Extract from ‘Veil,’ the medieval story Gabrielle starts to tell in a trance after her accident.

Veil book jacket10 : the lessons

And so it is oh Rock……..Our lessons in my gallery are another kind of heaven in addition to my long nights in the Sacrarium with Bons August. Of course, we work to develop Alexandra’s vocal techniques, which have become smooth and readily accessible quickly. But it is the going inside that we must concentrate on while she is still young. I began when I was almost exactly her age. We do not have a desert of time either, for my training is moving on apace and the questioner’s slow mules carrying the fattened friars and Cardinals are determined if not speedy. There is much to do.

You will remember that when talking about finding songs I had told August that I must voyage down into the caverns of my body to find them. So that I could do that I required a great white light. I must now teach my beautiful girl how to create that very light. There are two places that are best to cultivate this: high in the mountains at dawn, and on the precipice of the holy citadel of Serrabona.

Our first lesson together is by far the most memorable. I believe I did not tell you of it so occupied were we with Bons August’s teachings. I may speak little of her but she is without doubt the second of the gods, and my teaching has changed to befit such a god.

That lesson, she arrived in the black of evening with an empty stomach. You see it is impossible to sing if your stomach is full of food. Of course, once you have exercised the singing apparatus, you must eat, and that indeed we always did. I had the spinners prepare a feast which we would eat before we left for the high passes to arrive in time for the first dawn.

To start, I asked Alexandra to sing any note as softly as possible, out beyond the gallery into the roof space. She prepared, taking care to breathe deeply, and opening her mouth to let the sound out. It was an unusual white sound, natural and strong. But it trembled a little with the interference of the ego, starting and finishing abruptly.

I encouraged her, standing in front of her and looking directly into her shining eyes.

‘Alexandra, Creation has given you a beautiful instrument. You use it well. But the celestial voice is not utilized by our human energies. Instead it uses us. It chooses us, and so our human effort is not required. I can see that you prepared your sound well, and recovered well afterwards, and that you have been taught to do this.’

She listened and looked immediately distressed, feeling she had disappointed me, or committed an enormous error. I saw tears appearing because she was so pure that she wanted to please me more than anything.

‘But how would Madame like me to sing. Please tell me quickly.’

Now I had to be so strong, for her distress touched me, and my own emotions were also troubled. I calmly told myself that I must put those aside if I was to actually guide her to be a mouthpiece for the pure voice of the spirit of God.

‘Please show me Madame.’ She implored.

I took her hands in mine, kissing the palms first of one and then of the other. Then placed them on my upper chest. She was a little taken aback at first, and so she tensed.

‘We must start with the breath. You prepare too much, and so your note trembles with too much breath to feed it, to excite it.

You must understand that the lungs are never empty, even when we die. There is always some air which makes us part of the invisible world. Remember, our sound is invisible, so it blends well with the spirit of God. We must strive to never be separate or different from that spirit though we have bones and skins, heart and lungs, which we think remove us from the air. No, the air like the divine spirit is inside us always. If we make ourselves separate we become arrogant, too human.’

I demonstrated.

‘If I breathe out as much of the air as I can, the voice will still work. Keep your hands there and you will feel my deflation from which the voice will curl up and spread out.’

I pursed my lips and closed my eyes, beginning to gently blow out any breath I had accumulated. Then I paused once I had exhaled as much as I could before I let the sound out. Then it came, starting smoothly, steady and full, the note stretching on and on, and then smoothly ceasing. I opened my eyes to see her fresh smile.

‘Madame, your marvelous sound made my fingers tingle.’

She was excited, begging me to help her to make such a sound. She had misunderstood about the mechanism of breathing, and wanted to rectify this as eagerly as a newborn lamb wants to get up on its feet.

‘Before we try, come with me.’

I grabbed her hand and ran pulling her down the narrow staircase into the Solum where a fire was a mass of red embers filling the grate in the middle of the room. We walked around it, slowly, watching the glow pulsing. Then we stopped and I bent down to unlock and operate the bellows, pointing them underneath the embers. As I closed and opened the leather bellows oxygen immediately ignited the embers to burst into flame. I went on slowly pumping the air beneath the flames, and soon the flames were high and the extra fuel I added crackling. My beauty watched, a little puzzlement on her brow.

‘You see, this is what air is capable of. The same air you borrow from the universe to breathe and to sing. It can produce such flames, which sometimes we need to make fiery sound, but if the embers are hot enough, then they will glow on all night without extra air. Alexandra, my lady, you can sing from your embers. When we need air, we can operate your bellows.’

