((Private journal entry, but feel free to comment!))
I talked to Gadget again while I could still find him in the hospital. Unfortunately, he couldn’t remember anything of what happened to him in the hands of the Van Creed, so there’s no knowing how much information they got from him about his automata.
I knew we should have kept questioning him him the night we rescued him. Elliptical his answer were, but we still might have been able to learn something.
In the course of our conversation, he mentioned a notebook he’d had. One that belonged to Dr. Ambrose Martel. That certainly caught my attention–I’d thought we had removed all of his notebooks from his laboratory after his death. I did check later, and nothing that we’d taken charge of was missing. Does this mean Gadget was working with him? There was no mention of him in any of the other notebooks. Does he perhaps know something about the man’s death?
But those are questions to pursue later…assuming we have a later.
Had you asked me yesterday if I thought we have a later, I couldn’t have replied with any certainty. Ever since I looked into that hole in the Van Creed building, and more especially ever since I returned from my involuntary trip, the temptation to give in to the constant, unconscious notion that nothing matters has been very strong. I have to fight it every moment of every day. Nighttime is the worst–my dreams have been horrifying. I’ve taken to keeping a notebook filled with favorite Bible verses and uplifting sayings by my bed, for immediate perusal after waking from those dreams.
Yesterday evening, though, I wandered east from Militia headquarters to the courtyard in Clockhaven, and looked at all the snow sculptures there, created for the contest. Now, except for photography, the visual arts have never been my forte. But after a little while, I found myself kneeling in the snow, scraping some together. I found a couple of straight sticks for arms, some blue marbles for eyes, and a broken, discarded piece of pottery that would do for a make-shift mouth. After about an hour of packing and poking and prodding–and mild cursing–I had created something. And when I stood up, and took in my finished work–
I burst out laughing. It was just…so…terrible. And yet, I left it there, instead of kicking and stomping it into oblivion. I left it, and kept laughing every time I looked at it. Even on my walk home, the mere thought of it kept me amused. And last night, I slept better than I have in weeks.
And that made me think. Why did I leave the snowman there? Because, terrible as it is, it is something I created, the end result of my brain’s attempt to work with my fingers. And that, I think, is the key.
This is how this city, and its citizens, express hope–through the act of creation. We bring something into this world–something that did not exist before. It doesn’t matter what the end result is; soaring building, cunningly-crafted machine, photograph or story or feeble-looking snowman, it is the act of creation that matters. We create not only to make our lives easier, but for the sheer joy of creation, to bring beauty or wonder or awe into the world.
And that absolutely matters. So long as we keep creating, there is still hope for this city.
I think I should go and see Miss Kimika’s newest creation soon. It sounds very exciting indeed!