Category Archives: The Trilogy

A Day for Mothers

motherchild

 

 

Annah says:

“My mate, Holder, tells me that I should write in this journal more often.

He is not the only one, and I suspect he is right.  But the written word did not come to me early, either in my own language or the human language known as Galactic Standard or English, and so sometimes, I need a little prodding.  Because of this, I often only write here when I have something to say.

Although the day known as Mother’s Day is a cultural custom of Old Earth, and had even fallen into disuse on Holder’s homeworld until the fall of the governing body called Homesec, it is a custom Holder and I celebrate with our daughter, Linnah, and our son, Laren.

Yes, some of you who have read this journal from its beginnings, or who have read the books of my remembrances know who they are already, but I have not written here in so long I fear you may have forgotten.

On my world of Evohe, mothers are remembered every day.  We see our world herself as a mother, and our own mothers, whether still present (as is my own, Danae) or passed to the far shore of the spirit-river Essei-Khai, are always treasured in our hearts.

They are remembered in the values they pass to us; in the kind deeds and wise words they plant in us like seeds, and even in the traces of themselves they pass to us at our birth.  My blue eyes did not come from my mother, but the shape of my hands is much like hers, and when I hold my children, I sometimes think of how she held me when I myself was small.

Those who love us are a song that does not fade, even as the One who sang life into being does not diminish.

We learn the song of life from those who gave life to us, and we sing it ourselves, and pass it on in turn.

On this day, I am grateful for the love of family, but especially for my mother, Danae, who did not pass to me the color of her eyes, but rather, I hope, something of the depth of her heart:

The heart of a mother who, when she still carried me inside her, stayed behind while the man she loved traveled far into the mountains we call the High Country, so that I might draw my first breath in a place of safety.  I think that love more often than not means putting others above oneself, and the love of a mother seems to me the best example.

On this day and all days, I wish you the blessing of knowing one willing to set some things in her own life aside so that a new life might grow.

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A Circle of Friends

 

 

circle3Annah says:

“The word friend in Galactic Standard is a peculiar thing.  At a certain time in Old Earth history, it was used interchangeably both to describe a relationship such as mine and Holder’s, which has, and has always had, at least a romantic component, and later a sexual component, and also to describe a relationship of affection which contains neither of these other connotations.

“On Evohe, our word toyen, which means friend, contains all of these earliest meanings, as well as the notion of one whose life is willingly joined with that of another, such as those who have joined me and become my students and, to use another word, my disciples; my followers.

I do not recall that I ever called Holder ‘friend Holder’, even in our earliest days together.  Perhaps it was the fact that from the very beginning I felt a pull towards him that I knew to be more than even the honorable word toyen could express.  Perhaps it was that, in learning his language, I came to realize how debased and superficial a relationship the word ‘friend’ had come to signify in human society, and I never wanted to dishonor even the beginnings of our bond by limiting it in such a fashion.

Even before either of us felt comfortable to speak of one another as utra-toyen, or ‘more than friends’, I know that I did not want him to think I saw him as a mere acquaintance or even as one for whom my affections would never reach beyond a certain defined point, the way a hearth-fire is contained within a circle of stones and may not blaze beyond its borders.

And so I never called him friend, because I knew he would hear the word as a circle of stones, and even then, when I was scared we might both be burned by it, I did not wish our fire to be contained.

“I have explained all this to him, and he understands.  And he agrees, that he likely would have misunderstood my meaning.

“When I began to gather a Circle around me, both on Evohe, and beyond, on Holdfast, I did make a conscious decision to address those in the Circle, those who would be my followers, as ‘friends’, not because they were mere acquaintances, as the devolved, debased form of the word in Galactic Standard would suggest, but to suggest the linking of lives that our Circle came to represent.

“It was not easy in those early days for those who followed me, and who chose to learn the ways of Shaping from me.  It was even less so for those who accompanied me to Holdfast, and those, like Jason Treader and Brian Stelson, who came to join the Circle on that world, torn as it was by war and conflict.

“I called them ‘Friend’ because they had joined their lives with mine, not because we glimpsed each other in passing, exchanged pleasantries, and then moved on.

“We are fortunate, perhaps, on Evohe, that no connection of one life to another is seen as superficial or casual.  The word toyen is intimate by its very meaning, while not necessarily having sexual intimacy as a component.

