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The Beaded Tapestry

Exploring the writing and inspirations of Elisa Weeber

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Literature

Letters from Victoria – Epilogue

The space around her has become stable. The vast propagation of filaments has decreased to a mere trickle of what was once present. She has enjoyed her interaction with this continuum. Searching all that was within her purview. Allowing her emotional functions to once more become dominant as her system settled to its new surroundings. Studying the new frequencies and emissions when each new life form appeared. The fascination with the emissions from the small sphere create a focus for her attention, drawing her to the various frequencies and emotions the sounds produce in herself and the lifeforms themselves. New clusters of these same beings have continued to appear over the period of her study. Most are positioned in an arc surrounding her now stabilized position, but a new addition hangs apart. The new aggregate draws her attention, radiating a distant frequency that pulls her awareness to this new sector of space. Newly formed creatures wrapped in terror send cries for intervention out into the blackness surrounding their sphere of existence. Such a concentrated emission of pain and sorrow sends her memory back to the collapse of her own cosmos and the despair of her inability to help her fellow beings. The suffering pulls at her attention but the distance only allows her to analyze the radiating wavelengths. A few reach out with hope, searching for a savior to intervene and deliver them from their dilemma, but most are decided to their fate. Seeking only to end their pain with no desire to continue. Finding no fulfillment in remaining intact and wanting to give up their structure for a chaotic existence. Here is a chance for her to accomplish what she was unable to achieve with her own quondam reality. The concentration of deteriorating entities draws her own need for attainment. She slowly extends her sensors, breaking the limits she has held for millenniums, seeking to end their pain.

Letters from Victoria – Letter 48

Dear Annalis,

Such a jumble of emotions travel through my brain as I complete the final Equine entry, drawing to a close this amazing journey I have traveled with the creature. It is heartbreaking on one hand, having no longer a means of contact, but also the anguish felt by the creature when it describes its encounters. It is not the dark ending I envisioned, but it leaves so many questions unanswered that I was left motionless as I held the journal at the last page. I turned to my newest rendition and screamed in frustration at the painted image. There is a part of me that wishes I had never started this conversation, but I know there must be a reason. The leaps in time the Equine relates are very confusing, similar to skipping back and forth between the pages of a history book. It did seem to me these last notes pertain to the Flynn Foundation satellite. I have never thought of that amount of suffering concentrated in one area and the type of aura it would emit, but I suppose a creature that is so apathetic would be drawn to it.

I am trying to grasp what the world was like where the Equine originated from. It seems as hard for me to imagine, as it was for the Equine to accept ours. I think of how difficult it was for me to adjust to this new planet. It must have been mind altering to be pushed into another continuum, with no hope of returning. I am no expert on theoretic studies, but this seems an area of investigation for them. I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and conclusion in regards to the Equine Conversations. Your scientific and analytical mind will pick out much more information than my emotional view. I see only the pain and elation reflected from these pages. You will see the empirical proof and the theoretical possibilities the Equine is relating. Whatever the creature is attempting to tell me, it is now at an end. I know it would beneficial in my understanding, to read through the entries again in full, but I do not think I could endure it again. So much raw information stains my creative endeavors. Anyway, it is time to move on to the next step in my own story. As I look up into the sky at the suspended creature, I realize we are now part of the same tale, traveling in time and space now in synchronicity.

Love,

Victoria

Letters from Victoria- Letter 47

Dear sister,

My plans to complete the final study of the Equine journal were abruptly halted by an unavoidable event. I deviated from my normal routine and did not begin the day with my run and meditative contemplation of the creature. I sat down in my reading nook immediately after arising with the journal in my lap open to the final pages. What follows are the few passages I was able to transcribe before I was drawn outside away from my task. I will let you judge whether I was justified in my neglect of this relevant charge.

Echoes of energy and vibrations propagate through the carriers of this continuum. They remain elusive, hovering in the back of her view, haunting her with things she can no longer encounter. She comes to the realization that these remnants are distant and unattainable. The ability and window to revisit her former life are no longer within her sphere. It is difficult to grasp this concept since it was once a core focus of her existence and acceptance of this loss does not come without despair. Her domicile has ceased to exist and no matter how much her ability to manipulate this current location has increased she is unable to repair that total oblivion.

Her study continues to delve deeper and deeper into the dark unreturnable tunnel of these findings before she pulls away to resurface in her present reality. The process of maintaining and controlling her structure creates an alternative to these destructive investigations and distracts her from the disturbing aspects of her new home. She avoids any further impressions this distorted cosmos attempts to produce in her, choosing instead to view all that surround her with an unbiased analyses. The familiarity of her once dense existence is missing, leaving in its place the exposed atmosphere of an infinite plane. She strives to make no comparison between the two, but fails completely as she observes the space stretching out in all direction creating a desire for her once compact life. Growing instability in her logic threatens to overtake her process as her sensors search for the once protective barrier that supplied direction. Its absence is unnerving and the gentle tides of particles are insufficient to alleviate the overwhelming fear and agoraphobic impression sneaking into the gaps in her logic. The deprivation of cohesion here gives her a sense of chaos. She pulls her contemplative systems away from the distorted views allowing only the logic function to view her outer surroundings.

