[Bordermarch] The Artist and The Critics

tessa tessa at gt.rr.com
Fri Jun 29 18:38:02 PDT 2007

Y'r Excellency Santiago, y'r humble seneschal servant stands dutifully corrected.  
As gnashing was within my brain today, seeking every resource within reach, this definition did arise:

A Highly Selective Dictionary for the Excellent Santiago, Extraordinarily Literate

swales:  "sw" "ale" "z"
NOUN: plural; more than one swale

swale: "sw" "ale"
NOUN: singular
1. A low tract of land, especially when moist or marshy. 
2. A long, narrow, usually shallow trough between ridges on a beach, running parallel to the coastline. 
3. A shallow troughlike depression that carries water mainly during rainstorms or snow melts. 
4. Landscape which in Southeast Ansteorra surrounds the popular castle edifice known as BorderKeep. 

bowing, scraping, bowing, scraping

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lathrop, Dave" <Dave.Lathrop at valero.com>
To: "Barony Bordermarch" <bordermarch at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2007 11:14 AM
Subject: [Bordermarch] The Artist and The Critics

> The Artist and The Critics
> There are times when my written verbiage forces the reader to expand
> their mind as they journey with me down the twisted path of my
> imagination. I struggle to lead them to times and places that may never
> have existed. I consider myself to be not unlike a painter using
> processed wood pulp as my canvas and black ink as my paint. Every word
> is a different brush stroke that combines with others to form a
> painting. Sometimes one finds special words that can turn a bland
> painting into a masterpiece. Every artist needs to shoulder the burden
> of critique that seems to be a constant companion of true inspiration.
> One such moment of inspiration came to me as I jotted down some words
> for the Autumn Melees Invitations for Their Majesties and our Noble
> Cousins. I used the word "swales" which means, a low area of moist land.
> This word describes the general area that surrounds the beautiful land
> we all know as Bordermarch. My mistake was I assumed everyone knew what
> this word meant. When I entered our officers meeting for the month of
> June, which was being hosted by Her Most Excellent Tessa of the Gardens
> in her domicile, I was viscously attacked by HE Elisabeth and some of
> the other hens that were gathered there. I was chastised and made to
> feel small in front of my fellow man friends. HE Elisabeth said in so
> many words that I had made up the word "swales". She received the nod of
> approval from several others present although they did not openly
> challenge me. I was stunned. My people were turning on me and I was
> alone in the wilderness. I searched the room for the silhouette of the
> one who could save me, Sir Simonn of Amber Isle. He is a Master
> word-smith who knows the meaning of all things. When I was informed that
> he was indisposed at the moment a small cry began to form in the back of
> my throat. I looked toward my wife, my sole mate, my accuser, HE
> Elisabeth. I made certain no eye contact was made and then pointed a
> shaking finger at the Good Tessa and shouted "For the love of God help
> me!." Good Tessa is a renowned English teacher known for her unbiased
> opinions and vast knowledge. She studied my pleading face and seemed to
> have made the decision to help me out of this situation. She tilted her
> head and closed her eyes as she searched her vast memory for the word
> "swales". I was fast approaching a state of frantic despair when just
> then she smiles at me and slowly opened her eyes. She would now
> vindicate me and prove to the others that I am nobody's fool. The room
> fell silent as she began to speak, "I am quite confidant and can say
> with utmost certainty that "swales" is the definition of more than one
> whale". What a disaster! 
> I laid my trust at the enemy's feet and was stabbed in the back. I
> retaliated and challenged her to get the dictionary and look the word
> up. She returned with one of the oldest, grungiest Funk and Wiggles
> dictionaries I have ever seen. It was very convenient for the
> inquisitors when she declared that her mighty dictionary did not list
> the word "swales". I was drowning and nobody would throw me a life
> preserver. As I searched in vain for my lost dignity I noticed that our
> own Lord Malcolm had raised his hand to beg permission to speak. The
> ladies studied him long and hard before granting him the privilege of
> taking the floor. When Lord Malcolm began to speak all the naysayer's in
> the room began to hiss in unison as hairs on the back of their necks
> went visibly rigid. It seems Lord Malcolm use to be a manager for a
> major golf course in town. He boldly declared that "swales' was indeed a
> low area of moist land between the greens on a golf course. I was
> immediately absolved of my crime, but HE Elisabeth remained unremitting
> in her conviction that "swales" is not and never will be a real word.
> She disappeared into the computer room to consult the master-brain
> "Google". Upon her return she promptly approached me and apologized
> while bending to plant a lovely kiss on my cheek. Although her eyes
> still burned with fire she did admit that Mister Google's confirmation
> of Lord Malcolm's and my description of the word "swales" would satisfy
> her blood-thirst for the moment.
> Oh yeh! Oh yeh! It's good to be right. All went well the rest of the
> evening until that same dark hoard of flesh eating yard-hens challenged
> my use of the word "salutations" in the masterpiece I call "Autumn
> Melees Invitations ". 
> Artist have a name for the baggage they always struggle with, the
> mountain they will never scale, the endless ocean on which they sail
> forever, they call all these things "critics".
> Santiago
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