Archive for water

Aquatic Auras

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2012 by javedbabar

Why was he wearing full-on yellow storm gear? The sun was shining and the water rippled in light wind. It is a beautiful day, thought Sophie, it is unlikely that any tornadoes will hit Blackwater Lake today.

The man sat there, nodding. For a moment she froze. What if he was a real weirdo, a serial killer? She had seen a movie called “Banker of Souls”, where the killer wore storm gear to avoid blood splashing his pinstriped suit. She shook her head to dispel the image.

The yellow-coated figure turned towards her. Deep within the hood’s hollow was a crinkled face wearing pink lipstick and golden earrings. It was an old woman rather than a man. She said in a whisper, “How many fishes can you see?”

Sophie saw the woman was mending nets, huge ones of all colours, spread around her. The needle’s motion was causing her to nod. She probably wasn’t a serial killer.

“I can’t see any fish,” said Sophie. “The water’s too dark. Are there many in the lake?”

“Many in the lake! Many in the lake!” The woman was cackling. “Many in the lake! Yes, there are many in the lake. Take a closer look.”

Sophie walked around some blue and green nets to the water’s edge, and peered into the black water. Patches of froth floated on the surface. They must be fish bubbles, she thought. She shielded her eyes to cut the sky’s silver glare, and looked harder.

“Yes,” she said. “I can see a fish. I think it’s a carp. There’s another one too, and another. Three of them. It’s hard to see their colour through the water. Are they purple and silver?”

“Yes, they are.” The old woman kept mending and nodding, and said, “Keep looking.”

Sophie saw silver ripples running through dark water. Not on the surface, they were deep within, rolling and stretching as if with a life of their own. Moving silver within silver. Whole sections of the lake seemed to move, as if these ripples were borne by hidden currents.

The woman said, “Do you see them?”

“Yes, I do. Are there springs beneath the lake? Or flows of rivers passing through?”

“Neither of those. There are fishes within fishes within fishes. You can’t see them all, only their aquatic auras. That’s why I am fixing these nets up. They’re needed here.”

Sophie was bemused by this notion. “Can you catch aquatic auras?”

“Only if you know what you’re doing, and I do.” She continued mending and nodding, and said, “The food chain is always visible, who eats who. The little ones are contained in big ones, aquatic auras show that, and it’s the same for humans too. You can see it in people’s faces. Look at the millions gobbled up by cities every day. Their lives are bounded, frozen within arthritic auras, all grey. The only ones smiling are the big ones you don’t see.”

She looked towards the lake. “That whale in there is taking too much.” She got up and prepared to throw out her nets. “Time to haul him in.”

Healthy Natural Beverage

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village, Organic Farming with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2012 by javedbabar

Bobby remembered starting work at the farm, but only vaguely. It was possibly a year ago. He used to live in the city; he had a brother there who was married, and parents who were old.

He also had somebody here… a sister, who had a daughter – that’s right! – Naomi, who he enjoyed spending time with. When was the last time he had seen her? He couldn’t recall. He should see her more often, and swore he would do that, but it was hard to find time; he was busy working “Farmtime Fulltime”, as the boss called it. He often snoozed in the forest at lunchtime, but other than that, he rarely left the farm.

He should know his fellow workers better, but he barely knew their names. Beyond “good morning,”, “good afternoon”, and “good night,” they exchanged few words. They worked alone in the fields, and then went to trailers to watch TV. It was a lonely life, but somehow pleasing. It must be, as Bobby had no desire to do anything else.

Beers in town? He had some in the fridge.

A restaurant meal? Why suffer the noise and expense?

Meeting girls? There were plenty on the internet, who were much less trouble than wining and dining a real girl just to get her into bed. Who could be bothered to expend energy on sex anyway? He wasn’t married and wanting kids. What was the point? Pleasure was readily available, if he could be bothered.

Bobby had come to the farm on the WWW programme, a Willing Waterer and Weeder. Though his official working day was twelve hours, he watered and weeded only for 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours at night. That was all he could manage. It was hot thirsty work.

