Smorgasbord – Posts from your Archives – The King’s Wish by Robert Wertzler


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options. Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

Today a story from Robert Wertzler with a moral clause.. If you had one wish and one wish only what would you wish for… and how could you use it to your best advantage against another?

The King’s Wish by Robert Wertzler

Once upon a time there lived a king. He was old and said to be very wise. He had an enemy, a neighbouring king. They had been at war for a very long time, with no end in sight. There was a great hatred between them.

The king had in his court a wizard. From his books and scrolls that had in them the lore of ancient magic and spells in near forgotten languages, the wizard learned of many treasures and things of power that were lost, hidden, or locked away in places near and far. The wizard had some servants he sent out to search the world for these things and bring them back to him. This, he had them do in greatest secrecy. He charged them, on pain of death, to reveal their missions to no being, natural or magical. They knew their master’s skill in the ways of magic, light and dark. They obeyed his command.

One day the wizard came before the king with one of these servants. He whispered some news into the king’s ear. Hearing it, the king ordered all his servants, guards, and ministers out of the room, and out of all the rooms and passageways adjoining the throne room.

When they were alone, the king said, “Now, wizard, what has this servant of yours found?”

“The Wishing Stone of the Enchanter of The Dead Forest, Sire.” the wizard replied, in a voice mixed equally between excitement, pride, and fear.

“I am more ignorant in the tales of magic than you.” said the King, “Does this Enchanter yet live? Need I guard against his vengeance?”

“No, Sire.” said the wizard. “He lived in the time of legend, so long ago that even his castle has crumbled to dust. Of his home, nothing remains but the curse he laid upon the place.”

“The man is dead, and lis curse lives on?”

“Such was his power, My Lord. No living thing can survive a day and a night in that place. An hour on that ground and a man or beast is driven mad. Even the foulest of demons are afraid to venture there.”

“What of this Stone? Is it accursed as well?”

“No, the Stone was made by the Enchanter as a gift to a lesser wizard who had allied with him in some conflict. To the Enchanter, it was but a trinket.”

“Good,” said the king. “Now, I have questions for your servant.”

“He is at your disposal, Sire.” said the wizard. And, he motioned the servant to step forward.

“Have you journeyed long and far to find this Stone?” asked the king.

“Yes, Your Highness, I have been gone from our lands for ten years. I have crossed high mountains, deserts, and two oceans in my search. I have suffered hunger, cold, thirst, and sickness to fulfill my master’s charge. I have succeeded where six others before me have failed and died.”

“And are you quite sure that no human, beast, or spirit in all that time and distance has known or guessed your mission?”

“None, Sire.”

“Then you have done well and I shall reward you. Go and stand half way between here and that window. Look out the window. Soon you will see your bounty.” Saying this, the king pulled on a bell rope to summon a page. When the youth arrived, the king whispered in his ear and the boy ran out again. Soon the sound of a procession reached their ears. Drums and trumpets sounded. As the procession drew near and the sound was loudest, the king came down from his throne to stand behind the servant. He drew his sword and separated the servant’s head from his body with one blow.

As his consciousness faded, the servant heard the king say, “Dead men tell no secrets to the living. Wizard, lay a spell of silence on his ghost.”

Back on his throne, the king addressed the wizard, “Now, what is the power of this Stone?”

“It will grant one wish, Sire.”

“One wish, is that all? What are the limits of the wish?”

“It will grant one wish, with no limit to any person.”

“How do I invoke it?”

The wizard whispered the formula to the king. Then, the king sat long on his throne pondering the stone as it lay before him. When day was nearly gone, the king spoke to the Stone. “Awaken, Stone of the Enchanter. I have a gift to ask of thee.” The Stone began to glow, at first dimly, then brighter. Many colours played and flowed within it. A strange humming filled the room. Within the sound, a word formed. “Speak your wish.” said the Stone.

The king smiled grimly and said, “Stone of the Enchanter, do you know my enemy?”

“Yes, mortal, I know your enemy.” said the Stone.

“Stone of the Enchanter, I will speak my wish now if you are ready.”

“I am ready now to grant your wish.”

“Let my enemy know his heart’s desire.” said the king.
©Robert Wertzler 2017

About Robert Wertzler

Currently I am retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times I like the title, “Recovering Therapist”, but that does seem a bit excessive. In 2006 I retired to move here in Western North Carolina at my father’s request, and found him in the early stages of Dementia. I took care (with some help in the late stages) of him in that worsening condition until he died in late 2013 at the age of 98. Before all that, I worked at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things.

I cannot look down on what anyone finds they can and must do to make their way in the world that is not intended to do harm. An undocumented migrant farm laborer, for example, deserves as much respect as the CEO of a major corporation, perhaps, in some cases, more. Politicians are often a different category.

But, there is a life beyond work and keeping myself fed, clothed, and sheltered, and for me that has been much involved with reading, writing, and listening. I leaned to read and love books from my father reading to me at bedtime and gradually transitioning to me doing the reading. It was not generally those things called “children’s books” that I remember, although there must have been some.

