Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Rich Symbolism

[I attempted to post this from my phone on Thursday night. That original attempt was apparently eaten, so I'm reconstructing it from memory. Pretend that it's last Thursday. Warning: this wasn't easy at the time, and it's not easy to write. Some moments at Pennsic follow the logic of dream and story, not that of ordinary reality; this was one.]

I just came from the Viking Ship Memorial, and her shield would not burn.

It was placed in the prow of the ship, laid on the deck, which was painted black to contrast the white bordures and frets. There were two, the one I had painted for her and one that someone else had donated (I still do not know who). Mine was at the very front of the ship and the other right behind, with dozens of other memorials flanking the ship behind.

We lit the wicks, a dozen or so of us bereaved, and the carefully-constructed ship was placed in the water, quickly blazing as the ship itself and the shields on the side all caught. Yet hers did not burn.

Gutted from the center, the ship listed and fell onto its side, the fire continuing for ten more minutes. Yet that fire came nowhere near her.

The fires doused by the lake, the remaining ship was lifted out and brought to La Familia, to place in its great bonfire. The deck was almost entirely gone, and yet her shield still gleamed, its rich red, white and gold as yet untouched on a tiny spur of remaining wood up top.

The remainder of the ship went up in flames, rising ever higher -- and yet, the fire seemed to avoid her, working its way around that shield, still not even looking singed as the rest blackened.

And finally, only when all else had gone up, and flames were rising feet into the air, did I finally lose sight of that bright heraldry, surrendering only when the rest of the job was properly complete, and well overseen -- a more singularly appropriate memorial than any would have expected...
Tags: jane, pennsic

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