a different sort of tale

January 20, 2004 — Leave a comment

i may know the craft of writing but vic knows the art of it. here`s a story she wrote me today:

Hundreds of years ago in a tiny village in the south of what is now France in a time yet to be tyrannised by the rule of clocks lived a man and a woman.

The man who had for many lives been K, was in this life Kiel and the woman who had for many lives been V was in this life Verite. Their home consisted of a small stone house surrounded by gardens that Verite tended and access to the outlying field where Kiel watched their goats.

In a world without clocks, their days were spent in the quiet company of the seasons and the sun. They rose as the sun rose, ate their breakfast of coarse bread and soft, sour cheese with the crude wine they made themselves. Verite made their clothing and candles and despite the pall of ignorance that had descended upon the land, she taught their children to read in Latin and Greek and tried to fill them with the philosophies of the ancients. Kiel tended the goats and travelled to market with the produce of Verite`s garden on Market Days. In the evenings by the last fading light or by the glow of candles, he would read to the family. After the children were asleep, Kiel and Verite would retire to their bed and worship, as they saw fit, the divinty they glimpsed in the other.

On a particularly lovely day, in the height of summer when the countryside smelled of lavender and newly cut fields, a stranger wandered into the cocoon of Verite and Kiel`s life. He was dressed in the garb of a foreigner and offered to trade the most precious thing he owned for a meal as he had not eaten in days. He produced a beautifully illuminated book, written in the swirling hand of Arabic. He told Kiel and Verite it was a translation of a philosopher of the Orient.

Verite and Kiel knew the value of such sacred and rare texts and asked instead that the stranger share the knowledge of the book, as they could not read Arabic, and he could gladly stay as long as was needed for him to recover his strength. That evening after a glorious meal prepared by Verite, the adults sat at the crude table and talked of the contents of the book.

The stranger began to recite the story it contained…

“In a time long before now, in the forests on the edge of the great river lived a man and a woman. The man as he had been known for centuries was Ki and the woman, as he had always known her was Ving…

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