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ahteheahtehteh

"It's via what's unsaid that tragedies are built. Sometimes a great silence is more destructive then any discourse."

Valerna Jorgenskull

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Valerna was a slave from birth, predestined to grovel under the yoke of others. From a young age, she was stripped from her mother's bosom, forced to tarry and wallow within the darkest recesses of society's depravity. The master/mistress she served changed, and with it, the languages she spoke and customs she swore fealty to rang insipidly. With each new post, the mind grappled, clawing desperately to assemble some semblance of identity. That one commodity and luxury that so many take for granted was never bestowed on this auburn-maned beauty. Uprooted without culture, the unassuming child had to fashion her personage from the somber pits of her thraldom.

 

It was through the utterances of her tongue, the way she spoke, that punishment could be diverted. This awareness sowed a seed, one that would take time to germinate. Words, while immaterial, held power exceeding that of the whip- the hearts and souls of men might be twisted with just a suitable series of subtle pushes. Those perceptive amber eyes peered beyond the mask her overlords wore. Her saga of woe, while perpetual, would expire and turn a new chapter. While most might solicit strength through their muscles, inferring that the sacking of cities and the butchery of their foes were the pinnacles of power, Valerna reached a wholly differing conclusion, recognizing merit in the pursuance of a contrary route.

 

One's tools, if so finite, were destined only to crumble in due time. The Giantess didn't dispute the necessity for such savageness- no, instead, she queried if their over-prescribed nature was judicious. Language led to knowledge, and it was through reading that the true scope of her world gradually slithered into view: Any chimp can crush a skull; any fool can ransack a hamlet; even a modest mage can set an establishment ablaze. Valerna sees only an ephemeral victory by beating her adversaries in battle. It’s one thing to close their eyes, but a true stroke of mastery to have them see the world through your lens.

 

What was it that her predecessors lacked? Wisdom. But what is wisdom? It’s the ability or capacity to ascertain when to push, speak up, tread carefully, or even sow kernels of chaos within one's ranks. The proper application of ripples and echoes across the fabric of time and space. That is what I believe wisdom is.

 

Belief, such a simple word, yet few are cognizant of its implications. Most cling to it, crippled by empathy and bound by compliance. They serve such systems because they have been indoctrinated to do so. What a pity, to have wandered so far and have learned nothing from the odyssey. They embrace dogma and use it to justify countless misgivings aimed at their fellow man. They always take away the wrong lessons. Poor leaders and despicable followers never show truth or power. What they reveal, however, is just how their rule will end.

 

True conviction necessitates the contrast from the other perspectives, not blind adherence to a single side of the spectrum. To think otherwise is to be a slave to a teaching that ensures your belief will always rule over you. If one clings to an ideal they must be willing to risk betraying it, and they’ll become stronger and wiser through such trials.

thesehsheeh

"It's in the nature of things to lash out when struck. Becareful when causing harm for it might day propagate back out to you."

Valerna Jorgenskull

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Throughout my pilgrimage, I've met many souls. And no matter how much I strive, I can't keep others at bay. The desire to feel something is paramount. Almost as powerful as their curiosity. It's sad to watch the effects of time on their bodies. At first, few believe my claims. I don't fault them; the saga of my life isn't typical. However, they all bear witness to my unaging body. Some foolishly designate me as blessed. I never chide them. 

 

The allure of remaining fixed in this life is often romanticized. Instead, I chortle it off and enjoy our days together. It isn't until they arrive on the edges of those timeless shores, entangled within a state between worlds, that the mood changes. Death is a funny thing. I've attended many expirations, and yet everyone behaves differently. Some struggle against its clutches, while others appear serene. And when faced with this limbo, I often lean in and tell them a lie that I'll meet them on the other side of that river one day.

 

Although, that 'morrow never comes. And when standing alone on the beach, I look out across the sea only to wonder, are they still waiting? Could it be that somewhere in that other world, they're doing the same? But no matter how patient they are, they'll one day realize I'm not coming. And while I'll never forget them, perhaps they will forget me? 

 

Forgive me…

I can never go there. 

I can never escape this world. 

I can never see you again.

 "This is not goodbye. It's just the start of your journey. We'll meet again."

 

My final lie to them. But maybe one day, I'll find a breach and step through the threshold. But, when I do, will I find them gathered and waiting? Or, perhaps, they would have already moved on?

To an immortal being (age), the meaning of these words takes on a very different form. To Valerna, life is an exchange between individuals, not of worldly attainments but immaterialism. To be more precise, it is the pollination of memories and feelings. Given this conclusion, she doesn't rule for her legacy or govern for power alone. Instead, the spider strives to girdle all within her protective web to ease the ephemeral embers that are their existence.

 

Through this sheltering and the advancement of technology and culture, the denizens might know a better life, no matter how fleeting. She vicariously gleans satisfaction in their smiles, understanding that while perhaps unimportant in the eyes of the cosmos, she had a hand in the construction of a more leisurely journey.

 

To Valerna, death is something she can't fully understand. She doesn't waste her time constructing ideal paradises waiting beyond the veil. To her, one's expiration is an event of joy mixed with tears that many define as mourning. Nevertheless, having meandered this bitter world, she has come to see the purpose of our cessation. Life is a prison, but death is a release.

 

All things die not once but thrice.

The first passing occurs when the body dies.

The second comes to fruition once the corporeal form is returned to the earth.

And the final and often overlooked layer of death, is nuanced. It occurs when no one recalls your name or deeds.

 

This is why she carries her locket. Inside it is housed the diamond remains of her fallen children. That way, she will never forget their faces and their stories. To Valerna, this implies as long as she holds them dear and basks them within a mother's love, her deceased offspring will never truly die. It's a reminder that everyone goes away in the end. And that her empire is dust unless she can make others' lives a bit easier. But the only thing that doesn't vanish is the void, and the pain that death leaves in its wake. That vacuous void may only be filled not with sorrow. But the flickering memories of better days and moments that are eternally shared.

