Updated: Oct 5, 2019
It is hot in the tightly packed upstairs room even though the windows are open as far as they can go -- which is not very far -- having been rigged to prevent anyone who might have the urge to leap, from leaping out through them.
The slate stone choir crams together under the hot lights up on the small stage in front of the audience (There is a forced polite hushed hubbub outside -- people still delicately, though insistently, trying to talk their way in, and a queue has formed stretching down the street. "This lady was in front" says one, trying to make good her conscience for having squeezed-in a moment ago).
The time has come to sing and without any introduction the choir begins. There is no preamble. There is nothing before this. They begin to sing. They begin to sing their slate song.
All are rapt.
Some think out loud in their heads: If only I could sing as rock! To sing the tender song of slate! I would feel so wonderful. I would feel more me.
The choir sings in between the poise of moment held tenderly as rock, while knowing intimately the particle-thin cleave of sweet moment being taken away, and yet they do not fracture with it all. They hold together.
The voices settling now, laying down achingly delicate strata over strata of tiny notes -- seemingly inconsequential motes of awareness across their faces transcribed so lightly that the crowd barely notice the density of each passing second seemingly mundane (few knowing gravity as sentient: that constant reminder of ultimate significance). The choir raise, roll and ripple voices over millennia before the open mouthed. The agog.
Bury your left-for-dead pasts they sing, disturb your sediments, change your sea levels, rewrite your story. Let crystal life and liquid gold seep in, nestle in, as it will do anyway imperceptibly through each of your exquisite faults and fissures, veining your darkest of greys.
The music builds up and up and the cliffs they make of themselves fall away, fall down onto the ebbing tide below. Changing everything. Everyone is rubble now.
Then they applaud, and they carry on applauding and the choir joins in with the applause. And they are all still there, applauding to this very day. And sometimes if you listen well as you lean over your most frightening cliff, you can hear them and right yourself.
Gravity is in fact sentient.