She felt as if a giant fist squeezed her heart to a stop.

This was what was in Richard's eyes, brought into existence in glowing white marble. To see it fully realized was like being struck by lightning.

In that instant, her entire life, everything that had ever happened to her, everything she had ever seen, heard, or done, seemed to come together in one flash of emotional violence. Nicci cried out in pain at the beauty of it, and more so at the beauty of what it represented.

Her eyes fell on the name carved in the stone base.

LIFE

Nicci collapsed to the floor in tears, in abject shame, in horror, in revulsion, in sudden blinding comprehension.

...In pure joy.

-=-=-

Nicci watched as Richard departed with Ishaq. She wanted to do this on her own. She wanted it to be her part. She wanted to contribute something of value.

Only then could she face him.

-=-=-

Both men stopped in their tracks.

In a half circle around the plaza, the walls were covered with the story of man's inadequacy. All around them, man was shown small, depraved, deformed, impotent, terrified, cruel, mindless, wicked, greedy, corrupt, and sinful. He was depicted forever torn between otherwordly forces controlling every aspect of his miserable existence, an existence incomprehensible in its cauldron of churning evil, with death his onlyescape into salvation.

Those who had found virtue in this world, under the protection of the Creator's Light, looked lifeless, their faces without emotion, without awareness, their bodies as unbending as cadavers. They stared out at theworld through a vacant, mindless stupor, while all around them danced rats, through their legs wriggled snakes, and over their heads flew vultures.

In the vortex of this torrent of tortured life, this cataclysm of corruption, this depravity and debauchery, rose up Richard's statue in bold, glowing opposition.

It was a devastating indictment of all around it.

The mass and weight of the ugliness surrounding Richard's statue seemed to shrink back into insignificance. The evil of the wall carvings seemed now to be crying out at their own dishonesty in the face of incorruptible beauty and truth.

-=-=-

The evil all around seemed as if it was recoiling in terror of that noble purity. More than that, though, Richard's statue existed without conflict; the figures showed awareness, rationality, and purpose. This was a manifestation of human power, ability, intent. This was life lived for its own sake. This was mankind standing proudly of his own free will.

This was exactly what the single word at the bottom named it:

LIFE

That it existed was proof of the validity of the concept.

-=-=-

It was something the like of which most of these peoplehad never in their lives seen.
It was vision to the blind.
It was water to the thirsty.
It was life to the dying.

-=-=-

Nicci lay down in her bed and wept at the thought of the outrage she had done to them both. She was overcome with shame. She had been blind for so long.

She at least could work to correct the harm she had caused.

-=-=-

As she moved past, Kahlan saw then that the curve of the sundial had words on the back:

"Your life is yours alone. Rise up and live it."

-=-=-

As the warm breeze ruffled her hair, he kissed her brow.

Glancing along the line of trees, their leaves shimmering in the sunlight, Richard watched birds cavort above the riverbank, sweep into a group, and then soar together up over the semi-circle of white marble columns standing in the expanse of green grass.

Kahlan leaned contentedly against his shoulder as they watched men, filled with pride, smiling as they worked on the statue standing before those columns.

In Altur'Rang, there was a new spirit.

-=-=-

- Terry Goodkind




4:30 again. Promised I would try to sleep... I can't. I wonder if I really sat here looking at nothing, off somewhere else, just losing time for all this time. I haven't done anything. Ambient music in the background. I got up and stretched once and thought of opening my window until I realized it wouldlet in bitter cold and not a refreshing breeze. I sometimes think even though it's the middleof the winter that I mightone timeopen my window and find that cool breeze and the cold gone. The coldness needs to end. I'm tired of being cold. Of the coldness from elsewhere seeping into me. I want warmth. I changed my lightbulbs in my room... every one... overhead, lamp, etc to some special ones I bought that filter out yellow light so you get cleaner white light. I'm sick of tainted things. Work tomorrow? I doubt it, I'll probably read until I'm exhausted in a while and not wake up until tomorrow evening. Fine by me.

I realized I left out a bunch of stuff lately in my life because of other things on my mind. A while back, my friend Mike and his sister Laura visited me. Mike was going to work on Laura's computer that my sis had brought down from her and Laura's apartment. The fixing didn't go so well so we talked, Imade him some CD's, we played Q2 on the network. Laura's been borrowing Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series booksfrom me, so she grabbed book 9 off my headboard and laidon my bed and read that all afternoon. We watched the deleted scenes of Army of Darkness off the Director's Cut DVD and part of the movie. Fun afternoon.

