|Public Domain Science Fiction Writer||
|THE LOVE IN HONITI|
On his way home Honiti remembered the moment – such a temptation. He thought about Naica and the kids, and knew that he had to be wary; altogether they were far more important than any physical dalliance. Given the state of their relationships he knew how vulnerable both he and Lina were, but he felt sure that between them they could cope. He would have to look out if he were ever angry with Naica and then met Lina. |
It was good he had analysed this because before the next meeting Naica engineered a row.
“Are you going to the Cotla again?” she asked feigning innocence.
“Yes,” he answered “is there a problem?”
“Not at all,” she said “if you need it then it is good you go.”
He kept quiet. “Will Lina be there?” she asked knowing exactly what the question would do to him.
“She usually is,” he answered as if there was nothing to the question.
“I am sorry to hear she has problems at her home,” she commented, the surface empathy supposedly belying her motivation.
“I think she copes,” answered Honiti “but it is difficult. I think the meetings help her.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” she smiled. “See you later.”
As he left the house his anger exploded within him. Naica knew that he didn’t want these meetings, it further embarrassed him that his own love was unrequited. She knew that the meetings were mainly concerned with Lina, and that Lina was giving Honiti something he could not get at home. Knowing her husband she knew he would be honourable, but at the same time would be protective. She enjoyed the anger she was creating, and there was nothing an honourable man could do. Such Pagan manipulation, thought Honiti, but again the frustration - there was nothing he could do.
He had calmed a little by the time he reached the meeting, and seeing Lina there raised his spirits yet Naica’s niggling came back and made his anger rise again. He must be careful.
“Perhaps the biggest turning point for the Dogmatons came with the rise of Professor Wadkin,” he said to her later as they had a moment together to talk.
“Why so,” she asked although she had a good idea.
“He crystallised thought processes that the Dogmatons had unconsciously chosen to leave unspoken,” he answered.
“I thought so,” she answered. “He became the mouthpiece of that unwritten understanding.”
“Exactly,” he agreed “and this had all kinds of repercussions.”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“Well, the end of the Dogmatons could be traced back to Wadkin’s famous book, “The Creative Delusion”,” he answered.
“I see,” she agreed tentatively.
“It was in this book he first postulated his “4 Characteristics of Human Constitution” – reason, emotion, perception (memory) and senses,” he went on to remind her.
“I remember this because it was as a consequence of this the first Terrorists were arrested,” she began.
“Yes there had been no terrorists since Pagan times,” he interrupted. She was hurt at the interruption, this was not Honiti. She was a bit concerned but guessed at the source of the problem. Let it go, she thought, he was at these meeting for help not confrontation. Maybe later she would give him a chance to talk about the underlying problem.
“It was debatable that there were even terrorists back then,” she answered. He smiled at her.
“Well this time the Dogmatons called people terrorists if they were “Intent on Disrupting the Public Order”,” he continued. “Wadkin became the darling of the Dogmatons, he was quoted everywhere. It was as if his human constitution was part of the Dogmaton constitution. But there was an understandable reaction amongst those who were still concerned about creativity. For this was the first time that anyone was explicit about there not being creativity – even though it had been an understood practice for years that “genuine creativity” had been frowned on.
“Yes, Wadkin was explicit; that was his importance,” he appeared to counter, “I remember a quote from his book vividly. “It is time that we chastised these supposed creative geniuses for what they are – arrogant self-important charlatans. Children are creative because we teach them to copy others. These adult charlatans are just more sophisticated in the way they copy. They know more works of art, their skills are more refined, they analyse what aspects of art (creativity) is most popular, and then reproduce it in a distinct way claiming it as original creativity.” That was it for the creatives. For years they had complied with Dogmaton requests for conformity, and kept quiet about the censorship. “It had been for the public good”, the Dogmatons had told them; and creatives accepted this not disrupting the Dogmaton approach because under them there was peace.
“But as soon as Wadkin wrote this the creatives reacted en masse,” Honiti also reacted with some vehemence. “They complained that their creativity was far more than could be put in the Wadkin straitjacket of reason, emotion, perception and senses. But by then Dogmaton society had become so much more restrictive, more afraid of difference, if they all couldn’t do it - if the robots couldn’t do it, then it was just too different. And they were then afraid, and if they became frightened, out came the enforcers. If these creatives were to consider themselves special, then they were disrupting public order. If they were special, did they want special treatment like the Pasur? Would they then try to create a society for special people – the creatives?
