On the first day they had explained the necessity of his task. Very important to the future of mankind. Data and progress are like the chicken and the egg.
For the first year he had understood, for most of the first year. He had been thrilled by the crisp red line that his measurements tracked across the air. Or the sky. He couldn’t quite determine where but certainly the line was red.
Then summer came and his head ached in the heat. He forgot what was he doing. Was he measuring the sky? Or graphing the change. Or losing his finds. Perhaps it was the product of growth times the balance of payments or the median ages of children in the east of South Wessex. Some mornings he believed it was a ratio of fishes in schools vs. fishes in nets. Another sweltering late afternoon he clearly recollected that his task was to measure the improved deportment of five minor gods in the Arcadian host.
Did it matter if he rested all those hours in the night? Should he be on alert for hurricane warnings? Would anyone ever come to test him? Was this all he was ever meant to do? All that life was? Was anyone out there expecting anything of him? Hoping to meet him? And . . . and his line. And his pole, of course! He did have the pole. The pole and the line.
And then what he was measuring seemed no longer important. All that mattered was the rate of the up and the gradual decline. He could almost just hear it. The music of change.
Yes, now he remembered, that is what it had been from start, a great symphony written for the moon, the sun, the sea conducted daily by him.
“Massstab” [The Yardstick] created by Soizik Meister