The farmer encouraged them all to keep well hydrated, and there were vintage signs in many places saying Drink Tea. He’d told them that tea was better than water, as it was a healthy natural beverage with vital trace minerals. In the same way that we should eat food containing nutrients, not just empty calories, we should also consume nutritionally enhanced drinks. Their minerals ensured optimal physical functioning.

He didn’t tell them that the tea was Silva Sanguinarus, which had been given to soldiers in European wars. It was an anticonvulsant and sedative, and an anaphrodisiac.

The tea kept them working steadily but reduced their desire to do anything else. It was the perfect dietary supplement for the endless watering and weeding required for industrial organic production. After all, they were only one step away from machines. Right now people were more economical to use but that could change soon. The farmer would then switch from tea to oil.

Under Investigation

Posted in Alternative Energy, Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2012 by javedbabar

On Shama’s third day as Lucerne’s Building Control Officer, he found a file marked “UNDER INVESTIGATION” in the stack of papers on his desk. Let’s see what’s going on here, he said to himself. He pushed aside the executive toys left by his predecessor, and opened the file fully across his desk.

It contained a hand drawn map and the record of an anonymous telephone call, reporting someone building without permission. There were a few sheets of illegible notes; people had terrible handwriting these days, and the day was dawning when they’d forget how to hold a pen altogether. The application forms on his desk bore testament that this day was fast approaching; he couldn’t read any of them without guessing half the words.

He located the place on a large scale map of the Lucerne Valley. It was in the Upper Valley, 25 kilometres out of town, where cell phone reception was non existant. When he reached the location he found the “hidden driveway” shown on the map, two tire tracks in the bush. There was an old brown truck at the end of the driveway, but no sign of any construction activity.

Shama saw two lengths of rebar stuck in the ground, with ropes tied around them bearing tension. What were they tied to? he wondered, and looked for a large item they may be securing. The ropes went through some forest, over a small bank, and into the River Lilly. What was going on?

Maybe it was a hunter keeping game cool or chilling beers for after. He’d also heard of people “icing” champagne in the Lilly’s glacial waters. Was it someone living off-grid, storing dairy products?

Shama heard strange sounds coming from the river: regular thumping and gurgling. Was it a trapped log being battered by the flow, creating air burps?

It sounded mechanical though, somewhat like a diesel generator.

He saw a cable rise and float on the water, followed by a slimy brown mass – was it a bear, fishing? He prepared to run, but then saw that it wasn’t was a beast. It was a very hairy human head. The hair seemed to wrap right around it, like a small inflated skin.

“Hello!” shouted the head. “I’m just coming. Wait there!” He swam over and hauled himself out. “You’re the BCO? What happened to the other guy? He was snooping around here. He wouldn’t believe me when I said I wasn’t building anything on land.”

“Well, are you?” asked Shama, bemused.

“No way! You think I want to get in trouble with the Building Control Officer?”

“Well, what are you doing then?”

A smile burst in the hairball. “Want to see? Good! The last guy didn’t, and that’s why we didn’t get anywhere. Here, put on this diving suit.” Shama did so. “Now, hold onto these ropes and come down. Don’t let go, the currents strong.”

After twenty metres, they reached three joined containers on the riverbed. They went through an airlock and emerged in a warm dry room. “What is this?” said Shama.

“The answer to global warming for millions of people around the world. This is a prototype. It runs on water power, uses aqueous gas exchange, and has arctic insulation.”

Shama thought that he’d better change the file name from “UNDER INVESTIGATION” to “UNDER WATER”.

Earth, Moon and Sun Aligned

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2012 by javedbabar

Guru Baba had brought his assistant Sami into a field at dusk, saying that he must stay there all night, “learning lessons from the Man in the Moon.” When Sami asked why, Guru Baba got angry and said, “Because I said so! I know more than you!” Then he told him about Yoshitoshi, the Japanese artist who had made a series of woodblock prints called One Hundred Views of the Moon.

Guru Baba took Sami’s arm and said, “Let’s walk this way,” leading him towards a boggy area. Sami was about to suggest a different direction, but decided to hold his tongue.

