I Need to Move to a Different Planet

OK, this isn’t about gardening, and not really about writing either, but… I knew this would happen — eventually a post like this would show up in this pure and simple blog. Oh well, here goes…

The past few weeks I have several times found myself thinking that I need to move to a different planet. I am obviously not suited to this one. To tell the truth, I have suspected this for decades, but now there’s no more doubt. When I hear something called “music” that to me sounds like a rhythmic riot, or someone yelling with bashing noises in the background called “a really great song,” I know I’m an alien here.  Am I the only one who thinks it’s not OK for there to be 7 billion humans on Earth, but only a few thousand bears, cougars, tigers and other large predators in ever-shrinking wilderness enclaves? And what about the prevalence of thick-necked, bullet-headed creatures driving huge black pickup trucks? Those types need their own planet, totally paved in asphalt. Sometimes I think it’s the one we all live on, the way things are going. Which is why there are days I want to get out.

So where would I like to live instead of this beleaguered Earth? That’s the problem; I don’t think the place has been discovered yet. It would have to be an earth-like planet, of course, with a temperate climate rather like that of Vancouver Island, except with reliable rain in the summer, because I would want to be a gardener in my new home. The human population would be relatively small and not dominant. There would be great forests and savage beasts to counteract hubris. There would be blank spots on the edges of maps, labelled “unexplored regions.” Cities would be small and ancient. Introverts would outnumber extroverts about two to one. Change would be leisurely and everyone would be vegetarian. There would, of course, be hot and cold running water and reliable plumbing, but transportation would be by bicycle and other human-powered vehicles within towns and by rail between them. There would be cats. Loud noises would be discouraged, but good conversation highly esteemed. There would be coffee shops with resident string quartets.

Government? Economic system? Aargh, don’t make me deal with that stuff. Is there anything about the economy of Middle Earth in The Lord of the Rings? Magic — that’s the thing, and happy hobbit farmers and millers, an idealized medieval England. But yes, this business of creating a real, functioning world is more complicated than it seems in the first flush of enthusiasm. It’s a good thing that most fictional worlds are just that — fictional — and so not required actually to function. (Hmm, this seems to be turning into a Writing post after all).

So if I don’t want to build my own planet — then what? I know — I need a one-way ticket to H.P. Lovecraft’s dreamworld, so delightfully described in “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.” Ulthar, that would be the place.  Listen to this: …the sea of red tiled roofs and cobbled ways and the pleasant fields beyond, all mellow and magical in the slanted light… Then twilight fell, and the pink walls of the plastered gables turned violet and mystic, and little yellow lights floated up one by one from old lattice windows. And sweet bells pealed in the temple tower above, and the first star winked softly above the meadows across the Skai. With the night came song, and Carter nodded as the lutanists praised ancient days from beyond the filigreed balconies and tesselated courts of simple Ulthar. Sounds like my kind of place (as long as the plumbing is adequate). The trouble is, I have no idea how to get there. Randolph Carter, Lovecraft’s master-dreamer, has disappeared. He was last seen climbing into a weird coffin-shaped clock, having first morphed into something unspeakable…

So I guess I’m stuck here on Earth, with all its faults and marvels. There are cats and coffee within reach, and last time I checked, the plumbing was OK.


    1. True, but one doesn’t need to seek them out and bother them, the way Carter does. I’d be happy hanging out in Ulthar, socializing with cats. I wonder if there are coffee shops… Somehow I see Nyarlathotep as a coffee-drinking dude.


  1. The world you describe sounds like a fantastic setting for a novel. I especially like the idea of maps with “unexplored regions”. (Though I admit, I never made it through the Randolph Carter stories–somehow they didn’t grab me like other HPL tales.)

    P.S. For some reason, I can’t ‘like’ this post. I think it’s a problem with my browser, but can’t figure out how to fix it. But know that I do, in fact, like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, I intended to write a number of stories set in that world, but so far have finished only one. It won a prize in a contest, and was published by Rachael Ritchey in The Crux Anthology. I’m thinking I’ll have to revisit the idea of writing more in that setting.
      Regarding not being able to like posts, I’ve found that too, in the past week or so. Hitting the reload button seems to fix the problem.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow — that was fast! As you would expect with an anthology, there is a range of genres and styles. And I know it can take a while between acquiring a book and reading it. Books keep quite well, unlike foodstuffs! 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  2. My future history of Earth isn’t a utopia (utopias can’t exist as long as humans retain their identity), but I don’t think it would be such a bad place to live. Everything gets recycled and there is no personal ownership of cars. Transportation is all by air and rail. Petroleum no longer exists on the planet and large swathes of Earth have been turned into nature preserves, where forests are being regenerated. An attempt is being made to genetically resurrect the White Bear.
    The governing philosophty is humanist. And there are certainly cats and coffee!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I should have lived about the turn of the 19th/20th century, a time we like to think of as innocent before the Great War. Ladies had a freedom not known before – the bicycle. Everyone could go by train and visit nice places, but to get to the station they used horses or bikes. Edward Elgar and Gustave Holst strode across the beautiful English countryside composing music that captured this magical time.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I could definitely get on board with your alternative planet. I recently find myself saying, more and more, that perhaps I’ve lived too long. The world has gotten too complicated for simple souls. Yet, it’s likely the simple souls who will save the world someday. Perhaps I’ll stay a while longer. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.