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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sermon #16

“I’ll be needing that cup, though… just to save face,” said Snarky.

Yaway reached into his satchel and removed it, turning it over in his hand. “I’ve only just gotten it, I don’t even know how it works.”

“It’s powers depend on what you put in it. If you dip it into this stream and take a sip, you might come up with a limerick or a decent riddle or maybe a clever insult, depending on your inclinations. But its true power lies in its ability to cause the user to produce great master works of oral artistry. Downing a glass of fine wine from it will likely result in you giving a speech that could make someone fall in love with even a monster like myself, or result in a work of epic verse that is retold for generations, or even lead peaceful people to war.”

Yaway took this in and nodded. “What are you intentions, then?”

“I am a troll. I measure myself based on what I can amass. Not only is my mind filled, but my dwelling is lined from floor to ceiling with riches that would be the envy of even the mightiest kingdom. Besides, there ought to be some sort of toll for using my bridge… I just like to challenge people to tests of knowledge because it seems sporting.”

He looked back at his companions, who nodded, and handed the cup to the troll. “I don’t know who needs it less, you or me.”

The troll pocketed it without so much as a glance. “Thank you.”

The cup would not last long in the hands of the troll, as was its ultimate fate, for long ago a god had declared upon making it that it would never remain long in the hands of the same owner. Not long after Yaway, Josh and Kyron crossed the bridge, an army passing by glimpsed and killed Snarky.

The cup was taken from his possession and passed into the hands of the army’s general. That night, he drank from it and led his army into battle against a longtime foe. The words of his speech were so imprinted on the minds of his army that when he fell in battle and all had clearly been lost, every man under his command fought to the bitter end with every last ounce of strength they had.

The army decimated, the cup passed into the hands of the leader of the neighboring nation, which drank from it and roused his people into believing him to be a god-king. Statues were built in his honor and he was worshipped for centuries after his passing at a ripe old age, though the cup remained in his possession for that one night. A blind slave picked up the cup while cleaning the dining hall, and after downing the last remnants of royal wine still in it, he went on compose epic poems that were retold for thousands of years.

And in this fashion, the cup brought varying degrees of success and ruin to those who possessed it.

The three travelers were finally home after their eventful trip back. Kyron went about brewing ambrosia again, and this time it was Josh who made the blood sacrifice. Josh was restless and asked the sheep if she trusted him, and the sheep nodded. He threw her into the crackling hearth, and the sheep burned quickly. Out of the fire stepped a woman of immense beauty.

“After all these years, I never dreamed I would find you again,” said Josh.

“I had given up, Josh,” she said.

“I couldn’t forget you if I wanted to, Sofia.”

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sermon #15

After retrieving the cup without incident, the trio stood around examining it, deciding what to do. Josh suggested it go to Yaway, and Kyron agreed, but none of the three of them knew how it worked.

“Let’s just try filling it at the next stream and see if that works,” said Kyron. “If not, we’ll figure something out.”

Travelling over new country from the mountain, they eventually came to a rushing river. Kyron stuck his walking stick into the water just a short ways from the steep shoreline and didn’t find bottom. The water rushed by, and the lapping sound of rapids came from downstream.

“Let’s head towards the rapids and hope it settles down on the other side,” Kyron said.

They came to where the water foamed against the rocks, and there was a bridge. As they approached, a troll lumbered out from underneath. “Halt, or whatever,” it said.

“What can I do for you?” asked Yaway.

“I’m supposed to challenge you, but really… my heart’s just not that into it.”

“Well, we won’t bother you, then,” said Yaway.

“No, no… procedure and all. At the end of the day, what’s the point if I don’t even do my job? I wouldn’t even bother rolling out of bed and leaving the cave in the morning if I didn’t still have my bridge here.”

“Okay, challenge us then,” Josh said, moving his hand to his club.

“Mercy, no. I can’t afford to scar the money maker,” said the troll, flashing a gap-toothed grin half full of yellow stained teeth. “I may seem a little out of practice, but I am a wise old troll. While most of my kind are out attacking people and dying at the hands of heroes, I test the knowledge of those who pass. Even when I lose, I only gain more power, having learned something new. I’m on a pretty long winning streak.”

“How many?” asked Yaway.

“Nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine. This will be truly interesting, since as I’ve said, my challenge is a win-win proposition for me, and now it’s the same for you, as you might be my one millionth traveler served, or,” the troll pauses and laughs, “you’ll beat me and…” …more laughter… “sorry, or you beat me and you have the honor of saying you have defeated me.”

“And just who are you?”

“Enough questions. I challenge you to a test of wits for the cup in your possession in return for anything I own. You may ask the first question.”

Yaway thought for a second and looked at Kyron, who smirked. “Alright, you play for your head. My first question: what is your name?”

“Ahh, you’re smarter than you look. I am Snarky, pleased to meet you. And what are your names? My old friend Kyron and Josh excluded, of course?”

“I am Yaway.” He looked over at Josh and Kyron. “You could have told me his name and I could have asked him my name and this would be over.”

“You seemed to be handling it,” Josh said. Kyron continued to grin. “Besides, we’ve both lost to him before. It only seems sporting for you to give it a go yourself.”

“Oh yeah, from when I used to hang around under Bifrost,” said Snarky.

Josh sighed. “Ahh, back in the day…”

“It’s a pleasure to meet the last and new first of the gods, Yaway,” said Snarky.

Yaway looked down and thought hard. “Okay, what goes into the water red and comes out of the water black.”

“Hot iron,” said Snarky, without so much as a second thought. “What goes into the water black and comes out black.”

The young god put his hand to his face and stroked the whiskers on his cheeks. He sighed and scratched the back of his head, but then raised his eyebrows. “A lobster.” The troll nodded.

“All know that I exist, though I cannot be seen or touched. I am sought after by some and hidden by more. What am I?” asked Yaway.

“Too easy: my oldest friend, Truth.” The troll set his club down and leaned on it. “Anything you add to me subtracts from me, what am I?”

Yaway furrowed his brow and looked up. Some time passed before the troll asked if he conceded.

“I know the answer to your riddle is also ‘truth.’ I’m just trying to decide whether I want to ask you the next question.”

“Well, I’ve only got all day. I’m not doing overtime for an amateur.”

“Who were my parents?”

The troll sniffed the air. “Do you know who your parents are?”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“I don’t believe you know who they are, so how would you know if I’m right when I tell you?”

“So you know?”

The troll laughed. “We have an epistemological conundrum. This tends to happen when you ask questions not even you can answer.”

