(Song Of The Spirit Mother)


giselle 101415a



W - 300xarmth of dawn light has yet to reach the cold stars above me.  I have emerged into the Monastery courtyard.

          I have spent the night within the once pagan temple, the now Adytum of Purification.  As prescribed by Habitude Royale I have been enlightened unto The Ways of Men.  By custom I am now supposed to be fit for my impending political wedding to the barbarian Hrolf The Walker.

          I have left my young tutor, the Acolyte Tredecim, sleeping fitfully upon the altar bed.

          Across the Monastery courtyard do I tread pensively.  I approach the Infirmary wherein my beloved nurse and confidant Magge struggles to regain health.

         But at once I am warmed with joy inexpressible as I encounter Magge standing in the entrance to the Infirmary as if she awaits me.  We embrace and kiss and kiss again.  We turn and continue walking in the Monastery courtyard hand in hand.

          We soon find ourselves at the kitchen door.  It is open and we smell bread.  I am so happy that Magge can now find joy at the aroma of food.

          But then I descry that across from this door there is an open wooden gate through the facing courtyard wall.  We follow our curiosity hand in hand.

          Outside the wall, apparitions are moving in the twilight.  It is the monks known as the Thirteen Incorruptibles and their cortege of Acolytes facing to the East.  The sun rises struggling through the forest.  It touches all of their profiles.

          From the East, through the forest, there are shadows flowing towards them.  The shadows become people.  Women!  A horde of women!  Their hair is long and feral.  Their eyes are fierce like she~wolves.  Their bodies are smeared with colored mud.

          As they approach I see that they are being led by that poor waddling hag which my Wedding Entourage and I encountered when we first arrived at this Monastery.  With her nest of hair and her twisted face she bears that single eye in the center of her forehead and she yet wears that bark for clothing stitched with her own hair as thread.

          The Acolytes are now trotting in pairs to the ground between the Thirteen Incorruptibles and the horde of women who approach like an army.  The Acolytes place several large baskets of bread and then quickly retreat!

          The poor hag stops before the baskets and the women halt.  She lifts a plank of bread and takes a bite.  She raises it into the air and smacks loudly.  She then gestures and women run forward two by two and retrieve the baskets of bread for the horde.

          The hag notices me and approaches.  As she does so, she dances side to side clapping her hands and once again chanting mysteriously ~ Le Grand Guerrier! The Great Warrior! ~

          The Thirteen Incorruptibles and their cortege of Acolytes turn to see Magge and me with alarm but they do not move.   The poor hag takes my hand and Magge’s hand and leads us back toward the army of women.

          Is it growling that I hear?  I fear for Magge, but she does not fear for herself.

          The poor hag then releases our hands and raises both her arms over her head and clasps her own hands while facing the women.  Each of the women then takes the hands of two other women.  When nearly all are so woven together as one fabric, the hag takes the hands of Magge’s and mine again and has us join as well.  The hands I hold are as smooth and strong as wood.  I sense contempt as they squeeze my own hands.  I fear for Magge more than ever now.

          All at once the horde throws back their heads and together they give voice to one undulating tone.  I cannot bespeak the effect of this eerie chorus.  This canorous unity is making me vibrate with chills.

I hear now a clatter and I turn my head toward the Monastery.  It is young Captain Etienne and Our Guard pouring through the open gate.  They are coming to my assistance.  I see fear in their determination.  They are falling to their knees involuntarily.  Etienne catches my eye and I sense his distress as he draws sword for my protection.  Instead he but falls to his knees immobile with the others of The Guard.  He cries out, ~ Your Highness!  Giselle! ~

          I see that the Thirteen Incorruptibles and all of the Acolytes are already on their knees with their heads bowed.

          I turn back to the women.  Their monolithic tone pours forth louder and louder, not a scream, not a cry, but an overwhelming pillar of sound.  I am feeling faint, dizzy.  I see with fear that Magge’s head is now back and she joins with the horde.  She is still weak!  She cannot sustain this!

          My God, my God, do I really see fire in the poor hag’s eye?  Is there really a finger of light now reaching from her eye to my eye?

          The number ~ 6 ~ that I carved like a tear under my eye in protest of Magge’s six unjust lashings begins to burn.

          My God, my God, does my skin truly thus glow?

          Suddenly I can feel something primeval welling up within me. I cannot oppose it:  My God!  Oh, My Gracious God!  It isThe Love of This World.  It is an unending fountain!  It fills me.  But I shall burst!  I cannot contain so much!

          Now I can feel something massively overpowing pour down upon me: I cannot withstand it!  It isThe Sorrow of This World.  It is overwhelming me.  I cannot bear it.  My God, help me!   ~ Mon Dieu, je ne peux pas l’endurer! ~

          With all my strength I hold myself erect.  My head falls back.  My mouth opens.  My voice conjoins with the pillar of sound.  I am become that sound.