Their feet began squelching. Sami was wearing boots but Guru Baba wore sandals and his feet became mud clumps. They reached a natural pond, partly covered with lilies, and stopped to inhale their lush aromas. Guru Baba gave a low laugh and pointed to a darker corner of the pond and said, “Look at the moon in the water.”

Maybe Guru Baba was on to something. Sami really should improve his observation.

It was barely dusk. The faint moon in a pale blue sky was even fainter in the water. It was barely visible. When he focussed upon it though, there it was, with the same strange play of light and dark across its face. It was subtle and hopeful, always changing but always whole. He realized that he didn’t really understand why the moon waxed and waned, or at least why it appeared to do so from earth.

“Do you feel drawn towards it?” asked Guru Baba. Sami half-nodded. “The earth and the moon are attracted to each other. It’s nothing strange, just the same power we experience everyday – gravity. But the earth doesn’t let the moon steal its possessions, so the moon just tugs a little at the water.”

“That’s what causes the tides, isn’t it?”

“Yes it is. The oceans’ waters rise and fall according to the moon’s position, with a  little help from her brother sun. The highest and lowest tides are when their pulls are combined, when earth, moon and sun are aligned. These alignments formed the basis of ancient calendars.”

Sami looked at the pond again but the moon was gone. He had to step forward to see it now; it moved more quickly than he’d realized. Guru Baba continued, “And it doesn’t just affect tides. It affects all water. That’s why it’s better to plant crops at certain times of the month, when moisture is nearer the surface.”

“Does water creates mirages?” said Sami.

Guru Baba said enigmatically, “Maybe it does.” He adjusted his robes at the back in an unseemly manner. “But most of all the moon affects us. Yes, it affects unbounded bodies of water like the earth’s oceans, but it also affects our smaller, bounded oceans. The moon affects our dreams and fertility. It alters our blood, organs and brains. That’s why I behave the way I do sometimes. I am being visited by the Man in the Moon.”

Sami was confused by the moon sometimes being masculine and sometimes feminine. Maybe that was a lesson in itself.

Hours of the Moon

Posted in Conceptual Art, Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience with tags , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2012 by javedbabar

Guru Baba gave his assistant Sami the day off, “But only the day!” he said. “Tonight you will stay up working!”

“May I ask doing what?” said Sami. He was accustomed to Guru Baba’s mysterious utterances, but there was no harm in trying to glean some extra information.

The bearded sage adjusted his orange robe beneath the waist in an unseemly manner, and smiled. He said, “You will see!” He also adjusted the tilt of his turban. “You will see!”

Guru Baba’s first year of retirement to “the nice village with the white mountain above it” had been a confusing period. There were concerns that this famous holy man was suffering from dementia. Many global leaders had come to see him, thinking that he may soon die – it was a valuable PR opportunity not to miss out on! – but here he was in tip-top shape. Sami had given up trying to understand the man. He had developed a deep fondness for him, even when he was being very annoying, like now.

Sami didn’t want to have the day off and work all night. He made another attempt at extracting information. “Guru Baba, what for?”

“What for? What for? Because I said so! I know more than you! Come here at six o’ clock tonight or don’t ever bother coming here again.”

Sami spent the day watching movies and cleaning the house. He should do it more often, not let it build up like this into a disaster zone. Did spiders really think they’d catch sumptuous dinners in his apartment? Bug screens kept all the insects out, but seemed to have no effect on fluff and dust.

Sami appeared at six p.m., as instructed, at the Transparent Temple. Guru Baba said cheerfully, “Come on, let’s go for a walk.” They walked along the canal trail for a kilometre before turning off into a field. “Look,” said Guru Baba. “There’s the moon.”

This was true. Though it was not yet dusk, a full moon had appeared, more grey than white, in a pale blue sky. Guru Baba said, “You will be learning lessons from the Man in the Moon tonight.” Then he produced a sketch pad and pencil from beneath his robes and said, “Draw the moon.”

“But I can’t really draw,” said Sami. He’d never enjoyed art class.

