The Stolen Child

 

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Where dips the rocky highland….

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuthwood in the lake
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our fairy vats,
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries.

 

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Come away, O Human child!

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

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Where the wave of moonlight glosses

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;

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To and fro we leap

To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.

Come away, O human child!

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To the waters and the wild

To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

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Where the wandering water gushes

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild

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With a faery, hand in hand,

With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

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Away with us he’s going, The solemn-eyed:

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breath
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.

For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,

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For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

Poem, of course, is “The Stolen Child” by the immortal WB Yeats, a native of Sligo, where my late husband’s family were from and where many of them still reside.

All thanks go to Noah, who agreed on fairly short notice to find some schoolboy clothes and come be my Stolen Child for an evening. Noah’s player is among my favourite people in SL, and their portrayal of children as real kids taught me not to be completely dismissive of child avatars when I was new to SL roleplaying several years ago and we ended up on a sim together. Noah is an amazing kid, and is that not the most adorable child you have ever seen? Here, he is seven years old, and I thought he brought me the perfect Stolen Child.

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The amazing and adorable Noah!

When Astralia came up with the stunning Ivy Elf Set for The Gacha Garden, I knew I had to do something special with it. Once I dressed Gwyneth in the outfit, I could only think of the wild faeries of Irish folklore, and of course Yeats’ poem came to mind as something accessible, and short, that I could use as a springboard. With very little preparation, I decided to use the beautiful forest Dyisi Oppewall created on my sim, Awenia, as a setting. Raindale‘s beautiful boat, Meriel, provided the simple stage we used to take these photographs. I am grateful to Lumiya Rae, who created this lovely skin, Aurora, which is coming soon to The Coven: it got me to streamline my Lelutka Simone Bento head-shape to give Gwyneth this stern and otherworldly face. ColeMarie Soleil, the creative force behind Cole’s Creations, created the glimmering bits of gold that are sometimes visible around Gwyneth’s body and head and also the beautiful moonbeams that illuminate her Faery form as she appears to Noah. This photoshoot took nearly three hours, possibly a bit longer, and I could not have done it as well or efficiently without my experience in the Visionaire class or our masterclass with Senna Coronet on lighting. Nearly all the moonbeams on the water are made with projectors I created, and the projector on Noah dimmed out the lamp on the boat, so I had to create projectors to simulate that, as well. This was shot in various Phototools Moonlight wind lights, with the exception of the last photograph, which I shot in Phototools No Light so that I could bring all focus to Noah’s adorable and pinchable little face! (Noah is going to barf when he reads this!)

Style Cards:
Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone Mesh Head
Hair: Mina, Ava Lin (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Eyes: Mesange, Serendipity Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Aurora, Hexed (COMING SOON to The Coven!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears HD
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Clothes (bra, headdress, body leaves, neck leaves, necklace, leaf tattoo, leggings, armbands, corset, and necklace): Astralia, Ivy Elf Set (Available NOW at The Gacha Garden!)
Wings: Zyn, Woodland Tree Wings
Moonbeams and Gold Sparkles: Cole’s Corner, Fairy Gold Dust and Illuminated Lightbeams (Moonbeam Aura)

Noah:
Hair: *ARGRACE* GAKU
Socks: EB Atelier – Mesh_Socks Grey
Necklace: MeshMerized – Pan
Sweater: Loki Mesh – V4 Timerascal – Top
Shorts: Loki Mesh – V4 Timerascal Shorts
Boots: Loki Mesh – V4 Workboots – Brown
Mesh Body: #SMB Mesh Body 2.2
Skin: [Lee] Yang Skin Child Version
Eyes: [Icy Winter EYE] by Lubellia

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never re-enact a Yeats poem in SL without it!

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What If….

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

My children have emerged. That sounds more accurate than saying they are born, since I did not give birth to them. I merely gave life. Merely.

The night was such a blessing. Eilian and Drysi arrived talking up a storm to one another, but Bronwen was quiet and new as dew. I won’t go in to more now, because I want to believe my children are possibilities and not the shadow that pass over them from the past. I won’t.

Three Parents

Three Parents

Janus couldn’t stay away. I hope he will decide not to stay away on a regular basis. I miss him so.

After what probably seemed like a short meet and greet, Bronwen grew tired and the others were pretending not to be, so I whisked us all, the family (Nathaniel, me, Wren, Eilian, Drysi, and Bronwen) off to the tree house, where Bran made hot chocolate for everyone and we got the children settled into their bedrooms.

Poor Nathaniel was so tired out he just crashed.

Janus left through the tree roads, but I hope, I know, he will be back.

In a few days, mine and Nathaniel’s handfasting will take place.

