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My daughter sent me this from a blog she showed me....
Valhalla does not discriminate against the kind of fight you lost. Did you lose the battle with cancer? Maybe you died in a fist fight. Even facing addiction. After taking a deep drink from his flagon, Odin slams his cup down and asks for the glorious tale of your demise!
Oh my god, this is beautiful.
A small child enters Valhalla. The battle they lost was “hiding from an alcoholic father.” Odin sees the flinch when he slams the cup and refrains from doing it again. He hears the child’s pain; no glorious battle this, but one of fear and wretched survival.
He invites the child to sit with him, offers the choicest mead and instructs his men to bring a sword and shield, a bow and arrow, of the very best materials and appropriate size. “Here,” he says, “you will find no man who dares to harm you. But so you will know your own strength, and be happy all your days in Valhalla, I will teach you to use these weapons.”
The sad day comes when another child enters the hall. Odin does not slam his cup; he simply beams with pride as the first child approaches the newcomer, and holds out her bow and quiver, and says “nobody here will hurt you. Everyone will be so proud you did your best, and I’ll teach you to use these, so you always know how strong you are.”
A young man enters the hall. He hesitates when Odin asks his story, but at long last, it ekes out: skinheads after the Pride parade. His partner got into a building and called for help. The police took a little longer than perhaps they really needed to, and two of those selfsame skinheads are in the hospital now with broken bones that need setting, but six against one is no fair match. The fear in his face is obvious: here, among men large enough to break him in two, will he face an eternity of torment for the man he left behind?
Odin rumbles with anger. Curses the low worms who brought this man to his table, and regales him with tales of Loki so to show him his own welcome. “A day will come, my friend, when you seek to be reunited, and so you shall,” Odin tells him. “To request the aid of your comrades in battle is no shameful thing.”
A woman in pink sits near the head of the table. She’s very nearly skin and bones, and has no hair. This will not last; health returns in Valhalla, and joy, and light, and merrymaking. But now her soul remembers the battle of her life, and it must heal.
And asks again.
And the words pour out like poisoned water, things she couldn’t tell her husband or children. The pain of chemotherapy. The agony of a mastectomy, the pain still deeper of “we found a tumor in your lymph nodes. I’m so sorry.” And at last, the tortured question: what is left of her?
Odin raises his flagon high. “What is left of you, fair warrior queen, is a spirit bright as fire; a will as strong as any forged iron; a life as great as any sea. Your battle was hard-fought, and lost in the glory only such furor can bring, and now the pain and fight are behind you.“
In the months to come, she becomes a scop of the hall–no demotion, but simple choice. She tells the stories of the great healers, Agnes and Tanya, who fought alongside her and thousands of others, who turn from no battle in the belief that one day, one day, the war may be won; the warriors Jessie and Mabel and Jeri and Monique, still battling on; the queens and soldiers and great women of yore.
The day comes when she calls a familiar name, and another small, scarred woman, eyes sunken and dark, limbs frail, curly black hair shaved close to her head, looks up and sees her across the hall. Odin descends from his throne, a tall and foaming goblet in his hands, and stuns the hall entire into silence as he kneels before the newcomer and holds up the goblet between her small dark hands and bids her to drink.
“All-Father!” the feasting multitudes cry. “What brings great Odin, Spear-Shaker, Ancient One, Wand-Bearer, Teacher of Gods, to his knees for this lone waif?”
He waves them off with a hand.
“This woman, LaTeesha, Destroyer of Cancer, from whom the great tumors fly in fear, has fought that greatest battle,” he says, his voice rolling across the hall. “She has fought not another body, but her own; traded blows not with other limbs but with her own flesh; has allowed herself to be pierced with needles and scored with knives, taken poison into her very veins to defeat this enemy, and at long last it is time for her to put her weapons down. Do you think for a moment this fight is less glorious for being in silence, her deeds the less for having been aided by others who provided her weapons? She has a place in this great hall; indeed, the highest place.”
And the children perform feats of archery for the entertainment of all, and the women sing as the young man who still awaits his beloved plays a lute–which, after all, is not so different from the guitar he once used to break a man’s face in that great final fight.
Valhalla is a place of joy, of glory, of great feasting and merrymaking.
And it is a place for the soul and mind to heal.
literal tears in my eyes omg
This is a very beautiful thought, but Valhalla isn’t the only grand hall one can go to for their afterlife; I’d love to hear stories as beautiful as this for other halls.
There is a young girl, her body frail and small. The girl bares the marks of so many scars, so many beatings from her broken home. Every night was a constant fight to stay safe, every day at school, she had to say her bruises were from playing too hard. Her teachers would look at her, but not see what was happening, and the girl kept suffering. She hardly had a childhood before her mother took it from her one night, a drug induced rage that ended her life far too soon.
