The Museum of Arcane Objects

The Truth

Nisha enters by the Western door
The Museum is quiet and dark
dusty and cold
Foreboding and . . .

“Neat.” she says
“Old man? Where are you old man?
I’m here
Like you asked
I’m here
Now where are you?”

“I’m here
For the love of . . .
Now be quiet.”

“But you said you wanted me to come here.”

“Yes
Yes I do
But if you keep shouting
My thoughts will be jumbled . . .”

“OK.”

“Let’s try talking about seeing first.
Describe to me what you see.”

“You mean other than you?
Well its all kind of a mess
This place is a mess
that’s what I see.”

“How is it that you see so little?
There are so many things here.
This is Hannibal’s hatchet
This is a flask of the Tears of Eve
You know what this is
This is the string of time
and this right here is the knot of the present
This is the asp of Cleo . . . “

“But its all stuff.”

“Excuse me?”

“This is just stuff.”

“Young lady these are details
And it is said that without details
Everything is everything
Which means nothing.”

Anaxamander shuffles off
and Nisha follows
Down a long hall
With Pictures on the walls
you know those pictures that watch you as you pass
She thinks they are creepy

Through an open air cloister
with a fountain in the center

“Can we have lunch here?”

“What?”

“Lunch here?”

“Lunch is in the dinner . . .”

“Can we bring it out here?”

“I suppose . . . come along.”

He opens a wall that turns out to be a door
And the inside is so bright
She can’t see at first
As her eyes adjust she can see he holds a hoop

“Can you see this?”

“Yes sir.”

“Describe it to me?”

“It’s a gold hoop
About an arm wide.
Is that writing in the outside?”

Anaxamander nodes ‘yes’ and throws the hoop up
It hangs there in the air and starts to spin
Slowly at first and she can hear the swish as the edge goes by
Nisha starts to reach for it but the old man
Gently restrains her hand

“This can hurt you
And I have no wish to explain to your kin
Why I let you hurt yourself.”

“What is it?”

“This is perhaps the most arcane
artifact in the World.”

It is spinning so fast
it now appears to be a sphere
A liquid golden sphere

Nisha squeals in delight

“What is it?”

“It’s the Truth.”

~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~

Lunch

The sun slants from the left in the deepest cloister
of the Museum of Arcane Devices
Anaxamander offers Nisha a fish sandwich
She wrinkles her nose
He passes his right hand through the air
To distract her while pulling an apple out of his lunch pack
with his left hand
He then pretends it is majik
She laughs and takes the apple

“Anaxamander is too hard to say
Do you have any other names?”

“I have many names
None of them are easy.”

“How about I call you Mander?”

“How about
No.”

“Xam?”

“Eat your lunch.”

“OK, Nax
I will call you Nax.”

“You may call me whatever you wish
If it will get you to eat your lunch.”

“I don’t like the Laboratory.
Everything is too high.”
Anaxamander chuckles to himself
It never occurred to him that this might be a problem

She considers
“I’m trying
Really
I’m not trying to mess anything up
I’m trying to understand.”

Anaxamander wipes
an unseen tear from his weathered eye
He remembers why he is doing this
This is the real dance
The only dance that matters
“Well, young lady
We shall see if we can find you something to stand on.”

“I’m sorry I spilled that flask.”

“Nisha the learning of anything
is always a untidy and cluttered process.
You must experiment and take time to ponder.
That ‘time’ thing has always been a problem for me
I always want to skip to the end and see how its going to come out.”

“Me too.”

“The Truth is a circle
Let it turn and it becomes a sphere.
Many are the wonders of this World
and the worlds beyond
Stare at them
compare them
Taste them
finger them
Let them see each other
see which ones cringe in the light of day.
Do not hurry so little one,
There is time.”

“You gonna eat that pickle?’

“You can have it.”

~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~

The Lesson of Song

Nisha follows Nax through the Blue Sea labyrinth

She tosses one of the silkies a treat
She thinks he doesn’t see her
The silkie winks

They take a left turn
where they typically take a right
And she is now in new territory
If she had been versed in Earth Mythology
she would have recognized the Egyptian murals and columns
But as it is she had never seen the palm fronds
and the elaborate battle friezes

“Wow . . .”

“You like this Nisha?”

“Very much.”

Anaxamander chuckles to himself
He pushes the eye of a huge hawk
and a door materializes where there was no door before
Anaxamander enters a room darker than night
Where only the light from the doorway intrudes
Nisha hesitates at the door

“I don’t want to enter this
this dark portal to — to the inside.”

“I’ll wait.”

“The problem with dark
is that I have no night vision goggles
They forgot to stick them in my
cereal box.”

“I remember a decoder ring I found in a box
years ago as you might guess.
Still have it somewhere . . .”

“And you still want me to enter?
I can’t see
How do I know what will happen?
I don’t even have to know everything I just want an inkling
Like what color is it in there?
How high are the ceilings?
Are there bats?
Are there walls?
Is there even a floor?”

