Tuesdays With Abhorrent Fiends vol. 28

In real life news:

Yesterday Dad did get his car back, although he and the friend he cajoled into giving him a ride spent a lot more time on it than they intended.

I have emailed both Amber and Pearl and hope to do so more! I've been scraping the crevices of the Baen Free Library for awhile now. And though my addictive craving for fantasy is still strong, I need quality pushers like Lackey and Moon and Bujold and Weber to get my fix. So real life human contact (through text) would be a perhaps even better thing to do with those tedious several minutes every hour or so when I'm sitting at my compy between errands and crises.

Dave may be perilously close to seriously searching for a job. Paula's hinting / nagging has gotten more insistent. To the point where Dave thinks she may kick him out if he doesn't find a job, and he is unwilling to live in any place where Dad lives. Dad's aura (and general behavior) is extremely corrosive to anyone who lacks self-confidence, as I know from experience. Being around him makes it hard to have confidence in anything or try anything new; he doesn't mean to shoot it down but his misery, when he's miserable, is terribly infectious, and his confidence can be infuriating when he's confident. Maybe this is the rock and the hard place that'll get Dave in motion. I have great faith in him and I think that he will adapt well to job-having, especially the part where they pay him money and he gets to spend it.

In other news:

I had a dream last week that is a continuation of the spaceport dream. Can't believe it took me this long to write it down.
It was mid-to-late afternoon, judging by the angle and shade of the sunlight. Nice, warm day, no particular season. I was walking from a building out towards the area where the vehicles were, along a gravel path with little scraggly green patches next to it. Not to give you the wrong impression: this was an overall well-maintained facility. The spot I was in was just an out-of-the-way corner of it. The little girl (yes, "the" little girl of repeated dream participation) was sitting on a green area next to the road. I think I may have asked her for directions. She smiled at me and offered to take me over to the (term not found? place where my transportation was at?). I had Shashi with me, she was riding in a sort of square backpack on my back. I told the little girl thank you profusely and sincerely, and said something like, "you've done enough for me already."
Then me and Shashi were in a shuttle orbiting the earth. We were weightless. I felt the jolt of latches unclamping and the shuttle we were in detached from the larger craft it had been attached to. We began to spin and I caught sight of the larger shuttle whooshing by--it was one of those fat wedge-shaped black and white space shuttles with the smooth lines that you'd remember from NASA launch videos on TV. The sense of motion got faster and faster and I saw Shashi at full extension, trying to get her balance. I was grabbing onto the edge of the window, and thoughts were running through my mind really fast. I was worried for Shashi, but I was thinking too about the spinning. I felt like I knew why the thingy was spinning and more or less what I should do about it--it was something normal and expectable and I just had to do...something.
But now, sitting here typing this, I cannot remember what the something was and that bugs me.

Seems to me like the spinning of the shuttle I was in and my mind beginning to race with purposeful thoughts comprise the same event in dreamspace. The little girl was friendly and seemed languid when I spoke to her--but my dream-self was still wary enough of her that I did not want her to come with me wherever I was going. After all, the first few times that I can recall seeing her in dreams our interactions were a lot more like deadly combat than anything else. I'm not sure about the shuttles breaking away. Obviously it indicates that a time has ended and a new time begun, the new time to be characterized by greater independence for me in some area of life. I've just got to ponder what manner of a time it refers to.

When I say "a time", I realize I ought to define that term a little better. In an earlier post I talked about a "taig" as Elizabeth Moon uses it in the Paksennarion trilogy. A taig is the living, aware, mental/emotional component of a physical place. (Self-aware or not is a question I can't begin to answer; I don't even know if it is a meaningful question.) A time is the living, aware, mental/emotional component of an interconnected web of events which occur over a duration. The key word there is "interconnected." When people say "an idea whose time has come", that phrase gives a good idea of how I like to use the term. I think of a time as an environment, just as I think of a taig as an environment. The difference of course is that a taig has a physical territory that you can walk around in, take satellite pictures of from space, sample the soil of, build houses on etc. Any of these actions may affect the taig, its mood, the way spiritual feedback bends and shifts inside it. Although building houses will probably have the most noticeable effect of the things mentioned!

However, in order to even perceive a time, you have to be personally involved in the web of events. That is equivalent to walking around in the land from which a taig emanates. And unlike physical territories, we don't have a way to take satellite pictures of chains of cause and effect. (Reading a book about a time which has passed might be similar, but to continue the analogy, it would be as if you could only look at photos of lands after they had been destroyed by bombs or volcanoes erupting or earthquakes or what have you.) If you are peripherally involved--ie, you have a friend who vents to you about it--then you may be only peripherally aware of the time. If you have special insight into the nature of the people or actions or subject matter or organizations involved in the events, the time may be more perceptible to your understanding than other people's. If that is the case you may be able to force yourself into deeper entanglement with the events, which in turn connects you more deeply to the time.

The more deeply connected you are to a time, the more effectively you are able to work magic within that time. Same as for a taig.

This somewhat expands the idea of the "magical link", which has been discussed in every good magic book I've read--Carroll, Knight, LaVey etc, though they all have different views on it. A magical link is a symbolic representation (usually a physical object) of the relationship between the mage and the person, place or thing their magical action is directed towards. Because remember, magic is all about relationships; science is about things-by-themselves. And taigs and times are most certainly magical beings, since they emanate as a result of the energy exchange involved in relationships between interconnected persons, places and things.

I think a fascinating possibility is that you can have an indirect magical link through the mediation of a time or a taig. Of course for me personally I'm more interested in the relationship between the individual and the time, what it means for divination especially. Divination the way I do it is kind of the magical equivalent of licking your thumb and holding it up to gauge the wind. But hey, many snipers swear by that method. All it takes is lots and lots and lots and lots of practice and some sense.


Martin LaBar said...

Thanks for your discussion of what a taig is.

Fiat Lex said...

You're welcome. :) I'm surprised anyone was looking for discussion of it!