Culler The Caledonian

Culler The Caledonian PictThis will be new and I hope very cool. I am writing a story. The story will unfold as it comes to me. Each chapter I write I will put the rough version up here to read. The story will be of a Knight and his journey through life, what comes along the way and revelations that surface as his spirit grows. Read deep or just enjoy the surface story. I hope reading the story will touch you in the same way as writing it does for me.

Culler The Caledonian

Sitting at the morning table the knight pondered over his bowl of oatmeal. He had won so many battles and claimed hundreds of honors yet still felt empty inside. He had worked hard all his life and achieved all the goals and titles that the other knights only dreamed of.

He was truly blessed.

Done with the idol thought he headed out for training. Since he was a young man he dedicated 6-8 hours every day becoming the best in warfare and weapons. He was the best and praise followed him wherever he went.

Closing the heavy oak door he headed down the gravel path through to the common area of the castle. The “Veritas” as the villagers called it was started when he was a teen. He still remembers the day they were going to tear the old oak down. Busy with activity he stopped at the big oak in the middle of the sitting area. Every time he walked by the centerpiece he would take a few minute to give it a quick clean and tidy. He would pick out the odd piece of litter or remove a dead oak branch. Any thing that didn’t belong in that beautiful place was carefully removed.

The town crier startled him to movement as he often did. The knight, known as “Lumen” in these parts, often lost track of time during his daily ritual.

Quickening his pace, he went over some ideas he had for the Veritas. Last year he added two bird housed that are now filled with two families of swallows. Their morning songs bring him joy each day on waking.

The year prior to that he added a wishing hole. That was the year a large battle had taken the parents of many families leaving scores of children with no shelter of food. With the help of Socius the local wood worker, it took only 1 days time and a tenth of his pay for the night to get the wishing hole built. It was a small hole dug into the centerpiece with a wooden gnome holding a sign: “Wishes are free, pence on delivery”. Long story short, the centerpiece wishing hole and gnome grabbed enough attention to fill the gathering box on the inside weekly. Who would have known that you could make all the money you wanted by simply asking and then taking a little action. That money built a shelter and created a system that fed homeless children for many years after. They named the charity after Lumen.

The clanging of blades and muffled grunts of exertion told him the other knights had started their days training. He wasted not another minute before he had someone on their backs staring up at the glint of a warriors sword.

Culler The Caledonian PictAt first he bellowed, smiled, and then let out a sigh as he pulled the steel away from his partners neck. Lately he doesn’t want what he has always chased.

Today being a knight holds no joy. Hoping no one will notice his sensitive state, Lumen heads to the one place he likes to think, the Veritas.

Lumen has the perfect place for the flower seeds he picked out on the edge of the training fields. He ponders as he plants.

“I wish to do something great, something worth while. I understand the importance of what I do, and I am the best there is. Yet, I want more of something I know not.”

So he kept planting and moving the soil, for here was the one place his mind found peace. Lumen went home that day thinking deep thought and looking for something he has never seen. Impatient without direction, defeated despite hundreds of victories.

The next morning, slow in thought from a night of racing mind, Lumen skipped breakfast and went to sit at the Veritas early before the crowds were thick and busy. The swallows were getting ready for the day and Lumen watched from the log bench he himself had built one day after sword play and unarmed combat.

Momma swallow was rubbing a fluffing and the baby swallows were singing and bumping around inside their house. The sun was coming up over the glowing golden thatches of the towns’ old but sturdy shops. As the drops of heaven sprinkled across the square the flowers Lumen planted radiated with colors at the highest edge of the rainbows spectrum. He cried.

The beauty was unspeakable and his air was caught in a swelling throat. Wiping a chain mail glove across tear soaked cheeks; he set out to do what he was good at. Battle.

In his mind he heard the voice of another ancient warrior. A peaceful warrior and a warrior of light:
“Where your tears fall, your treasure lies.”

