Stargazing With The Shieldmaiden
The Shieldmaiden and me journeyed into the countryside recently. It was a jamboree of navy blue, green and sky blue, with the magnificent countryside all around us. There was nobody to see and nobody to see us. The only sound was that of the beck rushing by our lodge and even that was muted when we rounded the bend from our sanctuary in the mountains.
The cloudless sky that had embraced an unseasonably warm day remain unblemished as night arrived. Following a satisfying dinner, The Shieldmaiden and me extinguished every electric light, lantern and candle at the lodge and then ventured outside as our eyes adjusted to the darkness. The moon was low to the east, having just ventured beyond the horizon and the tree line beneath it, its milky pallor not able to impact substantially on the cloak of darkness which now enveloped everything around us.
We stepped onto the extensive veranda which surrounds our lodge and then lay down on our backs side by side as we looked upwards to the wheeling heavens. The evening air was cool, but not frigid and all that could be heard was the gurgling of the beck a little distance away. The birds and animals had fallen silent and the harsh sound of humankind was absent from this haven. No horns, no engines, no sirens.
As we lay there, the vastness of space loomed over us. The shimmering stars from light years away glinted and sparkled for us. Thousands of them, clear and visible, since not only were we free of the noise of humankind but we had been spared the polluting effect of thousands of streetlights and the glow cast from tens of thousands of windows by lamplight, screen glow and flashing neon. The night sky was untainted by the construct of humanity and instead hung over us as it has done for billions of years prior to our appearance.
The Shieldmaiden said nothing. I remained silent as I lay there and stared up at the sky. Ursa Major was immediately apparent and within it The Plough or as our transatlantic friends would label it, The Big Dipper. My eyes lowered and I looked upon the constellations of Leo and the Lynx which nestled beneath the large bear. As I turned my head I could see the Milky Way, like some stellar smear across the centre of the sky, ranging across nearly the whole of my field of vision as I looked across tens of thousands of light years of space from my vantage point on the top of this mountain.
I thought of how I was able to see all of this from my position on the rooftop of the region and that far away and far below me scurried the minions, the underlings and the tertiaries and how unaware they were of the brilliance and majesty which spiralled above them. I felt a sneer of contempt form on my lips as I contemplated the ignorant hordes who would be staring at pavement, turf and foam rather than lifting their heads and drinking in this vista. ´Twas ever thus. They always look the wrong way. That is why they never see me coming. Even those that broke with convention and rejected a lifetime of shoe-staring would only see a tiny fragment of what The Shieldmaiden and me were looking at. They would, if fortunate, see some of the stars, maybe a part of a constellation but their view would be obscured by the light pollution, ruining the spectacle and reinforcing the fact that they would go through life without true vision and clarity. My thoughts of their frustration and resentment if they were told of what they were missing caused that pulse of power as the Thought Fuel arrived, landing on the far more potent and plentiful Proximate Fuel which The Shieldmaiden had been providing throughout our visit.
“It is truly spectacular,” said the Shieldmaiden softly besides me. Her clear and elegant voice gently intruding into my contempt-filled thoughts and scattering them. The dispersal of those thoughts however was rapidly followed by that sharp shard of envy for she was commenting on the stars and heavens above, her fuel was directed elsewhere and whilst her tone was that of admiration and delight and her words appreciative, they were not aimed at me. This was a waste. Yet this was not the occasion to bridle with her, not at all. Her fuel needed to be mine, but I would not lash out, there was no need.
“Yes it is, absolutely majestic,” I replied as I readied my comment to draw fuel from her.
“And can you see Jupiter? Over there. Can you see that bright “star” that is Jupiter, to the south-west,” I explained and raised a hand, extending a finger pointing to the giant of our solar system.
“Where is it please?” she asked and I felt the flames of fuel rising again as her words of enquiry directed to me, because of me and I sat up.
“Sit between my legs,” I instructed and she too sat up and shuffled into position, her back pressing against my chest, the outside of her thighs, brushing against the inside of mine. I placed my chin on her shoulder, the light fragrance of her shampoo detectable from her long, blonde hair and I raised my arm around her.
“Follow my finger,” I said and waited as I pointed to Jupiter.
“Ah, yes I see it. I love how you know what is where in the sky, but you have always loved the stars and planets haven’t you?”
The positive fuel splashed over me.
“Oh yes, ” I confirmed edified by her validation of my direction and her remembrance of what I had told her previously.
I felt her lean back into me and I recognised that this once again signalled her ease and comfort with me. I felt the instinctive bristle against this closeness but the presence of her fuel enable it be surmounted and I allowed the contact to continue.
“And now, if you follow my finger, I will take you to Saturn,” I explained. She gave a short, warm laugh at my interplanetary finger and more fuel washed over me.
