( I started this 4 years ago in response to this challenge. I knew I was getting off track of the topic and never finished it. I decided today, what the heck. I will finish it. Perhaps I will use it to write a full story later. I hope you don’t mind.)
Alec had walked for days. He had to reach the ancient city of Arkan before the end of this day if he was to complete his quest on time. There were twenty people relying on him. He walked through the tree line and with great sadness looked upon the city that had once been his people’s home. The great towers that reached toward the sky were broken, the crystal parapets now lay at their feet.
His footsteps echoed down empty cobble stone streets as he walked towards the imposing Cathedral. Fingers tracing lines through soot on pink crystal walls. The colored windows of the city once brightly lit now are cracked and dark. Shadows whispering in the wind, fleetingly pass from one building to another. Alec paid them no mind, they were memories trapped here from a distant time. He paused to look into the broken window of a bakery. The cakes and breads hardened to stone upon the stands by the heat from the disaster. All roads led to the great fountain in the center of the city. The rushing water spilling from the peak in it’s center filled the empty spaces with sound. The fountain was carved from marble as black as night and rose four stories high. Water flowed from the golden filagreed top down 6 tiers of black stone held up by a marble statue of a forgotten God. Four towers remained intact around the center square along with the great cathedral. Each tower contained a large lense that focused the last sunlight of that season’s equinox upon the fountain. Four season, four towers. What was not forgotten was the power in the water to heal any illness. The reason for his quest.
The last of the summer light shone upon the lense in the yellow crystal tower. A bright beam of light fell upon the fountain head. The flowing water sparkled in the light and began to glow. Alec ran forward with ten flasks and filled them full. He stepped back and watched the glow fade with the setting sun. He turned to enter the large cathedral. If you did not leave a “gift” you could never leave the city again. The heavy cathedral doors were ornately carved mahogany. Flora and Fauna of all types flowed in patterns from the top to the bottom. His legs suddenly felt heavy as he walked up the steps to the doors and he had to push with all his strength to open them. His fingers wrapped around the edges of the doors and he leaned into the door to open it further. The sound of the heavy metal grating on long rusted hinges echoed rang harshly in the air. He walked inside, his legs got heavier with each step. He had heard that the effort given to leave the gift was as much a test as the trip to the city itself. His shoes left scrape marks in the dust as he shuffled his feet forward. The brightly colored tiles shone through the layers of dust. The alter was in the center of the cathedral room. It was also carved of black marble and etched with gold writing. A language that was as forgotten as the god holding up the fountain.
He fell to his knees and crawled the remaining distance. He pulled himself up to stand and with shaking hands removed the his most prized possession and placed it upon the altar. The simple leather vest lay upon the dust covered surface. He dare not brush the dust away, he just laid the vest gently on top. This was the last thing his mother ever made for him before she died. It was brown, sueded leather with ornate beading and embroidery in the shape of flowers and birds. It was made for his coming of age ceremony this year. There had been a huge celebration as he was the Chief’s son. She lovingly put it on him before the ceremony and kissed his head. Told him how proud she was of him and then smiled and playfully pushed him out of the house. But, as soon as everyone had started eating the food they had become ill. His mother was one of the first to die. His father remained ill. No one knew why this was happening. No one had anything to gain by doing this to them. Then one of the healers had said it was just an accident. A child sent to pick the herbs had chosen the wrong ones. There was only one cure. The healing waters of the city. He had not eaten anything as he and the other children reaching their time of change was supposed to fast until the next morning. There were a few remaining adults who had been serving, but not eating that would look after everyone until he returned.
He felt the life draining from him. “I need to go home, please…I am begging you. Accept my gift so I can save my people. This water isn’t for me, it is for them!” He cried out “Please!” A voice like the whispering wind he had heard walking through city streets brushed his ears. “I accept you gift on one condition.” “Yes, anything.” Alec answered. “You and the remainder of your people must come back here and live in the city once again. I will take care of them, and they will take care of me…please tell them to return.” Alec had been warned to agree to whatever was asked or he could never leave.”
