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“Unseeing” by Madison Scott-Clary (part 1 of 2, read by the author herself)

Today’s story is the first of two parts of “Unseeing” by Madison Scott-Clary, whose graphomania occasionally gets the better of her.

Unseeing is one of the stories featured in the prehistoric furry anthology When The World Was Young, available December 1. Excavate more information at fhfs.ink. You can find more of her writing, from short stories and poems to novels and a memoir, over at makyo.ink.

Today's story will be read for you by the author herself.

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If you have a story you think would be a good fit, you can check out the requirements, fill out the submission template and get in touch with us on Twitter.

Transcript
Khaki QOD:

You're listening to the voice of dog.

Khaki QOD:

And today's story is the first of two pots of.

Khaki QOD:

Unseen by Madison Scott Clary, whose graph Romania occasionally

Khaki QOD:

gets the better of her.

Khaki QOD:

Unseeing is one of the stories featured.

Khaki QOD:

In the prehistoric very anthology when the world was young available on December 1st.

Khaki QOD:

Excavate more information.

Khaki QOD:

At F H F S dot Inc.

Khaki QOD:

You could find more of her writing from short stories and poems to novels

Khaki QOD:

and a memoir over at Macchio dot Inc.

Khaki QOD:

Please enjoy.

Khaki QOD:

Unseen.

Khaki QOD:

Bye Madison, Scott Clary.

Khaki QOD:

But one of two.

Khaki QOD:

Read for you by the author herself.

Madison Scott-Clary:

On the morning of every day when the days

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are warm and there is no rain.

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On days when LT knows when it is day and when it is night, he will gather

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his ingredients onto a small board and sit at the entrance to his cave

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and make his incense for three days.

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Hence, LT works with measured care for.

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He does not want to injure the pads of his paws, nor Nick has already

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scuffed claws nor shave off any of his fur nor Ying preserve him.

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Damage his carefully honed equip.

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He works with measured care and a practice slowness with a practice

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known to one who holds the highest devotion to his labor and to his Lord.

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Luke works with particular care when employing the use of his knife for

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he has cut himself before he has cut himself and knows that not only will

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this spoil his incense for the day, but it will leave his pads aching and sore.

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Will leave his fur, matted and sticky, will leave a thin layer of

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blood upon all he touches until the flow stops and the wound scabs over.

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Knows that he would have to make his way down to the river to wash knows two,

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after a particularly bad accident with his knife, that the stick he uses to

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guide his way down the path gets slippery and would need to be cleaned as well.

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That to bind the wound with the use of only one paw carries some

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particular difficulty, and so he gathers his ingredients and tools

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onto his board and carries them to the entrance to his cave where he

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sits and works with Measured care.

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He works from left to right because he holds the knife and hammer in his

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right paw and he builds the scent from bottom to top because that is how he

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has laid out his ingredients and because it is the base notes of the scent that

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are the most forgiving to balance.

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Begins then with a crushed root of naden, which previously he had pounded

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and which now he lays against the board and measures 10 claw widths thereof and

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cuts with his knife to this is mixed.

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10 teardrops of common MAs, the width of a claw on holier days he may

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find himself using COPA in its place and indeed he may use that later.

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For now, he attempts to find nodules the size of one of his claws without

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requiring that it be cut or broken less.

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His senses be dazzled and to the balance, lost the middle notes come

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next and Luke takes a fingertips length of sweetgrass and puts it

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into the bowl with the base notes.

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The scent of sweetgrass is yes sweet, but it provides also the bulk of the material

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that will burn throughout the day.

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To this, he adds sweet flag root, which has been carefully washed and tongue and.

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He grates this first with his knife before adding it to the bowl, scraping

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the blade, almost perpendicular along the route to shave off a fibrous powder.

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These are all taken together in a stone mortar and ground with a stone

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P to pulverize them into a uniform powder, which he checks with gentle

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touches of his last fingertip on his left hand, which is the most.

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Judges with his nose and deeming it correct.

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Finishes now with the lone top note of a precious dried pod of Carm

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and what he judges to be one third again and weight of Maco powder.

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To bind the incense to build a scent from the bottom up is to

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tell the first of three prayers of creation to ying and loot works with

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devotion in his heart as he grind.

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He does not speak his prayer.

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The sound of stone against stone are his words.

