Curiosity Culture

is our most useful
aptitude & motivation for
resiliently navigating & instigating
disruptive and transformative change.

Curiosity Culture offers consultation, coaching,
presentations & workshops
to cultivate resilience
and curiosity.

My Saviour

With a plastic microscope,
a sextant,
a Guide to the Birds,
and a vest with plenty of pockets,
My Saviour fisted a pop gun mightily into the air,
war cry ripped off his lips by wind and snow blasting across an ancient arctic desert,
honestly reckoning he’d crack that towering glacial mountain
and bring down the interminable ridge of ice.

I hadn’t expected my Saviour to be an idiot.

I was screaming foulness at him –
12 years encased in ice from armpits to thighs and they send a lunatic –
but the wind blew so hard that even three feet away he couldn’t hear me.
He finally paused from his reverent ravings long enough to bend down, cup his hands over my ear, and jubilantly yell,
“Faith moves mountains!!”
“Christ”, I thought, “My Saviour’s a religious fanatic”.
“You stupid ass”, I shrieked at him, far past hysteria, “If faith moves mountains, what in God’s name do you need a pop gun for!??”

He jerked upright, Eureka-like, grinning madly,
wild beard frozen, cheeks burnt by the wind,
wild goggled eyes gleaming wildly down at me.
He pumped the action of his stupid little piece of plastic,
pointed it straight at me,
and popped me square in the forehead.

Thunder clapped,
and the ice cracked,
a 12 mile lightning bolt blasted straight out from my belly-button,
straight to the bottom of the glacial mountain…

Its foundation exploded;
the glacial mountain fell.

A tectonic cataclysmic collapse,
slow motion catastrophic cascade,
vertical continents of ice breaking free and falling,
deserts of ice falling from the sky,
the frozen mountain pouring plunging down,
into the sea beneath….

Tidal waves reared upwards –
concentric walls of water and ice
burst outwards,
whole skylines spreading
rolling out
roaring and rumbling straight towards us.


I am aware, momentarily,
that I am unfrozen,
that I am free,
and that I am bobbing,
freezing cold in freezing water.
But I’m hypnotised, paralysed –
a stupid seal, a mute merman –
by the wave wall rising rushing towards us.


Ice floes the size of nations,
mountain ranges,
Pre-Cambrian shields,
crack into pieces,
warp and crumble,
as they ride up the impossibly vast chest of this cosmic tsunami.


I am free.
I am floating.
I can feel.
The pain is excruciating.
Already I crave the ice.


My Saviour,
the Lone Quixote Christ,
is standing,
proud as punch,
legs braced,
hands on hips,
gazing out at the rapidly approaching cosmic undulation
like he just discovered America,
or his boy just hit his first home run.
He spits a huge wad of tobacco out the side of his mouth
every bone and fibre of his body saying, “Sheeeet, ain’t that a sight.”



It is.

The roar of shattering worlds is like being at the bottom of a planet sized waterfall.

Things are moving in me.
Things are moving out of me.
I’m shitting myself.



The ocean,
the universe in which I was frozen,
begins to tilt back, steeper and steeper as we are swept up into the wave.
Vast glacial constellations turn into slush and froth.


Saviour Man,
straight and true,
is surfing a thin board of ice the size of a pitcher’s mound.


There’s a sound,
just barely audible in the roar.
An indecipherable chattering, blubbering, mewling,
somewhere between a dry hiss and a stricken eyed shriek,
that, as it turns out,
is coming from my mouth.


The cosmic tsunami sweeps in and, riding up its unfathomably vast chest, we are almost vertical.

Skyscrapers, rocket ships, pyramids,
painstackingly devised theorems passed on from generation to generation,
whole evolutionary strategies,
strands and strains of DNA,
are plummeting into the froth like rain.


The hissing shriek has deepened and broadened,
gradually resolving into an infantile wail of unmitigated terror.
I temporarily leave my body as we hit the crest of the wave
where I can momentarily see to the other side of the concentric cataclysm,

heading away like a cosmic volcanic rim, spreading outwards towards infinity.


