Chapter 4 – Parallels Book

Early morning…

Sun is close to coming out – it’s already getting brighter. Still in bed. Feeling the warmth of sheets on my skin. Breathing in chilly air. Oh, I did leave window slightly opened for the night.

Cannot recall the dream I had. As the morning calls – I have my duties to fulfil.

Getting up from the bed was the tough part. The tendency to have liking towards the warmth is bigger – than love for cold. I found my long sleeve shirt and jeans to wear for today, although it is end of summer but mornings are still chilly. With frost clinging onto the petals, grass and trees, covering houses and window sills. I find it fascinating to observe the transition from the crystals of cold into the tiny water drops, that slip down, uncovering world with enhanced contrast.

My room right now reminds me of a schizophrenic mess created by some stray artisan who went through here as a gust of wind. To not be distracted much by all the canvases, books, paints and brushes. Papers with some writing on them tossed everywhere – I made my way to the kitchen.

Morning has to start with coffee. Today somehow I craved a green tea. Guess my body is a bit fed up with coffee. In a cupboard I grabbed the container with white tea. Guess this one was a present from a company.Well, my selection for the morning, I presume.

Boiling kettle was whistling quite cheerfully. You could feel a bit of satisfaction as it too – just woke up to greet new day with me.

Took out best tea set I had. It was of finest clay cups with tea pot. All set handmade, very exquisite work, it was expensive and hard to get also. The duo colored set of tea cups and tea pot had unique mixture of black and blue. Person, more like individual, who made this beauty putted a lot of effort, thought and soul into them. Perfecting and burning the clay, shaping it thoroughly and fiddling with it like with precious child. Craftsman’s hard and admirable work gave birth to such marvellous tea set. This tea set was giving me this good feeling of satisfaction.

Somehow, with all thoughts consumed in this drowsy swirl of tea poetry, with putting tea leafs in the pot and pouring boiled water in – I felt like it was a whole ceremony. The kind of ritual between me and my tea, my cups and tea pot. Just like the tea ceremonies in Japan, as I have read about them. The preparations, the delicate handling of cups and pots, quite much the happening of intimate momentum – a mysteriously charming ritual.

I finished pouring water in tea pot. Then took it to conservatory. Returned to the kitchen for cups and sweets. Somehow I need that dosage of sugar in my system to start the day well. Greatly rewarding to find a cake in a fridge and be able to have it for breakfast.

I looked at the outside scenery – dew drops forming on almost everything, sun is rising up, shining and warming the earth. Pushing the cold away and swaying the dance of nature.

Through the tree branches I spotted few birds – their charming, melodic singing was giving this morning a bit of “magic”. Neighbour cat came to sit on my porch, giving me glance as if greeting me this morning, and then diverted himself to his morning cleaning routine. This cat had a tendency of licking himself clean on my porch and then sleeping there for better half of a day. I do admit that that place had sunshine drawn to it. That cat loves sunshine.

Preoccupied by the enjoyment of the view I did not notice the Orchid, as she passed through the hall and into the kitchen.

“Good morning, Cat. I see you already enjoy your… tea?” – She said in a slight confusion. Her eyebrows in a knit, her messy bun on her head, pyjamas, more like night-dress, in cream pink that hung freely and her really big eyes – staring at me, like I’ve committed a crime.

Mostly I do drink my coffee in mornings, but this time I was clearly having nice tea. Her confusion was merely predictable – once you get used to certain things, it is hard to look at change. Although that surprised look of hers was about to give me quite a laugh.

“Morning, – I replied, holding back giggles, – I prepared enough for you too. Feel free to help yourself, if you don’t mind the tea in the morning. But it is nice, for a change to have tea.” – I held up my cup in a greeting gesture – then put it back down.

Orchid was dumbstruck. She shook her head, as if dumping some ideas. She walked over to me, took a pot and poured herself some tea. Once again, gave me the curious surprised look, then got into chair next to me. Tea had a waffling steam coming from it. Piping hot.

