The Crossroads of the Aether
We are headed back to the village. I am happy to see Mr. Graham. I think he should explain a few things.
Last night, we had a ceremony, and all of us newer brothers were given real swords. Not just a Katana, but a set of three. It was very moving, and a little sad. I know I will probably never see this place again.
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 2:47pm — No Comments
Journal, I have something to say! I last wrote about the glade. Well, after a while, I was joined by the Master. He came and sat down beside me. We were both in lotus position, and he was facing me. He said "I picked the button too. Good choice."
Then he put both hands on my shoulders, and leaned toward me till our foreheads touched. I can't explain it. But the silence lifted, and the birds started singing again, and I felt so much peace.
I think I will enjoy the rest…Continue
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 2:45pm — No Comments
I walked for a whole day straight into the woods. There was no one around but me. And it was so silent, it was spooky. I had to detour around some rough ground, but the pull never wavered. Finally I came to a small glade. I walked in, and found a grave. I felt so sad. A child had died in violence. The button belonged to the mother. I know. Now I don't know what to do. I will sit here a while, and then go back maybe.
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 2:43pm — No Comments
I am going to post this quickly, I went to the hall, and sorted the broken pieces today. I did find one that affected me. It is a small button. I can't explain it, but I need to follow it to the North. I am getting my training sword and some food. I will try to explain if and when I get back.
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 2:39pm — No Comments
It has been a long time since I wrote, but I had nothing new to say. Now I do. I have started a new phase in my training. Master has taken me into a private hall, and handed me pieces of metal. I am to hold each one till I get some kind of "feeling."
I know this is odd, and at first I thought he was crazy. But today I did feel something. Out of all the broken pieces of metal, there was one piece that I felt drawn to immediately. I picked it up and felt a faint pull, like a…Continue
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 2:37pm — No Comments
If my parents were here I don't think they would recognize me. I dress in Japanese clothing, right down to my hakama. My hair is long and in a ponytail. I am stronger. Still wiry, but not bone thin at all. I feel so much more confident in everything I do.
And I don't talk. At first I did try to keep conversations going with Tomo, but he is obsessed with training to fight the monster that killed his father. And there is only so much you can say to each other about that…Continue
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 2:33pm — No Comments
Not much time for writing journal notes. All day, every day training. The sword stuff comes easy to me. The meditation doesn't. I don't know if it is because most of the instruction is being translated for me, or because I am just a gaijin. I heard a couple of the brothers calling me that. The snow is deep now. We hardly leave the building, except for when the gong rings. When it does, everyone drops everything and runs right out into the snow. We keep running and running until it…Continue
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 2:26pm — No Comments
I don't know how long it has been, but I am back in my old room. I woke up this morning to a warm soup being ladled in to my mouth by the Master himself. He seemed genuinely glad to sit there and feed me.
Tomo was there too. He was very happy and excited to see me. In his broken English he told me that they were all afraid of my family curse. And now that the danger was passed, I would be allowed to train.
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 2:19pm — No Comments
Won't write much. Been in this cave for two days. Feel really bad. Sick to my stomach, sweating even in the cold air. Don't kn
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 2:16pm — No Comments
My birthday is here. And instead of my normal chores, I have been told I must gather my things and go with one of the brothers. I am excited. Maybe I will finally be shown how to fight!
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 2:13pm — No Comments
Life is a circle. A big frustrating circle. I have been at the monk's home for a week now, I think the name of it is something like "Mountain hold".
They haven't tried to teach me anything. Instead I am back to being a farmer. I might as well still be back home. I admit, some of the traps they are setting for rabbits are new to me. But then, I also showed them how to make a simple snare from home too. All of this is nice, but Tomo is training to fight with swords, with…Continue
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 2:12pm — No Comments
I have no words. I have to write this down before I forget any of it.
First, a couple days ago, the monks were supposed to be leaving the village. They said that with the coming of the snow, there would be no more attacks until spring. Tomo was going to be leaving with them, and as I went to tell him goodbye, I found Mr. Graham speaking with Master Kiatsu again. They had become rather close lately. They were often talking, but never within earshot of me. So as I started…Continue
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 2:07pm — No Comments
I am sitting in a jail cell. That is all I can call it. I was taken to a small cave, escorted in, and once I was inside, they stepped back, and slammed a small iron grate across the opening and locked me in.
Happy 14th birthday to me.
I tried to get the grating open, and it shocked my hands to touch the metal. I don't see any wires.
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Disaster! We heard today that there is snow in the high pass already. We need to leave within the next two days in order to not be trapped for the winter, but the men of the village are completely tied up preparing to go after the monster. Mr. Graham says we are stuck. Everyone has been very gracious, but they aren't acting very concerned for our situation at all. I don't really blame them. After all, they are dealing with something pretty scary.
The men are still out…Continue
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 1:45pm — No Comments
Dinner with Master Kiatsu was fun. I know it was supposed to be this formal important thing, but he was so kind and funny. It was amazing to see how the important Samurai seemed to be in awe of him, but then when we got alone to eat, he was playful like a kid. Oh!, and we DID eat alone with him. It was him, Mr. Graham, Tomo, and me. Tomo of course is completely distraught, but the Master spoke alone with him and he came back serious and determined, but no longer quite so…Continue
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 1:37pm — No Comments
I didn't think my life could get any more strange. I am already a mountain kid with little education, traveling the world with a photographer. But today something beyond understanding happened. As expected, a bunch of Samurai came riding in to the village. There was hardly enough room for all of them and their servants. And after they had setItled in, three bald men came walking in. Two were pretty young, and one was much older. As they passed, Mr. Graham tried to push me behind him,…Continue
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 1:06pm — No Comments
Things couldn't be worse. The men left days ago, and now it seems that they are not coming back. Tomo and 2 other of the younger men were told to hold the horses, (the entire village had 3.) And the rest of the men hiked up the hill to face the beast. They heard screams and the ring of swords, then silence. After several hours, they started up to investigate. They found blood and torn rags of clothing and armor, but nothing else.
I understand that Mr. Saigo is coming…Continue
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 12:58pm — No Comments
Something has happened. Things have been going so well. We have been here for a couple of months, just taking images, and learning the ways of these people. But then someone came from a neighboring village. I didn't hear them explain, (my Japanese has progressed to being able to ask for a cup of water and not getting laughed at.), but Mr. Graham says that something came down from the high pass and took a couple of children. The men are "girding for war."
I am a little hopeful…Continue
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 12:53pm — No Comments
Finally, I am home. Well, not exactly. We are still in Japan, but instead of the city, we are way out in the far country. It took forever to get here, and there is no trace of any Europian influence. We are in a village that is too small to have a name. (It might have one, but not that I can pronounce.) Anyway, Mr. Graham is still taking images of everything he can.
But I am being left largely to my own devices, and I have made a friend. Tomo doesn't speak any english, and I…Continue
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 12:47pm — No Comments
This has been both the most amazing and the most frustrating month of my life. We got here fine, and were greeted like royalty. Everything is so different on the surface, the colors of everything for a start. Everything here is beautiful, especially the food and the clothing. The clothing is blues, greens, and swirls of other colors. Back home, EVERYTHING was brown. Especially the food.
On the clothing, it is sort of strange to see all the kimonos and traditional…Continue
Added by Ranger Reid on April 28, 2015 at 9:05am — No Comments