          I do not know how long I am that sound.  Yet I know without being told that this is the Song of the Spirit Mother.

          As suddenly as we all began we are suddenly aware that there is now only silence.  I have never experienced such deep silence.

          One by one the birds begin to sing again.







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(The Ways of Men)

giselle 101415a



T one - 200xhe Thirteenth Monk nods to the Senior Acolyte, Tredecim.  Tredecim comes and stands beside me as we dine.  My Ladies~in~Waiting and Our Guard and I finish le fait de diner with the thirteen Incorruptibles.  For this exquisite meal I give formal thanks to our hosts of the Monastery.

          Etienne, the young Captain of Our Guard studies with concern that Tredecim beside me now whispers into my ear.

          “Lady Giselle, Your Highness, it is time,” says Tredecim.

          I am at last to be instructed in Les Voies d’Hommes, the Ways of Men.  Too soon will it be my wedding to the barbarian Hrolf The Walker.

          Tredecim and I exit the dining hall together.  Tredecim seems quietly apprehensive, and yet I am merely curious.  Magge, my tutor, my confident, had taught me well the Ways of Women.

          Should I not think again of my poor Magge who is recovering in the Infirmary? Grâce à Dieu.  Oh, Magge, how complicated can be the Ways of Men?  I wish Magge were with us.

          Tredecim leads me through the courtyard into a pillared structure.  I point above and read aloud the inscription on the arched entry:

Nos es mirare

Per Venia nos teneo Is Dies

Nos es totus Unus Carmen

Nos es non Aduro

(We are a mirage

By Grace we know This Moment

We are all One Song

We are not The Singer)

          “Tredecim, who wrote that?”

          “Your Highness, I am told that inscription was there when this Monastery grounds was a Roman garrison.  This was their pagan temple.”

          “Why has the inscription remained?  It does not resemble the teaching of The Church.”

          “Servant Brother Timothée, the Thirteen Monk, my mentor, has told me that The Church has yet not accepted all wisdom.”

          Grows my wonder at this Monastery and the Order of the Thirteen Incorruptibles.  Tredecim leads me through a torch~lit labyrinth of marble hallways.  We arrive at what appears to be an altar chamber.  Yet upon the spacious altar is presented a bed richly provided with blankets of the most exquisite design and quality.

          I notice now that Tredecim trembles as he says, “Your Highness, we are here.”

          I touch his shoulder but he trembles more.  “Tredecim, what assails you?”

          He takes a deep breath and says with effort, “Your Highness, in the adjoining chamber will be the Purification.”

          He leads me into that chamber.  Therein is a stone pool of gently steaming liquid not unlike the medicinal pool of the Infirmary.

          Tredecim says to me, nervously, “Your Highness, we are to enter the Purification together.”  He holds my eyes and he slowly disrobes.  His skin is smooth and like immaculate pearl.  I have seen such Roman statues.  With such anatomy.

          “Your Highness?” he asks me expectantly.

          I rarely undress myself.  I think again of Magge and the games we would play as she undressed me.  It is not so much fun to undress myself.  It seems to take forever, yet Tredecim exhibits infinite patience as he bows his head and for some reason shields his manhood.  I think he prays.

          With Tredecim I am aware of my nakedness in a way about which Magge cautioned me, yet until this moment have I not experienced.  Tredecim offers to me his hand and I see that his manhood is alert.  We step together almost ceremonially into the stone pool of gently steaming liquid.  The soothing liquid feels like a scented oil bath.

          We are submerged to our ribs.  Tredecim says that we must kneel and submerge to our necks and we do so.

          “Your Highness, with your indulgence, we are to remain thus while I recite the entire Neuvaine Pour la Purification.

O la Mère Bénie de Dieu,

qui est monté à

le Temple selon

la loi avec votre

l’offre de peu blanc

les colombes, priez pour nous cela

Nous pouvons aussi garder la loi

et être pur dans le coeur

comme vous.

Le coeur doux de Mary,

soyez notre salut.


(O Blessed Mother of God,

who went up to

the Temple according to

the law with your

offering of little white

doves, pray for us that

We too may keep the law

and be pure in heart

like you.

Sweet heart of Mary,

our salvation)

          I say “Amen” with Tredecim.  We slowly rise.  In a ceremonial trance Tredecim finds the courage to take my hand once again.  We step out of the warm pool into the cool air.  I feel myself firm in exhilaration.   Together we return to the chamber of the bed altar.

          Tredecim guides me to sit upon the bed.  The blankets are deep and soft.  Tredecim stands before me.  I look up from his proud manhood.

          “Your Highness,” and he proceeds to instruct me on surprisingly delicate matters of the Sensitivities of Man and how they may be honored and never abused.

