They woke in each other’s arms, and after bathing and eating, they walked hand in hand up to the chapel.
As they approached, Bran said, “I take it you saw the four stained glass windows?”
“I saw three.” He looked at the wall above the entry door and then added, “I didn’t notice the small one over the door. But like I told you, other than the pentacle I couldn’t make out what the imagery was.”
“That’s why we’re here. So that I can explain all of that to you, and describe what I think is the next step.”
With that, he stepped to the door and inserted a large brass key, turned it to unlock, and then pushed the door open. “It will be dim inside, even with the few candles I will light, but there should be enough ambient light that after our eyes adjust, we can see it all clearly.”
As they stepped through the door, Bran continued, “The chapel was built with four stained glass windows. The Pentacle is the largest and central one behind the altar. Above our heads and facing the Pentacle is the smallest window, which has The Empress, the Great Mother of Gods or nature.”
They stopped and turned so Lennon could view The Empress window with light flowing through it. In a minute Bran took Lennon’s hand and led him to face the west window. “Here, in the west apse is The High Priestess who guards the sanctuary of truth between pillars of dark and light.”
Something clicked in Lennon’s mind. “Wait, these are not just persons, but images from the Greater Arcana, from the Tarot Deck, right?”
“Correct. While used frequently for fun as card games, the images in the tarot cards embody great wisdom and knowledge of the arcane. Behind us, in the east apse, was originally a window holding The Heirophant, who expands truth in dogma and formal ritual. However, it was badly damaged in a violent storm in the late 1800’s and my family seer at the time had it replaced with a new window that contained symbolism of what she felt illustrated how my curse might be broken.”
They turned to view the window in the east apse and Lennon took a deep breath and said softly, “Oh, my god!”
Photo by Lee Robinson on Unsplash
Bran let Lennon’s eyes rove over the imagery of the window, and after a couple of minutes Lennon said, “I’m speechless. All of the imagery is striking, most of it overwhelming, and I don’t understand it. Explain it, please.”
“I’ll try as best I can. First, remember that the old Druidic ways were in this land before Christianity arrived, and some of it carried forward into Christianity, much the way many elements of Christmas were actually pagan Norse rites. We talked about the pentacle and how it appeared in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as the symbols of Christ’s suffering, as well as the principal values. I expect that’s how the pentacle was placed in the rose window of the Amiens Cathedral. At any rate, my family seer at the time was in touch with the old ways, but in the late 1800’s there was a resurgence in occultism in England that came to be known as The Golden Dawn, which drew together mystical and metaphysical elements from Judaism and Christianity as well as ancient Egyptian and Druidic rites and rituals. She was a follower, and so when she commissioned this window it was with Christian symbolic elements, in addition to what she had divined, or had been divined for her, about how to end my curse.”
Lennon was still staring in wonder responding to the obvious elements and struggling to understand the unfamiliar ones. Bran continued, “So, while this window does not have a pentacle, notice that the motion is upward, it moves to the apex above the central figure. The four beings in the upper section are the Archangels Raphael, Gabriel, Michael and Uriel. The archangels are divine messengers as well as divine intermediaries. The central figure is supposed to represent a Cherubim. Do you know what they are?”
Lennon shook his head.
“In the book of Ezekiel, the cherubim is a celestial winged being with human like characteristics, who has two pairs of wings and is the throne bearer of God. In other words, what is occurring here is taking place before the throne bearer who is surrounded by divine intermediaries. Presumably they are collectively able to deliver the message to the godhead.”
He squeezed Lennon’s hand and chuckled.
“I sure hope so,” Lennon replied.” I want to know about that message, about the lower figures. Why is there a person riding on the raven?”
“I always was somewhat skeptical of what my family seer intended with this, thought it a bit too symbolic, but then, I was also almost forty generations along in fruitlessly hoping for Leannán to come back into my life in your form. So, now I realize that I entirely missed what it means personally.”
“That when, not if, but when, I find my restored true love I was to bear him before the blessed powers to seek their blessing and break the curse.”
Lennon squeezed his hand tightly. “You’ve already borne me here. Now what?”
