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An Introduction,

The Documentarian

Before we go on, an introduction is in order.  Both to me, as well as to the nature of the world of worlds we all exist within.

Only first, it’s important for you to know that I’ve been around longer than most.  Because of this, over the ages I’ve seen many things.  Much of it mundane, thus forgettable, yet other things, due to their fantastical nature, I will never forget.

As for my name, I’d rather not say.  Besides, who I am doesn’t really matter.  What I will say though, is that I am a documentarian.  What I mean by this is, well, you might say that I’m a hunter and gatherer of stories, which is true, yet this doesn’t quite sum up exactly what I do.  To clarify, I guess you might also say that it is my job to identify, and record, the specific events which tie significant stories together, doing this with the hopes of creating a proper narrative.  I do this so that future scholars, whom, years from now, with looking back at the past with the hopes of gaining some insight into what brought things about, will have an easier time following what actually happened, thus making it easier for them to unearth important lessons.  In other words, if I was to work on a farm, it would be my job to separate out the wheat from its chafe, leaving the unneeded historical chafe on the field.  Doing this with the hopes of creating a tasty cereal which a scholarly mind would like to consume.

Now, as per the physical nature of the ME, you see, I’m not going to pretend that I am an immortal, although you might come to think of me that way.  What I will say is that I’m one of the ancients, and, as I hinted earlier, that I am older than most.  Because of this, on account of my work, it has afforded me a long term view of our worlds.  Interconnected worlds; worlds with many levels, some of these worlds existing beyond, some hidden within.  In each case they are worlds where multiple realities, often contrasting, even diametrically opposed, can, and do exist.  I know this, as I’ve made it my business to study these worlds.  Doing what I can to figure out, and to explain, how these overlapping worlds all fit in.

And Yes, I do find my work to be interesting.  In fact, there is nothing else I’d rather do.  I say this despite the fact that much of what happens is pretty blasé.  Not only that, but history tends to repeat itself.  Which, if you take these two things together this might leave one to believe that history is both boring and predictable.  The beauty is, though, that there are always so very many things happening.  And amongst these I can’t help but to find new and exciting things.  Also, when history does repeat, it’s not so bad, as it never repeats in exactly the same way.

The truth is that there is a sort of magic related to knowing that history tends to repeat.   I guess what I’m saying is that, with knowing how things have happened in the past, this knowledge can give me a heads up on what might be coming.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that my understanding of history gives me the ability to divine the future, not unlike a seer.  In other words - knowing our past helps the likes of me to see when big things are coming.  This is because when certain types of things happen they tend to lead to another, and another, and yet to another, which together can take on a certain destabilizing power.  Due to this, when I come across things unfolding in this manner, well, these combinations of events, patterns of a sort, they sound a certain kind of alarm.  An alarm which informs me that something big is coming, and that it’s time for me to take my ringside seat.

I say ringside seat because, for me, with watching these worlds unfold, it is like watching a dizzying show; a show akin to those three ring travelling circuses of old, a Big Top tent where a universe full of excitement exists.  This is because each Big Top tent is home to multiple worlds; where each one of the circus rings found inside are a world unto themselves.  Worlds which are each overseen by a ringmaster, a conductor of sorts, whom organizes and directs the actors and the players within.

As for the nature of the many and varied acts contained within these three ring circus tents.  The worlds encased within those magical canvas walls, well, I have to tell you that each and every ring is uniquely different.  Not only that but each ring plays host to many shows within, with these shows often happening at the same time, simultaneously overlapping.  Let me give you an example:

First off, imagine yourself under one of those massive, sky high, canvas tents.  It’s so large that, due to the haze and shadows, you are unable to clearly see the far side.  You are sitting in your seat about two thirds of the way up.  You’re centred over the middle ring of three.  With suspense filled awe, you look down through the excited crowd - the seats around you have all filled in.  Those around you are now whispering in anticipation.  As for the rings, they are empty, silent.  There’s not a thing to be seen - not even a footprint.

You smell candy floss, popcorn, sweat, perfume, candied apples, and foot-long hot dogs.  Despite these tasty distractions, on account of their growing impatience, the crowd is getting a little rambunctious.  They’re here for a show, and they don’t like to be kept waiting.  The thing is though, as any good entertainer knows, is that making an audience wait, ...for just the right amount of time, ...helps to build the excitement.

Suddenly, seemingly out of a limitless sky, a spotlight, from way above, cuts through the shadows.  Like a laser cutting through the haze, it draws everybody’s attention.  Everyone watches as it paints a perfect circle in the middle, red-edged circus ring.  More surprisingly, smack in the centre of that circus ring, bathed in a circle of light, there stands a top hatted, red vested, circus ringmaster.  How he glows.  Only, you can’t help but to wonder how he even got there.  He wasn’t there half a second ago.  The truth is that you can’t help but wonder if he’s no more than a hologram that caught a ride down on the razor sharp spotlight’s beam.  How else could he have apparently appeared out of nowhere, just as he did?

For a few seconds, smiling and taking in the crowd, the ringmaster looks around.  The audience grows silent.  Children are hushed.

