I've just put a word count on the main archive document I'm taking these excerpts from and so far it stands at 90,000 words. By the time I finish the novel, the Akashic notes will be longer than the novel itself! This Wednesday, continuing in a chronological fashion, here is the marriage of Alienor and Louis, their wedding night, and Louis coronation as Duke of Aquitaine.
As always, the main text is in ordinary script. My input is in bold and Alison's in italic.
Go to Alienor at her marriage to Louis of France in July 1137.
Alison: She is very nervous. There is an anxiety and constriction from the heart down to the solar plexus. I can see flashing past like a film all these beautiful images – paintings and pictures of saints and animals all in rich colours. I can see big, high, narrow pillars and beyond that high windows. Alienor feels afraid. It’s all new to her because she’s got nothing to hang onto. It’s like being set on the sea in just a little rowing boat without landmarks. It’s this feeling of being cut off from her old life and everything that was familiar. She knows she’s got to go from here forever. It’s very hard and it’s bringing tears to her eyes. She has spent some time contemplating, looking down, and putting her hands together. She’s not actually praying, but she has that contemplative state of mind. I think it’s something she’s dreading. It’s a feeling of being in the waiting room at the dentists. She finds herself walking. She’s had the call to go forward. I can see a really big, round font. Everyone kneels suddenly. There’s a tremendous feeling in her heart as everyone kneels. Just in front of the font, I think, Louis takes her hand and they walk ceremonially forward in exact step and then they stand and face each other and the marriage vows are taken. When I say that I mean that the service or ceremony is being conducted. I’m seeing a series of things I don’t understand. Objects being placed between them, objects being put in their hands or being wound round their hands.
What sort of objects? The first one that I saw was like a tap but it had more than four lever things, and that was made out of decorated metal – very bright. I saw a cord being wound round her hand. I saw a small object being put in her palm, I’m not sure what.
What do they do with this tap? Did they keep holding it? No, they didn’t hold it. The clergyman just sort of put it between their hands and pulled it out again. She’s still scared and she feels that she’s being tied into something that there’ll be no escape from. She’s feels quite frightened. There’s another part of her that’s quite alert and is looking at the congregation. She is quite astute with people. She recognises people. She knows about them. If there’s a group of people there she will know each one. They’re like objects and she is like a curator of these objects and knows them individually. It’s solid and real, but it doesn’t feel like an emotional thing; it’s more like a physical thing. There are lots of people there that she doesn’t recognise, but the ones that she does, she’s clocking. There’s a little girl inside her that’s separate from the older more conscious person, and it’s the little girl that’s frightened. The older person is more detached. They’re turning now and she’s moving very carefully because this turning involves moving all her skirts round. She’s got a long train and she has to do it carefully.
What colour is she wearing? Pale gold. Her head dress is the most interesting thing. It’s very plain. It’s a pale cream silk, not at all showy, but very soft. And then she’s got a crown on top of it that is really beautiful and glowing. Within the pale gold there are some very subtle blues within the pattern of the fabric. The whole fabric is patterned. She’s got blue slippers on with pointed toes and gold braid edging. By the time she reaches the door she’s got a smile – a kind of wry smile. A bit like someone who’s been on the big dipper. ‘I’ve done it now.’ She feels quite relieved when she gets outside. It’s a feeling of just wanting to lift off and raise her arms up. Everything is well organised. She’s just waiting her turn to go to the next thing.
And this incident from Louis’ POV? He’s feeling quite the young man. It’s a bit testosterone driven. It’s like someone having a very good new car - something to show to the neighbours. At this stage he’s waiting. He’s wearing a fairly loose-fitting tunic but very ornately patterned. He’s smiling reassuringly at Alienor as they meet. He likes the feeling of her fingers on his hand. He’s taking an interest in the ceremony as if he’s taking an interest in the actions that are going on, rather than his own feelings. When he turns after the mariage, he feels an enormous surge of success. The singing that starts up at that moment is like applause. It completely coincides with his feeling of success. Walking out of the door, this is the most relaxed, happy, normal that I’ve seen him. He just feels quite blissful. Outside he’s going with the flow and he is very happy because of success. He’s succeeded in this great political alliance. He’s got lots of money – a new car basically. He has the acclaim. He’s the one who has actually achieved this, although it reflects on the rest of the domain.
