Monday, November 30, 2009

One Sword

Let me tell the story of how you were made, she said. It is not what you think, no fairy tales exist here.

You were mined first, unwilling, you were taken from the depths of the darkest, richest earth. You didn't want to leave, but there are rules. You know that now.

Once mined, your forming began. It was a long process; you were meant to be hard and flexible at the same time. You can imagine how difficult it is to achieve that state. We prepared you for massive shocks, gave you the strength to withhold and the flexibility to absorb. Breaking is unacceptable. You know that now.

Blade smiths came, sword smiths too. Their professions are sometimes assimilated. Not here. Each hand that touched you was an expert in a very precise field. Only the best for you. You know that now.

You were heated first. Then hammered, pounded, filed, ground, cut. There was violence in every gesture. But violence is sometimes necessary. You know that now.

Fullering next. To give you ridges. Have you seen the ridges on your edge? They are not random, they are not decorative. They strengthen your structure, flowing math determining the ideal relationship between power and mass. Each ridge a careful calculation. Something you can count on. You know that now.

Ah, normalizing. Careful, even heating. Slow cooling. An attempt to remove the stresses, inevitable - some might say - that you gathered when you were forged. They cannot remain, they are unnecessary weaknesses, their purpose long outlived. You know that now.

Heat treating - a challenge. Trial by fire, some might say. That was not our intention. You were meant to be balanced here, hardened, tempered. And you were. You know that now.

You were sharpened next, that was a pleasure. Giving you your greatest gift. Strong but not brittle, as sharp and pure as the truth. Have you used your greatest gift? Have you ever even seen it? We don't believe you have, but you will. You know that now.

You were decorated, jewels and engravings, to tell the story of where you've been and where you'll go. Colors, the deepest and richest we could find. Swirls, arabesques, breathtaking grace in simple lines that are not straight. This is how you were finished, in pure beauty. It was an honor to make you. You know that now.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Surprise me

Time has reached your home. Have you been told this before? Before, during, after. Those are all memories now. You've rewritten them well. Time is here to tell you that you have been left behind. Not by age, no. You've been left behind because that's where you've apparently decided you belong. Behind what, you do not ask. You know quite well.

What will you do?

Whatever it is, make it good. It is exactly how you will be remembered. The imprint that will be used to remind this place that you were once a member. You will not be remembered for who you think you are, you will be remembered for the mark you left.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You see the moon and the moon sees you

Leave what you know and follow me. Forget what you believe and let me guide you.

Wildness here, wilderness here. Also tricks and falsehoods. But those are imports.

You're thinking the river is your safest bet. You're probably right. One way or another, you can always trust water. I control its movement anyway. Can you trust that I will take you where you really want to go?

Can you do that?

All I really want is for you to no longer be afraid of the dark.

If the moon could talk, that is what she would say to you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

8 swords

Surrounded by them, or at least that's what it feels like. Their hilts at eye level, although your blindfold keeps you from seeing that. Silk there, the confusion it holds is soft and dark. Cut from the same cloth, silk binds your hands behind your back.

Eyes and hands immobilized, your trap is real, for a time. But the clean air from the mountains behind you moves in, into the smallness of this holding place. And you get a sense of steel. Both without and within. The outlines are clearer now, even through the silk. The swords are a gift from the past, they will not let you go back. You may have put them there yourself, just to make sure. The silk too may have been your doing. To give your eyes a rest before they could look to the future. And your hands? Bound only to let you learn not to reach for what you do not really want. Eight is the number of change and inspiration. You must have known that too.

You do not need to become what you already are.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I miss Thanksgiving.

I miss planning the menu or realizing that I don't have to cook a thing. I miss knowing I'll see close friends or family or both really soon. I miss all that food, all that amazing food. I miss the first holiday that marks the start of the holiday season. And the leftovers. I really miss Thanksgiving leftovers.

I know, I know. I can have Thanksgiving here. And it's true. Sort of. But it is not the same.

It's just a regular thursday here. A regular thursday I will try to make special for the boys. I will make stuffing and roast a chicken and make homemade cream of mushroom soup and fry shallots for green bean casserole and I will, of course, make apple pie and pumpkin pie and homemade vanilla ice cream for one and whipped cream for the other.

I will tell them all the reasons I have to be thankful, grateful. It will be a long list.

It will be a quiet, small, private Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The knowing look

A voice lost is a voice that hasn't been used. Hoarse, broken, shady - not excess of use but a complete lack of use. Preceded by a brief attempt to reside in an octave that is not usually yours. Signaled by a breakdown of the system you know so well. Tongue, palate, vocal chords - all rendered useless - not by a misuse of power but by an ignorance of power.

That is when you are asked. You must, of course, be asked.

Do you know what would be said with the voice that has been lost? Do you want to know?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Hello, Goodbye

You are standing in the middle of the longest goodbye in history.

Spanning decades, continents, lives, choices, futures and pasts.

Learner's curiosity makes you wait to see how it ends, exactly.

How uncomfortable is that? Watching yourself amputate the one limb you cannot live without. Even gone it will still be there. A phantom limb, shock at the root, ache at the tip.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Will you answer?

Time has come to this place you've made your home. These flatlands you call yours, shadowless, lightless, no valleys or mountains - you need to see everything here and so you do. You've anticipated, strategized, planned, maneuvered.

Time's up though.

Swerve if you think you need to, detour if you believe it will help. You don't and it won't.

The time will come and time will come and show you what you haven't seen.

It will be a knock at door, like any other.