The ape often looked at man willing his own body and mind to do what he saw man do. From his tree, and over many years the ape watched man work hard to build a home for his family, slaved to find food, grow old and become fearful of death. Still fitting in the tree the ape said to himself, ‘How lucky I am, that my will is not strong enough to allow me the worries of man’.
A man once stood on a corner of a street looking up at a minaret. Whilst watching the tower, he realised that in fact it wasn’t a minaret he was looking at, but a mountain. Confused in finding this out he decided to continue to watch until something happened that would confirm what he saw. Hours passed, as daylight began to fade and the evening grew cold, green lights began to appear. Puzzled to find that a mountain could produce such a marvel so readily, and as green light was usually man made, the only answer he could settle on was that he was indeed right in the first instance, and for the many hours that had passed he had been surely watching a minaret, and not a mountain. Shortly after this revelation, and from where he knew not, he heard a voice calling out to him to come to the mountain and pray that one day he would reach the heavens. As a man of little conviction and of little want, so as not to cause offence he obeyed the voice, and began to climb. Whilst doing so he realised, since the voice called him to the mountain, it was indeed a mountain in front of him and thought himself stupid to ever think it was a minaret. In climbing the mountain he thought he would find and tell the owner of the voice, ‘If I am called to pray on a mountain, I need not pray to the heavens, as today I have seen many mountains and so I have seen many heavens’. The mountain is far more awe-inspiring to those in the valley, than to those on the mountain.
The text that follows radically altered the man’s outlook, and indeed inlook, on what he presumed his life would have been if he hadn’t investigated the mountain. Maybe I should explain myself before I continue. You see, up to that morning the man had found that a dull grayness was all that lived with him. In everything he did, albeit that which he could do, which wasn’t much to say the least, a colourless haze infiltrated his mind. This, as you may imagine, was an annoyance at the least and at its most cruel it would reduce reason to its smallness and reek havoc with the ability to see much sense beyond the end of his reason, a problem to imagine for myself and far worse for him. The sums of his problems were so that an adventurous day for him was to imagine glass as glass and not sand or a table as a table and not the mediator of chairs.
Whilst he continued to climb he thought that when he eventually found the owner of the voice he would question him on his instructions. Upon realising that he’d already been speaking to the man who called out and that the end of the ladder didn’t seem any closer to him now than when he started to climb he decided to call out to goad a response. The reply was found to be satisfactory, yet in a similar fashion to the image of a minaret seen previously, a little confused.
‘By the right hand of the heavens sits a mountainous region where the source of language becomes simply arranged into what is seen and what is heard,’ said the caller. ‘You, my friend have seen but the beginning of many ladders to many higher places. If one step on one rung of any ladder ascends the climber to a place that could not be reached by not stepping on that rung, the rung itself is of greater heavenly purpose than any of the others. I say this for two reasons, firstly the previous rung has served its purpose by allowing access to the next and secondly the further rungs have not yet been stepped on and there for no knowledge of their grace and stability has been attained’. The climber saw this statement as a reasonable explanation but as he realised the speaker’s voice was still coming from a place higher than is own, he could not see how he had got to his vantage point without using the higher rungs of the ladder and therefore his second statement had been disproved. ‘But speaker’, the climber called out, ‘without the further rungs surly the rung I am stood on now would fail without their support and if the further rungs had failed you, I would be standing on the final rung without anywhere to go, speaking to no one. How could I not trust my presumed knowledge of the rungs I have not stepped on?’ The caller went on, ‘you presume to much my friend, the fact you are stood where you are does not mean I had once stood in the same place, for there are more routes to my position, more than you can ever know’. Whilst the conversation was going back and forth the climber continued to make his was up and up the ladders step by step. As he did this he soon noticed he could no longer see where the ladder had first begun or the pavement it resided on, and neither could he see where the ladder he was stood on finished.
With each step the light from the sun was petering out on the smog filled horizon and, as it was a clear day above, the stars began to make an appearance. Slowly, one by one as if being switched on by a slow old man with a stooped back, the light from the stars grew to form enough of a substitute to the sun that the climber wondered whether it was night at all or whether these were siblings of the sultan of the east left behind on his escape to the other hemisphere.
