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Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:50 am


For innumerable reasons, I'd like to get to the point. Unfortunately, you may not have enough information to parry it as things stand. I have very little myself, in this case, just some broad assurance that this letter will reach you.

Know this:

1. I am in Rasazan and have been there for well over a year.
2. I am sane as best as I can tell. I have seen myself less than sane at times (the months with Jirai, the years after Underdark, my time in Golben). I've given this much thought and if I may say so arrogantly, can tell the difference.
3. That said, I am here because I still think myself a danger to others.
4. My intentions are dangerous. The scope of them. The consequences of them.
5. As such, best to put those here at risk instead of those I care about.
6. This is a temporary solution. I am actively trying to work through the last few years and understand myself and what happened well enough so that I may return in time and not repeat my previous mistakes.
7. I have occasionally reached out to others to seek explanation and exploration. I do this gingerly and cautiously, usually after I think I've reached a certain amount of progress and then either when I need an extra piece of assistance to move forward or when I feel ready to provide someone else with something I think they might need. In two cases, circumstance has overcome me in this endeavor. I will explain one of the two below as it is, in large part, the driving force behind this letter.
8. I otherwise busy myself with a wholly bureaucratic task (not politics as such) that you would find interesting for a few days in the details and far longer in the base concept.
9. I have occasional lapses in judgment (not sanity). These are, in part, how I know I am not ready. I have had less and less of them as I've gone on. They are generally brought forth by restlessness or stress. Either could do it.

It was during one of these lapses some six months ago that I reached out to Myrken. My intentions were good (but when are they not?), to provide closure for one who deserved it. They were harmless, to a degree, as the person I reached out to could not easily provide answer. I did, however, receive a response, penned by another. It was an impetuous thing and I misread the situation. It fell into a pattern I'd seen so many times before. I responded accordingly. I had an itch. I scratched it.

This was a mistake. There was something deeper underneath. After a second such lapse, mainly due to a lack of human interaction, a mystery presented itself. I had been avoiding such, for the most part, or at least avoiding those based in Myrken. I could do little to resist this, and a mystery became a game, which became another, and it ended the way such things have ended for me for years upon years.

Before I move forward, please note once again that I do think myself sane. Think of all we have seen? I know you try not to at times.

I presented contradictions, peeled at layers, introduced lines of thinking which were not meant to be traps but that certainly allowed for a forced dissemination of information from my correspondent. I gave up certain things of my own, much as I had with the Fiend or Kylerryth or Galacia, any of those beings who could likely destroy me with little effort. In the face of that, showing certain cards may mean little relative to the benefit. You're already at risk. I do not put my current correspondent at that level, though I have recently estimated her upwards. At the same time, my sense of self-preservation is not what it once was after the losses I've faced (and that I have caused); I'm sure you can appreciate that if nothing else.

In the end, gambits paid off and I would say that I won this game with no real stakes. I learned far more than I was looking for, far earlier than I was expecting (though still over a span of months, you understand). She is, for her people, young (she is a she). She is, to put it in the simplest terms, a fairy princess. This is more literal than figurative (the conversations we've had about those two terms would interest you a great deal). She's the sort that would have appealed irresistibly when I was that boy running away, map in hand. I dare say she would have been everything I wanted then. As such, she is nothing I want now.

Except for this. She presents a political dilemma to me. It's quite the tale. The blood, handed down, of a monstrous creature and a monstrous deal. Hostages and power and madmen. Exile. Coming of age. Queens and such blatant unfairness. It tempts in a way she does not, because it is so distant from all human consequence. I would be active, would right wrongs, would help someone who deserves it, would overturn the applecart of such inhuman arrogance. It has been seven years since I was stolen underground, meddled to survive, and returned broken. Part of me wonders if I might meddle once more and return fixed. You see? It tempts. She's not asked anything of me. She'd be, I think, horrified by the suggestion I counsel her in this way or that. She'd be even more so if she knew my intent would be to undo both monster and deal, even more so than shock the system. I think I could move her, though, but then I always think that about most things.

This, I think is a mistake. I don't think I will actually do it. But the temptation of it, the stress of it, the stimulus of it, worries me enough that control has faltered and peace has broken and a most severe yet entirely focused lapse has been unleashed unto this world. It was either you or the raven, and the raven has already told me what he thinks (you see what i deal with here?).

You have my apologies for that.


Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:15 pm

Glenn Burnie

When you reach do you reach outside of Razasan? I am glad that you do this, which ever the case. I am very glad to read all of this. Except that you haf dived into the coldest depths of the most bureaucratic quarter of the regal provins only to find yourself in the company of a talking raven. Who would be glad to read that? (this is a joke but only somewhat)

When last we spoke thtose many months ago you were sane as best I could tell. A question: does the danger lie in your intentions or in your methodology? She wished so thoroguly that a man might fit into his clothes that she determined to amputate the toes from his feet and his arms at the elbows. Here is a cripple with imaculate tailoring but it was not her intentions that ruined him.

No you know already that your intentions are not themselves dangerous. You write game and card and such things, I wonder not at intentions but at values, I wonder at hierarchies. For only a moment set aside intentions and ask instead: what do you value today? Is the question difficult?

I wonder if your present circumstances and state sometimes feel to you like a step backwards, a regression.

So a fairy princess presents to you a political dilemma in which you see an oportunity. But your methodology, you sound like Agnieszka's brother, so willing to overturn the checkers board. Chaos was a weapon that as a matter of policy you employed against problems that could not be solved otherwise, things too formidable things too large. Though for the obvios reasons I never liked it, that was a good policy: chaos generates problems for your towering enemy, undermining his position and heaping upon him a dozen difficulties that he must struggle to solve before he can even begin to fathom their source. A good policy specifically when your intent is to stall and to ruin.

