The Forgetting

I went over the wall.

When we were younger in the learning room, Eshan once asked why Canaan had a wall around it. Our teacher said that we’d forgotten what was outside Canaan, but that was exactly why we needed the wall in the first place. To keep us safe from what we did not know. What if there were insects that could sting or bite? What if you fell off a cliff or into a deep hole? What if there was no food, and you starved? What if, the teacher said, you were outside the walls and you forgot? You’d wander alone, forever, never able to find a way home again. We stay inside the walls because that is what we know, and where we are safe.

It made me wonder, does the wall protect us, or keep us in?

Today I found I’m not afraid of the unknown. Today I discovered that the unknown loved me, and that I loved it back.

Nadia The Dyer’s Daughter

Book 13, page 64, 11 years after the Forgetting

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

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The Exercise of Vital Powers

She peered back over her shoulder at Ari. “Master, what is this?” “The Sisterhood call it many different names: the Forest of Revelation; the Forest of Enlightenment; and the Forest of Reflection, are just three such given names,” said Ari. “It can only be seen at night, and it is the reason why I brought you out here.” “I don’t understand.” “In the years before I founded The Order,” Ari began in explanation, “if a Jaymidari had concerns about a Sanatsai in her charge, but those concerns did not yet warrant the binding of Zarantar , she would bring the Sanatsai in question to this place.” “Why?” “The forest provided a final opportunity for troublesome Sanatsai to guiding such a Sanatsai would send her charge into the forest to walk the path to the other side, in order to determine if the binding of Zarantar was the appropriate course of action.” Kayden was confused. “How exactly would sending somebody into the forest help a Sister make that decision?” “Walking the path reveals the path of the walker.” Kayden wanted to roll her eyes but settled for groaning on the inside. The cryptic response made no sense whatsoever―ergo, it was less than useless. She averted her eyes from Ari back to the dirt path ahead of her, disappearing into the forest. “If I am expected to enter the forest,” she said, resignedly, “I would like to know what’s in there waiting for me.” “I couldn’t tell you,” Ari conceded. “I’ve never entered the forest myself; it’s been almost a century since anyone has. But as I understand it, what lies within is different for everyone.” Kayden peered back over her shoulder at Ari again. “So what do I do?” “Just make your way to the end of the path; I’ll be waiting for you there.” “That’s it?” Surely it couldn’t be that simple. “Yes, that’s it,” affirmed Ari. “But I must warn you…” Kayden listened attentively. “It’s important you don’t turn back or stray from the path.” “Understood,” said Kayden, although she didn’t really understand. She returned her gaze to the path laid out before her and stiffened her resolve. Whatever obstacles may be lying in wait for her, within the forest, she would overcome, just like she always did. She marched forward purposefully―setting one foot in front of the other―initiating her journey into the unknown. The Forest of Revelation held no fear for her.

The Exercise of Vital Powers by Ian Gregoire

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