Archives for posts with tag: Lord Akzasosan Suli

‘What is this dust, Akzasosan?’ Berensota asked, gazing up at his friend again, his voice open, almost pleading. ‘Why is there always dust? It is relentless. Once, I spent two months alone, without servants, in a villa belonging to the clan, in the high country of Ezu, among the Fu’unsi Alps, beyond the Gates of Deer. It is a small house. It is very quiet there, isolated from other villas and from villages. And the air is clear there – pure, as if it has just been made…’
12345Berensota tilted his head, and examined his sword hilt from another angle, his oily hair sliding across the side of his face, glittering slightly in the light from the lantern above him.
12345‘I was a ninth-chen lord, and wore the Gram of the Black of Eclipsed Suns – no, really!’ He made a brief, faintly embarrassed face, as if admitting it must be difficult to believe he had ever achieved such a high grade of purity. Then his memory claimed him again. ‘I was preparing for the days of deep meditation, in readiness to attempt illumination, and to achieve the blesséd Rank of the Subtle… You will understand how clarified I already felt: I had been training for years. I had memorised the entire Metal Books of War, and practised the style of zamen perfected by my ancestors, sometimes for ten or eleven hours a day… I felt very strong, Akzasosan.
12345Anyway, I retreated, temporarily, from public life. I read the sutras, and meditated, walked and sat, watching the day and watching the night. For that whole two months, I rarely saw another human being, and then only at distance, as they made their way along a mountain pass, or walked across the alpine meadows there. Supplies were brought to me, by arrangement, from the nearest village, but the villagers came and went without conversation, leaving packages by the door. The villagers understood the purpose of my retreat, and knew I was on holy business. I went into myself. Into the Building…
12345I was not attempting to achieve illumination then and there: for that, I wished to be among my cousins, and with my masters, instructors, my family, my Mark. Yet, I felt illumination was imminent. I felt the transcendent condition, like a seed, deep inside me. My movements were light and my thoughts occurred naturally, without division. Some traditions speak of illumination as the superstate: the state beyond states – and I sensed such an unthinkable condition as being close and possible for me. I would experience the death of the self. I would be illuminated. When I moved, the universe moved; and when I was still, the universe grew motionless. I didn’t seem to require any motive power to walk or stand: there was just a floating sensation. Among the RoMayZine, we say: Grammar grows obsolete; and we mean, that grammar, being dark, can no longer deal with the world as it is when illuminated. Even to speak of “I” is foolish. “I”, “it”, “this”, “that”… All foolish, all dark. But, for me then, I sensed grammar growing obsolete. I was entering the place where lightning is slow, and where brightness is black. I felt beautiful.
12345And then I noticed the dust.’

Excerpt from Dustless | Volume 13 | River Direction

Chen is a measure of spiritual purity. There are ten grades of chen, and each grade is denoted by a colour. Berensota wears the ninth-chen Gram of the Black of Eclipsed Suns. He is in training to reach the highest state of spiritual purity, which, if he achieves it, will permit him to wear the tenth-chen Gram of the White of Drifting Clouds. He will be considered illuminated, a person of visionary powers, and will be promoted from Fine to Subtle Rank.

Zamen is both the product and the state of meditation. People sit in zamen, and enter the Building – the Building Without Motion, the MarIsQuess – which is an enigmatic state, giving masters of the Building celestial powers.

A Mark is a grouping of noble clans. Clans gather under certain Marks – the Shepherd Mark, for example, or the Empty Barrel Mark. Clans of mutual affinity assemble in order to develop their own culture and to trade and support each other.

The RoMayZine is a tradition. Clans who follow the RoMayZine are warrior clans, who place special emphasis on studying and embodying the ancient wisdom of the sutras of the RoMayZuthZine, the Metal Books of War.

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Dustless | Volume 1

A man is a subtle engine, a wonder of nerves and sinew, a thing of shadows and bone, hard, delicate and bound with vision. He is a mix, with heavy stuff rounding with the light. But no one can look closely at the opening of a human eye without realising that here is a focal point of wild beauty, a moment where the universe bends back upon itself and flowers with exhilaration at its own radiant sensitivity, and may recoil in an instant understanding what a hurt may be, and who may cause that hurting.

Excerpt from Stories in the Falling Snow, Volume 3 of Dustless

Dustless | Volume 3

What fury, the storm,
the rain in violence striking down upon the lake.
The waterlilies shake, the surface of the water boils.

But then the clouds pass.
What victory has the rain won,
adding itself to still waters?

Excerpt from Dustless | Volume 18 | The Lover in the Snow [iii]

Dustless | Volume 1

In winter, when I was old, so did the world seem old.
In my heart, there was a memory of you, and no more.