My eyes were focusing on cat outdoors, the way he meticulously cleaned himself. Then turned to lay on his chest looking far beyond somewhere. He was known to be strange. Sometimes I wonder if he got that from me in a way. This idea made me smile.

“I remembered a story. Long forgotten. Told by one old man once. The story was about the Water Petal. That was quite an exquisite story.” – I was looking inside my cup, that had a tea leaf floating in the middle of a cup. This sight just somehow reminded me of that “petal” story.

“Uhum, so you will tell it to me?” – Orchid gave me an evil eye.

So cranky in the morning – this woman. Is her foul mood due to me not having coffee? Well, that would be absolutely bonkers. Maybe she slept bad? Well, with how mad she looks – I rather just tell the tale, before she bites my head off, or burns a hole in me with her stare.

“Long ago. In the lands of forests and mountains. Existed a cave which had a garden inside it holding the biggest treasure – The Goddess of Rivers. Legend was born somehow that possessing the heart of the Goddess gave you the power to all the waters of earth. With such legend there were many men eager to capture the Goddess – rip her heart and use it for power. They looked for her through the forest of the mountain Sekka. Legend told that she lived in the lake inside mountain.

Most of men who searched the forest – were dying out. Like flies. Especially around the middle part on north side of the mountain. Somehow many just could not pass that point. Ones who returned – said that evil spirits were chasing them out as they went there. Ones who did not listen were dragged into the dark – to never appear again. With such strange story to be attracted – young girl decided to try her luck at finding the Goddess. Girls’ motive was simply to see her. She believed that she could learn from Goddess about world to teach others.

One summer night, as moon shined bright, young girl, called Mai, went up the mountain. With light of moon shimmering through leafs of trees, darkness lurking around each corner – she mustered bravery and kept on her pace. Some time later she reached the part that was said to be the pit of the dark. There she stumbled upon a harmed hare. Without a moments thought she leaped towards hare, examining wound – it bled. “I am not of harm to you hare. Just bear with me dear!” – as she spoke, she tore strip from her dress, wrapped it around the hares leg, taking him in her care. She held him with softness and bitterly said: “Who could have done such atrocity to you dear?”

“Humans did this to me. Ones who were here to find Goddess of Rivers. They tormented us. In fear I run off to bleed here.” Amazed by the fact that hare spoke – Mai was looking intensely on its ears. She rubbed one with utter care: “I am seeking for Goddess as well, but unlike others who come here, I am willing to learn from her. My name is Mai.”

“Mai you say… – hare sniffled something, – I shall lead you to her, so follow me.”

I glimpsed at Orchid – she was looking inside her cup. Maybe trying to picture the story. Aroma of tea was delightful. My lips touched the edge of a cup – liquid pouring in. I felt the stare from her – so I continued:

“Surprisingly enough, hare led her towards a cave, held higher up the mountain. Entrance lit by the moonlight, fireflies floating around like small lanterns. Mai walked through the cave to discover the light of the sun inside. A garden stretched out in front of her eyes – the kind like she had never seen in her life. The amazing different flowers, trees, bushes, with small fountains and rivers inside. And there were stairs leading upwards to simple and beautiful shrine.

With hare leading the way – Mai went up to the shrine. She stood still in front of the doors that lead inside. “Oh my Goddess of Rivers, please accept my apology to show up uninvited, disturbing your peace.” – Mai said as she knocked on the doors of the shrine. Moment passed and she heard chuckle inside. Doors silently opened in front of her. Goddess of Rivers sat there having tea with the hare. Goddess smiled and offered a seat at the table to her guest – “We have some tea to share.”

“I told her intention you came here with.” – Hare said, holding small cup made of great blue clay.

May nodded then looked at her protégé. Goddess smiled softly – “I shall teach you my ways, I shall give you the knowledge. One thing you will have to do, is to promise me that if I die, you will be looking after the shrine.” Mai was feeling strange from the words about death, but she promised that she’ll keep the watch over the shrine if it so happens that Goddesses ceases to exist.