I look down.
over the crest,
over the rim.


in the centre of the circle,
there is nothing.
a bottomless pit…..
An unmitigated black hole…..


Saviour Man
flying out over the edge of the abysmal cataclysmic wave,
is staring at me in glee,
still on his board,
in classic surfer posture,
knees bent,
arms thrust forward and backward,
mouth shaped into the ‘ooooooo’ at the end of “yahoooooo”.


I am also flying out over the edge,
my mouth is wide open,
tongue tunneling a roar through my throat,
funneling all the terror possible for a conscious being:
it is in the shape of an “AAAAHHHHHHH……”


It’s an infinity across and spreading, and everything is falling into it.
Sound falls into it.
light falls into it.
It is unutterable, out of time.
I cannot describe it’s shape or form.
All words and constructs fall into it like rain,
and disappear without trace.
It is lasting roughly forever and measuring the length of all universes known and unknown.
Distance and time, wildly undulating, expand and collapse like a spider web in a maelstrom.
Time and space, gravity, evolution,
are notions defining it the same way that a puppy comprehends an internal combustion engine, a cat in front of a television set.


Saviour Man bursts forth,
surfing straight off the crest of the tsunami,
winking at me as he completely outstretches his arms,
spinning slowly backwards,
effortlessly executing a perfect back layout cross,
before disappearing
into the chasm of certain doom.

I fall,
the edge
of the crest
of the wave,
twisting desperately,
falling and kicking and clawing and grasping
and flailing,
trying to find something, some way, to hold onto
pure emptiness.


I am on the ground in a green garden.
Carlos Castaquixote, formerly Surfer Man, still in surfing posture, is staring at me with his ineffable grin of inestimable zeal and enthusiasm.

I am, to say the least, nauseous.

Quixote turns to face me and, without unlocking his eyes from mine, stretches an empty hand forward toward me, palm up, until it’s a foot from my face.
He holds it there, unflinching, unblinking, as if waiting,
staring into my eyes,
until suddenly an acorn drops straight into his outstretched palm.

This is, admittedly, a rather clever trick, but, having just witnessed the end of all known universes, I’m not overly impressed.

I am however, suddenly impressed by something else.

I become aware, and almost immediately fixate upon, a sensation which I cannot entirely identify.
Either I have a huge hard on,
inhumanly large, mythologically huge,
or else I have a vagina.
I don’t know which, and I don’t dare to look, because I don’t want to attract any attention… down there.

Carlos Castaquixote is still staring into my eyes, acorn in hand, smiling quizzically.
I stare back, smiling, and don’t look down.
He knows…
He doesn’t know…
I’m not going to look in case he still doesn’t know…
I don’t know…

He turns into the Mona Lisa.
She knows that I know that she knows,
and she knows that I’m not looking because I think she doesn’t know,
but she does know.
Or maybe she doesn’t know.
I still don’t know
for sure
if she does or doesn’t know.

The expression on her face is fathomless, preposterous, impossible.
I’m torturing myself.
I’m trying to smile but know that it looks completely ridiculous.
The corners of my mouth are twitching from trying to smile so hard,
but my eyes are frozen wide open.

Without blinking or looking away from my eyes she, or he, rolls the acorn out of her palm with his thumb, rolling it upwards onto the tip of her two middle fingers.
Her mouth is morphing into a mischievous grin.

I still don’t know if she does or doesn’t know.
I don’t know.
I don’t know.

She rolls the acorn with her thumb right out onto the tip of her middle finger, balancing it there.
She is disappearing,
until there is nothing left of her except a huge mischievous grin and her middle finger
with the acorn perched upon it.
Then she suddenly snaps the fingers of her other hand very loudly
like a magician matador impresario,
she grandly and theatrically gestures, palm up, to the middle finger
where the acorn is now spinning
a perpetual motion machine,
a frictionless planet,
spindling effortlessly on the tip of her middle finger,
inches from my face,
now so close to my nose that my eyes are crossing.