Sami recognized the signs when Guru Baba was angry. His nose drew up and he shouted, “Draw it! Drawing is just looking! Look at it!”

Sami did the best he could. There was nothing to draw really, just a circle with some shading. “Well done,” said Guru Baba in a conciliatory fashion.

They continued looking. The sage said, “Do you know the Japanese artist Yoshitoshi? He made a series of woodblock prints called One Hundred Views of the Moon. They are very beautiful, and so surprising and original, with lovers, warriors, old women, children, farmers, and monkeys all looking at the moon. They are entranced by it. I want you to always look at the moon like that. Yoshitoshi was the last master of woodblock printing before photography and other forms of mass reproduction destroyed it. His life represents one man’s struggle against time. He eventually lost. We all do. But while he was alive he was always looking.”


Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Global Travel, Mystical Experience, Uncategorized, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2012 by javedbabar

Sophie had been affected by the drawing she’d found this morning on the Lucerne Valley Road. She decided to display it on her office wall. She couldn’t make out any details clearly, but it gave the impression of a vast, complex city, filled with human activity. Framing it had been a good idea. It filled the boring expanse of beige opposite her window. People looking into the office now had something to see.

She was mostly out of her office that afternoon, at crisis meetings about rising water levels in the Upper Valley. Two straight weeks of blazing sun had melted snow caps and caused the highest river levels since the last great flood of 2008.

She’d pulled her door closed behind her when she’d left, as per regulations. There was no need to lock it though. Every door opening was recorded on the surveillance system, which was enough to deter unauthorized staff from entering her office.

To improve village hall’s green rating, the office manager had switched off air-conditioning systems, and the building’s passive solar design was meant to keep it cool. However the angle of the sun today was such that the overhang was insufficient. Sunshine poured in throughout the day and made her office an oven.

The framed drawing took a direct hit of sunshine for over an hour. The city portrayed within it heated unbearably and began to suffer droughts. Its reservoirs were exhausted and aquifers dry. Its infrastructure had been repaired after the recent “nuclear accident” which most citizens knew had really been a war. However, due to corruption and incompetence, it had not been fixed well. The little water supply there was suffered big losses, causing The Authority to implement rationing and initiate Level Three hydrostatic measures.

Tensions arose on the streets, and there were simultaneous water riots all over the city. Ozwald Malchizedek claimed to be the Prophet of Aqu – the god of fresh water. He called a citizens’ gathering outside the Transparent Temple and said, “People of the holy city, we have displeased Aqu. He is withholding his water from us, the blood of life. He no longer fertilizes mother earth with his fluid seed. He withholds his kindness and displays his strength. He is angry because we have forgotten him!”

There were shouts of agreement.

He continued, “Let us remember the Dreamtime story of the first parents – Aqu, in the form of Bobby, and Pani, as Naomi – who came from another world and created this one. Their pathways became our waterways. Their dreamlines are our bloodlines. Let us build more vessels for water. I call for the initiation of a mighty canal-building project for transport, leisure, and trade. Let us show that we are worthy to be blessed with the gift of water. If we build the canals, they will send water.”

The Authority had no choice but to supply the machines, tools, and workers required. They knew that drawing water was a matter of life and death. Right now they were powerless, but let Aqu and Pani take the blame. Religion is useful for civic order. Amen!


Posted in Alternative Energy, Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2012 by javedbabar

The new owners of the Lucerne Valley Hotel were forward thinking. They wanted to get ahead of the regulations and the competition, so embarked on a programme of sustainable renovation focussed on recycling and energy efficiency. Grants from The Authority made the project viable.

They began with structural adjustments. They removed non-load bearing walls and replaced them with expansive windows. Their passive solar strategy would allow more sunshine to enter the building, reducing both lighting and heating bills. Appropriately angled overhangs were constructed so the sun didn’t boil guests in summer.

They added extra insulation to retain both heat and cold, according to seasonal requirements, and sunk pipes filled with refrigerant into the ground to create a geothermal field. On the roof they added solar-electric panels, solar hot water tubes, and a small wind turbine. In the basement were a methane digester and wood pellet heater, plus stations to recharge the hotel’s electric cars. They were confident of a Class One Superior Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER).

