Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ma Petite Jeune Fille

You have now all seen of my adventures at the castle where I fought for the honor of my little maiden, ma petite jeune fille, who helped to raise my spirit when I was feeling much defeated of my conviction. I have spent much of my life striving to be a noble knight of virtue, and thus have not frequented the arms of a woman passionately. However, although I have kept myself as a most chaste being, I have not seen the great beauties that can be in the face of a lady. Throughout my life I have seen the loveliest of women, fairer even than the most perfect flower.

My queen Guinevere is certainly the most beautiful of the court. She has long hair that shines and moves like a earth-colored river and smells of the sweetest nectar honey, light and clear. She is most graceful in her movements and the way she places her hands in her lap at the table, folded neatly upon one another. Isolde of the White Hands, who shared with Tristan a most tragic life, had skin that makes even the full night moon look spotted and dirty in comparison. The blond of her hair, when it glistened in the high morning sun, could blind a man with one look. Even Lady Bertalik, who deceived me in the end, had the most lovely figure of womanly curves and the full, ripe lips of a dark berry. She looked at me with dark hazel eyes that were both seductive and cunning at once.

However, it is my lady at the castle for whom I fought for, the Maiden with the Small Sleeves, who captures my heart with the most joyous charm of youth. My maiden smells like fresh garden rose and basil mint coming in through the bedroom windows and possesses the small, elfin beauty of a wood nymph. Her cheeks are like rose petals and milk and the sharp aquiline shape of her nose intrigues me to no end. She suffered pain and humiliation at the hand of her wicked older sister (who cares for only looks) and I in turn had to come to her rescue. She pleaded with me in the sweetest voice that I accepted her challenge even at the opposition of her father. I won my maiden her honor and wore her sleeves on my arm to show that.

I may be a man of treason to many now, but to my maiden, dear little one that she is, I am the most spectacular knight that can be.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ah, the memories!

Ah, the tale of my youth. It was interesting to read about it from an outsider’s point of view. Just remembering the days I trained at Rome fill me with youthful vigor. I recall my first tournament—my triumphs, the acknowledgement of my peers…It seems like just yesterday that the first person asked me why I wore a surcoat over my arms, I flippantly replied that I just wanted to wear splendid attire and that somehow earned me the title The Knight of the Surcoat… I remember the war soon after, and how I used a favor granted from the Emperor to become the champion of the Romans and defeat our enemies. That fight with Gormundus was ferocious, as we were closely matched but in the end I was the victor. It still chills me to this day when I think of the moment I could have lost, my sword broke Gormundus’s shield, but in doing so it too broke; luck was on my side as the day ended and our fight could not continue in the darkness and so we fought again the next day and victory was mine.

After that I felt there was no more in Rome for me. I had heard great tales of the adventures at King Arthur’s court, and when I asked my liege to go I was surprised he consented, but I am glad to this day that I went. Things were not smooth, I knew I would have to prove my worthiness before I could join his court, but King Arthur rejected me outright! I was so angry at the time, but reading this tale gives new insight into why he did so. Never did I know that the King was the one who I defeated so easily at the river the night before I arrived! It explains so much. But at the time I was blinded by my determination to prove myself; at the first opportunity I rode out and did it. I heard just as the rest of the court of the trouble at a nearby castle, and so I followed; when the knights failed to do the job I did it myself. I was very proud of myself and I knew King Arthur would have to admit me into his court then. Of course soon after that all thoughts were driven from my head when I learned the news of my lineage. King Arthur—my uncle?! I couldn’t believe it, but I knew no one had reason to lie and slowly it dawned on me. I had family again; I met my mother and father. I was proud to serve my uncle in his court. *Sigh* Leaving Rome was one of my best decisions….I found my family, learned my true name, and had many adventures…

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Castle of the Maidens?

Well, here I am again, contemplating Arthurian cannon and wondering just what to write. I will admit that the "Rise of Gawain" is an interesting tale...well-written even...but I feel it could use something more. Perhaps a love story? An affair? A fairy? Something more would be nice....

There was one paragraph in the tale that deeply touched me--the one that mentions the "Castle of the Maidens" and the young woman in northern Britannia "who was noted for her grace and nobility, governed by her right of lordship" (pg. 395). Now that, to me, sounds like the beginning of a GOOD story. Just imagine, if Gawain had only had the good sense to fall in love with her while saving her from the pagan king? Of course, it would be a tense situation since Arthur was quite fond of her too. He may not want to share.... There might be battles of wit between the two men to win the girl's affection. And how would Gwendoloena feel about all this?