He remains silent but she can see his hand in the light

“Nax
You have the most annoying habit of standing perfectly still.
Nax, I’ve heard its rude to linger in doorways.”

She steps into total darkness

“Nax
The darkness isn’t bad is it?”

“Do you mean is it evil?”

“I’m afraid of the Dark.”

“The darkness of the summer night
Is never so dark
As the darkness in the hearts of some
This is a gentle darkness
And if you enter further your eyes will adjust
Is that better?”

“Hey! I can see you.”

“And I can see you
People fear the darkness because they think they can’t see
and so they can’t
But if you can’t trust your eyes
then trust your ears
Your hands
your tongue
And when all else fails
Trust your heart.”

“Is that a lesson?”

“It’s an observation.”

“What is this room?”

“This is the room of song.
Can you see now?”

“Yes
Nax?
I can see colors
You usually can’t see colors in the dark
Nax?
Its as bright as day in here
Why is the door so bright
Its hurting my eyes.”

“Look this way
See this
What is this?”

“Looks like rice paper.”

He offers the sheet to her and her fingers pass right through it

“I ripped it
I’m sorry”

“Its song paper
Very delicates
Now just open your hand and don’t try to grasp it.”

He places the flimsy on her upturned hand and it rests there
Her breath blows it away
He places another
And she is careful not to breathe in its direction
He places one in his own hand

“Now what?” she asks

And Anaxamander starts to rumble deep in his chest
It’s a kind of musical note
Deep and thunderous
He opens his mouth and the note of his song
Fills the walls

To her utter amazement the
paper begins to drift above his hand
His song begins to convolute itself and the paper dances
She tries it
But her voice is a discord and her paper does not fly
She tries several songs she knows
But nothing works

Then she just listens
Anaxamander is rebreathing
so that his song is like one continuous note
And as she listens she can see a light in the sound

A thrill creeps up the back of her neck
And without her even trying
The a note comes out of her mouth

An angelic note filled with light and life
Her paper lifts and she feels the interconnection
Between her hand and the paper
the paper and the song
The song and . . . well everything

Her tiny voice takes on tremolo and vibrato
And her paper dances well past time for supper

~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~

To Dance the Stones

Anaxamander blinks in the harsh light
Nisha jitters the way that children have always jittered
when they are physically overjoyed

“Nax
When will we get there?”

“We are here little one.”

“But this is just the river bank.
What can we . . . OK I get it
Look at the details.
Can we go swimming?”

“Consider this.”

“It’s a rock.”

“I prefer stone. . .”

“It’s a stone.”

“Then let this stone be your teacher.
As you have no doubt surmised this entire river bank
Is covered with these rounded stones
Some as small as your head
some bigger than a house.
What can you tell me about theses stones?”

“They’re rounded.
I guess the river has picked them up
and rolled them around against each other
And that’s why the are kinda smooth.”

“Excellent.
Now watch as I dance the stones.”
And without further comment Anaxamander ran up the river bank
So far that he became a speck then back again.
Nisha is amazed.

“Now you do it.”

“What?”

“You dance the stones.”

“I’ll fall . . .”

“If you believe you’ll fall
sure enough you will fall.
I do not believe I will fall
therefore I do not.”

“But you’re old and if you fall
you’ll break something important.”

“Perhaps
And that is a risk that any of us must consider
But if you think three stones ahead . . .”

“I’ll fall.”

Silence.

“You don’t want me to get hurt, do you?”

“No little one, I would never want you to be hurt.”

“Why are we doing this?”

“It’s a lesson on dynamic balance.”

“I don’t want to do this.”

Silence

“Moms going to be very angry
if I get these clothes wet.”

Silence

Nisha takes a tentative step onto the first rock
And it wobbles.

“Find the center of gravity in your mind
Before you place your foot on the rock.
Go slowly at first, no need to hurry.”

She takes another step and the rock is stable.
She looks up
Expressions of elation and stark fear
war across her face
With the lithe movements only a child can move
She passes from one rock to the next

By late in the day
They are blurs moving across the rock bank like water
Her giggle says all there is to say
about the way life lifts inert matter
In the face of Entropy

Exhausted they stop at the place where they came
Anaxamander can hardly stand

“Hey Nax
I want to try something.”

“What?”

“Just sit down
This isn’t dangerous.”

She places one stone on top of another
Then another and so on
She stacks the ovaliod stones high as her head
A perfect testament to balance in all things

Anaxamander is so impressed that he can not speak
He just applauds

~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~

The Lesson of the Silke

“Nisha?”
Anaxamander searches the Indigo room
His movements becoming more anxious
as he moves through the Hall of the Mountain King
“Nisha?”
As he rounds the cloister of Omaron
He use the discipline of mind reach and can not find
the girl’s thoughts
“Shethra exu Hector!”
He shouts as his hands weave the dance of summoning
A ghost angle materializes in front of him
“Find Nisha.”