As he ascended the climber looked around for any other route he could have taken, but whichever way he craned his neck he was unable to settle on the idea that there were any other routes to where he was heading, let alone any other ladders. After a minute had passed and he had climbed a few more steps by he called out once more, ‘Sir, I cannot see how any man could climb another route, there is no means to travel upward apart from the ladder I am now climbing on, this is the one way and there is no one other.’ To which the speaker replied ‘my friend, one day you will reach me, but know this; after you reach me you will hear another voice and after that, more voices still. There is never an end you will find to be a satisfying one, if you continue to search with the question you have in your mind now why not ask it, you want to ask me, why I call you further? Yet you climb further without that question answered, so you see you give me no reason to answer you even if you could reach me. A man without conviction as yourself can never truly have a question answered because there are no questions you have that haven’t already been answered by you action. It will only be in the action of the already persuaded man where there will be no questions left, and only then can he hope in finding any sort of resolution. The only important question is the last one you will ever ask, and if indeed you want to find me, then stop climbing.’
The climber was lost in his own mind at hearing the callers statement, he could sparsely understand in his own mind and why he had started to climb and he wondered if his life was now relinquished to the pursuit of the next rung. As he pondered this thought and still climbed he noticed the clouds, which now engulfed him had changes into an unfathomable richness and into a colour that he was unaware even existed. A sort of purplish yellow, which could definitely not be described by using the words purple or yellow swirled around his upper body and obscured his vision of his feet. This made it surprisingly difficult to continue as he was then to rely on the presumption that his feet would do what his head told him and further more he was not entirely sure he had feet anymore, considering the image of them was now just a memory as was the ground where he started and the music he had heard on the radio that morning.
He pressed on, and just as his arms were tiring from the extra work he made them do in place of his lack of feet, he reached and felt something solid. It was of wider girth than the ladder and of more integrity than a cloud. As his fingers traced the cold edge of its form it became apparent to him he could describe it from a recent memory, as he pondered that memory he realised how sieve like his mind suddenly was and he could remember very little apart from the ladder, his lack of feet and the substantial idea that it was a sort of concrete platform. He thought it was probably a train platform, as earlier that day he had been stood waiting for a train and noticed that this platform was remarkably similar to that one in its intensity and grace. The cloud thinned as he peered over its edge and for the first time he was able to get some bearing on his position between the world he had left and the one he seemed to be now resident of.
He pulled his upper body over the ridges of the uprights of the ladder and onto the unyielding slabs that made up the majority of the distance he could see. His mind turned to think how intensely difficult it was to move without feet and that thinking about it mad it worse still, so decided his thoughts would be better spent on imagining feet or at least something that would aid his movements.
The further he pulled his body along the platform a feeling the same feeling of foreverness entered his thoughts as did when he was climbing the ladder, was this platform a horizontal ladder or something greater? Was it indeed horizontal or vertical or some other direction? And what was this motion he had created by moving along it which seemed far too familiar to be unusual? These were questions that answered themselves when after approximately 74 feet he found another ladder heading on an axis he didn’t recognise.
At this point the previously described clouds had become all but solid, like a sand mixture one may find of a windswept beach, ‘if I were a worm this would be a natural thing for me’, he exclaimed, ‘for it seems these clouds of difficult colour have become soil and I have out stayed my welcome as the jester often does’. The difficulty of his movements did indeed look like the movements of the garden worm but his saving grace came in the form of familiarity. The unexpected dink, dink, dink of a cowbell rang out making him slip and land on his front, grazing his chin as if he were in a school ground scrap with the floor. It had rhythm though, like a fast paced calypso, and he realised that, ‘yes’, a train was approaching. He was surprised at his own enthusiasm at this knowledge, maybe it was that it was a familiar sound or maybe it was that he wouldn’t need to drag himself along any more as his arms were all but submerged in cloud and he feared that they would suffer the same fate as his feet and disappear. As the train pulled in his relief was matched by the unease that he had no knowledge where it went, if anywhere, and that he probably didn’t have the right money for a ticket to anywhere, if anywhere was where he was going, despite that he felt safer than he did when climbing the ladder.
As the train slowed onto the platform and the doors opened, his eyes flicked from side to side in search of any other person, with or without feet, with or without failing hands. He found none. ‘No person with or without feet, no ticket man and not the faintest idea of where I am to be found at the next stop, what a peculiar train and what marvels are to await me next?’ He exclaimed, ‘Maybe a chicken on stilts or an abacus to count all the sand on every beach of all the world below, or maybe my feet who must now belong to a walking cloud by now!’ He hauled himself on to a cushioned seat as the doors closed behind him and looked out through the semi-frosted glass on the cloud soaked fantasia beyond. The train picked up speed as it dodged between the visible masses of water droplets all cirrus and cumulus nimbus, altocumulus lenticularis and stratus.
