Monday, October 19, 2009

Flavor in Space: Ch. 22

I watched a film from another world, Grubsennahaj, also called Isnazm, far on the other side of the galaxy. I know nothing about this place except for what these recorded stories tell me. Orbiting Grubsennahaj is Otewos, a huge space station. The people orbit, disconnected, often without work. Many don't have rockets, they ride mass transit when they travel. The boys have taken to an extreme sport, "trainsurfing." The kids are acrobats who play with death. Who would dangle themselves outside a speeding rocket?! Clinging to metal, to a small window, or to the roof, they feel the rush of the void flying by.
Watch the film

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Flavor in Space: Ch. 21

A dryad has her tree. When she dies, so does her tree. And so people here in Nohin have their houses.

What is not passed to a child for his or her own use, passes away. A house is like an outer body and the body in this world passes from parents to children. From old branches spring new limbs. Where limbs don't continue, the branch stops, frozen, suspended until it dies.

I have had the privilege of living in someone else's house Our time together has been a pleasure. But, I am not a citizen of this world, nor a branch of this tree. Although I have enjoyed this brief meeting, this house is not a part of my body. I cannot save it from destruction.

Flavor in Space: Ch. 20

Walking the path of the silver temple, one passes a field of sand raised to reflect the moon. Geometric patterns are carved in the sand, soon to fall away.

The path is narrow and paved in stone. Its banks are braced with moss, striped according to the flow of rainwater down the hill. The moss seems to be a living impression left by the touch and flow of rain, now dense and dark green, now thin and neon teal.

To my right I look out across a vast vista. I am above forests, above clouds. In the distance, the roof of the silver temple floats, geometric, crafted, and human. Beyond, the towers and roofs of the city stretch for miles towards far away green and blue mountain ridges. I feel like I'm flying, above it all, a giant.

I look to my left. Here I am solidly on the forest floor at the base of a huge mountain. I can't make out the tops of the trees, they are so high above me. In fact, I can't even see their higher branches, only trunks stretch up and up into a canopy of green. I am crawling at the base, like a shrew, or a beetle. What I think are trees might even be moss and I am the size of a flea.

My friend, a native of Nohin who studied with me in the Nacerima empire, says almost jokingly, "Here we are, in between- in the palm of the Great Boddhisatva!" We laughed.

Flavor in Space: Ch. 19

Two years ago, when I came to Nohin to study, I was fresh off Machiit and I was unwilling to actually land on a new planet. Convinced that my way of life in space was essential and unchangeable, I tricked myself into believing in artificial gravity. I floated in space, but I mistakenly believed that my own space ship contained my own gravity. From high above I watched the beautiful worlds below longingly, frustratingly, without knowing why. I believed I didn't need a planet to orbit at all. This is a very dangerous belief and it leads to long lonely journeys with extreme space sickness.