POETRY

OCTOBER 2020

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Tapestry

by R. K. Rugg

There once was a person who
     made a significant discovery.
     was given a divine gift.
     developed an innovative transhuman technology.
     wrote a recipe for a powerful new magic potion.
     created a special virus in a laboratory.
It was a
     technology to make a person think much more clearly.
     symbiotic organism to exponentially improve the human brain.
     magic that allows people to more accurately judge reality.

Subtle trends, hidden causes and effects, consequences of decisions; all would become obvious and indisputable to anyone who

     contracted the virus.
     received the blessing.
     fell under the spell.
     melded with the neurotechnology.

Whether on a personal, national or global scale, people would be able to foresee the true results of their actions. Guesses, assumptions, unfounded beliefs and intuition would become obsolete concepts.
The person knew it could bring much good to the world and
     she
     it
     he
     they
announced it to the people and declared an intent to
     introduce the potion into the water supply.
     infect the population with the organism.
     spread the blessing among all the lands.
     implement the self-replicating technology.
The people said, “No, this
     belief is not the same as mine,
     technology doesn’t feel right,
     potion is unnatural,
          it goes against my religion.”
          I distrust it and reject its validity.”
          it is a violation of my rights.”
          it breaks time-honored taboos.”
The people said, “No,
     you are the wrong gender.
     your skin is the wrong color.
     your hair is the wrong length.
     you believe the wrong teachings.
     your appearance is unconventional.
     you come from the wrong place.
     you love the wrong people.
You haven’t the
     ability
     skill

     experience
     humility
     wealth
     looks
     education
     knowledge
     background
     heritage
     strength
     connections
     right
to bring this into the world.”
“No.”
“No.”
“No.”
But
     they
     she
     it
     he
ignored the people and
     flipped the switch.
     brewed the potion.
     shared the blessing.
     released the virus.
And Behold.
     He
     They
     She
     It
Became possessed of
     a mind that knew truth
     the ability to understand consequences
     eyes that saw reality
and shared all this with the world.
The
     knowing
     understanding
     seeing
flowed to everyone nearby. It spread to the next person and to the next. And from those people to others. Rings of truth and reason and understanding rippled outward, moving around the world until they encountered themselves on the far side of the globe. Every living person,
     one way or another,
     whether they wanted to or not,
     eventually and before too long,
          became infected.
          drank the potion.
          fell enchanted.
          heard the divine word.

          became one with the tech.
With the benefit of their true vision and clarity of thought, some people said,
     “I see now that this particular economic theory that I have espoused for so long is flawed.”
“I comprehend now that this particular political system that I have encouraged my whole life actively promotes injustices.”
     “It is clear to me now that these business practices that I thought were contributing to the general welfare are, in reality, detrimental to the population and the environment.”
     “I can now perceive that these personal habits that I thought to be simple pleasures are actually harmful to myself and to others.”
With the benefit of their true vision and clarity of thought, some people 
     changed the way they lived.
     apologized to other people for their past behaviors.
     sought to make amends for the harms they had inflicted.
     left behind their old and unjust
          politics.
          economics.
          prejudices.
          lifestyles.
Some people said
     (to themselves), “I understand now that there is no doubt that this policy benefits me, in the short-term and at the expense of everyone else. But I will not change.”
     (to themselves), “I can see now that differences don’t make other people inferior to me. But I don’t care.”
     (often to themselves, but just as often to the rest of the world), “It is clear to me now that 
my actions are harmful to those around me, and even to myself. But I will continue to perform these actions. Just because I want to.”

And these people, the ones who would not change and who didn’t care, they hated the person who had made the discovery that had given

     clearer thinking
     greater wisdom
     simple truth
to humanity.
These people hated the bringer of clarity because they could no longer
     pretend to themselves that their business models provided opportunity and access for anyone who would just work hard enough, who would just apply themselves.

     appeal to a vague and confusing doctrine and set of rules in order to justify their mistreatment of people who were different from themselves.

     cite inaccurate research and out-of-context data as reason to doubt the impact of their actions upon their surroundings.

With the benefit of their new vision and clarity of thought, these people saw that there was a better way. Yet they continued to live as they had in the past, because to change would require
     more effort than to stay the same.
     that they relinquish some measure of control over others.
     the sacrifice of immediate gratification in order to secure more long-term well being.
     the undoing of habits ingrained through generations.

 

an admission that they had been wrong.

And these people directed their wrath and anger toward the one who had made the discovery, because their true selves had been exposed, not only to the world, but also to themselves. They had no longer had
     pretense
     ambiguity
     misunderstanding
     confusion
behind which to mask their
     greed.
     pettiness.
     banality.
     destructive and self-destructive desires.
These people hated the person who had
     developed the technology.
     brewed the potion.
     cultivated the organism.
     created the virus.
     spread the word.
And so these people took action.
Among the world’s population, there were people—the ones who resented having been revealed for who they were—who still retained resources adequate to harm the one who had brought understanding.

And among the world’s population, there were even more people—also ones who resented having being revealed for who they were—who had no resources but
     allowed
     encouraged
     enjoyed
     reveled in
the harm inflicted on the one who had brought understanding.
But remember, our
     discoverer
     innovator
     creator
     explorer
     visionary

existed at the very center of the origination of recognition of truth and of the spread of clarity, and was, in fact, the embodiment of the event from which ability rippled out into the world. The vision experienced by this person was more
     pure
     intense
     true
than was that of any who came after.
And as a result, this person knew something that the opposition
     did not
     would not
     could not
look far enough ahead to comprehend.
This person knew that those who chose to remain aligned to harmful and hurtful ways would grow old and pass their
companies
     houses of worship
     schools
     governments

     organizations
     lives
on to their children.
This person knew that a certain number of that next generation would reject the ways of the opposition and would instead embrace the

     virus.
     technology.
     magic.
     change.
Many of these children would choose the
     kind over the cruel.
     good over the evil.
     truth over the lies.
And among the children of the children of the haters, still more would choose to change and to embrace knowledge, and to act upon it.
Our
     engineer
     poet
     educator
     scientist
     artist
     historian
     prophet
understood that through the years and centuries to come, fewer and fewer people in each 
generation would choose the ways of cruelty, until the hating and the greed and self-destruction eventually disappeared from the world.

In anger and shame and wrath, the ones who resented having been revealed for who they were finally drove
     her to her death and she
     it to its death and it
     him to his death and he
     them to their death and they
died alone;
but knowing the path upon which
     she had set humanity, she was
     it had set humanity, it was
     he had set humanity, he was
     they had set humanity, they were
at peace and died content.

 

 

END

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R. K. Rugg is a transplant from the American West to New England, where he works in office technology sales by day and freelances by night. His work in speculative fiction, speculative non-fiction and speculative poetry often addresses issues of identity and community. His website is located at www.RaymondKRugg.com.

Poetry by R. K. Rugg:

"Tapestry" October 2020