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Messages - Jubal

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The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: December 09, 2019, 09:38:56 PM »

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: December 09, 2019, 09:48:04 AM »

Recently finished Always Coming Home, by Ursula Le Guin, which Glaurung lent me after some discussion on my article about writing places that feel alive. It was every bit as good as I might have hoped, and I found it fascinating and would definitely recommend it to others.

The 'main plot', to the extent that the book has one, is the three parts of the story 'Stone Telling', named after its protagonist, but really this is just one part of a very cleverly built evocation of a place and people and culture to which any specific narrative only serves to build the world, rather than the world serving mainly as backdrop to the plot. It is an exploration of an imagined future people called the Kesh and their ways of thinking and acting, which for Le Guin are a sort of near utopia. The Kesh are presented as something of an embodiment of mindfulness and coexistence, with a highly ritualised society that places heavy emphasis on community and connection, but little on narrative.

The strangest thing about the Kesh, and the thing that made them most alien for me, is their lack of a strong narrative sense of past or future, of what sort of world they wish to live in as separate from the one that they do live in. For Le Guin, this is a utopian element: a society that has evolved beyond the sense and need to record and explain and plan, that is unafraid of its own mortality and unconcerned with eternity, and can get on with living and caring and being, perhaps discovering things that had already been discovered generations before with fresh eyes, but not attempting to build on one discovery with another beyond their existent, modest technological level. Some elements of the Kesh society, their core rituals, seem unchanging, and some stories are passed down between generations, but much poetry and creativity is ephemeral and appreciated as such. Perhaps it it just in self-justification, as a historian and a writer, that this belief in the virtues of ephemerality clashes with my own belief in the eternal possibility of progress and the reimagining and reinterpretation of what has gone before.

The charm of the Kesh, for all that I could not quite imagine myself among them, was nonetheless absolutely there. The intricate structures of Lodges, Houses, and Arts that made up their society, with a central double-spiral motif at the heart of their belief system cropping up in all sorts of places, is the sort of thing that appeals to my brain's love of reimagining systems and how societies could work differently. The egalitarian, non-hierarchical nature of the Kesh was an element that I'm sure I found as pleasantly utopian as the author wanted me to. My own love of both a feeling of connectivity to nature, and its expression through poetry, was also well catered to, as well, and stories short and long alike were very much enjoyed. Much of the Kesh ritual I could imagine with much of the fondness of the rituals I remember from childhood (or perhaps more so, for I have no need to feel conflicted about the organisation of Kesh life in the way that I am about the institutions of state and church that were responsible for most of my own childhood rituals on some level or other).

All in all, would absolutely recommend this as a read - it's certainly a book I'd like to come back to at some point and think more about.

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: King of the Hill
« on: December 08, 2019, 11:03:57 PM »
I spit upon your bureaucracy and invade the hill with a good old fashioned mongol horde.

My hill!

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: December 08, 2019, 10:37:35 PM »

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: December 08, 2019, 07:41:03 PM »

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: King of the Hill
« on: December 08, 2019, 07:26:31 PM »
I undertake a decade long campaign to infiltrate and take over the Campaign for Real Topography, ultimately filling its board with my loyal followers. Our first act is to declare that the hill is a hill, and that it shall be named Jubal's Hill in perpetuity.

My Hill!

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Change a Letter III
« on: December 08, 2019, 05:38:40 PM »
Sorry, spent all my money on single malt whiskey.

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Ban the person above you
« on: December 08, 2019, 05:38:14 PM »
Banned because digits also have lefts.

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: December 08, 2019, 01:53:28 PM »

The World of Kavis / A Storm Over Gemiscare - Second Run
« on: December 08, 2019, 12:03:25 AM »
Second time I've played this story. Notes this time will make sense mostly for me, unless you read the previous writeup to get the thread of the adventure.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Nicely done :)

It interests me how much skull imagery is a near-universal in medieval themed combat games, whereas a more heraldic style rarely if ever gets a look in. Of course skulls were used in medieval art plenty (though often actually in rather jollier roles than they're portrayed in games, such as danse macabre imagery), but it definitely feels like they've become a staple expectation in modern medieval aesthetics to an extent where I feel there must be a bunch of other factors playing in.

Poetry and Artistic Writing / Re: Jubal's poems
« on: December 05, 2019, 08:29:28 PM »
The Leaves Have Turned

The leaves have turned away again,
The leaves have turned away,
The leaves have turned away from me,
And winter's come to stay.

The leaves have turned to yellows, browns,
To duns and reds and gold,
The leaves have fallen round the towns,
For now the year grows old.

The leaves make piles around my heart,
And call to sleep and home,
The leaves in which I make my nest,
No more the cold to roam.

Cold I am, tired I am,
Long months have passed,
Worn I am, small I am,
Safe here at last,
Leaf-strewn bed, sleepy head,
All draws in
All draws in
All draws in
As the leaves do turn.

The leaves have turned to feather-down,
When all the summer's lost,
The leaves have turned away, to be
My shields from the frost,

(The leaves have turned away from me,
So all outside is is bare,
The leaves have turned away again,
'til spring breathes through the air.)

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: December 05, 2019, 07:50:07 PM »

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