Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Raechal's Decision, or, A Matter of Fact and Opinion

It is not an easy thing to admit you've been wrong. No one ever wants to find out they've done something stupid with the conviction of their whole heart involved. But I am at that very point in my life, and now I must simply turn around and face it.
Unora tried to tell me I was wrong in the first place, she trusts people so willingly on the sweet simplicity of faith. But I always need something more, I need evidence, I need some facts, and maybe I would like just a little proof.

For instance, how long would you say you might have to know someone before you could say that you really, truly know them? It could be someone you just met, or someone you've admired for a long time without ever talking to, or even someone you have lived your whole life around. But when would you say that you actually, in complete honesty, knew them?

For simple-minded people, this is a simple question. All you really need is to be acquainted with the person, then whenever their name is brought up in conversation you could very easily say, "Yes, I know that person" without any further involvement in their personal life.

For more honest-thinkers, in order to say they know a person, they would like to know something about that person, like what their favorite things are or how they commonly behave in public.

I suppose, getting down to it, it just depends on what kind of person you are, and when you feel satisfied that you know someone 'well enough'.

Two people who enjoy a common subject may be very glad to say they know each other every time they get together to discuss that one topic alone, never feeling any need or desire to discuss other aspects of their individual lives; content to share in this one thing without the potential risks of disagreement on other matters that might prove a division to their mutual respect and understanding.

But I'd like to think that when it comes to relationships that matter to us, we depend on a greater knowledge of those we interact with; We all like to know the people we trust better than the people we may meet on occasion.

In the constitution of one's family, strong individual relationships are not only pleasant to have, but essential to each person within that unit and, indeed, to a greater society at large. Without such bonds of trust and respect, as well as a fair amount of compassion and understanding, there is apt to be an overabundance of contention and disorder within the home. Thus, a lifestyle ideal to development within a larger community of society is abolished on that one principle - that without the constructive relationships discovered within the family, one does not develop the attributes needed to contribute to a grander population, nor is any moment in such an individual's life ever truly happy. The conclusion is most certainly a world in a very sorry state.

No matter who you are or what your manner of thinking, we must all agree that our individual relationships are as varied as the people with whom we share the round hours of our day. Certainly however, whether in friendship, companionship, or kinship, individual sacrifice is required to maintain every personal association.

How far one might go to extend their relationships depends entirely on the individuals and circumstances involved. In the case as so often happens between strangers, there is truly no other way to gain a friendly correspondence until a chance is taken by one or both individuals.

As human beings, we are wary of the unknown and often drawn to one another by observation; In the instance of two strangers standing in the same room, one will likely ignore and avoid the unknown temperament of the other until drawn by a smile or other sign of friendliness that may induce curiosity to investigate - likewise an aggressive sign may just as well deter any opportunity for future acquaintances. The differences between the two, must be determined by a sense of judgement.

Yes, judgement, a word never to be handled lightly and often used to subject others to a conscious feeling of inferiority. Yet, judgement is an absolutely necessary thing in regards to our individual choices, and self-preservation. A person with an impaired sense of judgement is prone to make bad decisions and regularly place themselves and their relations in harm's way. But even people who have a perfectly intact sense of judgement, may be deceived by false ideas and conceptions - whether conjured by others or self-imposed.
So now you see we come back around to the point. Based on unpleasant experiences that, for the lengthy telling of them I will not relate here, I passed judgement on a certain group of individuals and have persisted in my opinion of them, though my friends have argued fiercely against it.

I have no intention of excusing myself for any perceived misconception, for I feel I founded my opinion on very solid facts and evidences. But I will say that the judgement I concluded on was incorrect, and I feel guilty only for the frustration that the effort in disproving it has caused my poor friends, most especially Unora. She and I are not of the same mind on many matters, and I daresay it has shown to be nearly impossible at times for the one to ever properly communicate her mind to the other. Nonetheless, our friendship has persisted, and perhaps her simple faith and my good sense make a better match then most people give credit or care to believe.


Still, it remains that my mind has changed in respect to one thing - People are seldom what they appear to be from cover to cover, and a great deal more difficult to read than books. Even should you know a person's behavioral pattern, you must still know their history and personality to know what to expect, and even so, people are prone to surprising you. It would take a very keen person indeed to say they 'truly' knew someone and maintain their honesty in doing it. But whatever the case may be, I feel confident that there is no alternative to this fact: it took a book to change my mind, though I still don't understand quite how, and I have made a different resolution - that is to follow the new path that is set before me wherever it may lead. 


