Archive for white mountain

Politics of the Soul

Posted in Conceptual Art, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2012 by javedbabar

The figure emerging from the twisted light took shape. Sami said, “Sophie? Is that you? How did you know where to find me?”

“It wasn’t that hard,” she said. “The valley only goes one way – west, and smoke only goes one way – up.”

Sami was hiding in a cabin at the top of the Valley, near Kalash, fifty kilometres from Lucerne. The sudden attention since Guru Baba’s death had been hard for him to handle, and he had decided to hide.

The Valley’s residents had protected him from numerous officials, reporters and stalkers chasing him. It was amazing what some well-placed Firing Range and Blast Area signs could do. There was no longer a need for Sami to dress up in his gorilla suit and chase people through the bush, which also worked. Good job it wasn’t hunting season.

“Would you like some tea? Hang on, I’ll just put the kettle on.” He went into the strange metal cabin; she heard water pouring.

Sophie admired the dark, glinting solar panels affixed to the roof. Sami emerged and joined Sophie on a fallen log, and she asked, “What are you doing out here on your own? People are worried about you.”

“Guru Baba had a lifetime to get used to fame; it was gradual. When he kissed me that day and said, “It is you,” and died, my life changed immediately. I wasn’t ready for it. It seemed that I had no choice, but then I realized I did.”

“Is this your choice then, to stay here, far away from people?”

He reached out and held her hand. “Not all people. Sophie, I’m not sure what my choice is. I can either remain apart from the world, with all its temptations and evil ways, or I can engage with it, and do what little good I can.”

Cottonwoods around them rustled in a burst of wind. Their leaves caused light to dance.

“Who wouldn’t want to stay here?” said Sophie. “It’s so peaceful and beautiful. There’s no pollution, no noise, no crowds, no stress, no expense. Whenever I step out of the door in the village I’ve spent twenty bucks. In the city it’s fifty. Here you are self-sufficient in everything – energy, water, food, and peace is everywhere, not just when you put on your headphones or lock your room.”

They sat in silence, listening to the river gushing, and watched a white mule deer wander on the far shore.

Sami said, “Guru Baba’s last kiss held messages for me, but I may need years to understand them.”

He looked so perturbed; she held his other hand too.

Sami continued, “He told me many things while I was working as his assistant. I didn’t understand them all, but somehow his final kiss brought them together. He said that to build a good society you need good people and dynamic interaction. He said the heart is the body’s strongest generator of electro-magnetism, constantly changing the fields around us. He said that like attracts like, and if we build our ideal selves, we attract, reflect and refract universal matter in powerful ways. He said that psychic self-control is the highest art; to keep your head when all around you others are losing theirs; and he said the psychic realm is both a cosmic ocean and a personal drop.”

Sami’s attention returned to the twisted light running through the valley from Mt Alba, a white sentinel above the village, to Mt Negra, dark guard at its other end. He became quiet.

After a while Sophie said, “Well, there are two drops here. Shall we rejoin the sea together, and be good people building the good society he spoke of?”

Sami continued looking into the twisted light, and said, “Maybe you’re right. You usually are. Guru Baba said that karma is not driven by thoughts but by actions. Give me another week here alone, and then I’ll join you.”


Twisted Light

Posted in Conceptual Art, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2012 by javedbabar

There is a strange light in the Lucerne Valley tonight, thought Sami. A twisted light, swirling within and around itself.

It seemed to connect Mt Alba, above the village, with Mt Negra at the valley’s far end, or should he say beginning, for that was the source of lava flows and later, water flows, which over millions of years carved out the Lucerne Valley.

A white cloud gathered around Mt Alba, and a dark cloud around Mt Negra, and they stretched out for a hundred kilometres, twisting around each other like a cosmic candy cane made of marshmallow and licorice.

Maybe such phenomena were usual at this time of year, like the afternoon wind called the Pineapple Express, and the spring and fall floods; all part of nature’s dance.

Since the strange events at the Transparent Temple, Sami felt deluded, denuded and partially destroyed. He was not himself. He couldn’t be. Who was he then?

