|A NIGHT OF BRIEF TALES|
|by David Eide||.|
So there is the bridge builder and he has to make a bridge across a terrible, churning isthmus.
Experience tells him that he is best off is he makes his bridge along a horizontal plane that cuts the velocity of the wind. He assembles his materials to make this bridge. He has a pool of workmen and they assemble in the cool mornings where everything is wrapped in the hairy breath of fog.
"All up! All up!" cries the crowd that gathers to watch the great project. A tower is started, plunged and secured into the dark waters of the Bay. The bridge reminds one of half a wing of a fossilized bird, a creature that boys dream about when they think about dinosaurs.
The newspapers report daily on the progress of the bridge. In the inner chambers of county government the experts make sure it is up to standards. And it is up to standards. Only the unscrupulous would dare subvert the standards.
So, up goes the marvelous bridge and when it is finished the mayor, a portly fellow or woman, cuts the ribbon to signal the full flow of traffic over the new edifice. Everything is fine with the world.
In another part of the city there is a building maker. He must build a building that will accommodate hundreds of people. Despite the problems up it goes. Viola! It is complete and the people are secure in their offices communicating over complex phone lines and going up and down elevators to have a good old time in the jungleofit.
And too, in another section of the region, there is a rocket maker. He must assemble highly complex parts from every place imaginable to make sure the rocket goes up, escapes the gravitational pull of the earth and heads out for the goal of the scientists. That may be a dark place. But, what a dirty, difficult task this is! What a billion bits of data to hold together and so it all goes smoothly! What progress! What teamwork! Wow!
And it is an awesome thing.
There is, of course, another story to it. But then, shouldn't we contemplate the sheer beauty of putting things together well? Hm, well yes, it is finished. Now we can say that a phase of mind has played itself out to the last shred of its competence. The mind is out there in the world now and excites us with the prospect that we must re-invent it all over again. Oh science, find that bindu point of existence and deliver us from our hardened bodies!
Oh terrible world, what about my small and gentle dream? It is a pebble in the cresting wave of our great hyperbole. Oh dear ancients, what are the next great dreams? Where can we search for the openings that leads out from the ribs of iron through which our simple wishes are squeezed? Do you not want to see us, your children, distrustful of all we see and find out for ourselves what all the fuss is about?"