Bran brought me a second mug of hot chocolate, and I just, I don’t know. I started thinking about my life.

“No one is ever allowed to know what might have been,” said Aslan. But it doesn’t stop me speculating about it.

What if I'd grown into one of those sassy Croyden party girls?

What if I’d grown into one of those sassy Croydon party girls?

What if I’d grown in to one of those sassy Croydon party girls? The sort of girl who doesn’t think she’s dressed without a pair of 4-inch heels and shows as much skin as possible, particularly when it’s 0°C outside.

What would she have thought about my house? “Great staircase, but you really ought to get some colour in here. You should redo this kitchen in avocado, mate.”

That.. doesn’t bear thinking about.

But assuming my life followed the same path, the path where the four of us were in that accident and only I woke up on the shores of the river…

What if I’d not grown into the person I’ve become now?

Would I have become a fae servant in my own kitchen? Serving some other Fae Queen?

Would I have become a fae servant in my own kitchen? Serving some other Fae Queen?

Would I have become a fae servant in my own kitchen? Serving some other Fae Queen?I imagine my house-proudness, how I’d turn my magic, what little there might be of it, to the growing of herbs in the counter garden, the height of the fire.

The sort of house-manager who has one perfectly serviceable dress in a variety of colours, all made by her own hand.

The sort of house-manager who has one perfectly serviceable dress in a variety of colours, all made by her own hand.

The sort of house-manager who has one perfectly serviceable dress in a variety of colours, all made by her own hand.

The kind of woman who has one unbelievably beautiful necklace, given to her by a lover who left her, a thing she can’t bear to put away, ever.

A woman who remembers her old life a lot more clearly than I do now. A woman who reads in her spare time and might be instructing the children in literature, since none of them will ever be interested in cooking.

But what if the whole thing had never happened?

And into my head comes a picture of me, laughing because I'm at a great LARP, probably with Richard, in a big house.

And into my head comes a picture of me, laughing because I’m at a great LARP, probably with Richard, in a big house.

And into my head comes a picture of me, laughing because I’m at a great LARP, probably with Richard, in a big house. Fen is probably taking this photograph, maybe with my iPhone. I can tell because I’m laughing. Fen, Fenella, always knew how to make me laugh. And I don’t have to think about the last time I saw her, my best friend, so much blood.

I’m imagining this photo the way I used to look. So short. With my Welsh granny’s face and my professor dad’s hair, and my professor mum’s broad shoulders, and my euphemistically “child bearing” hips.

In this picture I’m happy because we are in a big, beautiful house, and oh what weird things there are on the mantelpiece, and here we are in this house, and we pretend to live here, what fun!

The next picture changes.

I am longing, all the time we're here for this LARP, longing and longing, for it all to be true.

I am longing, all the time we’re here for this LARP, longing and longing, for it all to be true.

I am longing, all the time we’re here for this LARP, longing and longing, for it all to be true. Only I know it can’t be, but what if it is? That’s how I walked through the world, before. Knowing, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there was no magic. And yet not believing it.

I wonder if my children will grow up and wish for a world in which they are not magical. I wonder if that will happen.

Style Cards:

Three Parents:
Janus’ Clothes & Ears: Gauze
Nathaniel’s Clothes: Junbug
Nathaniel’s HairWasabi Pills
Gwyneth:
Body: SLink
Skin: Pink Fuel
Hair: EMO-Tions, Cersei (available at The Instruments)
Dress: Jumo: Mother Of Dragons, Gold (Available at The Instruments)
Wings: Falln, Rose Vine Wings (Orange)
Crown: Lode: Head accessory, Vesna, yellow (Rare)
Halo Headpiece: Zyn
Arm Vines: RFyre
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Lipstick: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Greedy Oranges (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Face Makeup: Madrid Solo, The Vow
Neck Corset: Silvery K

What If…
Body: SLink
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, FREYA, Cotton Candy (Available at Alice In Sexyland!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Inu
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Dress and Shoes: Jinx, Gweneth, Royal Purple (Available at Fair Play!)
Necklace: Otherskin, Salvation (Available at Fair Play!)

Would I… and The Sort Of…
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, FREYA, Cotton Candy (Available at Alice In Sexyland!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Motive Braid, Bangers Bang 3
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Dress: Mistique, Aurora, Red (1); and Green (2) (Available at Fair Play!)
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty
Necklace: Otherskin, Salvation (Available at Fair Play!)

And Into My Head… and I Am Longing…
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, FREYA, Cotton Candy (Available at Alice In Sexyland!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Bangers (with Bang 3)
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Dress: BMe, Fishwife Dress (Available at Fair Play!)
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty
Necklace: Otherskin, Salvation (Available at Fair Play!)

