Time and Space
All she wanted was her wings. Why was that such a challenge to fulfill?
Her first encounter had been with a cloaked, shadowy figure who ushered her into a wall-free room. There, she seemed to have been waiting forever. Waiting on a wooden chair. Waiting for instruction. Waiting for time to pass. She complained to the figure about her lengthy anticipation in this place. The response was simply: “Time and space are illusions.”
At long last, she was handed two forms to fill out for the Department of the High Council. Then much later, there came another requisition demanded by some Ministry with a name she could not pronounce. On this paper she was to write an essay:
Why do I want to have wings?
What a question! In spite of her human defects, she believed herself eligible to receive the reward bequeathed to discerning mortals at this finite destination. Begrudgingly she began her tale.
As a young girl reading about Peter Pan, she had been enchanted by Tinker Bell, his tiny, winged companion. If only she had wings, she could fly away with Peter to that other, unknown world.
She also learned about the fairies of Ireland. Her favourite poet W. B. Yeats wrote: “In the side of Benbulben is a white square in the limestone. It is said to be the door of fairyland.”
How often she had hoped to visit that place and walk through the door to meet her true self. But adult responsibilities and spiritual meanderings and time passing too quickly had gotten in the way. There were many opportunities, nevertheless, that led towards her quest for the meaning of life.
Stumbling upon magical experiences had captivated her. Books on charms were readily available. Witches covens were at her beck and call. To which would she turn: black or white magic? She had even met a Wicken sitting under a tree in a park. The girl had predicted she would continue her quest for the duration of her lifetime, and perhaps even beyond.
Mythologies also abounded. Back in the time of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, deities of almighty, destructive powers were idolized. Some even demonstrated kindness ˗ like Prometheus. He stole fire from Zeus for humankind. His punishment was being nailed to a mountain by the jealous high god, who sent an eagle to eternally eat Prometheus’ liver, which constantly replenished itself.
She was also aware of the indigenous spiritual traditions of her own country. Their stories revealed the origins of the cosmos, and such transformers as Glooscap of the Algonquian peoples. He formed the sun, the moon, fish, animals and humans. His brother Malsum on the other hand created snakes, mountains, valleys and anything else he thought would make life strenuous for humans.
Over arching all her searches, she could not dismiss the mythology of her own culture, in which she seemed permanently confined. Belief in anything except the orthodox Creator was judged to be sinful. She thus put away her wanderings with Aengus through the hazel wood, with Prometheus on the mountain, with the Wicken in the park, and with the indigenous Shaman.
She tried to understand the meaning behind Eden’s pleasure garden. Why had humanity been cast out from that perfect world? Doomed until death, both males and females had been sentenced to endure a lifetime of painful toil and agonizing childbirth. Their ending would be a return to the dust from which they were moulded.
This creation story was similar to other world mythologies written through the ages. And within many accounts, humankind kept being dispensed a bad deal. In some myths, however, there was a redeemer who sacrificed himself. This act of submission would reverse the curse condemned by the all-powerful deity. Humankind would, therefore, have the prospect of gaining access to the otherworldly realm – but only after death – and that only sometime in the unknown future.
She finished her essay. It told of her life encounters as she tried to discover her best self, in preparation for this final voyage. As she considered the mythology of her own society, she reflected upon the winged creatures, with flaming swords, guarding the entrance to Eden. They were nothing like the fun-loving winged faeries she knew as a child.
Before she signed the application, she concluded with a decisive message.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: I don’t want wings after all. I’ll take my chances – with whatever lies ahead in this time and space continuum.
Katalin Kennedy (copyright https://katalinkennedy.com)