03 June 2014

May I Come In? (Neither Lion nor Wolf, revisited)

He spoke to her in stories--metaphors. Lessons he wanted her to learn, from his own life and from the lives of others. He shared his wisdom, the wisdom of a life lived widely, the wisdom passed down for generations, all lilting, lulling her with his storyteller's voice.

He told her of wolves, though he was, himself, a lion. How could a lion know the plight or pleasure of a wolf? She longed to be a wolf, would forsake all she possessed, or may possess, in this world and all others, to have a pack to call her their own, bound by blood and the savage solemnity of the slaughter. Loyalty of like calling to like.

She was no wolf, nor was ever meant to be. She was no more wolf than he. Nor was she like him. It was not in her heart or her soul to be leonine. She dreamt of dragons and the lonely freedom of flight. The awe of flame and ash. Also did she dream of fleet-footed felines, the ferocious hunters, sovereigns among beasts, who were her namesake. But she was dedicated to a god she did not know, had never known--could never know. How then could she claim her place as his lioness?

No, a lion she was not; her name was a mistake--a lie--a false face. She knew she must doff it to find her true self: being neither lion nor wolf, having neither pride nor pack. Where then was she to find her place? She embraced the madness, cloaked herself in its name, submitted to its siren song, and set off, armed this time, no longer the questing child. All she had left was a single thread of hope, holding above her head Damocles' own sword, that she would find where she fitted, she she would slide into place, the piece, whose coming would be celebrated, not as a prodigal return, but as a homecoming foretold and finally fulfilled.

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