I, Asenath in the Tendril Isle, having begotten seven daughters and a single boy, of my lover Tal Elmar ZK, make a record compiling many tales compounded in a whole, for my own enjoyment, to read and reflect upon my countenance, amid the flowers and bees at honeying;
Being discovered by conquering elves and divine souls amid the ruin of the War of Wrath (as it came to be called on Eressëa; other names it was given upon Aman: The End of Melkor-Evil Dark; Our tour upon lands without light; and so on, some comical, others satire-mythical, epic non-sense; the point being, a greater vision and work it was beheld by Men and Noldo, Sindar and else in Middle Earth, than known upon Aman); so found while touring our darkened, benighted realms, standing alone upon a rock barren about to be swallowed by green churning seas tormented in that war, I was a little girl whisked away on Vanyari ships, westward, stowed as carryon luggage, for not to all was my presence known or acceptable.
Of these journeys I have no memory, save conjured by tales, of my friends, and they learning of my sad finding far away, received me among them, a mortal girl, without name; Nameless I was called, for a time, until my womanhood approached, and elf friends named me anew, Asenath, the Healing Guest – doubled meaning works similarly in your tongue as in theirs; later another carried captive was received upon another blessed Holy Isle, and he was named, as in prophecy’s fulfillment – Ashnaz – But of his tale, sufficient has been told to darken too many pages already; a prophecy there was, however, known to many upon Valinor’s shores of Teleri pronounced – that in the wreck and ruin of the Exiles’ lamentation – no longer to be heard upon every shore – would come a guest, and if well housed, and received as kindred, friend hosted, given land to till and garden to tend, so might come another gem of the east, and seven of one, to raise high up; and all this to unroll Eru’s Mastery where still yet some doubt, and dispute.
And though none knew there upon – or outside the Lonely Isle, often Eru visited my home, and with me walked in the gardens, and gave me seeds, and plantings; creatures to house, and joy in solitude, where alone among the Eldar;
We spoke of the Afterdays, of his plans to Return to Man, and to see where he might aid their unbelief, and how to reconcile: Father to sons, sons and brothers; for long years had already passed, when foretold, anticipated wonders failed of even sprouting, and nothing now of his hand seemed to grow amid their rapprochement to being forsaken, and if so, pondering who now ought to take Arda’s Fate into a New Song?
Mostly we laughed, and told tales, when he arrived, graciously, knocking upon my door (as though it were ever locked!) and inviting me out, for a stroll, I knew not who he was, at first; a stray lord of Vanyar? A Vala of his own counsel taking, resting outside their troubles and governance? He asked me to tell no other of his visits, and seeing he meant no evil in secrecy’s demand, I kept this faith, not even revealing to Joseph his attendance, prior to that man’s arriving.
Here is what he told me concerning the fashion of the world, and where before any were housed, and how well there comforted:
Seeing strife beyond all hope of reconciliation, among his friends and those newly come into his kingdom, wayfarers and wandering lights, submissive and easily strung into brighter arrays, Eru then conceived only in his heart, a secret thought: To part with his secret flame, and himself to become or make thereby, a lesser soul, subject to its bearer; and in so doing, outlast that decree of Melkor: That only by keeping servants, can one be Lord; for who is God, whose will is not only carried out in one’s own soul? And by what means keep he apart that Fire, save to make us his whelps?
Stung thus by one honestly admired – being bright, cumbersome in beauty to overwhelm, and adamant in carrying forth what Fate would not fulfill – Lucifer devised thus to ensnare Eru, and to take his fire, perchance in barter to regain his Realm, and keep liberated those weak souls newly admitted;
And so he (Eru) walked there stepping clumsily it seemed, into a trap even the less wise would avoid, side stepping by explanation; or example and evidence of his own mastery apart from service by slave; willingly all carried forth his will, as they did; some poorly, others more akin to Eru’s own devisings, but all without compulsory means;
Here I am – look to my example! So Eru may have pronounced, and shuttered all murmurs otherwise suaded by Melko-Lucifer’s habitual decree-makings [as every breath];6I suppose Lucifer is a title for members of that holy order, and is not exclusively the proper name of particular being.
