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Short Story

Call Me Monty

I found this slipped under my door. Thought I’d share it with you.

Earth here.Yes, that Earth. Third stone from the sun. The planet on which your butt is seated. That’s right, it’s the world talking to you. I know what you’re thinking; how can a planet talk to humans? Well, I’ve been talking to you for a long time now and not many of you have been listening. Perhaps I was too subtle (although tidal waves and earthquakes are anything but subtle). Or maybe the poetry’s gone from too many of you. It’s hard for me to tell. Those soft, carressing breezes and blood red sunsets are messages, unfortunately lost on most of you. Now I’m giving you the straight dope in your own language, or at least one of them.

First of all, I’d like you to call me Monty. Earth is just so banal, especially since you also refer to my soil as earth when it’s just soil. Dirt. Loam. Clay. Mud. Silt. A thousand words for my soil, all of them meaning roughly dirt, most of them having bad connotations. Consider the word dirty. Not complementary or attractive at all. Well dirt it is and I’m not dirt. I’m a planet for God’s sake! Have some respect. I considered all of the human names and Monty is what I’ve selected. Not too ponderous and somber, with just a touch of humor to it. Monty, the mighty Planet! Has a nice ring to it, don’t you agree? How do you feel about tornados? I knew you’d see it my way.

Think where you’d be without me. Non-existent is where. I know a lot of planets, believe me, and there’s not too many of them that can support human life. Some of my friends have thick ammonia gas for an atmosphere. Try living on that, oxygen-breath. Others are so large and heavy that their immense gravity would squash even the largest of you humans to the meager thickness of your own compassion.

That’s a joke. I know you humans love your jokes. I find them refreshing. As a matter of fact, the human sense of humor is the single biggest reason I don’t wipe you all out with another Ice Age or a devastating series of earthquakes and volcanos. Dinosaurs, for example, had zero sense of humor. There’s not a whole lot of laughs among giant lizards with tiny brains and huge attitudes. You think you guys are macho? They were insufferable. Either they were mindlessly chewing up and trampling tons and tons of my vegetation or angrily snapping their gigantic jaws at anthing that moved. And that’s about it.

They literally did nothing else aside from procreating, and they did that so artlessly and thoughtlessly it would practically make you weep. It’s like they were late for a meal, let’s get this over with so we can go back to trampling and chewing. Disturbing. Not even a whiff of romance or emotion did they have unless you want to include murderous rage as a viable emotion. Sensitivity? About as much as their thick, horny hides had. Less, probably. I put up with these brutes for a hell of long time, hundreds of millions of trips around the sun, hoping they’d have something worthwhile to show me eventually. No dice. Clearly they had to go. A planet has an incredibly long life, especially by your standards. With the big lizards, though, my patience ran out, and when a planet is tired of you, you’re gone. Seen any dinosaurs outside of a museum lately? I didn’t think so.

I’m not going to tell you what I did to them because you folks are having so much fun guessing. Then you argue vehemently which of you is right. I love that. Horses never form theories, lions never argue about what is the lionly thing to do, and they are two of my favorite riders on my back. It’s only you people who ask questions. Lot’s of them, and that’s a good sign. Just don’t expect me to answer them all. I’m not going to do the math for you, that just robs you of your initiative. I will, however, tell you this; all of your various theories about the disappearance of the dinosaurs are wrong. Take it from there. And don’t get on my nerves like the big lizards did. I can be nastier than a drunk the morning after.

You have no immediate worries on that score. I figure if I could give those humorless cretins millions of years as the planet’s star attractions I might as well give you humans a decent shot to see how you develop. To be frank, it’s been slow when you consider your unlimited potential. You people have brains, good ones that you seem reluctant to fully employ. Sometimes I think your major talent is multiplying. What are there, six-plus billion of you on me now? That’s a lot of mouths to feed. Oh, I can feed them alright, and six billion more if need be. I’m Monty and I’m bountiful. It’s up to you folks to do the work, though. I’m not going to farm myself and feed your billions personally. Myself, I don’t have to eat as you understand the term. My good friend Sol (the Sun to you) provides me with all my nutritional requirements. Starlight keeps me safe and warm and well-fed, thank you very much.

If your planet is warm and well-fed so too should you be. Sure, there are places on my skin where one can feed oneself with almost no effort by plucking the luscious bounty growing all around them, but these places are few and far between. I’ve thought of eliminating them completely since they seem to breed laziness and social stagnation but I’ve kept them around as sort of a reminder of how good I can be. On the other hand, I’ve got lots of deserts. There’s a flip-side to every coin. What strikes me as odd is that there seems to be as many of you dwelling in my deserts as in my tropical paradises. Go figure.