Instead she turns her benevolent contemplation inward, analyzing her own composition and the changes that have occurred during her transference. She seeks the normalcy that was once her dense mass, ordered and symmetrical. That form is now forfeited, exchanged for an entropic haze with no direction. She focuses her attention on one of the wayward pieces and gives a slight nudge, allowing its fluctuations to settle on a harmonic frequency matching with that of her dwindled core. The particle stabilizes into a steady state and locks itself into a structured pattern. The action creates a cascading effect, propagating through her erratic matter, aligning each discord into a structure melody echoing within the confines of her mass. Full octaves, chords and single notes send incantation traveling once more down her inner pathways. Functions solidity exponentially allowing the analytical process of her computing systems to once again take over.

She turns her study outward, melding cognitive functions with her analytical processes still viewing the outer space. Her stabilized structure now able to negate the fear, using logic instead to study this strange existence with full cognizant functions. The analytical system takes domination allowing her to view her surroundings without emotion. She studies the myriads of filaments traveling around her now functional form. The ease of her own transformation prompts her curiosity pertaining to the material traveling outside her own sphere. Without dwelling on the consequences, she gently prods a passing filament, one that has yet to determine its function. She combines one of her own harmonic particles to the confused piece, letting it break from her own matrix and travel away to meet the passing filament. There is a violent reaction as the chaotic piece resists the frequency of her own music. A new type of element emerges from the violence and moves away from her vicinity, searching for a place to propagate. She marvels at this newly discovered ability and searches for a new target.

These last words echo through my head as I rise from my seat, drawn outside by an assiduous compulsion. Proxima is just peaking above the horizon and a dense haze grips the ground, remnants of the previous evening storm. My gaze is drawn upward as always and I see the Equine suspended, my ever present companion, in the lightening sky. Soft feathers extend from the right side of the creature’s structure, blurring the once sharp outline of its limbs. I at once envision a butterfly, its wings fluttering in an attempt to remain anchored to it flowery perch. The flow of the Equine toward a new space has accelerated. I only now have to contemplate on what this means.

I continue to stare at this long expected occurrence, knowing it was destined to happen but still in denial. I am not certain what drew me outside but you can forgive my neglect of the dream journal. I do not find it coincidental that I was pulled away from completing its pages. I will give in to this delay and return to my daily routine. The journal seems at times a guide to my experience here and I feel the need to follow.

I have now come full circle at last, catching up with myself on Earth. Whatever the Equine has in store for me from this point forward will be an unknown. Strangely I am not afraid. It is now an endeavor I welcome.

Love

Victoria

Letters from Victoria- Letter 46

Dear Annalis,

I have just brought to a close my third week with Nikolas and by the end was able to resume the wondrous activities the complex had to offer. I was unaware Nikolas shared my interest in fitness and he joined me on my daily runs. His pace is quite a bit faster than my own since he is fully acclimated to the higher altitude and has significantly longer limbs, but I have risen to the challenge as this plays into my competitive nature. I normally prefer my runs to be a solo activity, but for both the competitive and reclusive side of my nature the activity has done wonders for my recovery. By the end of my visit I had fallen into a daily routine, stabilizing my physical as well as mental health with normality. I am amazed how quickly my system adjusted to the conditions and by the end I was able to match my running duration and speed with that of my desert statistics. This was opportune since the daily culinary meditations with Nikolas would quickly have changed my physique had I not created a counter balance. The evening rituals were not always as elaborate compared to those first two experiences, but they remained a focal point of my daily litany. Nikolas included a few lessons, allowing me to handle his precious utensils during my attempts to duplicate his instructions. I do not think I could ever come close to reproducing any of his amazing creations, but at least my meals will be more palpable when I return to the studio.

It was a bleak day when my visit came to a close. Water dripped from the eaves of the complex and mist shrouded the entire top of the cliff side robbing me of a final glimpse of the Equine from this vantage point. To relieve this disappointment, I made one final visit to the amphitheatre, filling my system with the soothing vibration, saying farewell to the wondrous experience before my departure. I will miss Nikolas, but my greatest forfeiture will be the intense auditory relationship with the Equine I have gained from this trip. I will have to discover an alternative to this aspect of the Equine at my studio, but I know it will only be a poor substitute for the amphitheater’s reality.

I am now headed home once again, full of hope and enthusiasm. It was difficult leaving Nikolas and his wondrous home but the anticipation of returning to my work has made it bearable. The first two legs of my return trip are complete and I am now sitting in the Geotrain watching the landscape fly by. The humidity in the atmosphere drops as we head away from the sea and enter the desert belt of New London. The view of the Equine is also transforming, becoming more outlined and focused with every kilometer as the mist dissipates from the air. Unfortunately the new found aural aspects of the Equine are also fading, pushed to the back of my senses and once again becoming a dim echo like drum beats in the distance. I cannot dismiss this sensation entirely even if I desired as it seems to be etched in the chemistry of my being. It remains a constant reminder of my new found affinity with the creature. I am not sure what this will do to my visual representation for the Louvre but I would not negate the encounter I had on the ferry or the amphitheater at the complex even if I could. It was a pivotal point of my time here on New London and an intricate part of my recovery. I must in all fairness give credit to Nikolas as I would still be sitting alone in the dark if not for his ministrations at the end of that first week. I feel this added aspect of my Equine relationship will be beneficial to our project, but we will have to wait and see how it propagates itself into my work. The ultimate test will occur when I am back in the studio with drawing implements in hand. Pointedly I did not bring any of my artistic tools with me on this voyage, not even a pencil, so I will have to be patient for a little longer to try out my theory. I was tempted to produce a graphic representation on my wrist pad just to relieve the suspense but I have abstained from this urge and decided to write to you instead. Ones and zeroes were never meant to represent artistic endeavors although I am sure many neural visionaries will say I am alone in this opinion. Although I love this type of reproduction created directly out of the signals from the brain, they all seem so distant and unemotional as the other categories of the arts. I know we disagree on this subject, but it will not convince me to turn to this alternative when there is nothing else to draw with.

