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Lennier of the Third Fain of Chu'Domo

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Further Adventures in Cross-Culturalism (Locked to Londo) [18 Dec 2004|08:29pm]
[ mood | pleasantly vengeful ]

This is the third day Lennier has fasted from sleep, as was necessary to sanctify the kitchen, purge the joint Minbari quarters of worldly possessions (to his shame, he found he still retained an instruction manual written in Feek, a secular tongue!), and prepare all 103 necessary tools. The timing is perfect; Delenn is spending some time in Starkiller's quarters, which always gets Lennier in a cooking mood, although he can't say why. He brandishes a knife with a grim---no, a serene---smile, and sets it down with the seventeen others.

When Londo steps inside, it is to a dim room. The air is thick and lazy with spices. Candlelight illuminates a long, sleek table, gleaming with bowl after bowl after bowl, filled with everything from transclucent globules to something small and smoking. And the entire place absolutely bristles with chrome impliments.

Lennier bows in greeting.


A'shi beya'tashk a'Flarn, Ambassador.

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What Do You Want For Your Birthday? [09 Dec 2004|03:51pm]
[ mood | confused ]

Dream interpretation is an important part of the Chu'Domo tradition. While contemporary Human wisdom states that dream dictionaries are ineffectual, as symbols vary in meaning from person to person, Minbari hold that in our sleep-state we access a common mindscape, sharing a common symbolic language. For this reason, the Second Fain considers it their sacred duty to compile a single great dream dictionary, and guard its accuracy with constant attention and revision.

While there are a few things I would not mind being gifted for my Birthday (such as patience, wisdom, and those intellectually intriguing Valley O'Death!!: Mega-Gore Killz0rrz™ trading cards), a copy of the Second Fain's dictionary would be welcome indeed. I can remember only little of it, which can be frustrating.

Actually, I had a dream about my Birthday last night...Collapse )

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What Were the Best 24 Hours of Your Life? [06 Dec 2004|09:58pm]
[ mood | wound-up ]

They ended at dawn. Delenn was blinking back frustrated tears, and I had failed her, but this time I had never felt so happy. Her scalp was red, and my fingers, too; I was standing behind her, smiling at her reflection at the mirror. "This is a temporary setback," I told her. "Commander Ivanova will know how to solve your problem."

"This is not the way it was supposed to be."

I tried the comb once more, hooking it into her mess of hair. I pressed my palm to her scalp and gently tugged, leaning in close. When she had emerged from the Chrysalis, each hair hung in shining isolation, but now she rivalled such Human legends as the Pharaoh Phawcet. She was so upset when she woke up, horrified that the strands snarled and intersected in a hundred impossible ways, knotting together and breaking if she forced them apart. So all day, from Sun Shiar to Sun Chenek to Moon Shiar-e, I worked out ways to straighten them for her.

Disentanglement.Collapse )

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What would you place in a personal ad if you were making one? [01 Nov 2004|11:27am]
[ mood | disapproving ]

I am sure that all the responses of my friends were correct and in line with their own beliefs. There is virtue in diversity, and so I welcome and support all the intriguing descriptions of all of you. How nice it is to celebrate courtship rituals in such a fashion.

Please ignore me while I upload this extra data crystal onto my diary.

There is nothing to see here, O folkCollapse )

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Are You Adventurous? [24 Sep 2004|06:58pm]
[ mood | "crrrazy!" [<---sic.] ]

I have spoken with a few people concerning this matter. It appears that the majority opinion is that I am not adventurous. However, I believe this to be a misconception; surely it is stereotype that leads many to believe that a Minbari religious caste acolyte must lead a quiet, uninteresting life. In order to prove this, I have compiled a list illustrating my adventurous nature:

• I vary the time I spend each day on meditation wildly, sometimes as little as an hour, others as much as an hour and fifteen minutes.

• I often court social danger, even implying opinions almost contrary to persons I respect.

• Once, during a solemn ritual, I took an extra sip of the ceremonial liquid we call Shal'Neyat.

