Albion, Art, Books, Don and Wen

Dear Don: Cygnus

Dear Don,

Mea culpa, I couldn’t help myself. You know what I’m like, being a Virgo and all… I had to look up the official etymology of ‘road’. Not, I will grant you, that ‘official’ necessarily means ‘correct’… or even that ‘correct’ means ‘true’… Especially when you consider how many times the linguists fall back on the old farm/hill/field belonging to ‘x’ when they don’t really have a clue what a place name means.

But even so… Not a Rod in sight… not even a hint of a Sighting Rod… which they would, undoubtedly, have needed, unless they were, as we suspect, following ancient and predetermined tracks across our land.

File:Reconstruction of face A of Leeds cross fragment 2c.jpg
Winged Wayland, reconstruction of a fragment of the Leeds Cross. Image by: Alarichall CCA 4.0

I know it is your bardic soul at play, juggling words like Anu’s Ball of Power, but it is odd just how often such verbal diversions yield flashes of understanding. Or, perhaps it isn’t odd at all…

I like the idea of Long Meg as a Swan Maiden… who always seem to be shapeshifters in the old tales too, flitting between human and avian form. Which would make her tattoos stars, as you say…

Given that you seem to get rays when light is interrupted, as when seen through branches, for example, and concentric pools in clear skies, I don’t see why there need be any argument about which representation is best. Both work… just different levels of function, perhaps.

With the Swan being one of the death birds, that seems apt enough, moving between worlds. In Meg’s case, perhaps that was seen fairly literally, what with her ‘tattoos’ and alignment with Deneb… earthling to swan, or human to winged spirit.

Yes, Wayland, in some of the stories, wed Hervör, a Swan Maiden. In the Parish Church in Leeds, there is a winged Wayland carved on the Leeds Cross. Oddly enough, in the stone that remains, he has been beheaded by time…

We really ought to have called in on our way back from Ilkley, but between time and city centre parking, we never did.

We always seem to come away from these weekends with something occupying our minds… in fact, apart from the journey home from the Isles, we seldom do anything much on the way back…

Got to go… the dog wants to eat and I don’t think the workmen should be on the menu…

Love, Wen x

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