The Mother’s Three

(Below is an excerpt from Book Two of the Phantammeron)

Beyond the fringes of Phantaia’s farthest frontiers, past even ancient Avaras with its twisted trees and forelorn cliffs, there had swayed since ancient days the cold and countless waves of the Dreaming Seas, that watery waste where Ana was first conceived.

Here the the seas had rolled and raged against Phantaia’s virgin coast. For those wild waters had filled like a mighty cup the hollows of a great gulf before the land was made. And from it was made this savage earth. This vast and almost endless ocean had wrapped itself about the last of lands of Phantaia. For the earth beneath it had been forged by the ocean’s mighty hand, thrown up from its great gulf in ancient struggles long forgotten. Phantaia’s mysterious forest had then grown from it, standing proudly before the reeling waves with an unwavering wall of blackened trees, grimacing like a defiant child from the imposing cliffs, down upon its slate-gray waves in defiance.

The angry waters had then cast its jealous eye upon the twilit wood that grew there, thrashing and lashing about its perilous shore with great foam and spray to wash away its sinful birth. For the Dreaming Seas in ancient days had loved the Twilight Mist that now haunted Phantaia, he who had made the seas and once so loved her.

But the Twilight Mist had betrayed her for another – a golden maiden that once dwelt beyond the shore – she that had once roamed its wooded realms, and would form the fountain in its heart. This the Dreaming Seas had seen and so with jealous eye held the land encircled.

But mighty Phantaia could not deny the seas its rightful place in that world, nor the source of its own future. For what slept alone in the deepest holds of that darkened sea still held the destiny of the forest’s own fate within.

For beneath the crashing waves of the Dreaming Seas, within its wide watery bosom, had lain hidden the sleeping daughter-of-the-sea named An. This secretive child of the waves the swaying seas had long held within its dreary depths. For An, entrapped in endless dreams, enwrapped by her mother’s loving tides, had held close to her heart the faces of those children who through this world would someday pass.

For An had been granted the gift of divine omnipotence, or far-seeing, envisioning by her inner eye the woeful fates of those that would come to live and die in the wilderness that now lay beyond her mother’s own troubled shore.

Visions of those children had long flashed before her in restless sleep. For in her dreaming mind had walked many solemn spirits traveling in great rows through Time’s endless hallways, passing through Death’s dark doorways and beyond, such that in her endless slumber it seemed a thousand ages had passed before her. Echos of their sweet voices caressed the shadowed corridors of her mind, playing concordant songs of happy and loving lives as they plodded on. An then hearkened to their laughter and their mourning as their countless tiny feet plodded on through lives generously lived and lost.

Yet strangely that ocean-child could not recognize the face nor form.

More pronounced their fates had seemed to her with each passing ghost, appearing then disappearing in her mind within the larger host, then strangely born again into this world more beautiful than before, until their final and tragic fall was shown to her. Lit from afar as by a searchlight, their living lights then faded once more, never to appear again in any living memory or mind but hers. For as Time crept on had there been none but her to see their final tragic act. And so she wept.

Yet in her shadowed dreams born of vast and tragic fates still unknown An reached out to each of them with her compassionate arms, desiring only to comfort and embrace them all in the midst of their ends, these sad children of her mind’s mirrored eye that must pass. Devoured by her dream’s phantom mists, they lasted but a moment more as their dying lights travelled down dream’s winding, misty corridoor towards some cruel obilivion she could at last not follow more. For the desires of dreams that pass before the longing eye are there but to lead us mercilessly on some fruitless path through the hollows of our lives, like a fleeing will-o-wisp we long to grasp but never will, whose tempting lights dance just beyond the farthest hill.

She would remain cursed to keep that heroic host in her sleeping mind bestilled, knowing she would never touch nor know their loving faces, nor their children’s children’s, a pained desire left forever after unfulfilled. And so she felt great sorrow at what she had foreseen, and what would come to pass, crying for them in her seplechure of glass, as she slept beneath the dark and rolling waves unseen. An then wrapped her arms about herself, holding her dreams close to her, knowing that which touched her heart would but melt away with the waking light of some cruel and callous dawning day.

But the spirit of the Great Mother, she whose celestial seas fill the outer worlds between this and all others, had heard An’s mourning from afar, in a place beyond her own cosmic star, having bathed in the tears of the world long before its making. For like the Dreaming Seas that beautiful mother had borne her tragic and mournful waves upon sleepy tides born of heartbreak and woe of and for the Children of the World many times before.