On second though, training could wait. A flashing smile had caught him in his tracks. A tilt of the head and a subtle hair flip had the usually sure-footed Lumen stumbling over himself. It was Venustas that had him in such a mess. She was the physical manifestation of Gods thoughts on beauty. Now instead of tripping over himself he looked like a buck, startled from an afternoon nap. “Good morning Lumen”, sang a melodious song from a heavenly creation. Nothing was the reply, but a sheepish grin and a convulsion of his head he did manage. Forgetting his hand was encased in a chain mail glove, he slapped his forehead as she disappeared around the corner. He didn’t know what he should have done, but he knew THAT wasn’t it.

He loved training but uphill wind sprints in half armor was a bear of a drill. It followed close behind a pushup, squat, jump combo they did as a friendly competition for drinks at the pub after training. Unfortunately if you played hard enough to win, you were usually too busy getting rid of stomach contents to be interested in filling it up with ale.

As intense as the training of a knight was, he loved the total focus and oblivion like trance that such a single pointed activity brought him. No matter what troubled him, Lumen could always attain a peacefully focused state when under extreme exertion. When the energy ran low however, the waking monkey of a mind would return. If only he could be at peace while still. Maybe like training, peaceful stillness was something that needed to be practiced until it could be done as easily as battle. With that thought, Lumen took a break from training and sat in the shade of an old massive oak. He leaned back and let the bark scratch an itch. Wit a couple of shifts back and forth like an old bear, he got comfortable, closed his eyes and the clang of heavy armor faded into the distance.

He sat on the edge of a cloud, his metal shin guards reflecting the beams of sun. As far as he could see, galloping rays of blinding sun jumped from peak to peak, petal to petal of endless apple blossom sky. He looked on in amazement at the surface of a sea above land. In the depths, below the surface of where he sat so much was happening. Up here, when taken in as a whole, it was all but an exhalation of a massive leviathan living in a time much slower than ours

The trees looked as hairs on its back, moving in the ocean currant. The hills and ravines as features of an entity that has experienced time since it started. Looking on this world from such a view brought deeps questions up.

“What is important? If I know what is important to me, what makes me happy, then I can plan to conquer the foes that keep my treasure guarded”. The breeze of a hawks wings swept past and the sensation brought him to waking.

Chapter Two

His blurry eyes began to focus and he animal in front of him became familiar yet slightly disheartening. Two massive paws weighted down on his crossed legs as he stared into the mixed colored eyes of a beast called Rector. At first he felt cross eyed looking at one green and the other blue and thought for sure he just needed another shake of his head to clear things up but making a sudden move didn’t seem like the best of ideas at this point. Rector was the form of a wolf or a dog, it didn’t really matter to Lumen at this point. It was big, hairy and had enough teeth that the species wasn’t his foremost thought. To clarify, Lumen knew WHO this was and this was the form he took when he was to do high magic or simply wanted to be alone in his work.

The villagers knew the wolf was the druid in his power state and respected his wish to be undisturbed. Rector’s lips curled back and his warm, moist breath started to elevate the already present twitch in Lumens sword hand. “Good afternoon great knight. It appears you have some questions that need answering?” Lumens shoulders relaxed towards his hips as the intensity of the shared gaze increased. His sword hand however remained ready. Rector looked up and pulled Lumens focus to follow as a hawk took flight from the tree above.

“It’s a small world and though travels fast” said Rector. “By early placing the intention of harvesting life’s secrets, you have set the wheels in motion for the manifestation of its fruition. At this point, your intuition and heart will be yours guides; if you let them. If you listen and act, the veil of doubt, darkness and fear will be torn from top to bottom and the secrets of the source will come to your conscious mind. When this happens, life will burst with possibilities and those things that will unleash your happiness will present themselves and your talents will be fully used. Compile a record of what transpires in your waking and sleeping life, for both are high and low pitches of the same universal voice. This record will cross another questers path someday when they are ready to release their false obligation to illusion.”

