The following is a re posting of the first chapter of my novel. Some have begun reading chapters in the middle and I wanted to give those that have shown interest a place to begin. All the chapters are here, on the blog, and can be found by looking in the Search box under Forever Never. If you have any thoughts, ideas or suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Love and Light.
Hello, my name is Cheryl…
My journey began long before I can remember, but my awakening in this life of searching began with the death of my dear Mother. No one else afforded me the comfort of acceptance, the assurance of devoted love and the constant support that she did. There is no love like that of a mother. There are other great loves, but each is unique unto itself. When she died, a part of me went with her, as did my sense of identity. Always looking to her face for approval, turning to her for advice and support, and always hoping she would return to perfect health and be the mother I remembered her as, it was a devastating blow. Alas, it was to be. As I found myself drowning in a sea of despair, slowly my life began to crumble away. It would seem a disaster to the observer; but for me, it was the moment for my authentic self to emerge. The bitter coldness of knowing one is solely responsible for their own feelings, actions and reactions is shocking on many levels.
Once I learned to accept my new position in the world I knew, I realized how debilitating it is to be dependent on others for our sense of self worth. I began to fell empowered over my own life. This was not a quick process by any means; and to say I no longer struggle would be a blatant lie. I do understand, however, that my experience has brought me to a place of greater compassion for my fellow dream walkers. If one never knows pain, sorrow, illness and loss, it is difficult to understand how these things can affect another. How can one recognize true bliss if they have never seen despair? Bit by bit, angel by angel, book by book and rung by rung I began to ascend the ladder to wholeness. I am proud to say I have come a long way on this path of self discovery. And I am happy to say that my journey continues onward and upward. The most glorious part for me is knowing that I am not traveling alone. For you are here with me. And Spirit is beside us, even when we refuse to acknowledge Its presence.
Why are we here? Where is Eternity? What was the plan? How do we win the struggle between Good and Evil? These are all legitimate questions and ones that have plagued humankind ever since its mind forgot the truths it came into existence knowing and began the perceived journey “home”. What I have discovered for myself may seem astounding to some, familiar to others and perhaps crazy to many. I only know I have found comfort in realizing the duality of our nature, the connectedness of the All That Is, and the inevitable end to the illusion we like to call “life”. Still there remain so many unanswered questions; but I submit to you that this quest, this journey, the unanswered questions are indeed our reason for continuing life as we know it.
Is there really a “plan”? What if it were more like an experiment, a dream, a hope that was born of a simple desire? What if all that truly exists is Love-an immeasurable, unconditional love that wants only to perpetuate Its existence? This legacy continues on in the human race as we bear children whom we love unconditionally while we bask in the glow of those beautiful beings who become our offspring and, thusly, the next generation of Creators.
What if Eternity is not somewhere “up” or “out” there? Perhaps it exists around and within us, but we have lost our memory of how to connect. What was once clear and crisp has now dulled to a faint whisper that too often is drowned out by the voices of fear and deception that plague our fractured souls. It was only a small crack to begin with-but when fed by conscious thought it became a great chasm that threatens to envelope the reason and hope of its host.
Good and Evil? What if this ancient struggle is not one that takes place in our outer world? What if there are no “good” or “bad” beings? I have come to accept the duality of my own nature, that within my soul lie the seeds of darkness that are eager to cloud my perceptions, to feed my fear of being without love, and to use that hunger to control my actions and reactions.
We spend so much of our lives running from our darkness, denying its existence and begging to be rescued by the Light. What if all we had to do was to use our own light to illuminate the darkness within our souls, accept that we are not perfect within our human bodies, and know that in the eyes of The Creator we are perfect-now and always? And always we are perfectly loved.
Will this knowledge repair humanity’s collectively diseased soul? Likely not. But would not the Unconditional Love of the Universe rejoice in the healing of even one soul? One more light in the darkness?
My work is not intended to rebut, undermine or replace any religious doctrine. It is merely my own perception of Creation as I weave my way along this path of illusion called life.
This chapter is the beginning of the book, but not the beginning of the story. It is one that bears retelling from the perspective of its characters. If you find it interesting and would like me to share more, please leave a thought, a reply or a word. I will appreciate your input. I am still in search of the “right” place to publish, but for now I am content to share my story here.
“Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” From A Course In Miracles.
In the beginning was a thought, a whisper, a vine of inspiration that wound itself into my brain, filling in all the empty places with wondering. It came as a result of years of introspection and searching for the truth, my truth any truth which made sense, brought real comfort and peace within. I began posting Chapters of my novel here over a year ago and am nearing the end of the work. I have picked up a couple of very faithful readers over that time and I appreciate you, your feedback and kind words. In the interest and respect for everyone’s valuable time, I am posting once more the very first Chapter, the “beginning before the beginning”, if you will. I hope it will inspire some of you to read more. If you like this and want to read the chapters that followed just go to the Search box and type in Forever Never and select it. They are all there. Now, let me introduce you to the gentle, innocents of a new world-a world of beauty, hope, trust and perfection; but as we all know these virtues were not long lived within humanity…..
Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion
by Cheryl Pennington
copyright words and images
The names of characters and places in my story are primarily derived from Irish and Spanish influences. This is a work of fiction, brought to life to present an idea-an idea intended to provoke imagination and bring comfort in an often uncomfortable world.
Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion
The Desperate Journey
As the sun crept closer to the edge of the horizon and a new dawn approached, the world of Dohman blinked the night shadows from its heavy eyelids. A gentle wind moved across the grassy hillside; and like airy fingers it stirred the sea of green, beckoning all of life to join the illusion once more.Although light was still a shadowy thought away, the dark magic was already casting its spell over the waking life of the world, responding to the murmurs of that voice which had cast the cruel oblivion over it. Whispering, it seemed to call from within the morning mists; and in response to the powerful command from the ether, two of its most beloved stirred.
Their awakening was always the same. As her eyes fluttered open, the first breath of morning crossed her face, cool and fresh, and her confused mine groped for conscious thought. Lifting her face to the hint of sunrise, she blinked; and in that twinkling, she could recall everything. She understood all that had gone before and felt a flood of relief in the knowing. In that blinding moment of perception, the memory was so vivid, yet so mercurial. She let out a quiet gasp of comprehension as hope found her heart and anguish permeated her being, drawing the veil of darkness over her thoughts once more, obliterating her beautiful glimpse of truth. The gasp became a yawn as she opened her eyes to a new dawning of The Forgotten, denying the lucid moment the chance to become a memory in the dark recesses of her mind.
At the very same moment another was stirred by morning’s approach; and the callous hand of sorcery repeated its wicked performance. The smell of lavender on the early breezes nudged the sleeping male’s senses awake, urging him to feel her presence and embrace the moment.. With every sunrise and the brief union his soul was filled with peace, comfort and the kind of love only she could give him. As the earliest slivers of light struck the moldy ground beneath him, the weary Traveler summoned the familiar vision to his mind, thus weaving his own magic. How faintly the outline seemed this morning, even though he had traced it there with every rising sun since she disappeared from his world. Loveliness defined her as she moved through the recesses of his memory, a shadowy reminder of the innocent he used to be, of the trust he once knew, and the hope that now drove him onward. Yes…through the mists he could see long, dark curls of hair that seemed to have a life of their own when she moved. Her hand was delicate and soft as she touched his cheek and looked into his eyes with dark and tunnels of pure adoration.
The young male’s loving memory drew images of fragrant blossoms and joyful laughter. Their laughter. But now there was only he-alone with what was left of the perfect place he had known as home. Their most beloved Foirfeachta. Floating like a cloud in his mind drifted the faded image of a garden, hung low with vines and lush green foliage, where he had once known contentment; and completing this memory was her- the perfect form of femininity-and he trailing behind her, appreciating every thing about her-the color of her tunic, her head as she turned from him to wave at another! His eyes moved to the object of her gesture; and this was where his deepest pain began. He could only bear this part of the conjuring for an instant before dimming his mind to the memory. The pain cut like a dagger into his soul, threatening to tear him apart; but her presence found him again, hanging like damp air around his drowsy senses, calming him, urging him to keep hope alive.
