Sunday, November 4, 2007

Doorway to Imagination Challenge

"House of the Thistle People"

I participated in this challenge shortly after returning from a lovely trip to Scotland earlier in the year. Since the last issue of Quilting Arts Magazine featured select entries from the challenge (mine -- not among them), I'm posting a photo of it because the piece pleases me. To accompany it, I submitted a story because the imagery seemed a bit disconnected without an explanation. Included here is that story. (Please kindly observe the copyright.)

The Rise of the House of the Thistle People

This story begins long ago, before great cities and large numbers of people, but shortly after man’s appearance…in the scheme of life.

The elf kingdom, before moving behind Avalon’s mists, decided it couldn’t leave the world without magic and the ability to foresee the future. So, the elves crowned a new family of beings to carry on their work. The thing was…these new magical beings were not beautiful as the elves had been. Rather, these beings were elemental and harsh, and they dressed in pain-giving thorns. The Thistle People, as they became known as, could even grow to the height of men and look them straight in the eye.

The Thistle People, unfortunately, much preferred to live outdoors in desolate and isolated places. But they couldn’t carry on the elf kingdom’s work this way. That’s because during the crowning, the elves gave the Thistle People inner ears to hear the thoughts of all beings and a charge to serve those beings in need through invisible action that would appear to those helped as ‘magic’. (Hearing the thoughts of all beings was important for doing this.)

By the time great cities had sprung up across all nations, the Thistle People were drowning in all the thoughts from the world of men to the extent that they could no longer hear any other beings. To their astonishment, they would never have imagined that men could think thoughts in conflict with others or think a thought and do its opposite (e.g. think good-do bad, think bad-do good). The Thistle People were of one mind. For example, each thistle thought the same thought which meant the species of thistle had one collective thought. To serve, as the elves had charged, was very difficult.

They decided they needed to be closer to those in need (to hear individuals' thoughts). So, the thistles started spreading into forsaken areas in the middle of metropoles where their inner hearing grew more focused and acute. These areas were generally cracks in asphalt where weeds had begun to grow, in parks and in other wild-growing urban areas. As the Thistle People’s inner hearing and understanding dramatically improved, so too did their magic.

Because of their spread, they became more noticeable and a growing nuisance to the world of man. So, men decided they needed to go because it was said the plants scratched their children, were not pretty and didn’t serve a purpose. The Thistle People knew better, but there was no magic that could save them as they could only practice magic to save others.

The Thistle People were all removed except those in a land far across the ocean. It is a harsh and barren land in areas, and lush with green growth in others. Here, the remaining Thistle People thrive and still do their work and each fall, as a reminder of their elf inheritance, they bloom beautiful magenta crowns.

The ‘House of the Thistle People’ is where all the others now dwell…in the deep dark mystery beyond the mists.

© Cay Denise – June 2007

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