Is it your intention to ruin this inhuman things?
Is your understanding of this people, this fairy princess, this circumstance, this politics such that if your intentions and methodology and values were sound---you could aim well and to good effect? Compare a rapier thrust at the throat to a boulder flung into still waters. I do not say No. I say understand. And weigh her value to you against that of this oppirtunity.

There are stories similar to this, in the abstract. Places where young men perform feats of great danger or agony to demonstrate their courage, prove their fearlesness in face of agonising death, agonising disfiggurment, prove even their fealty to some matter or another. Any soldier could tell you similar things, tales of climbing back into the saddle back into the fight, grief and concern thwarted by a constunt forward momentum. Kerrak could haf given them to you in the thousands, the way a man might pass through the fire to emerge cleansed or perged, burning away the old until

But you are already familiar with my history.
Another question then: do you truly feel that your state is a problem which you cannot solve in any other way?

I do not know when this will reach you. If there is urgency I can cheat distances to some extent, but this seems a situation that is only as urgent as you make it.

Figuratively: is she another Nightingale? If so --- now, as then --- you may not.

I ask not because I suspect it to be so but in precaution. But I think that where I say precaution you hear mob.

You are right off course that I do appreciate it. Were I to say more on this I would acomplish nothing off worth to you.

Also a temporary solution: sorting a thing when you already stand at a crossroads. This is the second time we haf done this. Once is necessity, but twice is the beginings of a habit or a simpton off something else.

Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:13 am


There is no eventuality where I can not provide you a response. That said, I find it preferable to handle this as we have always handled thus, piece by piece, partitioned and steady.

You would like the raven. He calls how I say what I say wank. Even if you may disagree, I think you would appreciate the notion on a conceptual level. He is torn between obligation and regard and tries to fly a true path through the center of the two, though he always must veer towards obligation. I won him over with rum cakes. Always befriend messengers but never trust them not to repeat your words.

On the matter of intent vs methodology, you likely have the right of it. When I returned from underground, my intent had not changed. My ability to question it had, yes, but even that, in and of itself, would not have made me a danger so much as an obstruction. That I defined the utility and potential success of my methods as the only important factor was what made me dangerous. That I lost sight of the people behind the purpose of my intentions was tied into this. It is my current belief that so long as I continue to cling to this and not lose focus, I will be able to better judge the correctness and appropriateness of my methods. This could have unintended consequences, however (valuing the one over the many, being unable to do what is necessary due to sentiment, likewise encouraging or enabling one's self-harm due to a desire to avoid outright conflict). My goal is to maximize the good I can do and minimize the harm but the damage I have done (and yes, that has been done to me) makes me quite hesitant.

Which is why values are, in fact, important (and we stop here to note that while I have always listened to you in my own way, I find myself listening to you differently here and as such, we should examine it. I will not be underlining things today; know this, life has taught me very clearly that I do not necessarily know best. You would find me today both heartening and disappointing, but I would strive to make strengths of the latter even if it might affect my purity; in this there is regression but it is necessary to get perspective from steps behind). While I do listen to you, I prefer the word ideals to values. A value is where you are now. An ideal is something to strive for, something to try to reach. I think that hierarchies speak to how we give value to these ideals. I should attempt to map such a thing. Would you have me make a list? Have you made one? I would see it if so.

Could we stop there? There is so much of worth in those paragraphs. There is so much that might help me and that you would thrive (not strive) in. I did introduce the matter of fairy princesses though. I cannot walk that back, can I?

Your letter arrived (as in I had it intercepted) at exactly the right moment. I do not know your thoughts and I do not think you the sort to writhe over roads not taken or roads ill taken, but I do wish for you to know that. The counterpoint is that I needed that right moment in the first place, a moment for which you would answer with iron and steel and I did and will answer with words. She is queen who is a princess who wishes to be a queen. I intend to aid her in this. Why? For many reasons but one of which is this: it is a right thing. Is it the right thing? In this case, I do not think there is but one, but it is a right thing, and while I often do a best thing or a smart thing or a needful thing or an important thing, I have much less experience doing a right thing.

She has drawn me out of hiding, to a degree, and that matters as well. As for completely upending her society, as predatory and unfair as it is, I will not make that decision for her. For now, she is homesick and alone. She is lost and adrift. I have found that the good often creates the bad and the bad often creates the good. Would you be Ariane if not w (I will let you imagine where that might have been going; instead). I have tried to be introspective. I understand that many of my better qualities are driven by less laudable ones, that to cut off one of these may have an impact on the positive as well. There are a thousand analogies, down to the base of chaos and order. Stagnation and Instability. Rhaena, broken as she was by magic and (my) madness, would have created a perfect order at the expense of freedom, creativity, and individuality. What worth anything in that scenario? The point is this, the things she loves about her home are also driven by the things I (and perhaps she as well) may hate. Though she is woefully impatient (and impulsive) for an immortal, I would rather focus on she and I than her lands and the strategy involved to either take them or dismantle them, even if that may take time. It is a safer choice. It is also a right choice. You will be glad to know that I have made the situation less urgent. She is not glad.

It will also not be my only choice. I teach a queen out of a storybook. In return, she makes me question myself and better myself. I find a shattered but unbroken Jerno and she challenges me while I foster her. I reach back to Myrken to examine the damage I have done. I find that life has gone on but living has not.

I write to you. You write to me. If I am to solve the problem of my state, it will take many ways. I would have this be one of them.


Add: do not fixate on the sentence unfinished. If I stopped, starting again would have proven problematic. Instead admire the fact there was not more of such.

Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:11 pm

Glenn Burnie

Here is a thing which Syl said to me, back when he was still Ser Duquesne to me and we had only just begun to really speak. I look for what good might come of ill things, he told me. For instance, if not for the death of my wife and my child I would never haf come here. I would never haf left.

