fragility

 

a story

 

Once upon a time, the Old Values ruled the planet. Existence was patterned and framed by edicts no one dared defy.

Then came a great wind which swept away the tutelary powers; with their fall, certitude collapsed. Suddenly man, like a child who couldn’t grow, found himself very lonely.

Through the open doors of Man’s disarray slid chimeras of many stripes: consumption, distraction, games, and, ruler of them all, the Money King. He’d always been there, scouting his moment from the shadows, and now he stepped out onto the stage and blazed in the limelight. He reigned uncontested, the other Values having vanished.

These were hard times for men. The Money King enslaved them with such guile that many thought they looked like Him.

One must say that the King had many servants gifted in enticement. Oftentimes, it was difficult for Men to decipher where their own desires and interests lay, confused by the sugary web of lies that surrounded them.

Men fell and then fell further, yielding to waxing temptation, forgetting children and kin in increments until they didn’t think of them at all, consumed only by immediate gain.

Quickly, men’s vital reserves melted, so busy were they fighting each other to curry the King’s favor. Their depth, their culture, their knowledge, and even their planet lost their substance. 

The entire world had become fragile. So fragile that, had another great wind arisen, it would have swallowed men, leveling their towns and cities into vast arid plains were nothing would ever grow again.

Not many understood they should resist the King, and those who did found themselves in trouble.

But one day, as Earth was stepping into imminent chaos, a revolt started to make itself heard. At the beginning it was very soft, sotto voce…

 

the light travelers, beings without reference

 

The Man who lost his points of reference wanders in a vague, twisted, blurred space-time continuum, a clumsy puppet in search of himself in a senseless world. He meanders down subway corridors, onto icy esplanades, into infinite landscapes. He crosses other men, but he never meets them.

« And, like a drunk squirrel, he turns round endlessly in a hostile universe where all the ceilings are low. » [1]

The Light Travelers are these tormented beings, shut away within themselves, sometimes fleeing towards make-believe paradises, sometimes wandering alone. Under the same spell of endless communication where each of us dwells, attempting to be heard, to exist. But each cry, each attempt, seems driven to failure in a world evermore deaf and blind, confused by too many signals.

 

the wall of temptation, a sign of rebellion

 

It’s easy to kneel before the King Money. Whether black or white, beautiful or ugly, kind or mean, whether it is good or bad for them, short term or long term, since Men lost their sense of direction, they are submitted to endless temptations. Their pursuit of possessions leads them to a new form of slavery, consumption becomes their unique El Dorado, overcommunication grows on them as their one and only way of expressing themselves. 

The Wall of Temptation exposes our Fragility and offers it an experiential frame within the matrix of Art: the lottery ticket is picked out as a symbol of Temptation. You scratch or you don’t. You resist or you don’t. You join the rebellious circle or you don’t. You question yourself during the decision making process and even afterward. You feel a shared eagerness to be the only one responsible for your actions. It is the hardest path of all, and maybe the only one left to us.

 

Clara Feder, April 2014

Translated by Gabriella Nora Fuller

[1] Jacques Prévert in Human Effort, Paroles, éditions du point du jour, 1947.

 

© 2015 by Clara Feder

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