She shoves off from the safe harbor of Certainty, enticed by the perfumed air blowing in on the breeze from the Sea of Everything Else to explore its many secret charms her crew intuits inland while absently gazing out windows whenever inside. They are all avid volunteers whose focus long ago dissolved the slats of the bamboo curtains while reaching for the larger picture so far beyond the glass barrier. They sail in defiance of threats like, “there be dragons,” from frightened keepers of the faith in the prophecy that, if order could possibly be indisputably established anywhere, the wilderness outside won’t really matter and will go away.
She needs no recruiting posters. In the beginning so many felt wanted by the vast unknown the founding elders realized they must act to prevent an ldeaspora‘s dissolution of all they were trying to nail down. They relocated the population further inland to a territory they dubbed the United States of Absolutica, away from the temptation of doubt lapping at the entire fractalized coastline, not just their original landing site, Curiosity’s point of departure from Certainty. In recent generations Curiosity’s fleet has begun sailing other ships out of other ports; the happy ship, the Wrong, sails out of the well defended port of Fort Righteousness; the super streamlined yet slow boat, Our Desire, out of Sinisabad; the weird ship, the Anomaly, out of Normalcy; the intuitive ship, Yearning out of Comfort Corners; Question out of Patanser; Beginning out of Land’s End … you get the idea.
Moving to the heartland of the new homeland, clearing the area of wild ideas and building the great isolating wall of definition worked very well during the lifetimes of those who’d remained involved in the passionate debates about the righteousness of every rule laid into the wall and who’d invested energy in the labor of leaving it alone once put in place. It wasn’t too many generations along when the sacred wall, referred to by all as the DICTATIONARY, began revealing leaks spied by inattentive students’ wandering attention during the endlessly boring process of doubt erasure their public schools were.
The process of patching the DICTATIONARY with a new rule for every inventive infraction became a distraction from considering the impossibility of enforcing them, much less the loss to the vitality of the community of its most creative criminals by diagramming their sentences to jail. The prophecy became as threadbare as the emperor’s new clothes when the more imaginative among them recognized the similarity of their culture to the process by which innovative farmers surrounded each budding pumpkin blossom with a mold of the head of the head founding elder to harvest a lucrative commodity just in time to save everyone from the mess of having to carve them themselves and the shame of probably getting them wrong at Halloween.
The experience of being surrounded by so many mirrors reflecting one’s proper image packed so close together, sealed within the fortress walls as they were, stirred the embryo of an irritation within even the most indoctrinated among the orthodox.
Tentative attempts to escape constant reminders of such mindless conformity with forays into the wilderness were always accompanied by a gigantic vacuum/snail device that extruded an asphalt trail wherever it went to transform the land wherever it stopped by sucking it up into the mold of a road crossing with options at each corner from an approved list of necessities including bank, gas station, fast food, car wash, bar, car dealership, church, parking lot and personal technology retailer as a support for the relatively isolated, practically identical rows of individual sets of walls of personal fortress sprawl they named homes.
These adventuresome heretics were slowly granted permission to decorate their indistinguishable homes, built on the design principles of exactitude laid down so long ago, with the blasphemy of modifiers. A dab of green letters and numbers spelling the name and registration of the homeowners on the mailbox in front of one of the standard black and/or white houses was open defiance of tradition. The first person to hang an adjective on the wall in their nouning room caused a stir of controversy throughout the colony.
These outlying boxes remained connected to the fort within fortified capsules whizzing these rebels back and forth along the slime trail or virtually through the series of Ted Tubes from their homes to the trough that sustains them from within the bowels of the fort, the fountain of truth, the reward of a promise, permission to exist. Being natural entities these strangers to a stranger land gradually enacted an innate curiosity as unconsciously as the depth to which their education had buried it, but just as surely — as if "curiosity" or "why" were actual words, much less symbols for concepts they recognized and could discuss.
Ayn ran away from her stifling nest within the ironic curtain because there were no words to express to her parents’ and teachers’ satisfaction the questions she couldn’t ask about a world greater than the DICTATIONARY could behold much less cared to contain. As chance or the salt air would have it, her parents’ home was in the closest proximity to the coast of any of the fort’s outposts so that her flight away from the prosthetics and the walls and the asphalt through this garden of unexplainable phenomena was the first time any of her people had breathed unconditioned air or witnessed the environment without glass protection for three hundred generations … and it led her to a beach.
Ever since stifled reports of her survival in the wilderness without definitions began leaking into the fort, wakened curiosities have leaked out and trickled down to the coast to build this outlaw community of sea farers sailing the Sea of Everything Else and re-porting their ships to share novel words about novel experiences of larger samples of the infinitely big picture of the universe.
She’s sailing under the full moon tonight. Come on along for the endlessly interesting voyage of the good ship Curiosity. Your life will be its logbook, its entries, your direct experience; no hearsay. You won’t need words until you choose to re port.