White nodded, and few minutes later, he took him for a hand.
" He is falling asleep. It is time." He stated, and let king through the night meadow to a new portal - but this one didn't lead to a place of a common kind. It lead to a black river underneath a black sky. There was a black boat ready for them and on its bottom was stuffed soft but black cloud. There were no colors, everything was tinted with shades of gray, even them as they got near it.
" Don't worry, Sun. " he said. " It is not true darkness, it just seems dark because there is nothing in it. It is limbo - a state of mind before a dream. A beginning of a dream, if you will. All dreams stars like this, human mind just isn't build to remember it. Come. Let's bring Owl from it to our dream before he stars having dreams of his own. "
" We sail to him, of course. " White explained as they entered a boat. Once they sat down in it, boat started to sail further from the portal on its own. " Minds are drawn to minds." He said. " Soon, we will see his form, when his mind falls asleep completely. His soul smells on clouds and gentleness.... I can't wait to see his true form. " he said with delight and excitement.
" Yes. " White said with sudden smile. " I see everyone's true form. That kind of comes in job description... Dreamer of dreams, you see... If I am to adjust you to a form appropriate for dreaming, I have to see the true you I have to adjust. It happens every time, before we meet... You might even remember it as blackness barely... But in truth, that is a point of our journey when I clothe you in white and bring you from this limbo to my dream. Limbo is a part of the ring, a first and the last state of it. It is the beginning of dream, but in the same time, also what you and me in previous talks called * the deep dream*... The one you have after the ocean ritual. The sleeping state is a big never-ending circle that constantly goes on, of limbo exchanged with dreaming. Only two ways to brake it are either by waking or dying. "
" Hmm.. And yes, and no, Sun. " he said then. " Now, I will have a direct insight in Owl's mind, a glimpse in his true nature... But true name is not only that glimpse. True name is a meaning behind the glimpse. You are Master of Sun. Lord of Sunshine. King of Sunlight.... All those words and different ways to say it are your name at once - true names are the meanings behind an essence. It is unable to be spoken on any human language, it only can be understood - as a light, as a sun, as a sky, as what it means. "
( I just love true names thingie :D )
" I can tell you, if you'd like. " White grinned friendily, seeming very relaxed and easygoing with Svarik. " But it might just ruin the mystery... The essence.. His name has many layers. It is nearly impossible to sum it up with only one definition... Take Morning Dew for example - her name is just like his. It is that perfect, beautiful moment, when Sun raises upon the horizon, when it slowly glides and touches the plants and grass with its soft caress... when it clothes them in the colors of the sunrise.. and when it blends with the dew on them and stars to shine with fresh vivid light... That is all in the meaning of that name you humans say so simply - Morning Dew. It is the union of sun, water, and fresh green plant life... Human language simplifies names, indeed. His name too is much more beautiful the way I perceive it than the way I could sum it up. "
White closed his eyes slightly, and as they sailed, he described it slowly.
" There is a deep deaf hour of night... " he whispered, his wounds like murmur of the water. " Sky is covered with thick layer of clouds, and it rains heavily. The thunder and lightnings color it, and the wind howls. The feathers fall through the raindrops, and are mixed with the scent of wet soil and breath coming from the meadows, carrying smells of corn and pears... The night itself is deep, and long - it is the Winter Solstice, the longest night in the year, the one and only... And in the center of the storm, there is a bird, massive and mighty... the eagle with black feathers and gray eyes that glow with pure white light... and the eagle soars the sky without difficulty, but with ease, relying only on instinct and urge to fly endlessly. It knows every drop that falls upon its beak and every curl of the wind that crashed upon its wings... But it's not scared of it all... It enjoys it and feeds on it. It sees no stars as it's rainy, but it feels it in its wings and it gives it endless strength. And your.. our Conrad... Conrad is the joy of that bird as it flies freely through the darkest of darkest nights on the same way some people walk the safe cozy rooms of their home. He is the Guardian of the Night. He is the Knight of Winter. He is the Black Eagle. "
Svarik closed his eyes as White spoke, imaging it vividly, almost brought to tears by the beauty of it. "Black Eagle?" he whispered with wonder. "I thought it would be a falcon... and stars... But it's beautiful. Can... Can my name be described like that, as well?" he asked, as after hearing that, that name seemed very plain and simple to him.