“The creatives did the only thing they knew how, they protested. They said “our creative work is special, we want respect for that. It is our labour, and should be treated with at least the same respect as any labour”. But the Dogmatons then examined the creativity, and found that the creatives were demanding that people break out and question what is happening.”
“You see Lina,” he turned pointedly to her “The creatives began asking “Do we all think the same way? Should we all be expected to behave the same way? Is behaving differently wrong? If we are considerate should we be breaking laws? Isn’t compassion and not conformity the highest human value? Is it wrong for us to love our artistic expression? How can it be right for government not to recognise that there is a creative faculty amongst humans?”
“With the creatives putting questions like this out in the public domain, the Dogmatons responded with their own vehemence,” he continued his demeanour changing slightly as he recalled how their censorship took form. “They started as usual by whipping up public frenzy in the media. The themes of the campaigning were worked out within their government offices:-
We respect the work of people who have the skills to write stories, make poetry, play music and paint pictures. These are all skills that add to the pleasantness of living in our society, but it is not safe for us to allow some people to disrupt our way of life. Some people who claimed they were creative worked for Pagan society. Pasur profited from the so-called works of art that “artists” fashioned. It cannot be acceptable for this collusion to happen perhaps paving the way for the depravity that was the earmark of Pagan society. To this end we will encourage our media to develop programming with the following themes:-
• Reminding the people of Pagan times
• Avoiding egotistical practices that were a part of Pagan society
• Respecting values that do not lead to disruption
• Respect for the values of good governance
• Demonstrate how creatives can destroy our way of life
For the good of all it will be necessary for monitoring of programmes to ensure that these themes are conveyed.
“I remember there was one series of programmes,” he recalled “that was particularly heinous - “History of Destructive Art”. Mostly this was books but other art forms were attacked. One programme ironically was concerning a writer, Adolf Hitler, and how his writings created a world war; the Dogmatons failed to see the irony in his forms of censorship. Writers such as George Orwell were presented as people who sought revolution rather than working with existing governments – failing to note that the governments Orwell attacked were Pasur. A series of non-conformist works of art were collaged together to demonstrate that such disrespect for the conventional bred discontent and disruption.”
“I remember reading about a group of Young Liberalistas,” Lina chimed in. “These young people went around destroying works of art that did not conform. Paintings that lacked pictorial content were burned. “Human faces are beautiful” was one of their slogans, and they destroyed art that charicatured or distorted the human visage. One group of these Liberalistas, calling themselves the Moralistas, went around destroying books whose conclusion did not ennoble Dogmaton society. Even kitchen sink dramas fell into that category being considered too turgid and not presenting the joys of life under the Dogmatons.”
“There were many such misguided groups encouraged by the Dogmatons,” replied Honiti “I remember one group calling themselves the Correct Liberalistas. They went around destroying books and poetry whose language was not correct.”
“Even if the language was conversational,” she interrupted “I remember reading about their stupidity.”
“Yes they argued,” continued Honiti “that if human emotions could not be expressed with the proper use of language then such books did not demonstrate the values of the Dogmatons.”
“Such craziness,” she laughed, and he nodded.
“But matters got far worse,” his tone darkened. “Once these groups became sanctioned by “polite” society, their behaviour took on serious shades of oppressive control. The protests of the creatives were soon pushed underground. There were public clashes at the creative protests as the Liberalistas demanded an end to critical art.”
“And those clashes were used by the enforcers under the new law entitled the “Preventing the Disruption of Public Order Act”,” she added. “Whilst the Liberalistas were the people confronting the creative protests, the enforcers used this act to determine that the creatives were disruptive and many were arrested.”
“This public violence by the Dogmatons led to the creatives being forced underground,” he continued “and out of sheer frustration some creatives turned to violence.”
She held up her three fingers, and he responded with a smile. “Many creatives started daubing the 3-fingers on enforcers buildings, government offices. “Express not repress” slogans appeared as well alongside the salute.”
“There was a group who used to go round the homes of Liberalistas,” she laughed “and painted E3R on their kiddie-vans.”