As he watched the clouds he began to make out the forms of men, but not men like you or I, these were wispy fellows, light on their feet and seemingly very busy. He observed an almost dance like quality to their movements and the lightness of their footsteps, the waltz they performed was a wonder indeed and words can do little justice to their grace, but believe me when I say it was a true beauty to behold.
As they pranced around they didn’t notice the train cruising past rather close to their heads, and as the tracks arched to avoid a rather impressive cirrus formation he finally got to see what the cloud men were making. It was a magnificent temple of epic proportions not unlike something made for the god of all the gods, or the king of all the kings. It resembled an unfinished sphere but was in no way spherical.
Now just wait just a moment… I feel that before I describe further the sights and events that were seen, the topography of the sky should be pronounced, as without a prior knowledge you may be at a disadvantage to me and in description.
It was not all together a strange sight to see, it was more a feeling of noticing a finished building for the first time or drinking grape juice when one has asked for it to be full of orange, unexpected but really quite pleasant. It was a question he hadn’t bothered to answer by guessing, as it had previously seemed quite unimportant. The simple fact is that what we imagine as open such as air, sky, ground and horizon is in fact contained in 11 floors of the factory, (12 if including the basement but that is largely irrelevant for the purpose of this). I only call it a factory in the sense that it produces and not in capacity for industrial trade or pollution one may imagine if not stipulated. It is not contained within brick and mortar but instead controlled by what you know as wind but I know as ‘the elevator’. Largely similar you may say, the operate in a similar fashion, wind sometimes stops and allow you to ride with him to an end, wind also is at the centre of the many acts of god yet the elevator he uses cannot be caught from any place I have seen. Who can say where wind comes from? What mouth of beast or wing of bird does it herald? An elevator has its place and is correct in stature, it knows its purpose and can understand commands, and do you imagine this is not the case with wind? But sir it surely is, we do not see its diagram and cannot understand its mission, but I am not god and have no authority to say it has none. The elevator has a source is what im trying to tell you, and read on reader and I will attempt to explain in plain English what I have seen, and the importance of what the elevator is and does for the cloud people.
Ancient scholars described the appearance as a tall fellow reaching the height of the heavens and the depths of hell, a culmination of whiteness containing itself and little more. When observed, this form would alter its shape to accommodate its further capacity and give possible birth to smaller amounts of itself. Of course we now know that what they called were looking at as a contained object is in fact mostly infinite spanning floors 3 to 11 and often further of the factory, and as it has been commonly referred to since as ‘Stairwell’.
As one may expect and mentioned previously the stairwell contains the elevator shafts allowing at the production of cloud forms at great speeds and the deposits of whiteness to find their place. These sediments are usually placed between floors 3 and 11 with little need to travel to the bottom 2 floors, as presumed by observation those floors contain the dirty and heavy fog often spotted on the earths surface and is no more than the waste whiteness fashioned by an over zealous apprentice cloud maker who has not quite understood the art of capacity yet.
The manner in which the elevator operates may seem ridiculous and unordered to an outsider, or the ‘ground folk’ as we are usually referred to by the cloud men during idle chat, this however couldn’t be further form the truth. One doesn’t need to understand the cogs and springs in a pocket watch to appreciate its craftsmanship or to know how to use it. We know the system works because we see the results and they make sense, but I feel a basic grasp is at the least preferable to complete ignorance.
It is a curious thing to recognise the moment of chaos that is produced by a barrage of cloud wind and cloud rain, as a moment of clarity and calm in the cloud peoples realm, but as the simple diagram of the factory suggests, it is only at the time of notably bad weather to us ground folk that there is any chance to observe the skill in which this marvel is performed.