Yaway walked up to the troll, within arm’s length. “We both began by asking questions we didn’t know the answer to, but we knew the other could tell us. You are an honorable being. You pride yourself on your accomplishments. I believe you are incapable of lying to me on this because if you beat me on a lie, you will have to live with that knowledge forever, and I don’t think you’re up for it.”

The troll glared down at Yaway. “I cannot tell you that I know who your parents are, but I also cannot know that my educated guess is wrong. In some respects, we can’t continue this until one of us knows for certain.”

“What would you guess, then?”

“Look into the water with me,” Snarky said. They both looked into the gently flowing stream. The reflection of Yaway was that of a lion-headed snake. “Well, that’s pretty interesting parentage. The lion implies leadership or nobility, while the snake… well, it’s a snake. They aren’t to be trusted and they tend to slither is totally different circles than lions. But still…” Snarky squinted. “I wouldn’t be surprised if your father was the Sun and your mother was the Earth. Both of your parents were definitely gods, that’s for sure.”

“So is that your guess, the Sun and the Earth?”

“I’m not particularly confident, since what are the odds that of all the dozens of gods who were of the solar and terran families it was ultimately the figureheads who came together… especially since they never really met, for the Sun would scorch the Earth if it got to close, and I think I would remember that… except… of course!”

“What?”

“During the war of that nearly destroyed the gods, one of the fire gods and a goddess of agriculture conceived a child. I know not whether the mother survived to give birth, but his name was Loki and her name was Ceres. They were some of the most important gods, for Loki had been stolen from Olympus by Prometheus and brought to Earth to be used by man. It was Loki who first civilized mankind. Ceres also played a close role in the development of humanity, as it was she who taught man to plant the fields. It is fair to say the only gift given to humans greater than those bestowed by these two was the gift of language, or even the gift of life itself. Though to be fair, Loki played a role in this as well, for it was Loki who put the fire in man’s veins.”

Yaway stared into and past his reflection, to the stream’s bottom. He looked up at Snarky and told him thank you, and assured him he would be the first he would send word to if he were to find the identity of his parents for certain.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sermon #14

A group helped carry the bull’s fresh corpse to the altar where some cursory words were said over it and the jugular was cut. Blood still ran from the wound. Josh sauntered over to the sheep, bent over, and whispered something in its ear.

The night was filled with celebration, dancing, singing, drums, and a huge bonfire. Skins of wine and jugs of beer were consumed in copious quantities. Yaway and Lilith walked off to be alone, while Josh raucously drank beside the sheep he saved, telling tales of heroes even greater than himself.

The last revelers did not sink into sleep until the first hints of morning light could be seen. By midmorning, some people began to leave, though the bulk continued to slumber in the sun.

Yaway nudged Josh with his foot, but Josh swatted him away. He bent over him and put his hand on his arm, and told him he needed help.

“What?” Josh moaned, shielding his eyes from the sun.

“I can’t find Lilith.”

“Who’s Lilith?”

“She’s the women I spent the night with.”

“She wasn’t the one, my friend.”

Yaway sighed and sat down. “She could have at least said goodbye.”

“Remember this moment,” Josh replied.

“What?”

“Remember how horrible it feels to have sex for the first time and have the other person scurry off. If more men learned that lesson… well, women would be infinitely happier.”

Yaway smirked. “Always thinking of others.”

Josh belched.

They met up with Kyron and began their trip home. What they had no way of knowing was that Wile had been at the very same festival and was behind Lilith’s sudden departure. Wile set out with his female companion well before Yaway woke up. Along the way home, he saw a group of nine farmers clearing a field with scythes.

Wile called out to them and told them he would sharpen all of their tools to a razor’s sharpness with a single pass of his whetstone. He proceeded to pass the stone over each scythe once, and the blades were miraculously honed to a sharpness one might expect after a thorough stone sharpening and smooth leather stropping.

The farmers each stared at the blades, and then moved to the stone in Wile’s hand. They inquired how much it would cost to purchase it from him, and he replied that the cost would be too much for them to bear. They begged and pleaded. Finally, he relented, pointing out he could only sell it to one of them. As the farmers quarreled, Wile looked back at Lilith and winked, then threw the stone high into the air over the farmers.

In the mad scramble, all nine of the farmers died while lunging for the whetstone. Wile retrieved the stone, took Lilith’s hand, and they continued their journey.

Hours later, as the sun was setting, Yaway noticed the grisly scene. The three of them sought out the nearest home and asked to stay the night. The widow living there agreed, saying she and her neighbors had discovered their husbands all dead in the field. The thee guests agreed to help bury the bodies in the morning.

After the graves had been dug and filled, the nine widows looked expectantly at their strange guests. Josh could not help but promise he would help make sure their land was tilled and planted so that they would be able to survive the winter. With the help of the widows, Josh and Yaway finished the task of preparing the fields for the spring.

They also slept with the widows. Over time, the widows came to love their two guests and their strange goatman companion. When the bulk of the planting season was over and they were planning on leaving, the widows offered them the knowledge of a magical mountain cave where a cup was located that had the power to grant any who drank from it enchanted speech. A single draught from it would allow one to talk the hangman’s noose off his own neck.

But the knowledge was not free. The widows demanded the three stay until the harvest. Considering they had nothing more pressing, the group unanimously decided to remain. After the hot summer and the cooling frost of autumn, the crops were reaped and the group prepared their departure. True to their word, the women gave them the location, and they set out to acquire the enchanted cup.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Update

Hey, Seth here. Fred won’t be posting today since he didn’t have the urge to write anything out for me. I thought I would want to write more, but honestly I never really wrote before, so I’m not even sure how or what to write about. I kind of start to write something then say everything I want to say in a few sentences and that doesn’t seem like much compared to what Fred does.

If anything, I want to spend some time inviting people to this blog to check it out. I guess I kind of imagined he would charm the electronic world like he does in person, but I think some of his charisma is lost in writing. Still, it’s been a nice excuse to see him more and I think there’s been a marked improvement in his quality of life.

I don’t think it’s healthy for a person to live like he does, mostly alone and away from people. I think that kind of lifestyle makes a person happy, either. Plus, he had no easy access to modern communication before I got to know him. I can’t even imagine what would happen to him if he had a medical emergency. It might be months before someone finds the body, as far out of the way as his home is.

If you have any questions for Fred, you can always post a comment. He only checks the computer on odd numbered non-Fridays, so it may take some time for him to respond. I’ll try to get better at being more active on here, for his sake. I think he deserves some sort of legacy, and a guy as smart as him still has a lot to share with the world.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

- Seth

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sermon #13

One morning, the teacher and his two star pupils woke up to find the devious one absent from his bed.

“I’m surprised he woke up early enough,” said Josh.

“He didn’t, he left after he thought we were all asleep, late last night,” replied Kyron.