“Once their property and lifestyle was threatened,” Honiti answered “these Dogmatons changed. They showed who they always had been – frightened materialists with a liberal facade. They would lay in wait for the daubers, attack them and many ended in hospital – prison hospital. These creatives were labelled as terrorists – with all the repression that word engenders.”
“Lina,” he asked, he liked saying her name “do you remember those blogs I was asked to study in my training? Those blogs about Pagan and Dogmaton times?”
“The ones you asked me to read?” she asked knowing the answer.
“That’s it,” he answered with a smile. “Well there is a vidblog that is very interesting.”
“About?” she asked.
“About these terrorists,” he replied, then paused “so-called. It is a .vid of one of their cells.”
“Sounds interesting,” she smiled “I will watch it before we next meet.”
They began walking in silence, and Honiti felt her closeness. It was just a joy being with her, had she noticed his anger? His mind drifted off into the vagaries of “if-only”, and when he noticed he just pulled it back into her presence. That was enough.
They had been walking a while when Lina squeezed his arm “What happened today?” she asked.
“Nothing,” he said defensively. “What do you mean?” he eventually conceded.
“You are a bit on edge,” she said with a gentle smile.
“I’m sorry,” he apologised “I thought I had controlled it.”
“You did …. mostly,” she said with a momentary pause “but I know you.”
He looked at her and laughed with embarrassment.
“It’s ok,” she said “there was no problem – I would have said.”
They both began to speak at the same time, her invite - his explanation. He explained about the niggling conversation that had riled him earlier. She understood and tried to control her own anger …. with difficulty. There was a silence as they both seethed inside with their respective angers. Eventually she consoled him “You can always talk about this, you know. Even if you got angry with her and behaved badly I would understand, I will always listen.”
He looked at her and wanted to kiss her; feeling this she moved her head away. She so wanted to kiss him but they couldn’t, they just couldn’t. They continued to walk together, minds wandering off into dreams, and yet brought back into an equally wonderful reality. Just be thankful for what we have, they both thought as they walked.
Lina arrived home and asked about Gerald’s day, always a good way of avoiding discussion of anything awkward. He had been working on the projects, and she listened …. to begin with.
“The peace corps had been called to the project I monitor,” he answered “so obviously I was called. It was not a big problem, a neighbour was being over-protective because of previous issues.”
“Why had she called the peacemakers?” asked Lina.
“The mother was defending her son against the father,” he told her.
“In what way?” she asked.
“It’s always the same with that family,” he answered “The father wants his son to grow up with a sense of independence, “to stand on his own two feet” and the mother wants to protect him from dangers.”
“What dangers?” she asked.
“That is what the father says,” he answered “he repeatedly tells her there are no dangers. And that it is better if the son learns. Arguments ensue and they can be quite loud, hence the neighbour’s involvement. He is afraid of violence – unnecessarily.”
“They are obviously in love,” she said.
“Indeed,” he agreed “and they know it. But they have developed these patterns of behaviour around their son that just brings out the worst of their inability to express their love to each other.”
“Are you able to help?” she asked sympathetically.
“I try,” he replied with a frustrated sigh. “But our discussions get heated when we talk of love, I have no way of getting them to open up and be honest about their love.”
“But they are happy together …. most of the time,” he added “and tend to resolve their own interactions. Except they are too loud for the neighbour who is genuinely scared, and who I am unable to get to calm down. I have spoken with the Peace Corps officer, they are sympathetic to the repeated behaviour and deal with it with a minimal fuss.”
“Keep trying,” she touched his forearm with affection “maybe eventually they will learn to properly express their love.”
“Let’s hope so,” he agreed with an element of frustration “let’s hope so”, his voice trailed off as he began considering their problem again. He did not like the impasse in his project.
Lina went into the study, connected her pad to the screen and began listening to the vidblog Honiti had given her.
There was a small group talking …. she counted five, three women two men – not that that mattered. One of the women was talking, she was later referred to as 3.
“Historically the dynamic of the problem is clear, it is the collective vs the individual,” 3 was saying. Lina looked at the faces, there were two nods and she perceived general agreement.
2 spoke up “Pasur were too individualistic focused on their own greed ….”
“And the Dogmatons were only interested in a system that applied to all,” 4 interrupted.
“But both failed to see that the individual needs the collective and vice versa,” 3 spoke again, she seemed to be some sort of leader. “Government needs to walk a tightrope in which they have a system that applies collectively whilst at the same time working for the needs of the individual. These two can often work in conflict, and if a government system does not recognise this it can never work for the good of all.”