I find myself looking inward on this return journey a little to frequently as I sit alone in my cabin wishing for some outlet for my visions. There are fewer passengers sharing my travels this time so I cannot even use socialization as a distraction. The Equine presence also is not helping as it is just a reminder of what my hand desires to be doing. So once again I have turned to you for comfort and distraction. I can imagine that the staff on board your transport are just starting their emergence from stasis, slowly allowing their thoughts to turn to the preparation of the ship for its rendezvous with the Phycodurus-8. The lab station also will be preparing for your arrival. Arranging your new home for occupancy and saying farewell to the staff that will be exiting their posts. I feel a tinge of envy that you will be seeing the unobstructed view of the Equine soon. As amazing as it is from New London, it is an altogether different animal compared to what you will be privileged to in the next two years. I hope all the equipment I installed for you is producing the results you desire and expect. I have not received any update from the lab planner responsible for the upkeep of your lab since the initial communication almost a year ago. Since her instruction were only to contact me if there were major issues affecting the data output, this seems like a good thing. We will have to see once you arrive and have evaluated the accumulated data, just how successful the lab has performed. This will be the hardest month for me. Trying to concentrate when you are so close. I hope all went according to routine for your stasis during the voyage. There were many augmented people at the mountain complex and I thought of your own addition every time I ran across them. Many had horror stories of their stasis process similar to what Nikolas experienced. Returning to full consciousness unable to move with the surrounding world out of phase with their own condition. For most like Nikolas it was only for a few weeks, but for one woman with sight augmentation she did not return to her normal state for several months after her arrival on New London. As usual many at the mountain complex were adapted by choice, adding a cybernetic device to emphasize one of the attributes of the Equine , but many such as this woman and Nikolas were not, being equipped mechanical or having regenerated adjustments to repair a defect from birth or mishap. My thoughts turned to you every time I saw an obvious replacement limb, happy that you choose the regeneration path. It may be trendy with certain genres but when it is not a choice but a tragic after effect, I don’t think it is ideal to see a daily reminder in the mirror. It does not draw my attention when I look at Nikolas as it did on the Derringer when we first met. It seems to be such a part of him now and an augmentation to his work. Something about the color spectrum and knowing how something will taste without ever having to try it. He attempted several times to explain this superpower of his but I as a mere mortal was unable to comprehend. It is enough to know that he is satisfied with his condition. Not only because he is a generational icon but also a member of the super human race. An Equine cyborg for lack of another nomenclature. I really am going to miss him.

I have received no communication from either Addison or Katryna during my hiatus from the studio, so I hope all is prepared for my arrival. The desire to resume my craft is a bit overwhelming at the moment and I do not want myriads of unpleasant tasks to fill my time before I am able to dedicate myself to my workshop. I hope their silence means all has gone to plan and there are no surprises when I appear.

We are passing into the darkness of the night so I will close for now. , I think I will pursue the meditation guide Nikolas gave me as a parting gift. It is the only memento I took away from that wonderful place and I hope someday I will be able to return, Not only for Nikolas but also for the Equine.

Love always,

Victoria

Letters from Victoria- Letter 45

Dear Annalis,

I have just brought to a close my third week with Nikolas and by the end was able to resume the wondrous activities the complex had to offer. I was unaware Nikolas shares my interest in fitness and he joined me on my daily runs. His pace is quite a bit faster than my own since he is fully acclimated to the higher altitude and has significantly longer limbs, but I have risen to the challenge as this plays into my competitive nature. I normally prefer my runs to be a solo activity, but for both the competitive and reclusive side of my nature the activity has done wonders for my recovery. By the end of my visit I had fallen into a daily routine, stabilizing my physical as well as mental health with normality. I am amazed how quickly my system adjusted to the conditions and by the end I was able to match my running duration and speed with that of my desert statistics. This was opportune since the daily culinary meditations with Nikolas would quickly have changed my physique had I not created a counter balance. The evening rituals were not always as elaborate compared to those first two experiences, but they remained a focal point of my daily litany. Nikolas included a few lessons, allowing me to handle his precious utensils during my attempts to duplicate his instructions. I do not think I could ever come close to reproducing any of his amazing creations, but at least my meals will be more palpable when I return to the studio.

It was a bleak day when my visit came to a close. Water dripped from the eaves of the complex and mist shrouded the entire top of the cliff side robbing me of a final glimpse of the Equine from this vantage point. To relieve this disappointment, I made one final visit to the amphitheatre to fill my system with the soothing vibration, saying farewell to the wondrous experience before my departure. I will miss Nikolas, but my greatest forfeiture will be the intense auditory relationship with the Equine I have gained from this trip. I will have to discover an alternative to this aspect of the Equine at my studio, but I know it will only be a poor substitute for the amphitheater’s reality.

