I am displaying last week’s pictoverbicon here because we ran into a technical glitch that prevented up-dating of the web site. I hope to get that solved in a day or two. I am sure the server’s intentions were good, in changing the up-dating regime, although the old one was working very well for me. The new one appears much more powerful, but also more complicated. The problem may lie entirely in my awkwardness at finding my way around.
Mnemochiron and I experienced no such awkwardness however. We simply walked into the tremendous maw of the Yottapede to make our way directly into its internal workings. As we made our way human beings of all descriptions flew past under the force of the suction I described last week that nearly caught me, but none hit us. As long as I was mounted on Mnemochiron I remained immune, able to observe.
The Yottapede was indeed a most remarkable creature. The people sucked into it were not digested in the natural way, its inner workings lacking all such equipment. The insides appeared as a giant, shallow domed continuum, dimensioned in space and time, where I beheld hundreds of millions, even perhaps billions, of humanoid actors apparently well incorporated into the imperatives of the Yottapede yet retaining the appearance and trappings of individuality. I spoke to many as we circulated in their midst and received from all their heartfelt and I am sure sincere assurances that their individuality remained complete and was in fact the most important thing about them, and yet clearly their incorporation into this amazing creature was equally so.
Each person a hard hat onto which was fastened the handle of an umbrella, the outer sides of which formed the Yottapede’s distinctive carapace. Some umbrellas were fastened to only one hat, others in couples or family or even larger groupings. I asked what they were for, and the answer was always the same: they kept the sky from falling on the people’s heads. And I could see that this was so, or apparently so.
In a blog posting it’s difficult to describe great things. One should keep it short. I have said a little about how the inside of the Yottapede looked. I have not yet described the sound, which I think should be called a Powean Roar. I will elaborate when I have time. I have not yet described the smell, which was not nearly as bad as you might expect in such a densely packed mass of humanity. The air was humid, almost clammy to the touch; I could taste it. I could see that Mnemochiron could too, and in fact was just as whelmed by the whole sensory experience as I was. Over and above what sight, sound, smell, touch and taste had to offer, however, were the vibrations,—I can’t think of a better word,—of a whole milieu, both massive and intricate, that permeated every aspect of the crowded interior. It was both pleasant and unpleasant, distressed and satisfied, a most curious mixture that I cannot yet describe adequately. Please be patient. I’ll get there.
I shut out as much of the sensory riot as I could, to concentrate on the Yottapede’s feet, which I had seen from the outside, which I now saw were the accumulated feet of all the people inside. I have already described how they moved every which way without getting anywhere. From the inside, however, the effect appeared much different. Here the apparent movement forward was obvious, even to me, let alone to the people attached. And yet I knew there was none. This was marvellous. It must have had something to do with the reality that all this was taking place within the organic four-dimensional space-time continuum of the Yottapede, and not what the poet Auden has called “the moderate Aristotelian city … where Euclid’s geometry and Newton’s mechanics would account for our experience …” The Yottapede was turning out to be a city indeed, but not like that.
As we made our through the domed interior we kept asking people, as best we could through the din, “Have you seen the Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice?” Most looked back at us warily, as if we were insane. A few dismissed us, the word “mirage” either spoken aloud or etched upon their faces. This continued until we met one who was a clown. He, or under the woolly yellow hair and behind the bulbous nose it could just as easily have been she, laughed and said, “My dear pilgrims, can’t you tell? We are the Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice! This is the Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice!” And she spread her arms to take in the umbrella dome, the whole yottopedian interior, and all the footed folk therein. “We’re all in it together! And so are you!” And he danced way, laughing, her twinkling toes finding spaces between the shuffling feet where was visible a little solid ground.
I could tell by her quivering and prancing that Mnemochiron was as anxious as I, both to get out of the Yottapede back into the sane world of waterfalls and trees, and to explore the interior more thoroughly, suspended, as it were, between repulsion and curiosity, between triumph and horror. Like the clown, she was able to find solid ground among the feet, which was more than I could have done I am sure, especially considering the size of my feet.
To be continued …