26 Apr E4 The Masterpiece of the Meryl the Muse
Tales of the Kingdom of Camran
Meryl The Muse, the hero of our tale, whose imaginative spirit and creative hands bring beauty to the world, on days just like today…
Meryl’s hair danced in the wind as she walked through the forest, and she was tempted to dance along with it. The trees were beautiful, today and every day, with the intricate patterns in their wooden bark skin, and the strong finesse of their branches, leading to intricate, delicate fingers.
She didn’t want to leave the beauty of the forest, but wished that it could follow her wherever she went. But why shouldn’t it? she thought, reaching her arms up toward the skies, mimicking the branches around her.
Meryl the Muse had a brilliant idea. She could feel the electricity in her arms and hands; the need to create was alive under her skin. Swiftly, she glided in between the trees, collecting fallen twigs and leaves. Caught up in the beauty she held in her hands, she almost didn’t notice that Bartley, the Baron, was watching her from the edge of the wood.
“Trees belong in the forest,” stated Bartley, looking with disdain at the mess in Meryl’s hands.
“But why must they?” said Meryl, feeling defensive, misunderstood. She finished gathering her beautiful, natural treasures, and walked quickly away from Bartley, and out of the forest.
“Good morning!” said Hannah, the Healer, as Meryl bustled by. “It looks like you have a lot to carry! Could you use a hand?”
“I can do it myself,” said Meryl, wanting to get further away from Bartley, to maintain the feeling of magic she felt in the forest.
“Have a lovely day!” she heard Hannah sing as she continued down the path.
Meryl knew that not everyone would understand nor appreciate her project, her budding creation. She knew that she would confront opposition, but needed to stay true to herself, her original thoughts, her creative mission. She breathed deeply, receiving rejuvenation from the sweet smelling moss in her hands, and continued on.
Peter, the Politician, was the next villager she met on the path.
“Meryl!” he exclaimed, “I’ve been looking for you! Your imagination is just what I need to create a new and exciting opportunity for our village. Can I count on your help?”
“Not today, Peter,” replied Meryl. “As you can see, I’m in the midst of bringing something new and beautiful to life.” She liked the sound of those words as she said them. She very much believed them to be true.
Peter was followed closely by Meredith the Musician.
“True works of art can’t be rushed!” Meredith was explaining to Peter, who didn’t seem to be listening. “You know what I mean, don’t you Meryl?” Meryl gave Meredith an understanding smile. She knew the reverence and respect that the artistic process deserved, but she felt and urgency within her to continue on her own quest. Unfortunately, her interruptions were not over. Siobhan the Sage was approaching Meryl on the path.
“It looks like you have a tangle on your hands,” said Siobhan, “I’m quite good at undoing knots. Might I take a look?” It angered Meryl that Siobhan didn’t even ask what she was doing, or whether or not the items she carried were a problem or a project. She knew that even if she explained this to Siobhan, her scientific mind would likely not understand.
Yearning to return to the state of transcendent beauty she felt in the forest, Meryl whisked past Siobhan, and began to work with her hands as she walked. Her creation was beginning to take shape.
Gerald, the Guardian, and Philo, the Page, were soon standing in her path, animated in discussion.
“There’s a new path, Gerald!” said Philo with excitement. “We could take it instead! Who knows what we’ll find! Doesn’t that sound delightfully dangerous!”
“Danger is not delightful,” Gerald explained. “Why not stick to what we know? This path will take us where we need to go, safe and sound.
“Come with us, Meryl?” said Philo, beckoning. “The more the merrier!”
“Can’t you see she’s fine, just as she is?” Gerald argued.
“I haven’t time for games right now,” said Meryl, suddenly self-conscious about the mass of earth in her hands. She hid it for a moment as she passed the two villagers, eager to get past them so that her inspiration could be free of distraction.
She had almost reached the grassy lawn of the village hall. There she could spread out and have space to create.
“Are these two bothering you, Meryl?” said a booming voice ahead of her. It was William, the Warrior, sitting tall on his steed. Meryl knew that if she accepted his assistance, William would make sure she arrived at the lawn unsolicited. She liked that about William. He often came to her aid when she needed it.
After Meryl’s simple, subtle nod, William swept her up onto his horse. Meryl felt rejuvenated, feeling the wind again in her hair. She clutched her collection in her left hand, her right hand around the strong arm of the Warrior.
Suddenly, the warrior’s steed jumped over a root in the path, and Meryl lost hold of the twigs and leaves she had collected. They sailed into the air before and above her, twisting and turning through the air, while Meryl did her best to bring them back into her arms.
After a moment, William halted his steed in front of the lawn, and allowed Meryl to slide off of the steed. She had been unsuccessful in her attempt to re-gather her treasures, and felt forlorn, thinking about the inspiration that had been squelched.
As William galloped away, Isaac, the Inventor, approached her slowly.
“Meryl,” said Isaac with a small smile, “I have to admire your newest creation. You look stunning.”
Meryl didn’t understand. She was lost in melancholy, her empty hands itching to re-create the natural beauty she had seen in the woods.
“But I have failed, Isaac,” said Meryl. “My creation has escaped me, and my inspiration with it.”
“On the contrary,” said Isaac, leading her to the still waters of the pond in front of the village hall.
Meryl looked at her reflection in the water, and gasped in ecstasy at what she saw:
The twigs and leaves she had been holding in her hands had nestled and intertwined themselves in her long, flowing hair. Greenery framed her beaming face, with the random, natural beauty of the trees emerging from each wave of her hair. Meryl was taken aback by the novelty, the originality of this new creation. It was so beautiful, and so her.
“You have brought the beauty of the forest with you,” said Isaac.
“Indeed I have,” said Meryl, feeling the glow of her unique creation both in her hair, and deep within her soul.