Sunday, September 12, 2010

The season changes once more, and I descend from fragrant hills and mountain footholds toward valleys and plains. On occasion now I can hear the din of villages below, and find fields ready to unfold their harvest. The people of this land have had, it seems, a good growing year.

When summer slips into fall's embrace, I often contemplate entering the service of a lord or king for the difficult winter months. Spring and summer brings quiet and solitude, with my wanderings from place to place, and I enjoy these days when I am not conflicted with what I do.

Yet there is an appeal to spending the cooler seasons among the relative warmth of the common-folk and those who believe are their leaders. For, often kings and lords are filled with boredom and frivolity, and suddenly perceive they are God. For all their wealth and conceived power, they are still men.

God has often sent me in pursuit of such men, and one in particular I owe a visit. I've been asked to right a wrong through his sacrifice, and it will be a rare personal pleasure to do so. For at one time I worked for this king, and it is he who started me upon this path, though this was not his intention.

I shall speak of this more, but for now it is nice to descend from the now musty cave I have spent many weeks in. To enter a small village, where fresh bread cools in doorways, and the sounds of laughter and toil echo distantly from the low hills.

Yes, there has been much loss this summer, and I am suddenly struck by being alone all this time. A church bell reverberates at the edge of the village. Though I speak with God daily, I realize it is long since I have visited his house.

God calls me to home and community and service. Walking now in this direction, I obey.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The soul is too big to be contained by one life, and so it seeks experience through manifestation of many lives across the vast ages and distance places. Yet, all these individual lives exist at the same "time" in a state of ever-becoming.

The veil that separates these lives is opaque, so one cannot easily see them, yet they are as soft and malleable as the finest silk. Sometimes events from a single life ripple out and shift the veil, allowing many lives to be affected, to be interpreted by their own space and time.

I had occasion, one month past, to find some moments of such distinct peacefulness and calm that I have never known. In a great bustling city, one never expects calm. Yet, I found a brief cessation from all the activity in the birth of a child.

Before I became the man I am now - righteous servant of God, I had a wife and children, who were slain in civil violence in my village. My wife's sister, Alena, escaped this fate by moving with her new husband to this city.

I arrived a few days before the birth of her child, and was shocked to hear the news, and to find this event nearing. I am nervous around children, preferring the quiet language of weapons and armor, and the obedience of my horse, and the screams of unjust men witnessing their judgment.

And yet, I was there for this birth - a new child in this harsh world. I heard the lustful cries of life as he emerged into the world, and later saw his blue eyes stare wisely into my own. He knows more than I do. Such deep blue eyes, filled with trust and acceptance. I lost myself in them a moment, and realized I was not alone in this event.

Across time and location, blue eyes stared into another man's soul, and went out, ending an eleven-year life of comfort and joy, with mercifully only a few days of unpleasantness. A cat named Hattie reconfigured her energy into a new expression, leaving behind those who loved her.

I realized then, the ease of life and death, and how they are the same thing. While now, a month later, I still recall the joy of birth, I know another still feels the tears of loss. And yet, across time, we all walk our paths, and share our place. Nothing is lost. It only changes.

Sometimes, I feel the crush of distance and time between us - how different the world views are, when the veil softly flutters. But I think the passages are easier to see now, and will be thrown open one day. I see Michael has need for the warrior spirit as he fights to slay a land-owner's hold over him. I shall lend my energy.

As always it is time to move on - to other areas. God reminded me this morning that justice is always needed. And so I go. Off to the beyond, where my path leads.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The burdens of truth

"To thine own self be true"... so say the priests and scholars. And yet, I find my own truths are like the edge of a sword. One side is sharp and the other, blunt.

I strive in my every day to be true, a paladin, one who is almost as holy as God. Yet also I am mortal, and crave the things my corporeal body desires. The scent of trees and fields, the companionship of my faithful horse, and the company of the few travelers I call friends. And too, the more lusty things: a strong ale, the taut bodies of bar-maids, good food, and respite from God-given duties.

Constantly is the struggle for my soul in the following of what I want and what I want to be. Why are some pleasures deemed less holy than others? There is beauty in the lowliest blacksmith's daughter's gasp, in the good cheer of a tavern as it's inhabitants sing and drink off the tiredness of a day's labor, the languid rest found when sleeping until half-way to noon after many days' hard travel.

I will never know why, Lord, you sought to make things this way. Why all things seem filled with both sharpness and bluntness. A duplicity in nature that makes one be both born and deceased, that berates certain pleasures and not others.

Yet it is not my place to question, for I am to be both a Voice... and to be mute. And so on I travel, in blessed misery.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Library of the Lost

For the normal ways of wandering and slaying I am most familiar with, I am mostly at peace. The grasslands are succumbing to snow early this season, and the scent of wood smoke hovers on the air. This is my favorite time to steal across the countryside, from castle moat to fallow field and on into distance forests and unknown lands.