Wow…I was looking at my page and realizing how many posts I had started an not finished and were sitting in my drafts box. I really do miss blogging. I am hoping that this new spurt of creative energy continues. I remember thinking when I took this picture how that one daisy, half eaten and damaged was still beautiful. Isn’t that the way it can be with people. They can look worn and damaged and still have a spiritual light. A beauty that transends what their physical appearance displays. There are so many times I feel like that daisy. Half of me missing, damaged and worn. But, I would hope that I can maintain a spiritual light that can and does transend the physical pain and the worn appearnace. I am blessed to know people who have been going through trials both physical and spiritual and come out the other side with that wonderful spiritual light. They inspire me to continue and I will do my best to do so.
Light in the dark.
This is still one of my most favorite photographs I have ever taken. It represents what I have felt so often. Especially about my spiritual journey. I was walking through the woods and my mood was very somber and I was in deep reflection about so many things going on in my life. It was a cloudy day and the woods were dark, but there were streams of light that shown through the leaves when the sun came out and it shone on this one branch of honeysuckle growing over the fallen tree. Like a soft caress over the bark. It was inspirational for me. Life continues and light breaks through the darkness, we just have to look sometimes to see it and what it is illuminating. Blessings.
This week’s challenge is walking paths. I loved taking pictures when I did my walks. They are something I really miss and hope to get started again soon. Here are the entries for this week’s challenge.
I have really gotten to enjoy Cee’s challenges and have participated, but not as much as I have wanted. So, I thought I would give this one a try.
Does your first or middle name have any significance (or were you named after another family member)?
My first name is based on a few things. My mother and especially my father loved classical music. I think it is my favorite kind next to Appalachian/Celtic. A pavan was a courtly dance in the 16th and 17th century. Ravel wrote a piece of music that he envisioned a Princess in those courts would dance to. It was called Pavane pour une infante defunte. It was a favorite of my father’s. There are many versions, contemporary and classical. There are a couple of vocal versions of the song “Never say goodbye” and “Elysium” are based on the melody. My mother was an anthropologist/sociologist who specialized in Hindu culture. The name is also “Breeze” in Hindu. My name is spelled Pavanne because the Anne is in homage to my mother’s cousin named Mary Anne and my middle name Marie is for my mother’s best friend Marie. It was not a name that you appreciated when you were younger, but I have grown to appreciate it and the meanings behind it.
Music or silence while working?
I like to have music in the background. Quiet and soothing when I want to be really creative or studying and a bit more energetic if I am doing research for articles.
If you had a special place for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronics, people or animals), what would they be?
My wedding ring stays on my finger at all times. I have pictures drawn by my brother’s friend that are on my wall over my desk in the den. They are done with watercolor markers and ink. I love them, they were wonderful gifts. I have two mantels from a house built in the 1700’s that my father was trying to save before he passed away. I couldn’t afford to fix it after he passed, but I saved the mantels and have them in my home. One is in my den and one is in the foyer hall. The one in my den is not pretty but is roughly hand made and most likely by a freed slave that lived in the house for quite a few years.
The Never List: What are things you know you never will do?
I don’t know what I will never do. I don’t think I will ever do patient care again as I am physically unable to do so. At least not in the way I did as a nurse or respiratory therapist. I don’t like to think of things I can’t do, but what I can do.
Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I am grateful that I have a home to live in with a roof that doesn’t leak and heat. It needs a lot of work, but it home. I am looking forward to allowing myself to stop grieving over my past life and the things I can’t do anymore and move on to things that I can do.
I have always loved the way she writes and this touched me particularly deep today. I thought I would share.
I don’t remember learning how to love, originally. I only remember the origins of little love-habits.
I remember holding onto my stuffed elephant, tucked safely in my right arm always– a light grey beast with pink-tinted ears. He must’ve been a foot tall, if he could have stood on his own, but he couldn’t.
He needed me.
His fur was worn down, paper thin, from all the hugs.
“If you sneeze too hard, you’ll knock his stuffing out,” my big brother would say, so I learned to sneeze into the crook of my left arm.
Obviously I learned to love before that memory, or, why else would the cloth been so loved that my poor little elephant literally wore its insides on its out? Why else would I remember my brother the way I do? Magical, certainly, immortal, maybe.
I dropped that elephant in the mud one day, when my…
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