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Elendilwyn
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« on: 20 March 2006, 07:23:00 »

A Story of Yearturn - A Grandfather’s Gift

The fire was slowly burning down, casting a waning but warm glow on the old man. He was smoking a pipe full of hobbitweed, the rising smoke from the pipe dancing together in harmony with the shadows cast by the flickering flames. For music, there was the company of the wind which howled and whistled in turn. Two children lounging in front of the fire, basking in the comfort of its warmth, were made drowsy by the burning logs of Peace Pine and Cinnabark thrown in for good measure—the sweet smell enticing them to worlds of dreams and fancy, ideal for a cold winter’s night.

The old man smiled fondly at his grandchildren, remembering his own youth and how he too used to lounge in front of the fire, not on the large chair as he did now, but on the floor where the fire was a warm contrast to the freezing ground. In moments like these, what better gift to give than a good old story about the beginnings of Yearturn, something to look forward to and something to give good cheer. He took out his pipe and began his tale…     

A long time ago, before you and I were born, there was never much to do during the cold days when Injèrá was furthest away from Caelereth—the nights were long and the wind howled the days away. It was always dark and you can never tell what lurks just around the corner. At that time, people did not all live in separate homes but rather, there were a few huts and many would dwell under the same roof—we believed much more in community then and branches of the family would all stay together, sharing the warmth that each person gave. That made arguing a most disagreeable course of action because sharing the same space meant that no one could really avoid one another. When tempers got heated, everyone suffers. The problem was that on long cold nights, arguing seemed to happen all the time because there was really nothing else one could do except to stay in and trample on each other’s toes. And so it was that as the cold days wore on, people became more and more miserable, feeding on the sour mood of each other and adding a cloud of ill over all that dwelled within.

This kind of ill-temperament was the norm and expected when Injèrá took her long leave. People hated those days and always anticipated in great joy for the returning of Injèrá as each year passes and people accepted it as they accepted the tides of time. This was the case until one day a quarrel broke out between two related families in the village. There was nothing unusual about families quarreling but these two families took it one step too far to the point of affecting everyone else who lived in the same community. These two families were two of the most respected families in the village and both were dealing in the same trade, that being clothing. They took care of all the clothes that the village occupants wore and were extremely proud of their work, each thinking themselves better than the other. That particular year, it was colder than any had ever experienced before. More clothes had to be sewn in order to keep everyone warm. The problem started when the clothes to be sewn for the elders were assigned to the younger of the two families contrary to previous years. Full of dissatisfaction, the family that had been around longer refused to do the rest of the clothes and in their act of rebellion, people did not get the required warm clothes that were needed to match the weather. This became a problem.

The elders realized that this was something that needed to be solved because it was not just a current problem but one that would happen every year as long as people could not see past their own folly and pride, aggravated by the weather. When times are hard, all the more people had to be united. A conference was held and in those days, conferences meant huddling together over a small fire and deciding what to do. That night, suggestions were given and rejected and the words came hurtling fast and furious until emotions went out of control. The debate lasted long until one of the elders said, "What do you quarrel about? I tell you, it is for naught. Why do you complain that the sun has left and the food is scarce, when you know for sure that she will return again? Can't you see that the Injèrá has to go to bring all of you, all those, who usually go out and tend their own fields, together here? To talk about her leaving and what consequences this brings for you, though you only notice the bad things? But don't you understand that it is a blessing to have her go, to be able again to await her return? And to rejoice that we have come together in this house - but wouldn't it be wiser to cease the disputes and instead celebrate the Injèrá's coming? And what better time would there be for feast and song than in the midst of winter? At the time when we still feel the Injèrá's guidance in sensing how thankful we have to be that it was she who has brought us together."

Silence fell as everyone realized the wisdom that lay buried within those words. It was clear what they had to do. They had to give themselves something to look forward to, to celebrate, when the hour was at its darkest, so as to remind themselves that every ill can be turned to light, if only they would set their minds to it. Thus came about the celebration at Yearturn. They decided that on this day, it was right to celebrate the turning of Injèrá for it meant that the cold days would be ending and that brighter days lay ahead. It gave people something to look forward to, to prepare for—the best food was kept, presents were made, the celebration planned. It was quite a time really, people would hide the gifts they were making so as to allow the receiver the biggest surprise. People would come together to plan and decorate the huts, everything that could be spared to add festive cheer. Soon all found themselves waiting in anticipation for this special day and with goodwill and happiness in their hearts, it really made no sense to quarrel and be mean to one another, no matter how cold it gets. Stories were told and instead of a time of misery, the days became a time of community and fellowship, welcomed by young and old alike.

