Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Sioned Davies’

Storytelling Starters ~ Doors again

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

P1040451Doors have so many meanings, signal so many different things. At the end of the Second Branch of the Mabinogion (see below for details), there is a brief account of a marvellous journey. Seven chieftains are returning from Ireland bearing with them the head of Bendigeidfran, their leader. He has told them to bury his head on the White Hill in London. This will give protection to this island for the future (and by the way, it makes me think that, if his head is still there, we really have no need of Trident.)

On the way, the seven chieftains are twice delayed, once at Harlech in North Wales where, for seven years, they are enchanted by the singing of the birds of Rhiannon. Then they move on to the island of Gwales (it’s what we now know as the island of Skokholm off the coast of Pembrokeshire). On that island, there is a royal dwelling in which they find a large hall in which there are three doors. Two doors are open. One is closed. And Manawyddan, who is one of the seven bearers, says it must not be opened.

For 80 years, the seven chieftains do not open the door and in all of that time, they remain oblivious of all the sorrows they’ve ever seen or suffered. Nor do they age – and all the while the head of Bendigeidfran, provides good company to them as he had promised. Then of course – for it has to happen – one of the seven men opens the door that’s been shut and at that point they all know they must move on. (more…)