“It has to be recognised,” continued 5 “that there are times where a law that is helpful works against the interests of an individual. If good judgement is then applied by the authority then that individual can benefit society through considerate action.”
“This is a bit theoretical in a society run by the Dogmatons,” interjected 1 somewhat tetchily. “In this society conformity is all that is required.”
“Of course, that’s true,” agreed 3 “but if we are going to make any inroads we have to offer a solution to their need to compel creativity to conform.”
“We have to appeal to their arrogance,” agreed 4. “These Liberals think they are so superior, and yet at the same time they think they are so compassionate. We have to know our enemy.”
“But they are afraid of us,” countered 2 “they are afraid of our creativity.”
“Yes they are,” agreed 4 “but they cannot admit to being afraid so if we confront their fear there is no solution.”
“Yes our tactics must be to appeal to their egos,” interjected 3 “and their egos are that they are compassionate.” “Yes we must show them that it is in their interest to be compassionate towards us,” agreed 4.
“I don’t agree,” said 1 “if they were compassionate they would not be demanding conformity, they would not be burning our art, they would not be quelling our protests. They show us no compassion.”
“That is true,” said 4 but 1 interrupted again. “I think we should force them to listen to us. We should show them that we are significant and that they are at risk – play on their fear.”
“What are you suggesting?” asked 3 appearing to support 1 “Should we use violence perhaps bomb their offices, and paint E3R in the ashes?”
“Why not,” said 1 “it would make them think. They would realise that we cannot be messed with.”
“Whilst I am not against destruction of their property,” said 4 “their property that is so important to them – even though they cannot admit it. Their property is their fear, an embodiment of that fear, their need for security. But I feel that violence and destruction would be manipulated.”
“I am not suggesting acts of violence against people,” 1 interjected quickly “there is no way that we can hurt anyone – even the enforcers. Mind you, in some cases these pompous prigs need a good smack in the face,” he said with a huge smile on his face. They all laughed and looked at 4 whose recent mural had depicted one of the Dogmaton leaders being humiliated by a young child slapping their face as they fined the mother for some verbal indiscretion; the piece was entitled “compassionate identity”, and showed the child crying with hunger.
“We would all like to be that child slapping these prigs,” smiled 3 at their agreement “but it is not what we are about. We are not concerned with violence, we are concerned with genuine freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of thought, freedom to speak so long as it is not inciting violence.” Nods went around the room again.
“We have to be careful not to give these fools the moral high ground,” continued 3 “they are repressing us and they know it. This cannot rest easily with them - even with their fear.”
“When we are arrested for saying “express not repress”,” 2 added “we are undermining their appearance of tacit liberal fairness. This has to cause doubts amongst many.”
“Even with all the negative propaganda that is based in lies,” added 5.
The meeting went quiet, and Lina paused as well. She was tired. She came out of the study looking for Gerald; he was asleep with his work in his lap. He was not a good sleeper so she let him be. Off she went to bed alone, something she did often now. In fact she preferred it, it allowed her to think of Honiti before sleeping; it was almost as if he was next to her.
The next morning she was busy. Gerald had to leave town on an important meeting so it was only right that he spent time with the children. This increased her workload in the house – she never liked chores but they had to be done. And she didn’t begrudge Gerald the time, he could never be accused of not pulling his weight – he would never allow himself to be seen that way. There was a school excursion, it was one of the rambles that she often went on. Not today though, with the extra work and seeing Gerald off, by the end all she wanted was to check the kids had all the rambling gear and get them off. She was sure it would rain – good experience for them but again extra work when they got home. A good cosy night just the three of them when all was done; the weather can bring families together, she thought.
Early afternoon she sat with her green tea and started the vid again; hopefully she would not sleep.
“We have to use their fear of being afraid against them,” continued 3 after the silence that had been Lina’s night.
“Even more,” added 4 “we have to use their fear of being seen as being afraid.”
“Aren’t we being a bit too psychological there?” asked 1 “Is it practical?”
“Let’s explore it,” said 4 “I don’t want to be analytical for analysis sake but their fear of being seen as afraid is important to their arrogance. Imagine their stupid parties. You could just imagine these prigs, afraid to put their head out of the door unless they have an enforcer.”
