Friday, 22 April 2016

War in an age of innocence: 5

Link to Chapter 1

Kiri wandered around for a while. As usual, he did not feel like playing with the other boys. Most of them were younger, and the few older boys were always busy with other things and did not share his interests anyway. He went to the shore and helped the Danai with some of the loading and then went back to see if his Aunt had finished talking with Urho. Now they were both talking with his parents. He did not approach them for he saw that they all kept glancing his way as they spoke. He thought that they were either saying things that they did not want him to hear, or were talking about him. Either way, he thought it better to stay at a respectful distance, out of earshot.

At length, Boro called out to him.

Come here Kiri, there is something we have to discuss”

His father’s voice sounded stern and his mother’s eyes were downcast. She was biting her lower lip. She looked worried. Kiri wondered if he was in trouble for something, but he could not think of what it could be. Both his Aunt Vara and Urho looked very cheerful, and this added to his confusion. He walked slowly over to them and stood very still. Kiri’s father glanced at his mother with a concerned look on his face and then looked at Kiri.

Your Aunt Vara has decided to go back to Urho’s land with him. She feels that it is her place to be your tutor, and we all have known for some time that you are not happy with your life here, or with the idea of following my trade. Your mother, of course, is very worried about you leaving, even though Urho has promised to bring you back on his next voyage in the spring. Vara holds her duties here in high regard, and while there are many others who study her craft and know much of the wisdom of the Oneness, she feels that you are destined to eventually take her place”.

A flood of thoughts passed through Kiri’s mind. He thought of the long night voyage; he thought of seeing the wooden houses of Urho’s home; and then he remembered the questions he had wanted to ask his Aunt Vara, but now they all seemed silly and childish to him. He felt very small and he wondered if he would ever be wise. He looked at his mother. There were tears in her eyes. He flew into his mother’s arms and buried his face in her dress, hoping that his own tears would not be noticed. He waited for a few moments in order to compose himself, put on his most confident-sounding voice and said:

Don’t worry Mother, I will be safe with Aunt Vara and Urho. It will be an adventure for me and I will see you next year.”

I know you will” she replied, “it’s just that you have never been away that long and I will miss you so much.”

Boro put his arms around the both of them.

You are growing up, Kiri. I will miss you too, but I’m very proud of you. It is a great thing to follow your destiny instead of being swept along as if by the tides. Now, gather what you would like to bring with you. The Danai have to set sail very soon.”

Kiri released his grip on Mara and looked up at her and his father. They were both smiling at him.

I’m proud of you, too,” Mara said, “Mothers just get silly at these times, so don’t you fret about me. Learn lots of things and enjoy your adventure.”

I will.”

Kiri ran back to the house, thinking of the things that he would take. Most important would be some of the things that his parents had made for him. He wanted to keep his parents close, in his heart. His initial fears were fading and were being replaced with a feeling of excitement for what was ahead of him. He thought about the night journey across the sea. He felt that when the sun came up after that night, it would be like being born again. It would be the start of a new life.

As the boat pulled away from the village, Kiri stood at the stern waving to his parents. The sea was a bit choppy, but he held on to the tall stern and kept waving until his parents became too small in the distance. Danai boats had very tall bows and sterns to battle with the high waves nearer their home. The choppiness of the rocky coast gave way to the swells of the deep, open sea as the land vanished from sight. The boat found its own rhythm with the sea and Kiri could feel himself becoming one with it. Vara and Urho were engaged in conversation, but she glanced back to Kiri every now and again, and smiled. Kiri was lost in his thoughts and in the rhythm of the sea and the boat.

The air grew colder as the sun started to melt into the sea. There were almost no clouds in the sky and Kiri kept watch for the first star to appear. He knew that the Danai followed the stars, at night and he wondered how the Danai navigated when it was too cloudy to see them. It was the time of the New Moon, and he remembered that his Aunt Vara had told him that this was a good time to start things. He wondered if his aunt would have gone with Urho if it were not a New Moon. By the time that the sea had completely swallowed the sun and no trace was left of its light, the sky was full of stars. Kiri lay down on a sheepskin-covered cushion and gazed up at them. Vara came over to him and covered him with a blanket.

