Tuesday, 11 February 2014

2010: The Wolves of Ragnarök - Authors Note

Dear T

I told you a while back that I have put aside the draft text on the evolution of Fair Trial - I find I have no time in the day to pursue that work - it has grown to 800 pages and I will need a decade to reassemble my thoughts.  In the meantime I am about 200 pages through a novel that traces the true course of the bushfires in Canberra, and the cause of my deepest depression.  It would, of course, be silly to write such a history in plain terms - and it is still beyond my strength for I find myself too easily looking into the void.  So I have written it in allegoric form, relying on the Danelaw for support.  Here is the first couple of lines.

December 2010

I write not by way of explanation nor apology - not here.  

Shh - no need to say any more.  I will not make this harder for you and I will understand your silence from here on.  I think all we did was to try to keep alive a dream that all of us once wished for, and which all of us kept hoping for, in our own different ways.  We did it the wrong way.  With just a little hindsight, all the hurt could have been avoided.  Be gentle with yourself.

This tale is neither non fictional nor biographical.  Instead I write only to bring a smile to your face as I try to answer an old question.  So old, so obscure and so perplexing.  

I first heard the question from a friend I met as we walked the border.  His name isn't heard much these days.  Snorri is, was, his name.  

I see you smile at such a strange name.  Surely he is one of Tolkien’s inventions.  

No, he is a real man - a lawspeaker from the Icelandic Commonwealth.  Not a dwarf.   It is now nearly a thousand years since he died in his cellar, but I make no claim to be so old. But, "how, and where…" I hear you ask - "Not here, not yet", I reply

Snorri, a learned and confusing man, only asked one question so far as I know.  He asked: "What is a wolf?"

No. Not the real wolves that hunt in the real forests.  He asked what was the nature of those other wolves - the wolf that sometimes takes a human form.  The wolves that sit and pace in the shadows of our despair and loneliness.

The story takes seven days to tell - and I cannot start telling it to you until Sunday - or Dies Solis - in the old tongue.  There may be lots of reasons for this rectitude - perhaps I am delaying the completion of this task, or maybe I wish to polish.  Perhaps it is in deference to the sun god, as we drift into the bitter cold of this years recession.  Or maybe it is pride born of arrogance that I now know the answer.  Whatever.  I will tell it in my own time.

Less you forget, I once told you the prologue to this story.  But then I did not know the story nor the answer to the question.  And because all things fade in time, I will tell this story from the start.

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