“And then these proud individuals go “I’m not afraid”,” derided 2.
“And then the next goes “I’m less afraid than you”,” 5 added puffing up his shoulders like a popinjay.
Then they all started looking at each other, and a mock competition developed “I’m less afraid than you”, “I’m less afraid than you”, “No I am,”. This went on until they all burst into laughter as did Lina.
After a brief pause “this fear of being seen as afraid can be used,” 3 added smiling at 4.
“Know your enemy,” said 4 acknowledging 3’s smile.
“We have to expose their fear, and then use their arrogance of not being afraid against them,” strategised 3.
“The worst are these Liberalista thugs,” said 1, “they make me angry.”
“All of us,” said 2 and they all nodded.
“But these thugs are also their weakness,” said 3.
“Yes their bullying is just fear,” added 4 “together with their own frustration. We have to show them that Dogmatons should be ashamed of the way Liberalistas behave.”
“We could even play off these Liberalistas against the enforcers,” said 1 “if we work it right.”
“Firstly we need to show the Dogmatons that the actions of the Liberalistas are based in fear,” suggested 5. “We can use their media to show them that Liberalistas are bullies, and that Dogmatons are not afraid.”
“Good, let’s work on that,” summarised 5 “let’s take a break.”
Lina took a break herself. This historical analysis that coincided with her developing relationship with Honiti was fascinating, she was letting it envelop her – probably as an avoidance strategy. The word, avoidance, triggered the opposite reaction in her, she focused on her problem – Gerald. He was such a good man, and perhaps even worse he was seen as a good man. Society needs such people, his compassion that was geared towards the general good provided a drive and commitment that encouraged those around him. She sometimes felt guilty at her concerns about their relationship. She knew that she provided an emotional stability that kept him focused, and she also felt guilty that she could not accept him for what he was. She was willing to sacrifice herself for him because of the good he did.
She was on a roll, her mind had started musing and there seemed no end. Sacrifice, history had warned against this. OK back then it was different as there were other disadvantages. But many women used to accept sacrifice as a way of life – this was in Pagan times; Dogmatons by their nature would never have allowed this. In fact many of these women defended their right to sacrifice claiming sacrifice was the highest expression of love. But it was not this stance which was the problem. It was other women who could not accept sacrificing, who knew they had more to offer than being a sacrificial add-on to a business career.
But on reflection, these non-sacrificing women were not the problem either, the problem was that far too many men expected such sacrifice. Because so many men were expecting this and because Pasur encouraged gender divisions amongst the Pagans, this effectively amounted to a social expectation amongst all women that they sacrifice. Not only did this expectation, which was part of what was known as male chauvinism, cause divisions but with the more coercive of men when women resisted such sacrifice men started to demand it – including violently demanding it. For women who found sacrifice difficult, this imposition became almost impossible to live with.
But these impositions by such domineering men not only applied to sacrifice in the home but they also demanded a physical oppression – oppression through physical appearance. Women became trophy wives, their beauty and enforced social graces were often misused within the man’s business world. For many women their personal expression was forced to be as a male add-on. Again, for a proportion of these women many of their needs were satisfied by such sacrifices but for many of the others such oppression was clearly akin to imprisonment both in the home and in their bodies. Psychological diseases connected with body-image (such as anorexia and bulimia) started to develop as young women forced themselves to be strait-jacketed into an image that men wanted.
Early on revolutionary women rejected this add-on scenario, and fought back against this male chauvinism. But both women and men rejected this anti-male position because these Yoxa quite rightly associated the oppression of women as part of Pasur strategy. But over time women became more reformist demanding equivalence to men within the Pasur system, equal salary, equivalent social status etc. At this point the Pasur encouraged such moves as it meant they could exploit women in the same way as men, taking advantage of women as wage-slaves. Believe it or not these reformist women demanded the right to be soldiers, such delusion demanding the right to be killed in wars-for-profit – demanding the right to be killed so that the Pasur could get richer. The revolutionary position of the earlier women clearly demanded the end of a system that exploited women, but also demanded the end to exploitation of men who would then turn their anger into oppressing women; the Pasur accepted reform with open arms.
Sadly this reformist position became the platform that dominant women adhered to, and this reformism became integral to the Dogmatons. The reformist position was forced both on men and on women. Women who had thought they were fulfilled organising the home and bringing up the children were told by other women that this was not fulfilling. Many such home-women were belittled. And if they were ever to claim that sacrifice was honourable, they were shouted down.
