The last several weeks have been even busier than those prior to the election. Left as Leader despite my failures I have humbly taken on the mantle again. The new election made me even more adamant in my desire to improve the lives of my people. The rubble is cleared. The dead mourned.
Now we must rebuild. This is the capital and most of it is empty.
It is the story of my life it seems. The world I know is destroyed and I rebuild it. I reshape it around the empty spaces. Organizing it into a world that I believe is more perfect than the previous. I go to Vas’T’Ran and break its tyrannical government. I remove the tragic traces of brutality and try to heal their sorrows. I clean up rubble. I mourn the dead. I help them build a better government and prepare to join the larger society of the Kha’Ri.
I tore the social order to pieces. I told them they didn’t need to talk to the old Gods. They didn’t need to have a priest name their children. They didn’t need to stay in the same Circle as their parents. Now no child need be Lost. A least not for a name given by a god that does not care.
I have torn down myself many times. I have loved unwisely. I have loved too deeply. I have hidden love from myself simply because it was inconvenient. I have lost friends, lovers and children. My entire family. My legacy from my father. My village.
I lost my innocence on a hillock in a place no one remembers.
I lost myself while covered in the blood of my people fighting for my life.
I lost my freedom the moment the War ended and I became the Leader.
I lost my naiveté as I killed Li’Fah’Zel.
I lost something even more important when Pa’Koth lay dead at my feet. But I am too old and feeble to remember which it was at this time. My heart? My soul? The last piece of tenderness I had left?
Each time I had to be rebuilt. Maybe not out of clean white stone. Maybe of sterner stuff. I still have love in my heart. I still have the moments of purity as I watch the sun rise or sit among the flowers. I still have the ability to decide my fate. I still have the wonder of the stars in the sky.
We will be destroyed from time to time. This is inevitable. Be the cause ourselves or the Other. We will fall to pieces, seeming unable to ever become whole again. Even if our white stone is crushed to the coarsest sand we will rebuild. From sand we will make bricks and cobbles. We will fill in all the empty spaces. We will not be the original, but we will maintain.
This is the gift of my people. Our virtue. We will never give up. We will always rise from the ashes. We will rebuild.
The lengths one will go to win an argument!
I have been listening to G’Lan rail on about self-reliance while drinking taree and playing fo’lac for years. We have argued the finer points several times. I appreciate his faith in self-reliance even as I disagree with him heartily.
Last week he complained that even his most ardent acolytes do not understand him. He sincerely believes without self-reliance we Narn are doomed.
After all these years, I believe most Narn have learned that the central government of the past is gone. There are many things we can no longer rely on the larger structure to provide. Order broke down and is being built back up in a different pattern. A pattern which he worked and designed as much as I have. His urges toward self-reliance now ring hollow on a Narn people who feel they have sacrificed community enough in the name of self –reliance.
Our people naturally build communities. That is why Unification made sense for our people so many years ago. To tell them that they have no one they can rely on but themselves is a foreign idea.
His complaints gave me an idea.
So after I allowed him to win and he was sitting back well fed, well drunk and well satisfied with his victory I suggested we move to the sunroom.
“G’Quan, it is night. Why would we go to the sunroom?”
“Because I poisoned your drink and I do not wish you to die.” I responded. Yes, Dear reader, I had poisoned his drink. It is surprising how easy it is to obtain poisons when one is interested and has a Guild of Assassins.
In the sunroom I had prepared a long jhawa box. As he looked upon me with a stricken look of betrayal I announced the puzzle.
“G’Lan, in this box I have two items that will interest you. One is the answer to your dilemma with your students. The other is much more pressing. It is the antidote to the poison.”
G’Lan rushed to the box and started trying to open it. His claws scrabbled at the opening. He banged it against the wall. Being jhawa wood, the wall gave more than the box. His eyes were wide with fear.
As if I had momentarily forgotten, I handed him a key, “This fits one of the locks.” I assured him.
G’Lan quickly found the lock to which his key fit and turned it. The box remained steadfastly tightly closed. With his breath sobbing in his throat he looked at me. He was obviously starting to feel the effects of the poison. He then discovered the other lock and tried to unlock it. When he turned the key he heard the other lock resolutely move to the locked position. He sat heavily in his chair and looked at the night sky as if he were saying his goodbyes to the universe.
“Why?” he begged, tears flowing down his face.
Wordlessly I came over and showed him the dilemma. The box was chosen for its length. There is only one way to open this particular box. As he wept I revealed the other key and unlocked the other side.
As he greedily drank the antidote he looked at me. The horror of his near death and my betrayal still in his every movement. “Why, my friend? Why did you do this?”
I held up two fingers and handed him the box. “Now you know the flaw in your philosophy, Dear G’Lan, in your bones. Hopefully this will help you the next time you talk to your students.” Impulsively I kissed the old Narn on the forehead before I left him to his new insight.
I paused at the door with a smile on my face. He won at fo’lac that night, but I had won the argument. I may have to be careful with my drinks for a few weeks, but I think that he understands now the failure of his philosophy.
Has this time come upon us so quickly? It does not seem as if a year could have passed already. Thank you all. Your willingness to continue to follow me despite my slow progress through my existence humbles and inspires me.
Thank you to those of you who have followed me from the beginning. Your continued patience is appreciated beyond words. Those who regularly reblog and like these posts bring a smile to my face. Like messages from old friends far away.
As I look back at this year I see common themes: Love, Honor, and Duty. I anticipate that next year will be even more so.
May your holiday be joyful; your feast plentiful; your family and be safe.