The Energy Auditor had many good things to say about the Lucerne Valley Hotel. However, he said that he could only give them a Class Two SEER. Water – more than sun, wind, methane or wood – was the hot topic these days. The province sold most of its fresh water to America. What remained was a valuable commodity that must be preserved. The Energy Auditor’s report said, “Overall, a credible performance, but evidence of much water wastage. If this can be addressed within thirty (30) days, the establishment will receive a Class One SEER.”

The new owners were keen to gain this Class One rating. They planned to make it their Unique Selling Proposition (USP) at the heart of all marketing activity.  It would boost the current message of “Lucerne Valley Hotel. Your home is our home, that’s why we treat the earth right.”

TJ was asked to look into the matter. He wondered if it was possible to create a completely sealed environment where all water was recycled and reused. He looked at the logistical methodologies of Bedouins and astronauts, who seemed far apart but shared the same respect for water. To both it meant life or death, so they conserved and reused all fluids possible.

How would this translate to the hotel? He explored the categories of water running through hotel systems: blue (drinking), grey (washing), brown (soiled), green (nutrient-rich), light (ionized), and heavy (irradiated) waters. How best to combine them into a hydrostatic system?

The staff and guests added complexity. Each had different human/android proportions with particular humidity and hydration needs. Sealing water into a hotel super system may seem strange. People would feel rusty inside, which was a common psychological/technological condition. And too much focus on water wasn’t right. Humans were evolving into robots. Why make them devolve into fish?

Light Water

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2012 by javedbabar

Danny stood on the far side of the car park, looking down. Sophie indicated for him to walk towards her but he didn’t move. “Come on, love,” she called out, “Let’s go.”

There was still no motion, so she walked towards him instead, and put her arm around his waist when she reached him. “Are you all right?”

Danny looked up at her but said nothing, then again looked downwards. She followed his eyes and saw what he was looking at: a large pool of water reflecting the stars, and also the two of them. It wasn’t a normal reflection though. Their images were repeated all over the pool in different sizes, with different opacities, and orientations. They seemed caught within an infinite mirror, with stars all around them.

All she could say was, “Wow! Babe.” Sophie was no scientist, but figured it was something to do with crystals melting into water. There had been frost warnings this week, and she’d seen snow plows spreading rock salt. It must affect the water somehow.

She had heard the term “heavy water” on a news story about proliferation of nuclear technology in the Middle East. Was it something like that? Then she realized that if anything, this was its opposite: light water, water filled with light.

Sophie was mesmerised by the mirror. She stood beside Danny, together, forever it seemed. Forever and ever. Here they were in Lucerne. There, in the City, before they’d met. And there, living in a beautiful cabin in the valley. Elsewhere, at the Taj Mahal. She was hallucinating surely. Meditating. Obsessing. Entranced.

This water was filled with the wonder of the universe. The stars all around them knowing each other, connecting and signalling, making constellations.

His Taurus strode towards her Leo, but rather than fighting, they lay down together in velvet. Aquarius carried over a pitcher of cool water with Pisces swimming within it. Gemini said, “Hello! Hello!” to Capricorn, who replied with “Mehhn!” Cancer and Scorpio pinched each other playfully. Virgo herded Aries along, while Sagittarius used Libra to balance his arrows. Was this an image of the “heaven on earth” spoken of in holy books? A moment of union with all that exists?

“Hey! What are you two looking at?” shouted their friend Shama, pulling his truck into the car park, on his way to the bottle shop. “Get out of the way or you’ll be pretty flat soon.” Danny and Sophie looked up as he drove through the light water. It rippled and became dark.

Survival of the Fishest

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2012 by javedbabar

Mr Cooper loved the light glittering on the ceiling. It looked like a sea in the sky. He’d managed to convince the project manager to put reflective paint on the ceiling by telling him it would save on heating and lighting costs.

