Tuesday, 19 July 2016

"The Freedom Of The Swan's Road"

"Vanimen and Meiiva walked down the wagon track that went through the forest. Snow had fallen of late, an inch or two that soon melted off bare dirt but abided in purity under the trees. Boughs and twigs reached austere across blueness. The air was quiet and nearly warm." (The Merman's Children, Book Three, Chapter V, p. 150)

Three senses: blueness; silence; warmth.

The two leading merpeople need a quiet walk and talk to discuss the future of their people:

Meiiva asks:

"'Do you really think that we should forsake Faerie?'...We had the freedom of the swan's road.'" (p. 151)

Vanimen replies in part:

"'Our people can do well enough. Their swimming skills are in demand...'" (ibid.)

Although this text is a fantasy, it expresses real historical social changes - from a way of life that was more spontaneous and closer to nature to an economy in which populations are integrated into urban civilization where they survive by selling their skills in the market place - and, I would add, where we can preserve "...the freedom of the swan's road..." in new ways. Shakespeare's plays addressed this transition: see here.

"'In one or two hundred years, the blood of Liri will be mingled unto evanishment, the memory of Liri be a myth that no sensible man believes." (ibid.)

However, people live by remembering old myths and creating new ones.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And one way of preserving this "freedom of the swan's road" in a new way is by us getting OFF this rock in a serious and real way. It has long been my belief that mankind NEEDS a frontier, an outlet by which human beings can best show what they can do. That is no longer possible on our Earth--only the developing and settling of other worlds can now do that.

If we don't open up such a frontier, if we continue to huddle and cower on Earth, then the best we can hope for, to use a line from Alfred Duggan quoted by PA, is "to be peasants ruled by brigands." Or the even worse fate we see in Anderson's story "Murphy's Hall."