Her musing ended as a wave of anger washed over Lina. The reactions of these reformists were too excessive but the problem lay in the fact that they needed to react. If there had not been the Pasur system, if men had not been so oppressive, if the men had listened, if the reformist women had listened, if, if, if …. So many ifs, it was easy to see in retrospect.
Yes she would be willing to sacrifice herself for Gerald, but she knew how unstable that was. She knew that if she sacrificed herself her own inner self would need to find expression. And that this need might arise in a destructive way unintentionally. She completely agreed with Chipak that her relationship with Honiti was beneficial to her inner self and to the stability of her relationship - so long as it was kept under control.
After the break she listened as the group developed a detailed plan – she was admiring the minutiae - involving 1’s government position and 5’s ensuing work with the media. Lina’s mind drifted off as she put herself in 1’s position. Lina’s mind transposed herself to the Dogmaton meeting.
1 began talking. “I have received a number of letters concerning the creatives and the Liberalistas:-
At our recent estate meeting a number of us were concerned about the violence that is increasing on our estates. As estate management we have accepted as our duty the onus of ensuring that violence is kept to a minimum.
Last night was typical. There were a group of people outside the estate office, and they were shouting “Express not repress”. Near these dissidents we had monitors, and we were satisfied at the level of violence; of course we were not happy with the dissidence but on our estate we accepted that we would tolerate self-expression within certain limits. Our monitors were concerned but not unduly worried.
Then along came a group of Liberalistas. They confronted the dissidents and demanded that these people respect public order and go home. One of the creatives had drawn a picture of a Dogmaton meeting in which all people were dressed the same. A Creative had come in and asked one to change her shirt, and there were a few others in huddled whispers clearly expressing disagreement. At the top was the Agenda – Public Order Act, and beneath people shouting conform not express.
The Creatives gathered around this picture as if it was a meeting. And then one stood up and set the picture alight.
It was harmless but the Liberalistas went in. There was some violence, mostly from the Liberalistas as the Creatives just sat there chanting “Express not repress”. The monitors told us that the Liberalistas dragged the Creatives away one by one. One of them was dragged into a post and reacted against the Liberalistas turning around and pushing him to try to avoid the post. Immediately several Liberalistas came over to make an arrest. Yes, it was a legitimate arrest but some of the violence towards the protester was questionable.
Another monitor observed an incident with a young woman. The Liberalista was dragging away the woman who was shouting “Express not Repress”, and his hands went around her breasts. Instinctively she turned around and slapped the Liberalista whereupon several came over and arrested her. The monitor overheard a charge of “assaulting a peace officer” being read out. The monitor told our meeting that this woman had been imprisoned for her violence.
Representative Duncan, when things like this can happen on a normal estate like ours then we have to question the social forces at work. Our society is not a violent society yet it appears as if we are supporting the violence of these Liberalistas. We do not wish to encourage these Creatives whose approach could ultimately be damaging, but they are not violent – at least the ones our monitors reported were not violent.
We ask that the young woman, Cecile Muller, be released because it was a crime that had unfortunate justification.
We further ask that you use your offices on our behalf to persuade others to end this policy of supporting the Liberalistas in their actions in defence of the Public Order Act.
We recognise that our representatives try to act with compassion in defending our public order. Originally the Liberalistas might have been acting with compassion on behalf of our government but we consider that now there have been excesses.
We look forward to your compassionate cooperation in this matter.
Coordinator of Dipdale Estate Management Committee.
Duncan held up a flash drive (for effect!) and said “I have a number of similar letters.” He looked around “I expect a number of you have had something similar,”; noting those who nodded. “We empowered the Liberalistas but they have now become young hotheads.”
One of the nodders echoed “Dangerous young hotheads.”
Another accepted this. “Yes it is a time that we put a stop to their activities.”
“It is not acceptable that we attack our own,” warned Philippa clearly the council leader – if not by title. Duncan felt annoyance, they would defer to her. At the same time he knew what was at the basis of her comment, she was afraid of losing the support of the Enforcers, many of whom were Liberalistas.
“I agree,” conceded Duncan, conscious of the need for a tactical approach to win Phillippa’s support. “But what is reported on this estate is happening elsewhere. Do you think it must be stopped?” He knew she would agree to that.
