Thousands of years before the skyscrapers rose on Kaiatha Sound or the holographic gardens clustered along the edges of the great salt marshes, a child watched ler father and mother die at the hands of the Erebi tribe through cracks in a woven grain basket.
As the parents’ blood spattered across the floor — as le heard the other villagers wail in the distance —— as the riders razed every other home in the town ——— as the scent of uncooked grain burning made ler mouth water and stomach growl ———— this child felt the veil between reality and illusion part. Le claimed to see a tapestry falling from Heaven.
Decades later, on returning to the ruined village, the now-old-man commissioned stacks of paper and began to write the epic that would change my country’s cultural legacy — that would change all of the gardens’ —— no, all of the worlds’ cultural legacies. Only the young child who brought lim porridge and ink from Kiasmu heard the story, at least until the old council demanded to know what the ancient stranger wanted with bones and dust.
The old man’s name is said to have been Maratịn, and le claimed that messengers of five gods had dictated this story to lim.
Thousands of years later, everyone knows this old man’s name.
Maratịn taught us that the world is holographic, immeasurably kind, and deeply cruel. The only constant is change. All smells and tastes evolve by the moment. Science and metaphor wrap around each other like two halves of a double helix, each properly understood in the context of how the pieces feed into each other until they reach perfect unity. In the waking dream, every chance causality is Tsemanok, and every fruit swelling in the Canyons is Yilrega. This is Impermanence.
An adviser’s initiation ceremony is a mystery that will always remain secret, but I can write my impressions of it in comparison to what everyone knows from Kamo #597. This is when Sehịnta created the Karatha and brought the first ten into the fold. Our oaths of service use those core things Sehịnta asked them as a model:
- Do you swear to uphold the will of the community?
- Do you swear to follow the best path forward?
- Do you swear to respect the leadership of the community, its gods, and its culture?
- Do you swear to sacrifice your own wants and needs for the good of the community?
- Do you swear to join me and never look back?
That, again, is what Sehịnta had the Karatha swear so long ago.
Everything I could want has fallen into place, and I am afraid of what might come next. The carvers have set my name into the crumbling stone, as it were, and the Priestesses of Enakhiavoshei have anointed my forehead with sacred oil. A man showed me seven sacred things that I cannot reveal.
If the Karatha have sworn something so similar to what I have put before my own interests, surely some god will strike them down eventually. It is perhaps blasphemous to say this. I should strike it out, but I won’t. This is not smart paper.
Sehịnta deserves respect. Unlike lim, we all forget.
We all die.
We are all forgotten.
I know what the Regent has asked me to do. I know that this will take a lifetime to carry out, and I don’t know what I will do if I die. Kitesrati and I will marry. We could have children, if we can. The thousand million decisions of my ancestors have brought me to this moment, and I will rise to my feet on their memory. I will do my duty.
Maratịn teaches that most things are impermanent. Love lasts. Hiahetå’s love for Kakedi is the main undercurrent of Impermanence. In the legends of tesekhaira, Namgyatzi will never stop feeling love for Sehịnta.
Sehutañi, like Kelis, will stay with me forever.