He needed time – days, weeks, months, who knew? – to accept or reject the situation, to become Guru Baba’s successor or to leave this place for good, but people didn’t give him time.

“Hello, I am an Official from The Authority’s Spiritual Affairs Directorate. We would like to discuss your potential as…”

“Sami, should we now call you Sage Sami? I am reporting for the Holy Herald. Would you please tell our readers about the moment that…”

“Om Shanti, Sami, I come from Guru Baba’s ancestral village with a most humble request. We would be highly pleased if you…”

Right now Sami couldn’t handle his internal dialogue, never mind this external dialogue. He wished everybody would leave him alone. He had jumped at the invitation to use a friend’s cabin at the top of the valley, near Kalash.

The strange light kept glowing and flowing. The cosmic candy cane. At times it looked like a cheerless barber’s pole, or a swirling Slavic bread twist. It also looked like strands of DNA.

Sami’s mind returned to his science class project concerning the nature of light. He had explored light’s basic unit, the photon, and whether its primary nature was that of a particle or a wave. The accepted view was that it was both, and his grade twelve project did not dispute this, but he also looked into two kinds of angular momentum – spin and orbital.

Spin referred to motion like the earth’s spinning around its axis. Orbital referred to motion like the earth’s revolution around the sun. Both could be seen in light.

Sami had asked if these energy forms could be used to transmit information, and discovered that they could. Using MIMO – Multiple Input and Multiple Output – transmission massively boosted data transfer rates. However, his experiments in the school lab were not successful. Instead of twisted light, he had created an optical vortex, where light waves cancelled each other out. That was the opposite of what he wanted to show.

But here, now, before him was the cosmic candy cane, a black and white twist of light, seeming to carry the whole world’s illumination. Was he dancing around it, or was it dancing around him. He watched the twisted light all night, and at dawn, a figure appeared within it and walked towards him.

Was this a trick of the light?

Was this a twist of the light?

Was this a kiss of the light?

Creative Journey

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2012 by javedbabar

The man left the myriad reflections of the crystal cave and climbed again, braving the upper slopes of the dark mountain. He was above the tree line, negotiating bare rock patches and loose rocks. His groping caused a few rocks to tumble. Most rolled freely though some caused small slides. The chances of another person being below him were remote. He was unconcerned.

It took a full day of climbing to reach the top. It wasn’t pretty up there, just bare black rock with shattered masses, but the view down the valley was stunning. He saw the turquoise lake, down the black river, and the forests and fields along its sides. He couldn’t see Lucerne village because of a bend in the valley, but he saw the white mountain towering above it like a guard.

A week ago he had awoken atop this white mountain, unknown and alone, feeling compelled to reach its dark sister. Now he was here. To what end?

What should he do in this inhospitable terrain?

It seemed the end of a pointless journey.

There was nowhere else to go.

He saw a flat rock whose top flashed strongly. Its surface was flush as if carved by a master, and a mark upon it caught his eye. It was another petroglyph, like those he’d seen at the crystal cave indicating ascension and expansion, but his one was pointing in three directions at once – everywhere. What was its meaning?

A sunset ravished and hued the valley golden, then eased into bronze, then silver. The man from the mountain sat on the flat rock. He recreated his journey here – from the white mountain, to the village, past farms, along the river, through forest, staying at the strange steel cabin, four nights of passion at Samhala, exploring his soul’s facets at the crystal cave, and finally completing his ascent of the dark mountain.

Every journey has a purpose – it must have, otherwise why would you make it?

Either an overt one or a covert one.

A desire to reach or to escape something.

What was his purpose?

He had once met the holy man Guru Baba, who told him that “the journey is the destination”. He had never quite understood its meaning, but sitting on the flat rock, he realized that its inscription symbolized both his journey and destination.

He was wherever he was.

He was it.

He didn’t know if he fell asleep, or if he’d never woken, for when he opened his eyes he was on a white mountain with great views in most directions. He saw forests, lakes, rivers, and other mountains, including a dark one at the far end of the valley.

It was time to begin again. Would it be the same journey or a different one? That was for him to choose.

