diamond geezer

 Tuesday, February 23, 2016

On a small planet around an insignificant star, the dominant population gathers on the land. In one significant cluster, where a water channel bends, the creatures mass in enormous numbers during the daytime period. Then as the planet turns, and the star's light dims, they cease their travail and spawn to the homelands. The land surface is filled with swarming hordes, tracing the sinuous pathways and concealing themselves inside twisting mechanical snakes. Slowly the natural visibility fades, and the final starlight glows beneath the cloudbase, as speckles of sodium orange cover the valley floor. This atmospheric phenomenon spreads to the horizon, beneath increasingly inky skies, until darkness covers the entire conurbation. And still the lifeforms interact and thrive, in their dwellings and habitations, their tiny lives continuing unabated.

From the top of the highest tower, on the uppermost platform, the full scale of the eventide ballet is clearly viewed. A forest of artificial illumination emerges, from pinpoints of moving light to floodlit rectangles stacked in heaps. In every individual enclosure an ongoing history, in every office a continuing tale, as petty travails and jealousies play out in every space. The creatures fret over what one said to another, they worry about situation and response, and they concern themselves with trifling perceived indignities. In the high-stacked towers they generate and process pecuniary interaction, and some have not enough to live, while others have too much to know what to do with. The transfer of financial recompense makes some content, and some busy, and others neither, as all travail to avoid falling into unrewarded leisure.

Atop this single spire of light the mundane matters of the planet matter not. Every argument lies distant, every inadequacy can be overlooked, and no destiny is as yet confirmed. This lofty perch provides both distance and perspective, both belonging and disconnect, above the irrelevance of the everyday. Cast aside the minutiae and embrace the unimportance of the seething throng - they care not about you, so mind not about them. However uncertain the future, the planet will still turn and the dance of life continue, whether we choose to be swept along or not.

The Shard at sunset: eleven photos

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Life viewed from London E3

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