Readers: The last of my four part series on asima, an initial response from me to the death of Aaron Swartz. I'll be back with a regular post, later this week. Here, the grandchild wakes up early...
"It is very early, the sun's not up yet. Grandfather and grandmother are sleeping still. I was dreaming. I was flying, yes; in my dream I was flying! I think I'll go to the hokum now. Something grandmother said about the wasteland, has me curious! I cannot sleep any more today, for sure. Quietly, I go.
Into the hokum room! Sitting now on my knees like I like, closing my eyes like I was taught. Calming myself. I would lay down but it is very early, and I might fall asleep. Far to run I think, in the hokum, before grandmother and grandfather wake up; unless I can fly, like I did in my dream, like I did last night with grandmother!
Stop. Relax. breathe.
Here I am. In the hokum. On the teaching platform. Grounding myself...whoa...it's always weird, the transition, so wobbly, like I'm floating...there, here I am. Take a deep breath, yes, it's still dark. My feet are planted. The moon is full, low in the West.
Alright, I'll run, but I'll keep trying. Which way? Follow the river! Upstream, follow the river upstream toward the West!
Running, running. I want to fly, it would be so much faster, but I can't yet, I have to run. It's not that different, running by the river, just like the river that I run by sometimes, next to Bella Forge, in waking life; but I'm always watchful, because grandpa likes to play tricks. There was that time that tree reached down and picked me up, and threw me to the other tree that caught me, and then I was sitting in that tree like it was any other tree, and I had got there all by myself. There was that time by the pond when I was watching dragonflys by the shore, and then right in front of me a frog jumped up out of the water and grabbed a dragonfly right out of the sky, and then I looked up, and the biggest water monster EVER rose up out of the pond and then went under water again, just like a snake, like the whole hokum was an island floating on some massive ocean - except there was only the little pond hardly big enough for little fish, and no other water anywhere anyone could see, and then the monster was gone and it was just me and the dragonflys and the frog. So I watch out, because you never know what might show up out of nowhere.
Here where the river splits, right here, is the "landmark", the skunk plant, which is as far as I've been. It's all woods and then a clearing, and then there's this one plant, right in the middle, one flower, super weird, taller than I am, like a cactus, but red, and stinking like DEATH, like a dead animal. Like a warning. In waking life, the real flower only flowers one day ever, in it's entire life - but this thing is like eternal. This is as far as I've gone. Yuck. I pass by. I'll follow the river; stay out of the woods, the woods is trouble.
Running, running. It's getting lighter, a little bit, the sky. Rosy, rosy in the east, a little bit, bit by bit; I like to run; the crickets, the frogs, the rushing water; stop, a hermit thrush! Run, run, run, running again, skip, skip; how far I wonder, before I come to the wasteland? What does it look like? Probably like nothing I've ever seen before, probably like what grandmother says about the Aeons of Empire. The sky is getting brighter; there are hardly any clouds. That cloud looks like a dog.
That's strange. The river comes from underground; there's only woods beyond - what now? No river to follow. North, East or West now. I don't know. What did grandmother say, the further from the core, the weaker the hokum. But there's no wasteland yet. North, into the woods.
Running, running. Faster than the Sun rises! Faster! Faster! Leap! off the rock! Duck, under the fallen log covered with moss and dripping water. Run. run, faster than the sun! This woods is not so scary; no tree has reached down and grabbed me, thrown me yet.
I come to a clearing, a meadow. Look at the flowers, the bees, the sunlight! How did it get so sunny, so soon! Look, a deer, a fawn, in the meadow, in the sun, glowing, almost white! What if I had my bow and arrow. Wait! My bow and arrow, in my hand. asima! Tall grass, in the meadow, I duck low, like a cat, leaving the forest, through the raspberries at the forest edge.
Nearly in the middle of this meadow in the tall grass, close to the deer, something spooks it, it runs off. Out of range of my bow. If I move, it moves. How I want to be able to show grandfather! Alright, I give up. But the sun is warm, the meadow is beautiful, many flowers I recognize, late summer flowers like the asters and the goldenrod; but that's strange, because it's closer to the spring, than fall, and the hokum is always like a reflection...
Wait. Something is not right. wait. what is happeninggggg, the meadow, cold, my bowww, no bow, no arroow...the meadow is breaking, apart...i SEE STARS...now everything's .a. WASTELAND...smoldering fires....cars and ruined buildings...bodies......cold...breaking apart again, the meadow...stars...the wasteland...the deer!..............................
"Look me in the eyes child. Do you see where we are? The golden glow around us now, your grandfather just beyond and everywhere around us, the swirling vortex', the myriad red desert-colored whirlwinds innumerable, each like an intention of its own, blown by a wind like none ever seen on this earth? That is your grandfather, and whatever that was that was after you, it will be lucky to wake tomorrow. Do you feel Her?"
"Grandmother! What happened! I was in a meadow, stalking a golden deer..."