Two weekends ago, bro had district concert band festival on Saturday. They did great, and ended up getting the best possible...all I's... and they played towards the end of the day even so the judges had lots to compare them to... I think Mr.Funk said 35bands had already played. Afterwords, mom and dad went home, I hopped in my car and followed the buses to Old Country Buffet to eat dinner there with everyone else. Yum. Afterwords, Liz had reminded me that the UofM anime club monthly screening was Saturday, so I planned to go to that. When she reminded me, I couldn't believe it had been a month already since the last one when I had gone to Sara's. I emailed Sara on friday before this so she'd know I'd be around again but she either isn't cheking her email or is busy so I didn't bother trying to call instead. Been two weeks now, seems like it's back to normalfrom years ago when we'dboth forget about email for odd periods of time. Anyway, it worked out that I didn't hear back from her because bro decided to go with me to the screening,and mom and dad had signed off for him to go at the festival. We tried to get others too, Keith wanted to but knew his parents wouldn't let him, Karl wanted to but was busy, Wes called his parents from the bus before it left OCB, and ended up going with us too. Got to Ann Arbor, parked around the corner from Sara's apartment since it's easy to find and not far from the screening location. Hoped to catch a spot out in front of her place again, but the extra half-block wasn't bad. Made bro and Wes carry Liz's tapes so I could return them, and I offered both of them my fleece or flannel because itwas chilly and they had only t-shirts... they declined... I grabbed them anyway. We walked the 5-6 blocks to the auditorium, and got there in time to catch several Love Hina episodes... love that series. After two episodes itwas dinner break time... went outside the auditorium in the hallway to sit around like everyone else. Caught Liz as she came out, returned her movies. Met Chris (That was Chris right? My memory is bad.) who was cool. Then they took off to do other stuff. Bro, Wes, and I having already ate dinner just stayed in the hall, wandered around, plugged in my laptop and read a bunch of 8-Bit Theater which is a great comic shared with me by Rachel... thanks Rachel. I hope you and your family are doing okay, *hugs* and more when you get back. After the hour long dinner break finished, filed back into the auditorium, but not before buying six raffle tickets. Got better seats since it wasn't dark this time, and watch several episodes of Puppet Master Sakon, neat series, very entertaining. After that, they did the raffle... Wes had paid for two tickets, I had paid for four (2 me, 2 bro) but we kept them all together since I had bought them all together. We won! Won a mini-CD of the music from Neon Genesis Evangelion... the into and closing music...very nice. After that they were showing more Initial D... bleh, half the people leave then including us. :P Went to leave towalk back, bro and Wes realize how cold it is, so I gave bro my fleece, and took off my flannel and let Wes have it. I had on a t-shirt and my comfy soft long shirt shirt, and I don't get cold that easily anyway. We listened to our plunder on the way home, and then some Gigi D'Augustino bro had with him. His CD player doesn't like the Avalanches CD. Wes returned my copy of Ah! My Goddess The Movie. I burned a copy of the CD and gave it to Wes earlier today, let him borrow episodes 1-12 of Love Hina on VCD. Next month... they plan to have the new Cowboy Bebop to show!

Last weekend I don't know what I did besides sit here. I was feeling stifled and had to escape so I went tot he store and wandered around Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Meijer's for several hours. Bought a ton of stuff I shouldn't have but that I wanted. DBZ tapes at Wal-Mart. Some acne stuff at Meijer's, and tons at K-Mart... ours is one that's closing so everything is 10% off minimum basically. Jewerly was 70%. So I bought some summer sausage to snack on, several things of mud-something (2 chocolate) snack pack puddings, one of Banana cream pie pudding. Nightmare Before Christmas Special Edition DVD. A new razor and shaving gel (I did need). My special lightbulbs. A screw-in flourescent bulb just to try it (won't buy again, these GE Reveal bulbs are nicer). A large thing of hydrogen peroxide (71 cents *shrug*, cleaned my ears tonight just to use it since I hadn't done peroxide in a while). A shower brush! One with bristles! It's green, has a decent length handle, plastic but heavy duty, and bristles! I hate those stupid loufas...webs of cloth? A sponge on a stick? If those were any good, I'd settle for a wash cloth and save my money. This is an actual brush though, you can shrub and you show you're scrubbing... it's rough, you can feel it tingle afterwards! I like, a lot. I put a thick dark green string through the loop hole. I looked for a new filter for my Brita pitcher but didn't see one at K-Mart, forgot to look at either other place. I almost bought a plant... I wanted that much life around me, green, living, nice. But everything they had was sickly. I debated buying another case of chicken ramen, but I have half of a case left still. I made some earlier around 11, but got distracted from it and it's cold and soggy in the bowl on my desk now untouched. I don't know why I get so hungry at night suddenly. I guess I only have been eating one meal lately and barely that, drinking my water, eh. Also bought a card, and a chocolate raspberry which still is proding a wonderful smell in the room as it sits on my desk. I can't eat it though. Not sure if it's the milk chocolate or the raspberry but it hurts me. I wish it were dark chocolate so I could nibble on it. I want some kind of snack I can keep handy and eat all the time but can't find anything. I also bought decent stainless steel salad tongs for Dad. We always have these stupid plastic ones that break, so as I went up and down every aisle in the store several times wandering aimlessly, I saw them and figured I'd buy them for him. After I got home, bro and I watched all the DBZ... 16 episodes... whoa, 4 hours worth. Saturday or Sunday night, I can't remember, I was going to try my new bathroom stuff out, but got distracted by talking to someone and ended up being too late, everyone elsewas in bed. Did the next night though.

