We have a certain undeniable privilege here on The Farm in the sense we live in relatively comfortable conditions, without needing to go in search for our necessities. Yet, stagnation has little opportunity to set in because of the ebb and flow in the lives of The Farm's inhabitants and our frequent visitors. Add to this our unexpected jaunts into the realm of adventure, and one has little room to complain of being stifled. Nevertheless, at least I, on occasion, experience a yearning for a more intentional exploration into the realms of the yet unknown, indeed do I at times feel the relentless urge we all feel to expand our proverbial horizons. In other words, I have a desire to broaden my world: to see new lands and meet new friends, to learn, to grow, to be surprised by things now unknown and the changes I witness, to know what lay beyond that distant, beckoning horizon.
So, as my associates and I have given the matter some modicum of thought, I offer the notion that one take the time to look into the distance, into that ever present realm just beyond the next hill, the next village, the next idea, even if it means experiencing a bit of discomfort or having one's beliefs put into question. For as we know, physical discomfort, as from climbing a steep hill or running in play, can provide many benefits; might not the same apply to a broadening of the mind?
Now, not everyone (myself included) has the ability or opportunity for travel to distant places or to meet new friends from faraway lands, but it is my hope the opportunity to read a variety of books and stories is readily available. Books can open an imagination to worlds far distant in space, far distant in time — worlds perhaps rich in wonder and excitement. A good story might just spur a desire for improvement in oneself or one's social or physical environment — a small introduction of a bit of beauty, say. In short, a good story can inspire one to move forward, hopefully in the right direction.
To put it more concisely, stories both real and imagined have the capacity to brighten and expand one's horizons, figuratively speaking. And, if all goes well, I hope one day to meet upon one of those far distant horizons, even if only to rest for a moment and perhaps take in a glorious sunset together.
R. S. Markel has invited Mr. Abselard, a dear porcine friend, confidant, and resident of The Farm, to share a few thoughts on a wide smattering of topics gleaned from the pig's venerable tradition of their morning conversations. We do hope you enjoy this new addition.
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Photograph by Tracy Burke
Welcome. I am a writer and illustrator of novels for young (and young at heart) readers who have a passion for exploring fantastic places, impossible events, and the magic and mysteries of our world. Please feel free to read a bit about my work and peruse the character essays, interviews, and illustrations. I do hope you enjoy this small glimpse into the world of Lillybeth and Hinsberth.
"I am so sorry Mr. Hinsberth. I almost forgot — you are real."
The Edges of Things