short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

The People of the Valley, Part I

In the earliest days of Abkhazia, known to the locals of the time as Abkhazeti, three millennia before the Common Era, a black-eyed girl of sweet countenance and swift feet lived in the Valley of Ard with her two sisters and their parents. Long before the Kartvelian Rose Revolution, before the existence of the Georgian Democratic Republic, before the appearance of modern-day Sukhumi, before the Russian Civil War, and before the Ottomon Empire; yea, before the Genoans built a trade center there, before the Roman emperor abandoned it as deserted, and even before the Greeks descended upon the Black Sea coast and built the first town, which they named Dioscuri after Castor and Pollux and used for the export of salt and Caucasian timber; indeed, before all of that, the People of the Great Cloud lived peacefully in Ard far from the mixing of the races and the turmoil of the clashes of swords and later, the barrage of bullets. In the old days, Abkhazeti was a quiet land where the Great Cloud united with Its people. Its son Ditya, a dark-complected child of about twelve years, walked on earth as one of the them, and Wispowill broke herself into a zillion pieces and took up residence in the souls of all those who would have her.

Not everyone loved the Great Cloud. Many could not see It or Wispowill, who was always with It and always present even when the Great Cloud seemed far away or emotionally distant. Some argued that there was no Great Cloud. More people in the Valley of Ard claimed to experience the great stillness that they knew as the Great Cloud than did people in the trade cities, who were busy plying their trade, acquiring money, drinking to excess, and worshipping a host of gods who seemed to help them not at all. Some of the people in the cities and even some of the People Not of the Cloud in the Valley of Ard built temples to the Narts, a legendary and magical people who lived in the high Caucasian Mountains. Of course, the People of the Great Cloud did not believe that the Narts existed. They thought that they were legendary gods and had been exposed as figments of local imagination when the Great Cloud came. They were like the angels that everyone talked about but no one had ever really seen, either.

They argued that Ditya was just a foreign child who had been abandoned by parents of unknown origin on the shores of the Black Sea, or perhaps he had wandered away from his parents down from the great mountains of Circassia and found his way to the Krubera Cave (the “Crow’s Cave), the deepest cave in all of the earth, for that is where the People of the Great Cloud found him, walking out of the Krubera Cave. All he ever could, or would, tell them is that the Great Cloud was his father and Wispowill his sister and that the three of them had been one being from before Time walked upon the Earth.

Ditya’s stories were difficult for the People of the Presence to understand and those Not of the Cloud did not try to understand them. Nonetheless, all the peoples of the Valley of Kartveli took care of Ditya for a child to them was always in need of care and a foreigner to them always in need of hospitality. Modern-day legend has it that when God was giving out land, the Abkhazeti missed out because they had guests and were plying them in Abkhazeti fashion with lavish hospitality. So God rewarded them by giving them Abkhazia, the one piece of land that God had reserved for the Godhead.


These are the introductory paragraphs to my first attempt at a spiritual novel. The novel takes place in Abkhazeti, the land that is now known as (Soviet) Georgia. It is a place where I worked off and on for five years, helping the Ministry of Education write its equivalent of our SAT exams. I came to know and love the people, and I fell in love with the Nart legends, the only folklore of the region, as far as I know. Ironically, I was at Lake Pestovo, two hours from Moscow and without any telecommunications, the day the Russians invaded Georgia two years ago, and a Russian friend drove out from Moscow to tell me that our mutual Georgian friends had not been harmed. The story is of a young girl and her relationship with the Great Cloud, Ditya (Russian for child), Wispowill, and the Narts. I hope that readers will give me feedback as I go along. Posts will likely be sporadic since I am trying to finish Raising God's Rainbow Makers in the next couple of months, leaving little time for Angels of Abkhazeti, yet I work better when I multi-task.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.