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Author Topic: Child of Spring: Chapter 10  (Read 1700 times)
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« on: 12 August 2012, 00:46:38 »

EDIT: Done! This chapter ended up a bit longer than the others.



CHILD OF SPRING

This is the story of Winter and the Way of Wind and Water. He is one of the Gifted, those rare individuals born with natural magical ability. He has lived the life of a Krean monk since he entered the monastery at age six, but his heart is in Nybelmarasa, the last place in the world where the magic of the Ancient Krean still lives. In a year he will leave White Mountain, a place which has been home for seventeen years, and make the long journey to the Academy. Here he will learn the ways of magic from the mages of Nybelmarasa as they have been passed from the legendary emperor Dearan Asaen himself. Or so he hopes. It is said that our gifts define us, make us who we are. What would you do if you lost yours and how far would you go to get it back?



CHAPTER SUMMARIES

Chapter 1: The Songs of Wind
In which we meet Winter. Into the peace of the mountain, a new song has come on the Wind.

Chapter 2: Meditating on the Breath
On his way to the monastery, Winter runs into a friend. Why is Orange out of breath and what is he searching for?

Chapter 3: Song of the Family
In which Winter remembers. The two monks discuss the change that looms over White Mountain.

Chapter 4: War and Peace
Winter and Orange disagree about the coming war. Winter is troubled by the change that has come over his friend.

Chapter 5: The Virtues of a Balanced Diet
War is coming to the Port of Nor, and on the Mountain, Winter is locked in a battle of his own, trying to get twelve novice monks ranging from six to ten years of age through the morning practice. But first he must reason with Ker, who has a penchant for (mis)-quoting Master Kao and is very fond of daisies, as a source of nourishment.

Chapter 6: Swimming Dragon
In which we discover the connection between Swimming Dragon and Stormblade complexion. Swimming Dragon, Sinking in Prayer Position, Stand Like a Tree: Three more exercises and Winter can hand the novice monks over to Master Coldstream - and Winter has a secret weapon in a curious looking clay jar to make sure the children pay attention...

Chapter 7: Tamarind
In which we meet Pebble, novice monk and potential high priest, from whom we learn that Tamarind will regrettably not be joining Swimming Dragon practice, on account of his back.

Chapter 8: Practice is its own reward
In which Winter and the boys practice Swimming Dragon, finally. An hour later disaster strikes.

Chapter 9: Ebb and Flow
Winter deals with the brownie poo induced consequences of a loss of mindfulness.

Chapter 10: Stand Like a Tree
The last exercise of the morning practice and Master Coldstream can take over from Winter. But Ker seems to have misinterpreted the instructions.



« Last Edit: 20 January 2013, 23:12:16 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #1 on: 12 August 2012, 00:47:35 »

CHAPTER 10
Stand Like a Tree

"Ker what are you doing there!? I said stand like a tree not climb on top of one." Some people say they find solitary contemplation difficult. I dare them to train twelve children.

"Master Kao says we must become one with the object of our meditation. To do this, the mind must become intimately acquainted with the focus of its attention."

"Can't you get acquainted from a safe distance?"

"I don't think that would work, Wintersai. Master Kao did say 'intimately,'" Grass explained, eyes wide and innocent.

"Hmm... there might be a way," Ker said, eyeing the ground as if he had just realised how high the tree was and how far he had climbed. Where there is a will, there is a way. "I mean, I did once hear Master Kao say goodwill transcends time and space."

"I am sure it does. Now will you please join us on the ground?"

"I would love to do that, Wintersai."

"Well?" I noticed I was being 'Wintersai'-ed again.

"There is just this small matter..."

"Yes?"

"I don't think I can climb back down," he said. "Would you please come and get me?"

***

I immediately saw that this was rather optimistic. "That branch is not strong enough to support us both."

"I will find a more robust tree next time, Wintersai."

"There will not be a next time."

"Yes, Wintersai."

I circled the tree. Once. Twice. And then one more time before I rested my palm against its bark and sighed. I looked up and searched for Ker amidst the branches. Our eyes met and he squinted back. "There isn't much I can work with here, Ker. I can't hold onto the trunk with only one hand and scoop you out with the other." I examined the trunk again. "How on earth did you manage to get up there?"

"Just you come up... I'll climb onto your back and you can take us both back, Wintersai. See, it will all work out, trust me. I've seen [Travis] do it," Ker said. "I'm willing to crawl on my stomach and meet you at the head of the branch."

How chivalrous of you to offer, Ker.

"I don't have [Travis]'s strength," I said. "If I try to carry you, we will both fall."

"That's all right, Wintersai. All we have to do is fetch [Travis]."

"And in the hour it would take me to hike up to the monastery, find [Travis] and trek down again, who will catch you if you lose your grip?"