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He does not look up to the heavens where he knows ying to reside for

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sight, does not the sense he possesses allows instead his Lord's presence to

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pierce his heart and travel down his limbs and guide the motions of his paw.

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The powder of the incense thus created is sifted into a small bowl.

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The finest silt brushed from the mortar with a very tip of his tail.

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To mature incense in the quiet and the dry.

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And the cool is to tell the second of three prayers of creation to ying.

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And loot again works with devotion in his heart as he unli himself

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from where he had been kneeling and carries the bold to the back of the

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cave where it will always be driest.

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He does not speak his prayer.

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The sound of his paw padding and dirt and fingertips dragging along

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the stone wall are his words.

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He does not look to the shelf containing the other two incense balls for sight.

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Does not a sense he possesses, allows instead his Lord's presence to pierce

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his heart and travel down his limbs to place the ball beside the other two.

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Hut then cleans his board, bringing it back into his cave, and replacing

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unused ingredients in their bowls, jars, or baskets by touch and by scent.

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At last, he picks up the right most bowl in the line and scoots the

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other two up into its place and carries it to the mouth of his cave.

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Along the way, he bends down and lifts a dish filled with ash

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and carries it with him as well.

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To lay the incense trail is to tell the third and final prayer of creation.

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Toing and loot works still with the devotion in his heart as he tamps

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down the ash and the dish into a smooth plane with a tip of his finger.

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Then draws a careful furrow in the fine powder sowing incense in its wake.

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He does not speak his prayer.

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The rhythm of the tamping and the quiet hush of incense and ash are his words.

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He does not look to the boxy spiral.

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He draws for sight, does not dissent he possesses, allows instead his

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Lord's presence to pierce his heart and travel down his limbs and guide

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his left fore claw while the right hand follows by touch, dropping

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the powdered incense in its wake.

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The presence of his Lord burns bright within him.

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Loot does not know light from darkness, but were he pressed to answer?

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He would say that yots presence is that of light, their absence, that of dark.

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And by this point in the day, loot is filled with light.

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The prayers of destruction follow the prayers of creation

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against a crease in the rocket.

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The entrance of his cave is his fire pit.

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The night before he brought in sticks and barked from the near Woods

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and laid them at the feet of the.

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In the mornings after preparing his incense, he begins the first prayer

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of destruction, breaking down the sticks and shredding the bark into

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tinder and kindling the sound of the crack of dry wood and the terror of

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fiber spark his words, the spirit of his Lord guiding his every movement.

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The second prayer of destruction is the forging or rekindling of the fire.

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If there are embers left, then the words of this prayer are the sound of

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loot's breath against them and the slow crack of kindling catching a light.

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If the coals are out, then the words of this prayer is the singing

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of the bow drill between his feet.

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Thermoception stretch taut as he strains to feel the warmth of the

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new flame starting in the Tinder.

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The third and final prayer of destruction that loot offers to Ying

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is that of the lighting of the incense.

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He works with the same measured care as he lights a punk from the fire, the spirit

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of his Lord singing along his limb and touches it to the small amount of incense

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At the center of the trail, he has built the words of the, this prayer are silence.

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Only now does he speak his prayers aloud and by now he is overflowing with light.

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It seeps out through his fur, falls from his mouth, and honey

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drops, shines from dark and dies.

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Ying is with him now as he chans, as the smoke reads him as the scent of his

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labors fills his cave and the clearing and rises up past the tree tops.

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Ying is with loot and I am as well.

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After prayer, loot feeds his fire and sits for a while before it to ensure

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that the sound of the wood burning is just as it should be and no louder,

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and that the heat of the fire is neither too hot nor too cool for.

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He knows that a hot burning fire that roared and rushed with the voice

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of Yots anger was one that would at best burn out too soon, and he had

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been taught that at worst it would claim souls as easily as would.

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With the smoke of the fire, mingling with that of his incense, with the

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scent of his devotion lingering in his nose and clinging to his

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fur and stinging sightless eyes.

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He takes up his knife and walking stick and pads slowly down the path

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from his cave to the section of river.

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He calls his own his feet, guide him with soft shuffling his stick, guides

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him with gentle tapping his ears.

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Guide him with the sounds of the river ying, guides him with

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their hand on his shoulder.