 

But how would she describe death?

 

It's like standing atop the peak of a misty mountain, the gale roaring around you, only to discover yourself buried alive beneath the cold snow. Trapped, powerless, and alone. It's knowing what you should say but never finding the words to say it. It's the choir of all things overpowered by a great silence—the hearing of pedagogy bereft of the essence. It's like having the energy of youth, only to feel the shadow of age weigh on you. It's to understand that you're fragile, a thing so effortlessly disposed of. It's like having someone beloved with whom you've shared, invested, and sacrificed everything for, only to have them spurn you and erase everything you once were.

 

What does life feel like?

 

It is like a cloud, a brume that drifts from every living thing—spurred on by currents and eddies. The eye of a raging tempest, the passions of all creatures, becomes a chorus. It's the raging swell at the terminal moments of life. The vow of new expanses and blood, the call of adventure to investigate the mysteries cloaked in darkness. Feel every waking moment for as long as it may last. Experience life as it is. Let the crude matter be ripped away. Now, let's be silent; words and thoughts can be distractions.

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If there is one thing I've discovered during my ambling, it's the power of family. Many a time, I looked upon those more mortally challenged with covetousness. Few could know the kindness of the macrocosm, and even fewer would care to accept it. If there were one thing most cruel concerning this bitter world, it would be the passing of a child. And yet, I've been subject to this agony more times than I care to acknowledge. With each generation buried, I find myself becoming benumbed to the sensation. However, once the body is lowered into the earth and I'm alone, like a tidal wave, it hits me full strength. 

 

Regardless of who I am, I'm not immune to the influence of grief's undertow. And no matter how hard I try, I can’t escape its inexorable tide. I'll ultimately discover myself submerged under that familiar sea. But why would I subject myself to such torture if the outcome is predetermined? Simple, because the fleeting years of placid waters make it all worth the inevitable shifting of its surface. I've learned that while I might have no destination, I do, however, get to choose the paths I take. 

 

And so, for now, I'll watch over my girls as they gradually age. Comprehending full well that one day, I'll be swept by the swells of their departure. Regardless, that storm has yet to arrive. And so, for the moment, I'll cherish our time on this beach and lull under crisp cerulean skies.

 

Given how long I've traveled, you would think I'd know the meaning of life. Unfortunately, such answers have slipped through even my webbing. During my expeditions, those of studious mind would often pose this inquiry once the truth was revealed. And without fail, I left them disgruntled. Nonetheless, after mulling over this question for some time, I've reached a possible solution. However, it isn't as straightforward as academics might prefer.

 

I believe we are here to do one thing: pave the road for the next generation. And while morality might be hard to define, I feel there is one foolproof metric to assess a people. An immoral civilization is selfish. They consume the fat of the land and never once consider what scraps would be left for their children. A virtuous one ensures the stock houses are full of grain and plant trees so that their offspring might one day relax in its shade. But how to do so is admittedly not so evident.

 

How does this connect to the meaning of life? Simple. Both we, our children and the environment are one. And the only purpose is what we create while tending to all three in harmony. If one should supersede the other, then only suffering can abound. To care not for yourself is to accept a wretched existence. Spurning your babes will tarnish your legacy and future, for they will not forget your cruelty. And to desecrate the planet will guarantee that all will pay the price. 

 

Many have retorted, claiming that the problems and anguishes of this world never change. Or, to quote those philosophers, "there is nothing new under the suns." But to them, I pose a counterthought. Maybe it isn't the cycle that we should focus on fixing. Instead, perhaps we should look inward and tend to ourselves. If war, rumors of war, plague, and famine are destined to occur. The only thing that can change is us. Who I believe often contributes, if not outright triggers, these obstacles.

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The burden of choice is one scarcely explored by the average man. Many people go about their days oblivious of the ripples they leave in their wake. Existence is nothing more than an infinite sequence of chains that spreads throughout time. Every person that has existed culminates in any single snapshot you single out. Intelligence brings with it an obligation. Unlike the wild beast, we're charged with the illusion of a single choice.

 

Every organism is forced to devour to survive. Existence is impossible without paying the price—a fee we exert on others. It is a system rigged against us from the start. The truth of truths that many vie over to unearth isn't shrouded behind some ephemeral curtain. No, it is all around us. People are connected, and they move together toward a single fate. And though it can be shifted, replaced, altered, or postponed. It's impossible to be entirely circumvented.  

 

People will often reminisce over the past and consider that road not traveled. Despite our diverse histories, cultures, philosophies, and beliefs, that phenomenon is universal. Have you ever halted to consider why? The answer is simple; it is the universe screaming a message. Each choice we make destroys one timeline and creates another. Billions of lives are cast into the void. Their stories are never told. The question remains, should we have the right to wield such power? 

 

Earlier, I mentioned the burden of choice and the heft of free will. No matter your selection, the outcome will be the same. The only unknown element is which universe is gobbled and which is left to float within the rivulet of time. And even if somehow you could freeze it all and exist without end. I promise you your fate will be equally, if not more so, tragic. And so, whether you choose to love life or hate it. All roads lead to one thing, obliteration.

 

And that is the truth of truths. We are equally creating new realities as much as we are suffocating them. And even the simplest of us and the most mundane of choice erases innumerable souls from having a shot at living their own lives. I wonder if perhaps there is a way to break this chain. A mode by which we can cast off this yoke and find an alternate resolution.

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"Pacifism is far more deplorable than death, for at least a fetid carcass sustains the insects."

Valerna Jorgenskull

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