"You don't have to go yourself, Wintersai. I volunteer Cloud."

There are wild creatures in these ranges, and wildest among them, Man. I thought I caught an echo of the early morning on the wind. If the Port of Nor falls...

"No one is going anywhere," I said.

"Wintersai, you are not going to leave me up here, are you?" he said, and waved a forefinger at me. "Now, what would Master Kao want you to do, Wintersai?"

The vigorous waggling of the forefinger caused him to wobble and almost knocked him off the tree. He snatched the branch with both hands and wriggled closer to it. "I'll give you a hint."

He adjusted himself on the branch by means of further squirming. "Master Kao says: Compassion is the religion of the monk." To make sure I understood, he added a line of commentary, "That means we must all aspire for more acts of kindness." There was no edifying finger this time.

"I don't think I heard that one before," I said.

"You can take my word for it, Wintersai."

"'Kindness is the religion of the monk,'" Grass corrected, doing such a perfect impression of Master Kao that he took us all by surprise. Ker stared in disbelief for a moment before he recovered.

"Cloud, you can stay. I volunteer Grass." (Ker can get very possessive over quoting Master Kao.)

"No one is going anywhere." I cannot say whether it was the rhythm and cadence of repetition, or the distant sounds of waves gnawing away at the mountain, or something else entirely that brought to mind sounds from an earlier argument: Will you do nothing? Will you do nothing? Will you do nothing?

"Why are you being so cruel, Wintersai?" There was a tremor in Ker's voice and I could sense tears bubbling up beneath the surface. Then his voice hardened. "Did Cloud bribe you?"

"I did not put you up there, Ker - "

"That doesn't mean you shouldn't help me get down!"

"Ker, I want to help you. I want you to get down to the ground safely - which is why you must climb down yourself. If I try to come up, we will both fall. Here, on the ground, I have a better chance to catch you."

"All right. If I fall, you will catch me, right Wintersai?"

"I will do everything in my power."

"It seems to me there may be a difference between the two, Wintersai."

"Oh come down, you! I can't stay like this all day! This stance is brutal - my legs are killing me!"

"Glad to hear of your newfound respect for trees, Cloud," I said. "Ker, you can do it. Just gently make your way down the tree. Remember what Master Kao says? 'The best way out is through.'"

"I don't think that was Master Kao at his best," Ker said. Over his reply, I also heard Grass mutter something along the lines of "More like: The best way down is... umm... down?"

I watched Ker. He briskly rubbed his hands together a few times whilst squeezing the branch between his thighs and then patted his cheeks. "I can do it. And if I fall, well, it won't be the end of the world, will it?"

"No, just the end of you," Cloud said.

Ker's eyes watered for a moment, but he went on stoically, "The tree isn't that high. What's the worst that can happen? I'll break an arm and then Master Kao can set it back. It's fine. I'll heal. All will be well." He nodded to himself, "A broken arm is not that bad."

"Oh no, no..." said Cloud. "That tree is so very high. If you fall from there, you will break MUCH more than an arm. And if you land on your head..."

I corrected Cloud's stance and sunk his weight further down to the ground. A tree must have strong roots. Cloud grunted in protest.

"I don't think I can do it, Wintersai," Ker said.

I felt a word of encouragement was called for. "You've climbed many trees before, Ker. Sure, this one might be a bit higher, but the principles are the same."

"I'm scared, Wintersai."

"Then this is an excellent opportunity to meditate on your fear," I said.

"How long should I meditate for?"

"Until you are no longer afraid."

"Done."

"Then come down."

"I don't think so, Wintersai," he said. "I think I will meditate some more."

Eventually, Ker started climbing down. And it all went well at first. One ped. A ped and a half. A fly buzzed around his head. Under his elbow. Around his back. Up his neck on the other side. It landed between his eyes. He tried to swat it away - and slipped.

I called the wind, but the wind did not come.

Ker fell.
« Last Edit: 23 August 2012, 05:23:25 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Bard Judith
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« Reply #2 on: 14 August 2012, 12:53:00 »

'Winter-serren'?   'Winter-sai'?   'Winter-seni'?

Used consistently in context, any syllable will suggest the honorific use you want.  However, the three provided have
pleasant echos of 'san' and 'sensai'.   You could also try mixing cultures :)  and make it 'Winter-abbi'  or 'Winter-bba'....

Or perhaps 'Winter-sen' for simplicity, or 'Winter'sen' for visual interest?   

Again, bravo for your delectable characterizations and wonderful word use.
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"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #3 on: 20 August 2012, 05:13:21 »

I love Wintersai! Thanks Judith!

I'm glad you like the story. :)



Ch 10 done!
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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