It was the worst thing I had ever heard. Consider Altias at the height off his madness. It was the worst thing I had ever heard. It disgusted me. I wanted to hit him. I wanted to overturn the table, drinks and thoughtful words and all off it, I wanted to shout no and no and always and forever no. Nothing that came after was worth that loss, not one moment one word one act. Maximize goodness. Minimize harm. This is the best and finest way that I know to live. But I cannot in my heart murder the past a second time to sweeten the future

A loss is still a loss and must be no matter what goodness has followed it.
A goodness can sustain independently of what ills came before it.
I would not be me if I could accept that loss can be redeemed by what sweetness might follow, I would not be me if I could accept that goodness is built from the foundation of that suffering and not fought for and won to spite it.

Ideals is not a word which I like. I haf never heard it spoken outside of contexts which I hate ---- failed ideals, doomed ideals, dangerous ideals. Bromn with his ideals, Phuri with his none. Ideals feels like wishing, an end to careful thought and an announcement of extravagant actions soon to follow, an extravagans justified by it's service of an ideal. It becomes circular thinking, by turns excusing and demanding until all things are possible, forgiven, necessary. This is Semantics I think and still I cannot ignore it.

Perhaps if I strive towards an ideal then my values are the borders of what road I take, the cautions, the signs which say But Not Like This, or I Will Not.

For instance: I frequently value the one over the many. Recall, my choice was to follow you into Golben. Did you think it were something more than your insistence which kept me from that? No. No other voice could haf swayed me. Recall too that despite every thing which you know off their crimes and what danger they yet posed, I bargained for and won the freedom of both Altias and Renne when Cinnabar was positioned to capture and execute them both. And when I held your as

So. An ideal: to preserve an individual despite the vulnerability of the many.

No. To create an opportunity while mini

- An ideal: there exist circumstances under which an individual should be offered an opportunity for redemption despite the risk he poses to the vulnerable many.
- Its guarding values: I minimize that risk. If the opportunity is defied, I recognise my error and impose immediate death.

- An ideal: to wield a wicked thing's remnant heart like a weapon against its substance is wrong.
- Its values: if the choice Not is mine, then the responsibility to find another way is also mine. And if it aims at what is mine then I will destroy it in the cruelest way possible regardless of that ideal. Are you certain Glenn Burnie that these were things which you wished to know off me? There is not a single ideal that if circumstances necessitated I

- An ideal: I guard what is precious to me, regardless the cost in lives in loss in atrocity.
- Values: I wonder this. The one over the many. I wonder would I kill what I love, were this loved thing gone utterly wrong. I wonder would I save what I love, at enormous expense. I wonder at the number: How many must pass before I choose what I must? I wonder: Perhaps only one. Perhaps none at all.

I think you will find me today both heartening and disappointing. This is a joke but it is not really one at all, is there a word to describe such moments? I will add it to my list of many, by the side of Wank and the term Colloquial Meaning, that being the phrase which I learned when I asked the meaning of Wank. I need not explain why that quickly became an awrkward conversation.
Map this for me. Hierarchies, ideals and values, all of it. I want to see yours.

- Ariane

Colloquial is a terrible word. Why is it so bloated with rounds? The only thing worse is commas.

Off course there is far worse than either or even both.

Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:26 am


I have so many commas. Let me return to that in a moment.

We used to do this every day. Every day. For hours sometimes. For a span no less than a few years. Here we are now so far apart. There is no certainty. I do not know if a letter will reach you. I do not know if it will return. Whatever luxury I have with Gloria here in Razasan seems like an endless bounty compared to this. We have years? Probably. You are hard to kill. Do you age as a normal person does? Do I? We've both experienced fell rituals and transformative power.

I wrote to Cinnabar about magic. He didn't disagree with me. He also didn't respond to my response. You are not him.

It's strange. You know how hard I fought for it. I did not take it for granted. I did not take its importance for granted. I did not take its value for granted. I did not take the potential for it to suddenly end at any moment for granted. There is no word for what I am trying to express. I knew full well what it was and how fleeting it may be. It is behind us. It feels like I took it for granted. I know that I did not. Resignation would be too kind a word.

Now I used up all the space I had for commas on anything but. A comma is a turn upon the path. A period is a stop. There is finality to a period (my first comma is here:), not the same sort as a paragraph break, but enough. I am ever unsatisfied with my thoughts, ever unsatisfied with an argument. I never want to give it up and move on. I joust with ideas (and ideals) of ten years ago. That is what we do as humans, if we're doing it right at least. You do it better than I, just with less commas.

Semantics, then. Your definition of ideals are too small. You've painted a picture of why. Bromn's lofty ideals are not the same as what you placed there. No one's, from Cinnabar's to Zayken's to Renne's to (I tried to balance this with the name of a female and could not. This is something of a horrifying notion; what Rhaena had at the end was, at best, a cruel parody of an ideal). It needs to be something more.

If wielding a wicked thing's remnant heart like a weapon against is substance is wrong, then what is right? Don't you see? The ideal there is to defeat the wicked thing. The value is not wielding its heart as a weapon. It's part of the boundary, not the goal. It's the same with the redemption but, I think, but that's murkier. Is the opportunity for redemption enough? In that case, maybe.

Maybe we should simplify things. You know my goal. You know my ideals. You know what I still believe even after this time. This is the only part of the letter which flows with easy (the beginning, with no commas, was like carrying a bucket of water up an icy road while being bitten by small toothy children):

Living is not enough. Surviving is not enough. Life is not fair. We die. We suffer. We do not have those things which are necessary for our very sustained existence. We spend all of our life trying to secure them. Even then, there are powers in this world greater than us who may toy with us or victimize us or crush us due to a whim or simple nature. Nature itself is our enemy, both ours in that we will die and in the weather that might strike us down or wither our crops at any moment. As such, we can never find bearing. We can never stop and try to grow in any way except for strength and durability, in toughness and resolve. We cannot learn more about the world around us, not in a lasting way. We cannot learn more about ourselves, except for those things that help us live and survive. There is nothing more because we can seek out nothing more and because we can retain nothing more. Those things that are not immediately useful in the act of survival do not last over generations. If they do, it is as ritual, not a true examination of the world, but a superstitious one that we hope will help us survive. My ideal is to push back against that.

