In the subtlety of air I find the power to move the immovable
Maya weaves through time and space by way of special conduits. The type of conduit she travels through determines the type of metamorphosis she can achieve and therefore what perspective she has in a new world.
A few special characters in Svevi Avatar are yogis who wield their power through conduits or channels within certain elements. One such character is Xetal, whose conduit is through the element of water.
The river sings. I must seek the source of the virus; her melody instructs me. In the sudden storm that I have unwittingly caused, a boat has become adrift. I raise my left arm to rearrange the waters around it, so that it comes to a halt on the bank near me. I step into the boat and seat myself on one of the wooden planks. As I dip my left hand into the river, waves form behind the boat, propelling it upstream at great speed.
From the Novella
Svevi Avatar Glimpses: The Pandemic Begins
Explore the mystical powers that special characters in Svevi Avatar wield over the elements.
28 September, 2020 — River Song 5
Xetal closed her eyes to savor the sensation of water flowing through her splayed fingers. Water connected her to the past and sometimes to the future. As the cool wetness glided across her palm, Xetal recalled the stories of her grandmother recounting the lives of their ancestors. The old woman’s favorite story to tell was that of her great-great grandmother’s expedition to Grizzly Claw. Grizzly Claw was a waterfall deep in the mountains, over a moon’s travel from their village. The path was full of obstacles and so very few embarked on the dangerous journey. But when great-great-great grandmother had been merely sixteen years old, she had set out on her own.
27 August, 2020 — River Song 4
“What are you whispering to me?” Xetal asked the river Mother Nuna’s people had named Wicomico long ago. “Am I going on a journey into Constantina? Can you tell me when?” “That I cannot tell you,” the ancient waters sang, “for you mold your future with your own choices. And you alone must determine your path through life.” Xetal dipped her left hand into the water, “But how shall I know what choices to make?” “Follow the wisdom of your ancestors,” the river answered.
20 August, 2020 — River Song 3
Shenandoa was an ancient word of the people who had lived along both banks of the river for millennia. But just a few centuries ago, they had had to leave behind their ancestral lands east of the river and retreat into the western mountains. “What is the Shenandoa like?” Xetal asked the Wicomico River flowing past her. “Is it as wide and long as you are? Will I ever see it?” The waters seemed to smile as they responded, “The Shenandoa is much mightier than I am. And soon you will know for yourself.”
13 August, 2020 — River Song 2
“What is he doing now?” Xetal asked the river. “He is making his way across the waters,” responded the river. Xetal sat on the bank, her eyes closed as she focused on the vibrations around her. She stuck her tongue out and tasted the mist. Her grandmother had taught her how to listen. She had taught her how to understand. There would be an upheaval soon. No. The upheaval had already begun.
4 August, 2020 — River Song 1
Xetal stopped to listen to the river’s flow, for suddenly it had changed. “He is beginning to understand,” the river sang. “Who?” Xetal asked. “The man standing on the bank of the Shenandoa,” the river replied. Xetal gasped in amazement, “The Shenandoa? But that river is many days’ journey away. How could you know?” The river flowed quietly for several moments before she sang again, “All waters are one, my child. They either flow into the same ocean or evaporate into the sky when they rain down onto all of the rivers of the earth. That is how I know.”
28 July, 2020 — Lake Song
There are moments when I do not wish to listen to the song of the lake. For the lake sings of sorrow. In my youth, I brimmed with fish and frogs and insects. My water was clear and pure. The plants within me grew happily because the sun shone through the ripples on my surface. And so it was for thousands of years. But when the pale man came, he dumped his waste into me. More and more as time went by. Soon the sun could not penetrate my skin and poison spread itself throughout me. Now, the plants have starved and the fish have suffocated. Only I remain, burdened and alone.
21 July, 2020 — Ancient Words
The trees sense my agitation as I walk briskly along the bank of the river.
“They bring disease,” the misty breath of an ancient oak tree sings to me.
“I know, Mother,” I stop and exhale my thoughts toward her. “They are afflicted by a virus.”
“The disease I speak of is not of the body, but of the mind.”
“I do not understand.”
“They have forgotten that our roots are all connected to each other.”
“Yes, Mother. But what can I do?”
“You must help them, for otherwise all shall perish.”
14 July, 2020 — Water’s Fall
Near my village there is a cliff where the water’s fall tells of a time long ago. In that time, the lands of my foremothers knew no humans. Only the animals and the fish frolicked in the rivers, not the children of my tribe. When I was a girl, Grandmother sat with me at the edge of this cliff and told me that the waters are the blood of the land and so should never be burdened with what may sicken the earth.
6 July, 2020 — River’s Bend
I was in a hurry that day. And so the waters parted more readily to propel my canoe forward. When I feel fear or worry, I cannot temper my connection with the river. Without wishing it so, waves as tall as my canoe is long surge around me. The waters feel my tumult and so themselves soar in response. That day the river knew that my life was near its end. And so it carried me swiftly.
30 June, 2020 — Teaching Mist
The mist speaks if you listen with the desire to learn from it. Whenever I am in doubt, whenever I feel lost, I stop and close my eyes to taste what is around me. As my heartbeat slows, I hear the words of the mist in the silence. Sometimes it teaches me about when our people first came here to these lands. Sometimes it tells me of another’s heartache.
23 June, 2020 — The song of water
When I took my first step, my grandmother told me that I have a special ability to hear water sing. Since that day, I have listened carefully to the rivers and the rains and the lakes. How joyous their melodies when there is harmony among beings. But when there is dissonance, the waters become silent and I weep.