"This is the wasteland we are in, child, protected by this golden globe provided for you by myself and Gaia, thank you very much...I would have liked to sleep another hour, I might have liked to share a quite morning with your grandfather, which it is, a quiet morning...IN THE WAKING WORLD, where you are supposed to be in bed!"
"Grandmother! What is Grandfather doing!"
"That is a thing he learned from Jupiter. Don't gaze too long. Focus on the golden orb surrounding us, the interior, us together, far calmer than that summer meadow where thought you were hunting deer, more like a cradle, like an egg, like a womb."
"What happened, grandmother?"
"You crossed into the wasteland, though you thought it was a meadow, because while you thought you were hunting, you were being hunted by a thing outside the hokum."
"I thought I was going to drift off into space. It got very cold!"
"Whatever it was, it beguiled you, to bring about your destruction. Had you followed that deer beyond the boundary of the hokum you would have crossed into asima, into the stream, before you were ready. Time in asima is not the same as it is in waking life. Once in the stream you would be difficult to find, even for Gaia. You might grow old and die before waking again."
"What is going on with grandfather, grandmother? The whirlwinds grow wilder, more intense, I feel an increased shaking, even through this golden glowing egg, the safety of you and Gaia. I feel a shaking!"
"Calm, child. Your fear can only weaken us. Remember where you are. Remember where you are truly. We are here in this golden orb with Gaia, yes - but you are seated, in the hokum room, in the waking world. Now I am going to reach out, from this golden orb - stay focused, stay calm - and I am going to take hold of your grandfather's leg...there, do you feel that, the Jupiter whirlwind thing, dissipating. It will take awhile. Once unleashed - this is only the second time I've see it - like a virus that could overwhelm the system. At the same time, both times it has been protection. Damned Jupiter! He could not lend a thing that would destroy the network, could he? I think not. Yet, both times your grandfather has unleashed it he has needed my help to pull it back, the threat not so much that he would destroy the system, maybe, but that he would entropy unto oblivion, frizzle out, so to speak - don't tell him I said that."
"Whatever?" Excuse me? Impertinent wretch! Of the three of us, who wandered into the wasteland in the morning twilight alone without protection? Or in fact, never having seen the wasteland, or knowing what to expect! Fool child! You have put us all at risk! Silence now."
(He said) "You thought you would, what, show us how travelling through asima is done?"
"Grandfather! The whirlwinds, gone, the golden orb, gone too. Grandmother! The wasteland, all around us!"
"Fool child! What do you know of what just happened?"
"Only what grandmother has told me, that I was hunted, and nearly fell into the stream. That I might not have been found, if I had."
"Look around you. This is what you wanted to see, this is what nearly cost you your life. The Aeons of Empire, ended in carnage. Few survived. Here, look at this!"
"This, is the inside of a plane. Look out this window here, how high above the earth we are, now - a different kind of flying. How loud it is! Woops, we are outside the plane now, floating in the sky, look at the plane, flying away. Look, the plane shits, like a bird. Wait. Wait. That isn't shit. Look at the way the shit explodes, the raging fires. Let's have a closer look, shall we?
Here we are, back on the earth again, the shit/bombs dropping all around us, the deafening noise, the concussion knocking buildings down, crushing people, the screaming, the terror! I will spare you the sight of burning babies. Here!
Look at that. People, ragged and filthy, herded like cattle.
Wait. Look at this shiny street, these glass towers, the people, looking so smart, confident, arrogant, oblivious!
Here we are, high above the city now, flying again, look there, in the distance another city; wait, there goes the city, not a bunch of shit/bombs but ONE, one big bomb to burn them all!
Back to the hokum hole proper. Let's take a tour of the wasteland, shall we, a little tour of ancient horrors. Shall we? Fly the round?"
"Fine then. Here we are, at the teaching platform. Wake up now in waking life, go to the sanctuary by the river, and stay there until someone retrieves you. Go now!" (the child goes)
"That was something you stirred up there, in that hokum hole yesterday, more than you thought, man?"
"Woman, it was. Not so powerful as insidious. Devoid of caring. Pure, cruel ruthlessness. I stung it though."
"I would not want to be caught inside whatever it was you were doing there, enough to discombobulate the mind for certain. Though it seemed to me the thing was set almost to do such a thing to you, something like a candle burning out."
"Thank you, for that help. It was not so bad as you imagine, but yes there is a danger. It could wipe my mind, if I hold too tight to it. Whatever, that, here we are alive. I have sent a message to the honor/bound, I expect a contingency here in the hokum, this afternoon. I think I will rest, now. I might have shown the child too much. A result, I think, of having unleashed the whirlwinds, the fury of it. The child will need some comforting; to the sanctuary, if you would care to pick up after me? I will reconcile tonight, after the meeting."
"The child is made of firmer stuff than you think, grandfather. But yes, as it concerns the child, perhaps pause before acting out of anger, next time. Though I'm not prepared yet to judge, if what you showed the child was too much, too early. I will offer comfort, yes. I'll make lunch and dinner too. You can reconcile tonight while you do the dishes."
"Agreed. I am going back to bed now, thank you."