Words Without Purpose

Words Without Purpose

Postby Glenn » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:46 am

Genevieve,

To begin, an admission. This is my second attempt at this letter. I note this first because it is a rare occurrence and second because I think it shall help me ensure that no third attempt is necessary. Letters come naturally to me. I sit down and the words simply emerge. I know what must be said and it is simply a matter of recording it. I am aware that this is abnormal but I have never been any other way, not for many years at least. There are dozens of letters simply lost on any given day because I am not in a position to jot them down. The moment passes and something else instead takes priority. You could question their importance then, but if the effort is only in the recording and the cost of courier, it is not a high bar to clear. For instance, only yesterday did I write a letter to old Aloisius (though it was not intended for him at all but instead to prove a point or to stay a blade from my throat). It came naturally. I half regret it'll never reach him, though it would not have mattered. I could bombard him with a thousand words and nary a one would make it through the layers of girth between his skin and his mind. Still, exercises in futility are exercises nonetheless and as such can strengthen one through proper and disciplined repetition.

So then, why two attempts? I think it was an unclear purpose. Cross-purposes, perhaps? My primary goal in this letter is to simply inquire about you. Your health, your well-being, your feelings even. There is no underlying philosophical question. No plotting or planning. A notice or warning, depending on your inclination, that I may be returning to Myrken come the thaw. I will be. No may. Will. While there is work to be done, I intend to take no position of power. I would hope that, as a friend, you would help prevent such power coming to me inadvertently. That chapter of my life is over. If I am going to disrupt and improve, it will be wholly as a civilian and citizen.

I look forward to seeing you when I return. I think we both ultimately wanted the same thing for Myrken. I think now, on the other side of it, we have many of the main concerns still. There are few people remaining that may share my beliefs and concerns, even partially. Someone like Gloria has emerged diametrically opposed to me. My other company, as of late, have been more out of mythology than anything else. Their interests are are wholly separate from humanity's, save where I can show some potential common ground.

I hope to hear that life has become dull, mundane. I hope to hear that even if there are dangers, they are mundane ones, wolves, a bad harvest, brigands.

I fear otherwise, though. With you especially. If that is the case, please tell me. I would assist how I can, even if it is only to listen and discuss.

Glenn
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Re: Words Without Purpose

Postby Tolleson » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:06 pm

Glenn,

Regarding your admission, I have occasionally considered that you think so much about the act of writing that it must consume every minute; such that if you are not writing, you are thinking of writing. Perhaps you even dream in letters? You muse about the importance and propose that because your words are abundant, the demand or interest in the quantity of letters diminishes. This may be true in the market where the competing sale of poultry or legumes are concerned, but not so of letters. I appreciate your consideration for clarity, but know that I also enjoy the philosophical ponderings, reflection, and unimportant articles we have, although rarely, penned in our correspondence. Whether we meander through paragraphs or slice to the heart of issues, know I am delighted to hear from you and am sorry I have not written for so many months.

Proving a point seems a natural inclination for you, especially given the nature of our dear Lord Steward. However, staying a blade is a curiously specific example. Elaboration my be in order else I am inclined to request a dispatch for your safety. In letters, as most things, proper and disciplined repetition is well and good, but if your partner or opponent never changes it is not improvement or intelligence you are cultivating, but monotonous conditioning.

To your primary purpose, I preface my reply by noting that it is not with suspicion regarding your motivations, but rather my own curious nature, that I wonder what has prompted such a sentimental inquiry of my well-being. I beg that you not mistake my curiosity as an affront; quite the contrary, your asking shows a kindness and friendship which I have long felt was between us. Yet, while I have never felt your correspondence unkind, our topics have rarely been a matter of mere amicable banter; purpose has always driven the post.

And to your inquiry, I am well enough. Bruised from from attempts to learn the sword, though if you could see my endeavors -- to call it sparring would be entirely too generous. To that end, you may be interested to learn, or may have heard already knowing your penchant for being informed, that Ariane may return to assist me. It will be a welcome addition to a motley company. During the last year I have taken a larger residence, shared with Walter, the architect I have commissioned for the Meeting House renovation and Daryl, whom you might recall was a messenger retained by the Inquisitory. My feelings are a matter of some complexity, but know that I am happy, especially so now that I know of your intended return. I hope you will stay a while, and not merely because I find the prospect of visiting Razasan with it’s crowded streets and haughty expectations utterly exhausting.

