Welcome to the Navel, center of all things bizarre! Can I interest you in a poultry deity? They go way back to that eternal question, what came first, the chicken or the egg? Unable to answer this paradox, some theorized that chickens were gods. Shrines and statues to chicken shaped paradox deities sprung up all over the lands I grew up in. This worship took on varied forms when mixed with certain local traditions, resulting in religious and philosophical art communities…ah, I can see you’re not impressed with these statues or their design. Perhaps you’ve like to look over here? I can see you’re admiring my hat. I’ve got quite the collection. You see, I’ve taken to designing a variety of veiled fedoras. You can decorate one with whatever objects you’d like, attaching them to fishnet, such as shells, flowers, bones, starfish, sequins, buttons, spirals, dried noodles…no? Go ahead and breathe. Take your time. You came to the Navel for a reason. That’s why it’s here. To find the right owner of each precious object on its shelves. Most of the items you see don’t look particularly precious, do they? Someone, somewhere didn’t value them either. Their current shapes reflect the lack of regard their original owners had for them. This doesn’t mean they’re not precious or needed. Perhaps one of these lost treasures belongs to you. This is why I opened the Navel. To find homes for all the things that people carelessly flung away in pursuit of their dreams or a fit of inadequacy. Perhaps once they were memories or feelings. They take on tangible form in the Navel, waiting for the right person. Finding that person may be a small task, but I think it makes the world a little better. I much prefer small tasks to big ones. This is why I have such a small role in Stealing Myself From Shadows and the actual books my creatrix is working on. She may expand my part, but I hope she doesn’t expand my deeds. Great deeds leads to great tasks. I still shudder thinking of how terribly wrong great deeds can go. Wonderful, I’m giving the creatrix ideas. She might expand my part to something large and heroic…or villainous. Damian would love it. He finds my work her at the Navel petty. He doesn’t understand. I much prefer the small role of shopkeeper than the important one as cardinal direction. Damian thought me cowardly to hide here. If one has great power, she has a responsibility to use it. Perhaps my former protege and employee had a point. I bitterly disappointed him, choosing a quiet, neutral existence. I still value a quiet life. One can accomplish a great deal, one small deed at a time. It can make one person happy without upsetting the world. Pardon me, I do babble if you give me a chance! Feel free to look around for as long as you’d like. Ah, you want one of those carved boxes. Damian designed and painted the cards inside. He was quite the artist. Never mind money, that’s not what I want in return. Not from you. I’ll take that small piece of paper in your pocket, the one with the two lines of the poem you never finished. Heh, I can see you forgot it was there! No need to look so surprised. This is the center of all things bizarre, like I said! If that’s the least bizarre thing that happens here, I’ll be surprised. Thank you! Come again! Pay especial attention to the Philosopher or Fool card. He has a way of changing when you glance at him out of the corner of your eye. You’ll see what I mean once you open the box and the cards take a look at you. Good day!