Once satisfied that he has everyone’s attention, and I mean everyone’s attention, I mean, once it is so quiet that you can hear your own heartbeat, the ringmaster winks at the crowd, he then bows with a flourish.  In so doing thanking everyone for attending.

Bow completed, pulling himself up straight, with a loud booming voice, it magnified by a megaphone, he then introduces himself to the crowd.

The audience, anticipating what’s to come, is on pins and needles.  As for the ringmaster, knowing he has us exactly where he wants us, he finally invites you and I, as well as all else who are gathered within eyeshot, to look up, way, way up.

With looking up, with obediently following his direction, our hungry eyes climb up the stupendously tall tent poles; poles which are so long and tall that their upper ends disappear in the shadowy heavens above.  In fact, with taking this in, we are all gobsmacked as one would swear that the circus tent’s canopy is so unexpectedly tall that the twinkling stars and heavens are captured within.

 

Amazing, Yes, but there’s more to see, as under these stars, strung between these tent poles, some so high that they are barely visible, exists a multilevel maze of rigging.  Proof that the show to come, well, one has to ask, does it have no upper limits?

 

It is at this point when one has to ask.  Where are the people?  By this, I mean - the promised performers.

Well, as if in answer, with the slice of another spotlight, a team of sequined, high-flying trapeze artists suddenly appear.  They take to the skies!  And SNAP, just like that, yet another spotlight comes to life;  It showing that above these trapeze artists, perched high upon a lonely pole, is a clown readying their self to take a plunge into an impossibly small pool.  The pool, with how it is located so many stories below, well, the truth is that the dive looks impossible to survive.

When the clown finally gets up the nerve to take the plunge, to attempt the dive, all goes silent.

LOOK! THERE THEY GO!

Concerned, it’s like the entire audience, gasping, collectively inhales.  They hold their breath as that clown, with curly red-orange clown hair trailing, cuts through the air; as they pass... A couple walking the high wire?!  Where did these two come from?

These two wire walkers are dressed in formal wear.  He, is sporting a dress jacket, complete with wings and tails, topped with a top hat.  She, is wearing a crystal crown.  As for her dress, it, delicately draped, is covered in sequins and colourful, fluffy feathers.

The clown, on their way down, passes these twisting, swinging, and spinning trapeze artists.

With the clown continuing their descent, everyone can’t help but to be concerned as they are quite sure they are going to miss their target.  In fact, we’re all hoping now that the reckless clown is wearing an invisible wire, or some other lifeline, one which will save them from a certain, rapidly approaching, pancake shaped, death.

Following the clown’s descent, with no more than ten metres to go, you notice that the circus ring below is no longer empty.  That’s right. the diver still has to navigate their way past a gold-vested prince, riding a dancing stallion; a veiled, Arabian princess riding a decorated elephant.  Crazier yet, there are lions, and tigers; one with someone’s head in its mouth!  Next to them is a strong man, or is it indeed a strong woman?  Either way they are lifting up a half dozen big men, pulled from the audience.  As if this isn’t enough, you now note that the strongman, and their elevated participants, are being circled by juggling monkeys, riding bicycles.  And horror of horrors, just as the diving clown hits the tiny pool’s surface, as the water swallows them, causing a jet of water to torrent up like a fountain, your jaw drops on account of what else you see.   It’s a magician!  He’s sawing his assistant in half.  She screams, because yes, she actually splits in two - she rolls apart!  It’s ghastly!  But look, her toes are still moving!  Witnessing this, the audience gasps in disbelief.

It’s about now when you and I, along with many others, would exclaim, ‘What the heck!’  You might even be thinking, ‘But the circus ring contained only the ringmaster just a mere few seconds ago.’  It’s also around now when you might even begin to forget that the other two circus rings exist.  Chance are you might be coming to understand that the world you see in front of you has more happening within it than you can possibly process.  I guess it’s kind of like when reading a really good book.  When, once you get into it, you forget that all of your worldly problems exist.

The thing is though, in the neighbouring rings, if you can pull yourself away from the one you’re currently watching, you will see something entirely different.  This is because each ring is playing host to entirely different shows.

As for the one to the left, it comes complete with yet another ringmaster, different actors, and animal trainers, a parade of horses, a few contortionists, as well as suspended fiery rings, these with no shortage of people and animals leaping through them.

Next, with the assistance of the sulphurous exhale from the belch of a fire breather, you see a young woman climbing into the snout of a giant, long barrelled cannon.  A cannon currently aimed at a human tower.  As for this tower, it must be maybe eight or nine levels of Catalonians high - they come from Barcelona.  Beyond the tower is a rope mesh designed to act as a giant catcher’s mitt.

Of the human tower, those on the bottom are belted, big - shouldered, giant brutes.  As you look up, layer by layer, the people standing on the shoulders of those below them, get smaller, and smaller.  Also, as you look up, you can’t help but notice that as the human tower grows, the upper levels are becoming more and more unstable.  This making you ask yourself, ‘Just how long can they hold this together?!’  How long until they all inevitably come tumbling down?  And, if you were able to pull your eyes away from this accident in the making, that is, if you could tear your eyes away from those precariously perched on the top levels, you might even be able to see what I see.

