One plus one

Itul took another long drag of the pipe before passing it to Itula who smiled a wrinkled smile before beginning a story that was one but not the same.

"When I was a little girl, I used to believe that we were all just stars floating in space. We were all just waiting for someone to come and give us a little push to become the next star to make a journey across the sky. And we would travel the vast spaces in between before landing in a garden, like seeds, before beginning a new life. The selection process would be based on a game of roulette with the whims of a strange Universe.

In a way, I was right. Because our chances of being here hinges on chance, circumstance, and the fragile fact that one plus one equals one (and a little more).

My parents met through a series of unusual events and they like to tell this story to anyone who will listen. This story begins not with my parents as some might think but with the Wandering Bard. The Wandering bard began as a humble fellow born into just the environment for cultivating a Bard. His mother from what I hear was a famed singer and his father the ever faithful composer for his wife. The young little bard was named Fredrick and took to the harp like bees take to making honey. His parents were overjoyed at his ability and often danced merrily together with Fredrick during his younger years.

Soon Fredrick grew old enough to attend school but the transition from small family to big world made Fredrick fearful and he soon lost his inspiration. He decided to seek out the help of Dr. Keave who was famous for this sort of problem. The good doctor told Fredrick to reconnect with his family before going on a journey to faraway places. So Fredrick reunited with his mother and father before setting off to become the Wandering Bard.

Fredrick traveled with little to no money in his pocket and played well known music pieces on his harp while searching for himself. On one fateful journey, the ship he traveled on crashed onto the sharp rocks of the tendril in the sea. Poor Fredrick held onto a piece of driftwood and his beloved harp for many days and happened to drift into this little cove. Our people at that time found Fredrick half-dead on the beach still clutching his beloved harp. The warriors at the time were about to leave Fredrick to the birds but a young curious girl from our city took it upon herself to care for the stranger. Her name was Mika.

And though Mika did not speak the same language as Fredrick they managed to communicate through signs and drawings. Fredrick also managed to communicate through the music of his harp. And while he was tugging on harp strings, Mika realized that every time Fredrick played the harp, he was also tugging on her heart strings. However, this happiness was not meant to last as they were eventually discovered just as Fredrick had become strong enough to escape. Some say that he was strong enough before that time but was delayed by his feelings toward Mika.

In either case, both were captured and brought before the court. The court was about to sentence both to death until Fredrick simultaneously composed and played his masterpiece on the spot. In all the mysteries of the world the one that fascinates me most is the thing we call love. And on that day, Fredrick had solved the riddle. It was just that instead of using words, he used music on harp strings to tell the story of joys, sorrows, laughs, pains, and that one plus one equals one (and a little more).

The music was so beautiful that the court moved to the decision of banishment instead of death. And though Mika was tearful about leaving her home she was also joyful to be with Fredrick.

The pair continued to travel the world until Mika had a baby girl, whom they named Lisa. Lisa was born with the curiosity of Mika, the wandering spirit of Fredrick, and a little bit of her own mischief. As their life was unfolding, our city was changing too. The world outside was getting smaller and became brave enough to climb the wall that we had built to keep out the spaces in-between. Not even the stone guardians could keep out the spaces and soon our society began to be connected with other societies.

Although we were unaware of it at the time, Mika and Fredrick had returned to her homeland with Lisa. Mika had returned in hopes of showing her daughter a different civilization. Mika was likely to be safe if she kept a low profile but her mischievous daughter had other plans. The first thing Lisa did when they arrived was vanish into a large building that echoed beautiful song.

There she met a harp player named Isul. Isul was one of the few Oo Tea Cica that had traveled beyond the stone guardians. He had returned to the city after meeting a much larger world and losing inspiration. He had returned home in hopes of learning more of a man known as the Traveling Bard. 'That's quite a coincidence', said Lisa 'the man you seek is my father'.

And that's how Isul met Fredrick and began too a journey to find inspiration. After much traveling however, Isul finally succumbed to his feelings of home-sickness and returned to this city. He was discouraged still being unable to find inspiration until he bumped into Lisa again who was dancing with Tila, one of the most beautiful women of Oo Tea Cica.

On that day Isul found his inspiration and on that day Tila found that while Isul was playing the harp strings he was tugging on her heart strings. Tila would eventually became my mother, and Isul my father.

And had it not been for the whims of the Universe, two foolish people, a harp-player, a curious girl, and a mischievous daughter, I may not be here at all. I may still be floating in space as a star waiting for someone to give me a little push so I can fly across the sky and into the garden to start a new life.

For when two fools find love, the Universe makes a strange decision for one sperm and one egg to create one new life.

When two fools find love we know that one plus one does not equal two.
One plus one equals one (and a little more). It's just a little more but enough to make the world imperfect, beautiful, and worth the journey across the sky."

Author's note: This chapter was heavily influenced by the story: The Danish Poet.