Ascension and Expansion

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2012 by javedbabar

I was tempted to stay in the crystal cave. Yes I’d found it by chance, on my way from the white mountain to the dark one, but I’d witnessed so many versions of myself refracted there that I could spend the rest of my life reflecting. The light was alluring and the forms were entrancing. Forever seemed a long time but also graspable. It would be easy to stay here, mesmerized.

I was distracted by a chink of light, and saw that the crystal before me held markings. They aligned as an equal-sided triangle. One edge was flat against me; the other two tapered to a point directed outwards. It was a message to move.

I recalled meeting a holy man called Guru Baba. He had told me about the Two Laws of the Universe. The Law of Attraction was “know what you want”, and the Law of Karma was “you get what you give” But he also said that Karma means action.

You cannot just sit on your ass, staring at your navel, thinking nice thoughts. Direction is required. Things don’t just happen of their own accord, they happen to you, because of you, via what you think, do, and say.

This recollection snapped me out of my daze. I took a long look around. There were reflections and refractions of my many facets. I saw the many me’s that were, are, and could be. Then I walked out of the chamber along the amber tube.

I thought about my journey thus far. I had awoken, unknown and alone, atop the white mountain, compelled to reach the dark mountain with the pulsing red star above it. I had gone to the village seeking shelter, but had instead been called an Abomination and chased out of town. I had wandered past farms, along the black river, and through the forest, till I reached a strange cabin, where I’d found a prophetic pioneer’s diary. The people of Samhala had welcomed and seduced me, and asked me to set a wooden man ablaze. I had been soothed by hot springs and found the crystal cave, which I was now leaving.

Why had these strange things happened? What was their purpose?

When I reached the cave entrance, I saw another petroglyph on the rock outside. I had walked the other way before, and must have missed it. It was a second equilateral triangle, this time pointing upwards.

The bearded elder of Samhala had spoken of the Tree of Life, whose energetic qualities were those of ascension and expansion. By journeying to the crystal cave, deep within the mountain, I had expanded my self-awareness. Now I must ascend.

Crystal Cave

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2012 by javedbabar

The forest spa was unexpected. He hadn’t imagined finding a moss-lined pool, fed by a hot spring, half way up the dark mountain. In truth he hadn’t known what to expect since he’d awoken, unknown and alone, atop the white mountain at the far end of the valley, and felt compelled to walk towards its dark sister.

It was tempting to stay camped there but he decided to continue climbing. The forest became lighter and it was dotted with small meadows, filled with red and blue flowers. He thought of the red hair and blue eyes of the girl in Samhala with whom he’d spent four nights.

There were hollows in a nearby bluff. His curiosity got the better of him and he approached the largest opening. He called out hello, and threw in some stones to scare out animals. A lone bat flew into view and disappeared again.

He walked in a few metres and stood for a while, allowing his eyes to adjust to gloom. He was surprised when the gloom disappeared quickly, easing into an amber glow. It reminded him of some fossils he’d seen when at school – insects encased in fiery light, which seemed still alive. There was an earthy sweet smell, reminiscent of a marine animal.

He saw that the cave was more like a tube, formed of translucent orange stone with hints of cherry and lemon. These colours vanquished darkness.

The smooth glowing tube invited his entry. Though he held no source of light, the amber light was sufficient by which to navigate. It was initially quite consistent but after a hundred metres began to dim. He considered going back, but decided to push on further in case the light improved. After a patch of near darkness the light increased rapidly. It went from smoky orange to amber, to tangerine, to pale resin.

The amber tube opened into a vast crystal chamber. The man from the mountain said, “My God!” and then was dumbstruck. White crystals were oriented in every direction, some the size of fingers and others as big as trees, growing upwards, downwards, horizontally, and diagonally. It seemed that they were supporting each other, battling each other, pointing and lifting. These countless crystals had endless facets, refracting and reflecting. Within them the man saw many differing facets of himself.

He was a child, an adult, and an old man, all at once.

He had masculine and feminine sides.

He was a father, brother, and son.

He was loved and hated…

Known and unknown…

Together and alone…

He was sane and insane…

Dreaming and awake.

The man from the mountain was all of these things, yet had in truth transcended them. These many versions of himself were concentrated into this one present version. He saw both the microscopic structure and the macroscopic shape of his crystal self. There was an orderly pattern repeating in all spatial dimensions.