I am now headed home once again, full of hope and enthusiasm. It was difficult leaving Nikolas and his wondrous home but the anticipation of returning to my work has made it bearable. The first two legs of my return trip are complete and I am now sitting in the Geotrain watching the landscape fly by. The humidity in the atmosphere drops as we head away from the sea and enter the desert belt of New London. The view of the Equine is also transforming, becoming more outlined and focused with every kilometer as the mist dissipates from the air. Unfortunately the new found aural aspects of the Equine are also fading, pushed to the back of my senses and once again becoming a dim echo like drum beats in the distance. I cannot dismiss this sensation entirely even if I desired as it seems to be etched in the chemistry of my being. It remains a constant reminder of my new found affinity with the creature. I am not sure what this will do to my visual representation for the Louvre but I would not negate the encounter I had on the ferry or the amphitheater at the complex even if I could. It was a pivotal point of my time here on New London and an intricate part of my recovery. I must in all fairness give credit to Nikolas as I would still be sitting alone in the dark if not for his ministrations at the end of that first week. I feel this added aspect of my Equine relationship will be beneficial to our project, but we will have to wait and see how it propagates itself into my work. The ultimate test will occur when I am back in the studio with drawing implements in hand. Pointedly I did not bring any of my artistic tools with me on this voyage, not even a pencil, so I will have to be patient for a little longer to try out my theory. I was tempted to produce a graphic representation on my wrist pad just to relieve the suspense but I have abstained from this urge and decided to write to you instead. Ones and zeroes were never meant to represent artistic endeavors although I am sure many neural visionaries will say I am alone in this opinion. Although I love this type of reproduction created directly out of the signals from the brain, they all seem so distant and unemotional as the other categories of the arts. I know we disagree on this subject, but it will not convince me to turn to this alternative when there is nothing else to draw with.

I find myself looking inward on this return journey a little to frequently as I sit alone in my cabin wishing for some outlet for my visions. There are fewer passengers sharing my travels this time so I cannot even use socialization as a distraction. The Equine presence also is not helping as it is just a reminder of what my hand desires to be doing. So once again I have turned to you for comfort and distraction. I can imagine that the staff on board your transport are just starting their emergence from stasis, slowly allowing their thoughts to turn to the preparation of the ship for its rendezvous with the Phycodurus-8. The lab station also will be preparing for your arrival. Arranging your new home for occupancy and saying farewell to the staff that will be exiting their posts. I feel a tinge of envy that you will be seeing the unobstructed view of the Equine soon. As amazing as it is from New London, it is an altogether different animal compared to what you will be privileged to in the next two years. I hope all the equipment I installed for you is producing the results you desire and expect. I have not received any update from the lab planner responsible for the upkeep of your lab since the initial communication almost a year ago. Since her instruction were only to contact me if there were major issues affecting the data output, this seems like a good thing. We will have to see once you arrive and have evaluated the accumulated data, just how successful the lab has performed. This will be the hardest month for me. Trying to concentrate when you are so close. I hope all went according to routine for your stasis during the voyage. There were many augmented people at the mountain complex and I thought of your own addition every time I ran across them. Many had horror stories of their stasis experience similar to what Nikolas experienced. Returning to full consciousness unable to move with the surrounding world out of phase with their own condition. For most like Nikolas it was only for a few weeks, but for one woman with sight augmentation she did not return to her normal state for several months after her arrival on New London. As usual many at the mountain complex were adapted by choice, adding a cybernetic device to emphasize one of the attributes of the Equine , but many such as this woman and Nikolas were not, being equipped mechanical or regenerated adjustments to repair a defect from birth or mishap. My thoughts turned to you every time I saw a obvious replacement limb, happy that you choose the regeneration path. It may be trendy with certain genres but when it is not a choice but a tragic after effect, I don’t think it is ideal to see a daily reminder in the mirror. It does not draw my attention when I look at Nikolas as it did on the Derringer when we first met. It seems to be such a part of him now and an augmentation to his work. Something about the color spectrum and knowing how something will taste without ever having to try it. He attempted several times to explain this superpower of his but I as a mere mortal was unable to comprehend. It is enough to know that he is satisfied with his condition. Not only because he is a generational icon but also a member of the super human race. An Equine cyborg for lack of another nomenclature. I really am going to miss him.

I have received no communication from either Addison or Katryna during my hiatus from the studio, so I hope all is prepared for my arrival. The desire to resume my craft is a bit overwhelming at the moment and I do not want myriads of unpleasant tasks to fill my time before I am able to dedicate myself to my workshop. I hope their silence means all has gone to plan and there are no surprises when I appear.

We are passing into the darkness of the night so I will close for now. , I think I will pursue the meditation guide Nikolas gave me as a parting gift. It is the only memento I took away from that wonderful place and I hope someday I will be able to return, Not only for Nikolas but also for the Equine.