Yet I am away, at least for the moment, within a lost library of a nearby village. Few enter here; most cannot read. I've discovered some assurance in looking at maps and scrolls of a new region I wish to travel to. So I sit, poring over tomes that are at once familiar but are also within the realm of the grasp of my intellect. I wonder sometimes if these books are here to reveal and formalize the things I already know but have clouded over in my own mind like the haze of smoke that caresses the villages along future paths.

For a while, then, I shall read. A break from righteousness, to heed a different calling. Perhaps salvation can be found in learning as well.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Lesson of Loss

I sit along a quiet trail filled with the clammor of despair. Recently, I had to exact justice from a pair of brothers who stole coins from the local noble's domicile.

The door of their hovel broke inward after the booted kick of my foot. In the small dwelling, the two brothers sat counting their bounty over a small meal with their mother and father. God's will told me that justice was mandatory.

While one of the brothers uselessly stabbed at my chest armor with a rusty pitchfork, I thrust my sword into his stomach and lifted, splitting him apart. His last vision was to see his blood spray the hilt of my sword, now buried in his brother's neck. The brother briefly saw God's wrath in my countenance.

I reclaimed the noble's petty treasure and as God's presence left my swordarm, I witnessed the despair of the parents -- pleading, begging for their lives and the wailing sorrow of the sudden loss of their sons.

Here I felt a stab of empathy, and the harsh awareness that I am both man and servant of God. That I must do what I do for the purpose of my religion, and still suffer the morality that is the aftereffect of my service.

Knowing that I had a hand in changing the future of these people, I left and did not look back. And I am reminded of the King I once served, whose malice was added to God's decree.

So today, as the sun sets to ashed embers, I let the man separate from the divine instruction, and I lose myself in the sum of my loss, if only for a moment.

This too...
My Lord, let it pass.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


It is in dreams where I communicate with you, for during my days I know nothing of technology. My days, like yours, are consumed with the focus of my life. At night, when I release my attention to now through sleep, I can wander through time, through places, through worlds.

I've been in exile, a self-administered place of quietude. Free from killing and wrath, I've sought the routine of my days in the cold high mountains. The few people who travel along roads far to the south speak a language I do not know, and have skin the color of light leather.

For the last few years, each day has been one of survival and routine, of finding peace for those I've slain for I know peace shall never be mine. God has whispered to me each day upon awakening, urging rest for now... other struggles will return soon enough.

Today God's voice said nothing, but the routine was interrupted. I dreamt of another of Delal's focus, Michael, when he reached out to me - across time and place, across mental boundary and world view. He needed a fighter to help him slay his demons. And like all who come from the same source, I stood and faced his demons without hesitation. We slew them, and he prevailed.

In that moment of connection so long ago, I realized I was more than I was. That God connected us as expressions of the same source. And I knew it was time for solace and to let time go by.

In the back of this long cave, my armor sits protected. My thoughts have turned toward it today and I know I must be ready soon to take it from its hiding place. Giver, my sword cries out for justice. Long unused, it yearns for God to reach into it and smite those who are wrong. And there are so many who are wrong.

I look about this cave, the familiar surroundings, and realize I will be gone from here soon. Breakfast, then... and a new day dawns.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


From within the vantage point of this little cave, I can look down the long valley to the quiet slumbering village a few miles below. The thin wisp of smoke trailing up and away from my campfire into the dense cold air of the mountain is nothing. I've been hibernating for over a week now, trying to comprehend the messages God has been sending me.

This village will be emptied of life soon, and I, its deliverance. Sinners all.

My dreams have been awkward lately, filled with images and structures I do not understand: a woman, half-crazed and alone being torn apart by the gnashing teeth and fangs of wolves. A contented man in some dark age sliding gracefully across a frozen pond while his woman looks on in admiration. A young man, surrounded by containers of some kind of humming, buzzing insect is fighting for breath in a battle against a green-colored demon. He is me, but looks like another. I fight with him, feeling an unexpected kinship, helping him dispatch the beast before it consumes him. The man is strong hearted, but weakened by his long exertions. We part as brothers as I wake to the soft noises of this cave and the small creatures that have gathered around me in the night, seeking warmth.

A group of hunters from the village sets out in my general direction early this morning. They are my first quarry. They will never return. Soon, others will depart, looking for the first party, and I will sever their heads from their bodies. The final villagers, unsure of why their members are not returning home will be greeted by my presence, come to remind them of the price of infidelity to their Lord. That dream was given a week ago, and it was terribly clear.

The leather of my gloves creaks in the cold as my hand tightens around my weapon. It's gleam is strong from the sharpening I've been giving it. Tonight I will be ready, and tonight my terrible work begins. Lord, the prior weeks of rest have prepared me. My vacation from solace begins tonight.