Monday, April 21, 2008

Tolk


Here's my newest piece. It's a small rock that I picked up a long time ago at the Oregon coast. I had in mind to bead it entirely, but it had some say in the matter once we got underway, and as we worked our way through this project together, I kept thinking of Ged.

Before Harry Potter, there was Ged. Ged was a young student dreamed up by the peerless Ursula K. Le Guin in what is perhaps the quintessential wizarding book, A Wizard of Earthsea. Ged had a chip on his shoulder, a swagger he hadn't quite earned. Some short time before he gets his comeuppance, he has this conversation with one of his teachers:

"Sir, all these charms are much the same; knowing one, you know them all. And as soon as the spell-weaving ceases, the illusion vanishes. Now if I make a pebble into a diamond-" and he did so with a word and a flick of his wrist- "what must I do to make that diamond remain diamond? How is the changing-spell locked, and made to last?"

The Master Hand looked at the jewel that glittered on Ged's palm, bright as the prize of a dragon's hoard. The old Master murmured one word, "Tolk," and there lay the pebble, no jewel but a rough grey bit of rock. The Master took it and held it out on his own hand. "This is a rock, tolk in the True Speech," he said, looking mildly up at Ged now. "A bit of the stone of which Roke Isle is made, a little bit of the dry land on which men live. It is itself. It is part of the world. By the Illusion-Change you can make it look like a diamond -- or a flower or a fly or an eye or a flame--" The rock flickered from shape to shape as he named them, and returned to rock. "But that is mere seeming. Illusion fools the beholder's senses; it makes him see and hear and feel that the thing is changed. But it does not change the thing. To change the rock into a jewel, you must change its true name. And to do that, my son, even to so small a scrap of the world, is to change the world. It can be done. Indeed it can be done. It is the art of the Master Changer, and you will learn it, when you are the ready to learn it. But you must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow on that act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium. A wizard's power of Changing and of Summoning can shake the balance of the world. It is dangerous, that power. It is most perilous. It must follow knowledge, and serve need. To light a candle is to cast a shadow....

He looked down at the pebble again. "A rock is a good thing, too, you know," he said, speaking less gravely.



So, Tolk. A small rock with a bit of iridescent lichen, and the essential rockness exposed.

6 comments:

No Easy Beads said...

We recently started watching the Harry Potter movies and have finished 3 of them. I love the story and your rock. You have turned it into something special.

Dawn N said...

It's adorable.

Carol Dean said...

Love the rock, but the story behind it is perfection! Wonderful, Melody!

fashionsfrome said...

Love the rock.
The embellishment on the rock is my favorite.
The little girl and big girl, in me said, Thank you for the story".

Anna said...

Not only a beautifully dressed rock, but a lovely story behind it! It's wonderful Melody!

triz said...

really lovely!