Tiger Kites and Butterflies
I put these notes together from a fragment of memory, hoping to convey a fraction of what I felt one day in the beautiful lands of the 4th World of Pravesh.
About the Realm of Pravesh, The 4th World, and the moment that inspired this song:
In the lands of his kingdom, which spanned 5 planets, 9 moons and thousands of smaller rocks, Cosmic Lord Pravesh Philotaxis, Bane of Chaos, had ordered that all his charges be categorized, classed and labeled according to every imaginable property.
Through the use of advanced technology, each citizen’s traits, activities and proclivities were collected and recorded in a continual census. Some citizens embraced their own data set, wearing it like a badge. To them, the recorded information and their own identity were one and the same. They asserted that by sharing this information, they could better connect with one another. Citizens that wished to hide from the technology and remain anonymous had no say in the matter, for the network of sensors was so advanced and pervasive that none could avoid its detection and scanning techniques entirely. Opinions varied regarding the quality of life under Pravesh.
Pravesh himself maintained and consulted a collection of detailed information on over 400 billion individuals, including the groups to which they belonged and the relationships between them. Since he had primary control of this information, and a far-reaching and powerful communication infrastructure, he could manipulate individuals and groups against each other without them even knowing it was him pulling the strings. Though indirectly, this provided him a measure of mind control. The system was most effective in controlling subjects residing close to his centers of power, where he could collect more and better information. In the farther reaches of his realm, however, inaccuracies crept in. There were many reasons for this, but the result was that subjects at the fringes of his empire lived in a grey area—under his protection and stewardship, but outside his ability to fully manipulate.
In particular, the people of the 4th World used Pravesh’s database for their own benefit by subtly manipulating and masking their data as a way to skim political favors and wealth. In one incarnation under Pravesh, I was fortunate enough to live in an area where the citizens had done so well in garnering favors from the throne that they had enough spare time to enjoy the beautiful things in life, instead of merely serving Pravesh. In the records they appeared as dutiful servants, yet in reality they had gamed his system, creating a refuge.
That brings me to the memorable afternoon which inspired this song. In my single incarnation on the 4th World, I found myself with plentiful free time to wander the fragrant neighborhoods of Briar’bolan. I had no purpose then, other than enjoying life, for the sun that shone on the 4th World filled one’s body with warmth and bliss. As I was, so were many others taken up in the Joy of the Rays that day. People were out in the parks playing games, on the rivers skimming along, and in the fields flying kites. As I approached my own favorite park, which was hidden from the 2nd thoroughfare by a few rows of orange-pansied berms, the Rays overtook me to such a degree that I had to stop and recline.
While in repose and looking skyward, I heard the sounds of revelers nearby. A gentle breeze wafted over me, carrying with it hints of wildflowers and citrus. In the light blue sky above me, tiger kites streaked and swooped, and butterflies danced. The butterflies seemed to notice the kites on occasion, and would flash in movement together when the kites swooped low. At first, it was stimulating and engaging—the sights above me and the sounds around me swirling in my mind. After a short while, the warmth of the sun on my chest and limbs began to have a soothing effect. Drowsiness crept in, but just a little. I pulled the edges of my collar over my eyes. Then, like I had never experienced before or since, a warmth arose within my core and began to crowd out my senses. It was a warmth so pleasant, the moment seemed eternal. It filled my body, my heart, my mind and my soul. I stopped thinking and only felt, without the need to move or act. Everything fell together and away at once.
Eons later, my senses began to return. Strings and flutes drifted in and butterflies flitted around. I sat up. There were blades of grass stuck to the backs of my ears. I pulled them off and felt pleasant shivers ripple down my neck. It was a little too bright for my eyes still, so I rubbed my face and sat quietly for a few minutes before leaving. Over endless spans of time and space, in millions of incarnations across the universe, I have never recaptured that moment.
About this post:
This is my first post on puncta lucis that features an original song, along with a supporting cover design and creative writing.
The song was arranged and produced in 2009, as was the cover design. To produce the song, I used a digital audio workstation, playing notes using my midi keyboard, and then programming a few additional parts. The cover design is one of 26 that I put together as an experiment and exercise in designing CD inserts and album artwork. As part of that design exercise, I made up a fictional name to use as the artist’s name: microscapegoat. For a brief spell in 2009, and again in 2011, I posted and shared some of those cover designs and 25 other songs that corresponded with the designs. Since I wasn’t satisfied with my site designs and sharing set-up, I pulled those earlier posts down after a short time. A few of the 26 had been accompanied by a little writing in the voice of the fictional artist, microscapegoat.
Now that I’m committed to puncta lucis, I realize that I have a good outlet to post these creative works, including some additional designs that I’ve worked on since then. Look for additional cover designs and songs in the months ahead. Only some will be accompanied by writing.