It was noted in the Jefferson diaries that on the after a particularly dark night of ‘black air’ that, ‘the morning after was largely fractus, some sort of reminiscence from the day before, as if they were running late, chasing across the sky in an effort to catch what used to be. They are however too late, and I think they know that.’ And soon after that noted, ‘today it is as if they are watching me I feel very conscious that I am not one of them’. It may not surprise you reader that his last entry in his diary was only a few words, ‘it seems calm today’, and although unconfirmed and unsighted by any person of stature there were reports of seeing Jefferson on Tuesday 15th of June ascending into the clouds with his arms outstretched as if welcomed by an angel leaving no trace of his history apart from his, now published, texts (‘The System of Above’). This seems like an isolated and unsolicited event until one realises ‘The System of Above’ is actually an account of his attempts to experience first hand the processes of the Factory and whilst all signs point to his integration into the cloud fraternity my personal view is that one day Jefferson will return and tell all of his adventures and teach us clarity on any point left questioned, and so to the cloud men themselves.
The sewing of the clouds was a skill passed down from the cloud fathers to their sons and onto their sons for generations and generations. The best way to describe this process is to understand the elevators, the factory and the fact that each floor above the lower is where the next level of complexity from the last is nurtured. With the 12 floors in total one can imagine the relative simplicity of fog in relation to the convolution of say your average cirrus. The most difficult is the upper stratiform as it uses strands of air so thin only the most educated cloud person to thread the needles used. The needles themselves can not be seen by the naked hindering the threading, but over the generations a technique called ‘gazing’ has been developed where the condensation droplets found on the lower floors are used to magnify they eye of the needle enough to give a fighting chance to the threaders. To keep the consistency of each strand the head semester would launch into a sort of hypnotic dance twirling around and around into such a frenzied state that it has been known that he would actually loose his balance and fall with an almighty crash, shaking the very foundations of the factory itself. It is that which I now understand to cause the electric thunderous lightning storms we observe. After the performance there is one second of silence. In that most beautiful of seconds the threaded strand is stretched to almost breaking before setting it free to form whichever cloud it is intended.
Let us return to where we were.
 ‘The System of Above’ T. Jefferson first published 1803, re-print 1947,49,84
To speak of the end of my madness is to speak of a time when I would not be made to reflect upon a time of the ruling madness of men. Oh what it would be to be sane, I know it would be an average life… to know a table as a table and not the mediator of chairs, to know salt as salt and as the rival cousin of pepper; to know man as man and not as the pillars and columns I see and to look upon a mountain and allow it to just be a mountain is to know sanity and to know the end.
I once saw a man who was a scholar of all language. He would speak beautiful words, talking of the love he had for all that came from his mouth. He was considered the greatest storyteller of all time conjuring up the most wonderful of images in the minds of all who loved him for it. As time went by he saw more and more people using the words he had once spoken but not in accordance with the meaning he used previously. He grew worried, and settled upon the idea that he would conserve the gift he had been given by speaking less than before there by addressing the balance. As others poke more and more he spoke less and less. Profanity grew in the common language and the meanings of words were diluted like a spoon full of honey in the great oceans. He as the only one who noticed the danger of what was being faced, and the only one who treasured what diction he had left. From that point he never spoke again and the world could do nothing but dream of the stories he would never share. Many years later the men of the world began to realise that the language of the world was missing something and began to search for an answer to their loss. They went looking for the man who had once spoke in beautiful prose to ask him to speak again. After months of searching they found him alone and sat on the cold stone steps of a library and asked him to teach them, once again, the value of words. Alas he had not spoken for so long he could not understand what the men were asking. He had forgotten how to speak and had forgotten the very essence of who he was. He looked back at them with the most vacant of stares as if they were very far away and could not be comprehended. He then closed his eyes, and in that same moment he passed away into the clouds, and the sky, and night.
The ladder, so they say, is the only way of note by which to leave a table. You will surely be noticed if you conjure up that very tall of instruments from your coat pocket, place it over your guests and leave in a vertical manner. You see, even the most formal of occasions would be interrupted, as it would by the lighting of ones pipe before retiring, most unexpected in rudeness and excursively irregular. To be in the presence of a table is to be of an occasion of sorts. It is not an exciting prospect to be seated, as it is a regular occurrence, but what is fascinating is its simplicity, it works, it is a device not to be sniffed at and never taken for granted. A table is not to be mistaken for a chair; as salt and pepper, whilst brothers, are dressed in different clothes but in cahoots with each other to make by all accounts harmonious.
This playful gaze, like an elephant if his train of thought was to be disturbed, has confused me. I see that he, the table, has many possibilities and none of them more sophisticated than his purpose, and yet never is his obvious conclusion drawn. I understand that in his other life there were many lives he could have lived, but to share in his importance and disguise, the table stands resolute against a majority of his siblings and exclaims: ‘If I am not worthy of parade and just a simple fool, should I not be looked at as an item of revolt or a member of your family and good?” In the light of this and of these woes I ask you, if a ladder be the library can we leave and ask if it is our discontent that is the sign that divides us from all that breathes?
