The nomadic texts

It began as a simple translation. The civil servants who still resided idly at the Archives, not having anything better to do with their time, spending their working hours doing no work at all, decided to practice their language skills. They chose a text at random. (No one knows what the initial text was). At first, the text was translated in a language that one of them had a very sketchy, knowledge of. In fact, he had knowledge only of its existence, not of the language itself. Luckily, in the Archives, there was a grammar book written by a dead scholar, a singular world expert in that forgotten language, and the servants used it as a guide. A peculiar characteristic of that language was that verbs migrated. Perhaps because the people who originally spoke that language were migrants too, lost souls wandering the vastness of grassy steppes. Their spoken words travelled up and down their sentences, as if the horizon was nowhere, changing their meaning, as one would have to do if one lived inside an immutable medium. For example, if one intended to say “tomorrow I will meet you at the battlefield,” but changed his mind half way while uttering the sentence, he could simply transpose the verb, and the sentence could read any odd perturbation such as, “the battle is for tomorrow but I will not be there”, or “tomorrow is a fine day to battle”, or “meet me tomorrow and we shall see what happens”, etc.

At first, the civil servants found their game an amusing one. The initial text was made to mean increasingly different things, verbs jumped sentences as if by their own will, and every time they translated back and forth, the text – or should we now set texts – became alive, like a swarm, like a superorganism, a like a nest of nomadic ants seeking a place to entomb their colony. Several days later, the merriness of the civil servants that was to be heard by passers-by, as they played their language game and laughed at the ever more meaningless results, ceased. No one paid attention at the beginning, assuming that the servants had become bored at long last, and had fled the Archives, for there was no reason for them to be there in the first place, the whole Civil Service having been defunct since the island’s disappearance. When they were found, years later, or eons, or tomorrow in the battle, they met.


Etherwave Proxima Q

Sound-waves-twitter-backgrounds-sound-waves-twitter-themesThe technology is rather simple, I am told. A square wooden box, big enough for an average sized human to crouch within, painted blue or green on the outside. It is important that water is somehow present, perhaps a glass of water placed nearby; although the word “water”, written in any language, or even insinuated, would also suffice. One does not have to enter the box. It is however imperative to imagine oneself inside: eyes closed, relaxed, without worries or concerns, as if about to depart on a long and pleasant journey. The box is to be placed in an open space, a field of grass or, preferably, a desert. One does not have to be near it. In fact, the most famous virtuosos of Etherwave Proxima Q usually sit hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of miles away from their instruments. Sounds are produced spontaneously by the instrument. Players do not produce sounds and cannot make the instrument produce sounds either. They can only modulate, shape and hopefully re-compose the haphazardly-produced sounds into music. Trained players can force sounds into the natural scale by simply thinking about it. And can control pitch by breathing deep, or shallow, increasing or decreasing respectively. Weather permitting (storms are better than windless days, and hurricane season better still), one can tune the instrument into a full-blown orchestra. Recent reports suggest that sunspot activity may affect tonality and polyphonic spectrum. But it is too early for conclusions. The psychic overhead of monitoring the sun’s chaotic patterns while at the same time imagining sounds is too burdensome and one has yet to come with a full-scale piece of solar etherwave worthy of public performance.

The Archive

urlThe Archive is complete. Nothing is missing from it. Its tomes have been catalogued with absolute precision, with meticulous care, and a detailed index has been constructed for all time. There is nothing more to add. To subtract is a capital offence. The task of the Master Archivist is to maintain the order of the Archive; to ensure its completeness; to eternalize its perfection; to preserve its integrity and purity. In fact, his title is misleading. His not truly an Archivist, for he does not archive anything. As said, the Archive is complete. It contains everything that is to be contained. Nothing exists, or is allowed to exist, that is not already there. Therefore, the Archivist is more like a guardian; or a keeper, a watcher, a minder. He exists in order to guarantee that everything remains so forevermore. That nothing will be either lost or added. So that the balance may never be disturbed. If however, as it occasionally happens, a new piece of material is created, by some paradoxical twist of misfortune, then the Archivist must initiate the process of it destruction. He must order a message to be sent to the prefect agent and thereof to the field agents in the area of creation, who in turn will have to make sure the material gets eliminated immediately. You could say that the order of things is incarnated in the watchful preservation of the Archive. The Archive is all there is.