My sharpest memories are of the works of Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson (What 6 year old boy wouldn’t want to meet a real pirate like Long John Silver?), Robert Heinlein, Louis Carroll, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway (age 7 – “The Old Man And The Sea”), and others. Nothing the school presented could hold a candle to those story tellers. I credit whatever skill I have as a writer to that experience, and those examples absorbed as if by osmosis. Parents, whatever else you may do about your children’s education, read to them. Read the great writers and classic stories.

Connect to Robert on his blog and social media.

Blog: https://cabbagesandkings524.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009494928086
Google+ :https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RobertWertzler
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-wertzler-548b97b7/

My thanks to Robert for sharing his post with us and he will be back again next week same time with the final post in his series.

I am so delighted that so many bloggers are sharing posts from their archives that deserve another audience.. MINE.. if you are interested in participating just send four links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am looking for human interest, informative, entertaining and humour…if you would like to promote your books.. then still email but we will look at doing a FREE promotion instead.

If you would like to share some of your archive posts from when you began blogging, then please send up to four links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Advertisements

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – On Listening to Schizophrenia by Robert Wertzler


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options.  Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

Welcome back to Robert Wertzler with the second of his posts in his series of four. Today the subject is Shizophrenia and the need by anyone suffering from any mental illness to be listened to and understood. It is fair to say that many of us shy away from both the subject and those that we know or assume are suffering from mental illness. However, most of us will encounter it in one form or another in our family and close friends. This post will definitely give you a different perspective that will guide your approach to disease of the mind going forward.

On Listening to Schizophrenia by Robert Wertzler

I have written elsewhere on the subject of listening to those afflicted with mental illness, especially to those diagnosed with schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorder without the assumption that they do not or cannot make sense. In his own account of his psychosis, treatment, and recovery, John Perceval, an English gentleman who became psychotic in 1830 puts the case more clearly than I can:

That need to be understood, or at least for someone to be willing to listen and to try to understand is universal. Someone in the throes of psychosis, or depression, or anxiety, or flashback of PTSD, or mania is no different. Another thing which Mr. Perceval makes clear in his account in his very detailed telling of his hallucinations and delusions, and how he was dealt with by others, is that he remembered all of it. I think that too often when someone is seen as not making sense, it is assumed they will not remember when they are in some less disturbed frame of mind. He shows us that it ain’t necessarily so.
He has little good to say about the “lunatic doctors” who tried to treat him. From his pen that term seems to carry more than one meaning.

I have found among the various blogs and posts only a few writers from the lands of schizophrenia and schizo-affective. From knowing those I worked with who had these labels, I can see how that would be very difficult for many. But, I hope that more of those who can, even with help, even poorly will try. We, who have been fortunate enough not to have experienced such states of mind can only do no more than guess (often badly) what it is if the stories are not told. If a first draft comes out like what is popularly called a “psychotogram,” that’s ok. You can edit and rework it if need be. If it comes as poetry, or with drawings (like a graphic novel, perhaps), or a vlog, that’s great. There are eyes ready to read and ears ready to hear.

And to those who know such folk as family, friends, peers, and care givers, listen. If you don’t understand, still do not dismiss. However strange the story, see the person before the “disease.” They really are there.

Since first writing this I’ve realized that the end of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is also significant in this context:

So, he who has heard the Mariner’s tale is also changed. We are not told what he has learned or what he makes of it, but changed he is. We are told only that he is wiser. In the end, this is why such tales as Percival’s need to be told and heard, that both the teller and the hearer may find wisdom and, in the Mariner’s words, “loveth well.”

©Robert Wertzler 2017

About Robert Wertzler

Currently I am retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times I like the title, “Recovering Therapist”, but that does seem a bit excessive. In 2006 I retired to move here in Western North Carolina at my father’s request, and found him in the early stages of Dementia. I took care (with some help in the late stages) of him in that worsening condition until he died in late 2013 at the age of 98. Before all that, I worked at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things.

I cannot look down on what anyone finds they can and must do to make their way in the world that is not intended to do harm. An undocumented migrant farm laborer, for example, deserves as much respect as the CEO of a major corporation, perhaps, in some cases, more. Politicians are often a different category.

But, there is a life beyond work and keeping myself fed, clothed, and sheltered, and for me that has been much involved with reading, writing, and listening. I leaned to read and love books from my father reading to me at bedtime and gradually transitioning to me doing the reading. It was not generally those things called “children’s books” that I remember, although there must have been some.

My sharpest memories are of the works of Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson (What 6 year old boy wouldn’t want to meet a real pirate like Long John Silver?), Robert Heinlein, Louis Carroll, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway (age 7 – “The Old Man And The Sea”), and others. Nothing the school presented could hold a candle to those story tellers. I credit whatever skill I have as a writer to that experience, and those examples absorbed as if by osmosis. Parents, whatever else you may do about your children’s education, read to them. Read the great writers and classic stories.

Connect to Robert on his blog and social media.

Blog: https://cabbagesandkings524.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009494928086
Google+ :https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RobertWertzler
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-wertzler-548b97b7/

My thanks to Robert for sharing his post with us and he will be back again next week same time.

