A cautionary tale.

A long long time ago in a land far far away, some people lived. Everyone was violet together.

However, things began to change. The alluvial planes in the distance glowed. Some people saw this, and felt drawn, pulled by the lure of the easy life.

Then, people started noticing Difference. Some people were small, some big, others were not exactly violet, more ‘smelly’ - and in every tribe, every collection of people, some saw themselves as Deep violet, and some as Social violet.

This was very significant. The elders of the tribes met and discussed it. They made decisions, and discussed some more, and then it was the people’s turn to make the same - decisions, because they were the Right Ones.

This was the Time of Great Confusion. Many tribespeople were worried - were they Deep, or Social violet? Was it right to live under the same hide as someone of the opposite persuasion? Deeps’ began to scorn Socials, and Socials built up support networks so that they too could make Decisions, and have influence.


But I have let myself get sidetracked. In this, the Time of Great Confusion, Deeps and Socials descended from the hills and trees hand in hand. They found themselves in the valleys and the alluvial planes, and there was land to be conquered, savage in its smell. The savagery seemed to threaten the steps forward they took, and the alluvial world looked tarnished from where they now stood.

But they could not retrace the steps they had taken, away from their brothers and sisters in the hills. Nor did they want to. The alluvial people wanted little truck with those damned Luddites... those pantheistic, permaculturalist, libertarian... urrgh! The words stuck in their mouths.

These people found themselves in large groupings, settled around the fertile land, covered with the same few nodding crops. The few that Knew what was wrong in society felt they were on board a large ship, that set it’s own course. They would desperately run over to one side of the ship, shouting to everyone as they did – “quick, over this way, or we’re finished”... Sometimes, the ship would shift course, just ever so slightly.

High up above them could be found little tribes of Deeps and Socials, Some lived in trees, others in hills. They sneered at the rushing around of the creatures below, starting many things, but finishing little. They sneered at these people who could no longer just Be Violet, unless being violet could be divided into points 1, 2 & 3. They muttered into what might have been porridge, but wasn’t, ‘the means is the end’, and about ‘hollow hills’, and ‘feeling’.

The hill-tree peoples looked out from their vantage points and dreamed. They could not be happy with less evil, or fewer badnesses, but when they saw the cancer, they’d look cheerfully over their shoulders and feel that they were still part of the earth, see the simple splendour, and laugh.

And when they’d finally stopped laughing, they’d each get in their canoes, and paddle off upstream, sometimes all together, sometimes in groups which shared a common bond. From time to time, they’d pass someone sitting on a lilypad, or going round and round in their own canoe. The people of the hills and the trees would teach them to paddle, for each canoe was individual, and there was no room to carry someone along who didn’t want to feel the water in their face as they broke the surface of the river.

Today, my tribe were going to this Totem of our Ancestors, upstream a bit. It was the third day. The sun glanced down on the water, and the green of the trees behind was, and though the Totem had crumbled, the peculiar script was as clear as before the Time of Great Confusion - DISOBEDIENCE. From the times before the alluvial people went on their trek, to the side lay the other part of the grand Totem, covered over by vines, unread and slightly dazed. Two letters had been added, altering it just ever so slightly - UN-CIVIL.

- Bill Hook.

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