“It’s not as simple as bringing you here. A curse was invoked, and that curse has to be broken, to be dispelled. It is a ritual that will occur here, and it requires one with the power and knowledge and wisdom to invoke it.”
“Who is that?”
“My current family seer would be willing, but she lacks the power and training. It will have to be someone that would have been equivalent to a Druidic priest or magician. She is close with a priestess of the Glastonbury Goddess Temple. Shall I ask her to approach this priestess on our behalf?”
Lennon pulled him close. “Of course. Now, tell me what is involved.”
“A ritual to break or dispel the curse. I don’t know all the specifics. It will have to take place here because of the family nature of the curse. Also, look down at what we are standing on.”
Lennon did and saw that the in the floor, set as mosaic directly in the center of the chapel, was a large pentacle.
“The pentacle has five points, and the top center point represents the Spirit, the Goddess, the divine forces and our connection with them. It points upward and also represents the supremacy of spirit over the body and the power it has over our body. In this pentacle laid in the floor, the top points at the altar and then onto the pentacle in the rose window on the wall.
The other four points represent the elements of nature. The upper right Point represents Air, which symbolizes the mind, reasoning, intelligence and analysis. It is the element that also allows us to examine the spirit and discover where it is in our lives. Are you following me?”
“Yes, I read about some of this yesterday in the books in your library.”
“Good,” Bran continued. “The upper left point represents the Earth, and thus our union with the Mother. It symbolizes security, growth, food, all the things that mother earth provides for us. The elements of the earth are what give us the ability to explore the spirit. You see how the elements tie back to the Spirit?”
“The lower left point represents Fire, the energy, passion and creativity in our lives. The fire is a symbol of adrenaline, testosterone, and momentum. The risk, of course, is that fire burns hot and replaces the intellect. Finally, the right bottom point represents Water, and is symbolic of emotions, love and healing. By extension, it represents the cycle of life. It is also the element of emotion, and is the element that validates our existence as sentient beings, because it allows us to have feelings. Water is pure love, pure joy, pure sadness, pure anger. Water is the element that soothes the fire, combining emotion with reason. And finally, the circle around the five-pointed star is what makes it a pentacle. It is not only indicative of protection, but it also represents the continuous and eternal cycle of nature, and of birth and rebirth.”
“I like that a lot,” Lennon said. He was leaning against Bran with an arm around his waist. “So, how does this all work then?”
“The ritual to break the spell will occur here, and involve the pentacle.”
Lennon looked blankly at him. “I must be missing something. Why do you need the rite when we’ve already done what the curse was talking about?”
“I’m sorry, my dear Lennon, but I don’t follow you.”
“Wasn’t it about you remaining in the body of a raven until you consummated your love? We did that last night, didn’t we? You fucked me. I think that’s what consummating is all about?”
“Truly, but you notice that I still have wings that and I’m still having to employ a spell to remain in raven-boy form and to have you here with me.”
“Oh, got it. I should have figured that part out,” Lennon said. “Then yes, let’s find out about this priestess. How do we do that?”
“We go to my housekeeper’s home and call my family seer and ask her to call the priestess and arrange it.”
Lennon looked at him and grinned. “We don’t need to drive anywhere. Remember that song I played for you? My mobile phone works because I set it up for international calls when I was in Canada last month and don’t think I ever changed it back. It’s strange, though, that I haven’t gotten any calls, but anyway are we done here? Let’s see if it works.”
To their pleasure, the mobile phone did work. Bran called his family seer and explained the situation. Lennon heard one side of the conversation as he sat across from his lover who had to answer quite a few questions. His heart warmed when he heard Bran say, “Yes, it’s true, I’ve found my true love, and his name is Lennon. It’s like Leannán incarnate, and we can break the curse.”
Then a minute or two later, “You will, you’ll call your priestess friend?” Bran’s face radiated into pure joy. “I can tell you understand how important this is. I’m having to maintain two spells to not revert to raven form and to have Lennon here with me. I tire quickly, so please stress the importance.”