Location:
Gwyneth’s Treehouse in The Great Seelie Forest

Notable Props:
Treehouse: LAQ
Kitchen Decor: DDD
Mewnicorn: Quirk & Co.
Andolyls Rapunzel Tower: DRD
Wall Planeterium: Nomad

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it!

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Midsummer’s Night

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

So many things rising. This week, my week, the week of Midsummer.

I flew to check the children and remind them they must come out of the crystals soon, and I happened upon Dyisi and Aoibheann.

There is a mystery to be sorted there. Not one I have time to figure out now. A birth, a handfasting, a demifae uprising, Goblins making trouble, and of course Dyisi’s plan to contain Gwythyr, which Aoibheann seemed to dismiss last night; I’m sure that was unhappily received by Dyisi.

How long the twilight lasts.

How long the twilight lasts.

How long the twilight lasts. Once Dyisi and Aoibheann disappeared (and I do mean disappeared), I counselled Wren to go back to the village, for I could hear the revels starting.

For myself, I headed downstream, away from the tree and the meadows and the rising music.

So many things there were, to think about.

So many things there were, to think about.

So many things there were, to think about.

But first, the children. With my back to the tree, I positioned the crystals again, imagining myself as the tree, tapping in to Ardan’s considerable resources and adding my own, heightened of course at this time of year. Now, a cloud beneath them to ease the passage. Then, a softening of the crystals themselves. And all ready for tomorrow.

Then of course there was the matter of the handfasting.

Then of course there was the matter of the handfasting.

The of course there was the matter of the handfasting, and a prayer to the Goddess that it go smoothly and joyfully. And that after everything, Nathaniel still wants me.

A quick searching after Aoibheann's mystery: what happened to her in the Twilight Realm?

A quick searching after Aoibheann’s mystery: what happened to her in the Twilight Realm?

A quick searching after Aoibheann’s mystery revealed no easy answers, but I think there will be more to this. What happened to her in the Twilight Realm?

And a further reaching, a remembering, back to that day at the Faire.

And a further reaching, a remembering, back to that day at the Faire.

And a further reaching, a remembering, back to that day at the Faire. A turn, to make sure I was mirroring the tree properly, but I must keep my back to it, for already the revels were distracting me. My muscles and my spirit told me I wanted to be on the green, dancing, but so much work to be done: dancing later. I’d get no sleep this night, anyway.

Oh, the dance of summer should energise me, but at the end of my work and my searching and the questions with no answers ... I just felt tired.

Oh, the dance of summer should energise me, but at the end of my work and my searching and the questions with no answers … I just felt tired.

Oh, the dance of summer should energise me, but at the end of my work and my searching and the questions with no answers … I just felt tired.

And behind me, always, the music on the green, our mortal musicians, our revels.

And behind me, always, the music on the green, our mortal musicians, our revels.

And behind me, always, the music on the green, our mortal musicians, our revels.

One of the mortal musicians, a ginger bastard, tried to shove his tongue down my throat when I kissed him in payment for his services. I bit him. Perhaps he’ll remember not to be so free with the Fae Queen in future.

Why did thinking of that make me suddenly want to dance, to spin in front of him and remind him, and anyone who hears his tales once he returns to the world of day and night, that one does not shove one’s tongue into the mouth of the Faerie Queen. And I think of him as I might think of an insect. And now I want to dance.

So much to do.

So much to do.

So much to do.

But now, let there be revels.

But now, let there be revels.

But now, let there be revels.

Fae Queen dances on the green,
Fae King nowhere to be seen.
Flame, she dances with the faeries,
Skirts red as midsummer berries.
Crowned with roses, crowned with pearls,
Envy of the mortal girls
Love her, hate her, can’t ignore her
Never free of gossip’s murmur
Sing her summer passions flown
Know she walks each day alone.

Style Card:
Skin: Pink Fuel: Sora V2 Alabaster
Body: SLink
Lipstick: 7 Deadly s{K}ins: “Greedy Oranges” (New and available at 7 Deadly s{K}ins Mainstore!)
Face Tattoo: Madrid Solo, The Vow
Neck Corset: Silvery K, Silver, Red Rose Option
HairEmo*Tions: Cersei (New and available at The Instruments)
Dress: Jumo: Mother of Dragons (New and available at Teleport to The Instruments)
Wings: Falln: Rose Vine Wings Silver
Headpiece: Noctis: Briar Rose, Blooddrop
Halo: Zyn: Morning Song Halo, Summer Kiss

This round of The Instruments is amazing, by the way. If you haven’t been there, you should go. I don’t blog for them: I just really, really loved the stuff they have available this month. 

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it!