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  • Colleen Keough

Split screen: Babble On


Mercury and Venus co-present in Gemini


An audience sits in a darkened movie theater. The projector reels turn, illuminating a split-screen. On the left side of the screen we see Venus, the goddess of love, hurrying through the halls of Mercury’s estate. She’s giddy with potential as she excitedly searches for her host.


On the right side of the screen is Mercury, the winged messenger. They grin widely, delighted to be back home and corresponding with anyone and everyone they please. Venus is adapting to these new mercurial rhythms. The pace of life has quickened since she first arrived, and it’s almost impossible to keep up with Mercury’s flickering ideas and stream-of-consciousness babble. Mercury, now immersed in the inspired twin-energy of their home sign Gemini, is taking full advantage of a playful and fluid retreat. “Be curious. Take chances.” they mutter to themselves.


Venus phones Mercury to share her splendidly provocative ideas. We see her lounging on a thick shag carpet as she presses the phone to her ear. Mercury, having prophesied her call, answers before the phone rings. Like a flock of chattering birds, the sparks of collaboration swiftly ignite between them. Venus suggests they dress up like ancient deep-sea marine life and invent a new language. “We’ll summon primordial tongues and serenade the new moon. I will be the oracle, and you the magician. I, the bonfire, and you, the branches. I, purification, and you initiation.”


Minutes later, an iridescent hologram appears above Mercury’s mansion. It’s Venus. Her faceted image projects across the night sky, unleashing waves of light and gilded ripples of sound. The pair continue to riff from dusk until dawn, jamming with the stars to babble on, babble on.


Back in the darkened movie house, the screen splits into four sections, then 8, 16, 32, 64 and so on, multiplying in infinitude. A phone rings in the projection booth, and the screen goes dark.


Star Wisdom for the week: Babble on friend, Babble on. Jam it out with witty, clever companions that know their way around the realms of imagination and invention. Published on 6/27/2022

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