“In the yellow time of pollen, in the blue time of lilacs,/in the green that would balance on the wide green world,” – Luke Davies, “from Totem Poem [In the yellow time of pollen]”
It may have started life as an ordinary subway tunnel. The kind of tunnel people use to and from the underground train. Hurrying to work, rushing to school, heading home at the end of a long day.
The tunnel sees everything: the missed promotions, the lost job, the failing exam grade. The tunnel bears the earth overhead on its shoulders, holding a space open for those who walk on foot to the trains. The tunnel has seen the fallen hopes and the abandoned dreams. It has seen the lost child and the grieving parent.
Still, all the tunnel does is hold up the earth in a long arc through the center of the Earth. The echo of voices and rushing train cars carries through the vacancies in the space deep below the soil. Tunnels predate civilization. There is a safety below ground, there is a protection from extreme heat, from marauding enemies. What cannot be seen above ground cannot be looted or massacred or abducted. This subway tunnel is descended from a long line of subterranean ancestors. Burrows. Warrens. Crawl spaces. Basements.
It may have started life as a subway tunnel. An artificial underground passage from surface to train car. But today the tunnel is the archivist of our civilization, it is the conveyor of our consciousness.