You people seem to be everywhere you logically ought not to be. What’s up with all that mountain climbing? I’ve aleady got a ton of mountain goats. What do you think you’re going to find there besides ice and stone and thin air? Any surprises up there lately? I know, I know, you climb them because “they are there.” Boy, have I heard that one before. Should I move them? Then they wouldn’t be “there” anymore. They’d be “elsewhere”. Then what excuse would you use to waste six months of your short lives, “We climb them because the are elsewhere?” Well, there’s no shortage of rotten, stinking swamps around. They’re “there” too. Why don’t more of you adventurous types explore them? Unlike my mountaintops, my swamps are teeming with life. Slimy, often dangerous life, but vigorous, vibrant creatures and plants. Plant your flag in one of my swamps for a change. You just might learn something.

And why are so many of you living on dangerous or poisoned patches of my hide like Bangladesh and New Jersey? There are other places, nice places, and plenty of them. Where is it written that you have to stay in a place that’s hostile to human life? Must your childen fall prey to the toxins both pre-existing and man-made? Must they starve simply because starvation is a way of life? If in a thousand years nothing has changed and the barren ground remains barren ground, give it up. Move already! My surface has so many hospitable and lovely locales for you to enjoy. Have you seen Montana? It’s gorgeous, if I say so myself, and I do. Almost nobody lives there. The views are spectacular, the air is crystal clear and the water is nectar itself. If you find yourself longing to get out of one of the people-choked, paved over, boring suburbs that seem to surround your great cities, you might consider Montana. Just a suggestion.

Not that I disapprove of cities. They’re pretty neat, a lot of them. My personal favorites are that citiest of cities, New York City, as well as Paris, Rio de Janeiro, London, Rome, St. Petersburg, San Diego and Budapest with honorable mention given to too many to enumerate here. Certain others are an abomination and the less said about them, the better. Let’s just say there might be some heavy weather and unfortunate natural disasters pending if certain locales continue to offend. Alright, I’m just going to say it: Pittsburgh and Calcutta, beware! And Buffalo, I’ve got my eye on you.
Oh, I know, I know, you’re thinking I’m being unfair and arbitrary. Bingo! You’re right. But so is life itself unfair and arbitrary. Anybody ever tell you different? If so, they were either idiots or lying to you. Either way, they did you no favors. Get over it. No one is immune to life. Even planets have bad things happen to them. I remember vivdly getting swatted by some pretty hefty meteors over the millenia and let me tell you, a cosmic collision with a ball of molten stone really smarts. So don’t get all Jean Val Jean on me when the dry cleaners can’t get the guacamole stains out of your favorite “Number One Lover” T-shirt. Life goes on. Realize that oftentimes good things come from lifes little calamities (like maybe realizing you’re a grown person wearing an incredibly lame garment).

Take my moon for example. She used to be part of me, my Pacific flank, so to speak, before there was a Pacific ocean. There I was minding my own business one day, spinning around Sol, when whammo, I get whacked with with a chunk of cosmic debris the size of Africa. Before you can say Jiminy Cricket I’m on fire and convulsing and the moon fires out of my side like a cannon shot into space. Talk about your trying days.

Well, she didn’t get far, thank God. My gravity grabbed her and held her and holds her close still. It was a very traumatic experience for both of us and we almost didn’t make it but we recovered, although my orbit was slightly altered and my gravity lowered a drop. But you know what? When I see the moon shining pearly white up there lighting my dark side slightly I think of how she and I turned disaster into beauty and utility. My gravity holds her close and hers moves my oceans. No lovers of any species ever had a more intimate or longer lasting love affair.

Oh, by the way, her name is Luna. You folks at least got that right. I only wish for people like yourselves to know the sort of embrace we have shared through the eons. Intimacy is too tame a word to describe our love. Each of us born of trauma and pain, just as you are born, clinging to and needing one another, caressing, communicating and cooperating at every level. Shakespeare himself could not have imagined such a love story. Not an orbit goes by that I don’t thank The Creator for the great pain he gave us and the great will to triumph over that pain. I was reborn that day, the day my companion was born of my substance and given unto me, my loneliness at an end. Sound familiar, Genesis fans? Anyway, she is a beautiful moon, and she thinks I’m a beautiful planet. Argue with that.