Love always,

Victoria

Letters From Victoria – Letter 42

Dear Annalis,

As promised a continuation of my introduction to this wonderful place. I will keep this narrative in roughly chronological order although my temptation is to begin with the meal Nikolas prepared for me. My second day began with a much needed run over the various trails crisscrossing the surrounding area. The equilibrium imbalance I experienced on the trip here has completely disappeared and my system is slowly starting to adjust to the higher altitude of this region, Even so, my lungs limited me to a slow pace enabling them to grow accustomed to the lower oxygen content here. I did manage to complete an hour of constant mobility before returning to the complex for a much welcomed breakfast. The early morning coffee Nicolas had served me was long gone as I settled down to a simple meal of cereal and fruit pilfered from his pantry. After he made my coffee earlier he was quickly away to his laboratory anxious to begin his creative day. He is as driven as I am if not more when it come to his project and he warned me it would be a late hour before he returned for our dinner, Even during the preparation of our coffee I could hear him talking to himself, analyzing the different chemical reactions of the brewing process and how it could be manipulated to enhance the result. I brought him a few beverage selections from the shop in Newton to thank him for the invitation to visit here. It seems like such a small gesture on my part in comparison to this incredible experience but he seemed to be genuinely pleased with my gift. He has used the variety of coffee beans each morning for the two of us but has retained the selection of herbal tea ingredients I included for his experimental kitchen. It seems at least two of the herbal additives I brought him are not easy to obtain in this area. The pytherium was of special interest to him since he had not encountered this material before and the osmanthus I cultivate in my own hydroponic garden was also new to him. They are both southern sourced plants so they are logically not easy to obtain here. I was surprised he was unfamiliar with the pytherium since it is widely used in the area where I live.

After my run and the replenishment of my nutrients I set out to explore the complex. They have a number of activities planned each day, all focusing around the Equine. The establishment is broken into different section, each concentrating on a separate faculty. The area just below the housing area is dedicated to the visual perspective of the creature. This includes a traditional art and sculpture studio but also offered a virtual theatre displaying the Equine from different perspectives in space. I pointedly avoided this area and headed for the auditory center instead. I had hopes of recreating the wave sensations I experienced on the ferry trip here and this seemed the logical place to expand this type of perspective and steer my mind away from my project at home. The sound perception area is located in the lower section of the main building, dominated by a large amphitheatre that opens to the sea. It is carved directly into the cliffside rock, sixty meters below the stone outcropping containing the monolith of contemplation. The shell shaped structure is immense, able to accommodate several thousand people for scheduled music events. Unfortunately there are none planned during my stay here, but there are several classes on focusing the aural property of the Equine. I attended one of these demonstrations, standing within the focal point of the amphitheatre training my body to detect the incoming waves from the Equine. The most difficult part of the exercise was quieting the mind in order to focus only on the auditory part of the body. With eyes closed, we reached out our perception across the open expanse of the auditorium allowing the incoming waves propagating in from the surface of the sea to enter the vortex of air inside the center of the carved out stone shell. It was similar to the manifestations I experienced on the ferry but intensified. The feeling of something just out of hearing was gone replaced by an allover vibration soaking into my bones and traveling along my spine to finally exit into the rock through the souls of my feet. I felt like a lightening rod collecting the sound particle out of the air and focusing them down to a single stream flowing through my body before directing them into the rock below. Once again the sensation stayed with me long after I left the demonstration. Another surprising aspect of the Equine I did not expect to experience.

I returned to Nikolas's quarters ravenous from my day. I restrained my desire to relieve my hunger in anticipation of the evening meal. I busied myself making notes on the occurrences of the day while I waited impatiently for Nikolas to arrive. It was late as he predicted when he entered the door laden with the bounties of his craft. Several of his team accompanied him, also carrying various pieces of equipment and consumables. To my surprise they deposited these on the large work surface in his kitchen and after given a short salute to the two of us, left the premises. I was then treated to the most incredibly intimate culinary adventure I have ever had. Nikolas began by describing his culinary philosophy and the history behind his concepts. A follower of the eighteenth century practice of Transcendental gastronomy, Nikolas explained how he became fascinated with this practice after reading an ancient book written by Jean Anthelme Brillet-Squarine mapping out this discipline. The ancient manual drove his craft to new extremes in culinary experimentation and set the bases for his future endeavors. The process Nikolas finally settled on uses a combination of the practice of this ancient meditation philosophy with the scientific molecular methods introduced in the twenty-first century. The mix creates an atmosphere that promotes and encourages the diner to savor every bite of substinance and analyze the texture of the ingredients. Allowing each morsel to remain in the mouth until the full chemical reaction is experience to completion before ingestion. It sounds strange when I try to describe it. There are not really sufficient words to do it justice. After his explanation Nikolas then proceeded to demonstrate the various techniques used in his kitchen. We sat well into the night, talking and tasting. Discussing each plate of morsels as if we were art critics at a gallery opening. Some of the dishes were in my eyes to elegant to eat but Nikolas encouraged their destruction with each offering explaining their background history and connection to the Equine. He taught me how best to enjoy each dishes taste and form using meditation and visual techniques pulled from his study. He used the majority of his processes during the performance ranging from spherification to produce his honey caviar with black mushrooms, to foam production for his artichoke and espresso nebulas. Strangely we continued to consume for several hours but I never felt saturated. The last dish of olive oil bubbles encasing wild fungi left an aura of satisfaction that no dessert on Earth had ever produced in me. I remained in a state of enamoured admiration at the abilities of this incredible man as I assisted him, clearing the kitchen of all evidence of our culinary journey. We then stepped out of the house for a short walk to “assist in the process of our natural digestion”. Nikolas fell silent as we passed over the dark paths of the complex allowing each of us a quiet moment to contemplate the experience we had just had. My mind traveled back to the past hours as I gazed up at the Equine in the night sky and realized the creature had remained in my thoughts throughout the entire meal, injecting itself into every bite and flavoring every morsel. I remembered the revelation that I was tasting a small piece of the creature every nibble I consumed. Each creation contained a focal ingredient as the previous night’s offerings but the finished products Nikolas created had an added aspect not included by his staff. The rosewater crystals he created half way through the meal were stained the exact tint of the flowing limbs of the anomaly. The acacia honey mixed with black tea formed a living sculpture of spider web filaments representing the signals emanating from the equine. Each delicate thread an explosion of flavors when broken off and consumed. My mind raced on and on as we walked, making each meaningful connection as I thought of the experience as a whole. Nikolas glanced over at me as we arrived before his door and smiled. “Now you have the full story.” He said then turned and walked inside. It will be difficult to return to my boring soups and concoctions once I return to my studio in a few weeks. I did not think it was possible to learn two new methods allowing me to experience the Equine in one day. I am glad to be proved wrong.