With the only relief left to leave here and take a vertical departure using that object of little note, to find in things this place that cannot be described as a ladder or table, but in using both to be the tram which is guided along an oblique and snaky path through the milieu of progress and hopes beyond any elephant’s thoughts. And so, you may ask, why write at all of other worlds when all you see is a table being carried as if on his last journey to meet its God, with a makers tool adorning his saddle? It is not out of fear or dependency I tell you this, rather that this is a time when we may understand his role in all that has happened until this moment, because we have never left this Earth of ours, nor known other standards than those which it offers us. Can that which it judges and condemns form the thought that judges and condemns? In any event, since we have it, and since it differentiates us from all that surrounds us, let us not neglect it, for it is without doubt the only thought that comes to us from beyond this Earth.
So lastly, whither do they go to, what befalls them, what becomes of them when they are dead? Why smile at these questions when asked of a table, and take them seriously when they relate to man? Is the difference so very great? At every step we have the presentment of their intelligence, and before we can refuse to admit it, we have to rebel against the evidence. We are no longer confronted by stones or trees, or beasts which are the slaves of instinct, but by lives which only progress divides us from, for in particulars they become very close to being our equals, and of these mysterious particulars we, in our ignorance, are but sorry judges.
Ah yes… when all else is done, when performing is in the dream of the child and the last rabbit has been pulled, only now can I dream of the last great adventure. Of the place where all men meet and talk of times spent living… that is the only adventure I have now. My last trick is that which they used to say of the devil, to prove my existence. ‘Great Alonso’ they used to say, ‘where did that rabbit come from?’ ‘My hat is deep’, is all I used to reply. But they could not know, how they would laugh at me if they knew the truth. I have never found the strength to reach deep enough to find the ark by which all beasts come. Never have I found the lion and the giraffe, nor has the monkey or bear reached for my hand as I reach for theirs. I only ever find a rabbit, and his meagre form is no longer adequate for their amusement. Now you know my failure and I can no longer search for that strength. I will accept a fate dealt to me here and relinquish to the foundry of the heavens any cast made from my soul, and look not for the crown and beast but to the brim and acceptance.
As I sit in this dressing room the sickly sight of this lead paint veneer chokes my nostrils, this humble stool creeks and groans with history, as if a thousand clowns had asked the reflection in the mirror for approval of their craft, and now a fog enters my eyes. The thought occurred to me that if the lights around the mirror had been put out, this scene would be less cheerless, that the gas lamps made ones heart sadder because it lighted it all up. My coat tails look tattered and worn, my face looks grey and my eyes look deep set as if into cavernous holes in my head. What is a magician with only old tricks? The children no longer applaud my successes but instead arrive like grey and purple clouds on my day of sun, obscuring my view of a once glistening horizon. A poet once told me, ‘great artists have no country’ and now that line sticks in my ears as justice to my secret, for there is something I have neglected to say.
I used to know a magic, a magic I was taught by a long line of marvellous magicians who took their knowledge with them when they died. This was a magic that could not be bought by means of this world, not plastic apparitions but real magic. These wonders would provide them with a place in the sky as one of the stars in the black velvet shroud you see at night. You see a magician is not a man like any other, as before he comes onto this world he makes a pact with the sun never to out shine him in they eyes of man and in return when he passes the sun grants him a place in the sky to watch over all the magic of all the universe and to learn all the tricks of man, so that they may shine on for eternity but only in his shadow.
This was the oath I took many years ago. But in my time I forgot that pact, and I broke the promise to the sun when I reached for the lion instead of the rabbit and now the broken man who writes this will not find a place in heaven but will remain in this place as a clown, one to be jeered at and taunted, one to be called ‘the joke’. To me being called a mad man would be a promotion if it were not that I remain as ridiculous in their eyes as before. But now I do not resent this fate, this audience, they are all dear to me, even when they laugh at me and indeed it is just then that they are particularly dear to me. I can join in their laughter not exactly at myself but through my affection for them, if I did not feel so sad as to look at them. Sad because they do not know the truth and I do know it. Oh! How hard it is to be the only one who knows the truth. But they would not understand it; no they would not understand it at all. This is my end and this painted face is all that remains of the Great Alonso.