In a bare house, a single blossom shines.

Poem, written by his ancestor, Lady Esayoma Reku, recited by Lord Akzasosan Suli to Lady Shirosakira Kabu on the occasion of her visit to his villa.

Excerpt from Dustless | Volume 18 | The Lover in the Snow [iii]

Dustless | Volume 1

‘…Many of the convict songs were of a low sentiment, impure and ribald; but some, slower ballads or laments, had a kind of base beauty. I have heard a choir of convicts, in a lumber camp in the Central Chun sector, singing in the evening: there was such a terrible sorrow about the song, and the voices, I was unable to listen for long.

When human voices are raised in song sometimes, the word bursts, and the world seems to melt into a state one cannot understand. But even now, gifted by the ancestors with my return to walk again under pure skies, sometimes, in dreams, I hear those deep voices singing, out in the forest as the sun went down. I am unable to encompass with my narrow mind the mix of emotions the sound of those voices stirs in me. What is one to do with the singing of murderers? It is distressing. And when I hear that song, I wake in tears.’

Excerpt from Flowing House, Volume 7 of Dustless



… ‘But the horrible thing was, we didn’t play like children: it wasn’t a game like that. There was something horribly dead about it. I mean, please don’t misunderstand me, I know children play very seriously; and I’m not trying to say they’re just innocents, and can’t be cruel, or whatever: but when they play, Suli, they play. And we weren’t playing like that: we were playing at playing – do you understand? We were just pretending to play – but we couldn’t, anymore: we had no joy, Suli, not even a cruel joy. We were serious – honestly! Holding our little printed rectangles of card! And it was all random, you see: the rules, I mean. Why a King higher than a Queen? Or a four a three? It was all made up: we all just agreed that a King was higher than a Queen. There was nothing in it, Suli: nothing behind it, nothing real. It was just water floating on water. We all agree to play by the rules. Ridiculous!’

Excerpt from Flowing House, Volume 7 of Dustless



And then came one of those moments – increasingly rare, it seemed to Zy – but astonishing when they occurred: a moment when Akzasosan appeared to slip out of the limits of himself, and rise up, unpredictably, towards an entirely different kind of life.

The Lord began to sing.

From the Emperors of Steel to Moin III,
one thing has kept this world pure,
and forged together sky and sea,
made to shine, made to endure:
in the sounds of hammers and the ring of swords,
in the chains of blood and in all our words,
from Moin III to the Emperors of Steel
one thing has bound us, wheel to wheel:
that thing is metal.

Metal daughter, metal son,
we are the Metallic ones:
metal son and metal daughter,
calm in peace, calm in slaughter,
cool, fluent, indestructible,
through our veins runs purest metal,
and – oh, my noble daughter,
oh, my faithful son,
therefore, we are the Metallic ones.

Well, the world it turns and the world it burns,
but always, the world must learn
who alone will rule beneath this lonely sun –
we will, the Metallic ones.

Sleep then, Baby, right through the night
like soft silver, glowing, bright,
sleep my Babe hard and sweet
until Evening and Morning stars meet:
sleep like a metal beyond all dust,
sleep like a metal, through all rust
pass, pure and straight,
through the dawn’s defenceless gates:
and when you rise, rise like a sun,
always a Metallic one.

Fall, my sweet, as light on a lake,
fall, my dear, like white snowflakes:
and when you wake, wake first, wake quick –
for you are my child,
and you, my child,
are Metallic.



The Lord’s singing voice was lighter and higher than his speaking voice: he raised it. The wind had died down, and his voice went up through the cold calmness that had descended on the Sea of Trees.

From the first moment and the first word, Zy felt intensified, alerted, almost painfully so: he stopped breathing. How strange it is, he thought, the difference between the voice that speaks and the same voice entering into song. There is a kind of leap. With the transition from his wry, rather drab speech of the past few minutes to the haunting, twilit melody of the song, the Lord appeared to jump from being one kind of person to another – he seemed expanded, loosened, set free.

And the song itself – was it a kind of lullaby? – had something magical twisted into it, a profound power that instantly called to Zy, and emphasised its own difference from the conditions of normal speech. This was no jahzig song: it had its own beauty, but it was not that of the sunburnt, drought-dazed, aching, empty horizons of peasant melodies – there was a frightening coolness to Akzasosan’s song, its refusal to be quite one thing or another. Its rhythm was irregular, its structure asymmetric. It refused its own order, disdained its own laws. It was warm, and tender, but it was icy, and detached as well. It was gentle, but it was violent. It was a lullaby, but it was a call to arms. And there, out on the wild track running through Ahamuji Forest, when Akzasosan sang into the freezing winter air, it was like lifting a lantern up, and showing it to the world.