Climbing that living tower, it’s a little kid, a girl, maybe four years old.  Already three levels up, she has five to go.  Too young to know fear, she’s giving it her all.  Cinched down by a belt around her waste is a flag mounted on a short pole.  The way she’s sprinting up that human high-rise, Sir Edmund Hillary would be proud, as she’s climbing like an old pro.  Just so you know, her goal:  no less than to stand proud, flag waving, unassisted, on the shoulders of the woman on the top level.  This leaving us wondering -  Where are her parents?  And - Who would let their kid do such a thing?  And then you remember the cannon, where it’s pointed!

She keeps going, she’s climbing up the backs of those on levels five, six, and seven, and…, Holy crud, she makes it!  She raises her flag, as high as her little arm can reach, in victory!   Only, to our horror, the cannon, it fires!  Talk about bad timing!  With this a sudden collapse ensues, people are free-falling, tumbling and rolling as they cascade down onto the big brutes below.  But not the little girl, as she’s seamlessly plucked out from the human cannonball’s trajectory.  Her saviour is a thin waisted, strong armed, and fast flying trapeze artist; her father.  The timing is amazing, how he plucks his daughter out of the way of the human cannonball; accompanied by the cannon’s roar and a puff of pink coloured smoke, in a mighty arc, they fly just underneath the girl.  Coincidently - the human cannon ball is the little girl’s mother.

I know this all sounds like too much to take in, but this is just the show’s intro.

As for the last ring, you may be asking yourself just what’s within.  Then again, maybe not, as you have enough to concentrate on with the ring in front of you.

What’s that you say?   You’re listening.   I have your attention. Well then, let me tell you, as far as it goes you’ll find…, actually, just use your imagination, all you need to know is that whatever’s happening there is equally fantastical to what’s happening in front of you.

The point I’m making is, despite the fact that these worlds all exist under one overarching tent, they are all standalone and different worlds; worlds which host their own shows, with each ring full of drama, joy, tragedies, unimaginable terrors, and otherworldly wonders.  Each of which can make one’s head spin.  Each ring a world where those who exist within have to coexist.  Each ring a place where if a player’s attention strays, even for a second, that unexpected consequences will soon start to manifest.  This is the reason why those who work within these rings have to stay focused.  You see, they have to concentrate on what needs to be done, because failure to do so could cause everything already done, to become undone.

The truth is, it is because of their focus, those working within these circus rings, often enough, have no idea what’s happening in the neighbouring rings.  And, because of the distractions near at hand, some don’t even know that the other circus rings even exist.   I guess these busy souls are just too focused on trying to keep their world together to have ever thought about what might be beyond it.  The thing is, though, when things occasionally do go wrong in one ring, and this does occasionally happen, sometimes the trouble from within that ring can’t help but to occasionally spill over and affect what’s happening in the others.  The result being that, like a comet hurtling towards a world such as Earth, this spillover can sometimes cause some tragic and cataclysmic events.  Just ask the dinosaurs.

 

Sorry, that was a little long-winded, but I was just trying to paint a picture in your mind.  Hoping to give you an idea of how complex, yet simple, a world of worlds can be.  Mind you, the real worlds we will be visiting are much more varied and complex than a circus ring could ever be.

Now most of us, not knowing it, exist within a world not unlike one of those standalone circus rings; a world where we interact with others who exist within the same.  A busy and distracting world where we have to concentrate on what’s happening next to us, as failure to do so comes with a cost.  For me however, I am afforded the luxury of viewing from high up in the stands; high enough up that I can get a view of what’s happening in each one of these worlds, with only seldom having to fear injury or death.  Not that I don’t occasionally leave my seat, as sometimes it’s nice to see what’s happening up close and personal.

I guess the reason I’m here today is because I’ve seen a few signs; a few signs that history is again repeating.  The thing is, though, I’m not sure what’s going to happen next, as I’m not a seer, but I can tell you this: it’s going to be a memorable show.  So why not take a seat next to me.  I can be your guide.  Together we can sit and watch as something memorable unwinds.

One last thing, before we go on, what one must remember is that these Big Top circuses play host to more than just the audiences, the ringmasters, the performers and the trained beasts - that’s right, these worlds of worlds are also home to all nature of downtrodden beggars, pickpockets, gamblers, swindlers, shysters, sharp shooters, barkers, psychics, and creeps.  And of course, let’s not forget that these worlds also play host to the sideshows; the tented homes of the freaks of nature; those curious beings which seem to attract us so.

So there you go, please accept my invitation to grab some popcorn, a drink, and take a seat, as it’s time we watch this show.  Only, I caution you, if you choose to accompany me, then you have to be comfortable with occasionally leaving your seat, as to keep up you will need to follow me deep into many a worlds; all different and sometimes hard to imagine.

Now then, are you settled in?  That’s a good thing, as you’ve arrived just in time.  Lucky for us, this story, wherever it ends up going, is about to begin.