Let us see what the rest of my visit will bring. Tomorrow I feel ready to return to the Equine Journal. The prediction is for stormy weather so it seems an opportune time to continue with my study.

Love,

Victoria

Letters from Victoria – Letter 41

Dear Annalis,

I have so much to tell you that I do not know where to begin. The Equine, the food, the atmosphere or my state of mind. It has only been three days since my arrival here in the mountains but I feel the experiences of a lifetime have already been squeezed into this time.

I will begin with my introduction into the culinary aspect of this amazing place since this has been the focus of my visit here and flavors all occurrences thereafter.

Nikolas and I ate together on my first full day here, sitting down to a sample menu prepared by his team. I had never experienced molecular gastronomy and it was more similar to watching a science experiment being conducted than a meal preparation. Each selection featured a native ingredient as the focal point, manipulated and deconstructed to enhance the Equine influence on the material. I have been using the local sage for my Equine interpretations but Nikolas uses this ingredient in a whole different way. It is the centerpiece for one of his gastric starters and was the first item brought out to our table. Large blue-green leaves the size of my out stretched hand were stacked on a plate and laid on the center of the table between us. The food engineer then stood before us with a shallow dish full of billowing white clouds. Nikolas explained that the dish was full of liquid nitrogen and was specially designed to keep the gas to liquid conversion to a minimum for the duration of the first course. The sage leaves were then laid flat in the dish for several seconds before they were removed and placed on our plates. During their brief stay in the cloudy dish, the sage caused the vapors to take on the color of the leaves producing a vibrant turquoise waterfall cascading over the rim of the dish and flowing across the table. Small savory tidbits were arranged in a semicircle around the table in stone bowls by a second assistant and I was instructed to choose any combination I desired to top my sage leaf. The leaf had become a thin crisp platform for the variety of morsels to sit on and when I bit into my creation the flavor from the sage infused every bite. It did not overpower the other items but enhanced them. Urging my taste sensors to open up and experience the food on a new level they had not previously been capable of. There was a total of seven demonstrations and I can not say that any one was more amazing or better than the others. Normally the food engineer gives a full explanation for each stage of the meal but since I had the head chef at my side Nikolas gave the narrative himself. It was a wonderful way to end my first day here since I had worked up quite an appetite during my activities earlier. I know it is strange to narrate out of chronological order but the meal was such a core part of the rest of my experience here that I had to set the stage in this way. The Incredible aromas encircling the dining room are still vivid in my memory even several days later as if they still linger just out of range of my senses. I will now return to a more timely narrative.

From my first encounter with the area designated the Monolith of Contemplation I was enamoured. It was the first location I visited when I awoke the first morning and was a wonderful way to begin my adventure. The view from the high platform has no comparison at the complex. It was built exclusively to emphasize the Equine experience and create the ideal atmosphere to enhance the spirit connection with the creature . The entire area is of monochromatic construction using only the dark blue agate stone native to New London. The high polished platform is encircled by a dropped outer ring allowing a person to stand in the center of the inner circle and have the illusion of an eternal drop to the rainforest below with no support structure visible. The outer circle is invisible from this vantage point and allows for an area of private contemplation without interfering with the upper activities. Around the outer ring, stone meditation seats carved out of the same blue stone are arranged to allow quiet undisturbed study. I spent an hour on one of these couches, gazing at the triple layer scene in front of me. The green of the rainforest below flowing into the blue of the sea and the misty Equine in an azure sky above. I was entranced by this vision. I most likely would have remained there till darkness fell if the attendant for the tea ceremony had not been sent to collect me for my session.