They spoke for another minute and then Bran ended the call and said, “She’ll do all she can, including invoking the kindly powers if she has to.”
“She actually told you that?”
“She did. She’s wonderful. Much like my sister was.”
They sat together expectantly and within fifteen minutes Lennon’s mobile rang. He clicked answer and handed it to Bran. “She said, ‘yes?’ That’s wonderful. And she understands the urgency? Tomorrow? Right, that’s wonderful. Yes, right after lunch at one in the afternoon. We’ll be ready. Yes, we’ll have what is needed ready. Yes, I won’t forget the golden scarves. Thank you, dearest. Till tomorrow.”
“You heard? They’ll be here tomorrow,” Bran said handing back the phone. “The priestess is coming from Glastonbury, so she has a drive. They’ll both be here no later than one o’clock, as you heard.”
Lennon grinned in anticipation. “What’s with the golden scarves?”
“Did you not see in the stained-glass window, the man on the raven’s back has straw-colored hair like you, and is wearing a golden scarf? Remember the green scarf Sir Gawain wore to protect his life. It is a similar token. We’ll both wear them to be doubly safe. We will be trying to break an eight-hundred-year-old curse, and that will take power as well as the proper rites, and who knows what could happen.”
Lennon sat next to Bran on the low-backed chair and put an arm around him. “You look weary. You should transform and go to your roost. You need to rest and restore yourself. I’ll be fine and can occupy myself. You rest. I’ll read and have food ready for us when you wake.”
Bran pulled him close, kissed him and said softly, “Thank you, my beloved.”
They heard the vehicle stop in front of the manor house and met both ladies at the front door. Bran’s family seer was a pleasant looking person of middle height whose eyes looked directly at you in an appraising way, and they spoke of deep insight and wisdom. She introduced her friend the priestess, who’s name was Diana. She was a tall and black-haired middle-aged lady with a striking face and flashing eyes. She was charming but also gave the impression of being competent and very serious. She was carrying a satchel, and they came into the house as Bran led them all to the main room. Lennon had set a fire, so it was warm, and they sat to talk, and Bran thanked her for making the drive.
“You are most welcome, and I’m pleased you saw fit to reach out to me. Your house is not that far from Brecon Beacons National Park, so it isn’t that long a drive from Glastonbury.” She looked back and forth from Bran to Lennon and then added, “And I understand this is a grave matter that will require invoking the blessed powers to break an ancient curse. So, let us begin at the beginning. I know some parts of your tale, but tell me all of it, both of you.”
Bran recounted his story much as he’d told it to Lennon, and brought it up to casting a spell to prevent the departure of Lennon’s spirit from his body and then bringing him to the manor house. He then looked to Lennon who told the story from his side. Diana listened and asked a few penetrating questions. When both young men had finished, she turned to Bran’s family seer and asked, “Is there anything else?”
Receiving a negative reply, she turned back to Bran and Lennon. “Anything else I should know?”
Bran and Lennon looked at each other, and a small sign passed between them. Before they could say anything, though, Diana said, “There is something. Out with it. This may be important.”
They explained that they had made love since arriving, leaving out the details, and that at first, they had thought that consummating their relationship sexually might break the spell.
Diana smiled at them knowingly. “You needn’t think me a prude when it comes to sexual matters. Thank you for telling me, though, for it confirms for me what you discovered, that love in and of itself is not enough. Breaking the curse will require the proper rite.”
Both young men looked relieved, and Diana continued, “On the surface this appears straight forward. We shall see how strong the curse is, but behind it, setting aside the moral outrage about homosexuality, it is clearly about power and control. That you should have to wait this long for relief from the curse is a travesty, Bran, to say nothing of the tragedy that befell you in your youth. Still, it is a blessing that while you lost your first love, you have found him again in this young man whom you refer to as your last love.” She smiled knowingly. “So, shall we set about our work. Lead me to the chapel and let us begin.”
Bran and Lennon had lit candles on the altar and in brackets on the side wall of the chapel shortly before one o’clock, and in addition to the soft light flowing in through the stained-glass windows, there was the warm glow of the candles. After they stepped inside, Bran closed the front door and the group watched as Diana silently walked around the chapel. She stopped before each window to take in the symbolism. The she stood before the pentacle, examining it closely.
