©Mara Thompson_ The Gum Tree's Lopsided ShuffleMarch 24, 2013
Mara - The dirigible Harmony needed extensive repairs. Bill opened his rucksack to retrieve a scraper and container to gather some pine gum. We heard moaning. "No, nooooo nooooooo!" Shaking it's head vigorously, the Gum Pine lifted its roots and began a lopsided shuffle downhill and away from us.
Ria - 'Ow great,' Ria grumbled, 'now how am I gonna get my boots back?'
March 25, 2013
William - Fish stared after the rapidly departing Gum Tree and said, "That's one fast tree, William, if you don't catch it how will you restore Harmony?"
© Mara Thompson - Red Boots in the Gum
Ria - I sighed, went through my pockets after drawing down my pants, they'd ridden all up because of the fall and my undies were all out. 'Here,' I said, 'I still got a red rope ... let's lasso him in?!'
William - The Gum Tree was picking up speed as it shuffled downhill. When it paused to look over one of its shoulders Ria's lasso managed to catch a tap root and the mighty Gum went sprawling into the Note Tree. I thought to myself, "not bad, I think we've invented sticky notes." Mara dispatched a wagon to retrieve the gummy notes for use in the repair effort.
I watched nervously as Ria wrestled the Gum for her boots. The squirrels seemed to get more notes stuck to themselves than the wagon. I crossed my fingers that there would be enough left to make patches. The wrestling, loading and grooming went on well into the night.
March 27, 2013
Susan - As the noises continued to explode up from the mountain I wondered does anyone really care about harmony?
I was waiting to catch sight of this renegade Pine tree and trip it if need be! Secretly, I was crossing my fingers, hoping I wouldn’t see it, because I was entertaining my spirit, wading in the clear and calming ocean, kicking the waves as the tide rolled in. I detected boisterous slurping and gurgling noises coming from where my feet were dragging the undertow as I carelessly walked against the current. I looked down and searched the blues and saw FISH swimming, actually doing the breaststroke, alongside my ankles, and swallowing the waves as they flowed through his mouth/gills. I was not sure if he was gagging or trying to puff up like a blowfish. Suddenly he regurgitated and pink bubbles were drifting up past me into the atmosphere. I watched and stumbled back onto the hot white beach. I sat down on the damp shore and started to hear “Castles made of sand, as I hummed nostalgically to Hendrix. Fish said,” This is how we build universes Susan, create what you want now and watch what happens next!” I took the red shovel and started to dig!
© Susan Shulman - Castles Made of Sand
March 30, 2013
Mara - "Bonjour! Au secours! Ici, dans l'arbre!!" As we chased the Gum Pine we looked towards the sound, there in the branches was a very curious sight. Stuck to the tree, was a monkey in a parachute. "I am, errr, Le Monkee. I come from the prison island where I graduated from dirigible school and have been paroled for good, very very good behavior. I'm in the hoping of starting with legal career. Oh, my tail is cold!"
March 31, 2013
William - Fish absently doodled in the sand with a stick while Susan busied herself with the sand castles. After a long silence he spoke so softly she barely heard, “Your adventures are recorded you know, I’ve seen them written. All the snippets from your journals leak out into the world....the others too.
She looked up and said, “who reads them?”
“I don’t know who but they are there for people to see....if they look hard enough. The bigger question is when...... because Time has become so........ malleable”
Susan went back to the small pyramid she was making...."isn't this Now?"
Mara - Mara smiled. "Look what I've got! Ria's boots, a parachute full of Gum Pine and... our pilot".
William - "Mara." I don't know about this; the improbable has become commonplace.... but are we really going to trust a monkey who wants to start a legal career?"
Susan - I turned my head and gazed at the bulbous eyed aquatic creature waving and pointing his fin frantically at me. “Fish, I know, I know… you don’t have to whisper, I remember the illuminated manuscripts! And, anyways none of those pining monkeys can hear you with all that ishgebibbleing happening up on the gumshoe ridge!
It is crystal clear, Fish, that those mysterious messages dropped by the note trees, are perpendicular and randomly changing the directions as outlined in the original coded parallelogram I cracked with my eggs this morning.” Your reflections are starting to materialize again Susan….stop daydreaming…its time to leap back to the mountain again. William is summoning me again!” Fish started to roll his eyes in concentric circles, speeding out of control then slammed his lids shut which was difficult since gill bearing creatures do not have lids so he put on his sun glasses and started to whistles, pursing his huge lips together.
© Susan Shulman - The Parallelogram I Cracked with My Eggs
April 2, 2013
William - “Trees,” he shouted before he left, “trees…don’t you see? All this talk of perpendicular and parallelograms, those are lines, I’ll grant you that, but you haven’t thought once about the tree-line.
The first lesson you learned was to climb high but sleep low. That’s what the trees have been doing; they’re sleeping at the Tree Line waiting for the right conditions to summit. The right place between being and becoming. That’s the kind of line you need to find; find your Susan Line”
Then… poof he was off again.