“You didn’t stop him?” asked Yaway.

“He did us a favor,” said Josh.

Kyron sighed. “Maybe, for the time being.”

The trio found life much easier, as all three of them more than carried their own weight. For once, no one was dragging them down. Yaway seemed to have forgotten to question Kyron, and Josh maintained a quiet but supportive demeanor.

Of course, there is only so long that three men can remain alone in the woods. The day came when Yaway would have to do what Kyron described as “finding a mate.” He explained that he would most certainly not love and stay with the one he was with first, but that being a god, he would most certainly father children from any encounters he should have.

He explained all of the criteria Yaway ought to look for in a consort: courage, temperance, generosity, confidence, optimism, honesty, wit, kindness, modesty, contentment… and if all else fails, settle for a woman with a symmetrical face and well proportioned figure.

Josh also gave his advice in a less calculated fashion. He said that there was little point in giving advice on what kind of woman to look for, because one cannot control who will set his heart a flutter, nor can one control who will return his affection.

They traveled for days, singing and telling stories, as they made their way to the human world. Once there, it was another long journey to their destination, a monument where a lunar festival would be held on the night following the vernal equinox.

People flocked from all over to make sacrifices, eat exotic foods, meet new people, and most of all, to consume alcohol, be merry, and procreate.

“This is where I bid you good luck. With all these people around, I can’t show my face, er, actually my legs,” Kyron said, looking down at his hooves. “Josh, I’m counting on you to keep an eye on him.”

“We’ll be fine,” Yaway said, giddy at the sight of the crowd. Each was decked out in their favorite garb, Yaway in a purple silk robe trimmed with gold threaded floral and ivy patterns with a white linen toga underneath. Josh wore a garment resembling a kilt which came up to the top of his rib cage, with a bear skin cape draped from his right shoulder and covering his left half.

As they approached, young boys came up to them and asked for their weapons. They were given clay tablets with markings on them and told these would ensure their belongings were returned after the event.

They happened to arrive just as a young ewe was being dragged to the altar to be slaughtered. It bleated the whole way, struggling to free it’s tied feet.

“Wait,” yelled Josh.

He pushed through the crowd and arrived at the altar where the ewe had just been laid down. He rested his hand on the sheep’s neck. “You can’t kill this animal.”

“This is an ordained sacrifice for the goddess, its fate was determined long ago when it was the first born of the year,” replied the priest, who wielded a bronze knife.

“This is not an offering for the goddess, it is a goddess,” said Josh.

The priest looked at the sheep’s owner and asked if he was behind this, and the owner said he had no idea what was going on. “Why should I believe you?” the priest asked Josh.

“No! Don’t kill me!” the sheep screamed.

The priest’s eyes widened and he dropped the knife. He took a slow step backward, while the sheep’s owner squinted and cocked his head.

“Please! Let me live, I want to live!” pleaded the ewe.

“If you would permit me, I will procure a suitable replacement sacrifice if you would allow me to take her into my care,” said Josh.

The priest and sheep’s owner agreed, for they lacked any other recourse given the unusual circumstances. Josh made his way quickly back to Yaway. “There’s a a herd of aurochsen over there, I need to get one of them if I’m going to save the love of my life.”

“Considering what we came for, it’s strange that you’re planning on leaving with a sheep. I know gods have a history of turning ourselves into animals to seduce women… but I think you have it backwards, my friend,” replied Yaway.

“Trust me, she was the best choice of anyone here. Enjoy the show,” Josh said, patting Yaway on the arm and jogging over to the aurochs herd.

“What is your friend doing?” a soft voice behind him asked. Yaway turned and saw a soft-featured, red-haired woman with freckles and green eyes.

“I’m never sure,” he replied. “Hi, I’m Deyus.”

“My name’s Lilith. I’ve never seen you before. I love your clothing, it’s beautiful.”

“I got it in trade from a silk weaver,” said Yaway. The weavers were worms, and he paid for it by threatening the birds who were eating them.

“How… eastern,” she said.

As they made idle chit-chat, a small crowd had turned to watch Josh provoke one of the male aurochsen and drive it away from the rest of the herd. He circled the bull, which stood its ground and kept its horns pointed at Josh. He removed his cape and folded it over one arm.

The aurochs put its head low and charged. Josh side stepped successfully. He opened his cape in front of him and stretched the bear skin wide, standing to one side of it. The bull charged the center of the cape, which Josh pulled away, leaving the bull to gore empty air. The crowd hooted and hollered, half rooting for the bull and half rooting for the man tempting it.

The two continued their dance for a short time, until the bull faltered during one of his charges. Josh did not hesitate at the mistake, and he quickly grabbed one of the massive horns and twisted, sending the bull sliding on its side. The beast kicked wildly a bit before righting itself onto its hooves.

Josh threw his cape to the ground and proceeded to take a strip of leather that was tucked into his belt out, bend down, and pick up a rock about the size of an apple. He loaded it into the sling and swung it above his head. As the bull charged him, he let loose the rock, which struck the aurochs square in the forehead. Its legs gave out and the momentum of the rush towards its killer caused it to fall face-first into the dirt and skid for nearly a full body length.

Regardless of who each was rooting for, the entire crowd cheered wildly at the outcome.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sermon #12

Things got easier for Kyron with the quick witted Josh as his attack dog. Every time Wile aimed to stir trouble, Josh was prepared with a biting rebuttal. Finally, it all came to a head when a petty dispute over Wile’s slow pace during a walk caused Josh to challenge him to a duel.

Each chose his weapons of choice, Wile a saber and short dagger, and Josh an ashwood club and an oaken shield. Kyron drew a large circle several meters in diameter into the ground with a stick. Each agreed to fight until one submitted or could no longer continue.

Yaway stood next to Kyron, hands on his hips, beaming a big smile, inwardly considering the implications of each one’s victory. He looked down at Kyron, he smiled and winked.

“Begin,” yelled Kyron.

The two combatants circled, neither making a move or so much as flinching for several revolutions. Wile struck first, a thrust with his sword that was effortlessly deflected by Josh’s shield. Wile smirked, feinted and kicked hard at his opponent’s shield. Another thrust, this one side stepped, but this time Wile stepped into his opponent and stabbed his dagger low. The dagger’s blade made contact with Josh’s leather tunic, but did not break through.

Josh pushed Wile with all his strength to create some separation before swinging his club to totally clear the space in front of him. He then charged shield first into Wile, toppled him. He turned and walked back to his starting position as Wile struggled to his feet. Wile felt he should be able to win this, as he was markedly faster, but felt his choice of weapons was holding him back.

