Why think separately of this life and the next,
When one is born from the last . . .
Time is always too short for those who need it;
But for those who love, it lasts forever.
~ This is a quote from Dracula Untold, the new movie spin on the age-old Dracula legend. In the movie, when it seems that they are both on the brink of destruction, Prince Vlad says these words to his wife.
The quote is a combination of two writers’ words. The first two lines belong to Mevlana Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet and scholar.
He penned a poem called “Life & Death,” or “Look at Love,” and the words written above can be found in one of the stanzas of that poem.
The last two lines are the property of Mr. Henry Van Dyke, an American author, educator and clergyman. They are derived from his poem, “Time Is.”
Precisely, the words are like this:
Too slow for those who Wait,
Too swift for those who Fear,
Too long for those who Grieve,
Too short for those who Rejoice,
But for those who love,
Time is not.”
~ When it comes to my own work, this hopeful principle is best demonstrated in the book closest to my heart, Anna von Wessen: a story about the Lumaria (vampires); the Narken (werewolves); and never-ending love.
The two main characters of the story, Anna von Wessen (a half-Lumarian, half-Narkul) and Vaya Eleria (Anna’s Lumarian lover), are caught in the midst of battle against their own people. I am prepared to deliver a bit of a spoiler, here, on account of providing a solid basis for this article.
Vaya went quickly about the work of wrapping Anna’s flowing wound, though her fingers trembled so much as to make them nearly useless, and she could scarcely see for a strange blurriness which had come to cover her eyes. As she gazed helplessly down into Anna’s face, the clouds only worsened, and she felt almost blind. Then, quite suddenly — tears, real tears, began to stream down her cheeks. With one hand she held protectively to Anna’s head, but with the other she touched the warm tears in astonishment.
*(Explanation: The Lumaria are incapable of shedding tears. Therefore, Vaya is amazed at them.)
Anna smiled so brightly, surely none would ever have guessed that she was in mortal pain and peril. She lifted a weak and shaking hand, to lay it upon Vaya’s damp cheek. “You see?” she said. “Your soul is not so far as you think.”
“I don’t care how near it is!” Vaya cried. And it was true; for as the grey cloak under Anna’s back turned dark with blood, she forgot everything about these amazing tears. “I don’t care, Anna,” she sobbed. “It’s you I want close to me.”
“I will be again,” Anna whispered. Her voice was failing; her strength was fading. “Don’t you see?”
. . . Her eyes were beginning to close. But Vaya clasped her tightly, and shook her to rouse her. “No, Anna!” she cried. “Oh, Anna — please don’t leave me. Please — please, Anna . . .”
She wept so that her tears mixed down with the blood, and blended the bitter brew of earthly sorrow and death . . .
~ But then, a whole fifty-four years after this day, the following comes to pass:
Suddenly there appeared another light — even brighter than those of the city — in the corner of her eye, which announced that someone had arrived in the room behind her. She closed her eyes tightly, and drew a shaking breath.
“Tell me,” she whispered, “that that is my Anna — and not only an angel come to bring me the message.”
“I suppose you could say it is both.”
Vaya turned slowly round — and saw Anna there, standing with a beautiful smile, and looking nothing different from the last day Vaya saw her, more than fifty years ago. The shimmering light all around her . . . began quickly to dim . . . The light of Heaven caressed her cheek with loving fingers, but drew back patiently to await her, as she went forward towards Vaya . . .
“You remember,” said Anna, “when we tossed the coins into the fountain? They would assure us a return to Rome, you said. Well, it did not turn out just as we had thought — but here we are, together again! Are you ready, my Warrior of Heaven, to come home?”
Vaya nodded wordlessly, and clutched Anna’s hand. Anna walked with her to the place where the light was waiting; and they entered into it, as if it were a curtain of mist. So they went out of the earthly world; out of the story which had been written; and into that which has yet to be told.
Thus is my personal contribution to the legacy of everlasting love. Love and death — or, love beyond death.