Passing Notes (A Prosatio Silban Tale)

(Ten-and-a-half printed pages; the longest Prosatio Silban tale so far, and though it’s the third I’ve written, it’s actually the first one in narrative order. If you’re new to these, here are the (much shorter) preface and introduction. Enjoy.)

IT IS MUSIC. AND IT is Time. But mostly, it is Love.

Harpsong and drumbeat whirl through the broad moons-lit hollow like a flight of bright starlings air-dancing over a rain-pocked lake.

In a hollow atop a vast cliff squat two robe-wrapped figures: intent, eyes closed, one plucking, one pounding. Nearby lies a third, hands chest-clasped, contemplating the two moons gently contending overhead for celestial supremacy. The trio is edging across the tenuous bridge connecting youth to manhood, when the character which shapes the face has been poured but not yet hardened.

Words To Bring Back: “Fervent”

– Definition: adj. Having or displaying a passionate intensity.

– Used in a sentence: “Our” cat was a fervent consumer of rats and squirrels.

– Why: There are good and bad manifestations of this quality. On the one hand is our hyperpolarized political landscape; on the other hand are fen of all stripes. One is harmful, the other harmless. You decide.

Prosatio Silban and the Lost Foundling

(With much, much help from the indefatigable Ann Clark; five printed pages. If you’re new to these tales, here are the preface and introduction.)

WAKING UP TO A BABY’S cry can be a normal thing for some people – but when the cry comes from just outside your front door, it bespeaks something strange afoot.

Prosatio Silban rubbed his eyes and sat up in the sleeping berth in the rear of his cozy galleywagon. The cries were coming from his portable home’s other end, where a double door separated him from the world of unwanted intrusion. Shrugging into a green silk robe, he padded across the galleywagon’s ornate rug and opened the door’s top half. Nothing but morning sunlight greeted him, so he opened the lower half as well.

There on the driver’s bench lay a worn wicker basket. In the basket, tucked into a soft blue woolen blanket, lay a small but full-lunged baby. O Blessed All-Mother, he thought. What have You set before me now?

Prosatio Silban and the Vanishing Lesson

(Five printed pages, and a sequel of sorts. If you’re new to these tales, here are the preface and introduction.)

IT WAS THE MOST IMPROBABLE of places to meet someone from his past, but Prosatio Silban was accustomed to the improbable – in fact, one might even say he preferred it.

Riverwood was the northernmost border-settlement within the lands surrounding epicurean Pormaris, that most decadent of the Three Cities (and Thousand Villages) of the Uulian Commonwell. Nestled between tall, round Sentinel Hill to the west, and the thick-wooded Greenlanes to the north and east (and separated from that forest by the tranquil and iridescent Crooked River), the village was a destination not only for Uulian seekers-after-mystery but also, occasionally, to the Treeborn: furtive Greenlanes indigenes who traded in woodcraft and herbaceous treasures, culled from the very foliage that (rumoredly) gave them life.

365 Names: God-Who-Sees

GOD-WHO-SEES is, in spite of titling a music video, also a fairly accurate descriptor of the non-dual mindstate: “All is seen, but No-thing is seen,” as one seeker-after-the-Divine put it. The Hebrew version, “El Roi” (lit.: “G?d Who sees me“) comes from Genesis 16:13; it’s what Abraham’s concubine Hagar said during her first Divine encounter — after Abraham’s wife Sarah kicks Hagar out of the family tent, and before she gives birth to Abraham’s son Ishmael. Per that, it’s also a nice reminder that just because we may feel far from the Mystery, the Mystery is not far from us. Something to keep in mind as these strange, strange days continue their origami-like unfolding.

Prosatio Silban and the Double Reflection

(Two printed pages; with posthumous thanks [and apologies] to Idries Shah. If you’re new to these tales, here are the preface and introduction. Enjoy.)

IT WASN’T UNTIL THE CHEESE course that Prosatio Silban realized that his clients weren’t silk merchants at all.

Enchanters, he thought. I should have tumbled to it earlier in the evening. There was something not quite mercantile about his clients’ whispered and mumbled conversations, their curious hand-gestures, their piercing eyes.

The setting, too, should have clued him in. For one thing, it was in what looked like a small shack located in a furtive alley off one of cosmopolitan Soharis’ myriad back-streets. Entering, though, one had the impression of a larger room than the outer walls bespoke, hung with lavish tapestries and gilt-framed paintings thick with figures and scenes both peculiar and bizarre.

Words To Bring Back:: “Unctuous”

– Definition: adj. (of a person) excessively or ingratiatingly flattering; oily.

– Used in a sentence: The current president* (at this writing, anyway: 3/26/20) enjoys and prefers the company of unctuous sycophants.

– Why: It’s nice to have words to match your observations, isn’t it?