When she returned to the group at the door, she said, “Yes, this is very good. All of the proper signs and symbols. The new window with the Cherubim is magnificent, and certainly sets before us the means for breaking the curse. Let us begin.”
She opened her satchel and removed a flowing dark emerald-green robe that she donned, and then placed over it a stole with symbols that Bran recognized from the Golden Dawn. “You have your scarves?” She received a nod in reply and as she turned to Bran and Lennon. “We shall begin, then. The three of us will stand within the pentacle.”
She looked at both of them, keeping her gaze on Lennon’s face a little longer than Bran’s. “Do you have a question or concern?”
Lennon coughed and said, “No, no… not really, it’s just that… is that all you need? The stole and the robe?”
“Are you wondering where my pointed hat and wand are?” She asked it with a smile on her face, and Lennon began to be embarrassed. Diana continued. “Such things are not needed, unless one is doing spells for films. Now, let us begin. You have the scarves?”
Bran nodded and extended a hand to his family seer, who passed over two golden scarves. He placed one carefully around Lennon’s neck and then allowed Lennon to do the same for him. He turned to Diana and said, “They were blessed as protective tokens by a priest of the old ways many centuries ago, should they ever be needed in a time of magical danger.”
“We shall hope they are unnecessary, but it is always best to take all precautions, and especially if they involve items that have been blessed and are in alignment with the kindly powers. Come, let us step within the pentacle. I will face the altar and the pentacle window. You will both face me. I will begin with the Invocation Rite to invoke the four elements in our favor as we beseech the Spirit.”
With that she began to draw with her hand in the air. First making the shape of the pentacle, naming Air, Fire, Water and Earth as she drew each point, and then finally named Spirit as she drew the highest point. She then drew the surrounding circle of the pentacle in the air, after which she extended her arms and said aloud, “We call upon the Archangels Raphael, Gabriel, Michael and Uriel to be present to witness this rite and make it profit.”
She looked down at Bran and Lennon and said, “Take each other’s hands as I invoke the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentacle.” She then proceeded to call on the blessed powers and the Archangels to banish from their presence any and all chaotic and impure forms of the elements and all dark and evil powers. Finally, she lifted her eyes to the pentacle in the window behind the altar and implored the power of the Goddess to be present to fortify the Elements and guard the circle of the pentacle and those within it.
Diana then moved directly into the Invoking Ritual, raising her arms and saying aloud, “In the Name of the Mother Goddess and the God of Yisrael, may Michael be at my right hand, Gabriel at my left, Uriel before me, Raphael behind me, and above my head, the presence of the Cherubim. Likewise, may the powers of the Elements be present as mediated by the blessed powers to effect this rite.”
She stepped forward and instructed Bran and Lennon to kneel before her and placed a hand on each of their heads, and then began to speak. “Having invoked all the blessed and kindly powers, we call for the dispelling of the unfriendly powers and removal of the curse placed upon Bran for no legitimate or spiritual reason, but only for the foul purpose of exerting control over him. We call for the breaking of this spell in as much as Bran has brought before the blessed powers his true and final love which proves the curse false and unfounded.”
There was silence for a few moments, and Bran and Lennon glanced at each other, not knowing what to expect. That’s when they all heard what at first sounded like a deep and vibrating sound that seemed to come from beneath the pentacle in the floor. They looked towards Diana who’s face was lifted upward toward the rose pentacle window. The sound slowly grew in intensity, and Diana’s arms extended with hands open as if to urge calm. It finally became apparent it was a type of voice that said, “It shall not be!”
It felt like a wind was blowing in the chapel, as all the candle flames began to flicker. The mosaic stones in the center of the pentacle began to vibrate, and then visibly move and rise, and the word’s echoed forth again.