Susan stared at the ground, bent to pick up his sunglasses. “Stupid Fish always forgets these,” she muttered to herself.
Ria - 'Ow Lord, thank God, my booteeboots. WooPeeh. Let me put those on and rejoice at whatever happens on the mount,' I thought. Jeeeeezzz, climbing barefoot with Fish is a chore you don't want to know about, "where's the map,' I asked, wanting to get my bearings, all looked up at me. Cows looking at a train. 'Ow, for crying out loud,' I shouted, 'what HAVE you been doing while I was stuck in that bloody tree anyhows? Snap out of it. STAT!'
William - Jelly d'Smelt was the first to speak, "Damn it...she's got all them loose ends stuck to her!" He shuffled off shaking his head. Then the Gum Tree spoke up, "I'd like those back if you don't mind."
William held up a mirror for the Belgian, "You've got Jelly on the back of your neck. We're going to need some strong solvent, someone find Susan to see if she has any grog left!"
Ria - 'ow great, good luck with that,' I thought, just get me a waffle, the dough will get me right up to speed, no need to bother the Canadian in her high,' .... 'hey hold that thought, the gum tree is heading for the ship isn't? Salty waters with slow him down no problem.'
April 24, 2013
William - The climbers slowly worked to repair the damage to Harmony. Fish and Mermaid proved invaluable as the gum needed to seam together the paper from the Note Tree didn’t seem to stick to their fins. Maramara wagons made the trips down the icy route to collect the notes without incident.
Our work might have been faster but we had voted to read aloud each note as it was gummed into place. There was much debate concerning the placement of each note; especially the loose ends.
© Susan Shulman - Me and Marley
Susan - It has been such a struggle living in multi dimensions simultaneously. The magic of appearing and disappearing in time and space has taken its toll. The pressure was building to cloak my visage against the prevailing forces of time. Fish knew instinctively the tides and currents of Mount Analogue. On the mountain, time has stood still. No past, no future. Just the NOW. The climb … as it should be. But, when I stepped off the shore, the tides turned and the dreaded reality of the dreaded future loomed into the dreaded horizon. The dark ominous clouds rushed forward, forming the threads of the calculating web unraveling as time sped up. I heard Sistah Salty Waters sing in the background. ”Weave it girl…weave it” So I started to gather the dreads in the sky and twist and intertwine them into my hair as I heard Marley singing “Everyting will be al’right” But, for both Rasta Bobs, it was not all right. Time had no start and no end. It was in flux. I yelled to Salty Waters as the winds picked up and splashed waves of briny water into my sea soaked eyes. “And, if I had just never left the mountain, nothing would have changed, nothing would have happened, just one inspiring adventure after another. In no other place can the magic of time stand still!”
I quietly squeezed back through the hidden underground sea cave that led up to the chasm. I had found this eroded entrance so many years when I was swimming but until this day had forgotten about it. The rest of the climbers were too busy to realize I had vanished. I had left a red braided ladder rope dangling from the top so I could climb back to join them. In my pocket I had placed some precious illuminating scales that Fish had lost during his metamorphosis. O ya, B flats, E’s and G’s to place on the note tree to recover my, ours, everyone’s HARMONY again.
© Susan Shulman - Sistah Salty Waters
April 26, 2013
William - The Mountain presented many faces and we had to determine the true face. Many on the mountain claimed that the search for Harmony was the reason for their climbs on Analogue. I saw documentation of this explanation many times. Cathy, the Note Tree librarian collected the fallen notes each fall, sorted, collated and bound them into folios. Many of the folios could be best described as climbing journals of unnamed explorers. Their recollections were detailed and their lives prior to dedicating their lives to the climb shared a common thread. Their place in the world was tenuous and the purposes that their fellow being engaged in seemed banal. They were out of step and out of time. It was as if their fellow beings only looked at the ground under their feet and that they were the only ones who searched the clouds. I stood by the Maramara wagon and gently pulled another page from a folio and read it out loud before handing it to Fish.
“I felt as if I were a tightrope walker. I am suspended on a rope with each end out of sight. Dragons swirl in the mists and I catch a glimpse of the summit.....”
That’s all there was to that entry...perhaps the Note tree would drop another thought from that explorer before the next Mulka.
April 30, 2013
William - I gauged the craft as half covered…or was it half uncovered. I wasn’t sure whether I was an optimist or a pessimist after so long on the mountain. I finally decided that it was a useless dichotomy best left to Fish to ponder. Our biggest problem was still to come. For if Harmony was to be restored didn’t that imply flight? This dirigible was ancient and probably had once achieved flight by its load of helium; or perhaps hydrogen. I shuddered at the thought of producing hydrogen here on the mountain as you never knew when the monkeys might decide to set off more of the fireworks they pilfered from Zeng He’s junk.
My eyes suddenly caught sight of a slight rippling along the top of the airship. The paper notes that we were gluing in place seemed to billow out and pulse a bit, yet there wasn’t any wind.