My values, as you've stated them, are to do so while stressing the individuality and freedom of those involved, to provide opportunities over generations to be secure enough to grow in other ways (see, this in and of itself is the same level as your ideal; for me under your defining scheme, it is a value), to use education instead of enforcement, to explore the relative tendencies of our short lives as strengths not just in survival but in growth as well. And so on.

What do you want for your life, for the lives of those you care about,for the future of yourself, those people, this world, those who come after us other than just survival? You'd guard what's precious to you, but to what end? What's the point of something being preserved or safeguarded if it exists simply to be preserved or hoarded?

Is it better to be disappointed and heartened by me, or simply outright aggravated?

I am trying to work out those values to my ideal (remembering that your ideals are at the level of my values) because I do not believe . No. Stop. "Do not believe" is wrong. I cannot believe that any loss is acceptable in order to achieve my goal. I can accept that losses will happen despite my best attempts to prevent them, but I cannot budget for them as something that will have to happen along the way. I know that I can not. I do not know whether I would or would not. Until I am sure, I am here, trying to make myself sure.


Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:34 am

Glenn Burnie

My left eye is seventeen years younger than the rest off me. Much of the right leg and it's hip is nineteen years younger, the coller bone and some of
the neck, several pieces of the chest and an arm and most of an ankle are two and twenty years younger. This is the way of Coran's healing, abolishing
the old and replacing it with newborn and untouched. In this manner my skin is a tool which records what years Myrken was at it's worst and The Order
at it's height. An unintended benefit I think, I include it because it amuses me very much. Regardless, all these pieces of me age as any other human
person would I think. Would I know if they did not? Do you?

    Glenn. If I thought you took it for granted I would haf put an end to it. Hell with promises and things owed.
    I know. I knew. And I did too.

    I hate letters. Did you know that? Letters are when a person who matters wishes to be anywhere but near you. I haf boxes filled with them.
    This is different. This is Instead Of Finality. I do not in my heart accept endings unless I haf insisted on them my self. I always want more off what is
    precious to me, people moments all off it. There is no going back. There is no same again. I know this. I bow to fact but without assent.

    But I smile now, because you haf convinced me somewhat on the value of commas.

      No ---- the ideal is not to defeat the wicked thing. The ideal is to solve the problem in a way that maximizes goodness and minimizes harm.
      This is what allows for such values, yes I suspect it is just as you say, such values such boundaries as opportunity and a prohibition against cruelty,
      also such tests and consiquences, an opportunity for redemption being also an opportunity for rebuffal and in either eventtuality you may now refine
      your definition of Solve.

      What I want

      What I want is to enable. You know most of this I think, and I suspect disagree with much off it. Nevertheless -- I want this. Life is not fair. Good people,
      useful people, people who's ideals and values at every level seem precious to me die. They suffer. They do not have those things which are necessary
      for their very sustained existence. They spend all of their lives trying to secure them.

      This disgusts me. The waste. Off focus which could be fixed upon better and more purposefull things than mere survival. Off time and effort and strength
      of will and heart. I haf watched good people die to sorrow and grief and exhaustion because survival cost so much that there was nothing left with which
      to reach for those things they valued most. Because they considered their selves alone in their ideals and in the desire to pursue any thing and enormity
      terrified and defeated them.I haf hated them for that weakness but I would sooner haf seen them recieve the more that they needed than despise them
      for the needing it. But most of everything time, Glenn Burnie a single man will recieve so little time even if survival is not in question disaster does not
      interveene, even if all that fells him eventualy is age. What waste should he spend that small measure of time on simplisity when he is capable of creating
      genuinne benefit, every thing you haf described here

      Do you see? I want to enable. I want to make possible those very large ideals. You should not believe that any loss is acceptable in order to achieve your
      goals. I would not support them were it otherwise, not yours or anyones. This is a definitive. What I (value ideal whathaveyou) is a way forward which does
      not by it's nature necessitate the sacrifice off others.

      Is earnestness a value or an ideal by your way of reckoning it?

      It is good to be heartened by you. It is good to be aggravated by you. It is good to be proud off you although perhaps that is also condisending. It is not good
      to be disappointed but disappointment would itself be heartening do you see? You are you. You are your self. There is no Finality.

      I am learning fairy princesses.

      - Ariane

      Bromn. Lofty. I know that this is figurative speech. Did you know that he lived in a cave? I spent two weeks in his Myrkentown room when I was damaged
      and he brought me there rather than to the Rememdium. Every window curtained few candles everywhere incense. Small and smuthering. The man with
      lofty ideals chose this cave. Is this not illistrative.

      You asked me a question that no one ever has, save for your former assassin. His purpose off course was self serving and therefore I should not haff given
      him an answer but still I find it interesting now. I think off opposing points upon a compass.

      Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

      Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:26 am


      This is quite the world we live in. I wonder, though, do other people, as in people other than me, receive letters that begin with the sentence "My left eye is seventeen years younger than the rest off me." In this case, I am fortunate to have yours. To answer your questions: you do not know; I would not know. Neither of us should likely trust anyone who says they do know. I'm not going to list the state of my body. Whatever advantages I may have previously possessed seem to have been offset by Golben and Rhaena's death. For my age, I am more old than I am young. It used to be the opposite. I am still capable of bursts of exertion, of course. It's the prolonging which gets me.

      Letters are my connection to the world. I can have a conversation when I must but more likely, it is this. There is no going back but there is going forward and I wonder what that looks like for you. I have some sense what it looks like for me. That I do not not for you troubles me, even though it is not (wholly) my place. I would like to be with you, but then you are likely north and I am very much south and it is winter, so perhaps I would like you to be with me. Your voice is clear in your letters, but then your voice was only ever half of how you communicated. There is a sense of that still, however, but I fear to explain it would make you too aware. I will, however, if you truly want me to. My voice is one of commas, apparently.

