Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Royal Feast

Yes, Lady, here I was at last;
Here found I all I had forecast . . .
--"To An Island Princess," Robert Louis Stevenson

My wife is an Island Princess. Really. In Sulawesi Indonesia she is royalty, although this is, in our time, traditional rather than particularly applicable. Nonetheless, it does explain a few things about her character. Royalty, in other words, is in the blood, and no more extractable than the red.

A princess by any other name, no matter the locale, is a princess still, and forever. You can take a way the tiera, but not the title. You can subtract the ceremony, but the celebrant remains.

Now I wonder am I a prince as well--or will I be when I take my throne? Is the title automatically conferred upon the spouse, as is the Western custom, or do they eat their princes in that faraway land?

I shall soon find out.

One way or the other, it's all good--whether a royal figure or a royal feast, I shall end up quite consumed in the time that remains.

Here I was at last, as RLS has said. And also this:

"For nearly ten years my health had been declining; and for some while before I set forth upon this voyage, I believed I was come to the afterpiece of life, and had only the nurse and the undertaker to expect."

I know what you mean, Bob. May I call you Bob? For I feel a kinship in circumstance, a companionship in and out of time. We shall both attend and be the feast before we are full.

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