This is one of those times I really wish English did like the manga with the sound-effect symbols for EVERY POSSIBLE THING. I feel like little picture-symbols are somehow less obnoxious that spelled-out words for things like heartbeats or long, slow breaths.
Ah, the temptation is so very great.
I’d take it, personally.
Right now I wish I had the option to live forever in a beautiful valley populated only by friendly animals and a wise, old Noah analogue. I particularly love the flowers and butterflies on this page.
Taran gets one of his first (IS it his first?) nasty choices: does he do the lovely, comfortable thing he would REALLY like to do, or does he do his dreary, dangerous, and difficult duty? But, as He says, "The gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life." The RIGHT thing is almost never the FUN thing.
Me too, you have no idea how much. I just got the news that our entire sewage system underneath our house is crammed full of tree roots and has to be replaced. Moving to the mountains to live in a thatched hut sounds great at the moment.
I'll be crying in my room for the next hour if anybody wants me.
Life is difficult, including vegetable life. been there, didn't care for it, and I assume you do not want your lads digging it up to save a few pence. We once saved a lot of money by hesitating when the sewer repair guys got their camera stuck in our problematic drain - we were able to get them to agree to replace a single section instead of the whole thing, which they'd wanted to do. now we just ream it all out every few years, with the real danger zone protected by plasticrete pipe cladded with fibre (I dunno - looks manmade organic and immune to most life proesses).
That said, you've gotten me "reading (audiobook) The Book of Three. You're my gateway drug.
It's a gateway to great things then. My pleasure. :)
Sorry to hear about the sewage system! That sounds smelly and expensive. I've just got routine EOY work-jam angst. But I'm seeing some good things, too, like the final production sign-off on a certain children's picture book before it goes to the printer. Merry Christmas, Saeriellyn.
ha! Well, I guess I paid for the sewer repair, at least partially, haha. Can't wait to see it!
Ahhh. So much foreshadowing. Really. So. Much.
Hope I'm not spoiling anything for anyone else who hasn't read the books.
It just hurts my heart.
I think the artwork conveys the feeling and ideas perfectly well without the onomatopoeia. Did you try it without?
The ba-BMP in this case is my heart racing at this brilliant work!
It was the last thing I put in, so I saw it without - the thing is, I “hear” the sounds anyway, so I don’t trust my own perception on the matter, and I want to make sure the readers are getting the whole sense. In which case I’d rather be redundant than overly cautious.
I don't think there is anything to worry about in this case!
Beautiful art on this page! I'm so sorry about your sewer system, I hope it isn't too expensive or too much of an ordeal.
I'm afraid it will be both, but such is adult life, and I'm trying just to be grateful that we have the means to take care of it. Thanks for the sympathy! ;)
This is achingly beautiful and that is all.
Thank you. :) This one was a real pleasure to do.
Another beautiful page. The things Taran is offered and turns down in over the five books is really something.
Personally, I'd stay only if he let the Princess Eilonwy stay too (if she also wished to stay, that is...) But that's just me... he doesn't really know his feelings for her right now
He is nothing if not self-sacrificial.
I see Eilonwy as enjoying the valley but being too restless for it (and TBH I think Taran would be too, after a while). They both have too much self-discovery to do before they could be truly happy there. What's interesting to me is Medwyn's making the offer at all - telling that even an old sage, by all appearances perfectly content to be alone with his animals, would actually welcome the companionship of another human. Perhaps he is more lonely than he lets on.
You are wise to point that out … Man is, after all, a social animal. Just ask Eilonwy.
That's exactly my take on it (Saeriellyn's post), which is why I couldn't accept such an offer if I was being honest with myself. Life isn't just about the good times, or the bad times, but rather the culmination of the two and what's in between them. Wistful reverie is a wonderful feeling, but it isn't meant to last forever.
After a "full" life, which varies for each person and sometimes is never realized, then peace in a valley of natural wonders might be appropriate, but until then it's the journey, not the desitnation, that matters.
Another beautiful page.