Oh! Perhaps I should write this story?! I would have to tweak Gawain's character, of course, since he may not be agreable to falling in love with such an independent woman . I would LOVE to round out the maiden's character as well. She would have to have a complex history and at least one other jealous suitor besides the pagan king. Gawain and her would make such a great couple...both good-looking and intelligent! I wonder if I can find a patron for this sort of thing? They love this genre in the court.... Oh goodness! Listen to me ramble! I think I may need to get to work right away! Another great love story credited to my name would not be a bad thing at all....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

True Intellingence

As Always the females win. I just think it’s too funny that Merlin let The Lady of the Lake overpower him. He was given so much intelligence and power. And he gave it all up for a woman. He gave away his secrets, and he taught her all he knew. That filthy, sick, pervert, did it all for a fifteen year old girl. He deserves what he got. As always the power lies in our hands. Females do not need spells or magic. With our intelligence is enough to conquer all. It saddens me that the “strong” sex is in reality so weak. Men are so easy to control, and that’s why we will always have our way.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The wonders of love and magic

Time and time again I have seen how magic and love work in mysterious ways. Merlin, the most extraordinary seer and enchanter of all ages, was born not out of love, but most unusual circumstances. Although he was conceived by a demon his love for God led him in the path of righteousness which he dutifully followed. Merlin's talents enabled him to see Uther's true love for Ygerne. This is why Merlin assisted Uther in gaining Ygnerne as his wife. Ygnerne is a virtuous woman who only had eyes for her husband the duke and resisted all the King's advances. I lament how Uther disguised himself to lay with Ygerne, but how strong and maddening such love can be! The human ability to love extends beyond reason and death. Ygerne still loves her husband even though he has been murdered. Uther and Ygerne's marriage will blossom into undeniable love that will be lore. Merlin's own love for Niviane led him astray and caused his death. I question his love, perhaps it was just the lust to take her maidenhood that Merlin was entranced by. Love is magic, love is a force not to be reckoned with. Hearing the stories of Uther and Ygerne, of Merlin and Niviane, I can't resist the temptation to imagine the love in my own life. The kind of love that overpowers reason and withstands fortnights without hearing from your lover. Alas, I shall too have the love that transcends time and becomes legendary. What is life without love?

Love and Loyalty

Oh how my heart burns with sorrow. But I could not lie to my HUSBAND! Can you not see how gravely distressed I was. It was awful to be pursued by Uther.... although I certainly did not act upon any of his offers, I was still just as guilty. And then my faithful Husband how good you were to believe me. You have always been my beloved. To defy a KING with such vigilance is testament to how you loved me as well. Now that you are gone from me, taken no doubt from sheer malice, the man who caused our woes has comforted me and my family. We will not be lost, Uther has decided to marry me as settlement for your tragic end. He's also married off our daughter to king Lot. But what you next will hear certainly would shock you from your grave, but even in death I cannot lie to my husband. Someone made me PREGNANT! I can barely hold back the tears now. But Uther took well care of me and my strange little son you can be sure of that. I have grown into love with my new husband and although we do not have an heir Merlin will guide Uthers kingdom well. Merlin was a great and wise man I could never believe anything ill of him or my new husband Uther, just as I could never have done so with you.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Regarding Tristan

Oh how you Brittons, concerning yourselves more with affairs of the heart than affairs of your health. As I prepare to invade your barren lands, you concern yourselves more with an adulteress and a disloyal knight than with protecting you so called freedoms. I shall soon breach you borders, and destroy everything you hold dear.

There will be no place for these sinfull relationships once you are again under the rule of the holy roman empire. In good time I will have destroyed your knights, who are now more concerned with loving fair ladies than practicing the art of combat. I will cut the great Tristans throught with my sword, and then he will be able to watch his beloved from the sky, as another more capable man takes her as his own. With the slaying of you men, all of Brittons women will become entrenched in a life of servitude or will be bound to new husbands or roman stock who will finally cure these lands of your vile race. For in true roman men your women will find men worthy of fidelity, for only a Roman Man can truly love a woman.

True Love!

In my short life I have experienced all forms of love. I know its evils and I have felt its passion! My beloved Tristan, who I love with all my heart, oh how i wish we could be together. Love is torture! But, it is also blissful. I am glad i have been able to experience its power. To live without love is such a waste of a life! I just wish I could have been able to go about it in the proper manner.

Oh how I have hurt my dear husband Mark! There is anything in this world that I could ever regret more, the pain I caused is inexcusable. I take responsibility for my actions, I know what we did was wrong. But, what was I supposed to do? How could I deny such a great passion? How could I just turn my head on love? I had no other option, I had no choice! Mark is a good man, a good King, and he did not deserve such a betrayal! If only I could have felt the same way about dear Mark, that i felt for my Tristan. Lying to Mark was almost just as hard as keeping away from my Tristan. Keeping such a great secret eats away at your soul! Knowing that you are hurting someone so close to you is unbearable! If only things were different, if only I had a choice in who I married.