So now you know that I read Shakespeare and worship God. I read all your writers and view all your works af art. After all, they are a part of me. All of you are, and when you die you return to me. I am a jealous and loving planet and I keep my material close to me. That’s the beauty of being a planet; the same materials that went into the dinosaurs and the simple algae that began life as you know it are still in use today in you and my other creatures and in me. The air you breathe once flowed through the lungs of pterodactyls and Alexander the Great. The material that built their bodies build yours now, your childrens’ tomorrow, and so on. Pretty neat system, no?

I am fully aware of every creature on me. That includes even the tiniest gnats, so naturally I am aware of each of you. Of all my creatures, humans seem to demand the most attention. The squeaky wheels of Creation is what Luna and I often call you. By the way, she woudn’t mind some more visits from you, maybe even a colony or two. She may seem harsh and forbidding to you but believe me, she is not. A planet never had a more tender and loving partner. If you can live in Newark, then living on Luna ought to be a snap. You will be surprised at how wholesome and nurturing the moon can be if approached properly. She too is of me, and I of her, so why not enjoy her surface as you do mine?

All the obvious problems of living there can be solved. There are orchards in the one-time deserts of Israel, aren’t there? With a lot of hard work and love you can transform Luna as you have transformed me in many places. Of course she will transform you as well, but you will welcome her attentions just as I have these many millenia. No one enters a love affair and remains unchanged. The very act of falling in love is indeed a profound change in oneself. Reflect on your own experiences here and you will agree; everything changes from that point onward.

Even a lost love changes both lives forever, and hopefully from heartbreak comes personal growth. I can see now that you are ready to move to other places, new passions and adventures, even if you yourselves do not. You seem to have shied away from your space exploration program after some exciting early first steps. Why that is I don’t know, but soon this will change and you’ll go back out there with a renewed vegengeance and a zest for living and learning. It may not happen in your lifetimes or even that of your grandchildren, but humans will one day prowl the galaxy and beyond. The name Monty will spread with you and I will take my place as a glorious planet in the brother and sisterhood of planets (I, much like yourselves, am not without an ego. I’m working on it.), for when you live and die on other worlds you will be taking me with you and I too will be of those planets just as you will be.

All this will come to pass, of that I am fairly certain, barring of course some other huge calamity like that which led to Luna’s creation. Then you would all be wiped out and I would have to start over again. That seems unlikely though, sort of like the same human being struck by lightning twice. But that’s probably a little far in the future for creatures like you to ponder. You all come and go in what to me is the blink of an eye, eighty or so trips around Sol, who is not God, by the way, for any of you with lingering doubts on that score. It is understandable that so many of you worshipped the sun as the giver of life for so very long, for in a sense the sun is the giver of life as far as you experience it.

There is He who created Sol, though, and all the other uncounted stars you enjoy seeing at night. We planets and stars call him The Creator. As much as I’d like to hog all the credit for your lives and sustenance, I cannot. The Creator made me and all of my brethren, even that burning rock that smashed into my side and created Luna. Now there’s a smart cookie. God, you call him. He dreamed up this whole vast system of ours and made His vision a reality. That supreme act of imagination and application is an inspiration for every sentient entity everywhere, stars, planets, humans and others who have powerful minds, to dream and to act upon those dreams. So The Creator gives us life and continues always to give us His living example and inspiration. So even though I’m a planet with all kinds of life and death powers, I’m humbled when I contemplate His glory, His power, His mind and His bold initiative. And He’s not finished yet, not by a long shot. New stars, planets, moons and wandering asteroids, comets and meteors are born every single day, more than there are people living on my surface, even more than all who have ever lived and died here. Think about that awhile.

Contrary to your accepted wisdom regarding God’s exertions, He did not rest on the seventh day. Or if He did, He sure got busy again on day eight. He does not rest even now. The Creator is a very industrious son of a gun, a real go-getter who’s not afraid to get His hands dirty to get the job done. He’s also quite a character. He reveals Himself magnificently and gloriously yet remains an eternal mystery. His handiwork is manifest everywhere you turn but His essence is beyond the reach of even the greatest of his creatures. All of us who are aware of Him strive more than anything to know Him, yet the more we know about Him and His great works and compassionate love the further we get from a true understanding of Him.

