I lay looking at the ceiling and wondered about life. If you take a pebble and toss it into a very still pond then you can watch the ripples move away from the point of splash and then like micro tsunamis, head in every direction away from the epicenter. If there is an obstacle, let’s say a stick in the water then the pattern changes, chaos is introduced and the pattern is less defined than it was before. But what if you were blind? You might toss a random pebble and hear a tiny splash but you’d never know what ripples went where, and that led me to wonder; even with sight what else might we be missing when we take some action, ever so slight?
Suppose instead of sight you perceived waves of motion regardless of how they were created. Bats do this with sound waves and whales do it underwater with sound, so all you have to imagine is some organ developed to detect waves and some method to produce the waves. Were this a reality the ocean’s shores might be some incredibly wonderful sensory experience, even more so than it already is. Imagine the first wave based creatures who would dare an ocean with giant waves. It would be like sailing into the sun for sight based creatures.
So what if these wave based creatures evolved to be incredibly fragile by our own standards and they communicated by slightly higher of slightly lower pressure waves with amplitude and frequency for the expression of emotion. Suppose these creatures lived on a world where the environment was so stable they needed slight and easy structures, miles high yet as delicate as rice paper. Their spires would reach high into their atmosphere and these creatures would rise and fall on the very slightest winds that occurred so rarely.
Imagine the works of art that could be created of waves across a plane suspended by waves and across that plane emotions of all sorts of any one of their kind chose to contribute. Indeed, there would be sites where students of history of the wave creatures echoed time and time again the past story of their species, with their headmaster looking over their shoulders, so anyone might learn of their pasts, near and distant. All of them, their religion and culture and art, everything recorded in an ocean of waves, each as easy to translate to the denizens of that world as these words are to you.
But nothing good lasts forever and far too soon alien creatures would land, blasting the surface of the planet with their fire and pressure. Whole subcultures would disappear into ash and dust. The peaceful creatures who had never known war had never built a weapon and never shed blood in anger would perish from despair. Defenseless they would die by the trillions as the invaders trampled history into dust and shattered the fragile planes of communication.
But it’s a misunderstanding, really. The humans landing on the alien planet have no method by which they might discern the creatures’ existence, very much like the blind man who cannot see the ripples in the pond. They blunder down to the surface in ecstatic celebration and know nothing of the devastation upon which they have wrought upon an entire race.
Yes, as I lay looking at the ceiling, I have these thoughts, while lying on the floor. Lillith dove between myself and the counter, in order to escape the charging Loki Mutt and Lucas followed. He knocked a small footstool into me, overturning the stool, creating an unbalance, and I went down flat. I never did lose consciousness but I knew better than try to stand right away. The dogs came and licked me, then settled down around my prone body, with Lucas, contrite, near my head, and Sam at my feet. Lillith took up position beside Lucas, and they waited. No more zoomies in the house. New rule. My vision is a little fuzzy and my head hurts.
But my dog what a great story that came out of this!