It says a lot about Taran that he walks away from paradise to continue on toward an uncertain future that promises to be difficult at best and tragic at worst.
It does indeed. A very heavy bit of foreshadowing that doesn’t get fulfilled until the end of the series itself, but hopefully you’ll find that out!
Forgive me, please, for throwing in my lot anther time. I interpret this scene in a very different way than anyone else above.
In my opinion, Medwyn never went out of his way so much that he means this offer serious. In fact, he is tempting Taran, and if Taran succumbed, the consequences would be very different from his expectations.
The key sentence that gives it away is the mostly overlooked suggestion, "Surely you can entrust your task to your friends." Can he indeed? That depends on how much Medwyn knows about previous events - Melyngar is always attentive and quite chatty, you know. So he has heard how Taran had tried to send "this girl" its way and the bard with her, exactly not to entrust anybody with anything. He knows of Taran's request from Fflewddur to be in charge should he insist to join him, and as well of Eilonwy's denigration to a last-straw backup for saving the mission (which had more to do with facekeeping than with a seriously considered option in the first place). And exactly now, Taran is advised he might as well delegate it, send the others into the trenches and stay safely behind without keeping an eye on them? What an insolent proposal! Unless, that is, Medwyn does not mean it at all but intends it as a subtle push towards the opposite.
Taran, who now quite remarkably passes over the word "friends" without objection, has in fact no other sensible choice than to reject the offer. As has been precisely calculated by Medwyn.
I think there is nothing wrong with this idea. It certainly could be considered a test of character for Taran.
It is not just about Taran. In my headcanon, Medwyn has tempted them all, individually (not Gurgi. He knew the result already). And they never spoke to each other about it, that’s why we haven’t heard of it.
Fflewddur in fact didn’t think twice about it. He plainly stated that the enjoyable part about his life was the wandering and he would miss that too much even at a place like this. Admitted, the Valley was a convenient recreational resort but not a place for staying too long (and a place where there never was any meat served? Bleah! But that he didn’t say aloud). But Medwyn did not go away when the bard had finished. And after Fflewddur had assured there was nothing more to say and one of his strings sprang, he confessed in one of his more serious moods that he had grown quite fond of those teens lately. He would have preferred to take them out to trips under more agreeable circumstances [traces of my childless friend here who used to take the two of mine out before they grew up], but be it as it may: He was less than sure he could sufficiently guard them to their chosen destination but without him they would run into their doom for certain, and that was why he had to – nay, was ready to – leave with them: He couldn’t look at his own image in a lake if he let them go astray. And Medwyn grumbled, “No, you certainly could not”.
Eilonwy on the other hand was strongest tempted of them all. After all, she found herself offered a new home and a shelter, at last! Up to now she had not thought about her future any further than Caer Dathyl, indeed the whole affair had been contrived just to push this decision ahead of her. But one thing troubled her, and that was the need to part with the others. Medwyn had made this explicit, but even if he hadn't: The stupid assistant pig-keeper was so dedicated to that whacky “mission” of his that he certainly would not forsake it in her favour, and Fflewddur was too much a man of honour to let him continue on his own. Her options therefore were either to go with them or to be left with no one but this old mate and his beasts to talk to, in other words, she would confine herself to a more colourful version of Spiral Castle. “Maybe after Caer Dathyl”, she said, hesitatingly. Then Medwyn warned her that once she left this valley she would never find the way in again. And Eilonwy stayed silent, torn this way and that. - At that moment a young wolf came happily strolling along and leapt into Medwyn’s lap. And Medwyn said, “I have seen many a wolf coming and going, but one thing they have all had in common. Do you know what is the worst thing for a cub? It is having to stay without a pack.” Then Eilonwy was so horrified that she hardly restrained herself from resorting to a burst of rage because she felt like having been slapped her most intimate feelings into her face. And she shut herself off in gloom and refused to say anything more at all. (And that’s why she was so acerbic upon their departure.) But Medwyn understood. He rose and said, “I will see for you having a good breakfast tomorrow.”
There – now I find myself writing fanfic! That's your fault, Saeriellyn! /gr/