Diana stepped back and all eyes were on the vibrating central stones that began to rise and fall, and then suddenly exploded upwards and outwards. All three of them were thrown back to the perimeter made by the circle that encompassed the pentacle, but were stopped as if by an invisible wall. The exploding stones went up and over the protective ring and fell harmlessly on the floor of the chapel. None of them were touched by the exploding stones, though they looked at each other in wonder as they harmlessly clattered back to the floor.
Diana stepped forward to the edge of the hole in the stone floor, reaching under her robe as she did so, and withdrawing a vial that she threw into the hole as she proclaimed, “In the name of the Mother Goddess and through the power of love found in this Water, blessed by the kindly powers on the altar of Glastonbury Temple, withdraw and depart.”
A harrowing sound rose from the hole in the floor as they heard the vial break, followed by a soft white mist as the water in the vial turned to steam and rose from the hole. Then there was silence as the air ceased to swirl and the candle flames flickered back to life.
Diana looked at Bran and Lennon. “The curse is broken and the spirit behind it has been dispelled. Are you unharmed?”
Bran and Lennon looked at each other and nodded. “Thank the blessed powers and the scarves you wore which assured none of the exploding stones touched you.”
She stepped around the hole in the floor and extended her hands and helped them to their feet. “We were successful. You are free of the curse.”
Lennon looked from Bran to Diana and back. “We are?”
“We are,” Bran replied. “I can feel that I no longer have to maintain a spell to stay in this form or to have you here. My spells simply ceased as the vial of Water turned to steam and the evil spirit was driven away.”
“I suspect it was the remains of the spirit of Bran’s uncle,” Diana said, “trying to keep his curse in force. He was a cruel and evil man, but he is now gone, as is the curse.”
Bran turned to Diana and said, “Our eternal thanks for what you have done for me, for us. But I have to ask why I still have wings?”
Diana’s forehead wrinkled. “That is a very good question. You are sure the need for the other two spells has lifted?”
“Yes, I felt the spells go, and I have not transformed into a raven and Lennon is still here. His spirit has not departed his body.”
Bran’s family seer had stepped closer to the ring around the pentacle and said, “It must be something in the curse itself.”
Diana nodded and asked Bran to repeat the curse. He said it slowly.
Thou hast chosen to love and travel with one mate, like a raven. However, as a sodomite, the mate thou hast chosen is an abomination and brings dishonor and disgrace upon this family. Therefore, a raven thou shall be, and I call the unfriendly powers upon thee, that thou shall upon thy mortal death be bound between the physical and material realms in the body of a raven, remaining there until thou consummateth the plight of thy troth.
Diana pondered the language of the curse and then said, “You have brought your true love before the blessed powers, and the power of the curse itself has been broken. You have not transformed into a raven, which shows it is dispelled. Yet you still appear as raven-boy. That is mysterious.”
They were quiet and then Bran’s family seer said, “I see what the cause may be. A troth in old English is a solemn agreement or pledge. It would appear that the agreement or pledge is the missing element, without which even the consummation is not final.”
Diana turned to her, a wry smile on her face. “I think I see what you are discerning. Continue, please. What do you see as the missing element?
The family seer smiled wryly and said, “The marriage vows.”
Bran looked at her confused. “What? I don’t understand.”
Diana broke into a wide smile and nodded her head. “Your uncle was a cruel and crafty man. His curse was purposefully complicated and unkind, and included multiple elements. First, because you were gay the curse would transform you into a raven, and would remain such until you could consummate your love physically. His assumption being that you would never find another true love as a raven. Your mother cast her own spell, which prevented the separation of your spirit from your body and allowed you to transform into a raven-boy, and that in turn allowed you to find another true love. What your uncle never anticipated, or would have even thought possible, was that same-sex marriage would ever become legal in this land, so he also included the pledge of your troth. That was the last piece of the curse intended to punish you and ruin your life forever.”
They were all somewhat stunned and silent until Diana let out a deep laugh. “Yes, I believe that is the case. It makes perfect sense.” She turned back to Bran and Lennon. “Have you discussed marriage? Do you want me to marry you at this time?”
The two lovers looked at each other and their eyes shimmered as the smiles formed on their lips. “Yes please.”