Did you think you are the only ones of His creatures who strive to find Him? There are greater servants of God than you and none of us is any closer to that cosmic truth than you are, so don’t feel bad. He’s a generous Creator and and an extremely loving one, but very elusive. And He’s not doing the math for any of us. When asked who He really is, He gives the same enigmatic answer that he gave to you in your Bible: “I am that I am.” Ooo-kay. I don’t know what His ultimate goal might be, being only a planet, but I’m sure it’s all to the good, judging by what I have seen of Creation so far.
And I see a lot. That Hubbel telescope you recently placed in my orbit reveals only the tip of the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. As wondrous as are the images it has provided you, multiply that by infinity for the complete picture. Planets and stars are in direct contact with one another, how exactly that is I don’t know, you’ll have to ask the Creator. It just is, despite the unfathomable distances involved. His universe, at first glance seemingly a chaotic mess, is a seamless beauty of order and function. The delicate balance of gravitational pulls and magnetic pushes holds close enough together and sufficiently apart all of Creation, and this system works perfectly from the sub-atomic, atomic and molecular level to that of a planetary system, a solar system, a galaxy and beyond.

I believe that even the fireball that whacked me so heavily was a part of His plan, some cosmic adjustment. Seeing the ultimate result, my eternal love affair with Luna and the resulting changes in myself that made vibrant life(such as yours) possible upon me, that belief is strengthened tenfold. We live in a remote end of our galaxy, sparcely populated and only slightly illuminated by the trillions of other stars that shine in our sky. Looking into the center of the Milky Way, the densely populated center of our galaxy, the light is so brilliant and spectacular that humans would die from the terrible beauty of it all. You are not yet ready to enjoy that grand majesty. You will one day, though.

And there are other galaxies too. Lots of them, all teeming with light and life. Their beauty and complexity staggers the imagination and makes one feel quite small. I can only imagine how you pipsqueaks feel. I’m a planet yet I’m merely a grain of sand on the beach of Creation. I am, however, an important grain of sand, for I am a Lifegiver, a sustainer of life and an important custodian of the Creator’s beloved humans. That promotes me from a grain of sand to a pebble. That the Creator has entrusted me, a pebble in the sky at the edge of a smallish galaxy, with the sustenance of a life form that he loves so well is a singular honor among planets and star systems. The Creator for some reason has a special liking for you. Ususally I get it, sometimes I don’t. The worthiness of people as a life form has an extremely wide range, from despicable to mediocre to saintly, oftentimes all of these traits existing within a single person. Puzzling, to say the least.

See, that’s the thing about humans, you’re inconsistent and as I just said, even within each individual. My other beasts are all models of consistency. One hundred times out of a hundred a tiger is going to act a certain way in a certain situation. Same with a sparrow, an elephant, a wolf or a whale. Not so with you folks. You’re damned unpredictable. This often confounds the heck out of me but it pleases The Creator. He has made it abundantly clear to me that this trait is what makes you special, what makes you able to grow and change and adapt. Perhaps that’s a tough concept for a being such as myself who by definition must be constant and true in my mission in order to sustain myself and my living creatures. As always, The Creator’s right. I never argue with The Creator. A planet never knows what other flaming ball of magma might be aimed at his flank. Besides, He’s not exactly running a democracy in Heaven.

Just ask Satan. He used to be a big shot among the angels until he got evicted for not going with the program. He’s been a thorn in the Creator’s side ever since, and everybody else’s too. For reasons of His own The Creator never smites that devil into oblivion even though He could in a flash. Says he serves some kind of purpose in sorting out who’s who. Be that as it may, the evidence is clear: you people have come a long way in a short time, geologically speaking. In hundreds of millions of years the dinosaurs never managed to become anything but what they started as, pea-brained brutes with few non-food or sex related thoughts in their bony, pointed skulls.

Humans, on the other hand, have actually changed and progressed from your days as a puny race of berry-gathering, carrion-stealing, lice-infested, predator-fearing, butt-ugly filthy nomads without even the courage to claim and defend your own territory. Sorry if that sounds unattractive, but I speak the truth exclusively. I could show you slides of early humanity if you like. Believe me, it’s not a pretty picture, but to your credit you’ve improved markedly. Maybe not as much as you think you’ve improved, but it has been a significant move up the food chain. For that I applaud you. For all of my beast-bearing history (not really all that long in planet life-span terms) that has never happened before. Of course, other beasts have evolved and adapted but so far you humans are the champs.

One of the best things humans have developed is your art. No polar bear ever produced an oil painting or statue, no giraffe ever wrote a symphony. The only architecture (other than my very own majestic wonders) previous to the many human building masterpieces were birds’ nests, ant hills and beaver dams. Not exactly Architectural Digest cover photo material, if you catch my drift. So, from your primitive but beautifully delicate cave drawings came Mona Lisa and the Pieta. From your branch and animal hide tents came Notre Dame Cathedral and the Taj Mahal. Impressive, and a fine use of me. Don’t forget that everything you touch, eat, breathe, build or transform is part of Monty. Even you are of me, every fiber, every atom. Forget that at your mortal peril. And as I spawned you one and all, I reclaim you when your life is done. Just reminding you to keep things in perspective here.