And so, on the night of Yearturn, people would burn logs to create a big fire, lighting up the night and adding merry cheer to the silence of the cold, beating the wind with a fire that consumed all around in its warmth and brightness. On this night, they would exchange gifts, tell stories, sing and dance the night away. It was always a night to remember and up till today, we would still tell stories as I am doing now and await in joyful hope, the turning of the Injèrá.   
« Last Edit: 27 August 2006, 04:19:50 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #1 on: 21 March 2006, 14:47:00 »

Another lovely tale, Elendilwyn:D  

There's just one thing I would like to point out - the key passage should be a bit clearer. You write:

"One day, the people decided that there was a serious problem and in those days, when there was a problem, people would huddle together over a small fire and decide what to do. Many heads are better than one and the people decided that the way to solve their problem was to celebrate."

Though I know what you mean, the way it is formulated is a bit too simple and not as "poignant" as it could be methinks. Because celebration itself can hardly be the solution to the problem, and a slight philosophical touch might be appropriate here. So you could perhaps write it a bit more along this line, as you also go into this direction a bit later. The following is just an attempt:

[Maybe bring in a concrete problem first having to do with the sun being absent?] Many heads are better than one the people knew, and so a major discussion was started on the topic. The debate lasted long and people brought arguments for and against the issue, everyone got more and more emotional and the talks became heated after a while, when one of the elders said: "What do you quarrel about? I tell you, it is for naught. Why do you complain that the sun has left and the food is scarce, when you know for sure that she will return again? Can't you see that the Injèrá has to go to bring all of you, all those, who usually go out and tend their own fields, together here? To talk about her leaving and what consequences this brings for you, though you only notice the bad things? But don't you understand that it is a blessing to have her go, to be able again to await her return? And to rejoice that we have come together in this house - but wouldn't it be wiser to cease the disputes and instead celebrate the Injèrá's coming? And what better time would there be for feast and song than in the midst of winter? At the time when we still feel the Injèrá's guidance in sensing how thankful we have to be that it was she who has brought us together."

Uhmmm... Something like that - got carried away a bit, but maybe it comes across this way what I mean.


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Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 3/20/06 21:47
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Elendilwyn
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« Reply #2 on: 22 March 2006, 12:26:00 »

Aye... I see your point completely. It is a rather simple story--too simple. I will expand it as you suggested though perhaps only next week as I have a couple of things to finish writing.  

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« Reply #3 on: 14 August 2006, 02:18:51 »

Art!!!

I have finally edited this... not sure if it is a great improvement from the last but I made the requested changes (I figured you are not going to let me rest in peace until I do this - I lost count of how many times you reminded me of this piece of unfinished work).

 grin
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« Reply #4 on: 25 August 2006, 04:13:31 »

Finally got to reading the changed story here (Santhmoot kept us busy), and I guess it is much more round now, has gained its phliosophical depth. A few formulations you took from my proposal could be improved a bit perhaps (maybe I find some better words), but all in all it fits methinks. I hope you like the outcome as well, because the story is now somewhat changed taking in these suggestions.

I'm happy that you got to this one finally - hope it helped you get into gear again in general, plus we can start a book now with this Yearturn story, titled "Yearturn Tales" or something similar. Because we have Irid's Yearturn cycle as well, at least various parts of it already, so this would be perfect to add to this book. All other kinds of Yearturn celebration stuff would end up there as well - and I'm sure we'll come up with more in the course of time :)
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Elendilwyn
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« Reply #5 on: 25 August 2006, 12:28:46 »

Ah Artimidor, I'm glad it's improved... one must always go somewhere right. But yup, thanks for approving it.  grin
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« Reply #6 on: 26 August 2006, 16:08:08 »

Oh, BTW, Elen: Maybe you have some time for a few lines of teaser for this story?
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« Reply #7 on: 27 August 2006, 02:04:27 »

Opps forgot about the teaser... here goes...

When the nights are cold, a story’s told; a tradition that stems from ages old. Come gather round grandfather’s knees, and listen to how Yearturn came to be.
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