“I spent much of that early time with Holder hoping that he understood that my refusal to address him as ‘friend’ did not mean that he was not.  Indeed, Holder is my essei-toyen; the friend of my spirit, as much as the friend of my body.  He understands that now, but I first needed him to know that I would never close him off in a circle of stones; never bind him by a word that his people had broken by too much use.

“In the same way, I needed my students, my disciples, if you will, to know that my life was now linked to theirs; that I would no sooner allow them to come to harm than I would myself.

“I think they know that, now.

“Before I cross to the far shores of the Essei-Khai for the final time, to once again set foot in the place I have called the Archipelago, I hope to teach my world, Holder’s world and as many others as will allow me that the scattered lights of the Sea of Stars should be a single band of radiance in the darkness.

A chain of many hands joined, close, and distant.

A circle of friends.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Waiting for the Light

candle

 

Annah says:

It has once again been a long time since I wrote in this journal.  This Cycle, perhaps, I have an excuse–there are two new books of my story in the world.  Perhaps you have read them already.  But life must go on, and new stories must be lived, and written, and told.  It never gets as cold here on Evohe as it does on Earth, but our days do shorten in the waning part of a Cycle, and in that time, it is a custom of my people to remember that, although the Cycle of a life may be long, it in time passes away, from us into others, like a candle’s flame that is passed to bring light to another life.

In the times when we see little light in our lives, it is always there: in the touch of a mate or a friend, in the embrace of family, in the bright eyes of a child, for whom Life itself is a new flame whose light and warmth are being discovered anew, each day.

There are days, for us all, when we seem to have little to say and less to do.  I may even  have had a few of those days myself, recently.  *laughs*

But in the days when the fire within seems as distant as the sun itself from the ground I stand on, I look to Holder’s eyes, or to the eyes of our bloomlings, or to that ever-present place where the eyes of the First Ones have always looked back at me, and I remember that the light will come again, and indeed, it has never really left.

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First Contact

ce3kAnnah says:

Holder and Kale have both told me that one of the most popular genres of story on Earth–both in words and in moving-pictures–is something called ‘science fiction’, which, as best I can tell from what I have seen of it, involves extrapolations either of events in an imagined temporal future, or events stemming from new achievements in human invention or science.  Holder says that some of the science fiction films and books he read as a child were directly responsible for the career he chose, because he wanted to see the Sea of Stars.  Kale says something similar, although his family had been involved in Earth military service for cycles and cycles before Kale was even born, and it was expected of him.

Besides space exploration and the horizons of technology, one event frequently depicted in science fiction is the idea of ‘first contact’ between the human race and lifekind from other worlds.  This contact is shown in many forms: sometimes it is violent, like the events of the film and book “War of the Worlds”; sometimes it is a meeting of the minds in a rational and scientific sense, as shown many times in the television show “Star Trek.”  And once in a while it is peaceful and bordering on spiritual, such as in the moving-picture Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which may be my favorite of the science fiction films I have seen.  It may seem strange to those humans who read this, but the genre has fast become a favorite of mine.

First contact, when it came for my people, was neither spiritual, rational or scientific.  My Memories tell me that the humans came to our world to steal our knowledge of Shaping and healing; to bend and twist it into something they could use in war.  Not all humans felt this way–my friend the Maestro, and his father, certainly did not, but they were in the minority.  When the humans could not conquer us or use our ways to help them, they came again in ships of steel, on clouds of fire.  They tried to destroy what they had not been able to capture.  Evohe’s ‘first contact’ with humankind was a bitter thing indeed, and it informed my people’s Memories of Holder’s species for generations.

But my own first contact with humans was far different.  It came in the form of a man who was very badly hurt, nearly dead, and very much afraid.  It came, for me, in the shock of realization that the people my Memories had taught me to fear were much like my own kind, and, later, my true first contact with Holder’s race became the recognition of love.

I believe that, whatever world we call home, and whether we are human or of some other race, like the children of Evohe, the events of our lives are a series of first contacts, and what we do with those experiences shapes not only our own selves, but helps to shape the world around us.

To use a word that is not really in the vocabulary of my own people, the world itself is ‘alien’ to us when we are first bloomed and born: we all open our eyes upon a horizon that is strange and unexplored.  The spirit in which we approach that exploration makes all the difference.  “First contact” can consume our own lives in fires of division–or it can color our own horizons with the light of transformation.  The choice is ours.

