It’s been said “A magician is just an actor, playing the part of a magician.” It has also been said: “Art is a lie, that makes us realize the truth.” If anything, as I’ve aged I’ve found it harder to distinguish the two. I think this was something Jongle understood deeply, and perhaps it was why it was so hard to cut through to the man’s core. He understood that life is absurd, and pointed out how ludicrous it is that we go about our lives trying to pretend otherwise.
Much of my job in the Service was trying to discern truth from lies, and at the same time, disseminating my own falsehoods, forgeries, and fakes. For us both, truth was a weapon that the lies enabled us to wield. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found there to be only a couple truths that cut through all the clutter in life. A selfless act of love, is one. You can dilute it, or cast doubt on it, but in the moment—there is nothing like it in the Universe. It has an aura, a reddish pink as the setting sun.
For the Grimlanders, this jumbled timeline might be all they remember, all they care to know. Were there a way to restore it, instead of dooming it to the storm, we might find hope that life can exist in the void. And even if I am trapped here, never to see my friends or family again, I would know that I tried to save these people. Perhaps that is what Mildred sought to do as well? Or Lord ApBlanc? But is this the cost of trying to cheat death? A cursed land and a bedevilled mind? I know the answer already, for I’ve seen it before on Azaltine’s apoplectic visage.
I’ve never been comfortable being an arbiter of life and death. Acceptable losses. The fog of war. Call it what you will, but damnit, don’t these people deserve a choice if we can give them one? If i could go back to the Moon, rewrite what happened at Greywood Estates, I would. And somehow, I have been able to survive these mistakes. Those around me haven’t been so lucky.
Because I am a coward.
Because I am a fool.
Because I was naive.
Because I treated people like pawns.
But I can still change that, I can still try to be more like a man of the Twelve Barrows. We refugees have had to decide; stay and fight, or run and live.