Logbook #62


Le chapitre 62

Aditya’s warm wishes of goodbye from over the microphone starkly contrasted with his inner feelings of frustration and concern. His role as volunteer coordinator should be rich and fulfilling. After all he was principally a figurehead. A person who got to sign important documents and talk, via video, at prestigious conferences and dinners. His pretentious position promised every delight. However he felt drained and hollow after so many of the interactions.

He realized that a lot of the problem revolved around expectations. In his mind, he expected that the people on Earth would realize that the five lunar colonists were tenaciously hanging on for dear life. However people on Earth spoke of endpoints. They expected quick progress to a glamorous utopia of idle relaxation in space. Most expressed a belief that vast cities were going to sprout up on the Moon’s surface. And then, with little extra effort, the same would quickly occur on Mars. He had to often explain that the Moon had no immediate ability to support life. It had no resources from which to build; no wood as there were no trees, no coal as there had never been trees nor any clouds as there wasn’t even an atmosphere.

He used his most eloquent imaginative spiritual expressions to convey a sense of majesty and potential. Yet he sensed that his audience was not buying into his exposés of a magnificent desolation that remained virtually untouched by humans.

Xu, sitting nearby, must have sensed his unease. She inquired “What’s got your eyebrows furrowed like a rice paddy in springtime?”

He smiled. Her anachronisms always were rich in Earth tradition yet wholly incompatible with their life on the Moon. He replied “My connections to Mother Earth seem a little strained sometimes. I sense that they want to hear of great accomplishments; vast cities under protective shields, machines that toil non-stop for the good of humankind and lives of leisure where a ready replicator proffers every imaginable food and drink. I wonder if they realize that I have not had a real bath or shower in months? And I will probably never again taste the simple pleasures of fresh fruit.”

He stopped himself. Not only was he sounding like a complainer, he was implying that he expected to end his days upon the surface of the Moon and never return to Earth. This was Karma that had portent and must be considered at another time. A time suited for reflection and scrutiny. Not now.

He continued “But I did enjoy the surprise that came in the last supply ship. The chocolate covered lychee were particularly invigorating.”

Xu softly laughed and walked over to hug Aditya. It was a long, slow sharing of spirits that reminded Aditya he was not alone. And that was exactly the message Xu wanted to share. She believed that most people on Earth wanted to come visit the Moon. Some to stay. However the time was not yet right for that vision. There were still too many risks, too many events that could drive them to the escape craft. Events that would force them to leave with sunken hearts and smashed dreams. Leaving and knowing that an even greater effort would be needed to ever try again. It was her vision and unwavering support that continued to inspire Aditya. To get him over the occasional hump of despondence. And it was their togetherness that engendered a community. A community that was more than the sum of its members.

He softly and tenderly kissed Xu upon the forehead. As much a father bestowing a favour upon a child as it was a supplicant acknowledging the wiser. Aditya felt his spirit climb as he turned back to the console to receive the next wave of admirers, each who had paid a princely sum just to have this personal communication with one of the colonists.

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