“You should bring your telescope next time, HG, so we can see the moons and rings,” she suggested.
“Absolutely,” I answered.
We both fell silent as I lowered my arm and she remained still, nestled between my legs and leaning against me. She moved slightly, as if to ease herself even closer to me and this act of affection caused once more the fuel to be mine. Her I sat, her god, presiding over the galaxy. Entirely apt.
“What do you feel when you look at this?” she asked me.
I did not answer immediately. This gave the impression of gravitas and due consideration to her question and was a useful collateral consequence of my pause. The fact was that my delay in replying was not borne of conveying such importance, although of course I would claim that it was, but it arose form my consideration as to what to tell her.
Should I substitute knowledge for feeling and allow the literary splendour of my educated mind to fill the gaps occasioned by what I am? Should I plug hole with adjectives and poetic observation? Should I address the chasm with the acquisition of the described feelings provided by others that I had heard, seen and read, claiming them as my own?
Or should I provide my reality?
Should I tell her that my feeling for the vista was as empty as the space between the stars that shone above us? Should I tell her that it was the minions that made me feel, even if only slightly?
Should I tell her why the stars continue to matter to me not because of a feeling, but because of a historic significance or would that shift too much power from me to her?
Should I tell her that it was her that made me feel more than anything – namely power?
9 thoughts on “Stargazing With The Shieldmaiden”
And…HG , we never heard anything more about the Shieldmaiden . It’s a cute story we all have cute stories but , the relationship didn’t become any deeper or long lasting with more and more stories of your life with one woman . As you have said in the past …. it became stale ? Did she get out and stay out ? Did you get distracted with other things / appliances ? Did she say she wanted more or did she say she was done with trying ? It’s the end story of that relationship ?
Dear Mr Tudor,
Stars represent the great kings of the past who will always be there to guide them, including his father
The Lion King 🦁
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
I love this article. I read it the second time.
I also have a place, where there is only me and the starry dome of the sky (+ hundreds of wild animals 🙂 ). I go there in spring and sometimes in summer.
One of the constellations is mine and the first N. “Our constellation” 🙂 Sometimes, when I look at the sky, I wink at her 🙂 Ah, how many days and nights we layed in the meadows, looking at the sky 🙂
It is irrelevant, that this constellation was also “owned” by millions of other couples or is in its successive relationships. Then she was “our” 🙂
With “my N” also a lot of staring at the sky. And also a piece of heaven appropriated 🙂 A bit more banal.
I often look at the sky. I have three large roof windows above the bed. I love to lie and watch the clouds move by, and at night, before I close my eyes, at the stars.
Last year the Starlink flights were amazing. I wokes up in the morning to work, and they were “floating” in the sky in one row. Great impression. I opened the windows to look longer 🙂
The first full word my daughter said was: “Heaven” 🙂
I often think about this story because it explains a lot of the hot and cold behaviors. There’s been times things are somewhat affectionate and close and other times cold and passive aggressive devaluation. I pay attention to the patterns and notice it always comes back to one thing in particular and thats fuel has been drawn away in some regard. If i talk too much about what i have going on it moves into the cold region, but if we talk about him or his interests things go smoothly. If i mention something that makes him insecure or he reads as triangulation cold region again, but it’s fine for him to deliberately triangulate me. When i get angry or take a break from him he is super affectionate again. The universe always revolves around them.
I bet the view was incredible. I live in a little valley surrounded by the incredibly beautiful Blue Ridge mountains and the sky is spectacular at night here.
The Big Dipper or the Plough for you all across the pond, seems to hang so low here you could reach up and touch it! The incredible harvest moon that glows red and orange seems to just sit on top of the rolling hills surrounding my home. It’s gorgeous!
I wish you had been able to truly feel more than just power/fuel from that experience with the SM. But, you did share positive energy with her so that is a good thing.
When gazing at the stars and contemplating the vastness and depth of the universe with all its mystery and wonder, does it ever intimidate you in any way? Just curious.
It sounds like you both had a wonderful time and I’m happy for you. 😊🌌🌃
Wendy, that sounds beautiful!
Last Nov 24 when this article came out, NA said the following to me: “Why can’t she see her worth like I can?”. I have thought of that line many times in the year since. It has helped me change my perspective over this year, for someone to see my worth, absolutely amazing to me. And to tell me so, even more surprising. I want to say it now to all the people who come here, pay it forward sort of, we are all worth it, worthy of happiness and health, healthy relationships. This one line has come back to me on multiple occasions, from a stranger on a blog, yet it has changed me, I am most grateful.
This is a sweet story. I hope you will be with her for a very long time. All the best ❤
The stars at my house are soooo bright and close in the sky this time of year.