“Can I switch?” Wile said, panting. “I want two sabers. There’s no point in having a dagger against this beast. I can’t get close enough to use it without giving up my advantage.”

“Your call, Josh,” replied Kyron.

“Victory is sweetest when you know your opponent is at their best. He can have access to the whole damn arsenal is he wants. I’ll be just fine with this.”

Wile discarded the dagger and grabbed another saber, weighing it in his hand, feeling the balance of it. He stepped back into the ring, Kyron asked for each to nod their agreement that they were prepared to begin again, and the duel continued.

Wile lunged wildly at Josh, slashing then stabbing, swinging for his legs and attacking his head. Each blow was absorbed by the shield which Josh ducked behind, as most of the delicate blade’s cuts glanced off harmlessly. Wile kept up his onslaught as long as he could, finally disengaging to assume a defensive stance so he could catch his breath and wait for Josh to make a move.

Josh just stood there, glaring at Wile. He dropped his guard and both his arms hung at his side. The club and shield fell from his hand. Wile blinked in confusion, stood there for a few seconds, then screamed while running at Josh.

As Wile slashed from both sides at his opponent’s head, Josh went low, bounding forward on all fours, being narrowly nicked in the back of his head. Despite his momentum, Wile was stopped and pushed back as the crown of Josh’s head hit him directly in the sternum, and the wind was knocked right out of him. Josh then proceeded to pounce upon Josh, and they wrestled in the dirt.

Wile quickly dropped his sabers, which were useless to him against an opponent who was mere inches from his face. After securing Wile’s arms, Josh began pummeling him with fists as big as cantaloupes. It took only seconds for Wile’s body to go limp, with Kyron calling the duel in Josh’s favor.

After reviving Wile, the class returned to the day’s lessons and chores, and things got more quiet.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sermon #11

Over the course of a few days, the serpent Wile became the god Wile. He grew arms and legs, and his scales fell off to reveal snow white skin beneath. Kyron begrudgingly began the task of teaching the pair together.

Wile was not diligent. While Kyron worked non-stop, without pause, Wile would take long extended breaks where he would slowly, and maybe even intentionally drag out questions for Kyron which brought the lesson off into a confusing tangent. If Kyron said, “the sky was blue,” Wile would point out that at dusk and dawn, it can take on the many hues, from orange to purple. If Kyron said ants were always busy, Wile would point out that the queen sat around most of the day in luxury, being attended to by workers.

Kyron was beginning to feel that Wile was undermining his teachings to the point of truly doing damage to Yaway. One morning he told Wile to do the days chores and spend his spare time however he wished, for he and Yaway were going to see a friend of his. Wile rolled over in his bed and went back to sleep as Kyron and Yaway set out.

When Yaway asked who they were going to meet, Kyron said told him it was a surprise. Kyron then told Yaway the tale of the man who wanted to buy a horse.

A purchaser at a stable asked the owner if he might give a horse a try before purchasing it, to ensure its constitution. The owner agreed to give him a one week trial. Upon bringing the horse home, the man set it out to pasture with his other horses. After a few minutes, the horse left the group and trotted up to his laziest horse, which was notably stubborn and gluttonous. The man bridled the horse, walked it back to the stable, and informed the owner that he did not want the horse. When asked how he could tell in such a short time, the man replied, “I could tell by the company it kept.”

Yaway thought for a minute and asked, “But what if the horse was just kind and didn’t want that horse to be alone?”

“Perhaps,” replied Kyron.

Kyron then told him the story of the travelers and the bear.

Two travelers were walking when a bear appeared and stood before them, then roared. As one of the travelers fumbled for his weapon, the other traveler bolted towards the nearest tree and climbed up as high as he could. As the bear galloped at the one standing his ground, he fell to the ground and held his breath, remaining as still as possible. From the tree, the other man saw the bear circle his friend, sniff at his head, then saunter away. He climbed down and asked his companion what happened. He replied, “The bear whispered in my ear that I should not travel with cowards who move more quickly than I do.”

“Do you know what the moral of that story is?” asked Kyron.

“I should surround myself with people who are less athletic than me?”

“No. It is that a friendship is tested during times of peril. Sometimes the only way to see who your real friends are is when things are looking grim.”

Yaway pondered this for a time.

They came to the base of a mountain, where a raw was standing stoically on the precipice of a rock outcrop. He wore a green Phrygian cap and studded leather armor.

“Josh, it’s me, Kyron.”

“Kyron! What brings you here?”

The two exchanged pleasantries and embraced, laughing about old times and taking light-hearted jabs at each other. Yaway stood with his arms crossed, surveying the area. Kyron introduced the two and they sat down outside the entrance to a burrow.

“Yaway, I beg a favor of you. I fear that you simply don’t know many people, and that’s partly my own fault. I want to introduce you to someone who may be the ideal companion. But he won’t join us without testing you.”

“So let me get this straight,” said Yaway. “He has to know whether I’m worthy of him becoming a god?”

“Unlike your serpentine friend, I will swear loyalty to you to the bitter end, and I am a hero you won’t regret having on your side. The only thing is, I have no interest in following a fool.”

“Only if I get to ask a riddle of you, in order to make sure you’re as smart as you claim.”

The ram snorted and chuckled. “Fair enough. Answer me this: Whenever you add to this, you subtract from it. What is it?”

Yaway stood up and began to pace. He began to grind his teeth and furrow his brow. He wracked his brain… until he smiled. “Truth.”

“I’m impressed. I should have guessed as much from a fellow student of Kyron. Well, time to test my mettle.”

“Yes, hmm.” Yaway continued pacing, thinking for a bit. “Okay, what is it that you keep when you give it to someone else?”

“Your word,” said Josh.

“Well, it’s settled then,” said Kyron. “Let’s head back. I hate to leave Wile alone with my stuff.”

“Boy, he sounds like quite a joy,” said Josh.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sermon #10

Kyron left to gather ingredients necessary to brew Ambrosia, and told Yaway he should spend the day deciding who he wants to be his companions.

Yaway ventured to the spot he had met Wile, and sure enough, he found a piece of fruit in the middle of the road, and he bent over to pick it up, he tensed and prepared to intercept the strike. He caught the serpent just behind the head, just before it could sink its fangs into Yaway’s ankle.

“Hello, Wile.”

“How do you know what only reptiles know?” said the serpent.

“I’m here to offer you a gift,” said Yaway. “I need someone like yourself, someone who is crafty and cunning. Do you swear allegiance to me?”

“I swear to no one. You mention a gift, but all I’ve heard is a demand.”

“Do you recognize me?”

“I think I would have remembered a god if I saw one,” said Wile.

“Do you see a lot of snakes with lion heads?”