Years passed. Mai learned a lot, became wiser, more observant. Still, there was some sort of desire inside her – stirring her up making it hard to breathe. One night she dreamed of some heat urging her feeling so sweet – leaving her breathless. So amazing it made her head spin – with butterflies fluttering within. She spoke about it to Goddess. Two of them sitting in Goddesses room. Mai was ordered to undress. Revealing bare body to Goddess.

Then Mai had experienced all she felt in her dream, and even more. Goddess had caressed Mai. Her breasts, kissed her lips, touched her soft rosy spot, felt it through from within and made Mai moan and scream, from all the feelings Goddess stirred inside her. After that every night for a week Goddess caressed Mai. Later Goddess unveiled that Mai is bearer of Goddesses child.

Mai began feeling that she had something inside her, bit by bit swelling to bloom.

Weeks passed and one day, when Mai was on third month with the child, Goddess asked her to go hide in the forest outside – the south side. Stay there for three nights and come back as she might. Goddess called out the hare, which lead Mai to shrine as she got here. Goddess made hare drink from clay cup – hare became human with given name Naire. Then Goddess asked Naire to take good care over Mai and her child, as she sent both of them off.

Mai and Naire went to stay on the south side for a while. During that time they heard an awful fire – saw the smokes, heard some blasts. They were afraid. One night Mai had a dream: she came to the shrine. Her kids by her side – looked after a grey haired Naire. On the next day, as the Mai and Naire came back to the shrine, they saw a devastated land left by outrageous disaster. Mai rushed towards ruins – which were left from what once was shrine – to see that there was nothing left. She stumbled towards the remains of the room of the Goddess – the place where they were together to feel flutters and heat, heart beating crazily… Mai found a small box left untouched. She took and opened the box. Inside was a note with a Water Petal. Note said that it was the heart of the Goddess – which will forever belong to Mai.

People of villages nearby, had now legend up about the strange shrine that fell over. When hunters found it, with no Goddess in sight, or bounty of heart – they took what they found “worthy”, burning all what was left to the ground.

Years later, the villages around had a saying which floated about shrine in the mountains with a wise old hag, helping people in need, teaching them, nursing them. This old hag has a daughter, beauty of legends, and wiser than mother.

One day, just as Mai was on the verge of her death, came Goddess of Rivers. Making her young again, then holding her one last time – making her feel heat and pleasure. After – Mai disappeared in thin air.

Goddess came to the power again. She met her daughter – daughter of Mai, saying that now this child shall be keeper of shrine, for the rest of the time, as long as she keeps the box with the Water Petal inside, the Petal which holds all the heart loving soul of the Goddess that fell in love with a simple girl wishing of knowledge from Goddess.

This story also has a different setting – that in search of the goddess a man came, and upon the death of the Goddess he was the one holding her hand. Eventually the last what was left of her – became Petal of Water. Which he held dear. And then Water Petal was eaten by daughter of his. That transformed her into Goddess of Rivers.

I somehow like better the story of Mai. She did her best to share the knowledge she inherited during her time with the Goddess. Restored shrine and let wounded ones to rest and get well in there.” – I finally finished my babbling. My mind drifting off to thinking : how Mai and Goddess lived together, and how they made love. That was indeed one sensual love.

“It’s a nice story.” – Said Orchid, standing up. – “We have a day of work up ahead.” – she said briskly, standing up, – “But I like the love Mai and Goddess shared. Beautiful story never the less.”

Orchid went off somewhere. Her steps easy, yet there was feeling that she wandered off somewhere far right now.

Amazing to remember the time when I had someone with whom I shared story. I did have a great time about that. Long ago – but it was fascinating – to be creating.

Cat on the porch already slept curled up in fluff ball. That old furr ball really looked relaxed and happy. Warming up my heart.

Sunny days, sharing tea with the loved one, holding tightly, whispering softly “I’m here and I care, I love you forever no matter where. We shall be together – souls bound with love, sharing one present and looking forward to future we hold.”

Remembering him made me smile. His pale canvas-like skin and all mine…

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