I was shaken from my reverie by a new song Mermaid was playing on her harp. The canopy of paper covering the dirigible began collecting the notes and it lifted slightly almost imperceptibly. I scowled as I recognized the tune, then the Belgian nearly deafened me when she shouted, “Bloody Hell!!!”
As the notes of “Hotel California” collected under Harmony skin it was beginning to lift off.
I caught the worried expression on Fish’s face as he and a young owl, who was helping weave a gondola under Harmony were suddenly 30 meters in the air.
The red climbing ropes that we had been using to access the top of Harmony were still trailing along the ground.
We chased after Harmony as Mermaid reached the refrain, “You can check in any time you like. But you can never leave!”
© William Evertson - Harmony Takes Off
May 8, 2013
Susan - Notes after notes were tumbling around me! I didn’t realize when I scaled up the red ropes I was climbing into the basket that Harmony was secured and anchored to. I started to scream,…………”FISH where are you?” The air around me was whirling with wind and dragging up all the flats and sharps again. In the distance I heard “Hotel California”. A humongous merman creature started to evolve and morph through the waves below dragging along all the ocean life clinging to his torso as he shot through the aqua froth. “ Who has summoned me?” he bellowed! “I HANDSOME OF THE SEA, and who has unleashed Harmony.” Quickly I scanned the space around me. I opened my sore arms wide ready to fall over, back into the abyss once more and taking my chances in the darkness before the wrath of this titan might fall upon me. I thought I heard the fluttering of wings!
©Susan Shulman - I Opened My Sore Arms
May 31, 2013
Susan - "The blues just happened on the mountain. It materialized a long time ago when Fish eagerly splashed through the blues ocean and scared me the first time we met. He startled me as I was crossing over the water carefully on that branch and he jumped up flying through the waves. “Hey, you powder puff with the long nose” He gurgled at me! I gasped and an explosion of air flew out my nose and created a symphony of magic. Beats and notes blew up into the sky and music filled my ears. I had never heard those sounds before. Life would never be the same on Mount Analogue, tales of the blues!"
© Susan Shulman - Hey, You Powder Puff
June 17, 2013
Susan - “Surfs up” I heard Fish gurgle and grumble! “Life would never be the same on the Mountain if we let those surfers dudes rip here.” “Hey Bill, Mara” I yelled through the crashing noise of the breakers, I think some of them are your friends and I think they are finally bringing Harmony back to the island!
© Susan Shulman - Surfs Up
Ria - Nope, you will never leave. How silly. Who said that? Why would you even consider leaving? This is Life. Right here on the mountain. With all the fauna (omg! yaya something fishy as well, aye) and flora .... 'Tis salty waters and tis surf I guess,' said le Fish, cos he'd gone native, casting a glance at me, he'd know I'd be critical.' WTF,' I yelled all hot and bothered, 'Everybody just snap out of it, there's climbing to be done and by God, we'll summit, oy, even if I have to eat waffles!'
June 20, 2013
Susan - Awwww..the sun, the surf, the waterfalls…ya..couldn’t get more jiving on the sands. Ya, “Boogie Chillen” on Mount Analouge, Tale of the BLUES! …is that someone calling..for climbing....
© Susan Shulman - Jiving on the Sands
July 4, 2013
Mark - I was intrigued as I cooked my marshmallows by the fire. There was a rumor circulating on the island that an awkward looking box-headed fish species would soon signal an escape hatch for everyone who wanted off the island. They were known as the sea braggarts because they loved to boast of their achievements but this was also just a rumor Susan had heard that they were quite charming and humble. Bill told Ria at the campfire they were called Borg-gettes and that led to a discussion about The Borg, a fictional nemesis on the old Star Trek, the Next Generation tv show. The Borg were apparently a giant entity with each member of the whole comprising a tiny piece like a holographic community. Ria did not understand nor did I but unlike Ria I just listened intently until Bibiana jumped in to explain but between her Spanish and Ria's Dutch, Ria got frustrated and walked away. I leaned in as Bill and Bibiana, who were both already well acquainted with the phenomena spoke about it in English more fluidly now that explaining it to Ria was out of the picture. I hooked up a Dyson™ information grab attachment hose and sucked up what they were saying because i thought i might be alble to use this later in a collage i was working on in my sketchbook. That was when Mara appeared and took the bag of marshmallows I was holding and said "they are getting squishy". I was not sure if she meant the marshmallows or Bill and Bibiana.
July 14, 2013
Susan - Succulent, squishy, delicious, mouth watering warm toasted marshmallows! A rush of summertime memories flooded my mind. I don’t know what overtook me, but I had to have one of those white gooey morsels. I slurped it into my mouth and before it slid down my throat, I started to feel my body shifting. Oh no, Mark…are these mellow yellow Marshmallows? The change had started and all I could do was burp a note before I morphed into a dragonfly.
© Susan Shulman - Succulent, Squishy, Delicious