The Thirty-Eighth Leaf


In preparation, I must aquaint myself with the night. Not from the safety of the castle, but in the house of the watchers, the others and the wolves. I stand before the great sea, surrounded by ... nothing. Here, not even the dark hills can torment man. The steady drumming of the waves is a blessing, for I feel this same drumming in my own heart. Is the sea alive, as one large organ? Or is it rather a multitude of organs, speaking, or singing in tyme, like the brothers? I flee from all I know. What would the harper have to say about that? I can no longer simply survive within the bounds of these pages and it may be that my book has done this to me: the dreams, the visions. The music of the waves fill the night but now I faintly hear another, a slapping, or flapping, as of wings. And these wings are of another multitude, a brotherhood of despair, and their song ripples over the waves, like a sea of crows.

- Sorren

The torments of this man have driven him to despair. He talks of watchers, he talks of others, and wolves. These others no doubt are legions from hell, and yet he seeks them out. I was beginning to feel compassion for this man because I believed that his heart, although misguided, was pure. But now . . . I am uncertain. He speaks about the sea as if it were an entity unto itself and not created through the word of God. The music he hears in the waves is not the voice of God, nor the sound of wings the gathering of angels. What he hears is the sound of death, driven forth with a sea of crows.
— M

This leaf captured my attention immediately for its immediacy, and for its darkness. There is something very mysterious in his words, and his tone has certainly lost its poetic edge and become impatient. He will make his move soon I think. His plan to acquaint himself with the night and the others, and most especially the watchers, is truly unexpected. This is a man, a very superstitious man, even by his own admission, going out into the night to consort with ghosts, and with fallen angels. Unless he is using the term to symbolize the danger of the forest. The watchers are mentioned briefly in Genesis chapter 6, but these are not the kind of entities Sorren would be searching for. The watchers are also mentioned with much more disquieting detail in the book of Enoch, but I find it hard to believe that Sorren would have ever seen this book, for it is apocryphal and not easy to be found in his day. What then could he have been referring to? Creatures of the forest is my best guess, the owl, the fox, the wood-sprite, elementals.

His image of the sea is anthropomorphic, yet beautiful. Sorren has already spoken of this before, for it is an aspect of pantheism. To me, it sounds like the thought of Jung. Personally, I love to kick these ideas around while I am walking in the woods, or smoking a good cigar with a single malt, but these thoughts are not satisfying to me, and I search for something deeper, something more profound.

He talks about the harper again. I have lost track of the number of times he has mentioned the harper. This harper, this troubadour, has spun a web of magic around this man, and he curiously wonders what the harper would think about his thoughts and actions. This is very odd, at least to me. One possibility is that Sorren is really thinking about himself, and when he imagines the harper, he is actually trying to imagine himself doing something worthy of being considered by the harper, and that perhaps the harper would want to write a song about him. Could Sorren be so hungry for recognition, and is it even possible?

Step into my world and prepare to be horrified. People are absolutely obsessed with self aggrandizement to the point of sickness. People set up cameras inside their homes and life-stream themselves eating, and sleeping, and washing their dishes, and showering, because people out in social media-land need to see what they are doing, so fascinating they are in their own mind. How sad can some people be? But it gets worse. These people obsess over how many likes they get on social media, and they become depressed when the number doesn’t match their own opinion of themselves, so they abuse themselves, up to and including suicide, which they then live-stream. People commit crimes and live-stream them on the Internet, for they are so obsessed with recognition that they are not even smart enough to realize that they will be caught and prosecuted. Someone once said that there was not enough love in the world, but I disagree. There is plenty of love in the world, but it has been redirected back unto ourselves, and like a mirror, reflects only are own selfish obsession. So, by comparison, Sorren seems quite normal in his interest for the harper. Sorren, you are making a mistake.