the swimming pool, the well

The Sadness of the Swimming Pool

The pool lies at the bottom of a deep shaft of luxury apartments. As evening falls, lights begin to glow softly around the sides of the well. The inhabitants within cannot be seen or heard. A cool blue glow, the glow of the reactor chamber, emanates from the pool. A lone woman swims silently, her slender body a purple shadow in the cold blue light.

The Joy of the Well

In a green glade sheltered from the fierce sun there is constant music. The water has a voice as it is drawn and poured into large jars, and the women’s voices respond in harmony—never one alone, always several or many, weaving together the song of the gift of water.

The new city is an oasis in the deserts that the old cities made. Men and women gather at its wells to draw water for their homes, stay to wash and pay tribute to the necessary miracle of their survival. The harmonies that rise from the new wells are timeless and yet never heard before in the long lives of the whirling planets, because they are the songs of a free people on a slowly healing world.