Reference:Atrus's journal entries from cyan.com
These journal entries are taken from Cyan's old website, circa 2004. They have been replicated here for safe-keeping.
Ancam Age Journal
After only one visit to this age I am already astounded by its variety. Though I intellectually understood what this age would contain, I couldn't have imagined its beauty. I couldn't have imagined the delightful dance that is reenacted every day as almost all of the organic and inorganic objects on this island respond to the light of the sun or the change in temperature. The trees alone have held me spellbound. At night they bend their soft, thin trunks, lying across the landscape and hills, looking like so many serpents sleeping under the light of the moon. When morning arrives they begin to move: to twist, to lift, to pull themselves toward the light of the rising sun. The forest literally rises up out of the dim landscape, lifting thousands of branches and broad, thick leaves high above the ground. And then, as the trees warm, their pale blue color begins to change to green, as the new color spreads throughout the length of their graceful trunks. As noon approaches, the green becomes a yellow-orange.
I can hardly suppress my excitement! What treasures are waiting for me here!
Atrus, first entry to the Ancam Age Journal
Everdunes Age Journal
The nature of this world thrives in spite of the harsh conditions I imposed upon it in my writing. High temperature and lack of surface water are not enough to disallow vegetation or even animal life. During my first visit I had assumed the arid land would support nothing, or at least only plants and animals similar to the arid lands at home. Upon arrival my assumption was confirmed: barren dunes of sand, or at least I thought so at first. Closer inspection revealed a subterranean plant structure just beneath the sandy surface. I discovered it by simply walking - I sank in at one point to my knees. The growth of the plants opened up small areas of oxygen beneath the surface where tiny animals and insects can be found. I am ever amazed at the diversity found in the undefined elements, those elements between the lines of my script, the very writings of the Maker that continue to dwarf my "creativity" at every stroke.
Atrus, Everdunes Age Journal
Gravitation Age Journal
A light show in the cosmos. I have only to sit back and enjoy as the events unfold from my vantage point. This is why I write. This is my reward. Months of calculations and computations, orbits within orbits within orbits. Now I have moons, large and small, not with simple circular orbits, but which rise quickly, slow to a halt, and then dance off at right angles, or rest at the horizon. Meteors that skim the surface of the atmosphere, brightening the night. Suns, not one or even two, but six, all varying in intensity and color, attracting each other with silent waves. Until now, I have only seen this complexity on paper, in diagrams and in formulas, only imagining what it would look like. Now it is real! Fleeting but real. I write in haste, waiting for the last show before I leave, for the diversity and complexity is this age's undoing. No, undoing is not the right word, for though I will never be able to return here, the show will continue with even greater beauty and drama! When the unstable orbits decay, the suns will collide, and the real show will begin! And that is a show that I can still only imagine.
Atrus, Gravitation Age Journal
Oasis Age Journal
Its velvet skin brushed my face as I lay engulfed in the field of tall, cool clover. I sit upright and my eyes open to colors and objects so subtle that my mind cannot comprehend nor recall. I gaze at the field as the air's gentle breath whispers across my face taking with it the weeping leaves of the eucalyptus. Why? Why had I not noticed before? Surely I should know them. I "created" them. My own pen held so often in my hand. But still my mind reels, grasping for the familiar. The known. The comfortable. But is this not why I came? My desire to experience the subtleties and pleasures of my own skill so often quenched by my stronger pull to simply "create". A view to behold. I sit mesmerized for hours letting the silence speak its own language, a language that I somehow understand. The cool clover receives my body once again. I close my eyes and dream.
Atrus, Oasis Age Journal
Shimar Age Journal
I finally inhale the thick air with its damp aroma of warm sulfur. The ground beneath my feet moves with gentle subtleties as I peer into the white hot creator's vastness. I stand motionless, viewing this living...event. I am astonished at its life reflected in my eyes. I never dreamed the simple strokes of my pen could have such crushing consequence, yet retain an inner beauty as this. No life in the traditional form is visible. My leaves from earlier works have no home here. Heavy clouds filled with moisture are not welcome. Somehow, though, this all still ebbs and flows as a living being, moving me atop its back with little care or thought. My presumed significance is now in perspective.
Atrus, Shimar Age Journal
Herelding Age Journal
The starflies swarmed around me as I walked through the forest, attracted by the light of my lamp. Soon their numbers increased to such an extent that my light seemed insignificant compared to the light that they emitted. At this point I decided to turn my lamp off and walk away to see if they would disperse. Quite the contrary! Instead, their number continued to grow. Standing a few yards away from the swarm, I watched them in amazement... an orb of light slowly growing and forming great shapes, acting almost as a single organism. First they group closely together, looking like a miniature sun! Now they spread apart, forming a great, spherical helix! Now, they form a spherical, undulating web! How these unintelligent creatures communicate, I know not. Who conducts this beautiful dance?
Atrus, Herelding Age Journal
Though their fevers persist, I feel I am helpless to assist them. It comforts me to know, however, that at least this horrid disease is not fatal.
It begins with the tremendous fevers, violent shaking, and great chest pains. The fevers are followed by a stage of dreamy delirium, during which the diseased person sleeps persistently, only infrequently half-waking to mutter confused utterances. After this relative calm comes the most painful third stage, when the diseased awakes in a state of frenzied madness. They stare wildly with glazed eyes, screaming and clawing at their own bodies. As this stage progresses, they become dangerous, even violent in some cases....
...As I am constantly here to act as physician (though I have only been able to mildly decrease the sharp internal pains that they complain of), I am in constant distress of catching the disease myself. I have no idea what causes it, or if it is communicable. Hopefully I am immune.
Atrus, unnamed journal
Whiterock Age Journal
About the time the ting takes on a brownish color, it emerges from the water for the first time and slowly and clumsily crawls onto the rocky shore. Most of the beautiful animals are eaten by birds, the ting having no natural defenses except for their coloration, which now matches the color of the stones. Some of the ting, however, safely find their way to small pocks and holes in the rocks. There, they curl into balls, and almost immediately begin to entomb themselves beneath a rock-like crust which they create. After two months, the ting shell becomes rubbery and soft, finally ripping open to expose hundreds of little creatures called solastings. They are, at first, small and lizard-like, scrambling madly in all directions. In their adult stage they are quick moving and live high in the trees. It seems I am only able to examine them carefully after they have been cooked by the Shirnao and are placed before me as a meal.
Atrus, Whiterock Age Journal
Serenol Age Journal
I have been here for hours, long before the yellow hands of the sun could reach my shivering body, waiting. Simply waiting. The stars above that had enchanted me just nights before were beckoning me to glance up at them in delight. A cursory acknowledgement was all I could muster. The graceful trees with their coarse bark, leaves of silk, and sweet fruit, stood silent, already having been rejected by my focused concentration this solitary and dark early morning. My only companion, a small starfly, rested upon my thin shirt, which contributed little warmth to my trembling hands (an oversight I will remember on my next visit). But even he could not endure my silence. And now as I study the soil at my kneeling body, I wait. The opaque arms of the tuliema at last thrust through the black earth into the frigid night air, pulling, reaching, fighting, searching for light; the timing had to be exact. Only moments after each of the tuliema's three lifeless leaves fully left the earth's grave, the sun's arrows pierced the plant, injecting life, creating an explosion of color, a hue of yellow the sun itself coveted. I looked up with pleasure across the awakening field, flooded now in a sea of yellow.
Atrus, Serenol Age Journal
Mechanical Age Journal
Even as I build, as the physical substance of my body strains to construct the objects that I require in this age, I feel the outer fringes of my consciousness tapping the mental substance of my being, the edges of my mind planting the seeds of imagination that will become the next age. So, I have begun to have glimpses of Arimarl, a sea without water, only a single lush oasis replete in an ocean of sand. The momentum of my "creativity" pendulates once again, as I tire of the damp dead mechanisms prevalent in my current age to the dry island of life in my next.
Atrus, Mechnical Age Journal
I am not able to understand, only to understand more. The picture that I wish to examine is not static, it is growing and living. Even as I understand how the hinges of a door allow me to open it, I find that it leads to a room even larger than the first. But I think perhaps that is part of wisdom. Knowing that I cannot know all, understanding that I cannot understand all. If the Maker's creation was understandable would I not find the Maker something less than great, would I not consider myself equal with the Maker? It is a tribute then to His greatness when I find myself more confused even at the very instant that I have gained insight.
Atrus, Personal Journal