Excerpt from Duncan MacLeod’s Journal
by Maxine Mayer

 

3/29/97


Duende.

I am a man of great good fortune. Born long ago when a person knew who he was, doubted nothing, lived and died at peace with himself, if with no one else. Those who are born today, who die today, cannot know how that feels, what that means. Nor can those who were born long before me.

I still believe that. That I was blessed in my life, by those who took me in, reared me as Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod, loved me.

Despite every loss of every loved one, each beloved face that haunts my memory, so often bringing me to tears, I still believe that. And the reason I live forever - is for them.


Duende.

To dance till you drop, for the honor of the dance. To fight in the circle, till one of you is dead, for the honor of the skill.

Duende.

I speak of it to Richie, but he can’t understand, can’t begin to comprehend. He tries. I know that. He wants to believe, to share how I feel. Sometimes, he wants to be me. But he can’t.

How could he?

How can he be taught what can only be bred in a person, in childhood?

How can he understand that I don’t want an "edge," I don’t want to "win" at all costs - even honor.

How can Richie understand what it means to enter a magical circle and live, if only for a moment, a timeless purity that is forever lost to us, in these times?

But I shouldn’t speak only about Richie. He’s not alone. Amanda wouldn’t understand. Methos wouldn’t understand. Ironically, my Watcher - a Mortal - Joe Dawson, probably would.

Of course it doesn’t matter who understands, who thinks I’m a fool. Not to me.

I’d rather stand in a circle and die like a man than fight in an alley and slaughter a man. It’s simple as that, really. That I won, that the rains came down and our bodies were drenched and day became night and we still kept fighting and Consone lost - what does that matter? At least, in the end, neither of us died in an alley, like monsters without honor, without breeding, without history, without love. Neither of us abandoned the circle, just to survive. We were both there, at the final stroke.

It is for Teresa, that I did this - "gave Consone the edge, fought on his turf" - for Teresa, and Tessa, and Anne. For Joe Dawson and Connor and Darius. It is for Methos too, though he’d think me a fool if he knew. Because, if I’m too important to lose - as Methos believes - it’s because I will fight in the circle, without an edge. That’s what he cares about in me. That’s who he wants to be the Only One, in the end - the man in the circle, who doesn’t have an "edge," who lives for more than just to survive.

In many ways, so many times, I’ve lost that. I’ve fallen far short of my dreams, my ideals. I’ve killed in anger, or for vengeance. Hating my opponent. Hating myself. Hating the Game.

I’m sorry for it, but it couldn’t be helped. I’m only human, after all. However long I live, however much an Immortal I am, I’m human too. It’s my humanity I want to hang on to, must hang on to. Even the parts of it that make me ashamed.

Duende.

Can an Immortal experience duende? Yes, he can. If he’s willing to pay the price. To stand in the circle and fight to the last stroke, against a worthy opponent. Even if he should die, the Immortal could experience duende, if he fights like that.

It’s worth it, to me.

And it’s worth it to my friends, who love me, even if they think I’m a fool. Because it’s why they love me.

As I said, I’m a man of great good fortune. And I carry the burden of my good fortune with joy.

 


End