Sunday, September 25, 2016

Is Birthday Eve a thing now?

Unlike the shrewd fisherman of Gont, this old man, for fear and wonder of his wizardry, would have given the boat to Ged. But Ged paid him for it in sorcerers’ kind, healing his eyes of the cataracts that were in the way of blinding him. Then the old man, rejoicing, said to him, “We called the boat Sanderling, but do you call her Lookfar, and paint eyes aside her prow, and my thanks will look out of that blind wood for you and keep you from rock and reef. For I had forgotten how much light there is in the world, till you gave it back to me.”
Ursula K. LeGuin, The Wizard of Earthsea
It's my birthday tomorrow, but Karli surprised me this evening with a pre-birthday card on my pillow. It was actually a thank-you card, which isn't very surprising if you know anything about our relationship, about the gratitude that we feel for finding each other, and Karli also managed to find a card with a quote from one of my favourite authors, science fiction and fantasy author Ursula K. LeGuin.

The quote in question is from the 1968 novel A Wizard of Earthsea, the first in her five-book* Earthsea Cycle.  I strongly recommend the Earthsea Cycle - the books are ostensibly young adult fiction, but they deal with classical themes of darkness and light, the shadows that represent our darker sides, vanity, egotism, selflessness, sacrifice, good, evil, love, sexuality, aging, and the final journey which is death. The books are quite short by the current standards of epic fantasy, but not a word is wasted - LeGuin's writing is simple, elegant, and eloquent.

Thank you for the card, my love - and you're welcome.
- Sid

* There are also a few short stories.

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