Given the reception of your last appeal in power and my own naive assumption that others shared a willingness to forgive you, rest assured that I will do everything I can to keep power from you. And arrest it should you manage to find it regardless. As it happens, I may have an opportunity well-suited to a disruptive civilian. There is not much I can share yet, the relevant tasks are half-formed and the shape of it will surely benefit from an exchange of ideas. But it may offer a means for us to build prosperity in Myrken and bring to fruition the things we still want. Let us revisit this when next we meet, perhaps over dinner.

It does not surprise me to see Gloria’s name penned in your letter, nor that she opposes you. As an art, she has mastered being unapologetically stubborn. That said, I am curious on which issues she might oppose you; despite that she pursues her own sense of morality with absolute reckless abandon, I have always found her relatively amicable to reason. Relatively. Though my recent encounter with her was troubling, I blame this more on the circumstance of our meeting outside of corporeal form.

Regarding this mention of your other company, what you have written is entirely too cryptic to go without elaboration. Have you discovered a knoll of enchanted speaking animals or the long, lost kingdom of giants?

As I close let me thank you for your well-meaning wishes of mundanity. I might say the same but somehow I think it unkind to wish it upon you. I imagine you languish without challenge and easily grow tired of predictable things. Rest your fears, all is well here; there was even a fair crop.

Genevieve

Post Script: Please forgive any swordplay metaphors, although the benefit to my form is negligible, of late I have enjoyed reading several volumes on the topic and it has clearly influenced my state of mind more than intended.
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Re: Words Without Purpose

Postby Glenn » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:50 am

Genevieve,

For many years, I did not dream at all. This was due to a combination of factors, but most prevalently due to lines I crossed in tampering. I had good reasons and good enough intentions, but I acted without full understanding. Recently, I've discovered a way to restore my dreams once again. Unfortunately, other such restoration has made them thoroughly unpleasant. I tell you this in the name of openness, a name I invoke to offset having kept you in the dark for so long. Perhaps I should weigh these things more carefully, but that would trample upon the point of the exercise. Of course, that brings the point itself into question. Is transparency its own goal or should I be more focused upon the absolute outcome? If I lean towards the latter, you'll never get a complete truth out of me. Thus, I'll put you at some risk (even if only the risk of disappointment or anguish) and potentially and assume you much prefer it this way.

Except for I do not offer you a full openness, only upon the topics you or I select. It is an important distinction.

A fine first paragraph that promises full details but provides very few specifics and then a second paragraph, just a sentence really, that tempers it all. You asked a direct question and I'll give you the start of the answer. I will provide openness, Genevieve, but perhaps not immediacy. Openness, in the form of letters, is a process. Due to certain experiments and interactions along the lines of the restoration of dreams (though some far more accidental), I've recovered some of the memories of the summer I was lost in Golben, when it all fell apart. As such, I have a better understanding of some of what you went through during that time. Obviously, what I have recalled was alarming enough that I had concern. Thus, I have reached out to you casting a wide net yet hoping to catch nothing at all.

I find it unlikely that you will convince Ariane to teach you, but if you do, you will have no greater teacher. I know why, when I was younger than you, I took up the sword. Save for the time spent with Ariane and the discussions we had and, I suppose, some level of overall fitness, its mastery has brought me little but misery.

I still intend to return in the spring. We can dine then as you wish and I will hear your ideas.

In conclusion, I will tell you of the talking animal if you tell me about your meetings outside of corporeal form. Is this an acceptable accord?

Glenn
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Re: Words Without Purpose

Postby Tolleson » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:47 pm

Glenn,

I think you must know, but I tell you to assuage any concern you might have, that I willingly accept the risks of openness. It is strangely heartening that you assume, rightly, my preference in this regard. You have promised this and no immediacy, so you will have my patience. Though you have had it all along.

