Thursday, 14 February 2019
“Why don’t you believe in human beings?”
Onesti and Teathyme are riding side by side.
Onesti smiles and says, “You would like me to believe in them, wouldn’t you.”
A frown crosses Teathyme’s face. She sings, “I am not playing…”
Onesti says, “Ok. I will be serious. I cannot prove any of your human beings are real. They are not an objective reality, like the clans, gold, rainbows, dragon-kin or spider-kin, which can all be perceived in the physical world. They cannot be proven to exist in the same way as the, for example, spider-kin can be proven to exist. Human beings are simply not an objective reality.”
Teathyme stops singing, “Our cats believe in humans.”
Onesti sighs, “I am prepared to accept that many of us want to believe in human beings. I know the cats believe in them.”
She reaches down and pats the great white cat carrying her. Waylander turns and looks at her with deep eyes.
Onesti says, “Here. I am prepared to accept that they are a social reality. They are as real as the weight of smiles and songs. It is something enough of us believe in to change the way we behave. We tell stories, we weave dreams, and we dance songs about these supposed creatures. We make up stories of their exploits, and then we strive to invent their imaginary technologies and strategies for ourselves, but, in reality, they are just a reflection of ourselves.”
Seeing Teathyme’s face crease, she smiles a concession, “But, they have played a role in what we have become.”
Teathyme starts to protest, “There is more to humans than mere storm magic, I can feel it. They can help us protect the clans.”
Onesti continues, “You are too close to your feelings. You are letting a social reality become an objective reality.”
Teathyme sings “Spirit dust and star wraiths. That means nothing at all. Show me footprints and smell-trace.”
More urgently, “Come with me. I know where there are humans.”
Now it was Onesti’s turn to hesitate.
Onesti says, “But, why would you be so quick to believe in humans? You tell stories of them being as prolific as spider-kin and as cruel as dragon-kin. Why would we add to our problems?”
Teathyme sings, “They can help.”
Onesti knows the answer to this, “Remind me of the spider-kin.”
The web weavers that infest the nodes of the world, distorting reality.
The trap builders that wait for our story tellers and ruin the fantasy.
The great scorpions that poison our teachers and turn peace to agony.
Onesti growls, “How can your imaginary human beings help against such?”
Teathyme sings, “Come with me, blood sister. The universe is a large place. Let us see if they can end our winter.”
We Australians drink lots of tea - generally with milk and two tea-spoons of sugar. I taught myself to drink tea without milk or sugar when fighting fires a long time ago, and have grown to like the taste of different teas - sometimes with a little lemon.
I first met Teathyme after drinking a very strong cup of tea infused with thyme. Perhaps too strong.
Near this little patch of daisies I grow my herbs for tea - bergamot (flowering now, I must pick), mints and peppermints, corriander, thyme, balms, catnip, fennel, rosemary, roses and nettles - with jasmine to hand, clover in the grass and a bay leaf tree to hand. It is a little overgrown, and I always hesitate before plunging my hand into the mix, lest I find something unexpected (tiger snakes like dozing in this part of the garden).
One might suspect that the elves live in the under-story, riding the mice and small birds I sometimes see issue out of the tangle at high speed.
Of course, these days, Australians, generally, do not believe in elves or, to use the old form, aelfs - and maybe we are the poorer for it.