From Her had come many previous worlds’ births and deaths, the endless fashioning of tragic worlds without remorse or regret, their cyclings having no beginning nor end. For she had borne all their tragic tides, and washed clean again their dying dreams, this mother of the weeping oceans that yet sweeps all sorrows away. Out of her, the watery womb of the world, much had been birthed that had returned to death’s own timelessness dearth, countless worlds yet rebirthed from Her ever-hopeful visions still unfashioned nor fulfilled.

Unconscious to all things, the timeless Mother in her sleep had yet viewed the mournful Fates of Being, ike An, bearing witness to the sadness of the World at once, knowing all-time in but a single solemn glance. But unlike An and the Dreaming Seas, was she blinded by the bliss of her own existence and so free from both the joy and the sorrow of the living and of life’s burning passions which she could never know.

Yet at the calling of An’s deep sorrows had the Great Mother’s vast and loving heart now awakened once more, flowing forth from the Sea of Eternity to guide this daughter-of-the-seas now trapped in endless woe at the world’s fate, soothing the sleeping sea-maiden in her time of need and sorrow.

The Great Mother then bestowed upon the slumbering An a gift beyond her prophetic sight, granting to her power over the fates of those born of flesh in this world. Like a dream within a dream, from the first mother to the second, thus was granted the will to fashion a timeless tapestry – a Loom of Fate for them – upon which she would forever weave the countless lives she had seen, wrapping its tragic clothe about the waking world.

It shall be if you but will it“,she whipsered. And so An now knew she had but conceived in dreams only that which her heart desired most, granting life to the children she had seen but as fading ghosts. And so she cried with that joy that only comes at finally seeing eternal night give way to dawning light. And so she set upon a Loom of Time to weave their fates and make real their lives as she had seen in that ocean deep, until all things merged to fashion a glorious whole.

To An through visions had thus been granted stewardship over the world’s living, setting their lives as she so desired through the weaving of the fated yarns which she now guided through the infinite spinning of her ever-turning and churning wheels. For the Spirit Divine was the thread that she bore. And the destinies of her children formed the colorful pattern into which it was sown.

The sleeping An then took her loving gift and fashioned from her mind’s imaginings the fates of Phantaia’s unnumbered children upon her empty loom, weaving the futures of many that would live and die within the wider world that now loomed beyond her mother’s shores. But An desired that these blessed children she had seen should not die in visions vain, but enter this world pure in purpose and with courageous heart, having the power to Hope, and through Hope give birth to Freewill. And so with strings unsown she so willed they turn their lives as they wish in the end, facing what fate may come with the illusion of choice only they yet choose and may see.

This omnipotent mother born of timeless tides thus knew all the threads of lives born upon her loom and the final tapestry this world’s fate would form. Yet she knew not all things before it, nor knew not what lay beyond its passing. For those no longer born of her thoughts must in final days like the world itself also pass through some fated trial then perish. They then must travel on to some undiscovered country even she had yet not been granted prophetic sight to see.

For the only truth that stands is that all things that begin must end.

With courage and hope, An’s silver fingers beneath the sea sublime then guided the first golden yarn that spun and turned about the world, until a magnificent tapestry formed from out of the fabric of Time itself was sown. From its cloth was then revealed to her the tangled paths that the living alone would choose, yet that which would later entomb them all within some grander design that only she had seen would come to pass.

An of the Dreaming Seas now saw with bittersweet joy what peace and war, beauty and horror, her hands had sown. For though splendid was the silk that An had woven, sad was its patterned cloth as it lay upon the corpse of the fallen world that had come before. And so was set the hidden glory of their lives, the long and tangled struggles of the many yet to come, and the desperate longing to be free of the many traps and entanglements of the wider world’s evil web of lies that would in time entrap them all.

This daughter-of-the-seas then looked upon this Truth as but a gift, and so sublimely fashioned the spirits of the world whose great destiny she desired would be shared and known by all, so that in the end-days of their lives, long after their own death and the world’s demise, their spirits would gather as one and know the full grandeur of their lives within the more glorious whole. And thus would her bliss and theirs be known.

Her tears of joy and of sadness then shined out upon the ocean floor as shining pearls for the nighttime skies and the oceans to behold. For its majesty was more than she could hold. The Great Mother whose spirit dwells far beyond this world then looked down through the wasteful depths and viewed those ocean-pearls as upon a sky filled with many twinkling stars, reading in them many signs, knowing by those tears An’s love was made whole, and the time of her own tragic part in the great play of the world was now complete.

– the Author

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