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At the river by his cave, there is a pool where the water flows out

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from between two rocks, and it is across that gap that he has strung.

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Annette, Glute sets his stick aside and crawls on hands and knees to one

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of the rocks, and with a long practice swish of his fingers through the water.

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He catches up the cords of the far end of the net from where they lay on the

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bank and sweeps his arm around to draw the net around and back toward him.

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I have smiled on him today and in the net he feels the dancing of fish and upon

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dragging the net asho feels and its knots.

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Also, the hard shelled bodies of the crawfish that live their silent lives

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on the bottom of the silt bedded river, the net entire is laid flat upon the

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shore to let the fish and crustaceans drown in air while loot cleans his paws

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and knife in the water of the stream.

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To wash in cold water is to speak a prayer of cleanliness to Ying, but

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also to me, to me who knows the meaning of light dancing on the clear water.

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In a way, the God of the Sun cannot, in a way that blind loot cannot.

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And so I sustain myself with those prayers even as the aesthetic

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guts, the fish with measured care.

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Washes once more in the stream and then with practice slowness, strings his

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net once more, letting the constant stream of water flow brightly through

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the pounded and nodded reeds to catch fish to catch food dripping and naked.

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Loot crawls upstream along the shore, fingers crawling among the grass until

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he comes across the front of a fiddle head fern, of which he plucks two.

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Washes these then wraps them in his daily catch of fish and sluggish

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crus, and packs around the bundle.

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Clay from the riverbank takes then his stick in hand and taps his way

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back to his cave, where after banking a portion of the fire, he nestles his

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bundle among the hot coals until it is dry and parched on the outside.

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In the meantime, he walks carefully into the Woods, perpendicular to

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the hill on which his cave rests.

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Brushing aside further frons to the place where his nose tells him he may

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have his toilet after finishing another trip to the river is made this time

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carrying a jug slung over his shoulder to be filled with water for his camp.

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By then, the smell of steamed fish is beginning to escape from the

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clay baker that he has formed.

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And the time to break his fast is upon him.

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His walking stick hard and long cured is used to drag the baked clay from

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the embers and the jug of water put in its place to bring to a boil.

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He says a short prayer to ying for his bounty, for his food, and for the taking

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of three lives in order to fill his belly.

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And by the time the last word is finished.

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The clay is cool enough to tap and crack apart to expose his steamed food.

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I up from that prayer as well for I provided him with this meal.

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He sets the spent clay aside and unfurls the ferns from around his food.

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His first bite is that of the curled heads of the frons, seasoned with the fat of

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the fish and the heady scent of crawfish.

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His second and third bites are of the flesh of the fish scraped away

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from soft bones with sharp teeth.

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The rest of his meal is a silent contemplation of what wonderful

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complexities the silty life of a crustacean must hold as he pulls the tails

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from the crawfish, eats the meat within, and sucks the butter from the heads.

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Fish head and skeleton and crawfish cells are placed in the jug of the water now

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boiling the makings of a thin broth that will be his sustenance for the rest of

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the day, for the third and final time.

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Loot washes that day and I revel in the act of his careful attention

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to his postprandial grooming.

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This is the time when he ensures that his pelt is clean and free of ticks and fleas.

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This is the time when he massages the dirt out of his paw pans.

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This is the time when he brushes his whiskers.

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This is the time when he lays his fur in order.

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This is the time when he makes himself pure in body before Ying having

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already made himself pure in spirit.

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Two.

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This is the time when he makes himself pure before me.

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Though he knows it not, this is the time when he gives thought to

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the direction his fur is facing.

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This is the time when he gives thought to any dirt which may cover him.

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This is the time when he blind pecan, blind Fisher puts thought, however

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abstract into what a watcher may.

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Lives his life in prayer and devotion.

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It is a life that has lived ascending in a steady spiral of years for time

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moves upward, and yet is echoed below by the change of days, the change

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of weeks, the change of seasons.

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This soft spring is an echo of last soft spring.

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Beneath it.

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It is anti to the autumn that will come cycles within cycles.

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Spirals within spirals this morning too is an echo of the day,

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beneath it, behind it in the past.

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His days are defined by the cycle of incense, prayer, fishing, foraging.

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He knows that it is day when he wakes, when he feels the warmth from the Sun.

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He knows when it is night, when he feels the warmth fade.

