I began playing around with the notion of writing an extended, serial story many years back. It ended up in a condensed package under the title Savage Journal. (Still available floating about on the web somewhere.) But I thought it might be fun to run it as originally intended here on my web log. Let me know if you’re enjoying it and I’ll keep posting installments up until the final entry. Or, let me know if it is too unutterably tedious, and I’ll return to my usual nonsense. (Nonsense available for purchase, among other places, here.) So, without further ado, I present:
I burnish the links of my chain mail with handfuls of sand. I’m keeping it clean with dirt. Let me repeat that: I’m keeping it clean with dirt. Sort of paradoxical, that. Makes you think. You have a lot of time to think while you are scrubbing little metal rings with fistfuls of gritty soil.
For example – or for another example, if you count that whole cleaning with dirt paradox as a first example – I think about symbiosis. See, here I am, a strapping epitome of barbaric individuality: bootstraps and broadsword. Yet I engage in a daily ritual that exemplifies a sort of interdependence. I painstakingly scour specks of incipient rust from my armor – I protect it from the elements it continuously endures. It in turn (in no small part due to the structural integrity that I maintain) protects me from the sort of sharp, pointy elements I endure on a regular basis. Symbiosis? Fair exchange? Enlightened self-interest? (Self-interest on my part, of course. I’m not positing an anthropomorphic hauberk, proposing
some sort of chain mail intelligence. That would be crazy.)
See what I mean, diary? Lots of time to think. You just don’t get that sort of reflective leisure while lopping off heads or ducking arrows or the performance of other sundry acts of derring-do: the hack and the slash that comprise so much of my quotidian existence.
Don’t get me wrong; there are contemplative moments other than armor maintenance. Walking, for example, provides many of them. Even more than thew-straining parry and cleave and disemboweling cut and thrust I do a lot of walking. Roaming from place to place is really the fundamental component of the itinerant barbarian warrior trade. It is better when I have a
horse (of course) but somehow I seem to find myself riding shank’s mare more often than the genuine article.
Roaming, thinking, slaying, cleaning. That’s the day-to-day life of your savage swordsman. Me, yours truly.
I suppose I should wrap up the whole paradox and symbiosis stuff, pay off the opening paragraph with some profundity or pithy tribal wisdom. But this is a diary entry, you know, not an essay. So, I can muse.
And that’s all the musing for today.
Until tomorrow, dear diary, I remain,
A barbarian warrior with a vocabulary – how can this be? I love to see an author flipping tropes and stereotypes, but before I accept this guy, I gots to know how he got himself so well educated.
>> Yet I engage in a daily ritual that exemplifies a sort of interdependence. I painstakingly scour specks of incipient rust from my armor – I protect it from the elements it continuously endures.