Actually, the list is exhaustive and far too long to post here. Surely, however, the impression has been made. And if there is no hero in me, I do not wish to know it. There is, and someday I will prove it.

I will prove it.

14 comments|post comment

How Do You Handle Disappointment? [09 Sep 2004|07:03am]
[ mood | completely and utterly happy ]

During my designated hour of personal time yesterday, I withdraw to my quarters to watch the station's Public Channels. Normally I would see one of the great human Romance Sagas such as "The Street of the King's Crowning" or "The Young and the Unenlightened" (both of which have been dubbed into Adronato), but on this occassion I saw a program in which a young woman---designated the Host---offered "tips" for certain domestic activities. Since a great deal of my friends and acquaintances seem to be experiencing disappointment, perhaps I can share the lessons of my life in a similar manner.

• PROBLEM: An uninvited guest insists on tagging along. This might be an uncomfortably distant acquaintance, a friend with whom you have spent enough time already, or maybe a species who killed your family, stole your true love, and destroyed your religious beliefs. SOLUTION: Make friends! There is nothing you can do to send him/her/them away, and it would be unseemly to make a fuss.

• PROBLEM: You have made an extremely embarrassing mistake. Maybe it is one which dishonours all and/or threatens the life of yourself and others. SOLUTION: Deny reality. This is a traditional Minbari approach which gives others the opportunity to save face. Instead of saying, "Alas, thanks to my foolishness I must kill my friend," say: "What a strange experience intoxication is. Tell me what has happened."

• PROBLEM: Your heart pains you. Perhaps you are compelled by custom, for example, to listen to someone you hate explore the pleasure centres of someone you love. SOLUTION: Smile, for justice is being served! Your soul is being punished for past misdeeds.

And that is my assessment of the general. To answer the specific question:

Q: How do I handle disappointment?
A: I try to handle my life with a certain equanimity.

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What Is The Most Important Value You Can Pass On to Your Child? [20 Aug 2004|07:59pm]
[ mood | mixed ]

This is an odd question. I cannot tell if "you" is being used in the colloquial English sense of "one" or if it truly refers to an imaginary son or daughter.

If the former meaning is correct, the most important value a child can be taught is restraint. This was perhaps the hardest lesson for all of us in temple to learn, unfortunately. Being in a class with so many ill-behaved children was not a pleasant experience. For example, Fann Starrider (or "He who is unable to pick up on playful subtext" as we jokingly named him) continuously picked his headbone. He would wipe the combination of secretion and dust on the robes of whomever was unfortunate to sit in front of him. This person was often me. When I discovered what he was doing, my teacher had to also teach me the value of restraint, as I was eager to practice my martial arts upon Fann.

So, restraint is necessary, not only as a value in and of itself, but to prevent disgust and massive bodily injury in others.

If the latter meaning is correct... I cannot imagine being a father. If, contrary to all destinies, I were to be so blessed, I would teach my child this: Never think that heaven is not for you. Heaven is not hidden behind the next life, or the next, or the next; there is no veil between you and the holy.

Never think that happiness is not for you. What you know in your heart to be right and good will happen--

No. The most important lesson a child can learn is restraint.

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Should One Keep One's Enemies Closer Than One's Friends? [12 Aug 2004|10:11pm]
[ mood | wary ]

No, of course not. Enemies can corrupt the heart by their proximity; they begin to exert their bad influence, granted enough time. Conversely, well-chosen friends keep the mind and spirit pure. We have a saying about this: trouble follows trouble, as sure as vomit follows pri'renn.

(Pri'renn, by the way, is a minor deformity in which the headbone starts at the nape of one's neck, curving downward. It has been referred to by humans as "the Minbari mullet.")

For that reason, I have been taught to hold no conversation with those that speak evil.


The shame of memes is to be hidden.Collapse )

OOC: I find the results eerily good, even if he doesn't.

