Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Things at the Lodge have undergone a marked change since we brought Raina home. Her close call somehow brought it home to us; though we're all extraordinarily long-lived - and in fact will never die of "natural causes" - we are mortal; we can die. The result has been a greater, more thoughtful appreciation of what we have - and what we stand to lose. We're all warriors in our own way; we can no more change that than we can change the color of our eyes - contacts, glamours and vamping-out notwithstanding. Sure, we could leave Exton, move somewhere that the chance of an early death would be lessened; but those who remain would still have to fight, and I don't think it's too egotistical to suppose that losing our skills could make all the difference in the way the next fight comes out. Because there will be a next fight. Count on it.

So now life at the Lodge tends to resemble an extended love-in, minus the booze, drugs and dirty feet. We've kind of moved into the playroom, where Gareth and I built a corral of sorts for group sleeping - or Other. It started with a pair of wrestling mats - big ones - laid one on top of the other, with a quarter ton of pillows on top of that. We boxed it in with a framework that kind of resembles a split-rail fence, leaving just enough room to get to the bathroom or the hallway. It's like the grandaddy of all king-size beds; I'm not sure we haven't created an emperor-size bed, in fact.... We lit the room with nightlights and let it go at that. I can see in the dark as if it were midday, and I doubt anyone would choose this room to read in....

Anyway... for the last few nights we've ended up in here, lying within easy reach of each other but not crowding anyone - and we've talked. A lot. There's a certain sameness to much of it - "I love you", for instance - but it never really means quite the same thing.

Gareth, for instance. He's not just my lover... he's the light to my darkness, the calm that turns aside my rage. In a fight, he's a strategist, a planner - as opposed to me charging in where angels fear to tread. He builds things up, while I rip things apart. We're both needed to balance the other.

Or K'thyri. She's Nature untamed, Nature red in tooth and claw - like me. Beautiful and deadly, like the Morrigan. (Yes, I've been studying.) She loves a good fight, danger be damned, and she dances her way through the whole thing. Battle is where she finds her deepest self - well, that and lovemaking. She has razor-keen instincts, and she lives and loves and fights on an instinctive level; not to say that she doesn't think things through, but once her mind is made up, she acts, and that's that.

And Raina.

Raina is the love of my life - always will be. Yes, I love Gareth and Ky, and it's just as real, just as deep as my love for  Raina - but Raina is the missing piece of my soul, the sun that illuminates my darkness, yet doesn't burn me to death. She's my heart, my soul, my humanity and more - if I could only find the words to say it.

There have been a lot of things said, things we might never have said without this last incident - because we realize now that we might never get another chance, that now is all we have. It's easy to say, "I love you" unthinkingly, maybe even mechanically. It's harder to open up and say those things that you find trouble saying, that you can't find the right words for - and it helps immensely when those you love just listen and let you say it, however insufficient the words are, how far they fall short of what you feel inside. There have been a lot of tears shed, too - tears for the miracle of us finding each other, of making this very unconventional family, making it work, against all logic... Tears for how we might have missed it - but didn't. There's been laughter and smiles and warmth and love - love that fills the room and irradiates our home, makes it uniquely our place, the place where we feel welcome before we ever put the key in the lock.

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