Wile flicked his tongue. “Yaway, was it?”

“Yes.”

“My friend! Please, there’s no need to keep such a firm grasp on a pal, right?”

Yaway set him down.

“Now about that gift…”

“I am looking for new gods.”

“New ones, huh? Word is there are no gods left.”

“And yet here I stand,” said Yaway.

“Indeed. There you stand.”

They both remained silent for some time, Wile gyrating back and forth.

“Look, how about this,” said Yaway. “You and I can be equals. If the that’s what’s keeping you from doing it, forget swearing to me.”

Wile couldn’t resist. He followed Yaway back to the cave, where they awaited Kyron’s return. When he finally came in with the bag full of reagents, Kyron glanced at the two of them and called Yaway over to him.

“What are you thinking?” asked Kyron.

“I know it’s a risky move, but he’s everything I want in an ally: he is keen and canny. He can execute a plan, and most of all… he most resembles my own nature.”

“You could have sought a lion,” said Kyron.

“And I still can. I just think Wile will make the best right-hand.”

“Remember the snake and the beaver.”

There was a forest fire spreading and a beaver was about ready to cross a river to safety when a snake called out to him. The snake asked the beaver to ferry him to safety. When asked why the beaver should trust the snake, the snake replied that if he were to bite the beaver mid-stream, both would drown and perish. The beaver found this logical and let the snake slither onto his back. Halfway across the river, the snake bit the beaver. Just before he became paralyzed, the beaver asked with his dying breath: “Why?” The snake replied, “It is my nature.”

“Look,” said Yaway, “If it’s in his nature to be a certain way, it’s in my nature to be that way, too.”

Kyron sighed and said, “It is your choice.”

Kyron brewed the Ambrosia up to the point of adding a splash of Yaway’s blood. At this point, Kyron took a flint knife slit Yaway’s palm, dripping blood into the brew. It began to bubble and turned from muddy brown to golden.

Wile drank the contents of the bowl and fell into a deep sleep.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sermon #9

Yaway learned swiftly, and Kyron proved to be a patient yet demanding tutor. Over time, Yaway grew to resemble a human, and he was taught to be a masterful musician, a proficient poet, and a savvy soldier. Kyron would do most of his instruction as the two walked about or while doing chores. The two never sat still for long. There was always activity, things to do, places to go.

The first story Yaway ever remembered Kyron telling him was about a lion and a satyr. The satyr was walking through the forest when he saw the lion, moaning to itself. The satyr slowly approached and noticed one of the lion’s paws was soaked in blood. Upon closer inspection, he saw a thorn wedged firmly between the pads. He worked it free and was about to walk away when the Lion shouted, “Thank you, I won’t forget this.”

Years later, in an arena far away, that same satyr was being put to death for the amusement of the crowd. A cage was opened, and the beast bounded for the poor creature, who sunk to its knees in acceptance of his fate. As foam whipped off behind the lion, racing toward its meal, at the last minute it recognized it’s old friend, the satyr who mended his paw.

The lion embraced the satyr to the uproarious screams of the crowd, which grew ever more quiet as the two shed no blood, but instead tumbled in laughter about the arena floor. The lion batted at the satyr and rolled on its back, paws in the air. The crowd began to chant for the guards to slaughter them both. The satyr then addressed the crowd:

“You can punish this lion for failing to do its job, but it would be an unjust decision. If you must blame anyone, blame me, for I have done a favor for this lion in the past, and his refusal to tear me asunder is not abandonment of his duty, but in appreciation for the kindness I extended to him. Do not fault him, for gratitude is the sign of a noble soul.”

The crowd was so moved that they called for both to be spared.

Kyron always had a way of simplifying the complexities of the world. There was always a story to be told which illustrated every point Yaway had trouble grasping. And Kyron appreciated his pupil as much as Yaway valued his tutor, for Kyron had been aimless for some time before Yaway came into his life.

Before long, the questions became more than Kyron could answer. Who am I? Where did I come from? What is my purpose? These were questions Kyron could not answer, though he promised his young apprentice that he would do everything in his power to find out.

While Yaway was chopping down a tree for wood, Kyron told him he would need to venture out in order to seek answers. As twilight began to spread across the sky, there was no sign of Kyron. As darkness enveloped the entirety of heaven, Yaway continued his routine of preparing two dinners, and sat in front of his bowl, waiting patiently for Kyron to return.

Finally, just as Yaway’s eyelids were beginning to feel like lead weights, Kyron returned. He said he had much to discuss with Yaway, and the two talked well into the night between mouthfuls of soup.

Kyron had found the barn where Yaway had been, and he had spoken with as many of the creatures in the area as he could. His suspicions had been correct, Yaway was told, and Kyron was ready to explain with some certainty what had happened.

Yaway was told of how his race had battled viciously to the bitter end, how he was the last of his kind, and that there was no certainty about his parents, except that they were dead. He explained who the gods were, what their role was in the grander scheme, and told him he was destined to become more powerful than he or Kyron could ever imagine.

He explained that one day, the time would come that Kyron would not be enough for him, and that he would need to find a male, someone like him with whom he could spend the rest of his days. When Yaway asked how this could be possible, if he was the last of his kind, Kyron explained that they were going to have to make more gods.

Monday, February 28, 2011

How Seth Met Fred

I work as a rancher, and I’ve met a lot of interesting people. Fred sticks out from all the rest.

I saw him at the local farmer’s market, selling fish. His sign always interested me, even though I don’t usually eat fish (it stinks up the whole house when you make it). His sign listed the price of the various cuts of various local caught fish he was selling, with a note that he was willing to barter, and there was a sentence at the bottom with stars around it. It said “free story with every purchase.”

I was having a cookout in a few days and I thought maybe I could try my hand at grilling some fish (since it’s outdoors and all), so I came up to his stand. He’s old looking, very haggard. I think people in the city might mistake him for homeless, but I’m used to seeing farm hands present themselves worse. He had holes in his shirt and his shoes were more mud than leather.

I looked at the ziplock bags of fish he had. I remember rethinking my decision, because I tend to shy away from meat vendors who don’t have a vacuum-sealer. But I was determined to get a story. I picked up a few U-shaped salmon steaks that turned out to be delicious with a lemon-honey marinade.

As I handed it to him, he asked me if I was the guy who worked at the meat stand, and he motioned towards my wife at our table. I said yes, and he asked if he might trouble me for an equal value of soup bones. I told him that I don’t think we had enough to equal the salmon, which was $18. We usually only bring a dozen soup bones and we sell them for a buck each. He said he’d take what we had, minus one, “just in case anyone comes wanting one.”