“You have a choice now to release your status of an active knight in this town and learn from a point of without labels in the man experiences to come. You may also choose to stay here comfortable in your given role you have established and die an old man with questions. You may not however do both as the source does not allow the imbalance of giving something for nothing. I must be clear; I do not offer happiness or a path full of treasure, as you would describe it. I only offer to show you how to light the lamp of revelation and destiny will take care of the rest if you can subdue your attachments to who you think you are.”

“Think on this until you have a solid intention. Time matters not as it is only an illusion anyway. If I do not work with you now, I will wait until we are in the same time again. If you do wish to go ahead, put your affairs I order. Your outward reality is a reflection of inner conditioning. You must be free to walk if the path is to be journeyed.”

With that, Rector spit a smooth amethyst stone into Lumens lap and trotted away.

Lumen squandered the rest of his day away between mindless activities and idle banter as he bumped into others who didn’t have much of an agenda or purpose either. His mind jumped from thought to thought between outside stimuli and distractions. Once the dog of his mind caught its tail, he would let go and rehash the same thoughts from only moments ago. He sure was tired of a busy mind that never ended up with any answers.

The day passed like any other and once again he laid down to sleep feeling that something was left undone or that more should have been done. Always more and more questions and never a solid groundwork of an answer to build on. Even those deemed “wise” could be found in private with the same disillusioned looks on their faces. The act was great in front of a crowd but the dance lacked luster when the audiences song couldn’t be heard.

At least he was honest with himself. He didn’t have clue what the hell to think, and he was getting angry and frustrated. His sleep was restless and his body was tense until the grinding of his own teeth woke him at 4:44. In contrast the choir of swallows and crickets seemed to be having a great old time. “This is way to early to be staring up at the holes in my roof” thought Lumen.

Too early, the thought reminded him of something he read or heard a couple of days ago; “The morning breeze has secrets to tell. Do not go back to sleep.”

Tossing off the horse hair blanket and putting both feet on the floor he sighed and rubbed his face in his hands.

“Guess I’ll walk over to the bell tower and see a sunrise. I haven’t done that in years. Come to think of it, now is just as good a time as any to start a journal. Speaking of the journal, what to do about Rector. Does he really have answers? ”

Lumen was picking his feet very high as he kicked into the top of each stair on his way up the bell tower. It was the tallest place in town and his favorite lookout besides the canyon which took quite a while to get to. He found an apple basket up top, he wasn’t the only soul that sought solitude up here by the looks of it. He turned to the east to look at the sunrise and settled in to watch the show.

Orange to baby blue and purple.
The distant hills act as a dark lower frame to a painting changing from moment to moment.
Plumes of smoke start to rise from chimneys as fires warm souls and breakfasts to start another day.
A little bird jumps from branch to branch in the tree that shadows the tower, and the town watchman starts blowing out the courtyards lamps.
Two doves fly overhead and one knight sits alone. Solitude brings both learning and loneliness.
The watchman finishes with the last of the lamps.
The quiet seems endless and comforting.
The voice of inner knowledge could now be heard.

“If I want to be happy and live a full life of adventure, perhaps I should learn from someone that seems to already seems to be doing that very thing. Rector seems content unlike most of the villagers and he always seems to be on an important project.”

Something started to click and a fire started to kindle in his belly. “If I am not happy now, it is a result of what I am or am not doing. Everything I have ever done or thought has brought me to this point.” His eyes started to widen and he stopped walking because this revelation was overwhelming him. “If I want to be different, I must think and do different things. Expecting a different result from the same actions and thoughts is ridiculous.”

With that a voice brought Lumen back to the present. “It appears you have some affairs to get in order today then doesn’t it?” Rector smiled and breezed by and patted Lumen on the shoulder with a hand instead of a paw this time.