Animals have always had and continue to have many songs and stories to their credit. They’re not as dumb and artless as you like to fancy. Some are, of course, but some are pretty sharp. Their songs and stories, however, are universal melodies and tales that are repeated by every generation and seldom added to. There hasn’t been a completely original one composed in eons. That’s sort of like having “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain” sung exclusively forever with an extra verse tacked on every five thousand years or so, or having the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” repeated endlessly with perhaps a new page added every five millenia, with these two simple creations serving as the whole body of song and literature for an entire race of beings. Maybe not so simple as that, but you get the picture. Thank The Creator that this is not so for such as planets and humans. Perhaps someday your descendents will have advanced enough to be exposed to the indescribable music, poetry, art, comedy and literature of the natural universe. But like the almost painfully beautiful light at the center of the galaxy, they are not for you, not just yet.

As much as you folks have advanced, you’re still not out of the woods, evolution-wise. There’s still that evil side to you, that gluttonous, willful, screw-the-other-guy selfishness. Why, only an eye-blink ago as a planet measures time you people engaged in a horrible war that was unlike all the other countless wars you have always loved to fight. In this one some of you attempted to exterminate entire classes of humans who were not even combatants in the war, and that included innocent children (as if children could be anything but). Believe me, the entire universe shuddered at that one. That war finally ended only by the barbarous explosion of two weapons that destroyed entire cities full of innocents. The fact that that weapon was deloyed by the side considered by general concensus to be the forces opposed to the wholesale slaughter of targeted races of humans even further clouded the picture of humanity’s character.

After that war humanity made even greater gains, both spiritually and technologically, while simultaneously sinking to new depths of depravity and cruelty. The Creator said nothing all the while, biding His time, even more infinitely patient that we planets. What I’ve noticed is that not as many of you are dying of starvation. Slightly, anyway. Even one is too many on a planet as bountiful as I am so I really don’t know what the problem is. There are also as we speak a lot of people trying to duplicate the extermination of specific groups of other people. Wasn’t that proved to be an abominable idea in the first place? Why do you others let that happen, either the starvation or the extermination? Doesn’t it really amount to the same thing? It sure feels that way to me when I am called upon to reclaim the victims. I don’t mind reclaiming what is mine, that is my prerogative and my natural way, but there is usually a rhythm, a measured time for each life. I don’t enjoy reclaiming lives that have not yet run their proper course. It’s like a poem left off in mid-stanza or the last page torn from a novel. Can’t you let the story unfold? Would it kill you?

Poor choice of words there. Sorry. Even planets are not perfect (there is that embarrassing lapse of scenic wonder upon me that you call Queens). I myself am subject to mood swings. What is an Ice Age if not deep-seated depression? It’s something I’ve struggled with. Luna always helps through the hard times. Anyway, people, the potential is there. You are capable of astounding acts of mercy, kindness, charity and yes, even genius. There is within each and every one of you a largeness of spirit and imagination. Each of you possesses a vast amount of insight and creativity waiting to be exploited. And like our Creator, most of you seem quite industrious, working like men and women possessed. From my point of view you resemble so many ants in a colony scurrying about feverishly trying to accomplish who knows what, it’s very hard to tell. The results sure don’t reveal what it is you’re so busy doing all the time, any more than the results of the ants’ frenzied labors are obvious to you. The anthill looks much the same at the end of the day and some mischievous child can still come along and mash it flat. So, what’s the point?

I’m not saying you ought not to be so hard working, That’s your nature and it has gotten you this far, so as you say, “dance with the one who brung ya.” But step back and look at the big picture every so often and believe me, the picture is very, very big. Your innate gifts are too often wasted. The Creator gave you these gifts in abundance. Each of you is rich beyond your wildest imaginings yet you seem not to know it. I’m your Lifegiving planet, so I see and know so much about you. Why can’t you see what you really are? Why am I more impressed with you than you are? I saw you wink at that three-year old just to please him. I noticed that you helped that old granny off the high step of the bus even though you were running late. I heard you cry at night for what might have been, I saw you rise the next day ready for what comes next.

