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Posted by つくばちゃんねるブログ at

2011年08月08日

The Bride of Stonewalls

The Bride of Stonewalls ...a story in ancient Ireland
by Ussay Nakajima

staged by Ballylee Theatre Society on
23 Jan 2011 Tsukuba, 14 Aug 2011 Tsukuba, 5 Nov 2011 Ushiku, 17 Mar 2012 Tsukuba



Khina, the daughter of the forest, the best thing in my life
I still remember your sparkling eyes and your cheeks of roses

You used to run in your green fields just to follow your heart
Now you're my one and only, far away from your land

I never knew how you hate me so as to murder me in deep waters
I swear I gave you everything, you know how faithful I was

My song of sorrow runs all through Ireland singing ever and ever
You'll still hear my calling you, my love the bride of stonewalls

La la la...

***

The Irish stonewalls...
It is no doubt one of the most common and impressive scenes in this island's countryside. They run through all over Ireland, like knots of net, the rows of stonewalls in the green meadows, in the wilderness and moors, in the foot of hills and mountains, everywhere.

They are built mainly to enclose sheep and often quite worn and weathered, covered with brambles, a kind of wild blackberry.
In summer they bloom everywhere, just in a same moment. Their blossom, the pale pinkish white trembling with the breeze over the meadow, their dreamy beauty is just beyond description!...

As the season goes, the blossom fades away and the autumn days ripen their young, green berry gradually into ruby red, then finally to deep, vine-dolce black.

When you travel over Ireland, you'll see these same scenes everywhere you go.
Then you'll come to feel them like some repeating spells or some refrains of songs.
This is a dramatic story about the hidden origin of this common scene.

***

Long long ago, when animals spoke, in the era of ancient gods, Ireland used to be divided into two... the crag empire in the west and the forest kingdom in the east.

It was the emperor of the crag at that time that dominated most of Ireland.
A mighty founder, a man of overwhelming power, a great poet at the same time. He used to extend the sky of bronze with his words of epic, support the earth with his words of lyric.
His reign was flat, blue-gray craggy land to the every end of the earth.
His capital was located in present Burren, the west of Ireland. It was a fine-guarded city, solid and beautifully built.

The king of the forest was just a newcomer at that time, and his reign was nothing more than a little piece of land. Time had yet to come when Ireland is covered with rich emerald like now.
Still he got a loving only daughter, beautiful Khina, and all the folks loved him so they lived jolly and happily.

One day the emperor of the crag and the king of the forest played chess and bet each other's most valuable they ever had.

"I will bet my whole country land under my reign," said the emperor.
"Then I will bet my whole country land, too," said the king.
Then the emperor of the crag laughed.
"What do you think of your little piece of that woody land? It doesn't mean nothing. You cannot bet that. But your daughter Khina, she is young and beautiful. I know she means to you more than anything, even than your whole kingdom itself. You should bet her."
"All right. Then I shall bet her," said the king of the forest.
There they had a game and then the emperor of the crag won.
"That was good. Then I'll take her. She shall be my one and only and I will treat her kind with all my heart, as long as my life."



And that was how Khina the daughter of the forest and her people left their own homeland and traveled Ireland for days, across the vast craggy land of the emperor's reign, for his capital.

  
On their way, an old hag living in a cave met them.
"I believe that you are Khina the daughter of the forest," asked the old hag.
"That is me," answered Khina.
"I am Magua the mother of earth," said the old hag.
"Listen. You know Ireland is under reign of the emperor of the crag now, but it will not last long. Ireland is to be yours soon. Wait for time. You shall be the one who destroys the emperor."
"Me? Destroy the emperor?"
"Yes. You shall make a history."
Then the old hag gave her a little acorn, a little blue egg, and a little piece of a white shell.

When they got to the capital, the emperor took Khina as his wife and conferred her the queen. Then he gave her a splendid stone castle to live in.
Thousands of servants to take care of her, and no need to lift a finger for a thing. Nothing she wanted was ever rejected. Yet the gate of the castle was strictly locked up, and there watched the soldiers especially chosen for, all day, all night, all year around.
And then a couple of years passed.