Once she had gained my attention the woman led me on to the higher platform and sat me directly on the stone in the center of the circular space facing the Equine. There were no seats or any type of obstructions present and I could look out across the surface of the polished stone floor and see the reverse reflection of the creature with no interference. It gave a mirrored infinity effect as the reflection of the Equine stretched to the edge of the platform and met the actual Equine suspended above, forming one continuous image. The attendant placed a small copper kettle ensemble in front of us and took a seat to my left. The apparatus stood a little over a half a meter high with the kettle resting on an elaborate stand constructed of silver metal. The filigree of the stand was intricate, bent into many different shapes and symbols. Another woman brought a small black cube a few centimeters square and placed it under the kettle in a small fitted niche. Fine white cracks and fissures ran through the entire structure of the cube creating a marbled effect on its surface. The second woman then placed a small pitcher of clear liquid and a glass flask of water next to the stand before leaving us alone on the platform. The ceremonial attendant then introduced an herbal mixture into the top of the copper kettle and added the clear water from the flask. She then took the pitcher with the clear liquid and slowly poured it over the embedded cube. I watched the device for several moments before I noticed the cracks in the cube begin to change from white to a deep ruby red. Vapors rose from the cube as the applied liquid evaporated and the black form took on the appearance of a mottled lava bed. It was mesmerizing to watch and I felt myself pulled into the pulsing flow of colors moving below the kettle. A strong scent of jasmine infused the air around us mixed with a tinge of burning cedar wood. The smell pulled me out of my trance and I could now see the steam escaping from the kettle as the attendant removed the vessel and poured out equal portions of the now golden liquid into three cups. She placed one in front of me and the second by her. The third was place in the center of the Equine reflection. The third cup sat on the stone, steam rising up to envelope the vision of the Equine above adding to the already misty vision of the creature. The attendant then welcomed me with a raise of her cup and indicated that I should drink. We drained our steaming cups in one swallow and then sat for several minutes watching the third cup dissipate its heat. When the final wisp of steam left the chalice she picked up the third cup from the stone platform and poured the cooled tea on to the reflection. The liquid was immediately absorbed into the stone as if the polished surface was limestone deep within a cave parched from its long dry existence. After several minutes the woman arose and thanked me for the opportunity to share my Equine experience with her. She then left the platform allowing me to enjoy my remaining time in quiet meditation with the creature. If you ask me to describe the taste of the tea I could not. Only the scent of the ceremony and the vision of the Equine are all that remain of my experience. It was the first time I have seen anyone make an actual offering to the creature. I used my remaining time focusing on my meditation practice of Hermeticism, attempting to capture the full experience and remain in that single moment in time.

As my session ended and I exited the platform I saw several visitors lounging near the steps waiting to ascend. Before midday the top of the platform is reserved for the welcoming ceremony and private contemplation. After that it is open access to the visitors as long as respect for the other occupants is observed. I realized I was the last ceremony of the morning as I stumbled down the stairs a little dazed from the experience.

I will continue tomorrow with my narrative. The description of the meal Nikolas produced for me deserves a letter all on its own.

Love Always,

Victoria

Letters from Victoria- Letter 40


Dear Annalis,

My journey to the mountain complex is now accomplished. Although it was mainly uneventful it was a lesson in the transportational modes of Neo-Britannia. The first leg of the journey was by Geo-train as I previously stated and the second stage by Zephyr ferry. What came as a surprise and later dismay was the final piece of my trip by suspension bus. I know it is an amazing engineering feat allowing for smooth transport in the rough terrain between the sea and the resort but it would not be my chariot of choice if anything else had been available. The final sixty kilometers from the sea landing to my destination was nearly vertical as the bus made its way to the top of the cliffs and alighted on a high platform skirting the immense complex. Nikolas was there to meet me and he had a small knowing smile on his face as he watched me exit the craft none too gracefully. The last hour created something akin to motion sickness in my equilibrium and I had to move slowly, keeping rapid motions to a minimum until the condition passed. Seeing as I had traveled halfway across the galaxy with minimal affect this reaction caught me unaware. Nikolas said the reaction was common due to the motion of the compensators that stabilize the transport and the change in elevation. He had also experienced the discomfort on his maiden trip to the resort and assured me that I would recover quickly. A good night sleep and something to settle my digestions in the morning was all I would need. He then whisked me away to his quarters before I was able to even look around my new surroundings.

I have now returned to normal as this new day opens and am ready to attack my new environment. I am looking forward to spending the morning exploring the area before Nikolas completes his work and can join me. The air here is amazing. Rich with the smell of loam from the rainforest below and heavy with suspended moisture. I can feel my skin drink in the sea mists rising from the coast below after the parched existence in the desert. I had only a glimpse of the Equine from my high perch before turning in last night as Nikolas did not let me tarry at the disembarkation point.. Luckily the entire east wall of my sleeping quarters is glass and I was able to stare at the creatures suspended form as I fell asleep. I arose this morning to hazy sunlight streaming into the window revealing a far off view of the sea and the rainforest below. Above this scene the Equine hangs, shrouded in mist and vapors. The creature has lost none of its beauty but has transformed into a new vision. I had watched this transformation as I made my way across the sea. The colors have become muted but also are adjusted to new shades not seen in the desert climate. My other senses also have adapted, focusing more on the smell of the sea air and the touch of the salt crystals forming on my skin as I stood on the deck of the ferry. Since my visual perception has been the main focus of my existence over the last few months, I welcomed this return to the use of my neglected organs. Even my hearing seems to have awakened further even though I have spent the months since the concert focusing on this particular function. Listening to the consortiums music while I work, attempting to discover an avenue for this art form in our work. I stood on board the deck of the ferry late into each evening of the journey, listening to the lap of the water against the bow and the far off sound of breaking waves on the shore. The Equine was suspended above me, still and calm but not completely silent. There was an emanation present, a melodic vibration seemingly just out of my hearing. It was as if a heavy drum were being played far off across the water and only the vibration could propagate through the material of the ship. I could almost feel the waves traveling from the Equine, bombarding my skin with ever fluctuating frequencies just out of my audible range. After leaving the ferry and boarding the bus I can no longer detect these signals. I hope now that I have recovered my equilibrium the phenomenon will return. I do not know if it had something to do with the carrier properties of the sea or rather the heavier atmospheric conditions of this region but I look forward to investigating this new form of reaction to the Equine further.