A women should be able to choose her husband! This whole situation could have been avoided if I wasn't being treated like someones property. How dare I be forced into an unwanted marriage! It's their own fault! I am an intelligent women, capable of making her own decisions! I don't need someone telling me who to marry! Men! Who do they think they are? I am smarter than any man, I can outwit just as good as any man (and I think I have proved that enough throughout my life). Oh but men can be wonderful! Trust me, when you find someone you can fall in love with, hold onto them! Take in every second, you never know when it will be you last. Appreciate the time God has given you, and just try to be happy for as long as you can.

Tristan and Isolde

Alas your tale is a sad one. I know what it is to yearn for a loved one. If I were in you're position i would have conquered King Mark with my battle prowess and taken the Lady Isolde as my own. Better to be in love without obstacles than to be held back by such formalities. With your battle prowess you could have conquered King Mark easily, and taken the kingdom for yourself. This is what i would have done, if you see something you want you must take it. It seems obvious that Mark was the one at fault here for standing in the way of your love, I'm honestly surprised that he didn't meet the end of his life at your blade as this is exactly what i would have done. Alas your deaths are something of legend as well. Better to spend the eternity of death together than to spend more years separated from one another.

Let this be a lesson to young lovers.....

My brothers and sisters, I tell you this now, from experience. Marry for love - even if you and your beloved must overcome obstacles, do so and be together. Do not give up! Do not marry one that you do not love, for it will haunt you. I did not marry my beloved. Rather than face the adversity head on, we made the decision to live apart. And what a mistake that was.

Alas, what woe! for the woman I married was, in reality, a horrid woman. A dishonorable wench! A frightful witch! Would that I could have my revenge on her, Isolde of the White Hands. Perhaps I was not the husband she desired. I would not lay with her, for I wished to remain devoted and loyal to my beloved, Isolde of Cornwall, though we cannot be together as a man and woman in love should be. And alas! The fact that I would not lay with her and be what she wanted led the wicked Isolde of the White Hands to betray me in the worst way possible. Telling me that Caerdin had hoisted black sails broke my spirit and destroyed my soul. Had I known that my fair lady was indeed coming to heal me, I would have pushed my broken body further, forced myself to hold on until I saw my beloved at least one more time. Alas! I married a viper. And it was a mistake that cost me dearly, for it destroyed not only my life, but that of my beloved's, Isolde of Cornwall.

So, young lovers, do not give up. Take the time given to you and make the best of it. Even if you must face death for being together, it is better to live and die together, than to die alone and of the belief that your beloved cares not for your pain or death.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tristan and Isolde: A Match Made by the Heavens

I am certainly pleased to finally share my Lay of Chievrefueil with you! I do hope you enjoyed it (I have already received many auspicious reviews concerning it). The tale of honorable Tristan and fair Isolde is one of my favorites and the symbol of the hazel tree and honeysuckle vine is such a romantic one! It is truly befitting of this couple. I must admit, however, I am a little jealous that I did not think of it first. Such a powerful and beautiful image! Nevertheless, re-telling it is an honor….
Re-reading Thomas of Britain’s Tristan was a bit difficult for me. I become so angered by Isolde of the White Hands. What a wench! Normally, I have a soft spot for unappreciated wives, but this woman is so hard-hearted! First, she should have known better than to fall in love with a man who was clearly irrevocably in love with a much fairer woman than she. White Hands should have known better than to further complicate a great love that was already restricted by the parameters of society! Secondly, by God’s ears, how could she lie to such a noble man?! As Tristan’s wife, she should have known that news of a black sail would cause his great heart to fail. The woman is a viper! Oh, I must calm myself—as a writer, I know every story needs a villain. It is simply difficult to stomach one that is also a woman. Hmm…perhaps I am directing my anger toward the wrong person…perhaps Thomas of Britain is the real culprit here…. Oh! Such a chauvinist!
On a much more positive note, I would have much preferred to hear the cantare that speaks of Lancelot killing King Mark. I can imagine a thousand means of dealing such a tyrant a fitting death! I do hope the Italians chose a particularly vile one! Oh…the Italian tradition is such a compelling one! Imagine: lovers dying together at exactly the same instant! It just demonstrates how similar Tristan and Isolde really were to the honeysuckle and the hazel tree.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Let Isolde choose her man

All this trouble due to the drinking of a potion. Isolde should have had the right to choose to marry whomever she desires. Her sovereignty is the most important thing a woman can seize and control. Her marriage to King Mark was without love, and if she wanted love with Tristan, so be it if they force themselves through deceit and peril to be with each other. The lustiness that they have with eachother does not make them feel anything else. The same went for handsome Lancelot and the proud Queen Guenivere. So be it if the woman chooses to deceive their husbands if they want to pursue fulfillment with another man. It's her choice. The ladies have their beauty to sway their men to come to them. They don't need trickery or bribery to have a man satisfy them. If the lady truly loves her husband, deceit with another man is not right. Alas though, the ladies Isolde and Guenivere do not love their husbands as much as they do their lovers. They have the power to choose who they love, and what they do with their loves is up to them.