Heroes

supermansymbolAnnah says:

“One thing I learned in the days when Holder and I were virtually alone on my world, when we were first discovering each other–and had more time to do so–is that my mate is somewhat of a historian.  He is particularly fascinated by the history of his world before the rise of the planetary government called Homesec.   I have written before of Holder’s fascination with Old Earth music, and this entry too, touches on that, but also another element of Old Earth’s popular culture–a thing called ‘comic books’; small magazines with pictures–drawn pictures, not photographs–put together to tell stories, often about extraordinary beings called “super heroes”, who wear specific second-skins–what is the word–“costumes”–to set them apart and illustrate their super-hero-ness the way the pictures in the comics illustrate their deeds.

I was particularly fascinated by one of these heroes—Superman–who looks like a human but was born, like I was, on another planet.  The gravity of his birth world was different from that of Earth, and this gave him extraordinary strength and other heightened abilities—some of you reading this may already know these things, but they were, as Holder might say, ‘news to me.’  I come from another world too, but I look so different from the people of Earth that I still cannot walk about among humans without attracting stares, and it is particularly bad when Holder and I walk together.  People stare at the children too, for they look neither completely human nor completely like the folk of my world.   I do not have any super-strength, and I certainly cannot fly.  But I have tried to help the people of Earth when I could–back on Holdfast, and briefly on Earth itself–and those few Earthers, like Holder and Kale, who have come to my world.

What was amazing to me about Superman was that his similarity to the people of Earth was only skin-deep–and many still feared his abilities–and yet he took upon himself the responsibility of defending this world, because two of its people had raised him as their own.  And it made me think–love is the greatest power.  Kindness is the greatest gift that we can give.  And, like the sun of Earth changed Superman’s strength, the light of love and kindness can give us abilities to help others–strengths we did not realize we had.

Holder also played for me a song from Old Earth about Superman.  It spoke to my own heart, about the things I had been considering about this ‘superhero’ from a story, and how similar he was to me–even though I am not a character from a book of pictures.

 

I will leave it here for you to hear.  I hope you will like it as much as I do.”

 

 

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Open Hands

two_hands_joined_by_heidia

 

 

Annah says:

“All around me, all my life, I have seen people struggle with the issue of control.  It is at the root of life from its beginnings–as bloomlings, we learn to control our bowels and bladder, to control the movements of our arms and legs; we bend beneath the gentle control of our parents, and we learn to control our own actions.

I have seen many seek to control others–to sad and sometimes fatal and destructive ends.  There was even a young male of my own kind, whose name was Jonan, who once tried to force his will upon me, with results that were ultimately more unfortunate for him.

The government of Earth, called Homesec, has for hundreds of Cycles tried to impose its will on the people of that world and others–to similar effect.

And now, both as a mother and as a leader of my people, I find myself placed in what some might consider a position of control.  And this is why I find myself considering these things today, watching Linnah and Laren play in the stream with Holder, their father, my mate, and the man I love.  I can only control myself, in the end.   I can guide my children, I can guide the students of Shaping and followers who look to me, and I can offer the advice of love and companionship to my mate.  But that is co-existence, not control.

We must walk in life and love with an open hand, so that others may join theirs with ours, if they so choose.  A fist cannot hold anything–it can only smash and crush.

A fist can ultimately hold nothing.

But one day, the open hand–or a hand joined with others– may be a foundation for a whole world to stand on.

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Brothers and Sisters

 

 

branches

Annah says

“The idea of family is something that is very important to me.  This may seem strange to you,  if you have read what I have written of my life, and know that I was my parents’ only bloomling, and that I grew up mostly alone.  But I think this has allowed me to treasure the bonds of family even more.  I think it allowed me to love my parents even more deeply when they returned from their Cycles of rest in the Elder Grove.  And not all family is blood-bound.  I  love Chelries and Liara as surely as I would if my parents were theirs as well, and those of my Circle are family as well.  And there is Holder, and that is yet another kind of family-bond–and Kale is a part of my family as well, which I have never been able to deny, even when the guilt over our brief partnership made me want to.

I believe that on many worlds, among many races and life-kinds, the idea of family is what preserves peace and Balance.  The idea of family is, at its roots, the idea of connection.  It is too often twisted into a notion of separation.  We are all part of the great family of Life; whether we grow in separate gardens or not, we are branches of one Tree; though we grow from seeds scattered in a space as wide as the Sea of Stars itself, we intertwine, because it is the nature of life to reach out for life.   Even the borders within ourselves–the tiny walls of our own cells, or organs–they are nonetheless part of a greater whole.  It is a truth we cannot escape, even if we try.  And when we do try, when we pull away from the union in which the First Ones created us to live, we only bring pain to ourselves–and we are not meant to live in pain and grief.

If my life so far has taught me anything–and if there is something I want to teach any of those who will listen to me–it is this: we are all one family.  On every world, in every hearth and homeground–we are different, but we are a part of one another.  I may have been my mother and father’s only bloomling–their only child, as Holder would say–but my brothers and sisters are everywhere.”