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He knows when it is morning because he hears the bird sing.

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He knows that it is night when the bird song of the day settles

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into the course of insects clean.

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Now he meditates on this.

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He meditates on cycles.

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He meditates on warmth and coolness.

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He meditates on his relation to it and on his relation to Ying.

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He has surmised, for instance, that his fur is of a particular quality that the

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Sun is drawn to, and he has surmised that this is as worthy of prayer as the

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incense he makes for was not the Sun.

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With Ying, the Sun is drawn to him as it is drawn to the rocks and

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the dirt and the bark of the trees.

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It is drawn to them and it dwells within them.

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For the Sun powers him as warmth, and the Sun fills the trees with a captive warmth.

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That is released by fire.

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And are there not things that the Sun shies away from the Sun shies away

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from night, from water, from the cool fresh leaves that interrupt it for

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one need, not sight to understand, directionality to understand shade

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as a consequence of sun's arrow.

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Loot lays on his back to let the suns arrow dry him to let that warmth pull the

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water from his fur and the chill from his bones, and then he lays on his front and

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let Yots light bathe his back as well.

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Not all prayer loot knows is in ritual.

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In ritual lies comfort.

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In ritual lies service in ritual lies the active participation of worship.

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That portion of devotion that is a conversation with his Lord.

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The time of ritual is the time when loot may speak up and say to Ying, I am here.

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I am yours.

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I am your vessel of light, and all that I do is in service to you and

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by my existence, my every action.

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I serve your glory.

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Not all prayer is in service ding either.

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For some of it is to their servant, to himself in service of their servant.

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He keeps himself clean and free of sin and distraction in service to

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their servant and to their servants.

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He prepares the incense that reads himself and the village below in service

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of their servant and their servants.

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He subsist only off a single meal drawn from the river and whatever

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alms the village cares to provide him.

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The ingredients for the incense that he makes in turn.

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But in meditation lies the comfortable companionship in meditation.

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Lies love in meditation lies reassurance and trust.

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The time of meditation is the time when loot may sit next to ying in

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silence and appreciate the wonder of them and the world that they have.

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So this morning he lays in the Sun next to Ying, beside Ying and

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Revels in all that Ying has created, rather than singing praises to them.

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Because it is important, even for the aesthetic to understand the beauty of

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the world, the wonder and delight in it.

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It is important for.

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To feel the way his fur tugs at the Sun collects the warmth and the way

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the Sun pulls the water from him.

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It is important for hut to feel the ground beneath him and hear in its

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silence the praises to his Lord.

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It is important for L to marvel in the way Yots Sun shuns the underside of leaves and

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follows the bark of the trees on the side.

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It faces.

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It is important for hut to bake until he's panting and gulping in breaths of air.

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And then it is important for him to crawl back into his cave stricken from

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the Sun by the laws of directionality that he understands on a visceral

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level in lieu of a visual one for sight is not a sense he possesses.

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And then, It is time for him to remove his simmering broth from the fire and

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to sip it from the cool shade of his cave, straining it through sharp teeth to

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prevent fine caribs and finer bones from getting caught in his throat unsalted,

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but nonetheless savory until despite the heat of the broth, his thirst is quenched.

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This knows loot relishes is the cycle of the day, the cycle of

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the year, and his Lord promises.

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The cycle of his life for he will surely be reborn when the

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hours of his life slow to a stop.

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And this ying is a liar.

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But it is a kind lie, a lie of omission for when LT dies.

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I will take him unto me.

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I will take him and his acts in life together into my bowl and crush

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and need, and he will rejoice with me and I will rejoice with him.

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And then whatever rest he has now, whatever glory he knows now, whatever

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elation he may feel shall be pale in comparison to what comes after.

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Crais and works for the rest of the day.

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For today is the day that he makes incense for the town.

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Below this week is the week of fasting, and next week is the week of rejoicing,

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and so this week he must prepare for them.

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Three times the normal amount of incense as this is the week they

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subsist on smoke until they cannot tell.

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Zita promises him the white thread from the black thread after the

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Sun sets and the cool night comes.

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This is the week they live on prayer, and next is the week they live on celebration.

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When they bake small cakes in the heat of their fires, in the heat of their ovens,

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and five of which Zita will leave for him.

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Zita may or may not be her name, or perhaps only her title.

