Summer 2009 Newsletter

Summer 2009 Newsletter Thumbnail

Another season has passed, and I’m not really sure whether to call this the Summer or the Fall newsletter. The chances of my putting together another one of these before December is slim to none. Maybe I’ll just skip over Fall and go straight to Winter, like a proper Knight who says Ne.

If you’ve been reading regularly, you know all about what has gone on this summer, which is to say, “A whole lot of nuthin’.” Believe it or not, there are some people who don’t hit their RSS reader daily to see what’s going on, and for them I have a non-regularly-published newsletter.

If you’d like to receive this newsletter regularly, I’d suggest you drop your email in the bucket to get a copy when it comes out. Of course, they’ll show up here in the regular RSS feed as well, or you can subscribe to an RSS feed designed especially for them.

Download and/or view SilverPen News – Summer 2009.

Starting the Season

This is the first in a long series of vignettes. The goal of these stories is to help communicate what it truly means to be a witch–not akin to Sabrina (The Teenage Witch), Harry Potter, or the witches in Buffy (The Vampire Slayer), but a witch in real life. Each story is a short scene, a single experience, highlighting how a witch might approach a situation, how they might react, and what they are capable of.

The stories are fictionalized, in that names, characters, and conversations are (somewhat) mostly made up. The stories are all based on real life.

Thomas frowned at the wind ruffling his hair. It was another beautiful day, sun shining high in the sky with not a cloud to interrupt his gaze. Though it was late November, the temperature was still in the mid-70s and it had miraculously only rained at night for months. It seemed as if perpetual summer had come to Missouri, each day like the last and the next in a state of never-ending brightness.

It was unnatural, and it made Thomas angry.

Someone was intruding on his land and mucking with his weather, expanding summer long past when it should have died and preventing autumn from taking its rightful place.

Closing his eyes, Thomas stretched his senses out, particularly that one sense that is uncommon to most humans. He had never tried to describe the weave of magic to anyone, partially because the best he could do would be to call it an enormous, three dimensional, glowing blanket that covered and permeated everything. It was in and a part of every object and being, and by examining and using the weave he could learn about and change the world.

It was clear to him that someone was tampering with the weather, and after a few minutes of investigation he was able to trace the threads to someone west of him. Someone acting in concert with a coven of other witches (for this person clearly did not have the power by himself to enact such a climate change) to extend the summer. Thomas smiled grimly. Here was the catalyst, the conductor, and the director of the unnatural season length.

Thomas could see the residual strings that tied this person to magics manipulating the flow of air streams, pressure systems, and atmospheric modifications to allow sunlight more directly through. The power needed for such a spell was immense, but it had a weak point.

The caster.

With a wrench of his will, Thomas spat out an incoherent word, half growl and half power, and snapped the thread. The amassed might of the spell recoiled upon the caster to the west, but behind it went Thomas.

Thomas sensed the man fall as he was struck by his own released magics, and Thomas entered him in that moment of weakness. Amplifying and manipulating the magic now unleashed, Thomas scoured the man clean.

Where the wind had quietly ruffled his hair, birds gliding on gentle currents and singing their songs to the sun, now it rose with a fury. A month and more of suppressed natural inclination was free to return to normal, and Thomas raised his hands in recognition of its force. Borrowing from the power of the wind, he clenched his eyes and forced more into the caster.

When the man had fallen unconscious, Thomas returned to his body, a cruel smile raising the corners of his lips. The director of the coven would never use magic again—it had been burned from his body. He was cut off from the source, the weave, unable to interact with or even see it. To Thomas, it was a fate worse than death, and it was what that man deserved.

Laughter began to rise from his gut, up through his chest and past his slightly uneven teeth. That will do, he thought. What power I have!

Picking his bag up from where he had dropped it beside his feet, Thomas slung it over is shoulder and walked down the hill to his high school. None of the other students, rushing so they wouldn’t be late to their classes, had noticed his display simply because he hadn’t wanted them to.

It is a wonderful thing, he thought, to be a witch.

The true meaning of apathy

For whatever reason, I have always associated apathy with a certain level of bitterness and cynicism. Obviously, the definition is erroneous, because apathy would imply there are no strong feelings such as the aforementioned bitterness or cynicism, but in my day-to-day life, such emotions have always been there. Apathy was reached via frustration and, eventually, giving up; I felt that I had become apathetic once I had decided to no longer care about a subject (usually because it was annoying me so much).

I have now learned the true way. Apathy is not reached via a decision, for if a decision must be made, one is clearly not apathetic. Rather, it is a state of being. And regarding my finals, I reached this nirvana.

I just didn’t care. I had other things I cared more about, so my finals had no hold on my whatsoever. I wasn’t giving up on the classes and throwing in the towel. Towels are worth keeping, so instead I slung it over my shoulder and sauntered into the sunset. There are better, more interesting things over the horizon, and I have no reason to stay here.

April accurately pointed out how terrible apathy is, for it means that one doesn’t even care enough to dislike or hate something. But with limited application, I think it can be a beneficial state indeed. Like Luke Skywalker who learned that the true power of the force is to balance between Light and Dark, I think we need to learn to let go of the less important things. To be happily apathetic in some circumstances.

My finals are over, and for a couple of days, my schedule is busier than ever with social calls and spending time with people. This is always the case at the beginning of a new chapter, as we attempt to get re-acquainted and learn about the dark holes each other have recently crawled from. But a glorious time is upon us, and we are set free by limited apathy.

I’m already looking forward to next November.