The Life of Weariness

You’re born.

You take your first breath. It’s the hardest thing you’ve done in your life to date, but there will be harder hills still.

You drink from your mother’s breast. In every way she cares for you. Her words slowly sink into your mind with your father’s when he’s home, and gradually, those words shape you – or do you fashion those words around yourself?

You grow up. Now gifted with a voice to name the brilliant spectrum of life which around you winds, it blasts by in an instant, as the autumn leaves before winter’s gales, which in their own turn die down before the chirping growth of spring, which bakes beneath the coming of summer at its own conclusion before once again the ripeness of the months of warmth crackle and age into those same, hoary colors of fall.

Now you’re an adult. Adolescences was a speedbump, a maelstrom of emotions and dramas which, on reflection as one now so matured by the seemingly purely biological processes of pubescence – seem irrelevant. Petty. Insipid. Meaningless.

Or perhaps they are your golden years? A fond time of fun, games, loose clothes and looser morals, to treasure in your heart as time slowly makes his inroads into your chest?

You study. You work. Whether they benefit you or not is entirely in your hands. Perhaps for a while you’re content merely to sustain yourself. It’s possible that a another human of an opposite form decides to cast his or her lot in with you, and you get married, have two and a half children – and now your life belongs to them. Or maybe you don’t. Perhaps you chase your loves as you did in youth, though the game gets surely harder as time crinkles your skin and mars your complexion, and the yearly flu lasts longer and longer each time it visits. It’s unlikely, but perhaps you abstain entirely. For what reason do you do this?

And perhaps on some dark, lonely night, long after those of your hearth and kin have fallen asleep, you sit up in bed, in the gloomy, silent house, and you wonder – why? For what do I work?

To play a little on the weekends? To keep this aging woman in my house? To raise up little ones after me to go through the same toils? To what end does Man labor?

For vanity.

For though you might have striven with great boldness and cunning, with even the noblest of hearts, to build up a palace for your kin and a throne in your place of work, when Sheol calls you into his embrace, to another you must hand your preciously crafted treasures. In time, your treasures will fade and depreciate, till all of your hoard which your children hold in their hands are crumbs of dust as they go out into the broken shell of a world to carve from the dust their daily bread, for who will feed them?

It is vanity.

For if the glory goes not to one who is eternal, the greatest that can be made of it is a footnote in a dust-gathering chronicle. The glories of the warrior-kings echo down the ages, reflecting off the hardened and bored ears of the teenagers subjected to a dully rendered retelling of the greatest struggles of men’s lives. The hardships endured by women and families – through siege, plague, famine, despair – all ring hollow in an age where bread is plenty, and yet the spirit starves for rest.

Ours is the life of weariness. Convenience cannot save the soul.

And so challenged in your heart of hears, what shall you do? Shall you strive to play it safe, extend your years until you can beat the game, and create something great to truly last down the ages? Shall you ignore the murmurs of your starving soul, and let your fleshly heart and all its lusty dukes rule your life while you eke out an existence of blissful subsistence?

Or would you cast all you had into fire, limbs and all to find that which will not only save you the ignominy of a meaningless, unremarkable existence among the seething mass of profane humanity from which all of us come – but secure you a place of joy and glory everlasting at the table of your Judge, Father, and Savior?

The price?

All glory be to Him who saves, for whose glory mercy was shown to the undeserving who would dare to slay his blameless messenger, the image of perfectified Man.

Humility before God. That is the price.

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An Abrupt Change of Tone

Our world is dying.

Not in the slow, geological sense, but at the erratic and unpredictable, inexorable speed of our own destructive impulses. I can’t speak as to whether this will be our last gasp or only another maelstrom which we must endure to rebuild shattered lives, but the world that we thought ten years ago would blossom into a new era of prosperity and understanding will instead be consumed by fire.

We suffer from a cancer whose symptoms are terror, suicide and depression, and whose causes are intrinsic to the world order which we so hoped would stand out from the blood-scrawled roll of history.


Stranger Danger; tolerance; safe spaces; personal space; political correctness; affirmation; convenience; welfare state; “work smarter, not harder”: facets of the cancer consuming the West which once stood as the measure to which all the rest of the world aspired.

We no longer allow our children to explore their neighborhoods and meet their own friends for fear of a random stranger in a white van. We daren’t speak our minds for fear of the immediate and callous judgement of a society that prizes propriety over honesty, allowing hatreds and opinions to fester in the resentful pit of a human mind trapped by artificial social rules. We self-isolate from information that challenges our beliefs rather than try to understand the opposing side to prove or disprove our own opinions nor find the third way that trumps either. We submit ourselves to the animal preference for comfort over progress, to ration our resources rather than seek to expand our wealth; on the micro, we’d much rather dawdle at home or skate by at work rather than force ourselves to be more than what we are. We make a mockery of those who weren’t born with an innate level of academic intelligence or a talent for inflated grades, and this only to avoid looking inward to see our own stagnation as we chase the sweets trolley of consumerism and corporatism.

And much of this can be laid to blame on the persecution of the spirit and His Spirit from the public eye. When we have no spirit to look to for guidance, no promise to keep our eyes turned heavenward, when as Nietzsche said, “God is dead,” we do not then exist in a happy atheism, seeing each man as our equal in a Godless world. Instead, as Chesterton said, “When Man ceases to worship God he does not worship nothing, but worships anything at all.”