Diana turned them toward the altar and walked them in front of it. “As a priestess of the Glastonbury Goddess Temple, and with a witness present, I am licensed to marry you using the ancient hand-fasting ceremony. That was the common rite before it was replaced by the concept of Christian weddings with rings. I shall perform the ceremony now, before this altar and below with this rose pentacle window so that your vows shall be taken before the Four Elements and the Spirit. Then when I return to Glastonbury, I shall complete the marriage certificate and send it to you in the post.”
She proceeded to conduct the short ceremony wherein Bran and Lennon committed themselves to each other in the exchange of vows, accepted each other as legal spouses, and kissed before the rose pentacle to make it final.
“Now, remember,” Diana said with a smile, “It won’t be official until I sign the certificate and post it to you.”
“I’m sure they can find the time to wait for the post,” Bran’s family seer said, and added, “Now, I suggest we go down to the house for some tea and light refreshments, which I am sure we all need, as Diana has to drive back to Glastonbury.”
After tea, Bran and Lennon cleaned up and then settled together in the main room.
“We hoped when this day began that the curse would be broken,” Bran said softly. “Did you expect to end it by being married?”
Lennon kissed his neck as he stroked his cheek. “In a word, no. In fact, the way my love life has gone before you came into my life, I was pretty sure it would never happen… that I’d never meet my soul mate. But here we are.”
“Indeed. An unexpected but wonderful ending. It was quite something after the drama associated with breaking the curse, that something as small as an old English phrase that referred to marriage would turn the tale.”
“We were lucky to have both Diana and your family seer involved.” Lennon paused and said, “You must be tired. Do you need to go to your roost?”
Bran turned to look at him, kissed his lips and said softly, “I am tired, but I think no more than you. I trust I shall never need the roost again! However, a nap, with you in my arms, would be a delight indeed.”
As they settled into a cuddle on the soft bed, Bran stroked Lennon’s cheek and said softly, “I love you with all my heart. You are teaching me to make love to my beloved, something I had forgotten, or perhaps never really understood.”
Lennon softly replied, “You’ll need a little nap for the love-making I’m thinking about.”
“Yes. I have a picture in my mind of you laying naked on this bed. Your wings are open, your arms and legs are spread wide apart. You are smiling, and your sexy body is open and welcoming to me. I intend to kiss it all over, and then lick you and use my hands to make you feel like you’ve never been made love to like this before. And then I’ll use my cock to complete it, to make you feel totally and completely loved and satisfied.”
“That is quite a picture,” Bran replied, “and one that’s making me become excited already.” He pulled Lennon closer and said softly, “Tonight, I want you to make love to me as you described, and… and to… to be inside me. Will you? I feel I not only want it for the pleasure, but need it to complete our relationship.”
Lennon had let his hand move down Bran’s stomach and his fingertips were now dancing in his pubes. He softly stroked the base of Bran’s cock and replied softly, “Gladly, my love, gladly.“ The last thing he remembered saying before falling asleep was, “We make each other whole.”
The next morning dawned cloudy, but with soft light filling Bran’s bedroom. Lennon awoke recalling their lovemaking from night before. How he’d tried to make Bran feel as sensuously alive as he could, and had brought him to the edge a few times. Then how he’d had to go very slowly as Bran had never been entered, but once they were past the initial steps, how he had come to life sexually beneath him as the sensations of physical love manifested themselves and drove them both over the edge.
Lennon spooned up against Bran, now his lover and spouse, leaning forward to kiss the back of his neck. As he did so he realized something had changed, something was different. He opened his eyes, moving his head slowly so as not to awaken Bran. He realized that what had changed was that there were no wings between them.
“I’m awake, my beloved,” He heard Bran say half into his pillow, “tell me that what I feel has happened is true. I didn’t want to move and wake you.”
“It’s true, your wings are gone. You are no longer a raven-boy. Turn over and kiss me.”
Bran did, and they embraced and kissed as Lennon ran his hands over Bran’s back, following the outlines of his shoulder blades and down his spine. “They are gone, so every part of the curse has been dispelled. But, you know, I really did like them. They were so soft and made you look so tough and strong.”
