Introduction


By Tal Leonan

"Well met, Sings-with-Trees,

In a message dated 97-02-15 23:32:53 EST, you write:

[It's been bugging me that we keep referring to the place we're from as Aelfheim, when this does not seem to me to be the name that we used before. It sounds vaguely Germanic, which is fine, but I don't think that Aelfheim is anywhere near Germany! Do you remember at all what Aelfheim was really called?]

Well, I can only speak for myself, but the reason I refer to our home realm as "Aelfheim" is that is what the humans mostly know it as, and it has stuck with the others...it seems far simpler to stick with that convention in reference instead of trying to accurately portray our home realm, with all the nuances that would involve, each time the subject came up.

What was it really called? Well that is difficult to answer in e-mail, or any other purely written form. Our native language did not use written or verbal communications exclusively, or even primarily...much of the nuances which are so very important to our communication lay in what I have come to refer as "sendings"...projections of thought, emotion, mental images sent directly from one being to the next. What verbal communications we did use were used to place emphasis on different aspects of a sending, or to add a certain nuance. You mentioned in a previous message...it was a posting to the "Gates" mailing list, I believe...that you sang a song which just could not be expressed in writing...this is but one aspect of the elven tongue...many of the verbal forms of our communication either just cannot be reproduced accurately from a human body, or the variances in pitch, tempo, the subtleties of afflection, just cannot be discerned by the human ear...indeed, our "language" has more in common with music than it does with human speech. To get a closer feeling for what communication was like, sit down and listen to Beethoven's Fifth, or the 1812 Overture, or Enya's "The Memory of Trees"...don't just hear the tones or sounds, but listen...not only with your ear, but with your spirit and with your heart...let the music move through you...become one with you. Then, I believe, you may get a feeling of what it was for us to communicate, and in so doing, understand, at least a little bit, what it is we have sacrificed for the good of our people...

Still, I get the feeling that this is an important issue for you, so I have included a graphical file (in GIF format) of the "word" used to describe our home realm in ancient documents...I hope you find it helpful, and I'm sorry I was unable to give you a simpler answer..."

Blessed Be,
Tal


Contributors:

Picture: Gilbert Williams
Intro: Tal Leonan


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