhere) and you decide, heck, I’ll follow him today.  So you think-track your way through a wilderness of thoughts you had never even dreamed could have existed.  You realize that all your life it was this close, so close you could have been a thinking wanderer lo those many years.  But never mind, you’re now tracking the Sasquatch of Sasquatches.  You’re swimming after the Loch Ness monster and practically holding it by the tail.

Wild thinking knows no boundaries, none whatever.  The more you track wild thinking the more of societal dummied-down, drugged sluggishness oozes from your mind.  You begin to feel your freedom and before you know it, you really are free.  You realize you can exercise your own thinking in an increasingly pristine wilderness of thinking where free thought meets free thought and the greatest love affair of all times begins to coalesce.

From the heights of the wildest mountain imaginable you look back upon the smog-filled valleys; you remember the noise, the commotion, the hates and fears and doubts that polluted both mind and body, and you know you’ll never go back down again.

I think of a simple ladybug.  It finds a blade of grass, or a finger pointing up (it doesn’t care if it’s the middle finger), walks up to the top… and takes off but only when it reaches the top.

I can think whatever I want.  There is no power in heaven, on earth, or in hell, that can force me to think otherwise.  If I say to myself, I think so, or I don’t think so, that is the one thing I can totally rely on to be true.

“I am therefore I think.”  (Sorry Mr. Descartes but that is the way it is.)

 

Innocence finds her Freedom

[a poem, by Sha’Tara]

Innocence, what is that,
that anyone should care?
What does it produce
but chatter and silliness?
Innocence, how wasteful
of a life in need of direction.
We are here, we are here,
bring the child to our doors,
we’ll take her from here.
We’ll mold her character 

and teach her the Way.

Innocence flew off
frightened by the noise,
the angry words, the tears,
the blows that fell upon
that soft helpless flesh.
Farther and farther it circled,
rising up to the windows:
finding a broken pane
it slipped out and flew away.

On the cement walk
three floors below
the old school yard
a small body lies
battered, bloody, dead.
Innocence has broken out,
free at last, and happy
once again laughing
among the blue and the white
where the free winds blow.

What price freedom?
Don’t ask why: you know
there was no better way.

 

Walking Barefoot and going Naked

[thoughts from  ~burning woman~  ]

There’s been quite a bit of talk out here in blog planet about walking barefoot.  It is even said that walking barefoot on the earth is healing to the body.  A dangerously revolutionary concept in re-awakening awareness and consciousness of what it means to have a physical body that is meant to be connected to the earth, not to a rising megalith of technology.  So let’s look at man the civilized technocrat as he proudly stands today, master of his earth domain, and let’s look at an alternative lifestyle, a what-if when man encountered a fork in the road of his evolution and chose the path of civilization and technology over the path offered by nature.  At the start of man’s right-hand path choice he didn’t realize that his civilization could only proceed to the degree that he conquered, denigrated and systematically destroyed all vestiges of his natural roots.  Man’s new world would be an artificial one which in the end would enslave him completely.

Technology has made man less and less sensitive to the natural environment.  It’s given rise to several generations of whiners, bitchers and complainers about “the weather” even from those whose sole contact with the great bane of “the weather” consists of a dozen or so steps from a centrally heated or air-conditioned building to a heated or air-conditioned vehicle.  But it’s not just modern technology that has made man into an unnatural borg-like creature: it’s all of man’s civilization right from the beginning.

Archaeology demonstrates that man’s civilizations arise spontaneously as if out of nowhere and from nothing, without natural or rational explanation for their sudden appearance only to fall prey to destruction and decay over and over again.  Our great global capitalistic-technocratic civilization today is poised on the edge of its own irrevocable downfall, the “sword of Damocles” hanging over its raison d’être.  And here we go again, and this going is being accompanied by horrendous loss of human life, of indigenous species and this time may well result in a planetary eco-environmental disaster making current non-mutated biological life as we know it impossible.  I’m not saying anything new here and it’s all available to anyone who still doesn’t get it. 

So let’s go back to that famous fork in the road; the great bifurcation.  At the time, most Earthians chose to ignore the lure of civilization and quietly took the left hand path leading to the fair, sweet, unspoiled empty lands and wilderness for which man and his fellow earth wanderers, were made.  They walked away in their innocence, naked and unafraid, to pluck juicy fruits dangling from healthy trees and vines, roots and herbs growing along the path for the digging and the picking. 

Oh, and here’s a tidbit of information most, if not all, “civilized” Earthians are blissfully unaware of, and deliberately so: on that left hand path into the untamed frolicky wilderness of earth there were then no predators.  That’s right, and I can just hear the intake of breath, see the snide smile and the shaking of the head: nuts!  Yes, there were lots of nuts, also for the picking, and free as everything else.  But seriously, those terrible predators that get so much mileage in Disney movies and corny virtual reality shows, and so much bad press from children’s tales… they lived side by side with man and his children and everybody was… vegetarian.  There was no killing; no bloodshed and very little pain.  Death came about naturally, was accepted, and nature continued to offer her bounty as that which died returned to the soil to become part of that which lived on. 

