April 27th, 2007

speed limit


Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight
on the empty sky.
-- The Creation of Ea

These lines appear on the frontispiece to Ursula K. LeGuin's novel, A Wizard of Earthsea. They are supposedly only a fragment of a much greater poem well-known in the lore of the society she writes about. Of course, only these lines were produced for the book. That said, these are powerful lines, and have stuck in my mind for some thirty years. They have a gnomic quality to them. I find myself applying them in all sorts of contexts, including educational methodologies and the communication of the gospel.
wile e.

Maker of Worlds

I design worlds, especially as settings for fantasy novels or fantasy role-playing games. Back when we were all much younger, and our gang would get together to play AD&D, I was always more interested in designing the campaign than moderating the play.

Currently, I am designing a large game setting with lots going on. There's agricultural production to plan, geography to consider, languages and cultures and weather and religion and warfare and trade -- and narrative plot. I have no one to play FRPGs with, so this may look like so much wasted effort, but it's not. It's just an odd form of self-therapy.

Working on projects like this gives my brain exercise. It makes me feel better emotionally and physically. There's a "flow" to it that is wonderful to get going. Creativity rules, man. As long as I don't obsess over it to the point of neglecting other important things, there's no down side to this. And it's a good sign that I'm coming out of my exhaustion and funk enough to enjoy doing it; for some months, I was too drained even to read a novel.