Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bold Striding

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Chax paced quietly for a time, considering his answer. "There's another story, Aun, that makes me feel that way, except that this one isn't even supposed to be true. I'll try to translate it for you..."

Akiubav! the bold-striding,
who leapt faster, farther
leaving friend, foe
blurring below,
bearing the death blow,
over battle whirling
striking through the sky
to land, crying triumph!
sinking lethal claw
deep into the back of
Akiubav! the bold-striding,
who leapt faster, farther...

Chax recited the loop several times, gesturing in rhythm, and ending by acting it out, leaping through the air and staggering as he landed as if he really had struck himself in the back. Aun burst into laughter, and Chax turned to him with a smile.

"We think it was created when someone was reading a Namespike and skipped back a line by accident, joining the Name into itself in such an amusing way that it was remembered. But your idea reminded me of it, first in that no matter how far you go, there is always another step and never an end. But also..." Chax grew somber. "Often, thinking of Akiubav, I feel grim. It is certainly dark enough to be stabbing oneself in the back forever, but it's grimmer than that. I feel that something fundamental about it is true, that as we strive to understand we also undo ourselves by that very striving.

"It is like a thing that is true yet cannot be true, or a riddle with no answer, and the wrongness scares me deeply. I feel that if such things can be, then it might also be that the sky could turn upside down, or the ground could choose to rise and strangle me, or any other impossible thing could happen... And your idea awoke this feeling in me as well."

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