“Of course it must be stopped,” she agreed, a bit wary of being cornered by Duncan. “But there are ways of stopping without confronting the Liberalistas.”
Now that he had her working in his direction he could agree. He began “The Liberalistas are a bit excessive but working in our interest. We must channel what they are doing.”
“Channeling support is always best done through the media,” interceded Martin, conscious of how Duncan was playing this.
“But media censure is not enough, is it Philippa?” asked Duncan carefully.
“No I agree, a media campaign is not enough. But we must keep both the public and the Liberalistas on our side, that,” she paused “can only be done through the media.”
There was a silence, and Duncan was going to ask again. But she halted him. “I propose that I meet with Garrick,” Garrick was the chief enforcer for the district, Duncan liked the sound of this. “We will discuss ways of getting the Liberalistas on track.”
“But we mustn’t go soft on these Creatives,” there was much agreement; Duncan being careful not to be more vociferous than the others - not wishing to draw attention. “However the violence of the Liberalistas is opening our position to question, we must avoid that,” it was clear Philippa was ending the meeting there.
Duncan thought the cell would be happy with this.
Lina’s reveries were brought to a close as she received a call that the school excursion was over, and that the children would be waiting to be collected in half an hour – tired, the teacher laughed. And she laughed to herself, as she got ready to collect them. She was looking forward to their night at home.
That night she lay awake thinking about the Creatives. What must life have been like for them? At school they had discussed creativity, some argued that school was not such a place for discussion as it was unlikely that at that age genuine creativity had been sparked. But educationalists knew that in some way we record what might be useful for the future. For Lina creativity was an essential so the discussion had been hidden away for the appropriate time.
The teacher began “The Creative process begins with love. As children coming from a loving home, our basic connection with creativity is started at the same time as our love for our parents. This is Gaia’s way of training.”
Lina remembered a question, “Love and creativity are not the same, I know many people who love but they are not creative.”
“Good point, Giona” encouraged the teacher “I didn’t make it clear.” He looked at Giona with acknowledgement. “Creativity is started with love, Giona, but” he turned to the rest of the class “it is not for everyone to be creative. For some people they develop faculties of insight, in others seeing the truth or becoming wise, the call and duty of teaching and healing, and for some being in loving relationships is enough.”
“How do we know?” Giona pushed.
“That is the point of Gaia’s wisdom,” he answered “Giona, we don’t actually know until we know. Sometimes your parents and teachers know before you. They will watch what you children do, and they will see something special, a spark, an insight, some creativity, and they will know.”
“Do you see it in us, in me?” asked Giona insistently.
“You are pushy, today” laughed the teacher and she pulled back. “Giona, keep asking. I like your questions, they help me learn and teach. I sometimes do but it is not good to push the students too fast. If I see a spark I encourage it, I tell my colleagues because it is so important. But I usually don’t tell the student, it is up to them to learn and come to terms with it.”
“I would like to know if I have such a spark, I would want to develop it,” Giona answered.
“Giona, again a very good point,” he congratulated her “but the problem is if you try to be pushy,” he laughed kindly as she pulled back “it will not come. You cannot say I will be good at art, I will be a good writer, I will develop wisdom; only Gaia knows this.”
“As teachers we know the skills to teach you, we can recognise any of these wisdom vihars but we cannot teach the vihars themselves. You either have a vihar or you don’t, only Gaia knows. “But for you it is not only the skills you need to learn but it is the personal discipline – the discipline of questioning like my good friend, Giona,” he looked towards her as she blushed, it gave him a tingle “Questioning to learn, not just questioning. Questioning your teachers, but more importantly questioning yourself, looking at what you have heard at home, in school, in your community, and asking is this true, is this true for me? Deep questioning is so important, and leads to wisdom. “But questioning is concerned with removal. As young people wishing to learn, your minds fill up with so many facts, so many opinions, so many theories, so many mind-filling irrelevancies. No-one intentionally gives you such mindfill – at least nowadays,” he smiled to himself, education history had been his specialty “but it is mindfill all the same. One person’s mindfill is another person’s wisdom or insight. And what is the difference, Giona?” he turned to her.
“Questioning, Elder,” she answered quickly.
“Exactly, Giona,” smiled the teacher “Deep genuine questioning seeking to find what is core to your understanding and learning.”
