Posts tagged ‘nature’

June 25, 2013

Keeper of the Peach Garden Pt 2 of 2

by Paul Davis

Fox put away the tea, washed up, and wiped off the table. He walked outside for a time to enjoy a light breeze, waiting for the table to dry. Returning to the inside of the small room, he pulled out a scroll and sat down. For several hours he would either right his own reflections upon his state as a minor god and Keeper of the celestial peaches, or he would be given scrolls to copy if new libraries were to be built, or fire had destroyed old copies. This was not an original position he held, but while working for his old master, Fox took keenly to the written word. Once he could read and write, he took up calligraphy, finding the beautiful art easy for his clever mind to copy. Before he was employed as Keeper, his writing was capable of reducing the gods to tears due to the elegance found in the brush strokes created by one whom was once little more than a fox. For this reason, some time before he was Keeper, Fox was also given work as a calligrapher.

He enjoyed the work, the repetition and the lovely lines brushed onto the parchment. Each brush steoke was more than a simple word or phrase. Each time brush touched scroll, the words were said in a different tone, said with different emotions. The same word could create love or despair, hope or emptiness, joy or grief. And Fox had mastered imbuing his works with potent emotion. For this, he gained great prestige, even as a servant, so that one day the gods asked why one so capable and dutiful as Fox was kept under thumb. Fox thought little of it, for his mind was still simple and needed little. Was better to be a servant, he thought, than to still be stuck as an unintelligable animal. And shortly after the gods asked his master this question, Fox found himself in the peach garden.

The brush strokes became mesmerising, taking Fox into the stories he created or copied. Hours passed in moments, and soon a knock at the door broke him from his revelry. “Coming,” Fox said, finishing a final line before putting the scrolls away.

There was more impatient knocking, then shouting, “Hurry, Fox! I’m hungry and lonely for no one else will have me at their table!”

The scrolls were set aside and Fox opened the door for Monkey, a creature very similar to himself, though his origins were magical, where as Fox was a simple beast. Fox gestured in Monkey, saying, “Perhaps if you didn’t urinate at their parties they would invite you to more of them.”

“They invite me to none, let alone more. I wish they had a sense of humor.” Monkey sighed.

Fox prepared simple fruits and bread, as the two like, along with some tea. “The gods have a sense of humor, Monkey. Some are quite jovial. Some perhaps are a touch more dour. But even the most childish in humor cannot understand your immature sense of what humor is. Perhaps Monkey needs to become polite, even a little docile.”

By the time Fox turned from his tea and food, Monkey was hanging on the ceiling. “I must admit, your words bite deeply. However, I am who I am, and none shall change that, for I am quite pleased in my nature.” Monkey got down to look at the goodies.

Fox slapped Monkey’s hand as he reached for a date. “Monkey, then you will either have to be pleased with your nature and dash what the gods think, or you must change your nature and be pleased with what the gods think.”

The two walked upstairs to a terrace a floor up, covered by a tile roof and overlooking the lands surrounding the garden “Then I say dash the gods, and I’ll piss on them till they can never forget my scent.”

They reached a table and the food was spread. Fox bowed his head, “We pray, then we shall continue.” Fox said his prayers silently, but when he looked up, he saw Monkey already eating. “You could at least respect the gods from time to time, friend. Sometimes even my patience is worn thin by your antics. And pray don’t mark the gods. They’re angry enough of your defience.”

“You’re the cunning fox given potential. I know you well enough, or at least your essence. You wait for your moment. I might be brash and quick to offend, but the fox is slow to offend, and very well versed in making sure none offended could ever get retribution. I’ve just been lucky so far. I can’t wait to see your prank.”

Fox nibbled on some fruit, “I believe you confuse me with my siblings. I was a mild mannered fox compared to my siblings, and the foxes which linger about the garden. I was not one for scheming. This world moves too quickly for such things. I quite enjoy my simple life more. I saw the ways they tortured you, Monkey, when you pranked them, and I’ve not nearly the years and experience you do, let alone the fortuitous birth. I have no master plan, friend. IfnI did I would most certainly consult you, for no doubt you have more experience with the gods than I could hope for if I spoke with each of them a year.”

Monkey picked behind his ear, thinking, watching a cloud lazily pass, “But you speak with me every day, Fox. I am at least that clever, you sly…. Well, you know the saying.” Fox laughed and finished his fruit. The two friends talked well through the afternoon, until the sun was nearly ready to set. Then Monkey bid Fox fair well, and was on his way.

Fox sighed and went to fetch his fishing pole, sighing, “What if Monkey is not so far off? I am given honors, but what of ambrosia? When would I be able to taste the celestial peaches? Likely never.” He reached the small lake, the golden koi visible in the nearly clear waters. He cast his line and brooded for a while, until a nice breeze relaxed him. “No, this is a good life. My siblings have all passed now, unaware of any greatness in the heavens.” With a smile he caught a fish.

Once the koi was brought in, Fox said, “Are you a special koi? I would hate to eat you if you could grant me a wish.” There was no response and Fox started back to the dojo.

In the garden,as the sun set, Fox put the fish on the table outside and clubbed it. He started to gnaw on the flesh, removing skin and delicious flaky meat. It tasted delicious. Once finished, he lit the lanterns outside the dojo for any late nit visitors. He never had a visitor, but from time to time he did enjoy going out and about, using the lanterns to lead him back.

After meditating for several hours, Fox put away the table and pulled out his mat. He laid down, meditated, and then went to sleep. So was the life of Keeper Fox.

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June 11, 2013

Keeper of the Peach Garden

by Paul Davis

This is an old story. I apologize for not writing more on the Dragon Tongue War. Emotionally, I was drained today. Emotionally, that story is immensely draining. People just keep dying, and it doesn’t look to be getting less bloody. However, I just couldn’t write it the past few days. I hope you enjoy this. Next week I’ll have part two of this, and following that we’ll get back on track. Enjoy!