My first visit today will be the Monolith of Contemplation. Nikolas suggested it was the best way to start my experience here. A few hours of meditation to clear all preconceptions and a ritual tea ceremony performed by a native Neo-Britannian to welcome the new visitor. He instructed me to ask for a specific custom where and ancient English spirit kettle is used. They were once heated using a methane burner but now the tea is kept hot by a method designated as vulcanite flame. He would not tell me what this was since the revealing of the heat source is part of the wonder of the rite. Later in the day he will meet me for dinner. He has arranged to cook for me tomorrow and promises a taste of the many delicacies described to me on our voyage over from Earth. Tonight the service will be performed by members of his top staff.

I can feel my mind and body returning to a much calmer place as each day separates me from the conclusion of the creative phase of the Equine rendition. We knew this first stage would require the most energy on my part and I am relieved my mind remains intact after its completion. I believe now that this is the ideal place to regenerate my energy and allow me to continue to the next phase of our plan. I still must turn my attention back to the dream journal but I almost feel I can do that now.

Safe journey,

Victoria

Letters from Victoria- Letter 39


Dear Fellow Traveler,

A bleak and eerie entry from the Equine journal to begin my journey, Together with the equally dark dream I had last night, I feel the desire to share this occurrence with you. I will begin with the narrative from the Equine since it is foremost on my mind. The dream will follow since I also need to relate it.

Silence ensues throughout the surrounding space. Black, matterless, void of energy. No voices rise from the limits of her perceptions. The molecular deconstruction is complete. She is the last. Constricted into the last sustaining sector of her failing macrocosm with no outlet for escape. The loss of her community weighs greatly on her along with the occupation of why. The space continues to diminish and it becomes impossible to degrade her structure further without complete loss of mass. The acceptance of her demise is complete and she embraces the final moments of her exponential existence as it arrives. Her sensors shut down one after another until only a single point of awareness is left. A small gleam of energy is sensed at the apex of her shrinking space. The spark pulses from a miniscule slice in her ever collapsing capsule. Only a molecular distance across, she seizes the chance and slips through. Condensing herself into a string of quantum particles escaping one quark at a time. Stretching her mass to its extreme limit and emerging again on the other side of the exit as the slice in the infrastructure snaps shut.

I can feel the power of this entry all over again as I relate it for you. My heart is pounding and I feel every muscle along my spine spasm at the thought of such constriction. I am normally not affected by tight places, but the idea of being squeezed out of existence is terrifying. There are only three more entries in the journal before I come to the end but I hesitate to continue with my research. The narrative continues to darken as I near the end and I am not certain I want to experience it. If the Equine was not a constant visible reminder in the sky assuring me that it survived this dark adventure, I do not think I could continue with the journal. I always did read the end of the book when the story became too intense. Wanting to reassure myself who survived until the end. Since I know the creature will survive this story I will not skip to the end. If only I could read the end of our novel and see how it turns out. It would comfort me to see us happily enjoying our finished work surrounded by an appreciative audience. Oh well, I must stay with the present and concentrate on the here and now. Dark reading brings dark thoughts as father always said. I wonder what he would make of the next part of this tale.

I awoke this morning to a gloomy house. It was over an hour before Alpha Centauri was scheduled to show its head above the horizon and I was confused what had caused me to exit my sleep. The flagstone floor was cold beneath my feet as I stepped into my workshop and made my way to the door leading out onto the outer courtyard. Someone was standing just beyond the light of the open doors. They had their hands raised above their head, tracing patterns in the air. I walked closer watching the appendages forming intricate spirals and shapes in the blackness. Lights began to gather wherever the hands made contact with the sky, creating bright iridescent pictures until the figure was completely encased with an incredible halo of luminescent and color. It was as if the stars above were drawn to the the outstretched limbs, coming down to the planet surface to dance for them. I must have made some audible reaction because the figure suddenly stopped and dropped their arms. The beautiful patterns disappeared and the speckled night sky returned. I felt a moment of loss and thought at first it was due to the disappearance of the display. I then realize what was missing from my vantage point. The Equine was no longer in the sky above. Only the twinkle of stars and the empty inky black of space. The figure turned as I realized this loss. Thinking to see Katryna I was completely shocked when it was your face revealed by the glow from the doorway. I was just starting to work out why you had come to New London first instead of your New Lab when you collapsed onto the ground. I ran to your side and bent down, You were holding your hands together protecting something against your chest. I bent closer and you opened your fingers slightly. Within the cage created by your hands I could just glimpse the Equine. You slowly lifted your burden and deposited it into my hands, closing them tightly with your own. Your form then slowly faded, leaving me alone kneeling in a completely dark world.  

It wasn’t until the last instant that I realized I was dreaming. I can still feel the heat of the Equine within my cupped hands and the stones against my kneeling legs. When I did actually wake up I spent the morning in a daze, trying to complete the final preparations for my trip, If it had not been for Katryna I am not sure I would have made it to my train this afternoon, This is a lot for me to digest on my journey. I had hoped that the Equine entries would provide some distraction from the dream when I open the journal during the first hours on the train. Adversely it seems to have only emphasized the dark emotions I am already imbibed with. I am going to wait for a few days before continuing my journal study. I would like to see Nikolas before I put any more strain on my psyche. Luckily there is no need for me to paint during this emotional period. I cannot imagine what my creative brain would produce in my current state of mind. After I arrive at the mountain retreat we will see if I can continue till the end of the Equine chronicle.  

Love

Victoria

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