Icastar's Diary (i)
3rd Day in the Shadow Garden
Sometimes it’s hard to know who I am these days. It’s the perpetual darkness, it takes a little getting used to, I suppose. I’m not used to seeing the stars at all times of day. Before, when I still lived on the island, I could hear them. Always I could hear them, singing, on the very edge of my hearing, like something just out of reach. I could never quite hold onto the feelings they were trying to give to me.
Peace. Security. Love.
But now, here, in the Shadow Garden with Kaia - well, Maskaoí I suppose she is now - I can hear them always. They sing to me, melodies and symphonies for my enjoyment.
Is it wrong of me to long for silence?
They’re always there, singing to me, calling out, reminding me that I am not alone. I know I am not, I have Kai- Maskaoí, and I have Messenger and Prince, and everything. No, I am not alone. Yet I am. The stars do not talk with me, they sing, I cannot answer them. They are too far away to hear me. They blaze in welcome whenever I am under their distant light, but it is a distant welcome, a distant love. It is not here.
My magpies too, they can keep me company, but it is distant, almost empty. It sounds harsh, ungrateful even, but I cannot help the way I feel. Can I? I don’t know what to feel. I think the old weariness of Icastar is haunting me.
Such pain is not easily forgotten.
Nor is Emoyi.
Maskaoí is here for me, I know that, but now that I’m here, in this new existence, this new world, this new life, I realise I never really knew her. She is not Kaia here, yet she is. I love her, of course I do, but I don’t know her.
Still, that is beside the point, for she is often busy. There is so much power in this place - this Shadow Garden that I don’t really understand. So much power, and all of it is hers. My mind can’t take it all in. I know I am a fine one to talk about natural and unnatural things, but she goes against all the laws I ever learned.
Then again, so did I, winged child that I was.
Still, I could never create things from shadows and breathe life into them. All I did was struggle through life with a misshapen body and a battered soul. Hardly comparable, even if I did one day learn how to use the wings that had made my life such hell for so long.
She asked me something the other day, a question to which I don’t think there is a right answer. If I could, would I have done things differently?
I think she meant that if I had the choice, would I have chosen to live a normal life, one without wings, one without pain, one without the torment of the island. It is hard to know what I should say. I used to dream of being normal, of having a family, parents who loved me, a life without pain. Yet, if I had those things then I would never have known the freedom and glory of flight. I would not have met Kaia. I would have not fought against the island, and won.
No. Sometimes I think there are questions we face to which there are no right answers.
But I am lonely. I am not alone, not anymore, but I long for something more. Or, perhaps, something old. I miss Sisa, and Emoyi, especially her. She was my everything while it lasted, and it is hard to give such things up.
Still, I am sure I will get over it, and grow used to the world I have now. And I do have a world. In fact I have everything. How could I not be happy with what I have? I have wings, great, bold, glorious wings, and ones upon which I can fly. I am not Icarus, I will not fall.
There is no island, no spirits to haunt me, and I no longer suffer in my dreams. I no longer dream at all, but I think that is bearable, in return for peace. And I have my magpies and my stars.
Most of all I have Maskaoí - my Kaia, my freedom.
No, I don’t think I would do things differently, not when the rewards have been so rich. I could not even contemplate giving up a single part of the life I have now. If that is the case, then how can I possibly think that living life differently would make things better?
I am happy, there is nothing that could make things better.
Except, perhaps Emoyi.
I liked having something to look after, something to nurture. Perhaps I should talk to Maskaoí, she is a creator after all, and she has made this world for me. She asks me if there is anything I wish for, and until now I have always said no. Maybe it is time to tell her the truth, to explain why I sometimes seem unhappy, why I sometimes sigh and search the sky for something I know I will not find.
I do not need to hide things from her, there need be no secrets.
I shall tell her, and perhaps, one day soon, I might feel complete again.