Frequently Asked Questions

Why "Arms of Undertow"?

"arms of undertow" is a direct nod to the song "great below", the closing track on the left half of the nine inch nails album "halo 14: the fragile". "great below" is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful songs i have ever heard. it is peaceful, dark, melancholic, and very quietly sad. introspective, i consider it art worthy of being taken as inspiration. trent reznor, in my opinion, in a truly talented artist.

Why the imagery of the boatman?

mythology has fascinated me for as long as i can remember. raised by a minister and having a family tradition of storytelling, the folklore aspect of religion fascinated me. where else did things that only i could dream of occur? and people believed in it, at one point. it was something that existed just for me to read, just for me to dream. i loved mythology. i continue to love it to this day.
charon is the ferryman across the river styx in traditional greek mythology. he is shown usually as a gaunt man or skeleton, wearing a solid black cowl, and poling across the river of the dead. charon typically required payment for this, hence the tradition of placing two copper or silver coins either on the eyes or under the tongue of the dead. those who cannot pay must wait eternally upon the banks of styx, unable to enter the afterlife. styx is not a river of forgetfullness, like the river lethe. it is a river of mourning, for it is where you know that you are dead, and once you cross it, you never come back.

That doesn't answer my question.

sorry. got sidetracked.
charon just struck me as the sort of feeling i get when i face the world i am in. it is not my role to save people, nor to damn them. it is my role merely to guide them, and keep them from harm until the time comes that they have no more need of me. it is a quiet life, sometimes. it is a lonely life, sometimes. it is a fufilling life, sometimes.
At least, it is life, sometimes.

You say "sometimes" quite a bit. You don't seem very decisive. Why?

i hold very little to be permanent in this world. it is chaotic, unpredictable, and unsteady. i try to be truthful. i cannot be truthful and definitive all the time. i can only control myself. i do not wish to ever control the world.

You also refer to yourself as the Wandering Monk. Why?

the name consists of two, equally vital parts. wandering is something that has been a base part of my soul since its conception. i am someone who is driven, though by what or who, i do not know. i do not even know to what. i just know that i am driven. for that reason, i search. to search, i wander. it seems to work best that way.
the monk was what i once used to refer to the better parts of my psyche. i am rather disjointed at times, and have three distinct aspects. monk was the one who embodied my "good" parts. my positive emotions, my love, my drive, my curiousity, my sense of adventure, my kindness, my caring, my need to be needed, my philosophical side, my poetic side, my writer side. this aspect became dominant through the troubles i experienced and the love i recieved, and has incorporated the others to a certain amount while keeping the core of the soul.

You said three aspects. What are the other two?

wraith was my intellect. wraith was bitter, aloof, almost cruel. emotion was not a foreign concept to it, but it did not feel emotion. pragmatic with an edge, it often hurt, tore, and evicerated other people verbally out of simple expedience. next time, they would not get in its way. i hated wraith and i hate what i became when it was dominant. it was my personal demon. wraith was not all bad, though. my ironic sense of humor was in wraith, as was my love of systems, especially the way people thought. wraith, luckily, is no more.

beast is my third aspect. rooted in base, physical desires and actions, beast thought the very least of my three aspects. impetuous and tempestuous, beast was almost unpredictable. almost. beast preferred things simple, direct, and physical. beast was a deadly competitor and aggressive as hell itself. not evil, merely dark, beast was the seat of my anger, rage, hate, jealousy, hunger, and lust. on the final one, wraith had no use for others, and monk loved them. beast sought direct physical satisfaction. i had strong instincts. beast still lives, but he is controlled. i fence, giving beast an outlet. he does not come out often, but i can feel him, prowling around back there. he just waits for when he can be free.

Why did the monk win the battle between the three aspects?

simply put, i met my soulmate. she saved me from my own darkness by making me want to be her light. i love her with my entire being, and wraith could not love, so he ceased to exist. beast loves her, and focuses on the protective, and the physical desire of her. it gave the beast the ability to function beyond the base lust. beast was tamed by love.
the monk was the most in touch with this love. since this love for her dominates my being, it is simple to see why the part of my soul that is devoted to love became dominant. she is the flame in the center of my existence. she is the one that i sought, and that i now cherish. it is for her that i now seek. i must grow, so that i will love her more.

That's all well, and good, but can you please stop sounding like a lovestruck fool?

i am a romantic. i believe that no matter what, life is beautiful. it may hurt, it may tear, it may be horrible, but it is still beautiful. there is a peace in that knowledge, a peace that knowing, deep inside, everything is going to be alright. people do not believe me, and certainly do not expect someone whom looks like me to be a romantic. i do not care. let the world have its misconceptions about me. i see the truth. i can sometimes see the beauty. and i love every minute of this dreary, mundane existence.

Oh, God. A Romantic. You realize what that means?

yes, i do. it means that i am probably crazy, that i am open to every attack from every cynic who wants to make a name for themself, that i hold such high hopes that they are dashed to pieces easily? so be it. i don't want to be any other way. bite me. ::smiles lovingly::

You can't end a statement with a question mark!

i reiterate. bite me.

Any last comments before we release the reader to peruse the rest of your pitiful cry for attention?

sure. enjoy!

v1.0 6/11/2000