At the previous meeting of the Round Table the talk had been centered around Lady Chameleon’s unprecedented appearance at the meeting
just before. The time was quickly approaching when work on the great Project, a 40 x 95 foot mural, Paradise on Earth, would have to begin, and although many insights and
and suggestions had been offered, there was still a plethora of questions to be answered before the actual work could proceed. The Conductor was searching as thoroughly and
energetically as he could to find the right way to translate ideas into images, and especially to find the right ideas to translate, the ones that would imbue Paradise on Earth with the power to make people ‘see the light,’ and save themselves and their planet. This was probably the best, if not the last, chance the Conductor and the Colors of the Round Table would have to crown their long crusade with success. The question of how to depict Paradise on Earth was difficult in the extreme. But images had to be applied to the wall, thus decisions had to be made. Almost impossible decisions, it seemed.
The Knights and Ladies of the Round Table had to come to this meeting with the expectation of a heartfelt exchange of thoughts, which was
usual. But at previous meetings there had been a lack of focus and an excess of abstractions and generalities. Perhaps with this in mind, the Conductor had decided to limit the
discussion at this meeting to what plant and animal life to include in their Paradise on Earth.
After greeting all the Knights and Ladies in his usual fashion, the Conductor turned to Lady Blue, and bowed slightly. “Well, Lady Blue,
tell us what kind of living things you would like to see in our Paradise.”
Lady Blue rose in her mesmerizingly graceful manner, smiled and bowed to all at the Table. “Yes, no doubt our Paradise must have many
living things, both plant and animal. While we decide what plants and animals to use, it would seem to me a good idea to keep in mind that we want to create a Paradise so beautiful
it will draw people completely into it. Thus I suppose we will want to use those plants and animals we deem to be the most beautiful. There are many beautiful birds and fish.
Graceful and colorful birds and fish. It wouldn’t be Paradise without some of these. I would leave it to you to judge which ones. Of course you could invent your own birds
and fish, ones that are even more graceful and colorful than those we are familiar with.” Lady Blue pursed her lips. “It does seem to me that since we are trying to
convince people they can make a real Paradise, we should use plants and animals they can identify with. People should be comfortable in their Paradise on Earth, shouldn’t
they?” Lady Blue smiled in her incomparable way, and slowly reseated herself.
“Thank you, Lady Blue,” said the Conductor. “Birds and fish. Yes I think so too. We can either select known examples from the
worlds of flora and fauna, or we can invent our own plants and and animals. I agree with Lady Blue that if we are going to engage people, and lure them into our Paradise, we need
to include a number of plants and animals they can recognize, if only vaguely. I do think we can use hybrids and whatnot. Like some of the things we have done in the past. What do
you think, Sir Red? You must have some images of plants and animals that belong in Paradise.”
Sir Red stood and made his salute to the Conductor. “Sir,” he said, “I believe you are the one who must make these decisions.
But if we can help by making some suggestions, then yes, I have an idea or two. I think Paradise should have at least one great tree, perhaps a tree like a sequoia or a redwood. It
should have a large, tall cylindrical trunk, giving the appearance of a pillar. The kind of tree people still worship in some places. Perhaps it could be a flowering tree. In any
case, it should be a tree that gives our Paradise a sense of strength and grandeur.”
“That’s a very fine idea, Sir Red,” the Conductor applauded. “Perhaps this tree could be the home of certain colorful
birds. But I like the idea mainly because it would be a natural feature and an appealing symbol that humans could relate to. Also, such a tree might cast a kind of spiritual aura
over our Paradise. What do you think, Sir Yellow?”
“Yes, no doubt,” said Sir Yellow, rising. “Trees ought to play an important role in Paradise. And yes, I think trees evoke a
strong spiritual quality which, if depicted and apprehended correctly, could lead to the illumination we are seeking. I would also like to mention that whales would make a strong
and possibly harmonious counterpoint to the great trees. And they too have a spiritual bearing that may be essential to our Paradise.”
“Excellent, Sir Yellow. Excellent!” declared the Conductor. “This is exactly the sort of thing we need to be discussing. Now
I see our Paradise beginning to come together. Great trees and whales are certainly two likely candidates. But what of smaller flora and fauna? Do you have any thoughts on this
subject, Lady Violet?”
“Oh yes,” said Lady Violet, rising from her chair and bowing to all at the Table. “I can envision many living things in
Paradise. As I recall, in a previous meeting we talked about how much the laws of gravity ought to apply in our Paradise on Earth. A feeling of weightlessness would seem to
be more paradisiacal than normal gravity. But if our purpose is to inspire humans to make a Paradise of the Earth they live on, I suppose, since gravity can’t be altered, we
should not try to depict a weightless Paradise.”