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He does not know because beyond a few kind words, she will only pray

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with him and pick up the incense from the edge of the clearing before

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his cave and leave in its place.

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The alms that the village provides of flatbread and berries of the ingredients

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for the incense, which they grow or perhaps purchase from other villages

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who may purchase turn from villages going south, going south and east.

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So today he retrieves his board once more from his cave and on it stacks all the

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ingredients for the incense of the week of fasting that will feed the village

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and the two amphora that will hold it.

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He sings wordless hymns to himself as he works with measured care to

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cut the sweet grass to shave the calamus root to count the card ponds.

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He sings to Ying as he pounds and grinds batch after batch of incense

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until his hands are humming until his pans are singing along with him.

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And then he takes his board back to his cave and returns with a stack of

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ingredients for the incense of the week of feasting with the base notes

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of cassia and vanilla, the middle notes of ginger and turmeric and the top

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note of staris, the spices that season.

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The cakes they bake in celebration, and these he pounds

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with laughter and with tears.

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For, with celebration comes morning and with devotion.

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The sudden feeling of loneliness brought on by, laughing by oneself.

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It is evening and he can feel the sun's arrow striking horizontal by

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the time he finishes and when he steps out of his cave, cradling his three

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amoria to his chest, he can smell even above the incense Zita sitting

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at the entrance to the clearing.

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He walks carefully until he can hear her breathing and then sits cross-legged

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before her and sets the VS down between them and they pray together.

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They who make the world, they who end it, they who bring the

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thunder in Suah, which fell in Suah Re, which rose from the ashes.

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We offer the words of our forefathers.

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We offer the smoke of our forefathers.

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We offer our hearts to you.

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In Yots name, we pray in Yots world, we pray in Yots own voice.

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We pray by the light of the Sun.

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We pray by the heat of the fire we.

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And on until the Sun zero has wandered off course and into the night sky

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This week, this week of fasting, Zita has not brought him alms.

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There are no soft leaves of flatbread or ingredients for incense.

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Just as one year ago, there were no leaves of bread, and one year

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before that there were no leaves of.

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This week loot does not smile kindly to Zita as she collects the amph and walks

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the path down the slope to the village.

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Because the week of prayer is also a fasting from emotions and worldly

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attachments, and the next day it truly is a fast for there are no fish in his net.

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And if there are no fish in his net, he knows that he must not collect the fiddle

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head ferns, and instead of savory, Luke drinks only boiled water, hot and cleansed

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by fire, and he spends the rest of his day in meditation and he goes to bed hungry.

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I watch as he sleeps, fitful, and leave for him to fish in his net

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for his unknowing devotion to me.

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It is the last night of the week of fasting, and it is the 30th year that

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loot has served Ying and myself that I have decided to change him and by

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changing him, change the world for while.

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I am the God of water and the God of watching and the God of death.

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Am I not also a trickster God?

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I am the trickster God who confounded ying in his creation of

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the smooth planes of the world by carving the land with my rivers.

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I am the trickster God who confounded the Lord by setting the moon and the sky

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to tug at the waters of their oceans in tides, even when the moon is not seen.

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I am the trickster God who brought death to yots ever living world.

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I am the trickster God and my trouble will come back at me 30 fold.

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I am sure, but Loot is the 30th aesthetic who has served me and I am ready.

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Loot has once more gone to sleep, hungry, belly filled with prayer,

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and contrition and boiled water.

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No fish in the net, no ferns to be had no stale leaves a

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flatbread or Sun dried berri.

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. I come to him.

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Then I come to him and I touch the back of his neck, then the crown of his

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head, then the lids of his eyes and the scars around them, and then I sit in

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the clearing and wait for him to waken.

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I sit and watch for that is my jurisdiction.

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When the pecan stirs in the slow warming of the day, his eyes drift open as

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usual to the slit of relaxed muscles.

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That is his.

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And then he shouts.

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He shouts because I am a trickster God.

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And after 40 years of life, after 30 times, 30 years of blind aesthetics,

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serving Ying and myself, I am ready for change and I have given him sight.

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I know his terror, his confusion and his instinctual need to escape.

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And so I watch him scramble back into his cave and press his face to the back wall

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for minutes on end, barely breathing.

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Eyes clenched shut.

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Y.

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He cries at last, my Lord, my Lord.

