Wednesday 19 September – Day 15 of 30
Steve woke up this morning earlier than usual and decided to take Newton’s approach to life on The Cloud. He would change his own routine and see what effect it had on his mental health. Instead of lying in bed as long as possible, he would get right up and go for a brisk walk in The Square before breakfast. Since Isaac was now varying his routine by sleeping later, they would still not see each other in the mornings.
This was probably the real reason that Steve was making the change. Isaac loved to talk, usually in long paragraphs that careened wildly from subject to subject. He was, as he described himself, a Renaissance man, with wide-ranging interests, and could discourse on any subject, but Steve didn’t care for fascinating conversations first thing in the morning.
He took the long way around, heading down the path below The Circle, then cutting up past The Labyrinth. No one was around, and as he enjoyed the solitude, he remembered his first day on The Cloud. He’d been stunned as he reached the top of the stairs, stepped onto the vast plain of white, and realized there was no color in this place. Everything was white, black, or clear. Exactly like his Apple stores back home. The architecture and landscape design was remarkable, with buildings and open spaces flowing seamlessly into each other.
As he rounded The Circle and caught sight of The Labyrinth, he stopped to get a good view. Seen from this vantage point it resembled a giant head, with wide staring eyes and an open mouth. Steve was reminded of Mexican Olmec sculptures he had seen. This was the only structure on The Cloud that resembled a human, or an animal. Why would they house the Alternate Reality people here? Was it helpful to them, in some way, to live inside a creature?
Reaching The Square, Steve made his way to the walkways in the center. A few people were performing silent Tai Chi exercises. Yoga practitioners were doing their Sun Salutations. He spotted Gandhi, sitting in his usual place, and decided to say hello.
Someone was sitting next to Gandhi. As he approached, he tried to make sense of what he was seeing. The someone was not another person—it was a giant brass elephant. This was new and interesting!
Steve forgot his usual deferential attitude toward the holy man and plunged right in.
“Bapu! What is this all about? Why are you sitting with an elephant? Or is it an elephant-man?”
“This is Lord Ganesh, Steve. It’s his birthday and his festival starts today. You should get to know him! He’s the symbol of wisdom and the remover of obstacles, two areas where you could use some help.”
Gandhi gave Steve a big smile. The two of them had had many talks about how Steve could overcome the obstacles in his life on The Cloud.
“I commissioned a sculptor up here to make my Ganesh, lifetimes ago. I bring him out for his birthday and he stays for ten days. The Hindus come and worship him. Then he’ll have a bath and retire until next year.”
Steve sat down next to Gandhi and together they contemplated Lord Ganesh. Yes, Steve needed to gain more wisdom and he certainly had run into a lot of stumbling blocks.
Perhaps Lord Ganesh could help him.
(to be continued tomorrow)