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What makes you jealous? [31 Jul 2004|08:40pm]
[ mood | jealous ]

The greatest---as humans would say---cliche in Minbari literature runs like this:

A priest is chosen as Satai, and because of his adamant adherence to pedantic detail soon begins to make trouble for others. A firey, almost brutish Warrior (childhood friend of the Satai) tries to change his ways, but to no avail. Finally, the Satai's too-literal interpretation of one of the sayings of Valen lands the Warrior Caste in considerable trouble by beginning a war, and his friend is likely to die as a result. Knowing she is about to die, the proud warrior begins to pray and believe for the first time in her life; meanwhile, the bookish priest is forced to rescue her. He clumsily dons armour and takes the field himself, surprising everyone by saving the day. She gains glory by reconnecting her soul to the greater spirit world around her. They realise they have fallen in love and the story ends.

Minbari artists do not seek escape from formula. Rather, they disguise it, reinvent it, tell it in microcosm, or expand it to macrocosm. Sometimes they are both children, and sometimes they are entire clans. But in whatever form, every one of us has the story etched into them from our earliest days, and sometimes I believe we all secretly imagine ourselves as one of the heroes. I know that whenever the priest bursts in just in time to rescue her, getting a chance to play knight to his once-proud and indefeatable beloved, I feel---

I will not say sechli sakarr. But it is possible the sensation is what is meant by jealousy.

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Babcom Transmission [21 Jul 2004|11:14am]
[ mood | shocked and mortified ]

Delenn!

I---I can explain. I believe I can explain everything.

shall_mayan is a poet, correct? Surely she was composing a tell'ah in metaphors drawn from real life. The format is... unusual, but then, Shall Mayan has been known to use highly experimental styles in order to convey her messages of peace, love freedom, and harmony.

In her latest work, she seems to have chosen political figures to represent key elements of disturbance in our society. The verse-Delenn is clearly the Grey Council. She has chosen you, evidently, because your departure from the Council can be paralleled to a perceived departure of the real Council from its historical role as a righteous ruling body.

Meanwhile, verse-Lennier, with his sycophantic and ridiculous lusts, seems to be the Warrior Caste. His seeking of more than what he deserves with Delenn explores the power grab behind the ascension of Satai'Neroon. Her depiction of Lennier as a foolish, overreaching and most of all unbalanced individual is a scathing critique of this. There is also a snipe taken at the Warriors' overblown machismo when she alludes to his gender confusion. I thought this was particularly witty.

Finally, her ironic advice parodies the movement itself, shifting from sarcasm to honesty.

I. I believe---I am not a poet. But if she were to ask me for advice I might criticise the aesthetically unsound line you should NEVER reveal your emotions. "Never" is too solid a word for a tell'ah about pushing boundaries, would you not agree?

As to the content itself... can there be some small wisdom behind the movements of Satai'Neroon? Could it be true that those who suffer more might expect some reward? It is possible that Valen Sinclair did not see everything.

I am skilled in neither politics nor poetry. I would be honoured to hear your own interpretation.

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What Is Your Dream Occupation? [09 Jul 2004|02:21pm]
[ mood | content ]

This is not the profession I had dreamed of.

But I think, looking back, that I rarely dreamed at all. My heart was buried in sacred texts, my mind in permutations/combinations so important in their own right that I saw no metaphors in the formulas. My assignment here was a... shock. Perhaps an apt way to describe it would be reality (or something approximating it) ambushing me. Since I arrived here, no doubt that this is my true calling has entered my head.

Well, once. During the Minbari Musical*, Enlightenment!: The Romantic Comedy Opera, the character of the Space-Pirate King intrigued me deeply. Despite wearing what is pan-culturally considered effeminate clothing, in this case tights, he still seemed masculine even by Human standards. His swashbuckling nature and Valen-may-care attitude were impressive, to say the least. For a moment or two, I really was seized with the desire to be a Pirate King myself. But of course, this is greatly impractical. Besides, a greater feeling of heroism can sometimes be gleaned simply by standing at the side of one so great as she.

____________________
OOC: This is somewhat canon, shockingly enough. In the first season, the computer can be heard saying in the background, "Seats for the Minbari musical are still available..."