In a world where we doubt the power of Providence and lack the security of the Covenant, we must make our own gods, again from Nietzsche. From this proceeds violence, hatred, division, blindness, cruelty, tyranny, the glorification of murder, the anointing of hedonism as the new prince. In the absence of God, we worship the gods of Pleasure, Avarice, Pride, and War. From the pursuit of endless pleasure comes an insatiable gluttony for the means to sustain it. From the acquisition of wealth and the conquest of moral constraint flows hubris. And from such accumulated pride, excess of wealth, glut of pleasure and void of spiritual purpose erupts the bloody cataclysm of war, the crucible which forges a man and damns ten thousand.

The gods of Man are many, and their king is Man himself, cloaked in the surefooted certainty in the power of his will and his wisdom. In his right hand is held the iron hammer of craft and cleverness, and his left is the mirror which reflects only what he wishes to see. His throne is Babel, and his crown is the ten spiked cast-iron circlet of Mars.

 

 

 

First off, Sorry.

Second, sorry again. I really should have been keeping up, particularly since exams are now two weeks behind and I have no reason to leave the place a derelict convention center for dust bunnies and internet gremlins.

And I might say (I’ve said it!) that I just haven’t had anything to write, but the truth is that I have LOADS of ideas to write about, in or on, so many I can barely keep my head on straight…. I just haven’t written them.

Instead I’ve been using my trusty keyboard to waste my time in videogames like the brutally unforgiving FUI (Fighting Under the Influence) medieval combat simulator Exanima, or the cerebral and pacific, The-Martian-Videogame Space Engineers, as well as the usual and classless timesink of YouTube.

Which provoked a curious thought– that our millenial generation and the one coming after will be the first writers who might credit video games as inspiration for their works. My first stories when I was young were based off my father forcing me to play Doom III to conquer my fears (my Bruce Wayne bats moment, if you will), and for a few years after, tended to contain the same excessively graphic gore and simplistic storylines as their inspiration– mass-market shooter games and Diablo II. They grew in sophistication after playing Bioware’s inimitable Dragon Age and Mass Effect, as well as doses of classics like Steinbeck, and modern commercial fiction in the vein of Douglas Adams and  Terry Pratchett— but it was from those two games that came my two main fiction universes, Lagan and Galaxia.

Now that I like to call myself a writer, there’s a knot of shame when I boot up a computer and immediately gravitate towards my Steam library. “I should be writing stories, not playing them,” I tell myself. “I’m not living the life of the mind, I’m living the life of the button.”

And yet I feel not an ounce of shame when I spend three hours de-rusting a spade.

Granted, computer screens are said not to be healthy for our eyes, and my posture approximates a turtle’s neck rather than a man of backbone, and its few games nowadays which spark brilliant literary epiphanies, and at least a clean spade looks pretty and doesn’t require electricity, but irregardless it all makes me wonder if the life of the mind is not all its cracked up to be.

Not wonder, argue. Of course we should be thoughtful in our daily lives, and not consign our higher faculties to the dream realm while wandering aimlessly through the concrete jungle. But perhaps that is just the thing– to stop living inside our heads, but live in the world. The life of the mind is only a life when the mind is left to freely wander– confined indoors to slave over a keyboard, the life becomes a prison, and we are the inmates, chained by the illusion that a busy mind is a fruitful mind.

At any rate, I’ve talked long enough. Hopefully I’ll post tomorrow.

Or I’ll post whenever I bloody well feel like.

Another Story: Kyrieleis

Sorry about sporadic posts. Exams, projects, papers, and my own lack of self-discipline (or perhaps simply normal discipline that fails to compare to the Roman standards I hold myself to) have all gotten in the way of keeping this regularly updated, as well as writing and generally enjoying life’s other pleasures besides stuffing my face with low quality confectionery.

I was bored, or more accurately, in a frenzied trance induced by Wardruna and my daily ADHD medications (and around 400 grams of sugar), and wrote this piece from start to finish, a short story from the perspective of one of the Syntar, depicted in that other post about them.

With less flapping gums and more content, here it is:

Oh, and if you’re so inclined, I appreciate feedback. It’s by no means required (not that I’d have any way to enforce it; I’m not the CCP), but giving me your thoughts 1) helps me write better stories, 2) inflates my ego that people actually care, and 3) lets me evaluate where this blog is going in terms of audience and content. And 4) makes me very, very happy. And don’t feel afraid to drop links or ask me to visit your blog, being directly impelled to read others’ content is excellent motivation to get out there and see what all everyone else has to offer.

Continue reading Another Story: Kyrieleis

It’s Been a While, so Here’s a Game!

Something I didn’t make clear in my previous D&D centered posts is my absurd and self-flagellating obsession with modding. Tabletop games, that is, not computer games (which at this stage still overwhelms my capacity for code lingo.)

I find D&D a flawed system— but only in the same sense of a large hunk of unsmelted iron oxide. With a forge, hours of labor, a few watts of electricity for computer power, and the anvil of my desk (using my forehead as the hammer), I can make nearly any imaginable creation from it.

Continue reading It’s Been a While, so Here’s a Game!