" My blood is too strong in him despite time passing... It can't help but be an eagle in all its might, but an eagle tinted with color of night that touches him most deeply. The raindrops that fall on him make his feathers shine like stars in the night...And as for you.. " White smiled " Of course, you silly Sunny boy. Each name can be described. But I would like to leave it for when we are alone. " he said shyly. " We are getting near Owl. We are just about to see him. "'
Soon, they noticed the white glow. It resembled a shining glass ball. It emitted the light and as they got near, they noticed it was a bubble instead and that there was a person in that bubble that seemed soundly and happily asleep. It was a human, and it looked a lot like Owl, too. He was nude, as it was naked image his mind had of himself, but along his hair and body, there were layers of flower and plant wreaths. They were all of healing herbs, and strong scent of them could be felt within the air. The one thing that differed it completely from young healer, was that places along his body where in real world he had terrible scars, were all covered with moss and small plants that grew along his burns body and face. His hands, too, were disfigured, but covered with deep layer of moss with tiny flowers growing around them. Along line of his hair, grew edible mushrooms mixed with random growing white feathers.
" Fascinating, isn't it, the way his mind deals with the trauma?" White whispered barely audibly. " At one point all those were open wounds on his mind and soul... And they overgrown with this beauty and calmness to cover and clothe what couldn't heal. His image of himself is this - an image of harmonious mix of his healing passion and humanity.... I think I will like Owl.." He admitted shyly.
" He's so full of love and peace... We should return it with giving it more humanity to embrace it, don't you think so, Sun?" He whispered, and he touched the bubble - it didn't brake, but with his touch, creature started to slowly change. Gradually, the plants lost themselves, morfing into perfectly looking soft skin. At least in the dream, Owl's body was no longer disfigured, but of beautiful shape of healthy young man. Some peace from man's face turned to discomfort as it dealt with change, and as if its change disturbed his balance Owl was trying to murmur something hoarsely. White hushed him and his hand passed through the bubble and started to lightly caress man's throat. From hoarse murmuring slowly passed to clear and melodic, and as if his mind was elevated from some inner pain, tears started to flow down the man's face, and he sobbed in the sleep, tears falling down his perfect smooth cheeks. White was soothing him, and after a while, man calmed with blissful face almost, and White leaned front and pulled him out of the bubble that dissipated, and naked like that, he laid him down on soft cloud. " Easy, flower, easy... Deep breaths... We wiill dream nice dreams, you and me... " he kept soothing him as he was lying him down. " Just to clothe you and you are ready to go, you beautiful, beautiful flower..." As he spoke, the white petals were rising from the water, and he gathered them, fresh and nourishing, and was putting them over Owl's body. As he was doing it, they were turning into familiar pure white clothes he patiently wove for shivering sleeping man.
Svarik almost forgot to breathe as he watched that, and he was realizing that White does this for every dreamer. It felt very gentle and personal, but also very beautiful, and he felt honored to be able to watch it.
White kept soothing the dreamer as he was making his clothes, slowly and with love as if for a child of his own, and only when it was done and pure soft and comfy clothes covered Owl, shivering stopped and healer trustfuly relaxed as White hugged him and grew silent. As he was doing that, the boat started to sail back toward where they came from, carrying the three of them back toward meadow of stars and fresh grass.
As they returned, White carried Owl out in his arms, and then he gently laid him on the ground, closing the portal. As it was done, young man started to wake right away, sitting down slowly and rubbing his eyes to wake, seeming to come to his sences and grow aware that he is dreaming.
" H-hi... " he whispered slowly as he noticed company, and he stopped for a moment - he seemed a bit surprised, but not too much. Obviously, White's introducing him to his voice previously despite he was not able to remember it must had eased the shock to him and his mind wasn't owerhelmed, but accepted it slowly. He watched his healed hands with a bit sad wonder.
" You are b-beautiful..." It skipped his lips then suddenly as he sow White too, his eyes shining warmly at him despite they just met - but his voice was more beautiful than his eyes, melodical and soft, like touch of silk sliding in the ears, on warm familiar way that White, seeming shy now before him, seemed to enjoy.