Commitment – the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
Patronage – the support given by a patron.
Dedication – the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” -Charles DarwinWealthGorilla.com
Quara’s commitment was clear from a very young age. Take care of Master Sheldon, that’s it, period. Sheldon and Quara had a strong relationship, built on trust and mutual respect, over time. Many envied Quara’s post, Wiki believing that they should rise higher in the Caste system, and take on more responsibilities. Yet that’s not how service worked.
Service was handed out by the tribal elders at birth. As a child grew, they were given instruction over three areas – general education, their service training, and, understanding their patrons Art. And, as Quara was the one selected to serve Master Sheldon, their training in the Art was that more extensive.
Quara moved down the spiral staircase towards Sheldon’s rooms, cautious to be ever so quiet. Cautious and quiet as this was Sheldon’s meditation time, not to be disturbed under any circumstances. On their way down they noticed a shadow playing on the outside of Sheldon’s main room. Light was flickering from inside the room, displayed by the fire in the hearth.
As the shadow moved back and forth, Quara froze in their place on the stairs. Waiting. Breathing slowly. Moving now again, slowly like their breath, one step at a time towards the Master’s room.
One step, two, three, and suddenly the Master burst through the room, rushing past Quara and up the stairs to the main hall. Quara stumbled back against the wall, sank down, and sat. Waiting. Breathing slowly.
Sheldon dashed through the main hall and into the library. Sheldon’s library was extensive, generationally handed down. There were regular books, tomes, articles, and every imaginable script on and in the history of the world.
Sheldon moved quickly. Rifling through the books, grabbing a few, then to the tomes, flipping, blowing off dust, then to the articles and manuscripts doing the same, selecting the ones needed.
They moved all the items gathered to their desk, sprawling out the papers in an array to get the best look. Sheldon lit a couple more candles as the day was dank and dark, as it was often in the East at this time of year, well, at most times of year.
Meanwhile, Quara, catching their breath, hurried up the stairs, through the main hall, and into the library after their Master.
Quara burst into the library and said “Master, what is this all about? You nearly knocked me down the staircase. You gave me an awful fright!” Sheldon did not respond, and continued to study the papers, and books strewn out all over the desktop. Concentrating. Breathing, slowly.
“It’s not hear, I cannot find it, Quara!”
Quara, of course, had no idea what Sheldon was talking about, so probed, “Master, I don’t know what you are talking about. You are supposed to be in meditative practice. I am confused.”
Sheldon continued to search through the papers, combing books, tossing them aside.
“I know it’s here, Quara. It has to be.”
Quara stumped, decided to take a different approach. “Master, why don’t you sit down for a moment, and breathe. You know that it will come to you then.”
Sheldon, not fully hearing Quara, yet sensing reasonableness in the docile way Quara was approaching them, sat down on the floor, closed their eyes, and breathed. Slowly. In, and out. In, and out.
Quara stooped down, sat on the floor across from their Master, and did the same. Concentrating. Breathing, slowly.
5 minutes, turned into, 10, which turned into an hour.
Sheldon opened their eyes, looked at the strewn papers and books littered across the library floor, looked over at Quara, who was still eyes shut breathing, and sighed.
“It’s no use, Quara, I cannot remember where it is. All these years, the Book of Change has been in this library, and now, it is gone. Poof. Gone. I don’t understand it. Cannot understand it.”
Quara slowly opened their eyes, looked at their Master, and also sighed. “Master, I know not where the Book of Change is. Surely it is here. It must be. Where else could it be?”
Sheldon sighed again. Rose to their knees, stood up, and walked over to Quara, lending them a hand, pulling them up.
“Oh, Quara, I am upset, and concerned. That the Book is not here is unsettling, and I fear, not the most unsettling thing that has occurred today.”
Quara looked at their Master quizzically, “Master?”
“In my meditation today, the light brought me a Vision, one that I dare not say overmuch about. Yet know that, though I do not feel change as others do, there are great changes coming, Quara. Changes that will affect the entire world. Nothing will be the same. Nothing is the same.”
Quara started to shake. When the Master had a vision, which did not happen often, something was definitely wrong with the world. “Master, you are frightening me, and I do not understand your meaning.”
“No matter, Quara. It is time. Time to visit the West, and see Lorel.”
Now Quara was more than concerned. Was frightened. “Master, you can’t really mean that. You’ve never travelled to the East. In all the years you have been Master of Castalistidom, you’ve never traveled to the East. Not ever. Oh, Master, you are truly frightening me.”
Sheldon began picking up the papers and books from the floor, organizing them on the desk. They stopped, hands braced on the desk table, sighed, head hanging.
“Of course, you’re right, Quara, and yet, it is my duty to do so. There are only 4 Books of Change on the entire planet. One in the West, South, North, and, well, one that used to be here in the East, yet is no more. We must travel to Lorel. We have no choice.”
Quara, still confused, looked their Master in the eye, chin tucked in, back straight and said, “Very well, Master. I will inform the staff, and get your affairs in order. When do we leave.”
Sheldon smiled, maybe grinned.
“Why, Quara, we are leaving right now.”
Quara, head hanging a bit now, sighed again, picked up his head, and said,