For those who think they really know the “Bible”… here’s a quote to make anyone think:

Genesis 1:29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

Genesis 1:30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground — everything that has the breath of life in it — I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

I imagine a world where the choice of paths had not materialized; where “normal” was not interfered with.  What would earth look like today if man had not become civilized and had not “discovered” technology?  Let’s look at the obvious and let’s try to determine if man made the correct choice in not only making an idol of civilization and technology, but forcing those who had not, into it’s polluting, deadly melting pot, and if they would not, enslaving them and killing them outright. 

What happens if you don’t wear shoes, but must walk barefoot?  You are basically guided by your feet: you cannot go where the terrain would destroy, burn or freeze your feet, so you remain in foot-friendly zones.  The rest remains for the livelihood and safety of “others.”

What happens if you don’t learn to wear clothing?  Again, your body dictates where you may live.  Any area too cold, too wet or otherwise too harsh for “the naked ape” body would be naturally eschewed.  So those areas would remain the domain of others who could live there and man would never become a threat to them. 

What happens if you don’t learn to make heated shelters?  Again, your species is limited to those temperate zones where sheltering or sleeping comfortably on freshly strewn grasses and leaves can be done.  You stay within zones nature says are suitable for you and you leave the rest alone.  And again, the “others” can find their own life in non-threatened areas of the planet.  

What happens if you don’t learn to make and wear armour in battle?  You remain much more vulnerable to sticks and stones and choose to avoid pitched battles with strangers, instead making attempts to live in relative peace with them.  You don’t become “warriors” in any case because you really have nothing to defend.  You can always move on.

One can see by the above that “overpopulation” and the Earthian species overrunning space naturally reserved for others would not have happened without civilization.  Also man would not have developed the incredibly stupid hubris of inventing weapons of mass destruction to threaten not only his own civilization, but all others and perhaps the living biosphere.    

And here’s one more: what happens if day in, day out, everybody around you, from baby to oldest remains naked?  Well surprise, surprise but you don’t notice such a thing as unusual.  So you don’t become a misogynist male; you don’t rape your women or young boys.  You don’t need books of laws of sexual taboos with attached punishments for violating those laws.  When you need sex, which in non-civilized societies isn’t the driving sickness it is in crowded, controlled, stifled city-type living, it is easily and simply satisfied for both sexes. 

In conclusion I want to repeat a teaching I got from one of the Teachers, Phaelon.  In his list of attributes that define a true human being, was this one:  “When you find you can walk naked among others of your own species and feel no shame, know that you are a human being.”

Which closes this essay:  Why do Earthians feel ashamed to be seen naked by each other?  Why do they experience the need to measure themselves by how their bodies look to others through pride or shame?  Why do they associate nudity with sexuality?  And why does this shame persists even among those who have deliberately rejected organized Religions and the gods who purportedly made those arbitrary and unnatural rules regarding sex, gender identity, and the type of clothing a male and a female may wear?

I am completing this sitting at my back yard computer “desk” under a bright, clear autumn sun… totally naked and feeling wonderful.   Want to join me? 

 

 

Thanya of Norda

While Roger at Woebegone but Hopeful (https://heroicallybadwriters.com/2016/09/05/a-true-history-of-the-isles-part-12-the-vikings-arrive-a-aaa-a-ha-a-eeya-a-ha/#respond)

is entertaining us with his hilarious history of the British Isles, his 12th part with the arrival of the Vikings reminded me of this story I wrote some time back, based on a past life remembrance.  Unlike Roger’s stories however, this one is not humorous.
____________________________________________

Thanya of Norda
          a short story – by Sha’Tara

My name is Thanya.  I live on the coast of Norda, in a poorly fortified village.  My people are woodsmen, fisherfolk and farmers.  We constitute one of the main centers on the coast and my father and mother are considered to be the Chiefs.  I have an older brother who is a great hunter and whom I admire.

This part of my story begins when I am fourteen years, according to the Christian calendar.  In the late Summer the feared and hated Norsemen raid our village.  Our men are overwhelmed and put to the sword.  I see by father and brother die.  I pick up a sword to defend myself but I cannot handle the weight of it.  I’m quickly disarmed and brought to the leader of the raiders.  I can hear the cries of the women and the children, some being raped and killed, others rounded up, tied and put aboard the boats to be sold as slaves down the coast.  I can see and smell the smoke as our homes are systematically destroyed and burned.

A tall, red-haired and red-faced man stands in front of me.  He tears my clothes off and has me put to my knees, my wrists pulled back and tied to my ankles.  He straddles me and lifts his sword.  Laughing, he brings it down as if to cut me in half but swings it aside.  I curse him for letting me live.  He rapes me.  I scream a “prophecy” at him:  “I will have your son and when you return here he will kill you!”  He laughs again, has me untied and held away from him.  He says to me: “For that I will let you live and go free.  If indeed you have my son and if indeed he lives to defeat me in battle, I shall freely confer my title and properties to him.  I am King Garthul.  If you survive, remember that name, wench.”

