Gaia and the Stellar Lottery

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Quote of the Day

...in the celestial nursery, stars are born. And for every star, there is a story... --SolSeed Sabbath Ritual for the Genesis season

Thought for the Day

This page was the first Gaia Prayer that was written in the form of play. It was first performed at the January 14th, 2017 SolSeed Service call. It was performed again at the January 6th, 2018 Service with a similar cast. A third performance was held at Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa on December 30th, 2018. The cast for the first performance was as follows:

Contemplation for the Day

NARRATOR: Let us imagine

A young blue girl in dirty and torn clothing is sitting by the side of a cold asphalt road in the dark, ripping open instant win lottery tickets. Each ticket has a bright star on the back and a series of strips that tear off the front revealing the words ...

LOTTERY TICKETS: "try again"

NARRATOR: ... behind each strip. The strips each have a beautiful image of a planet on them.

As you try to walk by the girl she looks up at you and you see the girlish face of Young Gaia but there is a look of desperation on that face. She has no tattoos at all. She has a large plastic bag full of tickets but she is rapidly racing through them. Every strip says:

LOTTERY TICKETS: "try again", "try again", "try again".

YOU: "Gaia, why are you wasting your time playing lottery tickets?"

GAIA: "The universe keeps saying try again."

NARRATOR: She has a cup on the road in front of her. You notice spectral beings in heavy robes and hoods walking up and down the road. As they pass her, they look down at her cup and reach out with a spectral hand holding a handful of dice of various sizes. They flash out of existence and the dice drop into the cup. Gaia continues to tear at the lottery tickets.

YOU: "They just want you to keep playing."

NARRATOR: Gaia is finishing up the last ticket in her bag,

GAIA: "Yes isn't it wonderful. They let you try again and again and again!".

NARRATOR: She picks up her empty plastic bag and her cup full of dice and walks into a store by the side of the road. The store is dark and seems to be being renovated with mostly used materials. It looks to be huge stretching back further than you can see but with hardly any goods or displays, just scaffolding and piles of debris and building materials and half constructed walls. A sign over the door says "Expanding!"

You follow her in. She has approached a counter behind which stands one of the spectral agents with its face hidden deep inside its hood. The agent has taken her cup of dice and she is selecting instant lottery tickets from a display. After a while the spectral agent puts the display away behind the counter and she takes her empty cup and bag full of tickets back out onto the road.

You follow her back out.

She sits back down and the process starts again. Her bag starts to empty and her cup begins to fill as spectral beings drop dice in.

You sit down beside her to watch her tear the strips off of her tickets. She tears the first strip off of a ticket with a yellow sun on the back.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Try again".

NARRATOR: You worry about the state of Gaia.

YOU: Is this her future? Her past?

NARRATOR: She grabs the second strip, with its picture of a pale blue ice giant planet and strips it back.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Try again."

YOU: If it's her future how did it come to this?

NARRATOR: She grabs the next strip, a ringed gas giant.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Try again."

YOU: What kind of disaster would take away all of Gaia's accumulated wisdom and leave her destitute and addicted to gambling?

NARRATOR: She grabs the next strip, a large gas giant with spots.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Try again."

YOU: If it is her past, how did she go from this state to the womanly goddess that I know?

NARRATOR: She grabs the next strip, dotted with little planetoids and a single icy dwarf world.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Try again."

YOU: How can I help a goddess who is homeless and down on her luck?

NARRATOR: She grabs the next strip, a red desert world.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Try again."

YOU: What would help her?

NARRATOR: She grabs the next strip, a grey black world with a thick grey atmosphere lit by volcanic glows.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Your first home".

NARRATOR: She yelps in celebration. A limousine rolls to a stop beside her. She stands up, all smiles, and her dirty and torn clothing drops away. A few bacterial tattoos appear on her legs. The driver of the limousine opens the rear door of the limousine and motions her in. She takes your hand and draws you into the limousine. You settle into the cushy seats of the limousine. She pulls a bottle of champagne out of an ice bucket and pops the cork, laughing. Frothy liquid overflows the bottle and splashes on her legs and the floor of the car. As you proffer a pair of flutes for her to fill, you ask,

YOU: "What's happening?"

GAIA: "I won the stellar lottery, little one! Look at the stars little one."

NARRATOR: She is laughing, pointing toward the windshield. You look and you can see that ahead there are billions of galaxies, stretched out in strings across the vast sky.

YOU: "The stars, theDestiny, they are your future. But this is obviously your past. I don't understand."

GAIA: "The stars are also my past, little one. That massive number of stars gave birth to me."

NARRATOR: The view ahead stretches and turns blue, almost blindingly so, before the windshield goes protectively black.

GAIA: "The universe was so generous to give me that many chances to come into existence. Even though each chance was so tiny, the number of them virtually guaranteed that I would win."

NARRATOR: The windshield returns to clear and the image ahead is un-stretching and becoming less blue until you recognize the yellow sun from the back of the lottery ticket and the grey-orange planet from the front of it.

YOU: "So Terra was the ticket you won on, but you needed all the other stars and planets in the universe in order to certain there would be a winning ticket?"

NARRATOR: The limousine dives into the grey atmosphere and water droplets streak across the windshield. The wipers start up.

GAIA: "That is certainly one way to look at it, little one."

NARRATOR: Gaia laughs as the limousine lands and comes to a stop on a black beach under a heavy sky dripping with rain.

She opens the door and steps from the limousine. You follow her. Terra, also a little girl, is standing on the beach watching Gaia take her first steps on Earth.

TERRA: "Who are you?"

NARRATOR: Terra asks, flames flickering around her hot mouth.

Gaia puffs out her chest,

GAIA: "I am moving in. I am a Life goddess and my Destiny is to cover you in a rich layer of Life."

TERRA: "Your Destiny, We'll see about that. I have more important things to deal with than you. I have volcanoes to arrange. You are nothing to me. I don't owe you a welcome. I don't owe you any favours. If you manage to survive on me, then good for you. But, rich layers of Life! Good luck!"

NARRATOR: Terra sinks into the ground to manage her mantle and core.

Gaia sits on the beach on the edge of the dark hot waters and idly stirs them with her finger.

Fade back to reality with me. Our time imagining is done. Contemplate the gratitude you have for the abundance of stars in the universe and how that abundance gave Gaia her chance. Life has always been always going to be precious.

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