O is for the Open Order

To [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith‘s prompt, as well as [personal profile] moonwolf‘s prompt, with help from several others.

Ordination into the Open Order was not as easy a thing as it would seem from the name.

The Open Order, after all, was not Open to all comers. It was not an catch-all, a dumping ground, a wastebin, no matter how much some of the other Ordinal Orders might think it so.

Certainly, all who found their way there were welcome to sit and pray in the Open Order’s clerestory prayer racks. Many did, although the wide open (of course) windows meant that few stayed for long, despite available food and water, warmth and shelter.

That was the first test of Ordination: to, unknowing that it was a test, pray or at least sit quietly in a prayer rack for a double handful of days, sleeping in the tiny warm pod for ten nights.

The zeroth test of Ordination was, of course, to find oneself in the Open Order’s cathedral to begin with. Where it stood – between possibilities, next to probability, open to everything – that was less easy than it would seem. And less hard, as well, since, as mentioned, the other Ordinal Orders saw it as a waste-basket for those who did not fit in their directions.

Old Tyler had slipped between notice and mention and found himself hobbling up the stairs. For ten days and ten more, he sang to the open winds.

Onyx-Black had slipped there between school transfers. She had huddled in the back of the prayer rack until the wind called to her and then, for eleven days, she had sat with her feet dangling, telling stories to the wind.

J-alpha-7 had lasted five days before she went exploring, got lost, and finally ended up back in the BAELZ.

Others came, and lasted or didn’t, asking for release or diving out the windows, seeking for a new world. The Ordained of the Open watched, and waited, for those who would move on to the second test.

Ordination into the Open Orders had Nine tests, although some whispered that there was, in truth, no end to the tests, simply another step along the way to true Openness.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/518307.html. You can comment here or there.

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