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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:21 pm 
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I lift the cover and lay the book open on its pedestal.

Take a look at that book. The D'ni spoke of the Art of Writing, but they took up all their arts with the same unhurried, deep passion. The leather cover is faded, but barely worn -- no splits, no cracks. It lies gently on your fingers. Your sweat will not stain it. The paper is thick and soft as wool; the ink as sharp as the day, a thousand years ago, that a D'ni master took up his pen. He expected to use this book for a century, and then pass it on to his children. He knew that a blurred symbol, a fading stroke, an embrittled page, could cost a reader's life.

The linking page is elegant, as always. A border of delicate freehand strokes; and then the brilliantly colored view, positioned high on the right. Like the titles of the books of my youth. No other introduction is needed.

The crude red DRC stamp on the City books has always looked like vandalism. Imperfectly positioned, unevenly inked, reproduced -- no doubt the D'ni would have been horrified. Even the graceful imprimatur of Yeesha's "share" glyph seems an intrusion. But this book, long lost under Ae'gura rubble, is pristine.

The view is in motion, drifting along the verges of a sunlit indigo lake. Ripples glitter blindingly; it seems as if the light must shine up out of the page, illuminate the dim room in which I stand. This is an illusion. The viewing panel itself appears to float, a coin's thickness above the page, and that is illusion as well. If I bent and sighted along the paper's surface, I would see nothing. I resist the urge to try it anyway.

If you looked closely at that image panel, you would see the texture of colored ink on paper. If you used a powerful lens, you could make out pen-strokes. None of this would explain the way the image moves.

I open my hand and lower my fingers to the page. For a moment it seems as if they have dipped below the surface, into the space beyond -- as if a linking book were simply an open window. Then I feel the paper beneath my fingertips, after all.

How does physical contact engender a physical translation? If you could read the book from cover to cover, understand the D'ni symbology, hold all the descriptive logic in your mind -- would that too be a link?

Paper, ink, letter, word. Information hums against my fingers, a conversation just beyond understanding. It describes the motion of stars, the pressure of wind, the shriek of birds, the silent crackle of life eternally growing. It is an argument that swells and roars; it is a world more urgent and precise and convincing than the one in which I stand. The story consumes me. I believe.

One imagines a Book as a passive object; but a book is meaningless without an audience. Linking, the audience is you. Perhaps it is not a journey, but an education: you learn in one instant to see the world in new terms.

For a moment, bisecting a stopped breath, there is nothing. A chaos of principles and details, trying to sort themselves out in darkness. Waves of silent pressure batter me. Then -- knowledge is overlaid by a sound: water, lapping gently at an unseen shore.

Waiting for an Age to come into being is like waiting for the completion of a sentence. You already sense where the Writer is going.

The air changes, or has always been this way: warmer, softer, fragrant with weeds and the faint undertone of lakeshore decay. Humidity brushes against my skin. Earth gives wetly beneath my feet.

Sight is the most remote sense. Smell, touch, even hearing, all root inextricably within our bodies. We think of sight as the most important sense, because it is the only one we can use to keep the world at bay.

Vision is last, fading from darkness into existence. I see the indigo water, the stands of heavy-stalked trees, the pale clouds against a misty horizon. I see the low angles of the distant volcano cone, trailing ash into the sky. I see footprints leading off into the brush.

It is as if you had never been anywhere else.

----

(EDIT: added tag to subject line, since this brushes fanfic territory)

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Last edited by belford on Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:54 pm 
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Location: Ethereal Plane of Atrii
/me bows, claps, and pauses for some quiet reflection on these wonderful words.

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*SLMW 1.0* No animals were harmed in the production of this message.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:35 pm 
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I often have difficulty explaining the concept of linking to those who have never seen a Book, or heard that rushing hum of the worlds changing. I have never found the words to conjoin the stark reality of the act, the hidden meaning of the idea and the quiet beauty of the experience.

In the future, I will simply refer them to this.

I adore this piece, belford.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:50 pm 
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... and then there are those among us right here and now, who simply write ages and worlds that flow directly into our minds from the pixels on the screen ... thank you ! ^_^


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 2:50 am 
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Location: Just a linking book away.
Thank you, belford.... that was beautiful.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:37 am 
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Words fail me.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:48 am 
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trip ...

that was beautiful.

TY :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:22 pm 
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LA'fITTE IS STANDING AND CLAPPING. THAT WAS FANTASTIC, BELFORD. SUCH AN ELEQUENT PIECE ABOUT THESE BOOKS WE ARE USING. I WILL REFER ANYONE TO THIS PIECE WHO EVER HAS A QUESTION OF LINKING AGAIN. BRILLIANT, THANK YOU! :D

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:27 pm 
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Very nice. Very, very nice!
I would like to see more talent like this. :D

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Last edited by D'Neile on Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:38 pm 
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Linking into an unauthorized age ... tsk
Linking into an unauthorized age without a maintainers suit ... tsk tsk
Linking into an unauthorized age without a maintainers suit and then linking back to Earth to share the experience and possibly contaminate us with a plague ... tsk tsk tsk

I am disapointed that you would so recklessly endanger us and yourself...

FTLNewsFeed

P.S. Good job on the writing... just remember that words have power...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:03 pm 
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Wonderful age, beautifully communicated. I look forward to the reports on the next phase of your exploration.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:30 pm 
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"words have power..."

Isn't it delightful?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:55 pm 
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Yahvo almighty... great stuff!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:02 pm 
This....is good.

Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:19 pm 
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Very poetic. I applaud and salute you.


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