Keeper Fox stretched as he awoke to the cock’s crow in the distance. The creature looked quite like a fox, with the thick fur, long snout, bushy tail, and sharp little teeth, but he had arms, legs, and a torso like any man, though he was quite unaware what man looked like. He had seen his cousins, the four legged, small foxes which scampered around, sly and ferocious. He quite enjoyed them and their company, until a chicken was found and they went to hunt. It was such a bloody affair, and Keeper Fox quite preferred his tea and rice rolls. It wasn’t to say he did not eat meat, but the only flesh he ate he fished from the pond in the garden, full of koi as large as he. Fox chuckled a little, laying on his mat while squinting the sleep from his eyes. No doubt the oversized koi could nearly swallow the little foxes. He said to himself, “Oh, clever fox. Stay away from the prey which would swallow you!”

Still giggling, and quite pleased with his own clever mind, he sat up, stretched, and finally truly woke up. The sun was not quite up, but by the time it was, Fox needed to be prepared for the day, as each day was quite busy. The dojo was small, and hastily Fox rolled up his mat and stored it, bringing out the small table for the center of the room. He then knelt at the table, retrieved some beads, and meditated until the sun had fully broken from the horizon.

Refreshed and awake, Fox walked out of the tiny dojo, into the great peach tree orchard. Before the orchard there was a small tea garden, with beautiful flowers, a small table for outdoors meals and meditation, and an adorable bird bath. Fox smiled, stretched once more, and began his duties.

The garden was rather thick with growth, as it was every morning. The flowers were a beautiful golden color, shimmering under the sun. When clouds would pass overhead, or a stiff enough wind would blow through, it created a shimmering sea, a sight Fox loved to admire for a few moments, taking time out of his generally busy work. He was also told to weed the divine garden, but in his many years working the garden, he had never seen theses weeds spoken of. After a few months, Fox was fairly sure it was a small trick of the gods, some joke they shared. Though Fox cared very little, for the humor was lost on him as well as the extra work.

What Fox did have to do was thin out the flowers which grew all too rapidly. Most were sacrificed to the gods, burned as an offering. A dozen were reserved for the dojo, to beautify it a touch. Fox had kept the flowers back for some time, and never had he suffered the wrath of his employers. The flowers were fairly unimportant compared to the true treasure Fox was entrusted with.

The garden took most the morning to thin out. Every day he took exactly 99 flowers from the garden. By that time, the birds had went to the bath. Before his duties, Fox could not recall birds waking and bathing so late, yet in the garden it was nearly ten by the, time they arrived. Fox took a pale of water and filled it, then went to the bath. A small bird waited there, chirping, looking up expectantly.

“Did you just wake?” The bird hopped up and down, nodding. “You must not get the worm.” Again, Fox chuckled, pouring out the bucket. The little bird rolled around in the bath, bathing under the slowly poured water. Once Fox had finished, the bird stood, hopped about a few times, and shook off the remaining water. If birds could smile, no doubt that little creature would have been. “You are quite welcome, little one. I do enjoy when you visit me. I pray you well on this beautiful day.”

The day was half done, and Fox was quite pleased with himself. He went into the peach garden as he had a few spare moments before noon. The peaches were nearly ripe, beautiful fruits thick and nearly juicy. No peaches on earth quite reached their size or color, which had a touch of a golden sheen. In a few more weeks he would harvest them and the gods would come for the bounty that was only harvested once every hundred and one years. It would be Foxes first harvest, but he knew his role well enough. Monkey had taught him several times what to do, one of the only visitors he had.

The sun was directly overhead. The warmth brought a laziness into Fox’s bones, and he leisurely made his way back to the dojo for his noon tea. The water was gathered on the way in, put in a pot, and put over the wood stove, logs set ablaze. The tea was harvested once a week from the garden, a magical plant which always gave him just enough for exactly the strength of tea Fox enjoyed. At first, many years ago when Fox started his divine task, Fox was timid in the tea he used, unsure how often the plant would regrow, for there was not much tea and he quite enjoyed his tea time. But as the weeks and months went on, he became more aware of the magical plant, and so made stronger and stronger tea, until finally he was comfortable making it to the strength he had previously been accustomed.

The leaves were steeped in the boiling water, and soon Fox was enjoying tea, kneeling at his small table. He pondered while sitting there, thinking about his time at home, the peace of a simple life. He had a family, several competitive siblings. Once he was quite like the foxes which would eat the chickens. But one day there was a man visiting. Where his family fell asleep, he did not. Fox walked alongside the strange man with skin as gossamer, and this the man liked very much.

The sun was setting, and the pair had walked some time. When it set, he picked Fox up and said, “You are dutiful, despite your sly nature. Come with me to heaven that you might serve me well.” A bowl was placed in front of Fox, and the man poured the contents of a small flask into it, a shimmering liquid which was as a shifting rainbow. Fox drank of it, a sweeter drink he had never tasted. Shortly after he had become aware and served his new master so well and dutifully that he was promoted to Keeper.

August 31, 2012

Panoramic Sunset

by James Gordo

I have been seeing a lot of great sunset images for the past days in which gives me an idea to try some landscape shots. I am not really fond on shooting with landscapes because I have been more exposed on portrait photography. During the last moments on our acquaintance party, I manage to capture this great image. At first I tried to shoot only one image,however, I was not happy with the result. So I tried to capture it by panorama. It may be not that perfect for my first attempt to landscape photography,somehow I don’t know for what reason but I love the result. I forgot the waves which made this image a little bit distorted when I stitched this image. This panoramic image is composed of 7 stitched photos.

Epic Sunset