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Colors of the Roundtable: Episode 7-Part II | David Wiley | Scene4 Magazine | February 2017 |

David Wiley



All the Colors of the Round Table, and probably the Conductor too, realized that this meeting would be characterized by speculation disguised as deep thought. The previous meeting had raised the specter of Paradise on Earth, and how to depict it, which had resulted, naturally enough, in raising more paradoxes and questions, but few answers. Perhaps the Conductor had been wrong to elicit the opinions of the twelve colors. The discussion, however, had been very fertile and fruitful in many ways. This meeting would attempt to resolve a few of the paradoxes revealed at the last meeting.

So after the Knights and Ladies had all seated themselves, and the Conductor had greeted them in his usual way, there was a somewhat curious hush around the Table, indicating the seriousness of what they were about to do.

The Conductor began with a fairly lengthy recap of the previous meeting, then posed a question. “A human Conductor and the Kingdom of Color working together to create Paradise on Earth. Is it possible? I imagine you have all been giving some thought to this, so I believe the best thing would be to question each of you as before, and see what we can come up with. First I would like to ask Lady Blue this question: How would you include everything in Paradise without depicting everything, which would be impossible?”

Lady Blue stood and bowed to all present. “ It occurred to me,” she said, “that there could be a large area of blue--perhaps my sister, Lady Cerulean, could do the job--in which there are millions of tiny prisms symbolizing everything we know of, as well as everything we don’t know of.”

“That’s a very interesting idea,” replied the Conductor. “So you would represent everything symbolically with a large field of prisms. A metaphor of multiple reflections? A fascinating idea. And a plausible solution to one of our most maddening paradoxes. So would this leave us free, so to speak, to do whatever we want with the rest of Paradise?”

“There could be other places,” Lady Blue answered, “where such prisms could be used. Air and water are both suitable.”

“So is a forest.” Sir Green interjected.

“What about the night sky?” asked Sir Purple.

“Please!” the Conductor entreated. “Let Lady Blue have
her say.”

“I would only add,” continued Lady Blue, “that my idea is in keeping with the molecular nature of all matter.”

“Instead of concerning ourselves with molecular matter,” said Sir Yellow, “shouldn’t we be concerning ourselves with matters of the spirit? I would think that any Paradise, even an Earthly Paradise, could not exist as such without a strong spiritual ambience.”

“As usual, Sir Yellow,” said the Conductor, “you and your Family will play the major roles in depicting spirit. But what I want to know is this. When we speak of ‘everything’ are we talking about all material things and all things of the spirit? That is a question we all need to answer. As well as the question of how to depict them in such a way as to create a Paradise on Earth that will convince the human race it should make such a place for itself and everything else on the planet. The last time we talked about an ecstatic Paradise being the only thing humans could not resist. So we need to talk about how to create a feeling of ecstasy, full-time or not. Even though each of you may be capable of producing ecstasy on your own, for this project we will need all of you working together to make an ecstasy greater than the sum of its parts. Now. Sir Red! Have you given more thought to this all-important matter?”

Sir Red stood and saluted the Conductor, who saluted back. “Well, sir, it has occurred to me that there is a relativity about all such things. A full-time ecstasy sounds wonderful. But if you are ecstatic all the time, perhaps eventually it ceases to be ecstasy. And then what? I’m beginning to believe that Paradise should include a variety of emotions. As you have told us many times, contrast and harmony are the handmaidens of beauty. If Paradise is absolute, then there is no contrast. In short, it seems to me there must be a constant flux in Paradise, if it is to be a human place. We are talking about creating a Paradise that people can understand, to the extent that they will desire it, that is, want to make their planet such a place.”

“Thank you, Sir Red,” said the Conductor. “You raise an important question, one I have been pondering myself. It has to do with time. Our Paradise needs to create the illusion of past, present and future all at once, in order to avoid the ‘plenum’ condition.”

The Conductor then turned his attention to Sir Yellow. “You must have some more thoughts on the matter, Sir Yellow.”

Sir Yellow stood and made an all-encompassing gesture with his hands. “Paradise is a  universal dream,” he began. “The question is, can we depict a Paradise that has the power to move people to save themselves. Last time we talked some about the necessity of contrast. Can there be joy without sorrow? And so on. Meaning that if we had angels in our Paradise, we would also have to have demons. Perhaps the demons could be hidden in one of Lady Blue’s prisms.” Sir Yellow paused to ruminate. “You all know the expression ‘to see the light’? Isn’t that what we are trying to do? Make something humans will look at and ‘see the light’? Such a thing must be absolutely extraordinary. We should stop talking about including everything and concentrate only on those things which, when combined in a certain way, will move humans to passionate illumination and enlightenment.”

“Thank you, Sir Yellow,” said the Conductor. “I am beginning to ‘see the light’ about a few things myself, and I am becoming convinced that yes we do have to be selective. Not only selective, but exquisitely selective. It simply can’t be an all-inclusive, egalitarian Paradise. That would be too absurd. We should have to include the shameful things of human existence, prisons, industrial wastelands, demagogic media, stealth bombers and the like. Obviously, this will not do. Fortunately, humans are still attracted to beauty, and through beauty we will engage them. With beauty we will lure them onto the road through Paradise to that place of enlightenment where at last they will ‘see the light.’”

