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A Tent Suspended from the Sky - nhpeacenik
nhpeacenik
nhpeacenik
A Tent Suspended from the Sky
pirate_moo  says she had a dream of me living in a tent suspended from the sky. That made me think about how to suspend a tent from the sky. Hmm... if I could somehow hook it into the aether, it would stay above a particular spot on the earth, but if I could hook it to the Moon, it would take me all over the earth. Since it is well known that the time between the end of sleep and the beginning of wakefulness is infinite, I had all the time in the world to invent the tent and try out living in it, a sort of Groundhog Day to try-and-fail over and over until I got it right. 

R Buckminster Fuller once wrote a book called Nine Chains to the Moon , and when I first saw the title, I thought it was about suspending nine vehicles from the moon, so that they could carry people across the oceans without needing fuel. (It turns out that the title was actually about population growth: at the time he wrote it, all the people on Earth, placed end-to-end, would go to the moon nine times. It was sort of like John Brunner's title Stand on Zanzibar, which referred to the fact that at the time the book was set, all the people on Earth could fit on the island of Zanzibar if they stood belly-to-belly.)

I set to work developing a nano-fiber cable that could be attached to the moon and hold my tent. You wouldn't believe how many tries it took me, since I had never worked as an engineer and my grasp of physics and chemistry are miniscule, but at long last it was ready. Figuring out how to attach it to the moon was yet another challenge. I studied spiders and learned how to duplicate and improve on their adherent spit, then I developed a solar-powered catapult to throw the beaded end of my cable to the Moon, where it stuck fast on the 653rd try. The tent itself was a miracle of engineering if I do say so myself, sleeping room for four (in case it were needed), passive heating and cooling, soft bedding, ground-ladder, well-stocked larder...

In order to be able to stop over to visit friends for a while in various parts of the world, I developed an inflatable/deflatable hydrogen balloon system and a computerized propulsion system, so I could hover indefinitely over any part of the globe, move north or south of the moon's orbital path, and so on. It turns out that though hydrogen got a bad rap from the Hindenburg disaster, it can be used perfectly safely to lift an airship if confined in many small tough-skinned balloons. I learned much from my namesake James from James and the Giant Peach and from the book The Twenty-One Balloons.



First I would hitch a ride with the Moon to get across an ocean, then I would navigate my tent north, south, or east or west to the home of a friend. I visited Lancashire, Tucson, Ann Arbor, Portland and Kuala Lumpur, among other places, dropping down to say hello to friends including pirate_moo , lilredbite , sand_inmyshoes  (aka BluebirdIona), and  another bluebird in Tucson, esbeani , kindnessrejoice , astarrymist , box_x_of_x_rain  purplethings , and  redmarshgrass . The only problem with my visitng schedule is that it happened in the "dream-time borderlands" where no one but me is awake, so I could only say hello in dreams. After visiting a continent, I would travel to a rendezvous with the Moon's orbit, grab the end of the passing cable, and move on to another continent. I never tired of this adventuring until I had seen everyone I loved. It wasn't until many lifetimes had passed that I decided it was time to wake up
and return to ordinary, finite life and write this blog entry.

Wherever I went, I gently sang this little song written by George Evans in 1907:

I once loved a sailor; a sailor loved me.
He sailed every night to my home.
He's not a sailor that sails upon sea,
Nor over the white briny foam.
He owns an airship and sails up on high;
He's just like a bird on the wing.
And when the shadows of evening have come,
He sails to my window and sings:
 
Chorus:
Come take a trip in my airship.
Come have a sail among the stars.
Come have a ride around Venus,
Come have a spin around the Mars.
No one to see when we're kissing,
No one will hear while we spoon.
Come take a trip in my airship,
And we'll visit the man in the moon.
 
One night while sailing away from the clouds,
We passed through the milky white way.
Just idly sailing and watching the clouds,
He asked if I would name the day.
Right near the dipper I gave him my heart,
And the sun shone on our honeymoon.
He swore from each other we never would part,
and we'd teach all our babies this tune.

Come take a trip in my airship.
Come have a sail among the stars.
Come have a ride around Venus,
Come have a spin around the Mars.
No one to see when we're kissing,
No one will hear while we spoon.
Come take a trip in my airship,
And we'll visit the man in the moon.
 
Come take a trip in my airship.
Come have a sail among the stars.
Come have a ride around Venus,
Come have a spin around the Mars.
No one to see when we're kissing,
No one will hear while we spoon.
Come take a trip in my airship,
And we'll visit the man in the moon.
 


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Comments
From: box_x_of_x_rain Date: February 4th, 2009 12:04 am (UTC) (Link)
i am absolutely in love with this post
redmarshgrass From: redmarshgrass Date: February 4th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm smiling and blinking at the creativity...
From: sonoran_scrawl Date: February 8th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
hi jim, it is me, nancy. wow. this makes me think of so many things. my best friend micaela and i growing up tried to fly away to russia in a wheel barrow. we were 5 or so. we blew up all these balloons and tied them to the wheelbarrow and thought if we wished hard enough we would fly all over the place...and then i think too of the rock climbers who sometimes sleep suspended in their sleeping bags in the air. magic tents, fun. i want to go camping and tent flying. nice to see you here. i undeleted my live journal and am trying to start back again. i love your writing. i am going to enjoy this, peace, nancy
pirate_moo From: pirate_moo Date: February 20th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love that you got that from my random dreamings!! Such a magical & inspired post! ^.^

In fact, I think I feel a picture coming on...! ;)
4 comments or Leave a comment