Page IV. On Solitude as the Cure For Loneliness

[Several pages have been torn out of the journal before this one, done seemingly in a rush and not very neatly. Several more pages contain only drawings of squirrels and chipmunks.]


I have neglected this task, I fear, as I have neglected many other things. I cannot explain why the ending of the Halfaeron business bothered me so greatly. I have not asked for a new assignment and I do not think another is forthcoming after the first was so badly done. He must have said some thing or other to the village people, as they seem to avoid me more than they had before. It matters not. That is not true, and there is no use in being untruthful to a page which only I will ever read. It matters. I do not like that it matters to me. 


I remember being a girl who did not notice the glances and stares of others. Who did not hear what others said of her, and did not realize that what was said was snide and unfair. At least, I know there was a time when these things did not bother me, and I do not know when it was that I became aware of them. Like waking up, where one thinks ‘yes, I am awake’ a good deal after having already gotten up and made tea and walked halfway around the house. This sort of thing is the waking-up of a cold, damp day with a leaking tent and already-wet boots. It is bothersome, unpleasant, and inescapable. 


All of that to say that I have done the only thing I know how: gone into the woods by myself. I have returned to Tornhad a few times, to leave parcels of herbs and mushrooms and the occasional fish or rabbit for my mother, but there is no one to make snide remarks among the trees and gorges of the Bruinen. It was a great mistake to think of living among ordinary Men, and now I feel I must question whether I even wish to remain close to my own people. 


[The section ends with an inkblot, as though the writer had put the pen down and forgotten to begin again until later. The rest of the page spread is taken up with sketches of various mushrooms, labeled with information on their uses.]