          “Your Highness, your lips and tongue as well as your fingertips are instruments of your love, which may be applied to these pleasures of your husband.”

          And so of deep curiosity I take him into my mouth and I explore him with my tongue and my lips.  Magge had taught me how explore women and how to be explored, but this is truly new.  I study assiduously, completely, with enthousiasme.

          Tredecim begins to be unsteady on his feet.  “I must recline, “ he gasps between clenched teeth, “Your Highness.”

          Tredecim falls back onto the blankets breathing hard.  His glistening manhood now stands erect beside me as if it were his ruddy second head and torso.

          I take hold of this hot fleshy scepter.  I have the vision of how Men are to be ruled.






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(The Science of Eating)

giselle 101415a



A second - resize 300xs we lay down my poor convalescent Magge onto a soft bed in the Monastery Infirmary we hear a bell ring thrice.  The young Acolyte Quattuor speaks, saying, ~ It is time to eat! ~

        The senior Acolyte Tredecim amends on behalf of Quattuor, Duae, and Sedecim, saying, ~ It is time to dine.  Your Highness, if you please to follow us. ~

        I am lead across the courtyard toward the largest structure of the Monastery.  Tredecim speaks, saying, ~ This Monastery was once the garrison of a Roman Legion.  This structure was the residence of the Roman General. ~

        We enter the dining hall.  Four long tables are arranged in a great cross.  On one side of the shaft of this great cross Our Guard stands facing the Ladies~In~Waiting who stand across the table on the other side.  Farther up beyond them, at the arms of the great cross stand twelve of the thirteen Incorruptibles, six at each arm, facing me.  At the apex of the great cross is an eating place reserved with a crown of woven roses, but no one stands there.  I am to be seated at the nearby base of this great cross, as the Royal Foundation.  Hovering in a halo about us all are the young Acolytes.

        The Thirteenth Monk speaks ceremoniously, saying, ~ Your Highness and Beloved Guests, I am the Servant Brother Timothée.  Our Servant Brother Benoît has been chosen to fast for this meal and to pray throughout in the name of Humanité. ~

        I point before me to the far apex of the great cross of tables, saying ~ Is that Brother Benoît’s vacant setting across from me? ~

               Servant Brother Timothée speaks in reply, saying, ~ Your Highness, that seat is always reserved for The Savior.  And one of us thirteen fasts at every meal, so there is no need for our thirteenth setting, ever.  Please, all, be seated. ~

          I am amused that we all dine together.  I know the minds of my Wedding Entourage and they too wonder why there are not mounds of food placed upon our tables, only chalices of water.

          But the young Acolytes are busy conveying to each of us a plank of bread with a slice of fowl upon it that is bathed in a golden liquid and accompanied by herbs.  There is a small ladle and a small trident placed beside each of us.  My eyes are ebullient with this artful vision framed in bread.  The aroma entices my nose like a perfume.

          Alaire of Our Guard gazes into his chalice of water, saying, ~ When does this change to wine? ~

          Lothaire of Our Guard attempts to pluck with his fingers the slice of fowl, saying, ~ Do we fast along with Brother Benoît? ~

          Devereux of Our Guard looks to his comrades and mutters, saying, ~ Is this fowl or is this what the fowl shits? ~

          The Ladies~in~Waiting suppress their giggling.  All the Monks lower their eyes silently except Servant Brother Timothée whose expression to me says, ~ What can I expect from savage children? ~

          Chagrined I rise and glare at Etienne the Captain of Our Guard, saying, ~ Do your men prefer a trough, Captain? ~

          A Monk rises at the heated words, saying, ~ Your Highness, I am Servant Brother Affranchi.  I am responsible for the nourishment here.  There are several varied servings to follow in sequence for this repast.  It is surely unlike the dining to which you are accustomed.

          I hear but ignore as Lothaire of Our Guard whispers, saying, ~ Does he mean the dining where actual sustenance is presented? ~

          Servant Brother Affranchi continues, saying, ~ I was rude not to preface this meal with my Science De Gueule, the science of eating. ~

          Servant Brother Timothée smiles with the other Monks, saying, ~ Your Highness, Servant Brother Affranchi insists that this is a matter of philosophy. ~

          I reply quickly, gesturing and saying, ~ Thus far, against this vision and against this aroma I cannot dispute.  Please continue, Servant Brother Affranchi. ~

          And so, in deep and serious countenance, Servant Brother Affranchi decants for us rules governing sauces and spices and philosophizes on the aesthetics of nourishment.  I find myself enchanted with these subtleties.

          Etienne the Captain of Our Guard notices my trance and speaks, saying, ~ Your Highness, Servant Brother Affranchi speaks with grandiloquence as if he describes the government of a kingdom. ~

          I reply to Etienne, saying, ~ And he has given to me, a Daughter of the Undisputed King of France, food for thought. ~






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