[fragment for Gwyn Ap Nudd]
Last year at this time, I finally let myself begin to mourn a certain sort of life, a haunting dream I refused to believe was impossible until then.
There’s this thing that happens when you start talking with gods, or they start talking to you. You begin embracing a certain madness, a very uncivil way of thinking and being, that though it opens doors most never realised were even doors, it closes many of the ones otherwise easily opened.
I’ve been chopping down branches in my backyard, oak branches, stripping off the leaves so they can be used for firewood. They look like antlers, and though the weather’s muggy and warm, I keep feeling snow.
And next thing I know, I’m back in bed, sleeping to meet an impending dream of gnawed bones behind doors most people never know can be opened.
I once dreamt of returning to a certain normal, a rooted stasis. Sure, I saw empire was starting to crumble, I saw that I’d have a place in its fall, I saw there were supports that could be kicked out, tricks the archons would use that I know well how to counter. But regardless, the dream of a quiet life, a hearth, a husband, a job–those I refused to let go.
“Someone else can do this shit,” I told the gods, about to kick their shrines to pieces.
And then the shadow, black branches behind moonlight looming over. “I can help a little while,” he said, and I, recalling a night of wrestled ecstasy, dark strings plucked by fingers I would have bound to mine, said sadly, “okay.”