      You are correct. It is not to defeat the wicked thing. Were the situation real, I would have gotten there eventually. I basically did ten years ago. Basically. Have we then solved the ancient question of morality? If so, we could write a book and sell many copies (or few copies to few people of much wealth). It's never so easy in practice. Morality, not writing a book. For you, it may be. Why is what is so obvious and unspoken for you so much harder for the rest of us?

      Enabling is much what I want to do as well, just on a different scale. There needs to be stability, safety, the meeting of basic needs for people to truly create, to grow, to learn, to thrive. For the world to change and for humanity to come into its own, this much happen over a span of time, generations either. What is this except for enabling on a grand scale? Is this the sort of art you'd protect me to craft? I don't have enough time and still I squander it here, but I need to get it right, for last time I got it very, very wrong. To build on a something I said two letters ago: the fairy princess makes much (twice, when I explained it away the first time) of the fact that life has gone on in Myrken without me. I did not save it. I did not destroy it. What my failure (and it was such, no matter the odds against me or how much worse it could have been or the intentions of other fool governors) did was to bar more tightly doors I had tried to pry and hold open. Their hearts are all the more closed because of me. Life is short. Time is limited. I may only get one more chance to begin to do all must be done. There's no room for getting it wrong again.

      Leaving Bromn aside, for you give him more credit than I in the selection of a cave, though again, I never knew him as you did, and let us leave Giuseppe aside as well, though I have learned things of his past here. Passing fancies. Let us look at the question and look at you and look at me.

      1. Do people ask that question to one another often? Ever? Do casual acquaintances? Do close friends?
      2. Do people ask that question to people other than you? If so, why not you?
      3. Why is it that it took this long, this path, and this line of reasoning for me to ask it of you?

      There must be some interesting truth in there somewhere.


      Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

      Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:49 pm

      Glenn Burnie

      I am not north. There is no winter here.

      What would you do with your days, if you could choose without restriction. Letters conversations a connection to the world whether by voice or ink, you would do these things off course. Perhaps a wholly bureaucratic task (not politics as such). Enabling on a grand scale off c

      No. Ignore that. The true question: are you more than the purpose? does it interest you to be? are there small things simple things which please. ought there be?

      You are a sort of government

      What is the word for the thing which you intend to be?

      Morality is easy for me --- in practise --- because I am a hypocrite with few and very particular responsibilities. I haf never governed and never will. As for my time at Council the responsibilities which you set me to were few and very particular, and two voices stood ready to over rule a third's hypocrasies. What you are and what you intend to be, regardless it's name is larger in responsibility and scope across every line of measurement I think. How much easier for me to say I would burn this city to save what I cherish or I would murder what I cherish to spare every thing else. My responsibility is so small --- this one person this few people this single problem, all small things. Recall off course some of Myrken once thought I would k

      Today I enable a single person to live through the night and wake in the morning and tomorow I shall do the same. I do no thing more than that until I haf thought on some things, but this too is all very small. A better and larger reply: Yes, I think that some person ought to protect you to craft that art.

        1. Is this question rhetorical?

        But you know off such people as I haf known, friends and acquaintances both, casual and more than. What cruelty to ask the man at arms what he wants for his life as he watches the cavalry raise their banners across the way. He measures his life in moments, a very few off them. He might kill you for asking that question, he ought to. What stupidity to ask the starving man, he wants for food and he tries not to imagine more than a mouth full of it, through the windows off other homes he has seen tables piled with plenty so perhaps what he wants for his life is a stone to break a window and the courage with which to thieve. Take a man from the street and ask him What do you want for your life? and he will answer these two ways, All the things that I need and All the things that I cannot haf. Ask a politician of Rasazan and he

        Do you ever ask this thing of casual Rasazan acquaintances?

        2. Glenn Burnie no one would ask such things off me because I discourage questions of exactly that sort. Perhaps close friends speak this way back and forth. I wo Is this question rhetorical?

        3. I demanded discretion and discouraged questions off exactly this sort. As for path and reason and timing ---- would I know? could I say with any acuracy? You anticipated a respons which would suport and inform your present perspektive. You explain by asking. You teach with questions. You wanted to be known. You search for a solution which elludes, not knowing a question which will bring you nearer it you ask a question which is adjacent on the chance it might produce some thing of use. The risk of asking in the way I had discouraged was negligible at last, no at this point and in this regard there was no risk, no thing at all to lose. One off these things or all. Perhaps none.

        - Ariane

        Do not explain it. I know how I seem.

        Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

        Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:39 am


        I explain by asking. You tell me not to explain. You tell me not to ask. Noted.

        I do not actually know where you are. The letters are sent through a blind exchange. Through need and the weight of our respective mortality and the corollary notion that time is ultimately limited, I did not respect your distance, but I am, at least, discreet about it. I am glad that you are not cold. You've had enough of that for a lifetime.

        As I write this, I have little interest in being more than the purpose. I do not think this to be cowardice. I could well be wrong. I think it instead a failure of imagination. Of course, your questions guide me elsewhere. There are other small and simple things which please. There are no large ones that I can imagine pleasing. Very recently, I have reached out to Agnieszka. This was not easy. There is no discretion between she and I so I see no qualm in speaking openly about this. She claims a sort of purpose with her child that outshines all purpose she had before, including when she ceded her very being to some power here in Razasan. I think this to be relative self-delusion.

        Our goals are not dissimilar, you and I. Our ideals? Ultimately, we believe the same thing. It's just that the scale is different. You would give a person the safety to create. I would give people the safety to appreciate.

        You underestimate your influence. That you so successfully avoided the yolk of formal responsibility simply provided you more freedom to be efficient and effective.

        1. To ask is to invest. To ask is to give of yourself. So few in Myrken asked anything. That was my potency. If it is cruel to ask the man-at-arms what he wants, then it is equally cruel for both the man-at-arms and for yourself. I do not ask casual Rasazani acquaintances. I have, however, asked others the same question recently, though the path to it was very different.