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What is happening?

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I answer In Yots stead, you see he pants into the silence that follows.

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I know his thoughts.

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I know that he hears ying within his heart and within his

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bones and within his breath.

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I know that I have spoken to him in the language of sound and that

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this brings with it its own fear.

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You see, I say.

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You are not ying.

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I am two.

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I am the God of the moon and the water, and of watching and of death.

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Two.

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Two.

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I repeat and smile at his confusion, but ying is the Lord of all things.

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How are you the God of these things?

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Ying is the God of all things, and they are the God of me.

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But those things are not under their direct dominion.

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Some are undermine, and I am the God of watching, of looking, of seeing.

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I am the God of water and I am with you when you fish and bathe.

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I am the God of the moon.

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And when it shines down on you, I am with.

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When Ying is with you, I am as well.

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When you serve Ying in these ways, you also serve me tears course freely

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down his cheek and he says, it hurts to see you have never seen before.

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Come out of your cave.

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He does not move and so I wait.

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I know that he will need to attend to his day soon, and I know that he is

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praying to Ying and feels the compulsion to perform his acts of service, his

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rituals, and I know that the village below is waking up to ready itself for

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a day and night and week of celebration.

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So I.

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Two Ying waits because although I sense their wrath on the horizon, I think

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that it will not come yet because this is also new for them, and they also

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watch eventually Lou to crawls eyes, clinch shut on hands and knees crawls

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into the Sun and sits crosslegged in the center of his clearing.

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Open your eyes.

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He does not.

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I know that he can see the warmth of the Sun behind closed eyelids

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showing dusky orange through them.

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I know that he can sense the shadows cast in the sun's arrow by

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the leaves above and around him.

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I know that even this seeing is too much for him.

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Open your eyes, Lud, faithful.

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You are not ying.

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You cannot Command.

Madison Scott-Clary:

No, I say I cannot Command you, but you are as faithful to me as you are to

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them in the ways that I have described.

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And so I ask of you this small obeyance.

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Loot ponders this for a long while.

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His tail flitting agitated behind him, drawing praises to me in the packed earth.

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Finally, he opens his eyes a crack, a squint.

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He opens his eyes and looks at the ground before him.

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He looks at his naked body.

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He looks at the clearing and at the trees around him.

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Looks in wonder.

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Looks in awe.

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Looks in terror and panic.

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Looks at the ground and the trees and the sky tries even to look at the

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Sun and learns that the sun's arrows are keenest above all to the eyes.

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It hurts.

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It hurts.

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Do not look directly at the Sun faithful.

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I laugh.

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Ying has decreed that the Sun provides your life, and so it

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is too dear for you to behold.

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He grinds his palms against his eyes and smears his fur with tears and with dirt.

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Even as he cries, he is marveling at the flashes and swirls of

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light that come to him now.

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And each phosphine that blooms pink and white and green in

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his eyes is a prayer to me.

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And so I allow him this moment of non darkness until the moment passes and he

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can open his eyes once more without pain.

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Where are you too?

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I am with you.

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Can I see you?

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We are also too dear for you to see with your eyes, ying and I, but do you not

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feel the way in which we pierce your heart and burn along your arms as you

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prepare the incense for our offering?

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LT is silent once more.

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Still once more.

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He prays.

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He Crais to ying with a fervor he has not yet shown in his 40 years.

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Tears stain tracks down his cheeks as he struggles with a sudden overwhelming.

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A sense he now possesses.

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Go and prepare for your day.

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Faithful.

Madison Scott-Clary:

I am with you.

Khaki QOD:

This was the first of two parts of unseeing by Madison, Scott Clary.

Khaki QOD:

Read for you by the author herself.

Khaki QOD:

Tune in next time to find out how Luton the village cope with their

Khaki QOD:

reality being turned upside down.

Khaki QOD:

As always you can find more stories on the web@thevoice.dog, or find the

Khaki QOD:

show wherever you get your podcasts

Khaki QOD:

Thank you for listening to the voice of dog.

About the Podcast

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The Voice of Dog
Furry stories to warm the ol' cockles, read for you by Khaki, Rob MacWolf and guests. If you have a story that would suit the show, you can get in touch with @khakidoggy on Twitter and Telegram, and khakidoggy@me.com by e-mail.

About your host

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Khaki