Such are the writings of a single entry in a small Riddermark Leather-Bound Journal. Perhaps misplaced by its previous owner, the journal lays inconspicuously at the foot of one wicker chair in Lilliway Tooke's Shire home on Pleasant Street... but no name is written, and it's rightful owner is nowhere to be found... 
 
 

A Page Left Behind...

The kinship has oft been visited by a group of young strangers: There are two residents of Rohan; Gladwine and Raechal, a hobbit called Unora, and a curious young lady clad in black and with a pale complexion. I never did get her name-- Not even at the time I met her outside the kinship home, seeking her fellows, but hesitant to go in.

How strange it is that today, I have found a torn page in the yard of our home, blown into the hedge by the wind. There are many sad and strange words written here, and no clue as to whom has written them, save for the feeling that stains it... It is the same as the young girl in black.

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Dark hair, skin white.
Blue eyes, blends with night.
Though I live, I look as dead.
I'm not natural, or so it's said.

Wraith Child

************

Fresh air after drowning. 
Warmth while lost in snow. 
Light into a darkened cave.
Three kindly faces I now know.

New friends

*************

Enemy, mentor, and friend,
Where does the madness end?
I fear to admit what might be true,
.... Am I loosing you?

*************

What are they talking about I wonder? 
What cause have they to be sad? 
Could their lives really be so terrible,
in a place that seems so glad?
There are stories in the Elf's eyes, 
and pain in the eyes of the Man.
I pity him and want to offer help,
but I don't know that I can.

Tarvhos and Thangurdir 

*************

Friend in suffering, so rarely found.
Both so hurt and reluctant to share.
Yet brought together, wounds were bound.
And my outlook on life is a little more fair.

Tarvhos Bartholomaus

*************

"Think not an evil thought against a friend nor foe, 
for hate hurts not the one for which it's meant; 
but deep in the body and the soul of him where hate is born, 
a deadly venom lurks to kill the one who harbors scorn."

I've always remembered this poem from the day I heard it.
Thank you... 

------------------------------------------------

I have asked around, and no one seems to know where she has gone.. Nor when.
How strange that she should write in riddles, or loose this page when it holds such personal thoughts. I can only hope to hold it until she visits again... Then I may return it to her.

~Hawkinz

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

February Kinship Challenge: "Here's to the Intermediate"



    Have you ever felt caught in between? It's hardly a question that needs asking; surely we all have at one point or another. Whether it is between the beginning and the end, night and day, one goal and the next. Milestone after milestone we find ourselves in the middle, never obtaining.

Let me create an image for you. There is a girl - nay, a woman. Perhaps she sees herself as merely a girl at times, destined  never to be grown; her features aren't greatly defined, her build is short and petite, her figure shapeless. Maybe she doesn't like how her nose is an agitated shade of red most of the time, or that her eyes are always tired and half closed. Then she is proud of her hair; long and flowing, varying in shades of auburn, red and gold. Her interests are as coming and going as the phases of the moon, her motivation as fickle as the autumn weather. At times her talent flows freely, she is outgoing and excitable. At others, it seems but a distant memory, and she is reserved and quiet.

Should she be one way or another, left or right and intently so? I say not! Where she might have a temperament, she is also many times that cheerful and almost constantly eager to please. In the flaws of her appearance - which may well be endearments in the eyes of others - she has found humility, which glows brighter than any face a person can posses by good genes, and is likewise not passed down by parents but blessed on far fewer by good grace.  By her demeanor she can lift the spirits of a room as much as five women of good breeding that she might think herself less than. She is always striving, always growing.

We are not whole in spite of our flaws, we all whole because of them. The day needs the night, the sky would be naught without the clouds and the storms, happiness is only appreciated wholly if it follows sadness. To think yourself whole or complete would on the contrary leave us far from it. For imagine a world where there are no intermediates - we only have the summer and winter, the night and the day, the old and the new, the wise and the dull, and consider for a moment what tragedy it might entail!

While this girl sits and ponders in the waning evening light, considering what chances have not come or what chances have gone by, indeed not considering what simply is... she does not realize something very clearly right in front of her - that in between the night and day, something happens that is far more beautiful than the beginning or the end.

She does not realize that she is the sunset, and the sunrise. The autumn and the spring. She is in between, yes - and no less whole. For we are all perpetually in between, and the sooner we realize that our ending is just as arbitrary as our beginning, the sooner we will find comfort in what it means to simply live.

