Imagined World #1: The Canyon

Sep 29 2020

Farmers sat at the top of society. Engineers built huge platforms that spanned the whole width of the canyon to hold plants. Farmers did their work on those platforms, tending plants high enough up the canyon walls that some light could directly reach the needy, weedy stalks. The air was thin, and the plants were not large, but they grew. 

Slightly farther down was the government. They held the peak position outside the farmers—everyone knew the farmers had to be at the top for the light, but the government was at the top because it required the most flying to reach the buildings. The location reminded the politicians that it was work to govern, a burden and not a privilege, not a thing to be reveled in or enjoyed for its perks, but hard work that must be done. 

And so the government was the hardest thing to reach, but for the farming. The farmers, their burden was great, but the work was satisfying. Who could say that they held the society together but the farmers? The government was always reminded that they were not holding society together, no matter how much they felt like it, by the ever-present example of the farmers above them. The farmers sacrificed for noble work. Who can eat laws?

Below the government were the professions: those who get things done and also create the problems that government must create laws for. 

Then, a great space with sheer walls, no outcroppings, no planes jutting out from the sides, no caves, and few strains of rock good for holding platforms. The Empty. Above the empty, we worked. Below the empty, we lived. 

From the empty on down, a wild mass of things, all together and apart: neighborhoods and schools and shops and parks and wing repair and hammocks all strung across the canyon. Some clusters of activity strung out deep in the walls of the canyon, receding back for a long ways, long chains of roads and open spaces and roads. Some life took place on platforms stretched across the canyon, interconnected bits attached by slim roads. Collections of smaller platforms, unconnected to the canyon-spanners, clumped on the walls of the canyon, connected vertically by tradition and our ability to fly. 

At the lowest level were areas of recreation, wide open spaces where the young learned to fly, the youthful learned to socialize, the mature relaxed, and the old rested. Falling was not a significant problem. The lowest level lay mere feet off the bottom of the canyon. The earliest memories of many children included tumbling from parents’ arms onto the soft moss of the canyon floor or into the shallow river itself, flapping fruitlessly until some primal instinct kicked in and the flaps became lift-producing, surging the young off the ground, awkwardly efforting toward normalcy, toward light.

Comments Off on Imagined World #1: The Canyon

Comments are closed at this time.