Friday, December 4, 2015

The Roads Not Taken

Thoreau is engaged in lots and lots of this.
Most of the time it yields nothing, yet still he persists.
Not much new to add in this department. I'm back to mining, sorry to say. I'm no longer carving out a complete railway to my island of origin; I am, however, hewing through stone several meters above that track, fanning at exactly the same intervals until I've created parallel rills of perilously deep free-falls in the rock. Should I misstep and tumble down these, there would only be smooth granite and andesite for me to grasp at, and as my tender fingernails are not up to biting into volcanic mineral, my fleshy corpore would accelerate until it struck bedrock, which as I've stated before is wholly indestructible.

So I'll watch my step, and I'll continue to mine away in search of minerals. I did find a few veins of iron and gold, a little more ante for my furnace's pot. Not that I was ever a card-fancier, I merely know these terms. Lately I find myself scraping the recesses of my musty skull for all the old axioms and... what's the word... colloquialisms which spiced the dialogue of my former community. As I lack any suitable company for conversation, I can only practice my faculty of speech by reading aloud these journal entries, and then only less than half of each day, as the sun rapidly streaks across the sky and plunges the terrain into darkness, when my sonorous voice should attract the usual variety of malefic supernatural entities.

I do wish to remark upon my last entry, in which I recount my conversation with Gorluin. Now, it may seem to you who read these words that the encounter was entirely too tidy: it is frankly unbelievable that a strange man, native to these lands, should simply burst into my (borrowed) abode and deliver cryptic instructions to guide me on my all-consuming journey.

Once again, I must admit to some untruths there. His visit was two days in total, and the conversation was not nearly so tidy as I represented it. No, it started out with some desperate yelps of alarm, then blood-curdling howls of aching loneliness as I clutched the hem of his fire-resistant apron, my arms locked around his ankles in a death-grip so as ti prevent him from leaving. But stay he did—though second thoughts clearly wrangled across his countenance—and at length we came to understand each other.

I did faithfully render his expression and turn of phrase; I did not so readily apprehend his meaning, as I may have depicted in the previous entry. That was part of the reason for his two days' stay. The other part, of course, was my acute trepidation at being left alone once more. Gorluin may have attempted to subdue me and flee the premises once or twice, and I may have overpowered him, sapping him from consciousness, and brought him unadvisedly closer to death through copious buckets of fresh ocean water dashed in his face, closer than had he merely fallen down a cliff or been left bleeding from a chair crashing into his temple, say.

Gray stone and diorite are just two of the four varieties of
mineral that Thoreau typically encounters for weeks at a stretch.
Profuse apologies and begging to understand also factored ponderously into the length of his stay. But if you can believe anything in this journal, you may have total faith in that he did eventually leave of his own volition, and I did in fact see him off most amicably, and he is not buried beneath the grove of trees behind the house, that is, the parts of him that the pigs left over. That scenario absolutely did not occur; it was only a contingency I had prepared in my mind, because the wise man always has a plan B and plan C up his sleeve, as "Fate rarely backs down from a dare".

And so it is my earnest hope I should run into Gorluin at some later date. Who knows? I could even find his village of origin, though he did stumble off eastward and I fully intend to explore the continental coast south by southwest of this cabin. That will be a long time from now, I fear, as I am still in the process of amassing considerable resources for my endeavor. That is, in the blind faith that they are necessary at all. Perhaps I'm actually stalling my freedom from this harsh realm by postponing this journey to the larger continent and its many wonders, as I scrape at the bottom of the earth for precious minerals.

I don't know which is the wisest course. It is impossible to know; it is not to be known. I can only commit to an action and hope that it bears out as the best decision. That's all any of us can do, is this not so? Honestly, without any cues or guides or revelation, I don't know which way to go. I could just as easily find the answers deep beneath the earth, as to discover them hidden in, I don't know, a jungle temple or a remote mountain hermit's lodge.

Well, now that I say that, I want to go out and explore. I'm going to step out and clear my fields of monsters for a few hours while I think about this. At least I'm good at slaying now, or else I simply haven't met up with my equal, if any there be.

And now that I say that, I want to stick with what's safe and familiar to me. As I said, there is no clear path to take at this juncture. Maybe the answer will become clearer after my sanity shatters in a few more days.

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