Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Old Gods

Malc was the God of Water and Sand, of Islands and Beaches. His reign was long, and his occupation was to take the crushed rock, coral, and bones of the earth to make new places for creatures to live. He answered to no one because he was not of one domain or another, and neither water nor earth held sway over him. Yet he held power over only the space between land and water, and this made him both very powerful and exceptionally powerless, for a God.
            Human beings were among those creatures who worshipped Malc, and he blessed them with wonderful places to live and to play. Malc was a god, this is certain, but he was a lonely god. One night as he watched the moon’s reflection playing on the beach he espied a young woman, walking lonely too, and he sought her company. Luna, who is the goddess of the lights of the night, was more than a little dismayed, and so she would hide her face from Malc, on occasions, and then reappear once he had forgotten his current love. Sol, whose light was borrowed by Luna, and whose warmth attracted the humans to Malc’s work, was angered by all of this drama, and to punish Luna, he bid that she must forever change her face each night until it is hidden, and then only by degree reveal it again. Malc, Sol did decree, could no longer dally with human women again.
Luna was forced to accept Sol’s decision but Malc was unbowed. He declared that he would not accept any judgment from Sol, and from that point, there was enmity between the two. Other gods were drug into the conflict, and Nemus, the God of Water, was bid by Sol to still himself, and create no more sand from the rocks. Blu, the Goddess of the air, despaired at the stillness of the waters, and raged at Sol for his presumption, and she attacked Nemus, forcing him to create more sand. Sol decided that he would withdraw all his heat from the waters, stilling them forever, but a hue and cry went up among the other gods. Gaia declared Sol to be a renegade, and dictator for removing his warmth from those creatures who needed it for life, and Luna joined her, saying that her punishment ought to have been enough, and Sol’s hegemony over the others was wrong. Summer, the Goddess of Rivers, declared Sol’s position over the others to be void, and threatened to flood the whole of earth and wipe out life indiscriminately, as Sol had done. Sol had to back down, but admonished Malc that his fascination with humans would lead to no good end.
            Centuries passed, and even though Sol did not release Luna from her punishment, the rest of the gods and goddesses went their way. Malc continued to befriend the humans, but he restrained his love for any one of them. This went on until one night, when Luna’s face was full and beautiful, Malc saw a woman so striking the reflection of her face in the water stilled even Nemus. The water beneath her stood nearly motionless as a mirror would be, and Malc could do very little but watch her. Finally, he snuck away, hidden from the other gods and goddesses, and took human form, so that he might love her, and she might love him back.
            Malc used the other god’s and goddess’ anger over Sol’s attempted ascendancy over them to woo the woman. He bid Luna to shine ever brightly, and to align the stars for the waman and himself. He bid Blu to create a warm breeze and for Summer to send fish with lighted scales to swim down the steams into the sea, and Nemus still the waters until the entire sky was reflected at the woman’s feet as she walked on the shore with Malc. The woman agree to Malc’s advances and under the stars and full moon, on the sand lit by light sponged from Sol himself, the woman allowed herself to be taken as if Malc were her mate.
            Now, as much as Sol slept at night, he could not help but notice there was some strangeness going on when he awoke. Malc, who he saw often, was suddenly absent. The others did not speak of Malc at all when these days and Sol wondered what could be happening, but he knew he could find out. He bid Luna to come dance with him, and as they drew near to each other, Sol’s light was blocked, and the woman came out to the beach and called for Malc. Sol was enraged. He vowed to leave the earth frozen and cold and dared the others to oppose him. A war was raged, and thick ice covered the earth for a year. Finally, Sol relented, and he allowed some warmth to return, but not for the full time of each year. Malc was allowed to keep his woman, ad his pwer increased for having defeated Sol. Everyone was happy again, except Sol, of course, who for three or four months of each year, punished everyone with cold.
            Yet the human woman did not like the cold, and suddenly Malc saw Sol’s plan to keep them apart, and what would happen. The woman found a man in the cold, a Poet, and she drew him close. Malc pleaded with the others to help him, but they saw this as a private matter. To make matter worse, the Poet had challenged the authority of Malc over the woman.
            “What would you do to keep this woman?’ Malc asked of the Poet.
            “She is more beautiful than anything on earth,” the man replied, “and I would do anything!”
            “If you wish to keep her you may,” said Malc, “but first you must write a poem, exclaiming all her virtues.” Malc smiled, and said, “How long might that take?”
            “It would take an entire day and an entire might!”the poet exclaimed, “But I can do this!”
            “If you write a poem that trumpets her virtues I will release all my claims on her, if…” Malc said slyly, “you complete it, and you must be my guest until you finish!”
            The man agreed and suddenly found himself on a tiny island, without anything to write with at all. Not to be outwitted, he quickly grabbed apiece of driftwood and began writing in the sand. Malc, seeing what the man was doing was enraged, but he could see no way to stop the Poet from finishing. Then Malc had an idea.
            Malc went to Luna and told her the man was writing a poem for her, in her honor, so she might spy on him, and read it before he finished. As she drew near to the island, the sea rose to meet her, and washed away the poem. Seeing nothing there, she began to back away, but then she noticed he was writing again, and so he drew near once more.
            Luna watched over the Poet, and Malc dallied with the woman, and the other Gods had pity on the man, after several years. They made him a god, named Fundy, to watch over the tides.

Take Care,

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