A Conversation with Odin by Heather O’Brien
“Do you see them coming down the road? Here they come. Do you see that tempered man with his worn beard? He has fallen many times in his heart and nearly twice in life.” He brushed the hair from her eyes looking down at her tiny frame. “I see them. And yes, I have seen that mans fortitude.” There was no gold road here to drift along, illuminated by fantasy. But this…this was home. “Look upon them, oh, look! They are coming.” It was as if an eternity had snuck by in one moment, but she knew it had been much longer. The wise traveler knew as well. She looked up at his spear, contemplated all the blood it had seen, how many stains it still had. And yet it worked without flaw, better for those that had benefited its favor.
“Shall I prepare the table?” She looked down at her gown. “My robe is stained.” He winked at her. “It is for my trust in this, in all of this, that my own tears of loneliness have flowed through veins of a reverent, but sometimes bleeding, heart that has cried tears of loss and pain at a sometimes fevered pitch. And you reminded me that nothing is omnipotent and that the great balance is a continuing echo through time. When I fell upon my knees, tired, and could handle no more it was then I really noticed the details in the path under my feet. The path meant for me from birth. Those times Odin, those were the moments that the stains upon my robe became part of my eternal mantle upon the shoulders of my spirit. I shall not mend them. I know why they are there. Had I not traveled to the lowest, I would have no way of recognizing the highest. The path to Asgard runs through the roots of Yggdrasil that grow deeply down, and up through the reaching green tops. Through trial and sacrifice is the forward way met. No, I shall not mend these stains.” Looking forward, the Allfather said, “Why would you want to? They are yours. Do not give more than you are and keep exactly what is given to you in its proper measure.”
Down the path more were coming. Each with his own rips, tears, and trust. There was family here, they would see. But for now they each remained quiet. For such a multitude, there was no sound. Souls arriving home.
A breaking voice would have emerged as a dry scream of uncertainty had it not been for the void of air in their lungs. But you could feel their desire to speak. Some came with the runes engraved into them. Some came with high chins of hardly contained exuberance. And some just simply came. These were the people who in life had been tempered by the great kings who were never great, revered for the sake of reverence. There had been a ritual in the undoing of the masses under a foreign god which continued through centuries until its fallacies began to blaringly leap forth from the pages of an echoed threat with bared and rotten teeth, that not all were any longer waiting to serve. And when that happened, more began to come traveling back towards the roots of Yggdrasil. Towards the well. Towards Asgard. Existence for them, as it were, was finally breaking free – but into what? For some, it came at great cost and much personal loss. Hammered from the inside out to emerge into a free mind only to find it needed filling with a vastness of brilliance that eluded too many. Others that had obtained that expansive brilliant light often lived as paupers among the few in hopes that legacy was as rich as the almighty coin.
“Here they come home – the way their forefathers once did. On wounded heels and blistered feet. Broken hearts and minds that bend through thorn and brush to reach the truth, it is here Allfather, that they are coming.” As he straightened his robe, with its own marks and stains, and the gods took their mark at his side – his priests and warriors alerted, he responded with “It’s time. Go prepare them a table and let them know…..we’ve been waiting for them.”
(c) Heather O’Brien 2014
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