He’s fulfilled his role and achieved what he’s meant to achieve, and it’s good for him. Self-satisfied would be my description of it. Everything is in its place as the Lord wants it and as it should be and he's been a part of it.
Now to Taillebourg where they spent their wedding night.
Well if I thought he was happy then, he’s even more proud now. I can feel the feathers rising and the chest puffing out. It’s not the upper chest but the lower chest. He’s beaming. This feeling of everything looking right, being in a good mood, everybody smiling and fulfilling their role – it’s as if he’s taller than everyone else and is looking down on this undulating cobbled surface. And each surface is a head and each in its right place. He’s being led into a very tall building. It seems as though Alienor wasn’t riding alongside him but in a covered vehicle of some kind, so he’s had to wait for her to get to him. They don’t walk in together. It’s like a procession. Inside, it seems as though there’s a line of soldiers who are doing like a weapons salute/parade. They make a noise altogether. There’s the bang and the tap and the putting down of things. There’s tremendous singing. There’s one voice then a group, then one voice. It’s a call and then a response. Louis is standing in the middle of this room. Alienor is brought up to his side. They’re taking an acclaim. I suppose this is the secular version of what was happening in the church. They’re being recognised by the assembled people. They are receiving people who kneel at their feet. Again, Louis is taking all this in his stride and finding it not that interesting to be honest. He wants to be away. He wants to kiss her.
He’s getting bored with this anyway and there seems to be such a long line of people who want to do this. He’s trying to think of a way out of it. He’s calling to his steward to ask if he can let them do it with written acknowledgements or whether they can do it a bit later on. Apparently they can’t If he doesn’t allow people to do this, it won’t bode well for him. When he gets that answer, his stomach sinks and he feels sick. He starts looking quite morose. He’s looking quite the seasoned prince.
FFW to when it’s all finished. He’s so fed up that the pleasant mood has gone entirely and there’s a tightness just above his stomach and a dull, darting look in his eye. Quite a sour expression. I can see him walking quite quickly. He’s taken from the room and down a corridor into another room that seems to be all done out in wood. Here there’s going to be quite a formal but intimate meal. There’s a big table set out in the middle. I’m quite concerned for them because they’ve not had a chance to get themselves together at all. They’re having a meal and he’s settling down a bit more now. He’s becoming a bit more confident and authoritative. I think it’s because of the bad mood that was on him. It gives him a bit more solidity somehow. Every so often he takes Alienor's hand. They don’t seem to be having much conversation.
Alienor’s POV. Alienor is keen to have some food. She is being quite objective about everything and watching everything that’s going on. Recognising people. Again there’s this recognition. When Louis touches her hand she just thinks that this is part of the new thing she’s going to have to get used to. It doesn’t do anything for her one way or the other. It’s just a new manner to learn, but once she looks at his face and looks at him, there is speculation in her feelings. In what way? About him as a person and this is the initial part of her learning about a new person. She is very perceptive with people in the sense that she likes to see them as they are, rather than make up what they might be. There’s a slight excitement there. This is a frisson, the element of them being in a male/female relationship now. She is breathing very deeply and feeling quite defensive as in ‘Nobody’s going to make me do something I don’t want to do’ and that applies to everyone, not just Louis.