That huge grin you flashed at the sight of one of my fine sunsets didn’t escape my scrutiny. I also heard you singing for joy for no apparent reason. The act of forgiving that person who hurt you so deeply is now a part of your permanent record. The petty hatred you overcame is always remembered, that hardship you endured will harm you no more. I watched when you had the most terrible of days but you rose in the morning eager for more of the life that guarantees nothing but so often delivers something new, unexpected and rewarding. I saw you try your best and fail, but not surrender. I was proud when you gave your strength and courage to someone in dire need of it, when you forgot yourself and your own troubles for the sake of another. I saw you try to make things right for someone through their pain and loss and suffering.

Did you think I didn’t notice when someone that you loved desperately broke your heart? I saw and felt the depth of your despair, then I rejoiced when you slowly healed and risked your heart once again. When faced with grave danger I smelled the raw fear in you, then watched you conquer that fear and do something heroic. I felt the iron resolve you mustered to make a difficult and painful decision. I noticed you didn’t flinch. I remember when you crossed the threshold from childhood to maturity, even if you do not. I heard you make a difference in the life of another person just by telling them they’re okay at a time you sensed they most needed to hear it. I saw you embarrass yourself and laugh at your own folly. I saw you in disgrace, I watched you redeem yourself. I saw you act humbly in times of triumph and joy. I noticed you remembered those who helped make such times possible.

I know when you dream and I know your dreams are worthwhile. I hope when you hope, I pray when you pray, I laugh when you laugh. When you stumble you rise unaided even though hands are stretched out to help you. This is what I see, this is why I love humans as does The Creator. See yourselves like this for a moment, unique and complicated and eminently worthwhile. Catch your breath and step off the treadmill for a few moments.

I’m going to throw one of your own cliches back in your face now. Why don’t you stop and smell the roses? They are exquisite, by the way, and if you need me to tell you that you really do need to stop and examine them. Now I’m going to ask you a few simple questions, such as: Are your labors helping to feed the starving children? Are they contributing to erasing the blight of ugliness you and your predecessors have created in so many spots on my surface? Are you contributing instead to polluting your host planet and its atmoshpere? On this last score, cry no rivers, sing no laments for me, for I am Monty and I will survive a thousand poisoned waterways and a thousand holes in my ozone layer. I am a self-cleaning unit. Heck, I make diamonds out of coal, I’ll figure out something to do with all that styrofoam. It is you who are dependent on my bounty, not the other way around.

So when you poison the earth and the air and the water you are poisoning yourselves, not me. There were times when I didn’t even have an atmosphere and other times when all my water was frozen as hard as stone and still I kept my appointed rounds in the heavens and enjoyed a fine life. As I stated earlier, Luna and I get all we need from Sol and The Creator. Other times I have been covered by uncounted trillions of primitive ferns and trees, choking each others’ roots to compete for limited sustenance. The result was the death of nearly all of them. Mile-thick ice sheets and primitive plants don’t spend a lot of time contemplating quality of life, but they, being mindless, at least have an excuse. Having humans on my back might be a fun thing thing for me and I’d miss you when you’re gone, but it is certainly not a necessary thing. Bear that in mind.

And don’t fall into that silly trap of pronouncing what is and is not natural. If something is man-made, why is it considered unnatural? Does anybody think that humans are not a part of nature? Guess again. The same goes for chemicals. There isn’t a single chemical you can create that does not draw all its ingredients from me. Then you tell one another that this combination does not occur in nature because humans made it. Well it sure does because humans occur nowhere else. By that reasoning termite mounds are unnatural because they didn’t form themselves at random but instead were the result of millions of my creatures striving together to build something that wasn’t there before they got busy.

Same goes for so-called natural foods. Natural food for humans is almost anything. You cannot eat stones, of course, and some poisonous plants and creatures that you pretty much know about through trial and error, but just about anything else that grows, walks on all-fours or slithers on its belly is natural food for humans. You need not limit your intake of my bounty except by what you like and dislike (and of course steer clear of gluttony no matter what your preferred diet). What is natural is to eat and drink of my bounty and to feed your children of me as well. The Creator in His wisdom has provided me with every sort of nourishment to feed His humans. He made no rules about what to eat and what not to, leaving it up to you to figure out that pretty much everything on the bountiful Monty was theirs to eat.

