A Sely Fool

When they talk about Dewi they say he is ‘half way to fairyland’. Of course, it’s just a saying, like he is ‘only half there’ or ‘in a bit of a daze’. But it’s truer than they know. The thing about Dewi is that he has an instinctive talent for finding the paths to Faery. But it’s not something he recognises or is fully conscious of in any way. So he goes off to the woods and wanders along an enticing path and finds himself on he borders of Faery, and sometimes strays across without knowing where he is or what he is doing. Then he comes back – but part of him is still there. Because he doesn’t know how he got there, he doesn’t know how to return. A more proficient path walker might see the way, prepare the approach, and close off the ways behind when coming back. Or might have a helper to show the ways in both directions. But somehow Dewi evaded both knowledge and assistance. He just seemed to be able to step through the veil, but without really seeing anything on the other side or knowing what the way he felt about it meant. So part of him always lingers there and he walks through the everyday world doing everyday things with only half his mind on what he is doing.

If he knew how to write poetry it would no doubt be inspired. If he could play a musical instrument his playing would be enchanting. But he can’t do these things. Sometimes he sings, if given the chance, and the song has something about it that sounds like it comes from elsewhere. But where? Dewi couldn’t say. So he goes about doing odd jobs here and there, just about finding a place for himself in the world. Once he would have been called ‘sely’, the old word having the spice of something holy and blessed about it. But now the same word is ‘silly’ and that is without any depth or even any sense of being dangerous. It’s just trivial.

So it is with the attitude of the busy world to those who appear to wander the byeways of life. There is no time for silliness. There are those that can come and go, that can inhabit both worlds, that can don a cloak of twilight and steal away from the world’s busy-ness for a while, and then come back to its constant business, its blindness to the shallowness of its concerns. They are not themselves blind and are aware of the distant presence of otherness as they do the world’s bidding efficiently enough, while always conscious of the more profound bidding that calls from somewhere that is remote from the world and yet as near as breath.

Dewi knows little of that – of the ways of the world he knows, though not how to accord with their demands; and of the ways to Faery he knows something, but not articulated or made fully conscious. But as time goes on his nearness makes it more and more the place of his daily repose and he is less and less able to do what the world demands of him. So people think of him as a fool, out on the edge. And he is. So it can’t be long until he tips over and Faery takes him for one of its own.

Author: Greg Hill

Awenydd/Poet, Cultural Critic

6 thoughts on “A Sely Fool”

    1. I think Dewi is a character who is representative of many on the path of the Awenydd at particular times, though I’m sure your conscious focus on Gwyn and your devotional project puts you firmly in the camp of those referred to as more capable in the post.

      Though I’m still puzzling as to why Dewi’s story was given to me in a meditative reverie.

      1. Interesting to hear how it came to you. For some reason Dewi’s story put me in mind of ‘Flowers of Algernon’, although there is no clear analogy between the ‘plots’, Dewi put me in mind of the protagonist. It’s a very sad story. Have you read it?

  1. I’m a faerie spirit, and I approve of this. Hehehe. It’s wonderfully dreamy and ethereal. it tells a story I relate to a lot as well! I typed in “faerie lore” and decided I would read the first blog that comes up, which was yours. Im going to be working on writing a short story about a faerie character. This si what I needed for inspiration, thanks.

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