Book 8, part 2. The Rites of Love (2006)
As I bade farewell to Anastasia’s grandfather, I said to him: “You’ll have to forgive me for my misunderstanding back in the taiga, when we were talking about the party’s goals and activities. Now I realise that the stronger the family’s role in the State, the more loving families will be living in it, and the more order there will be in the nation as a whole.
“We must restore the customs and rites which our ancestors thought through. They only need to be somehow adapted to our modern age. Anyway, I’m beginning to realise that they are not even ‘rites’ in the traditional sense of the word. They constitute the great science of life. And the wise-men were the greatest scholars and wisest teachers of all.
‘Apart from that, you know what I’m regretting right now? I’m regretting that I knew nothing of these rites back before my first encounter with Anastasia. About how they help in using the planets for the benefit of families. I didn’t know that, and so Anastasia had to bear a son, and then a daughter, without being wedded.”
Anastasia’s grandfather gave me a sly look and, smiling through his grey moustache, said:
‘And so, now you know that, you’re concerned as to whether Anastasia bore her son and daughter by you?”
“No, I wouldn’t say I’m terribly concerned. But still, it wouldn’t hurt for Anastasia and me to go through the appropriate rite.”
“It’s a good thing, Vladimir, that you have these regrets. It means you’re beginning to understand the essence of being,
and where human society finds itself at the moment. But you need not feel regret when it comes to Anastasia. She was married before you spent that first night with her.”
It was several minutes before I could get over the shock and regain enough composure to speak. Finally I sputtered: “To whom? I didn’t go through any wedding ceremony I remember that for certain.”
“You didn’t. It was enough for us that she went through it alone. For three days my father couldn’t get over her weird behaviour. It was the kind of gaffe that not a single man of wisdom could have thought up in a million years. But the upshot is, she’s married.”
“Maybe, to you.”
“But I never went through a wedding. And what’s this about ‘maybe’? What, you don’t know for certain?”
“What she did, Vladimir, nobody can evaluate, at least not yet. It’s entirely possible she created this magnificent rite herself and thereby offered all women the opportunity of making their illegitimate children legitimate. It’s entirely possible she created something in Heaven, besides. What she has created, perhaps only a wise-man would be in a position to evaluate. I’d better tell you everything in order.”
And Anastasia’s grandfather recounted to me the following:
That first time you came with Anastasia to her glade and were getting ready to go to bed in the dugout, we had to come to our granddaughter’s glade, too.
“Why?” you might ask.
She summoned us. We felt her summoning us and my father and I came to the lake.
Anastasia was standing on the shore, holding in her hands a crown of flowers woven together. She was all prettied up in
her very best, just like a bride. As we approached, my father asked her in a rather severe tone:
‘Anastasia, what events prompted you to prevent the flow of our evening thoughts?”
“Oh, Grandpakins and Great-Grandpakins, I have no one else to present myself to but you. You alone are capable of comprehending me.”
“Then speak,” allowed my father.
“I am now about to get married, and I’ve summoned you as my witnesses.”
“Get married?” I queried,11 get married.? And where is your bridegroom?”
I was not supposed to speak when Father was leading the dialogue. He gave me a stern look. She didn’t respond to me, but to him as the elder:
“When the wedding rite is performed, the young couple are first asked how they will set up their life, what Space they will co-create.”
Father knew about that, and agreed, without violating any rules. But here, it seems, our granddaughter somehow managed to ‘switch off’ our consciousness, as you say in your language — either that or she charmed us as in a marvellous dream.
Anastasia began talking about her future neighbours. You know how she can create holograms with her thought, don’t you, Vladimir?... Yes, I thought so.
Only this time over the surface of the lake she changed the pictures of the future of the Earth at an incredible rate of speed. Her pictures were incredibly clear and involving.
In one scene there were people walking along flower-lined allees, self-confident and with dignified smiles. Another portrayed angelic-looking children running through a meadow to a river. In a third, we seemed to be looking down on a lake from a great height and seeing the reflection of the whole planet.