Lost Lake

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2012 by javedbabar

I could have stayed at Samhala for longer, but their need was satisfied. Their vessel had been filled. They gathered in the hard dirt courtyard at the centre of the village, and wished me farewell. It didn’t seem like I had another option.

The red-haired girl who had been my lover of the past four nights was not amongst them. The bearded elder who had welcomed me initially, crossed his arms across his heart and turned his back upon me. Everybody else did the same.

I continued my journey from the white mountain where I’d awoken a week ago, alone and unknown, to the dark mountain at the far end of the valley. I reached its foothills and the land began to rise. Vegetation was sparse and my progress was faster than I’d expected.

It was old growth forest, ravaged by fire, creating a strange world of towering black pillars with whispering winds. The ground cover had recovered somewhat but was easy to wade through. My feet kicked up ashes and soot. This was more bush-blacking than bush-whacking, I mused.

I rounded a curve and the whispering became a throaty roaring. It wasn’t the wind as I had supposed, but a creek dropping as a powerful waterfall. It seemed a hundred foot cotton candy machine, endlessly producing froth. Its mist was refreshing; it tickled my skin.

The rise was steep but negotiable. I climbed up beside the waterfall, constantly tired yet refreshed. The sky brightened unexpectedly as I neared the top. A beautiful turquoise lake appeared, maybe a hundred metres across. There was a jumble of sticks in the centre, and clouds floating at its far end.

I rested near the head of the waterfall, and considered remaining in its cool, frothy rainbows forever. There were pink and golden flashes in the lake – probably trout. I later managed to catch one, and baked it in ashes. Its pear-like flesh was very good, though it tasted quite earthy. Were there special minerals in the lake?

At dusk I saw slim shapes rippling through water near the jumble of sticks. They were beavers coming and going. One swam within ten metres of me but sensed my presence and slipped away. Maybe I imagined it, but the jumble of sticks seemed bigger later. Were the beavers bolstering their defences?

I slept where I was, and in the morning went to the far end of the lake. The curious clouds were still there, as if seated at their favourite spot. The water was warm in that part of the lake. I saw that a steady flow ran into it from the forest, and followed this stream to its source.

A small moss-lined pool was steaming. This was the source of the clouds. It was natures gift to me – the ultimate luxury, a forest spa. I spent all day there, looking at the patterns in the clouds, and those in the sky.

The red pulsing star I had followed was still there above the dark mountain. The star’s pulsing became beating, which became drumming. I felt that my final drama approached.


Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2012 by javedbabar

I spent a week at the steel cabin reading the pioneers diary, which had an unnerving parallel to my own story. The author had woken mysteriously on top of a white mountain – which he called Mt Alba – and crossed swamps to reach the valley’s town; it was then no more than a hotel, shop, sheriff’s office and church. He had been welcomed at the hotel, but then chased out of town by holy zealots who feared and hated strangers. He had braved wild beasts, forests and rivers, to reach the place where he had either built or furnished this strange steel structure.

I made myself quite comfortable there. There was a stock of food – dried beans, garlic braids, and canned tomatoes, plus a mini root house with multicoloured potatoes. There were red, white, and blue ones; he must have been a monarchist. I also managed to catch some grouse, those most stupid of birds. Two flew into the structure and stunned themselves, becoming ready meals.

One night I heard a steady rhythm. At first I thought it was a bear bashing a tree trunk or the echoes of a woodpecker’s drilling. Then I thought noise could be the black river slapping a log, but it was too precise and steady.

It sounded like drums coming from further up the valley, on this side of the river, maybe slightly uphill. Enclosed echoes are deceptive though. It could be coming from anywhere.

I walked slowly through the forest. The bush was thick and ground unsteady.

The sound always seemed far away but suddenly was close; just as I realized this, I saw movement ahead. A shadowed clearing was filled with busy people, a hundred at least, of all ages, building something of wood. The object lay on the floor amid tall grass. What was it, I wondered – a giant boat? Could they read the weather of this flood plain? Was a deluge coming?

