I mentioned yesterday, dear diary, that I can’t seem to keep a horse long. It is hard for a roaming barbarian swordsman to retain possessions, equine or otherwise.
Take today, for instance. I had this throwing stick, well balanced, solid, fit comfortably in the palm of my hand. I could bring down a rabbit, knock a partridge out of the air — a flick of my wrist, a smooth end over end tumble of polished oak, a thwack, and something for the fire, roasted meat to sink my strong white teeth into, aromatic juices dripping down my square chin….Sorry, getting a bit hungry.
Anyway, roaming westward, eating up ground with my long, easy strides, and minding my own business, I encountered a boulder strewn hillside. I skirted the lower slope, but halfway along a trio of hardened brigands sprung an ambush. Not the best of ambushes. I’ve designed and executed flawless ambuscades, and this one just didn’t measure up. Still, I won’t discount the danger. A barbarian learns quickly not to underestimate his opposition. A bearded figure in patched leather armor and dented helmet popped up from behind a boulder. The throwing stick in my hand flew instinctively. OK, the stick possesses no instincts. Let me rephrase: without a hint of hesitation I let fly the stick. It caromed off the helmet and smacked against a sharp projecting crag of the hillside. Weakened first by the blow on the helmet, the throwing stick splintered upon contact with the rock.
The first bandit dropped. His two flanking companions came at me. I bared my defiant grin, pulled free my killing blade and waded in. I fought with savage fury, tempered by…sorry, I’m losing the point here.
The point is, just like that a valued possession was gone. The life of the wandering barbarian demands freedom of movement and action on a moment’s notice. If I treasure any one possession I might find myself reluctant to leave it behind when circumstances require. And circumstances seem to require. Horses, plundered gold, adoring tavern wenches — they just seem to vanish like the smoke from tonight’s campfire. Oh, there’s always a different specific reason that I’m compelled to jettison one belonging or another. That chain mail I so diligent keep spotless? I may have to shuck it off to swim to shore from a sinking galley, or abandon it to leap naked from a queen’s bedchamber upon the unexpected return of her lord and master. But the underlying factor is simply the nature of this business.
Perhaps someday I will carve out some permanence and hold on to my gains. For now, however, my life requires a shrugging acceptance of the impermanence of possessions.
And, with that reminder, I bid you, dear diary, farewell until tomorrow.
[Entry 1 Here.] And, so it continues. If you want it to, that is. Let me know. Meanwhile, life goes on. The move-in continues. My library/office is getting there.
The work in progress…progresses. Nearing 75,000 words and not even halfway through the outline. But I still have other books you could read, should you be interested.