The time came when the emperor was out for a meeting of Irish gods. Khina spoke to a young soldier at watch and said,
"The glory of your lord is now about to end up. Ireland is destined to be ours, the folks of the forest. Now you have to take a stand by me, free me and work together with me to destroy the emperor. And my father will give you a special position in his kingdom to come all over Ireland, as well as me myself."
Then the soldier was persuaded to help her.

Khina and the soldier left the castle and hurried to the forest land, when the emperor came back and knew what happened.
As the emperor came running after them, the earth shook, quaked and the mountains all tore apart and fell down.
Seeing him catch up with them, Khina took the little acorn out of her pocket and threw at him.
Then the acorn cracked up and a huge, dense forest magically appeared out of it interrupting his way.
While the emperor was caught tangled in the forest, the two got further away.

The emperor caught up with them again, when Khina took the little, blue egg out of pocket and threw it at him.
Then the egg cracked up and there appeared a huge flock of birds and blocked him producing a hurricane with their thousands of wings.
That enabled the two to get still further away.

The emperor managed to find them still again, when Khina took the little piece of white shell and threw it at him.
Then the shell cracked up and a huge amount of water flushed out of it, lying before him making a deep, vast ocean.
The emperor tried to cross it over, but the water was too deep, and he could do nothing drowned in the whirls of torrent.

Knowing that his time was up, the emperor asked Khina,
"What have I done so wrong to you?"
"Nothing," Khina answered.
"Then why do you hate me so to destroy me?" asked the emperor.
"You are cold, old and ugly." answered Khina.
"I am cold, old and ugly. Is that why you shall destroy me?" asked the emperor.
"That is," answered Khina.
"Thus, I shall be gone as you want," said the emperor, "yet never will this perish, my heart ever reaching for you.
It will go on to wander around all over the earth, turning itself into humble stonewalls, even after I perished and still after your forest cover this land up, it will keep singing its laments ever to all eternity."

And that was how the emperor and his empire of the crag came to their end. The survivors were scattered away and the remains are barely seen now only in the western area.
The entire Ireland became under the reign of the king of the forest.

The king of the forest got dressed formally to meet his daughter.
He kneeled down toward her and begged her pardon,
"Will you please forgive me for my foolish mistake that has brought you this so much troubles."
Then Khina answered just happily,
"I'm yours, father, and so are my long days of life.
Lord, you know you got nothing at all to apologize me."

May your mighty spirit reveal,
Our loving green forest on earth,
May your power and glory prevail,
In this great day of our rebirth.

From then on the woods, shrubs and green grass began to grow out all over Ireland to make it The Emerald Island as known today.
The king of the forest gave Angus the soldier a special position in his kingdom, as well as Khina his pride and joy.
The kingdom of the forest got its time of glory and all so flourished.

Still the lament of the bygone emperor will never die, it is destined to go around all over the earth to keep singing its laments ever to all eternity.
This is why these stonewalls run across to every piece of Ireland still now, even in rich woody area.

The knots of stonewalls seen in everywhere, those are the crawling fingers of the emperor of the crag who was killed by Khina, his dearest bride.
Idyllic scenes, yet somehow ominous with the lingering memory of obsession.

One summer afternoon, when you go out to the fields to see the blue-black masses of clouds swell and spread out over the sky and suddenly make a heavy shower, then after a moment they're all gone and again there comes back clear, bright sunshine to brighten up all the meadows...
Walk around just following your heart, you look around over the meadows far to the horizon, in the rhythme of the waving lines of those old stonewalls, far away, subtle but strangely clear, everlasting song and melody you will still hear, saying;

Khina the daughter of the forest,
You betrayed and destroyed me.
My song of sorrow will go forever
To keep calling and reaching for you...


Text, pictures by Ussay Nakajima
See more pictures around: http://ballylee.tsukuba.ch/e103729.html
The Bride of Stonewalls: Japanese; http://ballylee.tsukuba.ch/e95104.html

Photos from The Bride of Stonewalls staged by Ballylee Theatre Society, 2012, Tsukuba
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik96w2WrzHA  

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