And there were a great many scenes and episodes showing marvellous landscapes of extraordinary beauty
And all at once a single Man appeared over the lake, as though out of a mist. And everything else suddenly disappeared. This Man stood in the middle of the lake all by himself, looking at us. Presently, another man approached from his right, then a maiden of extraordinary beauty, then a second, and a third. After that they were joined by two little twin boys holding hands. A whole lot of people were standing around, all tall and slim. They looked at us with kindly smiles, which made a pleasant feeling of warmth run through our bodies. At that very moment we heard the voice of our granddaughter:
“Grandpakins and Great-Grandpakins, look: these are your descendants thinking about you with warm smiles on their faces. Look, Great-Grandpakins Moisey — you see the boy standing at the end, he looks like you and his gaze is radiant with your soul.”
When all the holograms disappeared, leaving us standing there with extraordinary feelings, Anastasia all at once said:
“What do you think, who can place the crown upon my head?”
And my father, feeling absolutely no sense of subterfuge, enquired (as was customary in the wedding rite):
“Maiden, who may place the crown upon your head?”
And she replied:
“I place the crown upon my own head in the sight of you, of Heaven and of my own destiny.” And with that she placed the crown upon her own head.
‘And where is the one you have chosen to wear the crown?” Father asked.
“He is getting ready to go to sleep. But even when he is awake, he is sleeping, too. He knows nothing about our rites. You will need to ask him again, after several years sweep by”
“You have violated the rules, Anastasia,” said Father, sternly; “The ancient science of the wise-men. Two people ought to take part in the rite. People can only get married to each other. The wedding rite has not taken place.”
“Believe me, Great-Grandpakins, it has. I am now married in the sight of Heaven. Two people should take part in the rite. But, after all, it is customary to ask one first, and then the other, as to their desire to be wed.
“/ was asked, and I gave my consent for all to hear. My chosen one is still thinking about his, and he can think for as long as he likes as the years go by Nobody has ever defined how much time is permitted between the two questions. It could be a moment, it could be ten years. But even if in the negative might be his reply here, I shall remain married in my own sight. And the covenant of the ages I shall not defy”
Father wanted to say something more. He had even started speaking when a huge peal of thunder resounded from the sky, drowning out all his words. And he turned and started walking off, paying no attention to the path under his feet, as he was wont to do when he got agitated about something. I could just barely keep up with him as he walked, but I heard how fast he was talking, as though to himself:
“She’s a stubborn lass, cunning and clever, not an easy one to countermand. It seems that she is being eternally pandered to by Heaven itself. She is changing the very correlation of the planets. Does that mean women now have the opportunity of wedding themselves and begetting their children on a lawful basis? We must figure out what Anastasia has done, but first, all ought be returned to the existing laws of being. They have not endured these many ages for nought. To do this, we must come up with a weighty objection. But I was not able to: she’s greatly cunning and clever, but I... Aha, I’ve discovered a way to object and make her wedding rite of none effect.”
All at once Father did a sharp about-turn and headed for the lake. As we approached the shore, but had not yet emerged from the bushes, we saw over the lake an extraordinary light, albeit barely noticeable — and the stars reflected in the water. It looked as though they were falling into the lake in a shower. And there was our granddaughter, sitting all by herself on a fallen pine log, wearing her floral crown. She was looking in the direction of the dugout where you were sleeping, and softly singing.
My father did not emerge from the bushes. He listened to her song, and then said:
“She is wedded.” And he tapped with his staff on the ground, adding: “Nobody has the power now to annul her marriage. In terms of strength it knows no equal, and... whether she was married by Heaven or by herself on her own, it makes no difference.”
‘And what did Anastasia sing?” you ask, Vladimir. “What song?” It was this one:
By my own hand in wedlock I am crowned —
And now to he your woman I am found.
You are, you know, the only man for me.
Our dreams shall all be brought to life, you’ll see.
On Vianet Earth, our Terran world of blue,
Our son will happy be with me and you.
Our daughter will be fair and quick of mind,
To many a Man they will be good and kind.
By Heaven I am joined with you together.
Той know I am your woman now for ever.
The grandchildren we have will live afar —
We’ll see them on that big bright, distant star.
To be continued....