I had fun writing this. I kept imagining Merlyn’s sense of himself as an ordinary failure, as a powerful being who is nevertheless human. I really wanted to try and capture the notion that he knows all this information about himself that we’re not privy to, leaving room for the reader’s imagination to draw any conclusion it wants about the details of the legendary wizard’s past.
The mountains are alive with fire, transcendent breath, vigorous and endless. Though they have been given a name, a part of them will always be nameless, and I could say the same about myself.
I heed the call of mist-laden glades and walk among stones with broken blades. I come to you, mountains of fire, full of so many things that matter, yet they will not matter to you.
I come to you as a whittler of small days, a worshipper of whale bones. I come to you as a man who has a boy still looking out from behind the bars of his rib cage. I come to you with an owl on my shoulder who comes and goes as she pleases. I come to you as a failed magician, with iron, ash, light, dust, and rain behind the cellar-door of knowledge.
I come to you as a broken lover, a woman’s hair still caught on my sleeves. I come to you with the meaning of my name, do with it what you will. I come to you as the recorder of my own life, pockets filled with scribbled runes of little use.