Verily, I implore Thou, grasp not a freshly hewn object without first subjecting it to a stone.
Fred was assigned far from the Arch Angel Archie upon his return. He had learned many things about the being called “man” while in the company of the Centurions, and not all of it good or evil. The word “pity” is harsh and can never be taken back. But Fred felt this metaphysical emotion as he thought about some of the would-be Centurions.
Now, after two full years, he was back to his own shoe-making village; DyingDorf. The builders of sandals had made this village famous. And rich beyond compare. However, the leaders of the sandal-makers slowly evolved into neponites who lived on past laurels and past customs. Past customs give comfort. Past customs are the opiate of man. Fred spent his evenings there.
However, his work was in the village of HandOutDorf. He would hew, craft, and create here; except for several weeks when he would return to the land called New Jersey. Not to the campsite of the Centurions but to the land of the Brilliant; Princeton. All this will be spoken of later. Here though, I only deal with the Forest of Sharp Corners.
O brothers, although confusion reigns, do not equate the forest of Oakley Corners with the other; the Forest of Sharp Corners. The first is a haven where man rests his mind. The second is a haven for men who do not use their mind. The first is populated with Tamarack. The second is populated with wheels of rag and iron spikes. The undergrowth of the first is laced with wild onion and hemlock. There be’ist no undergrowth in the second; only under tow, undercurrent and underman.
Man and machine form a metaphysical amalgam that, in turn, hews raw iron to its usefulness. These newly formed objects abound with burrs and knife-edges. Hasten ye not to fondle these new born. Allow the brothers who dwell in the forest of Sharp Corners to dull these edges and your mind.
Therein lay the problem. Those who dwell there may remain there. Man is incapable of discriminating between dwelling and remaining. To dwell is to hang on. To dwell is to endure. To dwell is to succumb. To dwell is to live with a harness on your soul. Who is he who endures? He is not one who loves life. Who is he who succumbs? He is not one who fights. Who is he that hangs on in hopelessness? He is not the creator of his own being.
Fred applied stone to burr. His nostrils filled with the remnants of rag wheel and rouge. His fingers were laced with myriads of small incisions. His mind was pummeled with nothingness. Again and again this nothingness pursued him. Life with the Centurions had taught him to hate nothingness, to reject nothingness, to flee nothingness. And he did.
The search for somethingness began. The search for labors of love, a labor worth fighting for, a labor that Fred could create with his own being.
“Verily, I beseech you, brothers in nothingness, shed your harnesses. Flee the ephemerallity of this forest. Fly from the tenuousness of nonexistence. Take flight from the land of the dead.”
Thus spoke Fred