 

 

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Launch

Annah says:

“In this world, where knowledge has made so many things possible for better or for worse, there still remains the basic desire for, and problem of, freedom.  Our families have expectations of us: goals they want us to achieve, happiness they would like us to attain.  Sometimes, they know the best way to achieve these ends; other times, they think they do, but we must, in the end, find our own way, perhaps even walk alone in the darkness for a time, before we light our own new hearth-fire, at a place we can call our own.  Having done this for ourselves, we can then make our way back through the spiral path of life to the home-ground where we were bloomed and born; to the hearth-fire which warmed us as we grew.

To use a metaphor from the realm of science, a young life is often like a starship, sitting in a hangar bay and waiting to launch; struggling against gravity and the limitations of its own frame to break free of the ground and sky that had imprisoned it, to gain the velocity, the direction to achieve the destiny it was made for: to find its own wings and be a creature of flight.

I felt like that when Holder first came to me: trapped; pinned to the ground by a world and a people who did not understand me; forced into the margins of a society I thought would never allow me to lift my wings and soar as I had always dreamed of doing.  I had to find my way, not by the wide path through the Grove, but the winding road through the tangled green; my only light that of the conscience inside my own heart, and the love of a man who believed in me when there was no one else who did.

I found my way, by those lone lights, into the Sea of Stars and far beyond my world.  I found the dreams I had sought when I was a young seed-maiden looking for my path.   I broke free of gravity and launched into the black, and there I saw reflected, in the glowing multitudes of the Sea of Stars, the eyes of everyone who had loved me, who had wanted me to fly, but did not know how to give me the wings to do so.  And I saw the eyes of the man who had risked himself to try.  He helped me find the strength to chart my own course to the stars and home again–and one day, I went back to the stars and brought him home again, too.

That is what love does.  It launches us beyond our own shallow gravity; lifts us into the glittering black unknown, and waits, with arms outstretched, to carry us home again.”

 

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New Life, New Light

Annah says:

“It is the start of a new Cycle–my twentieth.  I confess, I was sad to leave behind what Holder says are called, on Earth, ‘the teenage years’.  But it can also be a time of much awkwardness and struggle, and I am not sorry to see that part of those days pass.  These days, I find myself much concerned with my own bloomlings–well, mine and Holder’s, although, if  I sometimes emphasize the ‘my’ a bit much, I must say I did give birth to them.  Holder’s own part in their conception was much briefer and, I certainly hope, less painful. 😉

Still, though, Linnah and Laren are a joy to both of us.  Laren is quite verbal already, as Holder tells me he was even when he was less than a cycle old, while Linnah speaks only a word or two at the time, and still sings more than speaks.  My mother and father assure me that I was the same when I was small, and say that they see the same spark of curiosity in her eyes they once saw in mine.  It is fortunate that I know most of the best hiding-places for a wandering bloomling in this Grove, having hidden in most of them myself when I was small.

Laren does not wander far, and often spends much of his time by his father’s side, learning how to fix things, like our ship, or make things, like tools, out of stone or wood.  I wonder if he will not be a Builder or at least a Maker at some point, when his Talent has truly come forth.  Every Shaper is different, and it is early to tell.

 

Whatever our small ones turn out to be, we will love them.  Here at the beginning of the Cycle’s turn, it is just fun to see a new flame kindled, and wonder how brightly it will burn, and what shape its silhouette upon the world will be.

 

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Building a Mystery

Annah says:

Besides flying starships, music is one of the passions Holder and I share most.  In particular, Holder is fond of the music of Old Earth, in what was the twentieth century in the way they measured time then.  There is a song from that period by a woman named Sarah which reminds me very much of the first days I knew Holder–when he was still lying unconscious, healing from the crash of his ship.  In those days, he was both an object of fear and desire to me.  The sight of him was like beholding the face of another world; the touch of his skin like stretching my fingers toward the Sea of Stars, and bringing one of those distant lights down to hold it in my arms.

I would be untruthful if I did not say that I wanted him very much, even then–I could read his thoughts; see his pain–a pain much like my own.  It is a childish thing, perhaps, to fall in love with someone you hardly know–but sometimes the seeds of knowledge can be planted in ways most do not recognize–and that knowledge, guided by an open heart–can only deepen over time.

And it has, beyond measure–but it began in a moment much like this song describes–and, I cannot help remembering–I did sing to him.”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kmqz2gBCz_w

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Greatsun

Annah says:

“Today is the day of Greatsun; the time of greatest light. I woke Holder up early this morning; made him come down to the stream with me for a swim, and after–well—after, we had a breakfast of spice-grasses and meatbark, and he took out his oid git-arr (I know how to say it now, but I still enjoy saying it the way I did when I first learned the humans’ language) and played me this song. It is one that has followed us our whole lives together–he played it for me in his early days here on Evohe, and though the verses made no sense to me, I sang along with him on the chorus, which spoke to the very heart of my spirit. During the Barricade Days–our time of captivity on Holdfast, which one day you will read about–it was a song that made us think of going home. By then, I knew a little more of Holder’s world, and what the verses meant. Today, whatever else the song means, it means the search for home, and love. Together, Holder and I have found both. May you who read my words find it as well.”

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June 21, 2014 · 12:50 pm