I jogged back to our table, told our wife to bag up all but one of the soup bones, and I came back to get my salmon and story. He just sort of handed me the salmon steaks and put his head back down, without saying a word. I asked him what about my story, and he looked up and smiled. He said most people think they get better stories from TV, so they usually didn’t want to hear his. I told him the whole reason I came over was the story. And I’ll never forget what he told me.

There was this ant and this caterpillar walking on a tree branch one day. The ant came up to the caterpillar and said, “You are so slow! I can run circles around you.” And the ant did just that, he ran in circles around the caterpillar. “All you do is eat!” said the ant, and he continued to mock him like this as the caterpillar slowly but surely made his way to a leaf, which he devoured while the ant hurled insults at him. “One of these days you’re going to get so fat you won’t be able to move!” said the ant. Sure enough, one day the caterpillar was so fat he was almost bursting, and he wove himself a cocoon. “Now look at you, you can’t even go anywhere! I can still climb the tallest trees, but you’re now stuck to this branch and as inactive as a rock!” One day the ant came back to further mock the caterpillar when all he could find was pieces of the chrysalis beneath where he hung. He looked up and saw a butterfly, which said, “Where are your boasts now, ant?” before winging his way high into the air.

I don’t know why, but that story really struck me. I bought a few more fish from him over the course of months, I got more stories, and he even gave me some great recipes and cooking tips on not just the fish, but other stuff as well. I’m thinking of sharing those in the future, because some of them are downright delicious and they’re so simple. Like, the easiest one is he suggested I just use apple cider vinegar by itself as a salad dressing, and it’s now my favorite dressing. I even ask the restaurant me and my wife go out to for date-night to use it, after I asked if they have any apple cider vinegar and it turns out they use it for cooking something on the menu.

Over time, I got to talking to him about what he does and how he’s come to have so many stories. He says he reads a lot, spends a lot of time at the library, and what obviously struck me was when he said he talks to “the gods.” He said it so matter-of-factly. I didn’t know what to do but smile, and it wasn’t until later when I thought about it that I thought he was crazy.

But crazy he is not. I don’t know if he talks to gods or spirits or whatever, but I know he’s sharp as a tack and wouldn’t harm a fly. In my book, that makes you a good person. The gods don’t seem to be telling him to burn down city hall or kill the news anchor, so I reckon it’s pretty harmless. I’ve discussed this all with him, and he says that’s why he’s kind of a loner. People try to get him committed, apparently.

I maybe thought he was a little nuts again when he showed me where he lived, but I guess it isn’t a problem for one guy. He lives like I imagine people might live if they never invented TV or electricity or running water. He’s very austere, as my grandpa might have said. Me, I need my TV. Can’t live without that.

He comes over every other day or so. We actually switched it up recently because apparently he found out he is only allowed to post on odd numbered days. I let him use our shower and we plug in his new cell phone to recharge, since his place has no outlets. We used to just sit and chat, but I suggested he write stuff down and post it online. I told him it was completely anonymous, and he agreed. I got him set up with a Microsoft word document and when he was happy with it, we made a blog and posted it online.

Thanks for the support and questions. Sometimes I was making comments on Fred’s account before I made my own, but I think I should be able to keep them straight by having Fred logged into his account and me logged into mine.

Thank for reading.

- Seth

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sermon #8

After a short walk, Yaway was carried into a small gathering of beings. They crowded around Him, speaking in hushed tones. After some time, Yaway got fussy, and they began to disperse. The satyr motioned Yaway to follow him as he walked into a small village.

Yaway was led into a small hut where an owl was seated next to a ram reclining on a couch. On the table was the liver of an animal, though Yaway was unaware of what it was.

The owl began to peck at the liver, carefully dissecting it, inspecting the patterns in the lobes. The owl hooted a few times, the ram bleeted, and the satyr gasped, staring gap-jawed at Yaway.

The satyr and owl conversed for a bit, during which time Yaway drank in the surroundings. The small hut had a wall entirely full jars, vials, bottles, glass vessels of every shape, size and color imaginable. The wall behind the owl had shelves with baskets, leather bound books, clay tablets, and a few vases with flowers.

Behind the wall with the ram… where was the ram?

Yaway looked down to see the ram staring up at him. Yaway glanced over to the satyr, who was still engaging the owl in a heated discussion.

“Yah-weh,” he said, timidly.

The ram merely grunted and shook its head.

Yaway busied his eyes a bit longer, and the satyr eventually laid his hand on Yaway and said, “Let’s go,” and motioned towards the door.

Yaway and the satyr made their way through the town, a journey amidst the suspicious eyes of all they passed. Their walk drew the gaze of every animal in the town: squirrels peeking through their windows, foxes knitting on the porch, baby mice peeking out from behind their mother. One and all, they watched.

When the pair entered the wooded wilderness, the satyr stopped Yaway and stood in front of him.

“You won’t understand me yet,” he said. “But I have been charged with educating you. My name is Kyron.” He pointed his finger at himself, “Kyron.” He then pointed at Yaway, “Yaway.”

“Yah-weh.”

Kyron led his pupil back down the path, past an apple laying in the road, and when it was getting nearly dark, Kyron turned off from the dirt path and walked some ways into trees and up a slope, until they came to a cave.

Kyron hurried about, putting things in order, clearing a place on the floor and laying out a blanket. By the time the darkness of night had fallen completely, Kyron had laid Yaway down to bed.

“Tomorrow, we set about teaching you to speak.”

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sermon #7

I want to introduce you to someone. This is Seth.

[Hello]

I’m sure that seems a little insane, but Seth is always around when I’m typing out my posts (and he is typing this). No, Seth isn’t an invisible friend, he’s the owner of the computer I’m using. My home doesn’t have the internet, or electricity. Seth lets me use his computer and charge my cellphone at regular intervals through an arrangement we have.

I fish. It’s not a hobby, it’s what I do. Seth is kind enough to let me use his computer for a little while when I’m able. It was his idea to post some of my ramblings. I usually just come over to use his shower, but he convinced me that I should get a cellphone, then to write down some of my thoughts.

When I ran this by those it may concern, most were not keen on the idea. They reminded me I could not use electronics on Fridays, and they demanded I only post on odd numbered days. Seth thought it would be a better idea if I just give him something to put online for odd Fridays, because even he couldn’t wait until Sunday.

Hopefully he writes all of this for me [I did], because I won’t be writing anything about Yawa’s origins. [damnit]

I want to explain something about the gods. They subsist on us. It’s a sad truth, and it’s one which nearly drove me mad. It’s pretty much universal, too.

Babies, saints, soldiers who die heroically in battle, people who perish in their lovers’ arms, leaders, celebrities, fathers of three, mothers with child, one and all are mercilessly cut down, consumed, and destroyed.