If you have up to four blog posts in your archives that you would like to share with my audience, then send the links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Thanks for dropping by.. Sally

Posts from Your Archives – We Are Stories by Robert Wertzler of Cabbage and Kings


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options.  Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

A new blogger to the series  is Robert Wertzler of Cabbages and Kings and his first post is about how we as humans create stories, almost with an instinctive need to communicate with each other and sometimes with pets and inanimate objects.. I had a pet rock!  I am sure you will enjoy.

We Are Stories by Robert Wertzler

It has been said the man is the story making animal. We are really quite compulsive about it. From gossip and tweets to tomes of history and scripture to novels to sweet nothings in the night, we make stories. We fill libraries and cable channels and theaters and bar stools with them. We have painted them on the walls of caves and tombs and every other possible surface, carved them in stone, inscribed them on clay tablets, sculpted them in clay and stone and bronze, and told them in dance and mime and music. When we wake from sleep, somehow we know that today is a continuation of the story of yesterday, that the “I” of the morning is the same “I” that went to sleep. I have seen too that peculiar form of devastation we call dementia in which a person looses their stories until the time line of their life is only the last few minutes. There is a thing that humans do which, when I think on it, looks to be made of stories. We call it mental illness.

What are the voices and visions of schizophrenia doing but telling stories? Is not much of OCD built on stories of what could or will happen if a certain act is not done just so or avoided at all cost? And the dark whisperings of grief, guilt, unworthiness, and disaster of depression, are these not stories? So are the fantasies of invincibility and ecstasy in mania. The implacable worries of anxiety are woven of stories. Even when they torment us or lead us into folly, we cannot resist the story making instinct. Of course, over the centuries we have made many different stories of how those conditions happen.

At an even more basic, deeper level we are another story. From the first strands of DNA that intertwined into the double helix and leaned to separate and copy themselves, and then how to combine with others into new pattens, we each and every other living thing on Earth are the latest telling of a story. That tale of leaning, adapting, survival, and of ancestors beyond counting has been told in every one of us, our shape and structure down to our most basic chemical details. Now, we learn that even our personal stories of pain, joy, trauma, success, stress, and excitement is noted in our epigenetic inheritance and passed on.

We go to stories for so many reasons. In what those of the theater call The Scottish Play we find a cautionary tale of ambition. In Othello, among others, the price of listening to the counsel of jealousy. We go to hear of tragedies that make any of ours seem bearable, for romance, for adventure, for laughter. We go across seas with Odysseus sharing his hope of returning home to the land and woman he loves. In The Mahabharata, the great Vedic epic, on the eve of battle the hero Arjuna is assailed by doubts and the god Krishna sits him down to explain the nature of life, Karma, and reality while the world holds its breath, and gives us the teaching recorded as the Gita. We go to stories for inspiration and wisdom too. We have made stories of creation, seeking explanation of how the world came out of nothingness or primal chaos, how life and consciousness arose, that greatest of all mysteries. We go to our books to borrow, like Mr. Poe, surcease of sorrow. We go too to learn what love is in all its variety.

Our stories matter. We live in them and through them. They shape how we see the world and our place in it. The story is told of the wise man who sat by a road. Travelers would stop and ask him what the people were like in the city ahead. He would ask what the people were like in the city they had come from. They would say whatever they said about that, and he would answer that they would find the same sort ahead. Our stories matter, those we choose, and those that choose us. Each one we invent or encounter becomes part of us and we of it. The ones we create together are our relationships, our cultures, our histories. They always matter. We live them. They live in us. Feed the best of them.

©RobertWertzler 2017

About Robert Wertzler

Currently I am retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times I like the title, “Recovering Therapist”, but that does seem a bit excessive. In 2006 I retired to move here in Western North Carolina at my father’s request, and found him in the early stages of Dementia. I took care (with some help in the late stages) of him in that worsening condition until he died in late 2013 at the age of 98. Before all that, I worked at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things.

I cannot look down on what anyone finds they can and must do to make their way in the world that is not intended to do harm. An undocumented migrant farm laborer, for example, deserves as much respect as the CEO of a major corporation, perhaps, in some cases, more. Politicians are often a different category.

But, there is a life beyond work and keeping myself fed, clothed, and sheltered, and for me that has been much involved with reading, writing, and listening. I leaned to read and love books from my father reading to me at bedtime and gradually transitioning to me doing the reading. It was not generally those things called “children’s books” that I remember, although there must have been some.

My sharpest memories are of the works of Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson (What 6 year old boy wouldn’t want to meet a real pirate like Long John Silver?), Robert Heinlein, Louis Carroll, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway (age 7 – “The Old Man And The Sea”), and others. Nothing the school presented could hold a candle to those story tellers. I credit whatever skill I have as a writer to that experience, and those examples absorbed as if by osmosis. Parents, whatever else you may do about your children’s education, read to them. Read the great writers and classic stories.

Connect to Robert on his blog and social media.

Blog: https://cabbagesandkings524.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009494928086
Google+ :https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RobertWertzler
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-wertzler-548b97b7/

My thanks to Robert for sharing his post with us and he will be back again next week same time.

If you have up to four blog posts in your archives that you would like to share with my audience, then send the links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Thanks for dropping by.. Sally