Now the Conductor bowed to Lady Violet and inquired, “What do you think, Lady Violet? Would it not be better to create a Paradise that excluded most things, if that is the only way to save the world?”

Lady Violet rose in her slow, sensual fashion, and began to speak in her delicate, mellifluous voice. “When you put it that way, sir, it doesn’t seem to leave us much choice. If it takes a false Paradise to make humans change, then that’s what we should give them.”

“Not so much a false Paradise, Lady Violet,” the Conductor replied,” as one that will show the potential for a real Paradise.”

“If those are the conditions,” Lady Violet conceded, “then we’ll work with that. But it doesn’t make our task any easier.”

“No, it doesn’t,” the Conductor agreed. “But the real Paradise, the one that includes everything, will have to happen after they are convinced it can be done. Our job is to give them a taste of something they’ll want more of.”

“Like introducing chocolate,” Lady Magenta quipped.

“Why not?” said Sir Orange, standing. “We need to get them addicted. . . to the idea of making a Paradise on Earth. Addiction motivates the human species. We have to give them something they can’t resist in the first place, and can’t give up in the second.”

“But Sir Orange,” the Conductor complained, “our mural can only, at best, addict my people to the promise of ecstasy, or happiness, or serenity, or whatever it is they see in it. What we need is a depiction of Paradise on Earth that will make the people who see it think to themselves, ‘That’s what I want. And that’s what I want for my family and future generations.’ If we can achieve this, we will have succeeded.”

“So then,” said Sir Purple, who had been looking quite perplexed, “our purpose is to make a phony Paradise that will trick humans into saving themselves?”

“Well, Sir Purple,” the Conductor replied, “‘Phony Paradise’ is a difficult concept. But why don’t you stand up and give us your thoughts?”

Now that he had been called upon, Sir Purple rose with considerable decorum, and began to speak. “I am not really opposed to deceiving the people of Earth. Our fates too are in their hands. So if we do indeed have the power to save life on Earth, then by all means we should use it. If depicting Paradise on Earth is the best way to wield this power, then it is a matter now of strategy and imagination.” Then Sir Purple, satisfied with his contribution, sat down with considerable decorum.

“No doubt, Sir Purple, you are right,” said the Conductor. “Strategy and imagination ought to be our war cry at this point. We should begin the work soon, so we need to turn imagination into something painted on a wall called Paradise on Earth. I don’t think we have heard quite enough from all of you on this subject. The more input we have the better we can make our decisions. . . theoretically. Sir Green, I can see you are anxious to say something. Tell us, please.”

Sir Green rose and acknowledged the smiles directed at him from around the Table. Sir Green was fond of his popularity. While thinking about my Family,” he began, “I realized suddenly that we in the Kingdom of Color constitute a language, among other things, and that perhaps hidden deep within the Kingdom there is a message, consisting of a formula for depicting Paradise. I know it sounds fanciful, but what if we all searched into our depths together? Maybe we would find, if not the formula for Paradise, at least something that would help in our quest to discover what Paradise ought to be.”

“Fanciful or not,” said Lady Lime, “I like the idea. Anyway, no stone unturned in a great cause. It’s beginning to dawn on me how important all of this is. It will be our best chance to save the world. We must try anything that might help. As I see it, our visions of Paradise are not yet complete. So. . . what do you say? We can all hold hands and meditate on our collective consciousness.”

For a while the other eleven Colors and the Conductor seemed to be paralyzed. Finally the Conductor spoke. “Well, this might be a worthwhile thing to try. What do you think, Lady Ultra?”

In her customary sensuous and graceful manner, Lady Ultra rose to answer the Conductor’s question. “As you are all aware, I am very much in favor of connecting with others at the deepest levels. I would be happy to hold hands with all of you. . . and look into your eyes, if you like.”

“I have an idea,” said the Conductor. “We have had a thought-provoking discussion here today. Why don’t we wait until the next meeting? We can begin it by all holding hands and meditating on the things that are important to us. I wouldn’t be surprised if something good comes of it. Who knows? Maybe Lady Chameleon will visit us. I know she has never appeared at a meeting of the Round Table, but this is an exceptional case. So who knows?”

Thus ended the meeting, with much for all to think on and digest. As they departed from the Table, the Conductor shouted after them, “Please concentrate on this with every fiber of your being. And don’t forget, art is a lie that shows people the truth.”                 

Previous Chapters of Colors of The Roundtable:


Episode 1
Chaos In The Kingdom

Episode 2
The Case of Lady Lilac and Sir Caperoot

Episode 3
The Lady Chameleon Conundrum

Episode 4
The Conduct0r’s Dilemma

Episode 5
The Rapt Pack

Episode 6
Lady White and Sir Black

Episode 7
Visions of Paradise - Part I

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Scene4 Magazine - David Wiley

David Wiley, painter-poet, exhibits throughout
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The Poetry of Color, is in progress.
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February 2017

Volume 17 Issue 9

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