I moved my pillows back down to my headboard end ofmy bed. They'd been at the other end near my window since pre-december, and I was tired of it, figured I'd sleep in my bed properly until it gets nice enough to enjoy being near my window again. I've started pinning a small dark fleece blanket over it before I go to bed so the light can't get in. I broke my venetian blinds years ago and haven't replaced them. The dangers of long cords on blinds, and a waterbed near the window that you walk on occaisionally, causing you to snare your foot in the cord, ripping down the blinds, and almost killing yourself as you plummet to the floor. I bet bro likes me blocking out more light in the room. It lets me sleep and read longer if I'm not distracted by morning light, the problem isn't the light itself, but the direction and hint at it I get instead... I'd love it if it came right in on me, but it doesn't... I see it outside but my window is caught in a shadow forever in the morning and all but a sliver even at night. I hate it. The hint at something better that's unobtainable. I take it down when I wake up in the afternoon so I can see out.

By the way, thank you to Rachel, Heather, emi, Bill, and several others for talking.

I guess I tried to take my shower Saturday night after shopping because I also cleaned out my bathroom shelves inside the mirror and my drawer too, and the bathroom itself and then was going to take advantage of it, and I know parents were still up north so it couldn't have been Sunday night.

Up north. For anyone that cares or doesn't know yet, I'll be gone all weekend... Friday night until Sunday afternoon/evening most likely. Going up to the cottages, disconnected. It looks like it'll be 50F all weekend... will be nice. Maybe I'll take an invigorating swim. The state land and the quad don't sound fun anymore. Maybe I can find somewhere close to be alone though. I already know one thing is going tomakeme sad when there. I don't think I can avoid it. I'll probably end up reading the entire time to distract myself. Maybe I'll take my sword and bro and I can screw around building something to hit. We almost bought an older railroad tie sized beam a while back but decided against it. It'll be nice to breath the air, see the water, watch the trees in the breeze, look at the sky. I just hope it isn't stifling, it might be, I hope I can avoid that, I don't want to close up, shut myself in. I want a cool refrshing breeze I can enjoy.

My body hurts. My knees, my back, my chest, my arm, my head, my fingers. I took an ibuprofen this morning, or was that yesterday? I don't remember. I just wanted the headache to end, everything to stop hurting. I don't remember when I got up today or what I did. 5:45AM... it's getting light out. I put up my blanket to block the light I could already see in the sky. My head hurts now too. Nothing to eat. My dragon engraved crystal lays in my bed near the foot of my bed. I set it there on my blankets when Icleaned my window and screen a week or so ago, maybe several. It's stayed there, cushioned on the foot on my bed. I touch itwith my foot sometimes but my bed's big enough that usually I don't remember it's there or feel it. I did when I put up the blanket. More to be said, but I want tolay down andread until the pain goes away. Night.


amazing book, no?


Yes'm. Heylo by the way Keenan, long time no talk. :)


heya meddie =)

long time no post =P


The end of that book gave me chills and put me in such a thoughtful mood that I was useless for hours.

I think, actually, that that is what I'm trying to do with my life: I'm trying to come up with a creation that will do the same thing for the world. I'm trying to find a way to express the awe and wonder I feel when I look around at the world sometimes, the perfection inherant to all life. The potential for wonderful things. I want to open other people's eyes, I want to make them see it for themselves, because I think that if they could, they would react the same way that the people did in the book. I know too many Niccis. Too many people consumed by greed and cruelty. I want to show them that there's another way. I want to show them what's on the other side.

Thanks for reminding me.


*nod* Me too. That's why I made that post about it being 4:30 and Ididn't know what to do. I was completely lost in thought and lost in general I guess on how to take it all in.

I'd like to do something like that too. But like the point was, you can't open other people's eyes... you can give them examples and hope they do it themselves. Sadly, I don't have artistic ability, so I'm limited in my technology-related monuments to life I could create. :) It would be nice if things actually worked that way, and I'm sure they do in smaller ways, but the exagerration of the truth of the world is what makes the books something great forme to read, somewhere to escape to if only temporaily where things like that are possible.

You're very welcome. I had just finished it, and after a dayof thought, felt it was worth the effort and time to type up some key paragraphs and share them. :)


What did you think was going to make you sad up to the lake?





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