Terry Pratchett built a world where lives had ‘lifetimes’. These were like hour glasses, but bigger. When the sand ran through, death came to collect you.
My aunt lost her voice in old age. It made me think that perhaps we were gifted with a finite number of words we could say before our allotted words ran out, so maybe speak less, and more kindly?
Reading again The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu. The second story is called State Change. In the world in which the story is set people are born with a soul that is an object, or thing that they have to keep close, care for. The central character’s soul is an ice cube.
No one expects that she will live long.
The story is beautiful, thought provoking and I love the way there are some writers, who, with so few words, can build a many layered world, and stories that live outside the edges of the pages.
The stories in this book almost seem to be like keys, the words unlocking memories. They flow like clear cool water from the page.
But this one made me think. What would my soul object be? Perhaps a paint box? Or maybe a brush? And still I think……
And so I ask, if you were born in this world where your soul was born beside you, an object, something you had to keep close, keep safe, what might that be? Not an animal, for this is not a totem creature, and animals have souls of their own. Something….
If you would think, and tell me, in the comments to this blog I will pick a person now and again and send a card, or badge or something. And if you would share that would be kind, as I would love to hear what people think….
And if you need a good book then The Paper Menagerie is one such. The title story might break your heart a little. But that can never be such a bad thing. It’s beautiful.
( The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu is published by Head of Zeus)