Altur’Rang Upgrades to Nesram

Took a walk in Kinnickinnick FP during what others might call a dreary autumn morning. That’s a little one-sided: this time of year past the great tree transition is known for being overcast and heavy rain drops and muted colors. Regardless, it’s no secret that I love nature, and every part. The night sky is breathtaking beyond anything conceived in a mortal mind, I need all four seasons in my life, and I could never call weather ‘bad.’ It’s just weather, beautiful for reasons disguised as random or chaotic. On this particular journey, I went without music, and let the rise and sway of the wind dictate a melody for my first instrumental piece. I came away happy and content, that my muse had once again been heard.

The day after, I took an extra long ride, on a tight calf, in clothes that I felt initially would be too light, against a wind that forced me to pedal downhill. I did it anyway, squeezed in a moderate loop in Rock Cut too. Maybe it was all the factors nibbling away at my inhibitions and expectations that I finally found this realization. Usually I depend on music to drown out the wind’s static–who can hear birds or crickets in the twilight symphony when that racket is whipping past you?–and no  different this time, though for safety I only keep one earbud in. Right about the time I lent my attention to a car engine hum, Ron Pope’s Make It Home sang to me about a New York dream and blinding Broadway lights, and my preexisting hate for city life threatened to kidnap my good mood. Which isn’t far fetched. Growing up in rural Roscoe and on a green campus at Lawrence, the alleys and littered streets of downtown and west Rockford strangled the country girl in me. Not to mention, of course, apathy and an underlying narcissism as accomplices. The previous day’s songwriting from nothing but autumn’s exhausted breath was case and point why Nature is better.

My mind focused on the fact that I noticed the car, and another purring along Perryville, and then another, which showed me that there is a rhythm to the city, if you keep looking. And when it comes down to it, Nature didn’t give us the yearn of the violin, or a guitar’s excitement and versatility. The conclusion became that if I could get tunes from both the primitive and the ‘developed,’ Nature the city aren’t that different after all. Pope’s lyrics further coaxed me out of my pinpointed focus: I could enjoy the city if I figured out what light to cast it in. The scum-ridden city I had equated with Altur’Rang of the Sword of Truth novels now becomes a slightly more likeable Nesram, in all its wonder from Pahmoten.

Fate wasn’t finished with my lesson quite yet. Moments later, glee’s version of One Love (People Get Ready) tiptoed into my brain. Normally I’d just bob my head in the quirky way encouraged by the reggae beat. On my current mind path, though, my displeasure with urbanization transferred to the citizens and my coworkers. I tend to judge them straight up how they appear and act at work. They’re human just like me, imperfect just like me, probably judging me unfairly just like I do them. They are full of stories and scars that I tend to ignore. So I’ve got to back off and accept that there’s one true heart between every individual on Earth, the truth I so vehemently in my deism rant in The Idea of a God. I sink among those who hurt their fellow man by thought, when ultimately that hurts me too.

Rereading my relating of these self-evident truths, I acknowledge that when you step back for the grand view, they’re simple things that would evoke a, “No duh, Becca. I could’ve told you that five years ago.” Lessons mean absolutely nothing until you accept them yourself. No matter what preachers or conartists, parents or peers beat into you, through kindness or kicks or years of shoving literature in your face. They are extremely humbling moments, ones we hope come at times when others are understanding enough to forgive our stubbornness and shortsightedness.

And I understand this musing isn’t breaking ground. They’re age-old reiterations that’ve worked their way into this existence. My only hope for my writing them, as it has always been for all my works, is that simple act will give people not the correct answers, but the right questions. To show them a path, to change one’s mind or will. And maybe, with all the determination that I and all my inspiration and muses can muster, that these people change this world for the better.


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