Parcival; the knight of the grail


Sometimes i wonder why we learn and tell so little stories, that teach us about mankind and its quests. The story about parcival is one of many.

On the countryside of France lived a knight that had three sons. The elder two loved adventure and died in battle. The knight died of grief. His whife, herzeloyde, built a house in the woods of Bretagne, to keep her youngest away from the knightlife. Parcival grew up in the woods, without friends nor enemies. He never heard of war.

One day he came home, excited, to tell his mother he had met two knights. They were in service of king arthur and Parcival asked herzeloyde for a horse and clothes, so he could join them. His mother gave him and old horse and outworn clothes, so people would mock him, and upon his departure, she dropped dead of grief. 

Parcival rode out with a wooden spear and asked people the way to king arthurs court in nantes. They laughed at him. As did the red knight. He said: ‘i offended guinivere, Arthurs whife. I threw a cup of wine in her face and stole her cup. Send her my apologies.’ And so parcival did. He walked into the hall, where the knights of the round table were gathered. He delivered the message and said he wanted to be a knight in service of the king. Arthur was impressed by the boys courage and said: ‘you will have to beat the red knight.’ And so he did. In stead of going back to Arthur, parcival handed the golden cup to a farmer. ‘Give this to the king. Give him my regards. I know now, i have many things to learn before i can be a knight’, and he drove off.


Parcival now travelled in the harnass of the red knight. People still did not respect him fully, because of his wooden spear. A hermit named Gournemant took parcival under his wings and learned him how to fight. He gave him a sword and some new clothes, and again Parcival drove off. He arrived at a castle, where lady Blanchefleur lived. She gave him a bed and taught him things no man could have taught him. They fell in love. As Parcival heard a knight bothered Blanchefleur, he defeated the bastard and again, had his regards sent to the King. He returned to Blanchefleur and they lived happily together, but after some months Parcivals restlessness made him leave. He longed for the woods, longed for adventure. 


Initially, Parcival wanted to go back to Bretagne but after all these years he couldn’t find the way. Devastated, he came into a dark forest where he saw a welldressed man sitting upon the bank of the lake. Parcival asked him if he knew a place to stay. ‘Oh yes’, said the man. Follow the path and you will find a castle. Say you were invited by Amfortas and you will be welcomed. Parcival found the castle without much effort, and the bridge came down by itself it seemed. That night he was invited for dinner. Parcival was shocked to see Amfortas was the king himself. But as the king walked into the room, Parcival noticed his face was grey and he could barely stand on his feet. Parcival wanted to ask why, but he was ashamed; and distracted by many things. Ten beautiful girls walked into the halls. They had flowers in their hair and the tenth was carrying a plate that spread a clear light. To every knight, his favourite dish was served. When everyone had eaten plenty, the plate was carried out of the room. Parcival was so tired he wanted to sleep, determined to ask about the many mysteries he had seen the following day. 


But the next morning, Parcival woke up in an empty castle. A hallway lead to just one door. As Parcival opened this door, he was outside again. There was his horse. And as Parcival looked back, Monsarat had disappeared. A lady at the lake told him he was a fool. For twenty years, noone had been able to enter Monsarat. She told him that king Amfortas inhereted the Holy Grail from his father, king Tinturel. But Amfortas was too eager for adventure to stay home and protect the Grail. In battle he was wounded, and a cruel curse made him sicker every day. It prevented the wound from healing, since it was not a battle to protect the grail and therefore useless. Only when a brave man would come to ask him why he was sick, the curse would be lifted. And Parcival had not done so.
Arthur, having heard so many stories about the brave young Parcival, wanted him to join his order of the Round table. Parcival accepted his request and became a loyal servent. But king Amfortas and Monsalvat kept on haunting him in his dreams. After four years, he left Camelot to search for the mysterious castle. After a year, he found the castle, walked into Amfortas room where he found the nearly dying king and spoke the words he was meant to speak in the first place:

What made you so sick my lord?

The miracle took place and Amfortas cured immediately. Parcival returned to king Arthurs court with peace of mind, to serve for ever he thought. But after many years, he heard king Amfortas had died and that he had left everything to him, including the Grail. To protect the grail, Parcival went to live at Monsalvat, where he was honoured and respected. Every year he was visited by the order he would be part of for eternity; the knights of the Round Table. 

Everyone is in search of enlightenment. Of the grail. It takes a journey; your own journey; it takes a return to your true nature to find the reward you were destined for.