This was his favourite part of the job, teaching kids to swim. “Right! We’ll begin with the principles of buoyancy,” he said. “Who knows what happens when humans enter water?”

No hands went up, so he picked on a small boy at the front. “You – what happens?”

“We sink,” he said quietly, and looked scared.

“Wrong! We float. The human body has high water content, so its density is close to water. Due to its cavities – I mean your lungs, not your teeth – the average density becomes even lower and we float. So your natural state is floating, not sinking. Got it?”

The small boy pulled in his lips and nodded. A tall boy at the back was not paying attention, and made his friend laugh. Mr Cooper said, “You – what’s funny?”

“Nothing Sir.”

“Well, why is your friend laughing? Are you both such imbeciles that you laugh at nothing?”

“No Sir. We were wondering why it is important to swim when you can use a boat? I mean, you can enjoy the water and not even get wet.”

Mr Cooper was a master of the long game. He said, “You’re right there, we could use a boat.” The boy nodded happily. “In fact why bother going on the water at all when you can play the Titanic video game? That way you can have a really exciting adventure, safe in your home.” The boy continued to nod.

Oh dear, thought Mr Cooper, it’s even worse than I imagined. The noble tradition of movement through water using one’s limbs, without aid or apparatus, is in dire straits indeed. He thought of the epic stories of mankind. Would Gilgamesh have swum to the bottom of a deep pool and found the Plant of Immortality? Would Beowulf have dived into the boiling lake to slay the monster Grendel? Would Odysseus have survived his twenty year voyage sailing home? Heroes have always been swimmers. It shows their mastery of nature.

There are Stone Age paintings of swimmers, five thousand years old. If the power grid went down, today’s useless kids would be thrown right back there. No Hotmail, no Google, no iPhone, no PlayStation, no television, or microwave. Back to basics for everybody. Hunting, gathering, and swimming!

Mr Cooper rubbed his hands. It was time to have some fun.

He picked on a brown boy. “You – where are your parents from? Guatemala? Okay, that’s close enough. Imagine if they needed to get across the Rio Grande to get from Mexico to America. Do you think they’d make it?”

The boy was confused, and said, “I don’t know, Sir.”

“Well, let’s see if you would.” Mr Cooper pushed him in.

He pointed at a stocky boy. “You – are any of your family in the army? Good. What about the navy? No? Well you can be the first.” He pushed him in.

The children drew away but their backs were against the pool; they had nowhere to go. He pointed to a boy with glasses. “You – you look like a good student. Do you like biology? Good, try marine biology.” He pushed him in.

“Now the rest of you can jump in too, before I use one of you to illustrate what good exercise swimming is for amputees and paralytics. Fortunately you have use of your limbs.”

Some of the children were scared of water, but they were more scared of him, so climbed and jumped into the pool. The ones that couldn’t swim clung to the side.

“Great, you’re all in the water. Now we can begin.” He threw floats into the pool. As the children at the edge reached for them, he said. “Don’t be complacent though. You could easily die from drowning. You could panic in the water, become exhausted, catch hypothermia, or become dehydrated. Something could hit you in fast-flowing water and cause blunt trauma. In open water you could suffer bacterial infection, or in places like this, suffer from chlorine inhalation. Jellyfish can sting you, crabs can puncture your skin, even small sharks can bite and cause blood loss, sea snakes are venomous, and eels will shock you.”

The children were scared and some momentarily forgot to swim, and sank. “Right – all of you must stay in this pool for an hour. Get to like it. If you try to crawl out I’ll throw you back in.”

He was being hard on them, he knew. But we have evolved from water. It is our natural home. Only when we rebuild our relationship with water will we respect the earth’s life force, become Water Brothers and Sisters.

As a Water Master tasked with carrying our racial memory – that of fish crawling from oceans, becoming mammals, then apes, and humans – Mr Cooper took his duty seriously. He looked at the light glittering on the ceiling, as if there was a sea in the sky. This is what it must have looked like, he thought, to our earliest ancestors. The bravest and strongest ones. The ones who knew that the purpose of life was survival of the fishest.