Rhiannon, Time and Love

Yesterday I came upon this passage about love:

Never had Pwyll been more easy and comfortable with any Lady on earth. But never on earth had the warmth of laughter and talk filled the air around two people with a glow of rose and gold. He had been a flame, an ache, a straining agony; he had not known how he could bear to wait for the feast to end, for folk to lead them to their chamber. But every moment with her was good, however it was spent. Delight should unfold slowly, petal by petal. For the first time, the Lord of Dyved learned that, he who always had been flame-quick in his loves.

It is as good a description of the intoxicating, the time-bending, exquisite ache of love as I have ever seen.

And then, a chapter later, this:

“Time does not matter, only what happens in it. Time can burn like fire, or it can pass as quietly as grass grows.”

All of this from the myths of Rhiannon, The Mabinogian Tetralogy” to be exact. It is beautiful. I feel as if I am reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time.

Way better than the fucking Mab. Whoa! Did I say that out loud? But I found The Mabinogian hard and a little boring and I know I’m maybe not supposed to say that about the source text for this story, but when I read this kind of dense, old, slightly stilted language I feel like maybe I’m not as smart as I think I am, which is likely good for me but makes me a little aggressive.

Anyway. The Tet, as I will heretofore refer to it, is not boring. It is poetic and compelling and, as I am in the drunkenness of new love and also learning to bend time in new ways, it is hitting the spot.

Also, I am interested in this, the conjunction of love, and time, since that combination seems to be part of Rhiannon’s tool kit, and it is her story that we will be working at CAWC, after all.

I want to write about that. About how she uses time as her ally when she is being chased by Pwyll later in the story, and when she is unfairly accused of killing her child, how she deals with time’s prison, time’s release, how, maybe, she survives by the grace of love.

I do. I want to write about all of that. But I am suddenly stricken down, though it is only 9pm. I am as tired as if I were Pwyll, at the Battle of the Ford, fighting Havgan, the beautiful monster who leads the forces that would wipe away worship of the Mother, unsay men’s sacred relationship to the land, turn the father into “altogether a Being of wrath and fire.”

(I love this story. In it, in addition to beautiful love and bendy time, we will uncover forces of history that still are at work and forces of magic that never left us.)

I want to write about all of that, but like Pwyll, I am fucking exhausted. Not because my “lifeblood’s oozing away” but because I rocked my day, fought my cold, played a fierce game of D&D with my son tonight (Sorry dead cave bears) and just had a hot bath. Also, I just realized, forgot to have dinner.

Time to bend time toward feast and bed.