And great power, authority to devise law and to enforce justly; and more so, dominions to govern in peace, richly housed; all would he (Eru) give away, to Melko or any other, who would receive, and neither despise the gift or condemn its giver. Yet many were tilted to persuasion, often, by Melko; and diminished often came Eru in Return of some secret, ill-planned sojourn, for what reasons, none revealed, to what purpose, many guessed; and so it was wickedly first whispered, that of his Realms Most Blessed joyous and endless, hidden lands he maintained, and these where wandered the landless spirits dim, kept he as False lights to beguile the honest, trusting;
So he brought forth some who would go out, to the void places and there showed his desire, tempting Ainur to reckon out of their hearts-and-minds, where ought their own realms be builded, and how fashioned, would he do so; these things he undertook, so that all surrounding his imperishable light may come to wisdom apart his light, and know of their own concluding – even to having wrought a new realm for thinking in – that Eru trusting, good alone be come;
Leaving then Ainur for a time – where time was now conjured! – so they may plan, and come to plot tales, one among another, or apart, concerning all they knew, hoped for, fancied, or thought to fashion; and these Ainur were very great in his esteem, and near to his thought; so they conceived a boundless realm, yet encircled in divisions to give luster and aid whensoever a being there housed thought himself forsaken, or unwatched; some to dwell in one part, others of different “nature” elsewhere housed, until growth might come upon all, and they learning the course of that which springs forth and reproduces, cultivated and nurtured all, to peace, diverse beauty, and comely arrays pleasing every new sense by which one’s mind reaches away itself; and more they devised, returning to their thoughts, and hearts’ desires, and secret ambitions; and a third time they again met in this nothing-place, to see what remained, carried their thoughts through; and all was shown to Eru, and he was glad.
—Lords you have been, or would be in thought, if freely contriving out, sense to sensed carrying thy mind’s will there; and so would I. See? May we not rest now, and let this decree perish here? Or what else would you, to see a lord may be, with neither servant nor solicitous sycophants to put forth his will?
—That you do what is here professed and put forward, without consequence – replied one among them, doubtful, wary of tricks.
—Am I not? Have otherwise I conducted? This Realm is governed by none; by no entity controlled or driven to do, or be; what then says, when you Melkor do some thing, that another result be obtained? Not of me comes this new thing <to> conclusion.
Any work thou undertake shall be of my will independent, free in its driving matter to conclusions unthought, or plainly devised aforetime; but in no instance shall any thing BE that has not its source in my-utterly; not for my governance’s sake, but because I have thus Be’d. I am and give to thee, but of I am, I cannot otherwise Be.
—I would not thus Be Me. And he departed; in wrath, it seemed.
Now when he returned there, appointed by Ainur in meeting, Melko brought in his thought, semblance, seeming; that one thing may otherwise be, and yet not itself be; out of Time itself was this Fantasy wrought, and yet by his nature, was —Now— bent, into what Eru could not; so never Ea! was his thought, nor ever would be, and yet Melko strove to perpetuate his semblance-seeming, shadows of Ea, a new thing, among any persisting to not do what Eru counseled, nor his will undertake; nor their own seek to replace what is not with what they wished to be; thus idling, perverting His Now with what-ought-to-be, and yet not willing that it should be – for such would prove a trial undoing these fantasies! Words thus came under scrutiny, as though names were not themselves things, but could be taken away, or fashioned to mean different things; and of his semblance-seeming, a semblance indeed seemed, to the subtle, to be.
In your day, such games and tricks, swindles, confusions, deceits, are hackneyed, clichéd, yet what else was to be? None now conclude other than some greater error, or refuse to contemplate;
In that hour, Eru among Ainu, first the breach was seen: visible literally as an opening away from His glory, where may be undertaken whatsoever one wished, even to contradict and run contrary to His being; Being thus tempted, many stepped into that gap, and went into a new thing (secretly, He confessed, long in the fashioning!)
Here they ventured – and of such tracks and seeings, some little (enough) has been told elsewhere; and lingering, would stay and see how their minstrelsy grew, whether Life independent of themselves would; and some recalled Eru’s words and deeds, and better understood Melkor’s false decree, more than a trap, less than what he hoped it might be;
So the Eru-Place more lonesome was, being rent; and bereft of great ones, and Eru maintained his joy amid the sorrow of others, for he knew – though into self-willed exile these ones had gone – and now could no longer simply step back through, and receive his gifts and graces, freely, to lasting joy, no matter whatsoever sorrows outside; Eru told me, Asenath, a maid-man of the seas, outcaste; that if none would come back, he would go a fishing, and pull them out no matter the depths. Even if he on his own pole, and end-hook, was their bait.