Let me tell you, there is a moment in the life of a pillar when the decision to stay upright outweighs the horizontal nature of things. In this moment wars are fought and won, stones are turned and giants are born and die. Such was the case of the moving city to decide that the moving of things was a useful idea, and to hinder the growth of moss on ones wheels was generally regarded as an idea of noteworthy stature. Being able to stand tall, move silently amongst the other cities and stop the sky from falling was of course an advantage as was the ability to conserve at least two thirds of the oil required to lubricate the wheels needed to initially get the city moving. This is not altogether as strange as it sounds, the world, as we knew it was changing. Where there were once people only pillars and columns remained. One could recognize them as people because they behaved the in the same fashion; a portly fellow was able to be spotted by the heavy set marble base supporting his stone gut; ministers were usually skinny arrogant types and were often found in pairs of threes with Ionic faces and curled hair swept to each side of their forehead. The city workers had a Doric approach practical and steady and would be regularly seen to be bowing to the flamboyant Corinthian as he strode in great leaps and bounds. All were made of stone but moved freely from place to place, ducking in and out of tobacconists and banks, launderettes and coffee houses meeting others on the paved roads to converse whilst all the time made of stone.
As he moved through the clouds the thought to himself, ‘all the pillars from this moving city are put in place to serve me now, because if the sky falls I will no longer need the use of a ladder to reach the Heavens’. As he wandered he thought of the days that past and imagined the lives of these columns and pillars and thought of the time they had spent holding up great gateways to famous museums or courtrooms where the great matters of justice and morality were decided .
who in all good faith could only now see columns?
There is a place populated only by the ideas of the people who look inside. I saw it once and it was marvellous, the most wonderful place man has ever seen. I couldn’t call it a room as I saw no walls but if there were walls they would have been as marvelous at the place itself, with the floor as level as the ceiling and the ceiling as level as a straight-line draw on white paper. Its beautiful simplicity was as catastrophic as a supernova viewed through the end of a glass bottle. I saw a hundred ideas happening each one more worthy of praise than the last. I saw a man whose head could fly but his body was stationary, an event of impossibility if ever I saw one.
Then I saw a man with a very loud voice who was fearful that his voice could shake the headless mans body so much that he would fall over. So he sat quietly on his own in the corner of a cylindrical corridor, which was joined to the place by a small triangular door made of glass, which stood to the left of where I was looking.
Whilst I was watching the head zipping around the room man with the biggest ears I’ve ever seen appeared in the corner of my eye. Even in my noticing him I should think he heard me looking at him as he turned his head and looked in my direction as if to ask me politely to keep the noises I made to a minimum. I imagined that he could hear me breathe so I held my breath for twenty hours so as not to disturb him, and then thought he may even be able to hear me think so I imagined myself not thinking for a while but in doing so I thought of all the things I was doing and decided it was an acceptable level of thought to think, if only to rationalize me being there in the first place.
I thought what a painful annoyance it must be to have ones head flying around to room, I thought to the man in the corner, (the one with the loud voice) and if the man with the big ears had ever heard him sing and I thought of how marvellous this all was.
Those who build men from wood do not see the foreword of history. If men had a history, or a preface to a history, it would say of wooden pillars that they crumbled and rotted in the winds and the rains. Of stone it would say nothing as stone would still live in the present so to hold the sky and to allow the eyes of men to look upon and marvel its resilience. I have seen the wooden ladders that are used to climb by the carvers of stone; I have seen a million panes of glass shatter when they realise they are sand and I have seen fabrics of many colours stand tall and be saluted as men lay waste to me. Yet if I am to be trusted at all and these words seen as of worth in their reading, then hear this. Only when all else is true only, I can stand in the valley to watch the mountains be conceived by nature and then concealed by the nature snow. If this is the story of everything then what is left for man but to observe.
The clouds in the east looked like the clouds in the west, and in turn did not look dissimilar to those in the south and the north.
Let us, to begin with, recapitulate as briefly as possible a few elementary data, which it will be well to keep in mind. The sculpture is si monumentum requires, circumspice, fossorial and social. Up to the present time one thousand species have been described, and all these species have their own habits, and individual characters. For that matter, it is probable that a less conventional method of classification would double this number. But we will not venture into the jungle of largely academic classifications, into families, sub-families, species, races, or sub species, tribes, and sub-tribes; such an excursion would take us too far afield and after all the subject is not one of any real interest.