Excerpt from Mask [ii], Volume 10 of Dustless

Re-post, with additional text | Original post, April 2015

There was a soothing, very familiar atmosphere of sound and movement as they rode. The padding of the horses’ hooves on the snowstruck ground; an occasional clink of gear; the soft, heavy wrapped-up noises the riders themselves made as they changed position; even Akzasosan’s cough, painful as it sometimes sounded: all of these intimate, close-hung noises, belonging to the riders, were intensified in their intimacy a thousandfold by the sense of the surrounding emptiness of the great forest of the MerZirvora. The riders carried their sounds with them as a firefly carries its light, and in the immense, passive wilderness, the act of riding impressed Zy as being at once reassuringly humdrum, and yet also weird, spectacular – the small scale of people on this wild earth made their feelings at once very unimportant, and yet also precious, somehow, and essential.

Excerpt from Dustless, Volume 10, Mask [ii]

Now they entered a different kind of world. And the ride entered a new phase. For so long, they had struggled to complete their journey, and their world had shrunk, more or less, to the size of a journey. The places they passed through were just places they left behind. Akzasosan had once quoted a philosopher to Zy: The journey forgets its maker, that old Master had said. The journey forgets its maker. Yet, to Zy, it seemed for a long time the complete opposite: the makers forgot the journey. That was how it was, wasn’t it?

How many villages had they passed through or passed by now? A hundred? Yes, easily. How many of them lingered in his mind? Only a handful. Which was the most important one? Well, not any of those Zy had already seen – no. The most important village was the next one – the village Zy hadn’t seen. Why? Because that was the next step on the way.

Excerpt from Dustless, Volume 14 | The Governor of the
Desolate Cantons

The Lord undergoes a medical scan, using ancient Metallic equipment

…The Lord now sat up on the bed, then rolled off it, stepping down gingerly onto the black metal floor. It seemed strange to Zy that the Shion should not be almost hypnotised by the fabulous show of lights and colours, and the beautiful Metallic devices at work. The boy wondered whether there was an element of defiance, a snub, given by the Lord to the whole world of Doctor Gosa? It was also true, though, that the specialised information being displayed could mean little to Akzasosan – perhaps he had merely become saturated by the images.

The Lord regathered his towel around him. Even here, even now, Zy sensed something of the Shion’s inexorable restlessness – the desire to move on, to discharge his responsibility, deliver the letter, and go home.

Zy, though, continued to gaze, fascinated and delighted by what he was seeing. He intuited that there was some sort of systematic flow of information across and between the three separate scans: although it was too quick for him to follow in detail, he could see how, at times at least, an area of the Shion’s anatomy was being selected on the left-hand image, and Gonfi would appear in their circles, seemingly written upon the breast or solar plexus of the pale flesh; then the same site would become the focus of the central scan, where the flesh had been made translucent, and the bones glowed; finally, the scanner would pursue the problem down, further, through enlarged displays on the third screen, at magnifications that seemed to dissolve corporeality entirely, and produce pictures of geometric abstraction, of life beneath life, within life, of structures underlying vision – the very building-blocks of bodies themselves.

Zy watched.

Was this really what lay under his own skin?

He saw a new world. As represented across the fluid scans, the interior of the human body was a thing of pulses and routes, of pumps and junctions, of gases and cavities, valves and lubricants. It was more than a machine: it was a continent, a galaxy. He saw liquids being forced at high pressure along highways. When he had first intuited that the scans were showing him the internal organs of the body, he had looked for a bright red, soft, arrowhead of the human heart, as it was always drawn by children. But there was no such thing: instead, there was a pulsating, muscular creature, something he imagined lived on the seabed.

Teeth grinned at him, lipless, fleshless. The bones of the head had a dummy-like simplicity. Encircled, magnified images showed the boy installations of phenomenal fineness and intricacy. The Lord’s flat belly was revealed to contain a bewildering worm of coiling intestines. At unknown levels of magnification, Zy saw things coursing along through constricted thoroughfares, dashing by, irradiated by deep-hued, electrical light. The Lord’s bones seemed impossibly slender. The basket of the rib cage appeared fatally delicate, dangerously open, as if things should slip out of it easily.

The more he looked, the more Zy found it hard to relate what was appearing there on the wall-screens with his own physiology. There was something slightly monstrous about this splayed and avid thing. Some of the Shion’s disdain for it seeped into the edges of Zy’s feelings. The body was too complicated. There was too much of it. It was not – human. Laid out there, it seemed other. It seemed – unreasonable. Zy could sense why the Lord had sometimes appeared, as he struggled with his infirmity, to regard his own body as an opponent, and an enemy.

But what an implacable enemy…

Extract from River Direction | Volume 13 of Dustless