Ask Dr. Druid . Day 16
Bylar, my other planet
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This piece will read best for you
if you read it with your mouth as if out loud.
[Ask Dr. Druid is designed to begin at the beginning. Click here.]
When I first found out, I didn’t want to be from another planet. It’s like finding out you’re adopted. It’s disorienting. Like after your first major earthquake, you never feel the same simple sureness again. Obviously when people ask you where you’re from, you say, “The Eastern Shore of Maryland.” Saying “I’m from Bylar, a planet of intricate beauty where all sentience is irrevocably lost” is not an ice-breaker in the earth-based social swirl.
Oh Bylar. The last time she had been there, no animal or bird or grasshopper stirred. Only trees, grasses, and the wind. She stood for a moment in a graveyard on the top of a small hill. Here, crystallized, was why Bylar was wondrous. What had been lost. On Bylar, graves were not marked by cold stones. They were marked by large whimsical wind toys. The departed devised these playful mementos along as they lived, to leave in token of gratitude and delight. She put her right palm on the ground and then placed it over her heart. She listened to the amused clacking of the wooden toys as they played with the mischievous wind. Suddenly in spite of the rustle of the grasses and the droll clatter of the toys in the wind, like the wild creature she was, she heard the cold silence and tasted the bitter metal tang of fear.
In an instant with a last glance she stole the magic of her birthplace and tucked it as deep in her heart as she could hide it. She ran down the hill toward the glade, and the evil which had killed all her kin and kind scythed after her to slay this last consciousness on the planet Bylar.
She hid by a tree in the dappled glade in the deep green shadows, breathing silently. She muted her naked soul to almost death. She felt the restless bleak evil for only a moment thwarted. It had killed her kin without notice; it was not glad of that; it was just evil.
She felt it waiting to spring. She was perfectly trapped. She gathered all her heart and nerve and flung herself from her home into the ether. She smelled the scorched air as she fled. And knew somehow so strangely that somehow it had let her escape as if it could not quite quench every trace of Bylar from the Worlds. Or was it prevented?
Bylar. Only me to speak thy fluid fluent loving tongue. Rowdy soft splashing fire and waterfall of flame words are alive to us and I hold you in my words’ embrace with the passion and affection that I might kiss your mouth if I were near enough to feel your smile and taste your breath as we breathe together and do not know whose heart is beating louder.
Yes Bylar is a run-on sentence and a mixed metaphor as is all life everywhere. The grammar of truth is not what’s taught in your usual school.
Some people on her adopted planet were dismayed at her intensity, but she knew something that Earthers did not, that a beloved planet can die, and all the sentience be irrevocably gone. She loved fancy, extravagant, spectacular Earth. She was homesick only for the fluidity, the spectrum of speeds, the reverent complexity of thought that was so easy and essential on Bylar. The laughter always in the background like living next to a river running over rocks. Splashing, thought did splash on Bylar.
You could tap into the Knot and join the hymn and hum and chuckle and gossip of the communal interlaced sentience of the planet. Or you could take a spate of solitude. The communal had a telempathic intimacy. Because sensation was one whole of response to interaction, senses were not falsely separated as on Sol3. You tasted with your eyes, saw with your tongue. Alone or plugged in, sensation was an orchestral luxury. You were immersed in sensation. You surfed on a wave of sensation, then splashed in the froth of its breaking wave.
The heartbeat of a stone is slow. The heartbeat of a bird is fast. The Savors, or what would be called humans on Sol3, were capable of the whole spectrum of identity and speeds. It was their job to savor and to hold holy all the minutes and minutia of their experience and keep it against the Long Dark.
I believe I will find it or it will be found—the record, the preserved dream of the beloved lost planet, my Bylar, where most of all we laughed. My blood was born under another star. Coming from so far, the best I can tell you from my alien but sympathetic heart is “Wake up. Treasure it. This second and the next. This person and the next. You have been given a splendid planet. Tune your every molecule to appreciation, and wonder will accompany you. Oh do treasure your planet and its denizens. You can lose all of them, and that ache is a ghastly lesson, more horrible than I dare tell you. Against the vast sky of eternity, each moment of your life is a distinct star. Do your life honor. You are a miracle of sentience. Savor it.”
I wrote this so long ago in my life. It was a shocking experience and reported as concretely as I am able. Perhaps it will give you a glimpse of why I’m so devoted to our darling Earth. I know starkly what’s at stake.
For now, let’s call me an orphan brought up by druids. An hardest aspect of darling Earth Vuravura Jeegoo is the cripplingly strait grammar. Tho English is a miracle of funky pirated adaptability, a bastard, mongrel language of stupendous vigor . . . compared to Bylar’s hololanguages, it is pretty staid. I try to push the language envelope in quirk and quixot without losing you, dear reader, in a reverent revelry. I implore you to read with your mouth as if out loud because all these pieces are songy and tasting the words keeps the melody at the best rhythm for grok.
Also I’m trying progressively to unclench your more rational mind as we travel through these days. (If you have just arrived in Day 15, it will serve you to go back and begin at the Intro of Ask Dr. Druid so the vocabulary and the eccentricky but sustainable sensibility unfolds in the alchemic way it’s designed to.)
It is my job to bring you safe back to your harbor after an adventure on the high galactic seas.
.. bylar means ‘to dance’ in Spanish;
Ask Dr. Druid, 66 Days from Lead to Gold, Secrets of Alchemy You Can Use, a druid shaman’s playbook .. Intro; Prologue; Day 1; Days 2 & 3; Day 4; Day 5; Day 6; Day 7; Day 8; Day 9; Day 10; Day 11; Day 12; Day 13; Day 14; day 15 Review 2; Day 16; Day 17; Day 18; Day 19; Day 20; Day 21; Day 22; Day 23; Day 24; Day 25; Day 26; Day 27; Day 28; Day 29;……..……<^>………..…..
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