August 2012


The King & The Cluxtch: Part 1

The see had taught me a lot. When I had first arrived I had been naive to its ways, the ways of survival. I had learned quickly to use a blade and always carry a torch. The methods I used seemed strange and unorthodox to the natives. In fact, many of them scoffed at me at first saying “his movements are so ugly and jerky.” However, I knew only what the see had taught me and I had become quick and unforgiving with any blade yet with no one to teach me I had not obtained any of the popular and known styles. I saw my way as the absence of style, a flow that carried wherever it was needed and filled all gaps. My movement could not be predicted and so to the other hunters that I met, my ways were strange and dangerous. In the end, many minds would be changed… One way or another.

The day that I met the king I was having a bad day. I had come from a village to the north which was a small place, but they had a strong community and the news from all over the see could be heard in its fold. I was at a local market where many of the village’s hunters and laborers spent free time. I was having an intoxicating beverage and talking to some of the natives. One of them was from a province called Loocodar and as I introduced myself as Salt, his expression turned strange and awkward. “Salt, is that a common name?” I was confused and taken off guard, I did not answer. “Oh Yes, I have heard of you, you are a hunter of the strange creatures, word of your ways has spread.” His face showed a hint of anger now. “What troubles you friend?” I said with a measured restraint. He stood up now knocking his stool to the ground. “Well friend, I have just come from Loocodar and I met Salt there.” Now the sarcasm was thick and laced with detectable contempt, some how I had offended this traveler. “In fact I personally learned the ways of the blade from him, and you are not him!” His tone had grown to a roar and the drink had riled him up. My hand slowly moved to my blade, but I remained calm. I considered the possibility there could there be another Salt, perhaps in Loocodar. “I don’t know who you met but I assure you I am Salt and I have no quarrel with you.” His eyes flashed with rage at my even tone, He pulled his blade and openly challenged me. I started up from the table to leave but he lunged for me before I could stand. I had learned that in the see, when you had to fight it must be with out mercy or hesitation. I caught his blade hand at the wrist as it came down to strike and forced it to drive into the table. My blade followed a split second later and pinned his hand to the table. He let out a shrill cry of disbelief and pain. I spoke to him as I pulled the blade from his hand. “This wound will heal, but you should be sure of who you are dealing with, just because someone says they are doesn’t mean they are, and just because someone is polite it doesn’t mean they’re weak.” I had never been to Loocodar, but there were many in this village that had and after some questioning there was no doubt someone was pretending to be me. They had explained that this Salt had come through Loocodar and shown a group of hunters how to use the torch and blade to hunt new game. He had taken payment and food and even one of the tribe’s daughters, and then he had disappeared.

My anger was intense as I stormed out of town towards Loocodar. My thoughts raced I had been robbed before in the see, but this was different. I was so angry I walked right up on to the gruesome scene without even noticing. Suddenly I was surrounded by the hollowed out shells of what I later learned to be armored guard tails. The atmosphere itself was thick with the tension and the mist from a fresh kill. My awareness snapped back into focus just before I heard the echoing bellow of the Bottom feeder…..



Chapter 2: Conflict at See

I had been studying the creatures that I encountered and had been quite content to do so. Everything seemed so new and unique. I was trying to understand these adaptations and specialized evolutionary qualities. Like, why does a creature need eyes on its back and teeth on its face? What conditions made this a favorable mutation? Once again, I had allowed my focus to blind me from how the see had been changing. This seemed to be a common theme in the see. It was as if the see amplified any thoughts or emotions and put blinders up to the rest of existence. I had to consider the possibility that the see was as aware of me as I of it. My fascination with these ideas had done just that because as my consciousness shifted back outward, I became acutely aware of the change in my surroundings. There were thousands and thousands of new creatures. Most of them very brightly colored and elaborate. There numbers were so great, it was almost shocking. Obviously this species had done very well for itself, thriving in this part of the see for many years. These creatures which I named “Spunges” tended to group up together in clusters, some times sharing meals and cross breeding. It appeared that most of these creatures were capable of free movement in some way, at least in short distances, but it became apparent that the majority of them preferred to be stationary and locked fast to the smooth and predictable surfaces of the see floor. I had been quietly observing up to this point, and I decided to go in a little closer to one group and inspect the incredible details of their markings. A chill ran through me when I got closer. As I looked my gaze passed beyond the spunges and to the see floor. Its smooth surface was made of the carcasses of countless other spunges packed in so tight.



Chapter 1: The Plunge

I guess to start, I should really start at the beginning. The thing is, this is one of those times that the beginning is up for debate. So instead of starting at the see, I should tell you about the stream that lead me to it. I was still in school taking a couple of art classes and a philosophy class to finish. Philosophy took me by surprise and it really opened my mind and made me think. So much so, it started to seep into life, and into my art. As the nature of my thoughts changed so did my work, and the concept behind it. One day I was in Philosophy class and in a flash I was filled with a new understanding. I had been contemplating creativity and where it really comes from when it occurred to me that creativity is like a stream. We are not inventing ideas when we create, but instead pulling from the stream of possibilities and bringing something to light. In other words anyone can fish in the stream, some are born to. To the non artist this act seems impossible, and they might say, “Oh I could never do that” or “How do you come up with this sort of thing?” I remember thinking about putting my hands into the stream and letting the ideas splash up onto me. I imagined putting my hands and arms further into the stream to pull out the really big ideas. Class finished and I snapped back to reality. I must have spoken to the professor for twenty minutes after class about my epiphany. Her response left me with a great sense of satisfaction and truth. I felt I had found a map to tapping into my creativity, a way to go straight to the stream and to fresh ideas. Just when I thought I had the mother load, it occurred to me, what if I jumped in all the way, and where does the stream go?