        2. I imagine I have done you a disservice over the years. For all the trouble I provided, almost the entirety of our interaction was under your terms. Even now. See the beginning of this letter.

        3. See, I suppose, the point above. Were your eyes open to this or were we, upon mutual agreement, mutually blind? I wonder if you allowed this affectation because it suited you, yes, but also because it allowed you to protect me. There was investment, but along your terms. I gave only what you allowed and as such, the fires of creation were stoked as

        Perhaps this takes it too far. Too much. Too sudden. In the face of too much distance.

        In my own way, I am further invested now. Considering the distance, consider it a small, simple thing that pleases. Or if that does not suffice, consider it a large one that contradicts my own feelings about myself.


        Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

        Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:24 pm

        Glenn Burnie

        'Siris is paid exceedingly well because she must endure me. When I was very slow with turning written into read she resited entire letters to me ----- never government business but everything else, and always government business during urgencies when no one had time to wait for a stubborn brute to deceifer words and punctuatings. Far more frequently she would write for me as I am sure you know well, and not always because haste mattered but because it was important in those instances that I appear to be something I am not. Specificly an unlettered brute too stubborn to reckon with words and punctuatings.

        You say that my writing speaks with a voice you are reluctant to explain, and I tell you please do not breach that reluctense. There is no need. I know how I seem. But Glenn. 'Siris for government, 'Siris for petitions, 'Siris for public notices pinned upon town walls, 'Siris when I served on your Council, 'Siris for this now too if I wanted it. I do not. I haf not. I know how I seem. In this I do not want to appear something I am not

        Ask. Explain. In general and otherwise and always. Do you see? I am distant for several reasons and you are not one off them. I always want to understand, even and especially when I think I do not like or think that I quite dread it. I am often mistaken. I am also off two minds, for I feel that caution in conversation is my enemy I feel that I haf no patience left for the practise at all, I feel that it impeeds. I also suspect that this feeling is dangerous and deeply iresponsible. Today you convinse me off the first tomorrow I will convinse myself off the second, and so it goes.

          You say that to ask such a question as that is to invest. I say that to answer such a question is to skech out the first lines of a map the outlines of a blue print.
          You give off your self by asking and ---- does it seem to you therefore that answering must be a pleasure? I give off myself by answering and were it anyone else but you I might think therefore that the question feels like a confessor's demand.

          Look at this. Two fundamentaly different approaches two perspectives towards a thing commonly agreed to be so very simple and ordinary. It interests me, it also frightens me, it is also most off all in these moments in my way so now you haf been given all these words and words in some hope of explaining a thing which is not simple or ordinary at all, whatever people might say, because I do not want a problem here and you haf had difficulty more than enough already and I will not allow room for mis understanding between us.

          But it does interest me. It is a sort off Belief ---- in that it is an idea, a thought, whathaveyou, from which is born practical outcomes and consequences.
          I suspect people do this often. And I intend no slight in saying this, it is simply

          Two different understandings off a single moment or exchange or word. Unrealised. What comes of this, conversation negotiation treaty declaration, all founded upon disparate perspectives. Armed with misunderstanding, every word takes them further towards different destinations and all off them absolutely unaware that this is happening until they are suddenly and drasticaly at odds.

            It was not a disservice. I am not convinced off that at all and only because I was trapped but I was not forced.
            I felt cornered. It was not unbearable. Later it felt dangerous. It was worth the danger, which was sometimes I think very real and sometimes only imagened and sometimes very [but I do not know what word should be here]. Sometimes I felt that it was dangerous to you and I managed those times as best I could, some times with success and some times compounding it in to some thing worse, for which I haf always been very sorry. It did allow me to protect you in some measure, never as much as I

            Almost the entirety of this was under my terms, or I think you might say constrained by my terms. But Glenn were it otherwise I would haf stopped it all. It would never haf been. This would not be. I do not see a disservice. I see very deft navigation of an uncompromising circumstance. I see great effort and did then and knowing that, you understand I hope something of why at times it felt dangerous, towards me and very much towards you. Those terms, those if you prefer constraints, broadened. Against my will some times, on other ocasions without my realising it and with increasing frequency because I wanted it to be so. This is no contradiction and hells with how semantics might wish to differ.

            stoked as
            Continue it if you're willing. This is asking.

              - Ariane

              Protect. I am very afraid off writing that. It has been my experiance that many people do not like to know such a thing as would or do or mean or meant to protect. It belittles it makes them to feel small. It should not, that is not my thought or my heart at all and yet. I think that for you that between us at least it is not this way at all, but still I feel a particular risk writing it.

              There is no winter here. There is only raining and not. I do not actually know where I am though if we were to assend very high indeed I wwould make out shape enough to find it upon someone's map. I haf not asked it's name. It is very quiet in a Myrken sort of sense, which is to say that no thing threatens it and it persists in a sort of peace that seems impossible to me, except that I haf spent most off a year here witnessing it. I would like you to be here except that I wonder iff it would make you to feel so restless with it's quiet, and I wonder iff you would feel ill at ease in such a place as I often do.

              Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

              Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:50 am


              You may imagine, if only briefly please, my thought process ^it is here that "protect" comes into play. I will not explain it, merely the conclusion I reached: the truth of it is that we have infrequently written to one another. It is a basic, simple truth. Official business. Desperation or urgency. Rarely if I meant to avoid you and seize some sort of advantage (wholly in the name of avoidance). This is a difficult notion for me, as I have very little communication of meaning with anyone outside of letters currently. For much of my correspondences, it is writing new pages in an old book. For us, it is a shift between verbal storytelling and recorded prose. There are still many details I can take for granted. You have convinced me, though. I need no filter. I can filter. I am trained for it, after all.

