Psychometric Musings #7
Summary: "But purer than a tall candle before the Holy Rood / Is Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan." – W.B. Yeats. Post-series.
A/N: No, the series is not done. Are you kidding? I'm too much of a goddamn perfectionist for that. Anyway, off we go. The poem is at the end, and Cathleen-ni-Houlihan is the traditional symbol of Ireland.
For shelter, who drew me a bee-yoo-tee-full picture. Go see it at Harry's. It's in the thread marked "Psychometric Oekeki."
I wonder where she is now.
Where they are, I should say. Because one thing I do know: Amon is going to stick to Robin like glue, whether she likes it or not. Part of me didn't see that coming at all. The other part ... knew it all along.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to sound like a mystic or one of those new-agers that believe in psychic bonds and crystal energy. I mean, I'm a Witch and a psychic one at that, but that stuff is pure nonsense. But I have a feeling about those two. You can call it intuition, or character knowledge, or just plain wishful thinking, but it's there. And I know that, somewhere, they're all right.
You want me to explain it? I'll try – but no promises. Like I said, it's an internal thing. It has to do with ... well, with everything that's happened since I joined the STN-J. No, it goes back further than that.
In nearly six years of being associated with SOLOMON, I've never once seen a Witch's power used purely for good. Even Kurusawa had to take one life in order to save another. Telekenesis, psychometry, elemental Crafts, any kind of telepathic ability – it seemed that never led to anything but misery. The humans that had them ended up either twisted, like the Witches we hunt, or disillusioned outsiders like me. Either way, the Craft was a burden, not a gift. It led to temptation, to corruption. To sin.
And then I met Robin, and I was astonished. For a girl with so much power to have such an inner purity ... it was like she shone. As if, no matter how many temptations she faced or how much ugliness she confronted, she was incorruptible. Unstained, untouched. Before Robin, I never though a Craft-User ... could have any innocence left.
She's not just a girl, and she's not just some genetically-modified super-witch. Or even the Eve of Witches. She's – she's what makes it possible for us to fight. She's our leader and our savior, but she's also what allows us to fight.
Robin is, quite simply, our symbol. She isn't just a standard: she's the banked flame in the heart, the image of purity that shines amid all our failings. She's the one Witch I've ever known who possesses that inner peace that we all long for. She's proof of the goodness, the rightness inside all of us. Robin's power is greater than all of ours put together, and she's been able to turn it into something clear and shining and true. A weapon, yes – but also a challenge, and a standard.
She's Joan of Arc, Helen, Mary – every woman who was herself, and yet more than herself. One fifteen-year-old girl, and our symbol. Our image of truth. Our eidolon. Our Hope.
The old brown thorn-trees break in two high over Cummen Strand,
Under a bitter black wind that blows from the left hand;
Our courage breaks like an old tree in a black wind and dies,
But we have hidden in our hearts the flame out of the eyes
Of Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan.
The wind has bundled up the clouds high over Knocknarea,
And thrown the thunder on the stones for all that Maeve can say.
Anger that are light noisy clouds have set our heats abeat;
But we have all bent low and low and kissed the quiet feet
Of Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan.
The yellow pool has overflowed high up on Clooth-na-Bare,
For the wet winds are blowing out of the clinging air;
Like heavy flooded waters our bodies and our blood;
But purer than a tall candle before the Holy Rood
Is Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan.