“Music is important to my people–it is still a part of our language, and it is a fundamental part of how we think about the world, and our relationship to it. In the Craft of the Shaper, one of the most important workings that we learn is called a Tuning. It is just what it says–an act–of song or speech or dance, of building, of writing, of building, of sex, or of other things through which Shaping may flow–channeled, focused, and amplified by the conscious intent to use the energy in the act to bring oneself or others into balance, so that they may function better–the same way the strings on an instrument are tuned before they are played, so that the pitch is true.
I sometimes think that the First Ones perform acts of Tuning in our own lives, sometimes–some of them joyous, such as the meeting of a mate or a long-lost family member, or the attainment of a long-held goal; others more melancholy, such as the passing of a loved one or the breaking of a relationship–even the Breaking of an entire world, such as happened once to Evohe. We choose how we respond when the First Ones tune our strings: will we snap and break? Will the change of pitch turn our whole song sour? Or will it give us a new range of notes with which we can express our lives, and the way the songs of our lives fit into those of others?
We are all born a part of the Great Melody. It is not meant for us to deny our own part in the song, or to deny the harmony that another brings by their presence. Our own songs will not be drowned out by the presence of one more voice, or a hundred. And even if the whole world cannot hear it, each song still makes a difference. The question that arises then is this: will we open ourselves, allow ourselves to be instruments for Tuning? Will we strive to see that Balance that exists in all of creation, even when the strings are frayed, and the notes fall sour on the ear? Or will we close our eyes, sealing the world in darkness because it is not yet the world we would have it be?
We are the instruments upon which the First Ones play the Great Melody. And we can use our songs to make a different–and a better–world.”