Then religions got into the act of restricting people’s diets, pretending their man-made rules are the words of The Creator. He’d have a good laugh at that one! He has already, actually, especially at the intense earnestness of deluded fanatics who claim exclusive communion with Him. He often tells these fools that He’s there for anyone who seeks Him but they’re usually too far gone to hear anything but what they want to hear, namely that they alone are the arbiters of men’s behavior and personal habits. Makes Him wonder just who it is these guys are really praying to.
Of late a lot of psuedo-scientists and animal rights activists (there are no animals in this group, only humans) have been trying to redefine what is and is not healthy or even ethical to eat. Again, let me clear this up for you: Eat what is palatable to you and only cannibalism is prohibited. As far as providing clothing and shelter for yourselves and your families the Creator has provided as well as the super-abundant plant plant life many creatures whose substance is ideally suite to these purposes. Their meat was made to nourish you, their skins to clothe you. Any arguments to the contrary are complete nonsense and, if you will, unnatural.

And let me address those among you that believe not in The Creator. How foolish a notion. What you are then saying to yourselves is basically, that human beings are the highest form of life there is, the highest form possible. Now that’s funny. What about me? You think I’m not alive? If I’m not, then how could you be? All that you are is of me, all the living creatures are of me, nurtured by me, sustained by me. The air that fills your grasping lungs is of me, the water that fills your every needy cell is my water. Yet you deny me my planethood? How can you see and not see? You believe I am a dead piece of stone, existing nerveless and mindless. The same could be said of you by tiny creatures that live upon your bodies by observing your own fingernails or strands of hair, lifeless unresponsive members of your being as far as they can tell. Could they then safely assume that you are but a lifeless vessel put there to serve them? The logic is the same. There are tiny creatures living on your eyelids, for example, consuming your dead skin. Ever wonder what eats their dead skin? And theirs in turn? Think about it. There’s a heck of a lot more to Creation than meets your nearly blind eyes so don’t be so quick to pronounce what is and is not a living, worthy being.

I shouldn’t be surprised, though, because so many of you deny the fact of other human being’s humanity and in this way make it possible to enslave, oppress, annihilate or merely hate them.These are not just delusions, they are self-serving delusions. Humans hating other humans that are made of the exact same materials that all men are made of, identical except in very trifling ways. How is this possible? Because of your common make-up (me), you are indeed all brothers and sisters, more so than even the most open-minded among you realize. It is merely an accident and a mystery of creation that the building material of your arms and your brains are within you and not within some starving child half a world away with a slightly different skin tone.

And it is a further mystery that that starving child is not you. It could just as easily have happened the other way around. As I am of The Creator and you are of me, so all of you are of The Creator and all are of one another, every last one of you, the smartest and slowest, the richest and poorest, srongest and weakest. And to prove that you are all one, ask yourselves who will be claiming you all once again when your earthly lives are finished, the mighty and lowly alike. That’s right, I’ll be there to take you home and to use your materials to give life to others. And I am not without input on who gets what raw material and certainly not without my own mischief. Rabid haters when they die are quite apt to be used to build new humans of the sort they once scorned. Hitler, for example, with what raw material I could salvage from the fire, went into building a fine Jew, but one born into a place on my surface where Jews were still heavily persecuted. His spirit, which is as much a tangible part of your building materials as as a toe or an eyeball, also went into the building of this new person of the sort he once tried to wipe from the face of the earth. I wonder how it feels to be the hunted instead of the hunter.

There was once a cruel individual, a person of some power over others who made them suffer at his workplace, in what I believe you refer to as a sweatshop. When he died I used almost his entirety of substance and spirit to build a person that worked at his factory and suffered abysmally under the grandson of himself, the original owner. Eventually that new person changed for the better the way he and his fellow workers were treated but only after a lifetime of pain and travail. Similarly, countless slave owners over the centuries have found themselves reborn into cruel bondage. The saying you humans have “What goes around comes around” is especially true of the raw material that is of me and only temporarily of you. Another thing to bear in mind when the temptation strikes you to harm a fellow being. Not only can the shoe be on the other foot, the the foot could be on the other foot as well. I monitor these things closely and try to help when the opportunity arises. So realize it is not you humans who are perched atop the food chain. It is Monty.

Sometimes you think I’m out to hurt humanity, but I’m not. My weather extremes are in existence for very good reasons, mostly having to do with self-maintenance. It’s not that I find trailer parks such tempting targets for my tornadoes, it’s just that you place them in such vulnerable spots. The hurricanes and blizzards are necessary to continue my life as a Lifegiver, a special planet for special creatures. If some of you perish in them, well, that’s life (and death, I might add).