Transparency is treacherous. But no more so than intentional ignorance or assumptions that safety is provided by manipulating half truths; this is a wager we have lost before. I appreciate your candor, and anguish only in so far as it troubles me to hear that your slumber is suffering. Or rather, that during slumber you suffer.

While I can relate to accidental dreams, a matter on which I will elaborate later, it is rather monumental that you have recovered memories, even if they remain fragmented. And knowing that they are of that dreadful summer, and in the Golben no less, I can only imagine the truly unpleasant nature of what may haunt your dreams. As terrible as it must be, I admit a morbid fascination and eagerness to learn of your method for recovering that time and of course, anything you recall. Following the event, I tasked what remained of the Inquisitory to question everyone; there is not a soul in Myrken with a memory of the black hour. Not even Kals proved useful in this regard; I will gladly send the entire compendium of statements if it would aid you.

As for myself, I believe you know the pertinent information. In your absence, the ragtag resistance, made up of people Rhaena either could not sway or avoided as long as possible, gained an unqualified and unsuccessful coup leader; whose only real contributions were nearly breaking Ariane’s mind, losing Elliot, and getting Giuseppe killed. What I went through is nothing compared to the lives that were lost and irreparably damaged by my inability to help her rid whatever infection ate her mind.

Whatever prying you do, please be careful. As I mentioned, I too experimented with dreams, albeit in a somewhat different capacity. Though the root Gloria provided was effective, it has left me with a strange, unmending, bruise. Which leads me to hold up my end of our exchange; I met with Gloria, or rather, I pulled her mind into mine as we dreamt. It was a strange experience that I might have simply concluded as a product of imagination had we not arranged it. Our meeting was as cogent as any I have had when awake, as mentally-tangible, though it sounds an oxymoron, as any encounter of the waking-world. To our purpose in meeting this way, as you may know Elliot Brown’s mind was lost to us during that summer and though it lacks a body he seems entirely capable of occupying a plane of dreams and has visited both Gloria and I on occasion. In our last correspondence by letter she was terribly concerned that the extended exposure or perhaps, lack of a body, has changed him and suggested we go to him.

It is a curious matter that offers very little opportunity for study. I admit the entire process fascinates me and as time permits, I have been trying to replicate the experience, with little success.

Now, what of your beastly banter?

Genevieve
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Re: Words Without Purpose

Postby Glenn » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:53 am

Genevieve,

I woke from the shared dream, now ten years or more back, wounded and worse (and better, but mostly worse). Normal dreams are not something to be feared, but we cannot know what is normal, can we? It left me irrational.

Is that right? Perhaps I began irrational or was made irrational over time and this just gave me something to be irrational about. Where does it begin and where does it end? You must feel the same way, no?

My time away was to help me work through this, to work through the errors in my philosophy, the detriments to my approach.

I fear I have accomplished none of what needed to be accomplished.

Moreover, I think that it may not be doable in the first place.

My goals are so simple and straightforward. They involve either patience or sacrifice or both. They are not, I think grandiose, nor should they be thought so just because our own expectations and realities are so low and so little.

If this is to be the great struggle, the great internal conflict of the rest of my life, I should linger here no longer. Perhaps I am just naive enough, after all this time, to think something small and meaningful can still be possible. Perhaps this is expecting more out of the world than any of us ought to, but when you look at what I once sought, how much more it was, the gap between that and this seems far, far greater than the gap between this and nothing.

The bird is used as a messenger by a people who use birds as messengers. It can replicate our speech, but has, over countless years of this -- I do not like to think of him as something bred. They do not see him that way but that is because they dismiss him as something of a natural order, not because they particularly value his autonomy any more than they would value yours or mine or perhaps even their own in a peculiar way. We must value their autonomy though. One is not all. We must disaggregate. If Myrken has taught us anything, it is that.

You would like him. I do.

Does it matter whether or not a philosophy is sound if the world is faulty in the face of it?

At its core, is pragmatism nothing but the basest survival instinct?

But then, is idealism, even meager idealism, in the face of impossibility insanity at worst and immature selfishness at best?

Glenn
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