There lived some time ago in the village of South Port on the Isle of Havnor in the land of EarthSea a philosopher. The cerebral castle of his thoughts filled much of his life but existed only in the air. His kingdom lived in his heart. He was a good, generous, fair and just man. Although he had many who loved him, by his own choice he lived alone for most of his years. The Philosopher longed for only two things, truth and love. He asked the sun, the moon and the stars to send him a partner to share his remaining years and adventures before he died. Everyday he would walk along the cobbled stone streets to the local library and study the many volumes looking for truth. He searched everywhere for truth and in the eyes of every face he saw for love. It was these dream which fueled his life as much as music, poetry, nature and art.
The Philosopher was sitting in his small enclave as he often does looking out the window into the heart of the kingdom. He preferred small orderly spaces where his thoughts could easily flow without distraction. He felt lost and overwhelmed by the largeness of empty spaces. It was not the emptiness which overwhelmed him because emptiness could easily be filled. It was the largeness which seemed to him endless in all directions whose horizons could not be obtained no matter how far one would travel and being a philosopher he believed all horizons could be obtained by the mind.
He was at his desk pondering the thoughts of his own interior kingdom and the aching of loss and desire in his heart, writing down on paper the words to a poem when a breeze came to his window and stopped. Beyond his window he could see the trees swaying, the birds sailing upon the currents of air, the leaves swirling in a wind blown pattern in front of the window but prevented from coming in as if by an invisible barrier. There was no glass in his window to hold back the breeze or the leaves from blowing in and yet they stopped and would not enter his small enclave.
The Philosopher stood up and approached the window when he heard a book fall from its place in his bookcase. He glanced out his window again, the trees had stopped their sway, the birds were now flapping their wings to stay afloat in the sky and the swirl of leaves was now floating to the ground with only the force of gravity controlling their movement. How strange he thought and went to return the book to its place on the shelf.
When he bent over to retrieve the book, he noticed it seemed perfectly placed as if it had not fallen but had been laid in place on purpose, but that would be impossible because the Philosopher was an orderly person. Order was a necessity in his small enclave and for his thoughts. He would never have left a book on the floor. The book was one he was not familiar with and he knew all of his books by memory and heart. It was bonded in leather which had been hand tooled so that the cover design was raised. He did not recognized the book but the design on the cover was a labyrinth. The Philosopher examined the spine. It was smooth and bore no title. He thought for a moment, searching his memory, but could not recall having ever borrowed such an elegant volume.
The Philosopher returned to the chair at his desk to explore the tome more closely. He opened the cover. The title of the book, The Search For Truth was written in perfect calligraphy apparently by hand as he knew of no font with such grace of style. There were no other markings. No author. No copyright date. Nothing. He turned the page. It was empty. The next page. Also empty.
He fanned through the pages. He could see writing on the pages but as soon as he attempted to focus upon or read the words, the print would disappear. At first he thought his eyesight was deceiving him but the pattern was repeated over and over as if by some magic.
“Magic. That’s it.” He spoke to himself. “The book is under a spell and I must break the spell in order to find the truth.”
…to be continued.