And who told so many of you to build your homes on my flood plains? Why do you think they are called “flood plains” in the first place? And the various coasts of the Caribean and South Asian Seas that have for eons been pounded by my tropical storms. Just because so many of you want to live there should I alter the facts of life to your whims? At the expense of whom? These storms have to rage somewhere. Would you have me redirect them to New England? Old England? Then would you want to swap for their harsh winters or drizzly grayness? And when my rains fall heavy and deep where they have always fallen heavy and deep, ought I stop them because somebody decided this would be a good spot for a town? I don’t think so. Why don’t you just move and stop trying to command the tides. If you like being a control freak, first try controlling yourself, the hardest task of all.

I don’t complain to The Creator for placing me in the orbit in which He has placed me even though there are many perils to be faced there. In some things you just have to realize that what is, is and that’s that. The Creator owes me no explanation and I owe you none. Just deal with the world as it is, not as you’d wish it to be. And for God’s sake, stop building towns on my flood plains. If I don’t flood that plain for two hundred years, that doesn’t mean it won’t flood again on the two hundred and first year. It just might. I didn’t forget it was there, and when it does flood again anything that you’ve built there there is going to float away like a rubber duck in an overflowing bathtub. Sorry, it’s nothing personal and no reflection on the merits of what you’ve built. That’s just the way it is. All these things; floods, storms, earthquakes, tidal waves, what-have-you, they all happen for a reason. Deal with it.

So keep looking around you, asking questions, discovering new things, experimenting. Look within me for more treasures. You’ve been sucking oil out of me and burning it for a long while now but there’s other treasures buried within me that that will help you more and choke you a lot less. What are they? That’s for me to know and you to find out. I told you I’m not going to do the math for you. But I did tell you that I’m Monty and I’m bountiful, much more so than you can even imagine as of yet. The answers you seek are within me, many of them. Other answers lie beyond, on Luna and past her into the stars. Most answers are within yourselves, however. The Creator gave you so very much, so much more than you realize.

I was once so troubled and puzzled over the many wars you fought but The Creator told me something odd. He said that the most ferocious war humans will ever fight is the one raging in their own hearts, and that the outcome of this war will determine their worth as beings in His Creation. I am not sure I completely understand that, but I am not The Creator, merely His humble servant. So I accept it and try to interpret the meaning of His words, the scope of His plan and His joy in his creatures. These are tasks too large for a limited creature like myself, but much like you humans I strive, I seek and I wonder. For as much as I see and as much of Creation I am privy to and in communication with, I know there is so much more, so very much more that espcapes my limited senses.

Like the light at the center of the galaxy that is not yet for you, there are sights and sensations denied me. For all the eons I have lived, all the vast knowledge I have gained and the many experiences I have had, I am truly but a pebble in the sands of Creation. In many ways I envy you puny humans, for one day you will leave me and go where I cannot go, see what I may never see and taste what I can only imagine. And believe me, I have an extensive imagination, fueled by witnessing and participating in wonders that are as yet inconceivable to you. Conceivability, though, is a constantly changing thing. Who among you just two hundred years ago could have conceived of space flight? Who in those days could envision telephones, computers, automobiles or air conditioners? Who of you alive today can see what you will become in another thousand years? None of you is the answer to that one.

There’s always something to strive for, it seems. New jokes for one thing. Your ability to laugh at yourselves and the universe and everything in it is what sets you apart. You have come far. You are now the dominant creature upon me. You will go further still. There will be setbacks and disasters always, just as there always were, but that hasn’t stopped you yet and I see no signs of it stopping you ever. That war within your hearts seems to rage on endlessly, but who knows? One day it may end and humans will grow again, having gained a new insight into Creation and your place in it. I don’t think it will happen tomorrow or on any foreseeable tomorrow. Unlike all your other wars, this one will be won or lost one person at a time, with some achieving victory before others, and some never winning or losing but struggling endlessly within themselves. I really don’t know, I’m just guessing here. Just remember, no matter how far you progress, what will always be a profound truth, what Catholic priests recite to their parishoners as they apply ashes to their foreheads in the annual ritual they perform on what is called, appropriately enough, Ash Wednesday: “Remember man, that you are dust. To dust you shall return.”

Meanwhile, all we can do, planet and human alike, is to keep striving, seeking, wondering and laughing. And do yourselves a big favor, little guys, stop building towns on my flood plains and do something about Buffalo. A new park, a nicer football stadium (Why do you think The Bills lost all four Super Bowls they played?), a courthouse, anything. Do that for me and we’ll discuss a couple of mild winters. And remember, from now on, call me Monty.

Copyright 2007 R.R. Crespo

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