 

 

 

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Many Songs, Many Voices: Liara

Liara says:

Hello!  I am sorry it took me so much longer than the others to post my entry.  But, I suppose I treat the craft of words the way Annah treats singing, or Chelries her dancing.

I love music, just as my two sisters do.  Chelries might say that I place too much attention on music that has distinct or intelligent words, but I cannot help this.  Words are the way my heart understands the world, and how I am understood by others.  I am lucky many of the musicians and singers of Earth seemed to feel the same way.

Annah and Chelries would tell you that I love the human singer Tori Amos, and they would be right.  Listening to her, I wonder if, like me, she grew up keeping a side of herself secret, fitting in where she could.  I know I have.  Even the language of the lyrics here is a kind of code–but sometimes words are a mystery.   Tori’s words, like her music and–dare I say, herself–are beautiful.

 

In the time after Annah left us, and before she returned, we all got to know young Erys, the seed-maiden whose Shaping-Talent is painting.  One night, Holder played us this song, about a painter from Old Earth named Vincent van Gogh.  Gorgeous lyrics, and music to mirror it.

 

Like Annah, I am fond of the Earth singer Sarah McLachlan.  Although I am probably more partial to Tori Amos, I do love Sarah’s music and the skill she had with words.

 

In the account of the Cycle that brought the Battle of Holdfast written in Annah’s third book; the Cycle when she went to her rest–there is not much said of my reaction to her passing.  That is less Annah’s fault than my own.  I was not sure how much I had lost until I already had.  I think of what she has told me–that one day, I will lead our Circle in her place.  I hope I am more ready for that, in time, than I was, more than a cycle ago.

 

For the last song in my entry, I want to offer a song sung by a male voice–both so you will not think that I cannot hear truth sung by someone with a bloomstalk rather than a blossom–and because truth is its own justification.

 

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Many Songs, Many Voices, Part II: Chelries

Chelries says:

Hi!  I have been excited since my sister Annah first suggested we share about the types of music we like.  Although I am not a singer, like she is, I still love music–and she is not a dancer like me, so I suppose everything is in Balance! *giggles*

I like many different kinds of Earth music, just as Annah does, but one thing that matters most to me is, does it make me want to move?

Here is one human song I love very much, that i think could totally have been written here on Evohe.  And surprise–the vidscreen footage has dancing!

 

One thing I have come to understand about Earth culture is that female beauty on that world is often associated with having a very thin and slim form.  Some females even starve themselves to achieve such a thing.  Annah looks this way, even though she is of my world, but she does not starve herself–she is that way naturally.  My form is rounder–‘curvy’, Holder would probably say–and maybe I am even a little large, for I do enjoy eating, especially fruits and baked things that my mother taught me to make.  So this song means  much to me–I could have written it myself.

 

I do not know where Holder found this next song, but I love, love, love it.

 

 

Besides dancing, I also love playing the instrument that in the language of the humans, is called a ‘drum.’  And I like the recorded drum music I have found from among the records of Earth cultures.  Besides, drums were meant to dance to:

 

I must say, I did not know the type of music called “punk rock” existed before Holder came to my world and became a part of Annah’s life–of all our lives.  This is a ‘punk rock’ song I love, by a band called the Ramones, whose music is easy to dance to…even if the kind of dancing it makes me want to do is just bouncing up and down!

 

I think it embarrasses Holder and Annah both that I love this next song as much as I do.  Holder says he thinks it was forgotten in Earth cultural history ‘for a reason.’   *laughter*   I still like it.  And I will claim one small victory–I got Annah to dance with me to it, once.  Holder, Goodman and Liara fell over themselves laughing.  Annah made Holder sleep on the far side of their fire–outside her bedding-blankets–for two nights after. *giggles*

 

Here is a group of females from Old Earth I wish I could have met.  This song reminds me of myself, Liara and Annah, and what we mean to each other.  If I do take a mate some day–and I honestly hope I will–he had better respect Annah and Liara as much as he does me.  These ‘Spice Girls’ had the right idea.

 

Now, not everything I like has to be about dancing, although my sisters tease me that is all I enjoy doing.  I do like slower music from time to time–they are good to fall asleep to. *giggles*

 

 

One last one–and this one is back to dancing.  I had no idea where Holder had found this one when he and Annah first played it for me, and showed me how to dance to it.   Then they showed me the–movie, yes that is the word–it came from.  Such love!

