WIF: Work

Silduun Siltuunde

Where I’m from we lack the word and concept of work.

All is done with ease.

We have projects, tasks, activities–we do what needs to be done, prompted by our internal motivations for harmony. Yet all is done without strain.

It is natural that I would bring this approach here with me to my new life on this planet. I find joy in discovering the physical properties of this sphere. Look at these bubbles as I wash the dishes! Each perfect in shape, dimension, property! If I add too much soap, the bubble doesn’t form, for the formula becomes too viscous. If I add too much water, the bubbles will be tiny, if they exist at all. Even when the proportion of soap to water is supportive of the formation of bubble, if the bubble becomes too large, it will burst! The pressure is more than the surface tension can hold.

When I wash the dishes, it isn’t only bubble that delights–the temperature and pressure of the water, the cleansing of the remnants of food, the scent of soap, the sound of water! Water. I wonder if those who live here fully understand the miracle that is water…

We have liquid where I’m from, of course. But we do not have water–not H2O.

How could a task such as washing dishes be viewed as work when it occurs within the context of the miraculous?

At any rate, as “work” is integral to the experience of life here, I sought–and found–employment as a lab technician. The field of science correlates with my personal mission of exploration and discovery.

Before leaving for my first shift of “work,” I realized I had personal needs to attend to.

Silduun Siltuunde

I simply cannot get over the joys of water! Hot! Cold! steam! Soft pressure! Strong! And! When I sing inside this tile-lined cubicle, the air waves that emanate from me bounce off each of the walls, mingling in a conjoined multipart harmony! Life here, on so many levels, is so absolutely delicious!

I experienced a mishap at the grill, in my attempt to prepare some morsels of nutrition before departing for a day at my place of employment.

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My primal fascination with fire led me to a moment where my attention entered the flames–and before I realized what had happened, the flames were entering me! For a dark instant, the spectre of failure rose before my black eyes–if I cease to exist in this form on this planet then how will I continue to experience and discover? My spirit would lack its center of operation here once this form turned to carbon and dust.

Silduun Siltuunde

I extinguished the flames just as it was time to leave for the laboratory.

I arrived at the Science Lab feeling tense.That is a new feeling, one I am unaccustomed to, and one that I feel indescribably unpleasant. The jarring sense of having looked in the face of my form’s demise; the stink of charred fruit and scorched membrane; the itch of ash and smoke–unpleasant in totality.

Silduun Siltuunde

A quick shower cleansed form and spirit, and I felt the return of this earthly feeling of happiness and prepared for a day of investigation and invention.

My colleague the robot was a willing partner for my first project of the day.

“You seem to know what you’re doing,” I said to the robotic invention device.

“Absolutely. Entirely. Perfectly programmatically so.”

We collaborated beautifully.

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“I very much appreciate the way you have organized these concentric circles.”

“Part of the procedure. Perfectly perfect. Designed just so.”

Silduun Siltuunde

When we finished our successful invention and construction of the infinite momentum device, we had leisure to chat.

We don’t have robots where I’m from, for we feel the sanctity of performing tasks with our own hands and minds. Yet, through our conversation, I learned that this robot also shares a reverence for work well done.

“Teamwork. Absolute harmony. Pieces that fit. You plus me. Work together.”

“I understand exactly what you mean,” I replied.”And I find it deeply satisfying to have collaborated with you on this project. I look forward to years of collaboration with you.”

“Like a little guava.”

“I beg your pardon?” I asked.

The robot winked. “A little purple guava.”

I felt an unusual sensation inside of me. Something fluttered. So it is this, I realized. The robot is a flirt. I wasn’t sure how to respond. I will think of a repartee for next time. This time, I simply smiled and bid the robot a good day.

Silduun Siltuunde

More projects waited to be completed. I had a personal interest in the development of synthetic food. I enjoy natural food greatly for its novelty–and I am assuming that my form will be able to process the nutrients. For those times when the density feels too heavy for my light form, however, I will greatly enjoy synthetic food.

Understanding the formulation of synthetic food allows me to verify the wholesomeness of the ingredients and the ratio of nutritional elements. I like to know what I put into my form.

Silduun Siltuunde

Even after my scorching incident, I am still so drawn to fire! Sparks and flame have such beauty! I feel, deep in the base of my brain, a sense of recognition of this energy of flame. It is the primordial part of me that this basic energy of creation speaks to. This deepest part–this brain stem which is shared by all beings that have an awareness radiating from spinal cord and brain–deep within that elemental and basic part of me I respond to this first energy, first element–fire and spark.

Silduun Siltuunde

My day at the Science Lab was a day of play for me, not a day of work. How fortunate I am to spend the entire day collaborating with my new robot friend, inventing something useful and helpful, exploring and discovering and investigating! How lucky I am to Get to Play every day!

Before leaving my place of play, I met one of my colleagues from this planet. I recognized him from the parade of males that marched through the neighborhood of my residence yesterday.

“Yes, yes. I do see you there,” he said. “No, no. I don’t mind that you said hello. I just. It’s just. Work, you know. Time clock. That sort of thing.”

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He didn’t look at me. I am aware that my appearance can be unsettling to some of this planet’s residents. I could wear my disguise, of course, and perhaps I will sometimes, when interacting with the inhabitants.

I didn’t want to hide my authentic expression of my form on my first day, however. If I begin with a disguise, then how do I reveal myself later, after my colleagues have already fashioned their understanding of my identity? It is kindest to begin with openness. I am not from around here, and it is best that my colleagues know that upon first acquaintance.

I lack social graces for this planet–I am all too aware of that. I am new here. I have plenty of time to learn the intricacies of social form and fashion, to discover how to gracefully communicate with these denizens while truthfully and kindly expressing my own thoughts and ideas.

I did notice that, even though our conversation began awkwardly, my colleague began to relax as the conversation progressed. And within myself, I noticed an inward smile–conversing with another, even if over the complications posed by a missing “Q” on the keyboard (“cumquat” becomes “cumuat,” for example), brings its own flavor of pleasure.

When I returned to my neighborhood of residence, I strolled through the wide gardens to view the diversity of flora, to hear the songs of birds, to watch the setting of the single sun. All is new. Yet all that is new speaks, somehow, to this deep part within me. What is shared? What is it at this base of me that is spoken to by so much of my experience here on this planet?

Silduun Siltuunde