In seconds they are beside the Silkie habitat
And he notices that one of the Silkie males is in human form
Without apology he passes through the barriers
And confronts the young male

“I am your alpha (this is translated from Silkie )
And I am lacking a proper understanding.”

“You are not alpha . . .”

“I am ALPHA!” and Anaxamander evokes the thunder clap

All the silkies jump and the smaller pups hide
Behind their Hindmares.
One of the older males considers
And decides to back down

Nax continues
“What is your name pup?”

“I am no . . .”

“What is your name pup?”

“I am Noreega TuLagetti
Of the Utaslk Pod”

“I am lacking a proper understanding.
Must I nip your ear?”

“Oh no sir alpha
How may I assist you understanding.”

“There is a young woman . . .
What?”
All the silkies were jittering
“There is a young woman who often walks beside me
And she is missing.
I want to understand where she has gone.
Assist me!”

One of the elders flumped toward Anaxamander
Performing the appropriate
‘You are alpha’ gestures
“Alpha I am responsible for this pup Noreega TuLagetti.”

“Can you assist my understanding?”

“The pup woman and Noreega TuLagetti
Were frolicking
And he thought it proper to remove his silkie skin
so that he might look more like humans.
And all was well
I mean who can blame them
They are young and it is Spring.
Unknown by Noreega TuLagetti
or any of us for that matter
The pup woman slipped on his skin
And swam away . . .”

The sound that Anaxamander made was the most alpha sound
Since God went looking of Adam and Eve
“Find Her!”

Anaxamander falls and became a Dolphin
And with the entire swimming pod of the silkies
They search all the waters in the habitat
Finding her trying to escape through one of the service vents

Anaxamander returns to human form
“Nisha?”
She is wild and will not listen
“Nisha?”
She huddles behind a large rock
“Nisha, its me Nax. You remember Nax.
Now honey you have been in the skin of an animal
And I’m sure that you remember when you put it on.”
She peeks from behind the rock
“Nisha when you wear an animal skin too long
It starts to affect your mind.”

She leaps into the water and is instantly surrounded by the male silkies
She tries to find a place to flee

“Palealeto LoMeinnototis!”
Anaxamander shouts and she falls asleep
The silkies lift her in the waters so that she won’t drown

Strangely lithe and strong for a man his age
Anaxamander lifts the sleeping girl silkie
And carries her toward the barrier of the habitat
Noreega TuLagetti follows whimpering
Anaxamander turns on him
Somehow the expression of the old man softens
“Pup
You have endangered one of mine
And yourself.
You must be more careful in the future.”

“May I have my skin?”

“Your skin will not come off in one piece
Unless I am very careful.
I will do what I can.”

“Alpha saves us.”
Noreega TuLagetti chants with deep emotion

The silkie form of Nisha is levitating at shoulder height
In a room is so bright you can’t see at first
The sphere of Truth is buzzing inches from her feet
Anaxamander is studying the ring of Truth
And like a snake his hand snaps out and seizes the hoop
Making a sound not unlike an electric sizzle
It instantly stops in his hand

He stands beside the young girl silkie
“Nisha
You are a lot of trouble
And you have given my old dead heart
So many new ways to break
But if you can hear me
Please remember the fun we’ve had.”

The hoop begins to slide in his hand
In such a way that it is rotating about its central axis
The inscriptions caress the palm of his hand

He holds the circle at her feet so that she is inside
And as he slowly slides it toward her head
The silkie skin peels away
Revealing the girl child Nisha
Sleeping . . .

~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~

The New Curator of the Museum of Arcane Objects

Nisha enters by the Western door
The Museum is quiet and dark
dusty and cold
Foreboding and . . .

“Has it been seven years?” she says
“Nax?
Where are you Nax?”

No answer
She lifts Hannibal’s hatchet
Examines the flask of Tears of Eve
She walks down a long hall with Pictures on the walls
Through an open air cloister with a fountain in the center
She opens a wall that turns out to be a door
And the inside is so bright
She can’t see at first
As her eyes adjust she can see the hoop of Truth
Spinning

A young man passes her in the hall
She stops him
“Who are you?’

“I am Noreega TuLagetti, mistress.”

“Do you remember me?” she asks

“No mam. I am sorry . . .”

“Never mind.
I suppose you’ve never heard of Anaxamander?”

“There is a legend . . .”

“Who is the curator of this place?’

The young man seems flustered
“You are Mistress.
By the way
There is a young boy named Mander Xam
At the front entrance.”

“I’ll go meet him
You fix us some lunch.”

Noreega TuLagetti bows slightly and shuffles off
Nisha turns for toward the front hall
And as she does she catches just the hint of a movement
A shadow moving within a shadow
And she knows he’s there

“Balance in all things old man
Balance in all things . . .”

Published by

Chyfrin the Celtic poet

Artist, Poet, Electrical/Biomedical Engineer, Actor, Playwright, Set construction, Educator, Lover of womankind and single malt scotch

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