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Mansel
Four hands on four faces haul in, with the infinitely fine strings of the nets of time, a School of Wales. Of what? Of who? What is the nature of these beings? What is their purpose? What is the meaning in their motions?
We hear the great brass hand-bell rung. Boys form chains at the doors like iron filings ordered by a magnet. The chains are pulled into the grey-stone, four-square building. In its heart they line up like atoms in a crystal or like toy soldiers in a shoe box. It is at this point in the day that it is easiest to see them as a whole. They are all together, seemingly one unit, nearly motionless, facing forward towards the Head Master in his black-gowned authority. Their black jackets and grey trousers and wasp-striped ties conceal the individual differences.
What is the purpose and meaning of it all? Time sees similar gatherings past and future. Near this spot it sees gatherings of males dressed in skins and rough cloth who perform many rituals and purposeful actions. Fires are lit. Animals are killed. Songs are sung. Fights are fought. Adults initiate youths into manhood with tests involving endurance and suffering. They teach the skills deemed by the tribe to be of value: Lore of leaf and legend; Mysteries of the heavens and the ways of the Gods. Is this gathering the same, or different?