Samarra was called to conference this morning, and my mother and I took that opportunity to slip away and go spend time with the Anchoress of the Ancient City. Jasreth has been bringing things in for me to see and study, because she is freer to move about than I, but what she brings does not do justice to the things I saw today!
It is hard to live in a world where nothing is known of the worlds outside. So much is based on conjecture, and much of that conjecture is based on fear. Am I really going to be given to a man who will eat me if I do not please him? Am I going to be brutally handled? I have seen sex demonstrated and it is violent. At my last training session we went into a part of the palace where one of my father’s concubines was giving birth. She was my age. She was crying and screaming in pain and the only concern of the women attending her seemed to be the welfare of the babe. There was blood and feces and it stank and the screams reverberated off the high walls. She was terrified. So was I. Is this what it means to be a vessel? Is this a woman’s place in the world?