The girl enters the hall of Folkvangr, sobbing at every step. The goddess Freya, ethereal and lovely, sits upon a golden throne at the highest point of the hall. Freya is concerned, her brows furrowed.
“Why do you cry, child?” she asks, her voice rings like a thousand bells, echoing through the mighty hall.
The little girl hiccups, she fidgets and hides her scars, “you are so beautiful, and I’m afraid I’m too ugly to be here.”
Freya descends from her throne, gliding and golden like the passing of sunlight through trees. She kneels in front of the girl and embraces her.
“Dear child, I am the Vanadis Freya, goddess of beauty and battle. I have the first choice of the slain, and I chose you. You are beautiful and your fight is over. You have a home with me now. I will teach you to fight so that you never need to be afraid again, and I will love you no matter what.”
The girl looks up and sees the faces of gently smiling women and girls of all ages and colors behind the goddess. She knows that she has gained many mothers and grandmothers and sisters. The girl knows that for the first time since she can remember, she will finally be loved.
There is an old man with old wounds. He fought in war to protect everyone, only to come home to poverty and sadness. The old man lived the final days of his life on a bench in the park, and no one mourned him.
When he wakes up, he is in a dark house, made of stone. Snow falls sleepily outside. There are cheery little candles on top of many stout wooden tables in the great room. A tall pale woman sits with a black dog at one of these tables. There are people all around; eating, laughing, playing games like old friends. The house is loud and merry with fellowship.
A call rings out over all the noise.
“Good to see ya pal! Come sit with us!”
A younger man beckons towards the old man, and he reluctantly joins the youngster and his companions at the table.
Many of the men and women at the table pat him on the back. The lady’s dog curls up at his feet. One of them even pushes their bowl of hot stew to the old man. The old timer enjoys the warmth in his bones, the thought of not going to sleep hungry fills him up with happiness that makes his eyes sting with the icy bite of tears.
“I appreciate it all, but surely this is a mistake. I don’t know you all” the old man is afraid that now they will shoo him away, like so many others. Instead, the lady with the dog kindly grasps his hand, her face melts in understanding.
“This is Helheim, and in Helheim, we are all remembered. I am Hel. You are among friends now. You will never go hungry, you will never be alone again.”
Time passes, and the old man has made many friends in Helheim. Some nights, when the snow falls hardest, a new person will appear, shy and uncertain. The old man always rises from his seat, always certain to have a warm drink in both hands. The old man gives the newcomer his friendliest smile and says,
“Good to see ya pal, come sit with us.”
Two young men, both in love. They hoped to get married, but then the doctors said the two worst words you could ever hear. The sickness ravaged one of them, and broke the heart of the other. The sick man barely recognized himself in the mirror anymore, and the other felt like he was drowning in helplessness.
Months later, it’s the night of the funeral for the sick man. His lover clings to photos of them together. He can’t see through the hurt, he can’t find it in himself to do anything but cry. His entire body aches with how much he misses his lover. The young man turns to cheap gas station beers to drown out the pain. Driving home with too many open cans on the floor, he hits a deer and tumbles into a ditch.
He finds himself on the ground in a golden forest, with trees arching so high into the sky, he can barely see the tops. The falling leaves dance to the song of the gentle winds, and the sunlight plays over everything in sight. He realises its not the wind singing; there’s the melody of many singing voices carried on the breeze. The young man follows it to a bright clearing in the woods. Many people are there, making flower crowns and laughing. The heady smells of wine and cooking meat wafts around him. At the front of the crowd is a man in rich finery, laughing with all the rest. The air is alight with joy and the sounds of bells.
But most importantly of all is his boyfriend, glowing with health, covered in flowers and smiling.
Hope this touches you all as much as it did me...
So there hasn't been a lot of mojo around S.N.O.R.K.L.E. HQ recently, but I have been painting a little bit every night....
Scale 75 Field Grey and SS Camo Shadow 50%
Field grey, Field Grey and Camo Highlight 50% on the skin
GW Scorched Brown, WC Ochre 5, and some red or other for the eyes...
GW Bestial Brown then VMC Bronze on the armor....
Thanks for lookin!
So everything is packed for tomorrow...
and I had nothing better to do....
So I started a new project for when I get home....
he is 14 parts of bad, and I am cleaning mold lines, and pinning stuff together...
His torso is resin, everything else is metal...
(so it aint crap...)
mold lines are small, but pinning is being interesting.....
Going to use, I think, a Secret Weapon 'Skull Field' style base....
He's about 5" tall to the top of his head......
Maybe semi assembled pics later....
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