Once upon October

October 12, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

October can be a stormy month. Changes in the wind bring changes in the seasons, everything in question, quaking in the promise of heavy weather to come. I wonder how history will write up these strange times, should there be anyone left to read it. If, in a distant future, this era is discovered of humans at the pinnacle or should we say depths of ruinous behaviour, having pushed the globe over its forbidden 1.5 degrees centigrade, with so much of the world in historical trouble, embroiled in wars and a depleted environment that is thrashing humans in fires and floods… what evidence would really tell the truth of our suicide?

Future inhabitants of this planet may well be digging and finding this civilization buried deep under the ruins of unimaginably large-scale war and destruction combined with being overrun by the terrors the planet itself, delivered to an ungrateful and ridiculously destructive species.

A future species may not be of this planet originally but coming by accident or speculative design, not before they had checked and double-checked the air and that there is some semblance of soil, earth that is safe to land on, not so poisoned as to never produce the bounty it once did.

We are still digging like this and learning so often now, the new humans of two million or so years ago, barely freed of their primate forebearers, that those very early, almost experimental humanoids understood the stars, and dealt in complicated maths. 

Thousands of years later, once they were firmly established physically as humans, they apparently built structures that we still cannot, cannot repeat exactly, no matter our technology. We puzzle over their precision and clear-sighted interpretation of the movement of the stars and sun and the completely accurate placement of monumental stones brought so far from their original places, forcing us to admit we do not really know how those stones were moved. 

So, if we indeed bury ourselves beneath our grieving planet, our impossible weapons and by the tin hands of our over-ticked technology, leaving a ruined and blasted planet, if, as predictions have insisted, we truly wipe ourselves out – and no one will have managed to escape from the planet, but if they do, they will not survive their hoped-for colonization of another rock, what life form in the far-off future will try to live here?

I wonder.

A recent note on the BBC informed its readers that it is no longer a matter of if we come into contact with an alien species but when we do. Inevitably, we are assured, but I think it is either too soon or too late. 

Too soon to come into such wretchedness as we have here now, with little or no real “civilization” in the true sense of the word to welcome them. With fear as our primary reaction to anything strange and very aware of how we behaved when we landed on unknown territory, those extraterrestrials might only meet with the worst of us immediately, ready to preemptively slaughter them without question or curiosity.

It is too late to rescue us from ourselves with lessons and technology far different and superior to our own. If, as so many sci-fi movies have portrayed, visitors from other galaxies arrive with only the intention to eliminate us – well, we have gone some distance to manage that anyway. So, it might not be that big a job, and there will be nothing we can do about it.

Yet, what if, what if, those with the skills and knowledge to truly travel light years, which will mean they have conquered the speed of light, or they have successfully learned how to exist for the time it takes to travel such distances – what if they are truly civilized? Is it possible for any creature to live without having to exist and thrive on the pain of others? Can there be a species on any planet that has life figured out? That it is possible to live in some form of harmony, without greed and self-interest that is only happy to diminish and steal from others? That it is possible to live like this and still not be bored?

Can any species be truly happy without making its harshest mark on the place where it lives? Is it possible that a society can exist without corruption to rule?

That goodness and enough for everyone will still see greatness, or must creativity necessarily depend on pain?

Well, almost 04:00 is a good time for such ruminations, I guess. Would another salient life form live without stimulants – no wine, I mean. I don’t care too much about the rest, and most of them are just as harmful as the rest of the slop in which we indulge.

For the last several months, I have been entertaining myself with a creature I invented and sketched from another world, where all that I have asked for here is the case. “He” is Amat (Latin: amo, amas, amat: I love, you love, he/she/it loves), and I’m having a lot of fun with him and his friendship with an individual human who is showing him around the earth, trying to please him with the best of it.

Of course, in all my heavy complaining, I know about that too.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.