              Avoiding misunderstanding is a very important part of my life right now. Sometimes it leads me in circles, recalling themes again and again. I know total understanding in a way that very few else in this world will ever know, that I will never know again. I also know it's severe opposite. Even and especially in letters. We will make all the effort you need. If you do not understand, feel no shame in asking. If I do not understand, I will feel no shame, guilt, or self-recrimination in asking. If you tell me that no answer is possible, I will respect that to the best of my ability as best as I am able. There is Belief and there is Truth and it is well possible that we craft an agreed upon Truth through compromising upon Belief. Some of this is through definition and classification. It is at the heart of communication. We need a shared language. We need shared truths. There are undeniable, universal stimuli, but how we understand them, that is the true utility of Truth.

              I am willing to We will continue. I understand much of how we reached this point and the opportunity that our current vantage provides relative to necessary constraints of the past. This leads to a certain boldness. It leads to certain questions. My next one would be this.

              What do you need?


              Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

              Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:40 pm

              Glenn Burnie

              I suspect it would be this way even if no thing of note at all had ocured between the Now and the Before, if no time had passed at all and we were simply obliged to writing things for some very trivial reason. I do wonder at that. I haf no certainty. But here is the thing, that in our mornings together you would sometimes ask a particular sort of question, and then sometimes I would check it before I gave it an answer. It would only be a word ---- explain, clarify, rhetorical? And now I think that Sometimes is not the right word, for no, we did this often. And there were a dozen ways to make it clear that the check served your question, it was simple to describe clearly that I questioned not your motif but whether you were interested in knowing the answer itself or in inspiering the realisation.

              That is not possible now. Every thing takes twice as long if I begin to send you a single page which reads for instance But Why? So here, a clumsy solution ---- a second page that is only the answer to this thing you haf asked. Read it if the answer interested you, discard it if you asked in order to explain. I can Believe that a singularly bold question requires great investment from the one asking. This more than warrants an answer, and in the same moment I want neither to waste your time on the trivial or give you some more a thing you would sooner avoid.

              Off course this does nothing to solve any thing else, most particularly the problem that you are conversing with a sort of cripple. And here I thought to say something about dueling a one armed fencer but then it would seem that I see conversation as combative.

                I wonder at the line which separates Want from Need. I haf always seen Need as purely practical ---- in order not to die I need this minimem off water food clothing and warmth. In order to perform well I need these same things, the difference being in quantity and also I think quality ---- every thing the same, but better and more off it. In order to be comfortable, there must be more yet and so on

                But this is a dangerous point. Do you think so? This point at which Want masquerades as Need. I do not need to be comfortable. It follows that I do not need any thing that I would list as a necessary only for comfort. I do not need to act in a manner which I consider ethical ---- but this is an old and familiar piece of conversation I think. Some off the most terrible people I haf known worked at this question backwards ---- the price paid for a want was so severe that it must haf been a necessity all along, and it followed then that every horror committed to satisfy that need was a necessity itself. Now all things are permitted and law is a luxury reserved only for those whose need is not so great.

                  Can you explain this matter of Agnieszka's new found purpose? I wonder at it. When you first set me at your militia's head, my thought was to accept only those volonteers who were unwed or widowed, and in either case without children. I was cautious of a man's need to protect his family at Myrken's expense. Most of all I would not position him to choose between a people and his own child.

                  - Ariane

                  Add: There was a thing washed upon the shore. It confused, it also rather frightened. I should not haf interfered, but they asked because I am from Elsewhere and so was this, and I could not simply say No, I do not care. In any case no harm came off it, but though I cannot apologise for the choice I very much regret the absence.

                  Another: Your guard once asked me a question somewhat like this one. But he was dying and hoped not to, and it was simply a means to that end. I know there is no similarity.

                  Re: Hypothetically ("An additional Lapse")

                  Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:06 pm

                    . I need the freedom to choose my own allegiances. Else I would presently be serving in someone elses military and finding real satisfaction in it.

                    . I need to guard what is precious to me. As you know, I seldom succeed, so consider that iff you will in terms of Want and Need and what each means to a person.

                    . There is a line I will not cross. There are matters that I will not permit. You know this. You understand that I need this like I need breath.

                    . I need to reconsider my convictions.

                    . I need to know my self. I did and then I killed that, and then I did and now this has happened, and it feels like starting over though it is not that at all. Some thing eludes.

                    . I need to understand, to really know, what hides and works behind every thing else. There are no good words for this, there is just

                    . I need to do what is best for you.

                    . I need to be of use.

                    . But before that ---- haf you seen a child's spinning top? every thing it encounters sends it flexing in new directions. I need to not be that.

                      . I need to get a man into a fight so that he might decide if he still likes to live.

                      . I think I probably need to visit Genevieve.

                    Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

                    Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:46 am

                    Dear Ariane,

                    Your letter arrives, as it generally does, exactly when it ought to.

                    I do, of course, believe to a reasonable degree in the notions of fate and destiny. You and I have seen powerful beings and while often times it is mere boasting when they speak of grandiose plans, occasionally it is not. That we are pressed down upon by great powers at times (and only at times) is an unavoidable realization. We could deny it but to do so would be to stumble about with blind eyes. Better to identify it and resist it when possible, while never using it (as we ought never to use anything) as an outright excuse. I have many things I could use as excuses. That would not suit. Some days all I have left is the ability to take account for my own mistakes. It's certainly the only credibility I have left, no matter the more favorable accounts you might honestly enough cobble together for me (and for which I am grateful).

                    More than that, I believe in causality and circumstance. I do not believe in random occurrence. That is not the same as thing all things are set; instead, all things are likely or they are not. If you flip a coin a hundred times, a thousand, you can note the times it lands heads or tails and thus be able to make a rational guess on what might happen. More than that, you can note the weight of the coin, the way you throw it, if it matters whether it begins in one state or another, the wind, if fatigue prevents throws from being equal. Save for Agnieszka's tendency to overturn chessboards, the only true control we have over our world is through this observation and recording, through this analysis and appropriate, educated action. We predict for the most likely eventuality but also prepare for reasonable others. That can be true with coins, with the supernatural, with the human heart.