She understood, nodding, longing to experiment.

‘To begin with, we must get used to singing from your embers. These are your soul. Some say our souls are made of blood, but I know they are made of the fire of God’s universe.’

I bent again and closed and locked the bellows, pulling them to one side.

‘Your embers can create a white heat. The flames are only for show. The flames are the first stage, the stage of excitement, of active use. But after that, once the embers start to glow, you need to do little to make your voice work.

The white heat is the white voice. It is the power of the universe which you allow out through the funnel of your mouth and every pore of your skin.’

We ran back up to the gallery, she pulling me this time. She stood in the same position as before, her eyes closed, ready to reach her unique embers. I stood before her, watching how her agile new mind drank down my lesson. The birth of a new Trobiaritz was in progress.

We stood for an uncountable length of time there in the shadowy light from candles. I watched her breathing slow down, her body changing, softening, shifting into another realm. In time I spoke, my voice soft also, for it was not the human I was addressing, but the spirit.

As I excavated with her to find her embers, I remembered the ever-present words of my own beloved teacher Bernard.

‘An excellent teacher can and does willingly exchange place with their pupil. A good teacher penetrates their pupil, and allows the pupil to penetrate them. The purpose of such penetration? To reach true humility to be able to sing God’s song and kick aside the devil’s dirges.’

And so it was that evening. Nothing else mattered except this glorious exchange. There was not a sound in the ostal as everyone slumbered in their sheepskins and down duvets. The flames inside us died down in time, and the glow of the embers started slowly. All gross instruments, such as bellows and human efforts, were put aside. It was from this place that we could produce the light we needed to search out the voice of God.

There was no more singing out loud on that first lesson. Alexandra immediately learned that it was the internal preparation that she needed to focus on. Eventually, we steadied ourselves and went down to feast together on all manner of gourmet delicacies awaiting us, to feed the empty stomachs. We drank lush wine from the same goblet, chewed on succulent lamb legs roasted, devoured figs and giant pears from our orchards.

‘See my angel, now we can feed new flames which will through stillness and the careful tuning of the mind become new embers from which to sing.’

How my Alexandra glowed! How direct was the pathway into her heart! How her voice was to be reborn as a new planet! And how blessed I was to be able to release this angel from her shell out into the invisible world.

We ate till we were bursting, loosening our bodices to truly let the lungs spread. Then we wrapped up in warm cloaks, breeches and boots, and rushed to greet the dawn in a place as close to God as we could find. The stars were white hot like our embers, crowding the sky and vying for space there. The moon would be full tomorrow, but it began to show itself as we passed the chapel where my Bons August would be waiting for me after dawn. We went on up beyond the quarry using the shepherds paths.

Soon, we stood on top of the world, silent and totally blessed and content. The air was thin and cold as dawn approached. A light veil of snow had fallen earlier, which we tasted. And then I talked more of the breath to my own new star, looking up at the night sky as I spoke.

‘You, Angel Alexandra, have been given an exact version of this glorious sky inside your lungs.’

She looked confused, that tinge of puzzlement across her delicate eyebrows. ‘How so Madame?’

‘If you were to look inside your lungs……..no, not if……’

I corrected myself for I still saw things from the human view. I turned to her side-on, holding my hands in some of their most favourite places, across her flat abdomen and her low back, feeling her narrowness between them. She looked ahead over the mountain passes directly at the waiting sun.

‘Alexandra, close your eyes, and simply look inside here.’

I had moved my hands to that vital flat place between her un-grown breasts at the front and between her bony shoulder blades at the back. My touch was light, my focus inside her.

‘Look and you will see a million stars and comets. When God’s breath, not the devil’s, enters you, each of your stars will receive it, put aside the goodness to decorate the voice with, and then convert it with a little pulsing. This will prepare the gasses we do not need, the devil’s gasses, to be taken away, and in turn be converted back into pure air outside you.’

She smiled with elation as she viewed that it was exactly as I described. And we stood together on and on as the sun arrived, and gradually the stars in God’s sky went back to their home. But her breathing stars never extinguished again as long as she lived.

You see, oh gentle Rock, each trapped angel needs special treatment, unique means to release them.

Future lessons poured out of me as I let go of my grip on ‘beliefs,’ on the Church of Wolves and their fear of anything new which might threaten their privileged way of life. I had never realized before the way of the Good walked into my threshing yard that we are not separate at all. It takes so much effort to make separations from other souls, from the world, when all we have to do is to be still, to stand in the flow of spirit and constantly let it go. We misuse our human effort to block the spiritual current.