Go to sleep Kiri. Tomorrow you will see many wonderful things, and meet many new friends.”

The motion of the sea worked its magic on Kiri and his eyes grew heavy and he fell asleep. Then strange visions came to him: on the horizon was a darkness that moved toward him. As it came closer the stars began to vanish. It was not the darkness of an approaching storm, for he could still see the colour of the night sky. It was something else. He had never been afraid of the dark. To him the darkness at night was but part of the Oneness, he even found comfort in it, like a warm blanket when it was cold outside. This darkness was different to that. He felt an overwhelming sense of danger, like nothing he had experienced before. One thought kept coming to him, over and over again: “It is the Other, It is the Other.” He did not understand: no one had ever mentioned anything about an Other to him. He felt the danger as repulsion. Every fibre of his being was screaming: “No! It can’t be, it can’t be.”

He had seen animals hunt other animals and watched the dance between the predator and the prey. There was always something of a game about it, and the prey, at some point, would come to an understanding with their hunter and allow themselves to be caught. It was all part of the Oneness, and the Great Serpent who kept the rhythm for all to follow conducted the dance. The bodies would come and go, but the life was always there. This was not like that in any way.

As the darkness approached closer, the form of the Great Serpent become visible. It was fleeing from the darkness, and every once in a while it would stop, coil, and strike at the darkness. But its fangs found nothing to make contact with, and it would resume its flight away from that darkness yet again. The darkness had a weight, but no substance. It pushed down on Kiri as he slept. He screamed.

Kiri opened his eyes and sat up. The first light of morning illuminated the concerned face of his Aunt Vara who was crouched at his side.

You must have had a very bad dream, to scream like this. Some of the Danai are sleeping; it’s a wonder you did not wake everyone up. You certainly surprised those who are sailing the boat!”

Oh it was horrible, Aunt Vara, I saw…”

Shhh! Kiri. We do not talk of such things when we are at sea. It is a custom of the Danai to leave such discussion for when land is safely reached.”

Kiri lowered his voice to a whisper.

Aunt Vara, is there an Other that is separate from the Oneness?”

Don’t be silly. If there was something other than the Oneness, then there could not be a Oneness, could there?”

Is there something that has weight but no substance?”

Vara thought about this for a few moments.

I suppose there is. When people became unaware of some aspect of the Oneness, they feel it as weight upon them. They become bowed down from it as if they are carrying a heavy load. That is part of what we do for them, we show them how what they are upset about is still part of the Oneness. When we do that, it is as if they have put down their load. They see that whatever it was is just another aspect of the Oneness that they were unfamiliar with. Whatever it was that was bothering them ceases to do so and they become happy again. When they are aware of the Oneness again, it smiles on them and their lives improve. They see how everything is connected and that they are part of it all. So that weight without substance that you speak of can be nothing more than ignorance. The Oneness can always overcome that.”

Kiri lowered his voice even more.

But Aunt Vara, I saw the Great Serpent running from it. It kept stopping to strike at the darkness that chased it, but there was nothing there for it to bite, and it had to keep running.”

Kiri saw a fleeting expression of sadness cross his aunt’s face. It was the same look that he saw when he had asked her about the meaning of the circle, and she had told him that there were those that could not find the quietness at the centre.

I think that you have had an omen, Kiri. I knew from all of your questions in the past that you were capable of such things. I get them too, but not as vividly, and they lack details. There is something important that you must do one day. I have known it for a long time. When I said that you would eventually take my place, I meant that it would be me that would begin to learn things from you. It seems that this time has already started. We will discuss this more when we have landed and explored our new home.”