“Ouch!” I cried, and jumped up. “Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Stop that! Who is it?” A boy turned and ran, clutching a reed, through which he’d been blowing beans, each of which had stung me like a wasp.

People in the clearing stopped working. Some shouted to others. Men advanced towards me clutching hammers and bars. A bearded elder called out, “What are you doing? Is this any way to treat a stranger? Welcome him! Invite him to our village!”

Some men’s snarls transformed into smiles. Others found the change too hard to master, and looked like jittery mimes. However they all made friendly gestures, encouraging me to come forward.

I stepped out of the forest into the clearing, and the elder came forward, huffing, and said, “You are not the first stranger. Others have come before and sheltered here with us. But you are the first to come on Samhala. We welcome you, stranger. It is a good day for us. It was foretold.”

I was taken to a house with thatched roof and squared plaster walls, and given warm water to bathe, and a soft bed to rest. At dusk someone entered. I was ready to jump up and fight for my life, but saw that it was a beautiful woman with full breasts, red hair and blue eyes.

She held no shyness, for her visit had holy purpose. It was to strengthen the Upper Valley’s gene pool.

Magic Cabin

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2012 by javedbabar

The man was hungry, he had travelled for days. He had awoken, unknown and alone, atop a white mountain, climbed down to the valley, been welcomed to and then chased out of town, traversed cattle and horse farms, followed the black river, encountered bears and deer in the forest, and now came to this driveway.

It was barely discernible though in occasional use, as shown by the parallel tire tracks, between which grew tall thistles. He followed the tracks for a hundred metres and entered a clearing, also overgrown, but devoid of trees, except for two young maples growing side by side, and a clump of ghostly birch.

At the centre of the clearing was a strange rippled steel structure. He thought at first that it was a cargo container or a garage. Then he saw hidden windows, all shuttered, and a discreet door. Was it a bunker?

It seemed to have dropped from the sky, brought in by helicopter, or maybe it was a spaceship and had landed of its own accord. That would explain the circular clearing – it was a blast radius – but not the remaining maples; they weren’t fast growers, and cottonwoods would have risen before them. He couldn’t see the river, but heard it strongly washing by.

The door and windows seemed impenetrable. He wondered if it was waterproof, and if it would float. The valley stretching between the white mountain where he awoke, and the dark mountain that he was drawn to, was a floodplain. Its creators were rivers of water and of lava.

Something sparkling was nailed to both of the maple trees. When he drew closer, he saw that they were wooden signs set with diamonds. The sign on the straighter left tree said Love Thy Neighbour. The sign on the curly-trunked right tree said Strangers Welcome. How were they welcome, he wondered, in a place so remote and so sealed.

Then he thought, I haven’t actually tried to get in yet. He had just assumed it was locked. Pushing the door caused a click, and the door opened wide. Inside was a cosy lounge with a pair of dark sofas and a fireplace ready stacked. He stretched out on a sofa for a while and then wandered to the adjacent room, where he found a kitchen set for tea time. He boiled the kettle, brewed some black tea, and added powdered milk and sugar. He also raided the biscuit tin and found lemon shortbread. It was his favourite treat as a child; his grandma always kept some hidden.

A set of steep metal stairs led to a low bedroom with double bed, soft pillow and check blankets. Maybe he’d stay there tonight. In the far corner was a gunmetal writing desk maybe a hundred years old, from the1940’s. A book with maroon leather cover lay upon it. He opened it and read the handwritten title, “Diary of a Pioneer”.

It began, “I found myself atop Mt Alba, unknown and alone. How I got there I cannot say, only that I was blessed by God with the power of mind and strength of body, and also with a calling – to reach the dark mountain at the far end of the valley. It is a dangerous journey, with swamps and monsters to battle, both of the forest and of the mind, but I am beckoned and so must heed. I feel that I am the first of many. I have prepared this humble rest stop for those that come after me…”

Say Your Prayers

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2012 by javedbabar

I was exhausted. I’d travelled for many days since waking on the white mountain, alone and unknown, always moving towards the dark mountain at the far end of the valley, with the red star pulsing above it.

