A mate of mine bought a piranha.
Up and down it swam.
Each at its own end now.
Then a third.
They took to the corners of the tank and so they were ok with the fourth….
yes the fifth..
and they all ate each other.
In the goldfish bowl of the Near East circa 600 BC, Nebuchadnezzar was like that fifth piranha..
all teeth and…more teeth,
snapping for space.
We humans need a lot more space than we think, precisely so we can think and be receptive to our creative daimons.
So its not just about jobs and food production.
Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse – and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness –
And Wilderness is Paradise enow. Omar Khayam
Up until ‘ol Neb’ wars between incipient nations were largely about honour. Your missus has gone of with some bloke to Troy and so you’re gonna get your brother’s help and then get some mates together and whip his ass.
Which is actually quite noble..
on one level.
With Neb’ and thereafter war gets a lot stranger, its about territory, incorporating people, wrestling their beliefs off them and exporting religious ideals. Neb’ didn’t just take over their land. He took people’s stories.
An’ broke their altars…
Like Gilgamesh before him Neb’ was a vanquisher, not just of nations but of gods. His name is accosiated with Nabu, son and co-conspiritor in the demise of his mother the goddess Tiamat.
So, not a people person…
He swallowed them up, them and their stories.
He realised that kingly subjugation by force of arms was not enough. The paralysing blow is to suck out a people’s mythology.
Which is why Empires deploy missionaries before soldiers.
Meantime the king goes mad with all those stories he’s gobbled down and like Phaeton stealing Apollo’s sun chariot, threatens everyone with his inflation.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Machiavelli.
Till he’s laid low by a divine thunderbolt and has to spend seven years in the desert living on grass to reflect upon his smallness.
In order to realise that the smaller he is the more space he actually has….
till this insignificant tract..
is Eden itself.
Space for a story.
A feature of my own story is’ the dark pool’. Sometimes it’s just a puddle….
but sometimes its a bog..
and sometimes its a sea of electrified shite.
Not all these dark pools are to be crossed or messed with. Some are a great deal deeper than I am tall.
And it doth oftimes behoove me to gettafugout.
Mysteries are not there to be uncovered..
Nor are stories to be dissected with some poncy what-it-means interpretation.
Much better is, ‘wow, this has something to do with me!’ and musing on it with respectful fascination knowing all the while that you can only get one corner of it in your mouth at any one time.
The trick is that you belong to the story and not the other way around.