“Hurry!” she whispered. “I wait..” She must be near! How could she not be when he could feel her and hear her very thoughts?
The young traveler struggled to create her face within his mind again as he fought the fog pulled her into the shadows. She looked so radiant as her lips parted to speak, to share a thought and a word of comfort. He could see her mouth form his name and waited hopefully to hear the music flow from within those red lips, his young heart beating wildly. But, as always, the fog faded to black nothingness that enveloped her face completely and smothering the sound that would have strengthened his lonely heart. In silence it cried. Then, creeping through the dark veil came the light, the harsh light that signaled a new morning. It was always the same. He marveled that he had never become accustomed to it nor been able to stop the painful, euphoric, devastating moment at the start of all his mornings, although he willed it so again and again.
The young Traveler lifted himself onto one elbow, gazing at his horse, now stirring in the morning light and thought, “Only Eternity knows what dreams such creatures have.” As he shielded his eyes from the glare of dawn he wondered how long it would be before the sun simply forgot to rise over their world, leaving them in darkness forever.
Snorting sounds as only a wild boar might make brought an end to the Traveler’s musing as, startled, he remembered his still sleeping companion. A few feet away lay the bulky form of the grumbling Cave Dweller who had now become his friend in these long days of searching. Disturbed by his own snoring, the stout one tossed on the bedroll where he lay and thrust his chubby fists into the air, swatting at the newly awakened gnats busily combing his bristly chin for abandoned crumbs.
The Traveler stifled a chuckle and reached for a nearby stone which he lightly tossed at his friend. It hit the restless male squarely on the chest before thudding to the ground where it rolled into a thicket of dry brush. The small giant jumped and yelped as he began swinging wildly at an unknown attacker, frightening away the gnats in a frenzied flurry. Now the Traveler was laughing heartily, finding relief from his sorrow, even if it had been at the expense of his riding companion.
“What, in the name of Mor, is so funny?” growled the Cave Dweller, rubbing his eyes and scratching at infinitesimal bites. His chubby hands were stained and his nails blackened from so long digging in the recesses of the caves. “Was that your idea of a ‘Good morning’? Rude…this is not how I am normally awakened. Now, my beloved Oth..”
The Traveler laughed harder now as he interrupted. “Ahhh…so it’s tenderness you prefer. I’m sorry my fat friend, but I have no desire to stir you with a morning kiss, such as your chosen one might. I can barely stand to sleep on the same hillside with you since you see fit to bathe only with the rise of a full moon.”
A loud grunt of indignation escaped the throat of the stout one, but he had no sharp retort for his tall friend while still in such a clouded state.
The Traveler had been exaggerating about the bathing but couldn’t resist the urge to goad his touchy friend. In truth, he was hoping to ease a bit of the other one’s loneliness with his teasing. It had been for the sake of his own best friend back in the land of the caves that this one had agreed to be a part of the search. The two Cave Dwellers had been inseparable from the beginning; and the one who remained back in their homeland-well-it was pitiable what had become of his mind since the Devastation. His beloved companion had disappeared over a bleak horizon, leaving her grieving partner with a new infant to care for, armed only with a broken heart and a handful of charred rock.
The Cave Dweller didn’t find the Traveler’s morning humor entertaining and shot the him a glance of warning, advising his friend that his own foul mood would remain until he had been properly fed.
‘Fine, then’, thought the Traveler as he gathered his tools, leaving the other to do his morning business. There were certainly fish to be caught; so he grabbed his line and clicked his tongue at the white mare now standing patiently near the edge of the trees, waiting to be led down to the river. She approached her master gently, nudging his hand with her warm, wet nose, and gladly accepted the piece of fruit he held out to her.
Precious treasure, he thought, as he surrendered the sweet treat to his loyal four-legged friend. If his traveling companion had seen this, he would have lost his head-and his temper. Giving food to a beast when he was ‘starving’! The Traveler rolled his eyes to think of it. It was of no consequence anyway, for he fully intended to bring back a nice string of fish to hang over the fire. This would at least ease the hunger pains of his friend. Sadly, there was nothing he could do for the male’s aching soul. Not until they found her, he told himself. If only…
Continue reading The Desperate Journey: Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion Chapter One