Page 1 of 1

Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:50 am
by Glenn
Ariane,

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.

Glenn

Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:15 pm
by Carnath-Emory

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.
-Ariane

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

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

Another:
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")

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:13 am
by Glenn
Ariane,

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.

Glenn

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")

PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:11 pm
by Carnath-Emory

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

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

No:
Off course there is far worse than either or even both.


Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:26 am
by Glenn
Ariane,

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.

Glenn

Re: Hypothetically ("A Lapse")

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:34 am
by Carnath-Emory

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

      Add:
      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.

      Another:
      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")

      PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:26 am
      by Glenn
      Ariane,

      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.

      Glenn