Here's to the intermediate.

                            -Sir Prempton Heatherly


February Kinship Challenge: "The Worth of Souls"

Who knows the name of every man, woman, and child?

  There are people that have existed without being included in the written records and the great legends of mankind. These are the stories of countless millions who have lived and died, who have left seldom even their names to be recounted in history. Among these, are those once called father, mother, grandfather, grandmother... Unheralded in the grand halls of life for the great deeds of a simple existence, theirs becomes to us a personal lost legacy. 
 
   My mind has often given thought to such seemingly ordinary people; those common warriors who have fought on the battlefield of life, giving much but very little remembered. How can we call them common to whom so much is owed? But I speak of others as well, those who surround us daily to whom we seem to have no earthly connection, those who pass by us without so much as a thought, those who seemingly are as far different from us as could be reckoned.

 While my heart and mind have been brought to reflect on these things, I feel to ask the questions that come as a result -
 Who are they? Who knows their name? Who knows their story?

   I have known many men and women throughout the course of my life, only a small portion of whom I have been acquainted with by name. But I could never look on a single man or woman as if he or she were common. 
So many stories surround us constantly, one page of which we could not write in a single day. For contrary to the fanciful ministrel, who may write his stories - inventing a hero with some thought and filling the rest of his tale with other characters on a whim - there is no single person in this story to whom we may give more attention than the rest.
Those people who I would speak of today, would be nameless and seldom given description in the tales of the ministrel - these are the characters that will be forgotten in an instant or even given time, - but I would show you that no such thing exists in this world; I would have you know, that no man or woman, or child named or unnamed, is ever forgotten by the hand that wrote the true story.

And here I would give you an example of a woman of the race of men. She is herself no extraordinary example, accounting herself only as one of many who struggle from day to day to do, in her words, "only the best they can."
 She is certainly no hero in her own eyes nor one of greatness or important deeds in this world. She lives a life unnoticed by many and is content to let it be so, if only she may seek to please the one person she loves most.

 Though she wields no sword, no shield nor bow, she strives to uphold two titles worthy to be bestowed upon her; Defender - of the Home, and Guardian - of Virtue. 

Despite her contentment to live a quiet life, however, she, like many others in this world have been discouraged at times, feeling forgotten among the multitudes of the earth and weighing her worth to be of no consequence in the history of mankind. What sad feelings of worthlessness are so often the destruction of the most beautiful of souls. Though her efforts are to the end of pleasing that one, she cannot without much mental exertion forget the voice of peers who measure her by a wordly definition of greatness. Little does she know how such a degrading standard mocks and imposes itself even upon those considered great in this world... But the one who knows the worth of souls, for He has payed the price for each one, would not stand to let us believe such a deception.

 Thus, the woman who I have placed as an example here, not alone in her words at a time when she at length acknowledged the impossibility of pleasing both the one and the world, was inspired to write the words of a humble creature in saying;

"I'm just One Sheep in the Fold.
I'm not the sheep that is to lead...
with that beautiful, bright bell.
Nor am I the sheep that falls behind...
that the Shepherd always stays to tend.

I'm just One Sheep in the Fold.
I'm sorta shy, but I won't go astray...
Because I know I'm safer here,
and here is where I was told to stay.
But I'm still, just One Sheep in the Fold.

There's nothing particularly special about me.
Why am I so needed that the Shepherd would seek me if I lost my way?
I've given a bit of good I'm sure, giving what I can.
But it's not very much compared with what others give...
I'm just One Sheep in the Fold.

Yet somehow the Shepherd knows just which sheep I am.
He makes me feel like I'm the only sheep he tends.
Among all these great sheep I know, He seems to know me from all of them...
And He finds me even when I'm not lost.
He cares about me, just One Sheep in the Fold;
He worries about me, even when I'm well.
He carries me, even when I know my way.
He listens to me, even when I've got nothing to say.

How can one sheep among so many be worth so much?
I might never know.
But today and forever, I feel lucky...
Just to be One Sheep, in my Shepherd's Fold."
 
I have seen that all are heroes who live worthy and try to do what is right. I have been shown how to value the one as much as the multitude, and to tend for them as the One has tended to me. 
Let us then always remember, that there are no "middle-sheep" in the greatest kingdom men shall know, and there are none who are unimportant in the unfolding story of this world. Let every man treasure his brother, treating with regard his neighbor, and living as best he can to honor the name he bears.

~ Skalithor Mountainzephyr
Father, leader, and friend.