They rowed off the shore, then sailed away with their spoils.  I found some rags to cover myself and tried to cover the bodies of the dead.  I covered my father and brother.  I found no trace of my mother so assumed she had been taken prisoner.   I did not have the strength to drag them onto a pyre and burn them, so I left and entered the forest.  I found shelter in a cave made from a hollow windfall and survived my first winter on nuts, roots and dried husks of fruit hanging from branches or lying in clumps of grass.  I gave birth to a healthy son in the Spring and took him deep into the forest, not knowing what to do.  I found other survivors and eventually convinced most of them to return to the coast, to my village.  We gathered the bones of the dead and burned them, then performed the ritual of cleansing for the land.  Then began the task of re-building.

Throughout the years I directed the re-construction based on villages and strongholds I studied during inland wanderings.  First an inner fort made of stone, not of material that could burn.  Then an outer palisade made of strong timbers and deadly stakes.  Finally, near the beach another fence made of non-burnable materials, whatever we could find.  I trained the people, young and old, male and female, to bear and use arms of all kinds.  I designed new weapons, especially for the females.  Shoes were basic wooden sandals equipped with a sharp spearhead at the front and sometimes at the back.  Armbands made of wood were equipped with a deadly dagger that could be flipped and locked in a forward position, the tip of the blade extending past the hand.  We made bows that were longer than hunting bows and much more accurate, using longer arrows.  I made them leave crenellations in the walls, and holes that looked natural but through which arrows could be shot.  And I trained the tallest men to use long spears that could be thrust through cracks deliberately left in the walls but concealed from anyone looking from the outside.

As more and more survivors and disgruntled serfs from other parts joined us our village grew and surpassed the numbers and strength of the past.  My son became a fearsome warrior, I made sure of that.  He was tall and had red hair.  There was no doubt who his father was.

Among those who joined us came two Christian monks.  They claimed they had special knowledge they wished to impart to certain chosen people among the village.  I asked them to share their knowledge with all of us, offered to give them a special place at our regular meeting day, but they insisted their knowledge was only for the chosen.  They also insisted that we give up worshipping our gods and learned of their one god and accept him as our only god.  This I refused to do.  I gave them a hut and made the people aware of their offer.  Anyone who chose the Christian god over the land’s gods was free to do so.  Some did but it did not matter.  Christians made good warriors too, there was no conflict among us.

In time my prophecy was fulfilled.  The raiders returned and an older Garthul still led them.  As soon as the alarm was given all the people who could not fight and all the younger children with as many goats and fowl as could be taken, were sent deep into the woods in preselected hiding places.  Then we waited.  My son was then eighteen years of the Christian calendar, and eager to fight this Garthul.  I had not told him this was his father, just what he had done to his family.

Yelling their taunts, the raiders rushed our first slender defenses.  We killed several of them before we retreated to the next defensive position.  The raiders crashed through our first wall only to encounter a much more effective defense.  They had no place to hide and we defeated them there.  Garthul gave the signal for surrender and my son jumped forward to put a sword to his throat.  I ran behind him and stopped him:  “Well Garthul, we meet again.  Remember the prophecy of the young girl whose parents and brother you killed.  Remember her taunt, “I will have your son and he will kill you!”  Well here I am, and here is he, your son, Garth.”

He remembered, and believing he was about to die, he called his second and swore that his title and lands were now the property of his son, this son, my son, Garth of Norda.

And this is where my life turned.  For Garth said, “He is my father, and I cannot kill him.  Therefore, since he has so grievously harmed you, mother, here is my sword.  You must avenge your parents and your village.  This is not for me to do.”

I took the sword and held it aloft unflinchingly.  I could have easily cut his head off, but instead I laid the sword on his shoulder and said, “Life has taught me this, Garthul: That there comes a point where it becomes necessary to let go of the past and to forgive.  For as heavy as the burden of loss is, the burden of vengeance is twice as heavy.  I have reached that point.  Today I have redeemed what was lost.  I have defeated you and I am your master, I, a mere woman.  Furthermore, I have something of yours that I know is more precious to you than your own life: your son.  So here’s my proposal – listen to me well.  I wish that you should take Garth with you.  Make him into a sailor and take him back to your own land and train him in the arts of being a King there, as you are.  When the time comes, I wish for you to pass your power on to him.  Further, I wish that your country should enter into a  permanent peace with us.  We have much to trade with you, especially of hardwoods.

And it came to pass.  Garth became ruler of both Norda and his father’s land.  There were no more raids on our coasts.  We remained at peace until a new trouble began to brew from the hinterlands.  But that is a story attached to a future that is not mine nor Garth’s.