“I’d rather be in love and have you in my arms” Bran said softly. He paused and a radiant smile beamed across his face. “It is true then. The curse is broken, all aspects of it have been dispelled. I am returned to being an unencumbered embodied spirit held in the arms of my true love.”
“It’s wonderful, isn’t it?” Lennon stroked the back of Bran’s neck as he asked the question. They lay in each other’s arms for some minutes and then Lennon softly said, “So, Bran… can I play you another song? It’s one of my favorites from an American rock band. Do you like rock? Soft rock? Alternative rock?”
Bran nodded, saying, “I know little about it, but try me. After the last song you played me, I’m sure I will love it.”
“Well, the band is named The War On Drugs, and their music is electric guitar based, but has lots of instrumentals. It’s very atmospheric, occasionally sounds psychedelic, but has amazing lyrics. In other words, the songs are about real situations. Usually about love lost and love found.”
“I prefer love found!”
“So do I, trust me! This one’s titled Thinking Of A Place, and it’s about love found. About what it took to get there. Where the two lovers came from and how they got there.”
Bran smiled knowingly. “It sounds like something I’d like, of course.”
“Well, it starts out talking about a place, a place they met. For us, that place would be the alley where you found me after I was mugged. The second line says Light was changing on the water; Where birds above had flown; There was pain in your eyes.”
“You have my full attention,” Bran said. “Water being the symbol of love, and the birds present like the ravens that were with me.”
“For sure,” Lennon replied, “but like the rest of the verse, you didn’t vanish, rather you saved me. Then it goes on about the darkness of being alone, that love is like a ghost, out of reach. But then he says he had a dream, that he was falling from the sky, coming down like water, and in the morning, he’d wake to someone’s voice. That’s kind of what happened. I had a dream of sorts, you came out of the sky like water, and I heard your voice in whispers through the silence.”
“It is quite amazing how closely the lyrics seem to track to our experience,” Bran said.
“Well, to wrap up, it talks about moving out of the dark, how you took my hand and we turned along the road which set us free. There’s more about water and love, and loving me every night and drowning me in the water.”
Lennon paused, swallowing down the emotion. “It ends very powerfully and hopefully.”
Lead me through tonight
Pull me from the water
Hold my hand as something turns to me
Turns me into you
Just see it through my eyes
Love me like no other
Hold my hand as something turns to me
Turns me into you
Turning me into you
Bran said softly, “I haven’t heard it, but I can already tell you that I don’t know what to say. So much of it is what we’ve both been through, individually and together. And we are one now. Two bodies with one shared spirit.”
Lennon pulled Bran tight. “Let me play it for you.”
Watch the YouTube video of The War On Drugs live performance of Thinking Of A Place
After the song played, they just lay in each other’s arms. Finally, Lennon said, “I am so happy for you, for us. The curse is removed, you are no longer a raven-boy that has to worry about being transformed into a raven and trapped in that curse. We love each other. But what happens to me?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean you stopped my spirit from departing my body and brought me here with the spell you cast. That spell is gone, and I’ve been worried that my spirit would now depart, and I’d finally die, and we’d be separated.”
“I am confident that it would have happened by now, and that as the stained-glass window showed, the beginning of overcoming the curse was the raven carrying its true love to the blessed powers. That was me carrying you here. You are now part of this new being that is us. We are both embodied spirits once again, only this time we are together and united. We don’t know how long it will last, but we will share our love and make the most of it during all the time we have together.”
“Do you think it’ll be another eight hundred years?”
“That I do not know. All I do know is that I only felt like this once before in my life and it lasted a very short time before it was destroyed. Now I have it again and we are together. We appear to not be limited by many of the usual physical constraints and somehow are out of normal time as well. I want it to last as long as it can. How long do you want it to last?”
The words and thoughts that were flying around in Lennon’s mind started coming together in a way he could understand, and suddenly he remembered the ones that had occupied his mind before it all began at midnight on that bleak and dreary night in December. How long did he want this to last?
He answered Bran in one word.