FFW to when they retire. I can see that there is a magnificent bed. It is really luxurious with big curtains. Alienor finds that really a nice comfortable thing. It’s like arriving at a very, very nice hotel and everything’s there for you. This is all from the outside, she’s not in the bed yet, but I sense that he is. He’s calling for her to come as well. She does. It’s really romantic. She opens the curtain just by the pillow on her side. If I’m looking towards the bed, she’s on the right and he’s on the left, and just looking at her face, the freshness of it, the downy sort of skin, it’s really romantic, and her wondering what’s going to happen and him smoothing the sheet for her. He’s lying on one elbow and he’s got a sort of white shirt on. She’s wearing something that I would consider a dress. Not her wedding dress? No. The reason I thought it looked like a dress was that it has got a straight neckline and it’s stiff and I can see reddish colours – brick-red. I can see a white chemise-like garment underneath. She climbs onto the bed and sits up with her knees crossed. The covers are drawn back a little bit but she hasn’t pulled them over her. She sits there and looks down at him. She wants him to talk to her. She says ‘What are we going to do?’ He’s not saying anything, but the images that are flashing through is mind are quite specific. I think that he thinks it doesn’t require words.
I wondered with his background whether he was experienced or had any idea? Yes, he has an idea, and he has an urge as well! He doesn’t say anything and just goes ahead. He’s not being forceful or anything; he’s being quite gentle and quite sensuous. He’s removing her clothes as they go. Alienor can hardly breathe. It’s not quite panic but it’s heading that way. It’s apprehension. It’s not too bad until the final bit which she doesn’t really like. When it’s over and done with, what do they do then? Just go to sleep? Yes. She feels let down. It’s like an anti-climax – an ‘is that all there was to it?’ sort of feeling. No sense of a duty fulfilled? No, the duty seems to be to do with external things of having married him, but once in that marriage it’s personal.
And Louis? He’s very pleased with himself. He’s driven his new car now! He’s done his bit and acquitted himself well in his own opinion; what more could a man ask? I am seeing a square of light opening up as if the morning will bring new excitements. He can go out for a ride and things like that. He’s a man of the world and all is as it should be. I tried just then to feel into the other side of his life (the religeous one) and that feeling did come back, but it wouldn’t go together with the ones of now. He keeps them so separate. Which is the greater and which is the lesser? Where he is with Alienor is how it should be in the sense of everything in its place and he is a tremendous man for everything in its right place. The other is much more intense and much deeper. Sort of more turgid colours and gripping feelings in the stomach.
His feelings for Alienor now – are they still just of a nice car? Yes, the feeling is ‘Well, why would you ask that?’ Well the chronicles speak about this tremendous passion he had for Alienor. Well you would love your car wouldn’t you? I don’t think he has much idea of what goes on internally for other people, especially women. It doesn’t compute with him – that’s how it feels at the moment.
Now to Louis being made Duke of Aquitaine in St Peter’s Cathedral - his and Alienor’s feelings about this.
This is real pride. This is how it should be and a bit. He’s a very fortunate person isn’t he? He’s not come across any knock backs in this at all yet. He’s a bit more than head and shoulders above everyone else at the moment – almost half way down his arms as well. He just seems as if he’s been made for this moment. He has a proprietorial interest in everything around him – the art work, the scroll work of the columns, the stone work. It’s as if he’s checking it to say ‘that’s right, that’s right.’ Running his judgement over things. Feeling that he really lives up to this moment because he has all the qualities for this task innately. I think that feeling is there in part because people defer to him so much. He’s bringing Alienor forward and the feeling is one of completion. He’s got the full set. This makes the complete circle that no one can penetrate or question.
And Alienor’s POV She is very still at first. There’s a part of her that when she thinks about it is very, very upset, because this is the position her father had and it’s terrible to think that he’s not there and this stranger is filling his shoes. She knows nothing about Louis and there’s that feeling again of nothing there, as if everything has gone. And strangely that feeling as if she has nothing, as if she has to just live by her wits now. I think that this whole thing brings up her feelings of loneliness and grief that she hasn’t recovered from. She absolutely loved her dad and depended on him and there’s a sense again of this foreigner in a position of authority in the centre of that old place that she knew, and as she leaves the cathedral she’s feeling more mature and that’s because her feelings are melding together, her feelings of grief and her feelings of keeping going – of hope and determination.