The Third String.
Tales from a Dagda Bard
The Third String.
Tales from a Dagda Bard
The rattle of the keys on the laptop came to a halt as the Séalaí looked up, pausing the narration, with a quizzical frown.
"Does it actually ever end? I mean all of it. I'm mortal. I know that time will come and I will pass away."
The storyteller's face was somber but still curious.
"But you, you're immortal. You talk about ages past as if it were yesterday. You have seen the turn of centuries and even millennia. How is that?"
The Dagda shifted his broad bulk more comfortably in his big chair, breathing in the comfort of his home, taking a time to consider his reply. This question was not unexpected, but the reply had to be tailored with care.
"I guess it doesn't actually end as long as you are remembered. The love in ones heart is a powerful thing and it can burn on long after the bodies last beat. To me it comes down to how you choose to see things."
"So you're saying that love makes one immortal? What then of the pain and loss that goes with every life? Is this a result of love? What of those who barely even get a life? Where is the love preserving them?"
The bard's frown deepened and his face and words were coloured with a pain and anger which the Dagda knew all too well.
His broad care lined face showed a look of deepest compassion.
"It hurts for those left behind. Loss is almost always bitter no matter what the poets tell you. I have heard it said that life is pain, and anyone who says different is selling something. I would disagree with that and would share with you a perception of mine, for you to choose to accept or ignore as is your right."
A thoughtful frown settled on his brow, as the Scéalaí remained quiet and attentive.
"The soul or spirit, holds the energy of the person, but that energy came from some place and wasn't just made manifest out of nothing when the person started their existence. That energy comes from the greater whole. From the collective universal force of all things.
A fragment of that, the energy of growth and life, the energy of a star's fire, the energy of a lightning bolt, the energy of an ocean's wave, is brought to being with the consciousness of the vessel. Created within a mother and of a father, that energy finds purpose."
A big strong hand raised the mug of tea to his lips, momentarily interrupting the words.
"So. What then when the vessel's purpose is complete? It might be hours, days, years, or indeed decades but at some point the work is done, the final rest earned."
Dark eyes focused on the storyteller as the Dagda continued, adjusting his words to his audience.
"The laws of conservation of energy suggest that energy can never be created or destroyed. Following that, my presumption is that the energy returns to the universal whole."
"For a time it remains a fragment, separate and individual. Identified by a name and experiences, fed by the call of those left behind, but over time, as the name is not spoken of, as the memories fade and the hearts love which charged it cools, the fragment merges back and is no longer separate. Enriched by the experience it carried and enriching the whole with what it brings back."
Another sup of the tea interrupted the flow and refreshed the Big man.
"This is happening all of the time in the innumerable things within this universe. This is what I call the great cycle."
The frown had been building on the Scéalaí's face, his brain working rapidly to keep pace, and as the big man finished, the next obvious question came.
"So, you are not bound by the great cycle then?"
Dadga's face showed he had been expecting it and a patient smile crept onto his features, as a chuckle rumbled from his broad chest.
"Of course I am. All things are, as all things are bound to the one energy. The reason my energy has not returned is as I told you. My purpose is not yet complete, there is work to be done."
Comprehension dawned on the Scéalaí's eye, followed quickly by deep compassion.
"So, you exist because you are needed to exist. It must be so hard on you then. To keep going, seeing loss every day, knowing that even me, your storyteller, will pass away and that you may yet endure. Indefinitely?"
The big man heaved a bone deep weary sigh and the storyteller thought he saw his eyes glisten with unshed tears.
"Aye, you're not wrong that bitter loss is always there. The best I can offer you is this. When you pay attention to the energy of all things, you see how it dances. Some fragments always seem to dance in the same energetic frequency, the same rhythms and vibrations.
Like a harp string, its length and material always set, will make the same note whenever it's plucked, even if it was last plucked but a moment ago or hasn't been touched since the start of the song, so too may the energetic dance of fragments vibrate in the same way every time they take up a vessel."
The deep dark eyes of the immortal showed, for but a moment, the extent of the years they had seen, and it sent a shudder through the storyteller. Dagda's face took on that knowing smile of his.
"Do you think this is the first time your energy has been of use to me?"
The Scéalaí slumped back in the chair, flummoxed yet unable to break that stare.
"Oh no, 'OakHeart', you have worked for me many times before."
As the bard's brain began to spin upon itself, the Dagda sipped his tea and watched, with a compassionate smile.
"Does any story ever truly end?"
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An Scéalaí Beag