I saw her, old, long scraggly hair, wrapped in tanned animal hide for protection, by the river, in the forest, alone, very alone, sad, resigned, quiet.She’d been banished from the village, or maybe she’d run away and been hiding, either way it was because she’d been found out or would have been and that meant she’d had to leave or die.
I saw her, young, she was writing furiously, long feather quill, hiding somewhere in a corner of the attic of the dwelling, in the dark, a lone taper burning. She was scared, fearful of being seen, yet she wrote and she wrote, pausing only to hear more to write.The words were coming to her from others, words she couldn’t see who spoke, yet the words came and she wrote them.The Grandmother who lived in her hut in the forest had told her that the voices and their words that she heard were important and that she must write them down and give them to her. She taught her to write and read and told her to keep it a secret, not to tell anyone and to keep on doing it.On the Grandmother’s death bed, she made her promise, make a vow, to never let anyone else know about the words she heard and to not let anyone see her writing, otherwise she would be killed.
She wrote and wrote and the words soothed her soul. She shared them with her mother and her sisters because the words spoke of a different way, a way where they would be honoured and respected, it was so different to how it was for them….
The vow she made to the Grandmother kept her scared, scared of being seen, scared of being found out and scared of what would happen should she be discovered and the vow kept the words secret, but the words wanted to be shared and read…..
The vow she made stayed with her until another lifetime when she went to the Blacksmith’s cottage and met a Witch who flew with Swan. The Witch helped her find a way to cut away the web that was the vow, that had stuck to her, that was stuck in and around and all over her. And Black Panther came then, to be with her, to protect her and guard her. She was safe now, the vow was released and the words could come freely and be shared.
Jane, Sydney 2012