Settling

She’ll make sense of semsin yet… And talk to doctor Jeran some more, because she needs to get all that experience out of her system but she doesn’t want to hurt her family with it. On the other hand, it doesn’t impede her so much that she needs Airath or Rhanyn.

I have only been in Turenay for a few days but it feels like a year! There is so much that I have seen and done and learned, and met so many new people who are all family or who I have something to do with at least. In the morning I go to school with Arin and Halla and their sisters and some other people who come from other countries or never learned Ilaini properly, and Senthi is teaching us as well as learning from us. We sing songs and play clapping-games, too, Senthi says because that makes you learn sounds and words really quick, but I think she also does it because it’s fun. Sedi and Rani have made their own language to talk in, and nobody understands it except they and Halla and Senthi, not even Arin. But they have to learn to talk like everybody else, too. I just hope they don’t forget it before I can learn a bit of it.

The other day Senthi said that if I don’t want to be a doctor or a herb-woman she wants to have me as her apprentice, that means that she’s going to teach me everything she does, learn languages and teach other people and travel all over the world to do that, and lots of other things that I don’t understand yet but it sounds exciting. I like travelling a lot, but also to have a house to live in with people, but Senthi says that I can, after all she has a home to come back to too. She is Raisse’s daughter, who is Cora’s mother, so I think Senthi is really a kind of aunt of mine though Raisse gave birth to Senthi and adopted Cora.

Cora is teaching me doctoring but she’s saying all the time she shouldn’t be teaching me because it’s not proper for a mother to teach her daughter, but mothers teach daughters everything all the time, how can it not be proper? She says that Leva is the best doctor in town but she’s so old now that sometimes she can’t do anything. And at other times when she feels well she can still do everything. When we went to help a man who had stiff bones in his back, and Cora showed me how to see that with my mind, I asked her whether Leva has the same kind of stiffness in her head –that’s what it looked like to me– and she said well, sort of, but it’s not really the same thing.

We went to the Síthi shop and to a man who sells herbs and medicines, also a Síthi called Ram, who wanted to see Bat’nu’s basket in case there’s anything in it I know and he doesn’t, so I’m going to take it to him next time I have time. Because I don’t have time to do things, I’m so busy learning and helping Cora and talking with Alaise. She showed me the letter that I saw Erian try to write and his mate finished for him! She has a wooden box to keep it in that she got from Cora and Aidan when they adopted her. I hope Erian is somewhere with the gods where he can see us being sisters as he wanted.

And this afternoon when I was home from school Cora took me to meet doctor Jeran, or anyway she wanted to see him and took me along. He had a dish of mushrooms that made my mouth water, and shared it with us– he likes to cook but always makes too much and gives most of it away. Cora had already said that he was easy to talk to, and she was right, once we got talking I couldn’t stop, everything that had happened started to come out more easily than talking to Cora or even Alaise. So I think Cora looked after Jeran’s patients while we talked. Well, while I talked, because he said some encouraging things and asked a question now and then but he mostly listened. At last I dried up and Cora came out of the other room washing her hands and said we’d be going home. I felt like a limp rag! And I was hungry again too in spite of the mushrooms, but the butcher had brought the meat of the pig Cora had ordered for the cold season so there was enough to eat. Everybody was eating blood-pudding, but there was some pork belly for me, and also for Dayati because, Cora said, she is my sister and she should eat the same that I eat.

There’s another thing here that I like, before going to bed Cora and Aidan sit up with us girls (that is, Halla and Alaise and me) and Arin, to practice using our minds to see things, because all of us have the gift to learn that. I don’t know exactly how that is, not everybody does, but a lot of Cora’s friends do, and I know that Erian did or he wouldn’t have gone to the meeting he took me to on the feast of Ansah. People who have it very strongly like Cora or King Athal or the witch baroness Raith or Cora’s mother Raisse are called grand masters and they can do all kinds of things other people can’t, like make earthquakes or call storms or heat water by only thinking at it. I don’t think I’ll be that strong, but perhaps Halla will because she can light the fire if she thinks hard enough. What we do when we practice is try to see each other without looking with our eyes, and to see outside ourselves in the town, and today we all showed something we’d experienced, Arin how brick dust feels on his hands, Alaise how the schoolroom sounds, me how the forest smells when it rains, things like that, and let the others experience it too. That’s a kind of game I like!

Tomorrow Cora is going to have a dancing class, teaching dancing to any women and girls who want to learn, and Alaise has already been learning and she’s going to take me too. Cora says I can show them how I dance for the gods! They also dance for the gods, but mostly learn to dance for a man, for when they are married or have someone they want to marry. There are some Iss-Peranian women living in Turenay, also Iss-Peranian men but of course they don’t come to the dancing class.