“But it should be somewhat more weightless, shouldn’t it?” Lady Ultra objected. “One of the things Lady Chameleon tried
to communicate to us, I believe, was that there should be no feeling of heaviness in Paradise.”
“There should be hummingbirds in our mural,” Lady Lime interjected.
“And jellyfish,” added Lady Ultra.
“All right! All right! This is all very fine,” said the Conductor. “The flora and fauna must be carefully chosen because we
can’t crowd the wall with animals. It’s Paradise, not a menagerie. I really believe there should be some significant spaces, where people can feel comfortable, free,
and safe. Sir Orange, do you think Paradise can accommodate a lot of animal life without ruining the serenity of it?”
“That’s a good question,” Sir Orange replied, standing with his usual Ć©lan. “There should be a perfect balance of the
assertiveness and the peacefulness of life. The graceful speed of certain birds, and gazelles, and cats, for example. And then the calmness and gentleness of a beautiful flower
slowly opening. The full moon gloriously rising behind a hill. A cycle of action and repose ought to be a part of Paradise.”
“Yes! Yes!” shouted Lady Magenta. “But actions and movements in Paradise ought to be innocent, and the repose filled with
“What animal most symbolizes love?” asked Lady Vermillion.
“The ram, no doubt,” Sir Purple answered, eliciting a few chuckles.
“Whatever you do,” Sir Cadmium butted in, “don’t put in a peacock. They symbolize all that is vain and petty behind a
“What about cats and eagles and other predators?” Lady Lime inquired. “We can’t have these in our Paradise, can
“Okay everybody!” the Conductor intervened. “I can see there are issues to be resolved. We need to decide if we are going to
give people a fantasy Paradise or a real Paradise on Earth, one that could exist in reality. A real Paradise will make the best use of Nature, without altering it. We may not want
to depict larger fish eating smaller fish, or a cat tearing a mouse apart, but we must have a Paradise that doesn’t deny such things. Paradise on Earth does not include
eternal life for anything. That is in the realm of religion, not of art. We are only trying to save the world. The flora and fauna we select will have to suit our purposes. Keep in
mind we can’t please everyone. If there is no horse, for example, horse lovers will not find it easy to accept our creation as a Paradise. The same with dog lovers. And so
on. We need to create Paradise without being specific. Maybe it would be best if we use hybrid and stylized flora and fauna. Tropisms. Things that will appeal to everyone on a basic psychic level.” The Conductor looked around the Table and saw some expressions of curious confusion on the faces of a few Colors. “Why don’t we adjourn for today, then, and think on this overnight. But first, since we haven’t heard a word from Sir Green yet, let me ask you, Sir Green, what kind of flora and fauna would you like to see in our Paradise?”
Sir Green stood and saluted the Conductor. “Well, sir, as you know, Sir Red and I don’t always agree on everything, but this time I
agree with him absolutely. A great tree would make a marvelous pillar of our Paradise. Perhaps a variety of trees could be depicted. In any case my Family and I have always tried
to provide a sense of peace and well-being, as well as a feeling for the stuff of life.” Sir Green paused and smiled in his somewhat elfish way. “I know,” he
continued, “it’s not kosher to make suggestions about a choice of Color, that’s entirely up to the Conductor. But I wonder if you are all familiar with my cousin,
Lady Mossbrine? I have strong feelings that she should be in our mural. I don’t know why I feel that way. The reasons for instincts are only revealed if the instincts are
followed. But in this case...”
“I have several cousins,” Lady Magenta interrupted, “who would make lovely additions to our Paradise.”
“So do I,” added Sir Orange. And there was a murmur of agreement all around the table.
“I’m sorry,” Sir Green pleaded. “It was a mistake to bring it up. I apologize to you all.” Sir Green then hastily
sat down. But he knew he had planted a seed in the Conductor’s mind. And since to Conductor had a fertile mind, the chances seemed good that this seed would germinate and
“Thank you, Sir Green,” said the Conductor. “Now that everyone has put in their two cents worth, I suggest we adjourn and
reconvene tomorrow. In the meantime, while you are ruminating in flora and fauna, don’t forget that just because there may be a place in art for the wolf, it doesn’t
necessarily mean there’s a place for it in our depiction of Paradise. Also keep in mind that although a cherry is small, in a great mural like ours it could be a foot in
And so, with these somewhat confusing images in mind, the Knights and Ladies departed the Round Table.