                    Given the incredible variance to be expected due to the distance between us, the weather, fallible messengers, bandits and instability, and even the fact we have so few points of information to organize (it has only been a few letters), plus our own haste or reticence in replying (or merely difficulty in getting the words correct), it becomes almost impossible to predict when the next letter will arrive. That, more than anything else, makes it remarkable that your letter arrived to me at the exact, ideal time. Perhaps, given my last few months and my life since you first met me, whenever it arrived could be expected to be the ideal time, but I assure you that's not the case.

                    Know this: with you, no question is solely rhetorical for I always value and find worth in your answers. Your so-named clumsy solution is the sort of trusting and self-confident (even more so than humble) gesture that likely might have prevented a hundred wars over the centuries if all had chosen to adopt it.

                    I spent years backwards. I work very hard to not be now. Purpose and value above all else. I wonder if there should be more of a balance to it than that though. I still find myself needing abstract things. More on this at the end, which will come soon.

                    I can speak little of Agnieszka except for I am glad her child has dozens (this an unreliable figure) of aunts and uncles. I am glad I have no child at all. Were you to have a child currently, it would grow up to have many questions and few answers, and thus would grow up to be better off than most people.

                    I will not word this well. First, an aside, perhaps a delaying tactic: is it strange how many sentences I begin with the word I? How many paragraphs? I wonder if I use the word word "I" far more than I use "you." Is the fact our letters are sparring an unadmittable blessing for you? It's a fairer question than you'd allow me. Regardless, I'm likely not going to stop.

                    Fine, then: I find it striking, Ariane Emory, as we are two very different people with moderately different pasts, who share deep regard for one another even, occasionally, to the detriment of ourselves, that our needs are so similar.

                    I would say autonomy instead of freedom. I would make what I must guard more abstract (there is that word again, but no other suffices), but only because I have lost so much of the obvious. I have my lines and my limits, though they are not what they once were. I have spent years reconsidering a great many things. After these years hidden away thinking, I now understand that I need to know my feelings as well. This is difficult and I am just beginning. I need to know, even more than you do with your emphasis and your underline, the workings of every single thing: currently glamourie most of all, but also how much we are shaped by who we are as opposed to what we are. As for what is best for me and you, let us end with that. Of use, you say? I would phrase it differently, for we are different people. For you, it is utility. For me, it is meaning. What I do must matter. I have seen a top, though not as a child. It has been years since I've spun at all. Now I spin again and I feel that I shall land once more in Myrken. May I inquire who the man is? I need to visit Genevieve as well. I can hardly picture the two of you speaking. I hope that you beat me there.

                    You and I.

                    We walk on thin ice, carefully. I think that what is best for us is to stop this. The ice will hold so long as we walk together and not apart.


                    Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

                    Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:55 am

                    Glenn Burnie

                    When we last spoke off this, purpose contented you well enough you were not moved to look beyond purpose.
                    That troubled me. Not the thing itself, but the disinterest and the stagnation. Think off every thing I haf known off you and all I haf known you to be. Think off those traits which you had always felt differrentiated you from most people we haf known. Disinterest could not be more at odds with any of it.

                    As to abstract things, I think that almost every person that I haf truly valued has in some way told me this: that a person must be more than his purpose, his utility, else he is a stunted thing that merely exists and acts and does not truly live at all. Johan called it a living death. At the time I cared for very little beyond not-dying, and so you can imagine for yourself how I laughed and how that upset him. But though he misunderstood what it is, he was not wrong in saying that a person must haf more. I was glad then to read all off this. And I wonder at the intervening months, that during their time you haf been moved to look further. More on this at the end.

                    What is glamourie? Neither we know this word, except that it sounds to me somewhat like the one Cinnabar once spoke when we examined the many deaths of Thadius Dhrin: glamer, by which he meant magical illusion or some such trickery. Syl has said something I do not entirely understand, which is mostly the consequence of two swift blows to the face (as I said, a fight) and somewhat because he is he and I am I and sometimes I do not understand until a thing is explained three different ways. You are familiar. But what he said is that at first he misheard the word entirely and was put in mind of an amusing poem he recalled from his childhood, the essence of which is some boy who at school each day studies his grammar, and by his grandparent's knee each night learns gramarye. Which is no thing at all like grammar and words and such but instead describes a sort of enchantment that makes profound a thing's most essential properties. Perhaps. It is entirely possible that he has said this only in jest, that perhaps it is just puns. What ever the case I would like to know off glamourie.

                    And many other things, and there is so much more that I would say but I mean this to reach you in all haste and so now it must have it's end and it is this ----

                    Here is a different sort of variance: so many different people across the span of so many years haf written letters for my eyes, ordinarily for utility and ocassionally from preference (theirs), but in all that time and amongst all that paper only two people haf ever adressed their piece to me with "Dear". The one was a barister, for whom formality was reflexive. The other was hoping to curry favour with the Lady I'd become, for which purpose formality was essential.

                    I know that this is not another exercise in formality. But if it is not that, then ---- ?

                    I feel that I sully something by making a question off this.
                    That is not what I want to do. Understand that. What I would like to do is read your letter a third time with the same eyes and ease with which I read it the first, because it was not difficult that time to swallow my surprise and read ever onwards. How glad you seemed, but glad is not even the word for it. Joyous. Spinning, and not as I'd meant the word, but reaching and moving and with vigour. Not merely pleased but fullfilled, and bright as if you were set afire from within.
                    But you know how carefully I examine things that I immediately and thoughtlessly want. You know how cautious I am when there is a thing which I like very much.

                    I think that causality as Syl describes it is a horror, but that causality as you describe it is plain fact.
                    I think that coincidence is not a thing which exists and I am suspicious whenever anyone invokes it.
                    I don't want to question. It's an ugly question.
                    I want to Believe.

                    But Glenn, you know that I never could.

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