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The Food of the Heart [02 Jul 2004|01:56pm]
[ mood | studious ]

Here is a fact I found interesting: the humans, whose musical diversity is staggering compared to our own, have an entire genre of vocal arrangements dedicated to praising the object of their affections. While they can be as narrative as Minbari poetry, they more often win praise for holding universal appeal. Intuitively, they are called love songs. And I have been researching them.

The song I have just finished evaluating is the ancient chant "She is a House of Brick" by an unnamed bureaucrat of the rank of Commodore. The tenderness expressed in the lines truly resonates across ages, cultures, and species. One line which moved me deeply was the lyric "36/24/36---what a winning hand!" My analysis of it reveals the numbers to be an allusion to the woman's age being irrelevant to her value and beauty; the "winning hand" of course is one that is ripe for marriage. This line is especially touching given the rarity of nuptial imagery in human songs.

All of this is part of my plan to be a little more cosmopolitan and live a more emotionally rich life, as per the suggestion of Ambassador Mollari. The assignment I have set for myself includes the studying and perhaps composition of love songs (in an attempt to woo life itself), and more open displays of kindness towards my friends. A carefully groomed boistrous manner may not be out of place, either, but my practice of it before a mirror has yielded very unsatisfactory results.

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What Do You Most Regret Losing? [01 Jul 2004|11:09pm]
[ mood | detached ]

Strange.

I do not believe that I have ever lost anything. In the temple, everything was held in common. I remember clearly the wardrobe where our shifts hung in identical rows, its peeling crystalline doors roughened instead of smoothed by our hands.

The first thing I owned I received the first time I left the temple (it was a few hundred paces from the sacristy to the station-bound tube). I was given clothing suitable for an aide, beautiful enough to reflect the dignity of my superior, simple enough to state my position of service. My clothes are still the only items I own. And I have not lost them, so no regret is possible there.

Of course, it is possible that the question refers to a person, or a connection. In the temple, it was almost as if emotions were held in common as well. Feelings were spread out equally over all my fellows, so what might have concentrated into affection was a neutral goodwill.

When I finally gained a strong sentiment, I found that it is not mine, either. It is something to be offered daily, as best and humbly and purely as I can.

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Holy Day [30 May 2004|10:16pm]
[ mood | wistful ]

If you could invent a holiday, what and when would it be? What special traditions would take place on that day?

I... I cannot express how glad I am that this question was asked. As a matter of fact, yes, yes I have sometimes wondered if our rich religious tradition has let certain matters fall by the wayside. And so, as a young acolyte, I began formulating a little ceremony of my own. Recently I decided it was really better suited to a purpose all but neglected in Minbari ritual; I do hope you will read this, as you might say, fruit of my labours:

Holy Day for the Thanking of Ones who have Not Been ThankedCollapse )

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What would constitute a "perfect" evening for you? [27 May 2004|10:42am]
[ mood | contemplative ]

A... perfect evening. It is a very human phrase. We Minbari believe that perfection can only be achieved through what you might call force of will, and so one can only perfect oneself. It takes consciousness; an evening can no more be perfect than it can, say, light a candle.

Which is why I was intrigued when Mr Garibaldi invited me to what he called a Perfect Evening. When I explained the doctrines of our people on the subject, he seemed at best uninterested. "You don't get it," he said, although he was the one displaying lack of understanding. "I'll be cooking."

But of course, the spaghetti was not striving to better itself. The musicians in the recording he played were often behind. And although he was uncomfortably unaware, Mr Garibaldi himself was not zippered to human standards of decorum (my gestures, intended to alert him, failed; his own phrase of choice, "Barn door's open, dumbass!" seemed to lack sufficient tact). During our longest silence, which he spent cheerily chewing a clove of garlic, I thought about another imperfection: we were only two.

There is nothing wrong with the number; indeed, I sometimes find myself wishing for more of it. But in this case, for aesthetic reasons, we should have been three. I would have liked a third face, a third voice, a third smile to chide and reassure at the same time.

I had no one specific in mind. The number is simply required to achieve aesthetic perfection.

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