Thawing

Thawing

Postby Niabh » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:10 am


I woke this morning with words. They have been gone such a long time that it took me a moment to understand what they were. You would have thought it funny to see me trying to sort them out, or perhaps you would not. The raven did not think it very funny. There is no need for words with Catch, and the raven and I speak in my own language, so I must assume that if the words have returned, they are for you.

I have been keeping things spring for him. He knows better, and I know better, but it is the only thing I can offer him. I have never known quite what to do with my hands if they were not giving, and he in truth needs little. That is the way of the banaheen. They are complete of themselves and do not need us. Then, too, he is not truly banaheen. He has learned to need company. That I can provide, though after so many months, I wonder at his tolerance. Never in my life have I doubted that I was the most wonderful creature, the brightest thing under the sun, and that anyone would be glad to keep me. Now before him, I feel I must work to be worthy. He humbles me.

I have been happy, but I feel it is a tricksome happiness, like glamourie, based all in seeming with nothing more beneath but a pea or a pebble. But it is such a pretty glam that I have no wish to see what it truly is. You would scold me for that, I know. You always believe the truth is better even when it is unbearable. All I can say is that I am not yet strong, my shunna. The day will come when it comes. I know that as well as I know my name. That the words have returned may well mark the end of it, as much as the ice melting means the true spring is near.

This makes me wonder if that is not why I am reaching out for you: that when it happens, I shall need someone who appreciates the truth. It is selfishness to seek out someone only when you have need. I should like to be able to say that I missed you and needed you for yourself, but that quality is as much yourself as any part of you, so perhaps it is all one.

Please do not make this a correspondence. I do not have near enough words yet for
that, and Catch has not the patience. But if you will tell the raven how you are keeping and if there is anything you need, it would make me very happy.
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
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Re: Thawing

Postby Niabh » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:35 am

Do you remember how I used to begin all the letters ‘dear sir’? And you would use any other name you could for me because you refused to accept Victoria? I did not know then that name meant Victory. So you refused to accept defeat, which is just like you. I rather liked Ellipsis. The space between two halves of a thought. I would not have much minded if we had kept to that.

And yet now you are my shunna, and you use the name my mother calls me, and I cannot remember how we ever reached that accord. It feels as though we have been there always.

I do not know why these thoughts come. They make me sad, as though I were looking back on something lost.

You know I do not dream, but I had a dream about you. I came to visit you at your house in Razasan, but when I came in, you had gotten yourself all tangled up in some ridiculous lace curtain, lying on the floor and flopping about like a fish in a net. I thought it was funny, but you said, stop laughing and get me out of this. So I took some shears and tried to cut you loose, but you would not keep still, and I ended up cutting you. I wanted to stop and work out some other way, but you insisted I go on. You became very sweary about it. I do not recall ever hearing you swear. It went on and on like that, me begging to stop, you insisting, and all the while cutting you up worse and worse. I woke with my stomach in knots because I could not remember if it really happened. Did it?

Betimes I forget where I am now. Rather, I forget everything but where I am not. I can never forget that I am not home. I know this is Myrken, but it might as well be anywhere. It is easy to forget where one is, with him. One of the things I knew I would miss about going home would be leaving him behind. Now I know that he will be there, too, which is some comfort. He was there before, though I did not know it, and he will always be there, and I shall never truly lose him. I may miss his company, but I must never miss it enough not to go back. That is the one thing he will not have of me. I hope he never asks for it.

I do not know where to go from here. Every day with him makes me want to stay another. That is why I must not stay.

I fear I have become the mad Lady Niall after all. Certes I sound it here, but it all makes sense once one has seen it. I suppose madness must make sense, too, when one is mad, otherwise one would know it for what it was at once, which I do. All of this is mad, but it is nothing like it was. I am getting better.

The one trait we two share, that we are never content unless we are busy, and if nothing keeps us busy, we find business, and woe betide the world then. It is more surprising that you be lonely. Here I thought you kept busy to avoid being lonely. One or the other, never both. I am less concerned for your loneliness when I know you are occupied, they are so much the same with you, but if you would have the raven, he is free to come as he wishes, as he ever was. Clever shunna, to ask for something already given and so get around the burden of a gift. Cruel, too, but that has always been the other side of your cleverness.

It is impossible to be lonely with him, but I have tried to keep myself busy by clearing the old place. The fire brought the roof down; it was only willow fronds under sod, not anything meant to last. I built it so that it would fall in on itself after I was gone and the grass would seal it up, only I meant for it to be empty by then. A great many things were ruined, but surprised I was to find your old letters. You built better than I did, my shunna, for they were not even singed. I may send them to you to keep, and some other things. There is little lost that cannot be replaced, except the horse, and even she can be replaced, poor creature. Back home we say, you will ride a hundred horses before you die. It is meant to help not to miss them so much when they go to the last pasture, but I always do. Horses live such short lives, you would think it would not matter. But you think the same of the way I see you, do you not?

I realize I keep asking you questions and you cannot answer.

You never answer any question worth the asking.
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
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Re: Thawing

Postby Niabh » Mon Mar 08, 2021 4:12 pm

The raven says it has been a day since I wrote. He says it has been a day since I spoke, too. I believe him. If he said a week, I would believe it. If he said a year, I would believe it.

No. I would not believe a year. Something would have changed in a year.

It feels ordinary to not speak. Then the raven comes, with his all his chatter, and I must answer him, though it feels like an intrusion. As though one of us has broken a rule. What rules be there? Who set them? It is not he. He asks nothing of me. I know not if that is his liberty or if he knows better. We know better than to ask of one another. Strange it is, and fortunate, that is no need for it.

True spring is coming. Even I cannot glam as well as the seasons can turn. There was a moment when I could, and it was lovely. Everything pulled out of the possible and made true. I do not have to remember how it was, for the feel of it is burned into my fingertips. I think the trouble is that I
was him, for a moment, only I am not made for it. Such things he keeps in his head! My head is much too small for them. But I saw where I stood among them. Not all paths end at my feet after all.

I used to love things that changed. I loved it when the trees turned colors. I used to watch for it, as though it were a game. The prize was being the one to see it first. Like when we went to watch the wolves crossing and you kept saying you saw them, but it was the snow and the shadows playing tricks on your eyes. Then they really came, and we both thought you were mistaken again, but that time you were right. It was only a game, with even any stakes to it, but while we were playing, it felt so important to win.

I do not like coming to this page. When the words come, so too do the questions. Which one is the truth, what I live or what I ask? Glenn would say the questions. Meg would say, whichever leads you to do as you ought. But who is to say what ought be done? Only I. What is a queen for but that? What if I do not want to be a queen anymore? I never wanted it before. I
was it.

That comes back to change again. In the end there is only so much that can be changed. Vashaly told me a story once about a little house. Year by year they changed its door, and its roof, and its walls, until all the parts had been replaced. Was it still the same house, or a new one? I spent my time trying to argue that it was not the same, but he kept prying: but is it? Is it?

Am I?

The time with the wolves wasn’t Glenn. I know it really happened, I remember it. I remember it it really happened but I do not know if it already happened. Either way he could not have been there.

I can’t remember if you are someone I know or someone I knew.
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
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