First posted 24 September, 2012. Slightly improved.
(Mistress of the wood “skogsrået”)
They were men who came from vast plains, desolate deserts, and endless seas. Their eyes measured distances. But they didn’t know themselves. And the woodlands affected them badly.
In the twilight, when the chilling sky meet the warmth from the ground, fairies still dances over the flourishing meadows with veils of mists, and they breathe humid and upsetting in the traveller’s face who came away from his fellows. Near, but yet out of reach, near, but yet out of reach…
A man who has gone astray and lost his direction stumbles into the dark primeval woods, filled with whispers and animal screams, eerie rustle and sounds of sticks breaking, steps approaching and receding in the same moment, and cobwebs, hanging plants, and twigs that slaps his face and mess up his clothes – broken branches on the ground that threaten his foothold. No trails or orientation for a stranger to see, but glowing eyes stares and flashes past, and breathings in the dark behind them. These unknown creatures, even though busy in chaotic pursuits, they all know their destinations, that’s at least what he assumes. But he doesn’t, he’s completely lost. It makes him feel miserable and helpless, and he’s not used to feel like that and he hates it.
A woman as beautiful as a dream comes from nowhere to his rescue.
She touch gently like the wing of a bat the thin fabric of his shirt sleeve. Body with feminine charms, but without a human woman’s warm blood, still her touch burns his skin like fire and his heart starts to beat hard. Its pounding in his ears drowns all forest jarring sounds, and he begin to feel dizzy and he trembles as a rabbit heart. He can’t prevent those bodily reactions – and he don’t want to. He want to let go and give in to them. And her! And she sees him and she smiles soft.
The forest nymphs whispered tempting in ancient times to men in confusion, not knowing their real self “come me close and lose yourself in me, you will never be the same one, but mine forever”.
And she say to him with her soft flute voice, “I greet you welcome to my neck of the woods. I’m the mistress of this forest, and I’m as old as these trees that surrounds you, but as your eyes can see, and your heart can tell, I’m still as beautiful and desirable as a goddess, and far more than any young maiden you ever met before. Oh yes stranger, I can see your desire in your eyes, and I’m all yours. Whatever you want, I want too. If you want to explore those furrowed trails in my face with your fingertips, and experience me with your hands and lips, you can do that, because I’m yours and you are invited. Yes, red-blooded man, if you want me from my crown to my feet, if you want to caress my litters and hollows, soft as all the forest mosses, my body will smoothly and juicy accept your bold fiery courage. So let my mellow breasts repose weighty in your hands, and your palms will forever remember how you knew them, and then proceed further and explore and arouse all the sweetness my clear rippling sources are capable of. And if you want to seek out all those astray lines, impasses, and scars my body hide, as well as glades of celestial happiness, joy and sweet honey, please do. Yes, let you be sucked into dim mysteries, and you will groan of pleasure, while you climb the heights with me, and you will wail in my arms when you give it all in, and fall tripping from the cliffs. Yes, I’ll show you all my secrets, and you will lose yourself in depths you have only dreamed of before in unrevealed nights; and you shall drink to the bottom the black full-flavored muddy water in my meres. Yes, you will lose yourself in me, as I am your only demand. Yes, yes you big, bold and forcefully man, if you want me as your little woman, I’m all yours and I’ll give you all you want and thousand fold more.”
And while she tells him all this she smiles her enchanting smile.
And he could feel how his foot took that short step close to her, and he could feel how his arms opened up to embrace her, but still he was in chaos and confusion.
“Come on, son of humans!”, the forest around him whispers, “if you are attracted to her, and all what she have and wants to give you, if that is your overwhelming desire, then go! Go to her who have nothing more to lose of youth and grace, but everything to gain in your devoted hands of desire and worship. She wants you, man”.
(old mothers in ancient times)
And aged mothers in their homelands felt a cold draft over their chests, and fear var their first names, and fear was their surnames. The loved ones was their only life. But sons always left the house and went far from their mothers – and daughters too often stayed back home and dug deep ditches of bitterness, and filled them with tears.
A man who have met the forest lady, but managed to make it home, will still never be the same. He becomes sullen and strange, and he avoids people and all their doings. Better then with the son who travelled overseas in search for honour and died in an unknown port, sighs his household sheepishly behind his back.
Mother raised the stone over the son who went abroad for honour and found it in the arms of death, and she let it be carved in runic. And she added “God help his soul” on the stone. But in the dark she paid a due to Freya, just in case.
The farm people, they lived their laborious lives, as if nothing had occurred and yet – the world had turn him around and upside down. But they did the best they could, wanted well with their warm clumsy hands. But in souls where storms and passions never have ravaged, not much new can germinate and grow either. To be wise is not always wisdom, the lost man thought, when he silent looked at them in the evening firelight when they all were gathered a while before sleep, and he felt like a stranger to his near ones. He couldn’t stay with them, he just couldn’t!
Over the farmyard goes the lost one and he goes toward the woods. No one look at him, still he got eyes in his back, burning him.
Neither lofty love or simple, earthly lust can be suppressed by societies laws, prohibitions, or people’s prejudices, hit and obsessed by passions, they demands total submission and rejects common sense.
And it continues through thousands of years. They whispers still in late hours, these nymphs and elves, and now to lost souls on internet… To you wherever you are, and to all in world… to you and you and you and you… And they don’t leave you in peace, do they! Not even when you later lies alone, in fever and chills under your blanket, in your crumpled and sweaty bed, and squirm like a worm. And you can’t get rest, and you can’t sleep … So why don’t you obey your desires, and leave your sad and lonely bed, and goes online again… And call for her… you’re the same lost male knight now, as you were back then in ancient time. … And there are lots of nymphs online…Yes, and they all wants you…
(the wise woman’s telling)
…like in a legend whispered in the dark by a blind old woman sitting aside while the people are gathered around the fireplace, doing evening chores. The old woman’s voice, the crackling fire, occasional quiet and short comments to what they listen to, or what should not be forgotten to do the next day, repressed giggles and throat clearing, and peace… Can you see it, reader, can you hear it in your mind?
Working hands, furrowed, with lines and tracks telling what not any knows but everyone knows about. These simple folks, they all have now since long passed on, but they were all as you and me. As it was then, it’s the same now.
We live enslaved in hard work in routine paths in narrow fields, and dreams at every turn to fly like eagles. But there lives a woman next door to you, and she say timidly “Can’t you see my desire for you, knight?” Your happiness and joy is never out of reach, you just have to look up and see it – and grab it!
Elias Fries skola, Hylte,
school supplies Swedish school,
no details of who made the picture