Kiri became aware of the sound made by a large number of white sea birds that were wheeling around above them, and he saw the shape of hills in the distance with smoke rising up from fires here and there. Urho suddenly blocked Kiri's view of all of that and looked down at them, impatiently.

We’re home, you two! Get busy and gather up all of your stuff. There will be plenty of time for talk when we are feasting around the home fire”.

[The next episode will appear on Monday: Kiri marvels at his new home and meets a very special girl. Also, I have decided to preview twelve chapters instead of the originally planned ten. The main reasons being that one of the sub-plots will be resolved and the main theme of the novel will be introduced. Have an adventurous weekend!]

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  1. Good morning! This chapter gives the reader an understanding of the Kiri character development and that he is capable of having visions. What comes next?
    We are watching How Is It Make. It is a tv show that explains the ovest how things are made.
    Hopefully the book shows up!

    1. Good morning!

      Now that the stage is set, the adventures begin. Which paragraph formatting did you prefer?

      As I am low on groceries and didn't want to pay convenience store prices as I will be shopping later, my breakfast choices were limited. I noticed I still had two frozen salmon fillets left so I made scrambled eggs with salmon for breakfast.

      About twelve hours after I sent my complaint, and after I had gone to bed, it was answered but no solutions yet offered. They said that there was no tracking because it was free shipping. I paid $6.49 for shipping costs. I told them that if it did not show up today, I would contact Amazon tomorrow morning about their guarantee. Before all of this started I had got an email from Amazon asking me to rate the seller. That will also happen tomorrow morning!

      It looks like we may well get the rain that is forecast from tomorrow to Tuesday. We sure need it.

  2. The morning has been busy making breakfast etc. I checked in numerous books and they use the format you used today. Is it going to be a lot of work to change it? I did like today's format better. I noticed my computer and I don't know how to spell obvious.
    You certainly are a creative cook. Sorry to hear your daughter and family are not able to arrange a breakfast date. Young people are so busy. At least, they still have jobs.
    Later, I am taking the boys for a special lunch at a place they like to eat that has hot and spicy foods.
    Let me know if your agree with my preference.

    1. Actually, it is going to be easier for the blog and the ebook if I stick to today's format (providing I didn't go back to tabs in the document later!). I'll just have to change the earlier chapters for the ebook. So I will go with your preference. I've been looking into some end-matter for the ebook: biography, social network review links etc. I've bookmarked a lot of how to and promotional tips web-sites this morning. I'm also looking into a better word processing pgm than Word which can deliver better html and ebooks too. It has a thirty day trial

      Not many people would make a 1,300 km round trip to visit a shopping mall and get back the same day, but the mall in Abotsford BC is holding a fashion show (it belongs to the same company as Deerfoot Mall) so Jasmin is taking some Deerfoot staff out there to look at the logistics and assess whether she should do something similar for Deerfoot Mall. She told me that her voluntary work for the underground film festival was not that enjoyable and she noticed a number of snooty cliques were involved. I told her about Mike et al's "The Academic Ape: Instinctive aggression and boundary enforcing behaviour in academia.". She's still thinking about whether to pursue film production. I think that her company is starting to listen to her better: she has a lot of experience packed into her 30 years, more than most would expect. When she was a schoolgirl and we had a home office, she would come home from school and observe how well the staff were working in the front office while Carrie, my assistant Natasha and I were busy in our respective work rooms. I don't think that the receptionist talking to her friends on the phone realized she had a spy in their midst!

      I've been thinking about the Q and A on the Jungian archaeology topic. How do you feel about getting a Google mail or Hotmail account especially for the task? They are free and being webmail, nothing needs to be stored on your computer and the project would be over before the spammers discovered the address. In that way, line editing could be done; questions could be arranged in a different order; the whole thing could turn into a series like I did with Dean Crawford and you would get to check everything before it was posted? If that is acceptable, let me know. If not we can just conduct it casually. So ad hoc or ad lib?