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Many Songs, Many Voices, Part I: Annah

Annah says:

This will be an unusual journal entry, I feel I should warn you.  Music is a fundamental part of life on my homeworld of Evohe, and as a song-Shaper myself, it has been as close to me as my own breath since I was first bloomed and born.  I know it is dear to the hearts of my two best friends, Chelries and Liara, as well.  As a bloonling, and later as a young seed-maiden, I had little but my own voice and the melodies in my head to stitch together songs from.

Later, when Holder and I met, he opened my mind to the vast wealth of music that human culture had produced.  I will always love the songs and melodies of my people, for their echoes lie in my own heart.  But I have learned to love the songs of Holder’s distant world of Earth, as well, as have my two shenai-khori–my heart-sisters.

I like many styles of music produced by humankind, but I will try my best to give two or three examples from each type with which I am familiar, and then I have asked Chelries and Liara to do the same.

Heavy metal: I am familiar with it, as it is one of the types of music my beloved mate, Holder, loves most in the world.  Much of it hurts my ears, but there are a few songs of this kind that I like.  Here is one of them–but not quite all 😉

 

Rock: There is so MUCH Earth music that fits in this category that I cannot really even begin to list everything here that I like.  Many of my very favorites are by female singers, which will probably not be surprising, and I will give a couple examples of these:

Sarah McLachlan is probably my favorite single Earth singer of those I have heard.  I wish I could have heard her–as does Holder, actually–but she lived during the era of Old Earth history, long before now, and she has been at rest for a long time.  But her music still survives.  This is one song I love, very much.  I find in it echoes of some of the things I have tried to teach others, and I have played it for our Circle more than once.

 

Although Holder likes a lot of ‘hard rock’ and ‘heavy metal’ music, his favorite band is a group of musicians collectively called by the strange name of The Grateful Dead.  They made beautiful music, and I like a lot of it.  Here is maybe my favorite song by them, though.

 

Although my tastes in Earth music—like the music of my homeworld–are fairly diverse, I find myself drawn to the stories I hear in melodies, even some melodies without words.  I will get to some of those soon, but for now, here is a story-song which reminds both Holder and I of our earliest days together on Evohe.

 

 

I have said that many of my favorite Earth singers are females, and this is another example–Tori Amos.  There are many songs of hers that I am fond of; I like the things she does with her voice and the way she puts melodies with words.  I wish I could have met her.  My sister Liara agrees, although I expect her reasons are not exactly the same as mine. 😉

 

Before I move on to another form of music entirely, here is one more song, by a group of musicians comprised of both males and females, with another curious name–the Arcade Fire.  I am still not certain I understand that name, but I love this song.

 

 

Country music:  Much of this kind of music sounds like music that might be made on my own homeworld, if we had the technology to build instruments, and if we could all sing in Galactic Standard.  I love many songs of this kind, but I will start with one whose melody I actually learned from my friend Rynn Handel, deep inside Gracegate Prison.  She sang it to me as a lullaby, although the words were different.  When I found this version and was finally able to play it for her, she was amused at the name the Earth musician John Denver had chosen for it.  I do not believe in accidents.  I have not seen Rynn in many cycles now, and I miss my friend, and her voice, that I hope to hear again some day.

 

And here is one more.  Laughing Waters Grove, where I grew up, and the Valley Country on Evohe where it lies, is much like some of the places John Denver sings about.  Holder teases me sometimes that I am what he calls a ‘country girl’, and perhaps he is right.

 

Jazz music: I am very fond of what the humans call ‘jazz music’.  It reminds me of flying in a star-vessel, with its openness and ease of changing directions.  I love many different jazz musicians, but here is a short piece by one of my favorites.

 

Classical music: Holder tried to explain to me once why this type of music was named as it was, but it made little sense to me, having something to do with time, a time so long distant from that which he and I live in that it is hard even for me to comprehend, even knowing how long some of my race sometimes live.   Nonetheless, i find much beauty in this type of music, and here are two of my favorites.

 

And with this last piece, I should end this–Chelries wants to set down her own chapter of this journal, and of my two shenai-toyen, she is the most difficult to argue with.  So I will leave you with this:

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