(Mona, or whatever the heck she is or he is or was or had been or will be or could be)
but has turned into the Cheshire Cat crossed with Jack Nicholson.
Perhaps it’s Satan.
He has a huge rude grin, demoniac, utterly disconcerting.
With his eyes still locked to mine,
the finger with the spindling acorn suddenly drops down in a mind numbing blur,
his whole arm straight,
pendulating backwards,
reaching an effortless extreme well above his shoulder behind him,
and then,
after a moment’s pause as it gathers the momentum of gravity,
it pundulates back forward,
plunging deeply,
arcing perfectly,
swinging forward and upwards,
releasing the pent up energy of potential into kinetic force,
out through the middle finger, the acorn still spinning on the end of it,
deep ,
burying deep,
into my groin.

It happens so fast that I don’t even budge except for a tiny pocket of air which punches out of my mouth in a squeek of shock.

I swear to God, I still don’t know what it is,
but now I know that he, or she, must now know.
His finger is back in front of my nose;
no acorn.
I’m cross-eyed again.
I begin to wonder when I last breathed.

He has resumed the form of Saviour Man,
slightly subdued, but with an undercurrent of absurd ebullience.
With as much gravity as a person with goggles and a pop gun can muster, he says,
“The roots will grow in, and the trunk will grow out.”
I keep on smiling.
Then My Saviour grips me by the cheeks, tongue-kisses me square in the mouth, punches me hard in the shoulder, appraises me one last time as if I was a ‘job well done’, turns on his heel and walks off with his ridiculously huge bounding steps,
plastic microscope,
a bird book,
a sextant,
and a pop gun dangling an acorn.

The Tale of Sitting Duck

Sitting Duck,
frozen with fear,
couldn’t paddle, couldn’t fly,
frozen knowing,
that below the Beast was coming,
from below.

1-Sitting Duck, Frozen with Fear

And so it did.
Rapacious gaping maw,
black gorger,
wide open,
all teeth,
snapping and gulping and swallowing,
’till all there was left
in the universe of the duck
hemmed in by teeth closing
was the rooting slathering tongue,
of the Beast.


Sitting Duck,
it’s mouth gaping in fear
as it fell into the cavernous jaws
of the maw,
lunged at the great beast’s tongue,
and beaked it,
beaked it harder and still harder,
beaked with all it’s might,
and held on for it’s dear Sitting Duck life.


3-The Beast Buzzed Teethed Spat and Ululated

The great Beast gasped,
then gabbered,
then stuttered, then coughed,
but still Sitting Duck wouldn’t let off.
It wheezed, and sneezed,
it buzzed, it teethed,
it spat and ululated,
and raced to and fro,
but still Sitting Duck wouldn’t let go.
The Beast flabbered and gasted,
couldn’t swallow, chew or catch,
on it’s tongue, Sitting Duck,
unrelenting in his latch.

For hours, then days, then weeks
the duck wouldn’t release,
and the Beast,
swimming in circles,
writhered and railed,
then paled,
and fell weak.

4-The Beast Flabbered and Gasted

Then Sitting Duck –
now mighty from feeding on the great Beast’s tongue –
flexed it’s wings,
and heaved with it’s mighty beak,
and beat and beat
as hard as it could,
and harder and harder,
and lifted the limp beast by the tongue into the air,
higher and still higher.

Then with a great gasp,
Sitting Duck spat the Beast from Below,
and it fell and it fell
tumbling down
far and still farther,
and then kerashed and kersplattered,
in a terrible horrible glabble,
of guts, and teeth and bones.

5-It Fell and It Fell


Sitting Duck –
Mighty Sitting Duck –
now descended to the splattage carnage,
winging back down to the ground.
There it fluttered and flapped,
and bippity-bopped,
and picked all the very best bones of the lot.
It stacked them in order,
tight, interlocked,
and built,
bone by bone,
a beautiful home,
from the bones of the Beast from Below.

6-The Beautiful Home



0-The Beast from Below