My tiredness was overwhelming; it could no longer be ignored. I made a moss pillow and lay on a bed of leaves beside the black river flashing silver. At first the river seemed too rough and too loud, but later seemed soothing, its endless flow creating an image stream.

I saw the white and dark mountains, people chasing me from the village, cows and horses, a broken bridge, salmon and trout. What was the cause of my compulsion to get to the far end of the valley, the other side?

The river holds life force, flowing away from its source, the dark mountain. Or is it flowing towards its true source – the sea – or the one before that – the sky? The truth was that it had no source. It was its own source. I rested in mine – the land of nourishing dreams.

I awoke to the sound of loud splashing. Had the river got rougher? Was my horse dancing or drowning in it?

I saw that there was no horse, and the river hadn’t got rougher. A large black bear was smashing the water and pulling out salmon. He’d mastered the art, shown by the pile of a dozen fish thrown casually behind him, some still moving.

All that way, I thought, through oceans, lakes and rivers, obeying your genetic destiny, only to be ripped from life here so close to your goal. It was tough being a human but it was tougher being a salmon. We’d definitely evolved in the right direction – towards self-direction and ease.

The bear turned towards me. Oh shit.

He rose upon his rear legs, raised his claws, and roared. I’ve never had trouble with bears; I know the rules. Black bears see people as competition. If you can’t avoid them you must challenge, and if necessary fight them. Grizzlies see people only as an annoyance – defer to them and they’ll leave you alone. And polar bears – who see people as fast food in wasteland – well, you should say your prayers.

The black bear was fishing and this was no time to challenge him, so I slipped away into the forest. My quiet entry started a white-tail deer. It had furry antlers, and was likely a buck under five years. It jumped ahead as if leading the way.

But then it stopped in a clearing, turned around, and charged towards me. It was rutting and I was sweating. I couldn’t outrun it. I imagined that I too had antlers, and ran towards the deer at full speed. As I braced for a collision I ran into fresh air. The deer had disappeared.

In the distance I saw the dark mountain. The red star pulsing above it seemed like life’s heart. Mine was beating fast.

Flashing Fishes

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , on August 3, 2012 by javedbabar

The ground became marshy. The man from the mountain realized that he couldn’t continue on the horse on this side of the river, he would have to cross to the other side. But how could he do that? The river was too rough, too fast, too wide, its black water flashing silver.

He saw a shimmer ahead, or was it something solid within the shifting haze? As he drew nearer he saw that it was a wooden bridge. He welcomed this stroke of good luck that would ease his passage. He had awoken, unknown and alone, upon the white mountain at the head of this valley, knowing nothing about why and where and how, only compelled to reach the dark mountain guarding the valley’s beginning.

The bridge however was in poor condition. It was a small suspension bridge with rusty cables and steel mesh bearing brittle wooden slats, a third of which were missing. He wanted to get across, and he wanted to keep the horse, so he decided to risk it. Seeing the scanty provision for traversing it, the horse pulled back from the water roaring beneath.

“Come on boy,” said the man from the mountain. “You can do it.” He edged the horse forward. “Come on boy, easy… careful.” The horse resisted at first, but eventually picked his way forward. His left rear leg broke through a slat, but he quickly compensated for this and continued to the other side. There was a patch of clover between the rushes, a reward for his diligence, which he tore at with eagerness.

Though the black water was flashing silver, there was also something else there, and the man looked deeply into its discord. An elliptical shape moved steadily upstream. It stopped and started, its path wavering but always progressing. The horse too noticed the shape, and came to the edge of the river.

A moment later something dazzled and burst out of the water. It came towards the horse, which reared back and snorted. The man from the mountain laughed. It was a coho salmon, sensing a threat, defending its liquid territory. It twisted, mid-air and splashed back into the water to continue its voyage home.

Which oceans had it crossed to get here, he wondered, and how much further would it go? He too was on a journey – from mountain to mountain – but where was he going? Was it home?

The man from the mountain came to an oxbow lake beside the river. It seemed a lost loop of life. Within it were pink-golden flashes with hints of orange and green, most probably trout. Their skins shone like soft rainbows. They were living gently, swimming in peace. They had an easier life than the salmon. But was theirs a better life?