All we need to do to ignite the divine flame once more, is to stand back, to breathe, to be content with the glories of existence. Once the gods walked among us, and our divinity was a daily presence. I truly live this now. It is no longer a question of believing it or not. It is only that we are it.

As my teaching of singing matched my training in the way of the Good, Alexandra naturally was being trained too. The art of the Trouveres, Troubadour and Trobiaritz, of going inside to find songs, were as Bons August had declared, closer than most ways to the true spirit of God. We use God’s elements of light and fire and breath after all, and the songs are found only by closing down the vulgar flames of the ordinary human mind.

One day, I knew that Alexander would step into the way with Bons August and me. We never talked of it directly because her parents must not know and she was utterly unable to keep any secrets from anyone. How could I be so sure, oh Rock? As you can see, I am without any single doubt.

After one of our nocturnal lessons, we feasted ourselves as usual, but instead of going up to the high passes for sunrise, we rode on horseback to the citadel of Serrabona. It was a long ride, but Alexander rode as if the horse rode her, and I too enjoyed so much the contact with creature and woodland. We arrived in darkness, dismounted and tied up our beasts in a sorrel patch, which they adored.

The Abbey was closed, its massive oak doors bolted from the inside, the monks not yet arisen for Vespers. Round the side was the outdoor narrow cloister I had permission to use if the monks did not. We moved quietly through the opening and into the cloister, waiting until our night eyes were working well.

This precipice was famous for hundreds of miles as one of the most terrifying because of the steep drop down to a dry riverbed. Falling was certain death, and so it was used to test the faith of novices. I had never had any fear of it and used it to reach spiritual parts of me when the human elements threatened to dominate.

I was uncertain how Alexandra would feel about putting her young self at risk in this way, but of course, I would not force her I explained that if we were to find the right songs, we always needed to empty ourselves of our human arrogance, and get in touch with our fearless angel to help release it. She seemed unafraid as we approached the edge of the cloister and the low wall. This was also a proven way of establishing total trust with someone, so I asked her to trust me as I removed my bulky cloak and knelt down to lean over the edge. Of course, there was little light so I could not see the bottom, but even in daylight it was impossible to see because of the density of the forest below.

The air was cold, but I longed for my spirit to be ignited, to let my fleshy vessel become translucent. I invited my insides and the outsides to merge, and with it the visible and invisible to become one. I leaned over my breasts slab-cold on the slate, and as I moved slowly over the edge I asked that Alexandra hold my legs. She was my only link between life and death, between the visible and the invisible. To my amazement, she had no doubts at all that she could hold me, and then I was confident that she would take the way with me.

Oh Rock, this was a most crucial moment because Bons August had entrusted me with a special Trobiaritz mission for the general cause. The wolves are getting a little closer every day to the high places, so it is time to create a Creed to be left for posterity and future revivals. The most powerful forces and fashions of the day lie in our hands as poet-musicians. It is the golden age of spirit mixed with music, so he asks me to sing the Creed, disguised in lyricism, enunciated by the white voice, devoid of any adornments. I must go inside deeply and let this song out, for I know now that I am the only one who can find it. My Alexandra must help me.

I must go inside like never before. This must be the song of all songs. Bons August and I work to write it, to put all the subtleties down so that one day when the world is ready for this true faith, it can be embraced again. There are not enough of us now. We are outnumbered by massive armies of interrogators, and the massed soldiers of the physical Christ. They come with steel and armour, with the contrived paraphernalia of extermination. They do not know anything of how easily and willingly the veil of death may be lifted.

Yes, my Alexandra held me from death at the precipice! She is strong, fearless. I could hear her breathing steadily, occasionally grunting with the effort, with the weight of me. For the few moments I dangled in the blackness I too felt no fear. I smiled with the power of it. The power of being all spirit, all angel, no longer trapped. I smiled to know that my two gods were not trapped either, and a gigantic wave of my mission to free all the trapped angels in humanity washed through me.

We are indestructible so we will be ready when the time is right. I knew that as I hung there. Bons August has predicted the date 600 years hence when the Earth and its people will be near ruin. Then we will be ready. For now, we will release as many as possible so that they can return to God with full joy.

And so my dear rock, I kiss you and rush to meet my Bons August for new instruction and to finalize our Creed. Soon!

trobiaritz

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