Sweet Spot

People in Lucerne were excited. It was The Place’s official opening night. The renovated car park at the centre of their village was already in use, but tonight it would be baptised by village notables and elders, an important ritual in any community, and more so with controversial developments.

Sophie set up the main shot. HOT TV’s coverage tonight was devoted to the opening ceremony, rather than yet another film with dancing girls in hot pants and bra tops showing the joys of living in Lucerne. Yet the girls were all here. There was Jeannie, founder of the monthly People’s Kitchen, where spare food was cooked into delicious meals for every needy member of the community. There were Alli and Sami, and Donna too.

Among the crowd Sophie saw Danny, to whom she’d drawn closer over the past few weeks. Was he the right one, she wondered? Or maybe, as her British mother would say, he was a right one. This meant something else entirely.

She really liked The Place’s central element, a water feature with dancing jets, and a plinth for a statue, which was rotatable and retractable, meaning it could also be used as a small stage. There must be several statues stored in the vault below. In between the time The Place was completed and its official opening ceremony, Sophie had seen statues of Lucerne’s claimed founders St Lucy (favoured by Anglo-Saxon women), Cernunnos (favoured by Anglo-Saxon men), and White Bear (favoured by natives, and who most likely did found the village). Tonight the plinth remained empty, for it was in use as a stage.

Sophie noticed that the acoustics were strange here. The ceremony was starting, and it was too late to make adjustments. She should have realized before.

The famous holy man Guru Baba, who had made Lucerne his home, was too weak or too tired to come here personally, so sent a video message instead. “The centre of every place is sacred,” he said, dressed in saffron turban and sarong, and white string vest. “It represents the heart of things. The place from which everything emerges, and around which all revolves…” The rest of his words were unclear. He continued speaking for five minutes, but the words seemed to stop dead, as if they were killed in his mouth. Maybe it was just her headphones. Sophie removed them, but nothing changed.

Next was the new age mystic Ozwald Malchizedek, also known as OM, who mounted the plinth in person, in full golden robes. He was popular with those who didn’t like the discipline of Guru Baba’s methods. OM operated by the Principle of Pleasure (POP), whose objective was to do whatever you liked. “Good people of Lucerne,” he said. “I am pleased to be here with you on this historic occasion. This village was created by historic accident, by confluence of railways and powerlines, roads and rivers. Till now it didn’t have a real centre. Today we celebrate this Place.” The delivery of his words was just right. There was a – maybe – one second reverberation, adding richness and power. Sophie wondered what he was doing that Guru Baba wasn’t.

He spoke for five minutes before Jeannie was invited to the stage. She talked about the People’s Kitchen, the monthly dinner for everyone, cooked by volunteers with donated ingredients (the butcher gave hamburgers, the grocer gave salad, the baker gave buns and sometimes cakes); it assisted those in need and cultivated community. Then Jeannie and the other HOT TV girls shook their female assets; which they knew was sure to get good coverage. Sophie noticed the reverberation period had lengthened to over two seconds. Jeannie’s words all ran into each other, but the music sounded great.

The Global Grandmothers mounted the stage and sang and danced together. It was a mix of throat-singing, choral, beatbox, and chanting, with a backing track of rousing trance. Their voices soared individually and together. They found the Place’s sweets spot, its Point of Control, and their magical voices entranced the crowd.

Nobody noticed when it became dark and when it became light again. The grandmothers had harnessed the holy powers of the earth. All were in a daze. As the sun rose to the bless The Place, Sophie returned to full awareness. She had been awake but not aware; a slave to higher vibrations. She saw her camera had been filming for twelve hours – from 6am to 6pm – and tried to recall all that had happened this night. She felt there was truth in Guru Baba’s words about a centre representing the heart of things, from which everything emerged, and around which all revolved.

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