Despite his desire for more, Lumen really had done an above average job at setting up systems to have things take care of themselves. He owned a few farms as a result of some families not being able to make their land payments to the King. Not wanting to see families homeless, he would assume the payments or loan out some money on conditional interest. Now even if he didn’t work for the King as a knight, money was always trickling in. The families cared very much for the homes that they had lived in all their lives and as such took very good care of the properties even though Lumen seldom visited them for any reason.

He kept extra money flowing in to make these payment by accepting payments for the use of his name on weapon products like swords, shields and breast plates. The blacksmith paid for Lumens name and sold more than any other metal worker in the area. Lumens named offered great value because he was the best at what he loved to do.

All these funds were paid out or received automatically for a small fee by the town treasurer. Lumen checked in from time to time to make sure things were in order and spent no more time with it than that.

With the rest of the day Lumen had the blacksmiths son move into his home to watch it and asked only for free metal work in payment as that was a major expense of a knight. He also approached the King and changed his working situation to a contract only basis. He had the ability to quit if he needed to but things always seemed to work out for Lumen when he asked for exactly what he wanted with conviction.

Lumen was no longer a slave to man or money. His mind, body and soul were free to expand, discover, create and fulfill their unlimited potential.

Lumen sat and was thankful and by doing so attracted even more abundance and peace into his life. He knew that as a child, when he was thankful for anything his father gave him, he would be first in line for seconds. People always enjoy giving to those that are very grateful.

“To you who are and everything that is, I give thanks.
My money grows daily and my stomach is full. My house is stable and my bed is empty of worry.
My name holds honor and my actions are noble in the protection of others. I have debts to no man and I am truly blessed.
My life has taken a turn at the call of an agitated soul. Adventure awaits as I heed the call of my inner voice.
Thank you for this time and mortal body to experience a full and abundant life where laughter and love are the nourishments for my soul.”

For the first time in a long time, Lumen felt the tingle of life energy radiate in his palms.

Next Chapter

With all his affairs in order, Lumen was hungry. In the spirit of change he decided to treat himself and have someone else prepare his meal for a change. Having cleaned out his house of perishables he didn’t have much choice in the matter anyway.

He entered the dark and musty Inn and stopped for a second at the heavy oak entrance. He was not used to this sort of situation or establishment as most warriors didn’t eat with common townspeople. The King fed Lumen his 3 squares and tuck food filled in the rest.

His calm pause was seen as a silent but confident announcement of his arrival by others already seated. Not a trace of doubt was revealed in his pensive actions. He seated himself and hoped the 30 pieces he had was adequate to cover the cost of his dining.

Once he was seated he realized that despite what felt like a thousand dagger like eyes scanning his arrival, no one actually took notice of his presence.

“Its funny how often we feel that our actions interest other people when in fact they are actually consumed by their own thoughts of insecurity. How terrible it would be to mould our daily actions, which eventually become your life into something that no one may notice anyway! Its better when given the choice of making two people happy to make yourself the happy one!”

He waited nervously for the attendant and his chance to look at what was offered for dining. The only problem with being a warrior is that you view most situations as a confrontation and not an exchange. Everything is about attack, defense and honor. The problem with defending honor is how close the emotion lives to protection and insecure ego.

The attendant approached and spoke a few words followed by a smile. Lumen felt his face relax as he pointed to what the man at another table was eating. The attendant smiled, nodded his head and patted Lumen on his broad shoulder. A touch that in another setting would have ended with the attendant on his back with a foot at his throat.

Strange, thought Lumen, “ A smile, and nod and a touch broke through a host of uncomfortable emotions. I feel at ease.” He felt comfortable in the presence of strangers once he realized not everyone had fighting as their first intention.

He ate his meal, gave thanks and left. He felt like a question was being asked or answered inside his head but the comment would not materialize into a solid thought. He walked for a while until he found himself in the garden. He hadn’t done a cleanup in a while because of the exciting changes going on around him. Alone and able to line up random thoughts, he sat and stared at the massive oak.

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