      Hot and spicy is unusual for Calgary: at the Taj Mahal buffet you have to add some hot sauce and if hot tamales and outrageous Piri-piri chicken exists in Calgary I have yet to find them. I once went with a friend to a Jamaican family's dinner one night. They offered me a pickled Scotch bonnet pepper from a small bowl. I noticed everyone was looking at me as I started to take a bite...

      The seafood buffet is on. I'm going to be reading some more on Lawrence first. Enjoy your lunch.

  3. Would you be setting up the account? You know me and technology. Someday I will tell you a story about Scotch bonnet peppers but not today. One of the boys left his iPod at home they are having to use my iPad. Enjoy your seafood buffet.

    1. No, that cannot be done in any practical way in this situation.

      However, for setting up your own Gmail account there are step by step directions. There are only six to eight steps, depending on how fancy you want it, and each one is very, very, easy.

      All you have to do to see them is to type:

      setting up a gmail account

      into Google and the click on the link it gives you at the top of the page. (ignore anything about Google UK. You will just go to Google which will be

      About the only difficulty you will have is selecting a user name that no one has already taken, but it will offer you alternatives. Of course you always just type a jumble of letters:

      oohkkftjm (for example)

      but it might be annoying having to remember them. I picked the name of a very minor Celtic tribe for my gmail account.

      Once you have an account, then click on gmail on the google page, then on the red button on the top left that says "compose". You can then send a message to your sister (or anyone else) asking it to be forwarded to me. That way, your gmail address will not be public. I will answer back and then it is just a matter of replying after that.

      email addresses are case-sensitive and should not have spaces between the characters. If your email address started tannis, Tannis would not work. Getting a simple email address where it just uses your first name before the @ is a status thing, you usually have to own the domain. Bill Gates uses his first name only.

      I'm hoping that the buffet has oysters tonight.

  4. We just returned from lunch and a visit to the pet store. Rethinking my comment to you, I do have a google account that is how I was able to access your blog.
    Question : Should I set up another?

    1. Anyone with a web browser can access my blog, you don't even have to use Google to do that. Do you have a gmail account? You sign on to leave comments through Google+ but that is not gmail.

      If you do have a gmail account and an address with ending, then you can use that or set up another. It's up to you. The advantage to having some sort of webmail is that you can access your massages and send others from any computer in the world. Great when travelling.

  5. I think I should discuss this with you tomorrow when it is quiet and there are no distractions. I only use my iPad but I known this can be done. I hope they have oysters to night.

  6. Everyone is gone and it is peaceful again. I do have two email accounts. I will send you both and you make your choice. Please don't publish them. Let me know and l will go ahead send them on.

    1. Just got home from the buffet and grocery shopping. I checked both of my email addresses and my gmail address and I nothing has arrived. Are you sure you addressed them right?

    2. Oh. I see, you wanted me to tell you to send them? Why? I would see them whenever I checked my email. It's fine to just pick one and send to john(you know the symbol) remember, no spaces between the characters, all lower case. No need for a drum roll ;-)

  7. I have things set up on my iPad and try to send a test to my sister using her address but it din't go through. I am tired and will try to sort things out tomorrow. God l am learning a lot. You are an expect dealing with a beginner. I am like a grade one student just one step at a time. My iPad needs recharging. I hope you had a delicious supper and mine was creamed chicken. Good night and sleep well.

    1. Good night! mornings are better, as are desk-top computers!
      No oysters, had salad, salmon sashimi, crab legs, prawns, cod, clams in black bean sauce, salt and pepper squid, cabbage rolls, lemon meringue pie, brownies and a beer. Then bought a huge amount of groceries (including enough various fruit juices, coconut water, to get through several heat waves). Dog got big bag of good dog food two packages of his favourite treats (which are designed to remove and prevent dental plaque). probably won't need to get food for three or four weeks! Watching Jimmy's Hall on Netflix.

  8. Good morning! I just sent you a email. I hope it reaches you.

  9. Good Morning!

    I see you got my reply. Emails usually take far less than a minute to be delivered.