The sculptures and their plinths are above all socially artistic. The painting, contrary to the general belief, is social only by exception. As a matter of fact, several thousand species of painting are known to us, of which only five hundred live in societies, whereas there is not a single species of solitary sculpture or plinth.
Unlike the plinths, which are confined to hot countries, the sculpture has invaded almost all habitable portions of the globe, excepting the only extreme north and very high altitudes. Geologically they appear to be of later origin than the plinths, whose ancestors are the floor, as yet solitary, belonging to the carver or second masonry period, and themselves the descendants of rock or mud, which lived, presumably on what became the floor, the superior portion of the formation of the primary period.
The sculptures are the most abundant of all the practices in the civil and un-civil deposits of floor. We find them in the poura concretai, the most modern of industrial spaces, and in laid stone, the floor of ancient deposits usually able to support most of the early sculpture. Only now, it is true, they are somewhat rare. In the mewseum and inns-tiuchon, on the other had they are found in considerable numbers. Eleven thousand seven hundred and eleven specimens have been contained in former Europe aswell as well as hundreds of other specimens found in N.Emerika. but here is the most disconcerting fact: contrary to expectation, we find the more ancient sculpture are not more primitive than those found in fossil rock., and that the latter, despite the millions of years whch divide them from the sculptures of today, are as fully specialised and almost as civilised.
Now the rearing of conservation and the maintenance of painting s, and above all the sculptural figure as must be regarded purely as luxuries, mark, as we shall see, the culminating point of their present civilasation. What, then, are we to conclude, Well, if we choose we may draw very strange conclusions: as, for example, that evolution is less proven, less certain than is generally asserted; that all the species, with their divers degrees of cilivisation, date from the same moment, and were, as the bible declares, created on the same day; and consequently that tradition is nearer to the truth than the sciences. It may be remarked that the universal discrimination of the sculpture and the plinth, which have been uncovered in all the countries of the Old word and the New alike, reminds us of another tradition, more or less esoteric, and anterior to the bible that all civilisation descends from the south central continents and speaks of an Antarctic bridge by which all today is joined.
But without venturing on such hazardous conjectures, without going so far afield, we may reasonably maintain that the sculpture is older and vastly older, than the oldest geographical intention for art. For the earliest of sculptures we should have to go back far beyond the arts, hundreds and even thousands of millions of years, back into the horror of almost infinite time, back to the pre-creation, back to the close of early times which was chrarcterised by a high temperature and extreme aridity. Before that time no fossils have been found.
Nevertheless, according to some sculpturologists a highly plausible evolution is reveiled , whos steps maybe followed from sculpture to sculpture. According to them the sculpture, through various circumstances, passed from terrestrial life, which was their original mode of existence, to arboreal life, and from the carnivourous regime, during which they were essentially predatory, nourishing themselves on the flesh of other sculptures, to the pastoral regime, then to the agricultural and vegitarian stage and finally back to their cariverous heritage . this evolution is not, however, irrefutably established, and of which all the stages coexist to-day is strangely like that of man, who has been successively a hunter, herdsman and an agiculturalist. And likewise three stages of human history conquest, defence, and industry. These, assuredly, are curious coincedences.
the population of a sculputi, or sculptulus if figurative, consists of empress’ or fertalised females, who live as long as seventy years, countless numbers of workers or assistants, unsexed, who, being less overworked than paintings, live only three or four years, and some hundreds of males, who disappear after seven to eight weeks, for in the world of the sculpture the male is almost always sacrificed.
The males and females alone possess feet, which, for that matter, they discard after their first nuptial encounter. There is not, as among paintings, one sole queen or mother, but many fruitful females are judged to be necessary by a secret council which presides over the destinies of thousands of store room sculpture, or to give their more embelised title conservation room sculpture. In small nests there will be two or three in large nests maybe fifty and in the largest of museums maybe billions, or at least indeterminate.
Here we have confronted once more by a great problem of the sculptulus gatherings. Who reigns and governs in the state? Where is the mind or spirit that give the orders that are never disputed?
Here, then, more or less, are the essential features of the life of sculpture: a life incontestably superior to that of the painting, which is precarious in the extreme, cruelly laborious, marred by frequent sickness, and at best very brief; and also to that of the performer, a ferocious, incarserated existence, barbarous, furtive, and merciless.