Zelda's exercise, September 24

Posted on: Mon, 09/25/2006 - 14:01 By: Tom Swiss

Another exercise from Zelda's Inferno.

This one was inspired by a scene in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, where young John is talking with his brother, who is intently studying the Bible. His brother wants to be a preacher when he grows up, and says he has to study because if you want to help people, you have to know the right stories to tell them. This exercise: tell a story that helps.

a story from I don't know where, from I don't know when
that I come back to when I feel insignificant, inferior:

Once there was a stonecutter, who spent his days carving rocks from the side of a mountain with a hammer and chisel.

He was not happy.

He worked hard, but had no wealth or respect from others. He wished for a higher station in life.

One day, on a day when the winds and the moon and the sun and the tides were just right for magick to happen, the lord of the land, with his retinue, came through the valley below where the stonecutter was working.

And as the stonecutter looked down at them, he thought, "How I was I was the lord of the land!"
And bam! With a flash of magic, it was so.

The stonecutter was now in the valley, dressed in finery, being carried on a palanquin. It was glorious!

Soon, though, out in the sunlight, he began to feel hot. He began to think about the sun.

However powerful a man might become, he thought, no one could match the sun, the source of all light and warmth. Rulers of men may come and go, but the sun was forever. He began to think, however powerful a man might become, it was as nothing before the sun. "How I wish I was the sun! Then I would truly be great!" he thought.

And with a flash of magick (for the stars were still lined up just so) he found that he was the sun, far up in the sky, throwing sunbeams hither and thither.

Wow! What power! He threw a sunbeam here, he threw one there, reveling in his power. He threw another, and another, and...hey, what's this?! Something blocked one of his sunbeams from reaching the ground. He looked carefully, and saw a cloud.

Could a cloud be stronger, more mighty, than the sun? So it seemed. "Well, if a cloud is more mighty than the sun, than I wish I were a cloud!" he said.

And bam! He was a cloud. Floating high, blocking the oh-so-powerful sun, causing blessed shade to fall, holding the power of rain. Truly, if a cloud could block the sun, nothing could be more powerful.

Suddenly he found himself moving in a direction he hadn't planned. Huh!?! Oh, the wind! So...if the wind could push a cloud around...."I wish I were the wind!"

Woosh! He ran across the sky. Freedom! Speed! He blew the clouds around. He blew and the trees bent and broke. This was great! Nothing could withstand his power!

Until, bam! He ran into the side of a mountain.

He backed up and gathered up all his speed. Bam! The mountain didn't even notice him.

So. "I wish I was a mountain!"

And there he stood, roots deep in the earth, unmovable, ancient. If a mountain could stop the wind, and the wind blow clouds around, and clouds block the sun, than surely to be a mountain was the best, the most powerful, the greatest thing. He looked out proudly over the land, secure in the knowledge that nothing could lay claim to greater power or privilege.

Clink, clink, clink. The mountain heard a sound. He looked around. Click, clink, clink. The mountain felt an itch. What's this?

On the side of the mountain, carving out blocks of stone, was a man with a hammer and chisel, a stonecutter.