Sometimes it feels like I've spent my whole life trapped inside the loudest silence imaginable. A seething, shrieking hush. This bitten tongue of M'ithriin. These sorcerous hands. Future, past and present all vying for my attention like incessant wraiths. Rabid and open-mouthed just beyond my flame-lit circle of perception. A babbling delirium. I shouldn't be able to see them, or hear them, but I do. Faces painted like a trickster's shades. A thousand negations of unbearable volume. And I wonder, how much screaming silence must I endure? I'm not a prophet's verse or a dealer of death, am I? I suppose I'm many things. Fury and faith. Numen and mercy. So, do I sleep beneath the river – beneath this cathedral earth – and imagine my lost lights are with me once again? The terrifying holy moment that mortals call the drowning. Almost an eternity suspended between breath and crossing. But I already know it wouldn't sate me, or calm the tempest that I am. I've died before. I drowned the day I was born, just as John did. In the oldest waters. Even submerged I hear it. The call of then, of now, of things as yet undone. Brothers, fathers, sons. Sisters, mothers, daughters. The endless midsummer chorus of Amnion. Knights, and Dei. The terrifying loss of those shining mutual affections. These writings help a little, I suppose. These letters of love. Mira'na, Y'ashaya, Karai'el. Truer words were never spoken. But sometimes, if I'm honest, I wish I hadn't stolen your attention in the first place. Sometimes I wish you knew nothing about me at all. I know I shouldn't think like that, my sweet ones. But is it fair in the end, to court and tease angels like this? To torture myself with memories of the old chronology – showing you only the broken, trammelled pieces of this hidden earth? Perhaps I'm only pretending to know the true depths of my Maker's glory. Perhaps I'm just a fragile bard, driven mad by silent screams. I hope not. I hope there's more to an angel's shadow than that. The delirious, free-wheeling highs. The crushing, abysmal lows. I pray they count for something, wingtip to wingtip. And so I ask myself, why even bother mentioning these things again? I've said it all before, haven't I? With far more brevity and wit. Well, I say these things because I need to believe that I'm not alone. That my hand and my words can add richness, insight and joy to the lives of those I love. If I were to truly doubt this, even for a moment, then I would be damned forever. This bitten tongue of M'ithriin. These sorcerous hands. The grief alone would kill me. But I already live amidst shattered speech, among pages both ancient and new. The said and re-said. Written and rewritten. Canto, legend and rumour; the living corpus of any true emissary. Fallen, I want you to know that you have me all wrong. I only feign at forgery. Solipsism is nothing compared to the radiance and bonds of family. Or friends. I know exactly who I am and what I've built. Even if you don’t. So, I'm not about to give up now. Not on love. And neither are the ones I cherish. They pledged it in their deepest thoughts. All of them, scattered about this strange earth. Hear me, beloved ones. The silence has been far too loud for far too long. We have endured too much to walk away. We fight for a greater cause. We stand with a higher power. It's through grace and our combined sacrifice that dreaming is even possible. We carved this table together. From the very flame of perception itself. Did you know? You were there when the disc was hewn and blessed. We were all there, connected. Creating as one. This circle of echoes, and eternity.