I lie. Not everyone, but everyone enough. The hope is so minute as to not even be worth mentioning. Sometimes the gods bestow the gift of immortality to people, but it is ridiculously arbitrary. It depends on their mood, and each of them has ascended people for totally different reasons. And yet, they have done so for few people. They haven’t even bothered in decades.

I have been assured through oracles that I won’t become a god. I have come to terms with this. I can’t help any of you, because knowing any of this provides nothing but the time to prepare yourself.

Maybe it’s safer to believe you’ll be entering heaven, though it is safer to say that you’ll become one with a god. But you will lose anything resembling you. The greatest truth I can provide for you is this: that which is you is finite. The Buddha was close when he told us “We are nothing.” We are something, for a little while, but ultimately, he is right on an endless timeline. Even the gods will fade away, so winning the divine lottery is still not an eternal reward.

I wouldn’t bother to tell you any of this, but Seth asked me to share it with the world. [I wanted more of the story]

Until next time…

[I may make my own account in order to post my own thoughts here and to relay some of the things Fred has told me over the few months I’ve known him]

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sermon #6

Yaway left all He knew in the barn by the lake and set out to explore the world. He walked into the sunrise at morning, then turned around as the noon shadow lay directly below Him. In this way, He would set out in a different direction every day and returned home by nightfall.

He did this three hundred and sixty times, each in a slightly different direction. Each time, He saw no living thing but the animals and vegetation. On His way home from His 360th time out, He realized He would have to approach his exploration differently in the morning.

At dawn’s next break, Yaway gathered a few days worth of fruit, filled a jar from the barn with water, and walked into the sunrise. He remembered that He had seen a road just ahead of where the half-day’s journey ended on his first day out, and He had never in the three hundred and fifty-nine other trips out seen anything like it.

When He came to the road, He stopped, took a deep breath, and thought: “This is the farthest I have ever been from home. If I continue, I won’t be able to sleep in the barn tonight.”

He stood there with indecision.

“Pssst.”

Yaway jumped back from the sound.

“Pssssst.”

Yaway’s eyes darted frantically, looking for the source of the noise.

“Hey, down here.”

Yaway still did not understand speech, being scarcely over a year old and having never heard it before. When the serpent’s head rose from the underbrush, Yaway was not frightened.

“A lion’s head, you don’t see that on a lot of snakes,” said the serpent, looking as Yaway as he circled. Yaway simply blinked.

“You don’t understand a word I’m saying, do you?” The serpent glided slowly around Yaway. “My name is Wile. Wile.” The serpent’s face got very close to Yaway’s. “Why-ul… can you say Wile?”

“Yah…weh.”

“Pleasure to meet you, Yaway. I can’t help but notice all that food and water you have there… I’m thinking you and I might be able to help each other out.”

Wile whipped around to the bag lying at the base of Yaway’s body and stuck his head in. He came out with an apple in his mouth. Wile slithered over to the road and placed the apple down in the middle of it before winding his way back to the edge of the brush.

“Get down.”

Yaway remained largely upright, head above the bushes. Wile wound his way over and pulled the hair on Yaway’s chin down with his tail. “Down, down.”

Slowly and quietly, Wile stalked to the edge of the road, near the apple.

Some time passed, during which hundreds of questions swirled in Yaway’s head, though they lacked any real significance to an intelligent or language using individual. Perhaps the most easy to grasp concept knocking around in there was a sort of question as to why an apple had been put in the road.

Around this time, a strange little creature made its way down the path and stopped to pick up the apple. Wile struck from the wayside and bit it in the ankle. The creature had not taken but a few steps before it keeled over, twitching, foaming at the mouth, face accented by pale, blue veins.

“Now, I eat.”

Wile proceeded to slowly but surely consume the entire carcass of the beast whole, leaving a large bulge in his body.

“Okay, now it’s your turn.”

Wile took out another apple from the bag and motioned with his head to follow him. After a little more goading, Yaway followed Wile to the road’s edge.

When a creature approached the apple, Wile nudged Yaway forward. Yaway clumsily pounced at the animal’s ankles, and managed to bite one of its hooves, but unbeknownst to Yaway (and to the entertainment of Wile), He had no venom. The satyr gave a startled yell and stumbled a bit, but when he looked down at the lion-headed snake that had lunged at him, there was only one thing his instincts told him to do.

The ash walking stick clubbed Yaway right where the upper and lower jaws meet. Yaway was knocked out cold.

When He woke up, he was still in the road, and the satyr He bit was standing over Him.

“Good, you’re awake. The snake in the grass over there tells me you’re Yaway. Is that your name?”

“Yah-weh.”

“Look,” said the satyr. “I should kill you right now. In fact… I tried, but you can’t seem to be killed with conventional weapons. I don’t know who you are, but I think you’d better come with me and stop hanging around with serpents… despite your appearance. You are the company you keep.”

Yaway stared blankly up at the satyr, confused and aching.

“Come on,” the satyr said, hoisting Yaway onto his shoulders. The bulk of Him dragged behind as the satyr carried Him down the road in the direction from which he had come.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sermon #5


I cannot post on even numbered days, and I cannot post on Fridays. Those were my instructions.

It’s odd, walking around and seeing people who cannot see me. They aren’t bumping into me because they think I’m invisible, they just have no way of knowing who I am. I suppose I don’t know who they are either, but how many people really have a lot going on? Most seem to just be rushing from one pointless obligation to the next.

Perhaps my obligations are pointless, too. Perhaps each of our lots in life seem entirely important to each of us, while seeming to be empty gestures to those around us. Maybe nothing we do is important, and that it is merely important that we do something.

The gods are always busy, which might be why they are so hard to contact. I sometimes go days or weeks without speaking to the one I am looking for, even though I know precisely where to go, what to do, and how to ask for them. Even then, they seem too pre-occupied to truly give me their time. I seem more of an afterthought.

Then again, I am nothing but a tasty morsel, and they are gods.

What would you do if you were alone in the world? Would you know you were alone? How could you? Wouldn’t you only know that which you had seen? Would you go looking?

I don’t know if anyone would simply curl up and die if they thought they were alone. Maybe some would, initially, but imagine how boring it would be. I think one would be forced quite quickly to go searching for someone… or something.

The world of the gods is nothing like ours. Scratch that, it’s similar, and it may appear on the surface to be quite alike… though even the surface itself is fundamentally different. The world of the gods is not round, like our Earth. It is flat.

This is not to say there are no mountains or valleys, merely that if you were to walk in one direction from the beginning of time until the end of the universe, you would continue to get further and further from where you started. Their world is boundless and infinite.