“What do we always say?” Elder Kruu finished.
“Learning is human, imitation is for computers. Always do the best you can,” the class echoed.
He smiled, and they waited respectfully for him to leave. “Enjoy your healthy food,” he always said that.
Lina began thinking about how her own creativity developed, she loved painting. She had been a skilled craftsperson at school, she did well, but somehow it was frustrating. When she met Gerald her interest waned for a while, and then it came back with a vengeance. It had been a few years into the marriage, 4 years, 3 months and 22 days. She had met Gerald soon after school, and he began his oppressive wooing. Once she had accepted this, life with him was wonderful. At that time his compassion was completely focussed on her, and it was so powerful she was able to forget the impending downside. She was able to forget that his infatuation would die down, his compassion would turn to what was intended, and she would be left in a situation where her own self would be negated because of the intensity of his compassionate variations.
As she had known deep down his changing heart led to much moodiness. For long periods he would ignore his home duties focussing on more pressing world matters. Often she would carry out these chores but she drew the line at single parenting. Once chastised he was always apologetic, and then spent time with the children in as devoted a manner anyone could ask for. Until the next time.
This led to pressure on Lina as her home demands were increased, but she sacrificed this. But unlike Pasur times such a sacrifice was not expected, and humanity had changed. Whilst sacrifice was noble so was creativity, insight and love, and in the contemporary world it was expected that these qualities would be expressed – and not demoted to a second-best sacrifice bound up with an unquestioned ego.
But it was not really social expectations that brought forward her art – although they might have been contributory. It was the art – the muse. More and more she remembered her skills at school, and when she told Gerald he briefly enthused – and of course he agreed to the time and financial consequences. “Take what you need, and put it in the diary,” and that was it. And it wasn’t even one-sided like this, it wasn’t a condescension on his part, she knew he wanted her to paint, it was just not important to him to his commitment, to his compassion.
It was one evening when she decided to paint. For days there was planning, which day, which space in the house, how much money for the materials? His support was there but it was her plan – HER art. There was coffee, the paints, the palate, and silence. It was all there, and …. NOTHING. What was she to paint. Her mind churned over. Then children. The demands of Gerald. Even portraits. Their environment – place in the country, the dogs on the street – the new cute puppies. But none of it mattered, that wasn’t it. That wasn’t what she wanted to scream out.
And that was it, she did need to scream. She was screaming because of all the pressures that Gerald had put her under. His reasonableness yet his total demands, the way the home was revolving around his moodiness – her life, the kids. It was all skewed, and yet where was the fault? On the outside it was all that it should be but inside it was skewed, distorted and dangerous. That is what she wanted to do. She started with the sun shining, a field with flowers, it was idyllic. Until you looked closer, the sun it was imploding, the flowers their stems were cancered. With each new distortion her concentration developed as the paint tried to keep up with her intensity. It was so powerful. Distortion, intensity. A new image outward perfection, inward distortion. The contradictions, the pressure of the contradictions. Inside her it all built up until suddenly it felt as if her mind was bursting out of her skull. And it expanded – up through the top of her head out far away. It was as if she were floating over the countryside. A bird it’s head moving from side-to-side surveying all it knew – it could see. She floated as the bird for a while, and there was such an intense peace – what contradictions and distortions, it was just floating along a perfect peace. Then with a slight sadness she found herself descending to return home. But she had loved the peace, the peace she could remember for its depth and power – for the rest of her life.
Suddenly the bird had gone and she was back with her brush. But she was not alone. Her studio was filled with …. presence, she laughed at the word. She looked around, it was as if the air was tingling. There was a silence that was beyond the absence of sound, and she stayed with it. And then she felt …. Paint, go on paint. And she just painted. She was not going through internal contradictions and distortions she was just painting, painting, painting, …. Time was gone, she painted and painted …. and then there was no need. Tiredness came over her, and she lay down and drifted off to sleep, a deep unagitated peaceful sleep.
She woke up and marvelled at what she had done. It wasn’t finished. Her images were perhaps too distorted – without any subtle touches, over time she would add them. Even though it would take weeks, the painting would not change only be refined.
She found the muse a constant companion, and her frustrations melted away especially when she later got to know Honiti. Gerald was never now a problem just a phase that would soon end – or at least end it did not matter when.