This world has many names, and in it are many places you have likely heard of in mythology, or even seen in your dreams. Many places appear similar to lands here in our world, while others are so fantastical that your eyes might bleed if you were to gaze upon them.

All in all, however, it is merely another world, one which is governed by different laws, laws regarding both natural physics and individual action. I am no scientist, so I cannot elaborate with specifics, but you or I would be utterly confused by this Other World.

And that’s what I have come to call it: the Other World. Layered within our own existence, like different radio frequencies transmitted in the same place, our tuners only pick up one world, this one. With a little help from the gods, spirits, daemons, jinn, angels, or others… we can briefly get static ridden, choppy, and incomplete access to the Other World.

If you were alone, would you reach out to the first being that answered your panicked cries?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sermon #4


Does it upset you that there are microorganisms that have better lives than you?

It’s an interesting existence, life in this world or dimension or whatever we’re calling it this era. We rely on the decomposed corpses of the long dead dinosaurs. We grow plants to kill and eat them. We herd animals into tight spaces and give them miserable lives so that we may slaughter them and devour their flesh.

I’m not suggesting you eat dirt (which is just dead material) or rocks (which is sometimes dead material). Rather, I’m asking you: How do you feel knowing you’re part of a constant cycle of subsisting off the dead until we ourselves one day die? What’s worse, we aren’t providing much.

Plastic, I guess. If the world needed plastic, we did our job. I’ll have to ask that the next chance I get: what is the point of plastic? They say “A diamond lasts forever,” and that’s a nice marketing slogan for a company that violently exploits the ultra-poor and young, foolish couples. Clearly the former are getting the harsher end of the stick than the latter, and it’s the latter’s continued ignorance that enables the whole process to continue.

Imagine a world where nobody died. It would be awful. Your grandparents and their grandparents, and their great-great-great-great-grandparents. They all still believe in slavery and misogyny, and of course they see age as the defining factor when it comes to authority.

This is the world of the gods. They cannot escape their tradition, because their past never leaves. The old never die, and the young never get ahead.

Those with eyes are best to read this.

One of the ways of killing a god was finally discovered. I cannot share it with you (nor any of the others), but I assure you… it is barbaric. It was so simple, it was shocking that no one had thought to try it before.

War broke out. Long-standing feuds that had remained dormant for millennia in stalemate erupted with a renewed fervency with the knowledge that one could attain satisfaction. Rather than continue to live in peace, the gods chose instead to wield this new weapon against those they disliked, those who had wronged them, those who had wronged their family, and those who had just not shown them enough “respect.”

In the end, the gods had all killed themselves, save for one: a young infant named Yaway. A large cow named Kamadhenu waltzed into a barn, where the baby had been hidden by its mother. The cow heard the baby god wailing, plodded over, and offered its utters.

The baby grew up, alone in a world very different from this one. While the gods had all killed themselves, there was quite a bit of life in the Old Place. Yaway learned quickly from the natural surroundings, and (as gods are wont to do) He grew just as rapidly as you could imagine. Each morning He woke up another year older, and what’s more, another year wiser. Within three weeks, He was 21 and He was sure He knew everything.

This is when He found out the point of all of this: He hadn’t truly understood what was going on. The cow, the grass, the trees, the fish in the water, the birds in the air… it was all alive. He wasn’t alone, after all.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sermon #3

The gods are born innocent; they must be taught to lie. We are born deceptive, and must be taught honesty. Or perhaps you are what you eat.

It’s a strange world we live in, with the wool pulled over our eyes. We’ve been fleeced. We bathe in napalm and garlic.

What if there are gods? What if there aren’t? Would you be surprised if the answer was the same?

If good ideas were contagious, then religion is vaccine. Faith is where your soul goes to die. You grow through questioning, and truth is above consensus.

My greatest comfort is that there is only one of each of us. We are mortal and we are finite. Our repulsive corruption will not last forever.

There is nothing for us to do in the grander scheme of things. We need not worry ourselves about the master plan. We should concern ourselves with making our fellow scum as comfortable as possible.

Instead, we busy ourselves with the accumulation of objects. We poison each other for profit.  We measure our greatness by the abuse we inflict upon others.

But this is our lot, to squabble over petty trinkets, titles, and tautologies. Our very language has doomed us to an existence of pointless bickering. The priorities of the human race have been completely turned on their head.

We shape our world with intangibles. We imagine this is all easy to grasp. We are wrong.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sermon #2

We are all priests, and we are all saints. In our own hands, each of our churches fall into apostasy, one by one.

Truth is real, though it cannot be seen, or touched, or even detected. It is up to us to recognize it when it is revealed, when the thin gossamer veil is lifted for an instant.

If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it, does it still make a sound? The birds assure me, it does.

There is so much about which we can be certain, almost as much as we must doubt. My greatest comfort is that the most important things in this life are things we can know for sure.

I cannot convince you there are gods. I don’t need to. At any rate, it is the atheists and agnostics who are most adored by the gods. One could barely fill a high school auditorium with those who are true believers and have been blessed by the spirits with their divine gifts.

I have been up the mountain, over a dozen in fact. A few volcanoes, too. Oh, and the Grand Canyon. But my travelogue isn’t what’s important. What’s important is this: you are all just tasty morsels.

Until next time…

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sermon #1

I’m sure you have many questions… like, what do the gods smell like? How can I avoid irritating them with my meaningless prayers? Why do men have nipples?

All in good time, my fellow cattle, all in good time.

First, a little about myself. In rhetoric, this is called, “establishing credentials.” I have lived an ascetic lifestyle for some time, removing myself from the materialistic world. I do not drink alcohol, or water.

I have spent weeks without opening my eyes, dwelling completely in thought (you have no idea how hard it is to train yourself to not open your eyes when waking up from sleep).

I have pulled every hair out of my body with tweezers, one by one. I don’t think that had much to do with anything, but I did it.

I have stood with one foot in a bucket of cold water with my other foot raised in the air, like a flamingo, for hours.

I have learned to language of birds and they share with me news from the sky.

Through these things, and countless other token displays, I have learned to commune with the divine. I not only speak to the gods, they sometimes speak back. And yet… they bring a very different message than any I have read or heard before.

The gods are sick of us. They’re prepared to kill nearly all of us, though they’re simply too lazy to get around to it (we just aren’t a very high priority). I have been assured nothing like that will happen in my lifetime, but that’s not saying much… as I am very unhealthy.

But this isn’t about me. I am merely a messenger, and a messenger like no other. I ask for nothing, not even remembrance. Forget me, so that there is more room in your memory for what I have to share.

The gods want us to shut up.

Until next time…