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I'll take taller - Editor

The Taller and Tumult

by Augustus Peake

We were there in your Garden of Eden. I believe it is documented; though I have never read the book. Documented, but misattributed. You called us, and continue to call us, ‘the snake’. Understandable, I suppose - we do look rather similar - but somehow faintly disappointing. Don’t get me wrong – all that ignominy and hatred wasn’t something we craved. On the contrary, we were amused by your taxonomic incompetence. Still, some of us were and are a little peeved. I mean, to be over-looked for millennia can’t be good for one’s self-confidence, can it?

And just for the record, it was a pear.

You are shocked, I can tell. Which part shocks you? That the garden really existed? That it was a Taller?

That there were many beginnings?

In our family, there were some greats. Giants, really. That tree in Eden was not a highpoint, literally I mean. After all, pear trees tend not to be greater than 10 meters. But I had a grandfather, you know, who made it to Giza. Now, for you moderns, a trip from The Garden to Giza would be a short plane trip away. Not for us. For generations, we had talked of it and made it the object of our collective ambitions. And although it was Khafre’s and not Khufu’s, he was the first to get there, the first to tall one, the first to reach Tumult on one of your constructions. In our stories of him, he moves from stone and stone-cutter, to mule and mule driver, to slave to slave to slave up the face of the great stone edifice to its final stone. And when that final stone is laid, he is there for his Tumult. Blue with a hint of pineapple.

Tumult.  What deep, contented joy it brings us. When one of us reaches it, we all feel it – though not as intensely as the Tumulter. Is there jealousy? Some, I won’t deny it. So many try, so few succeed. Most of us meet the flat and flat-line. Simply put, the rise is our friend, the decline our fall.

Just do not talk to me about mountains. I do not want to discuss them. They are a sore point. Let us just say that height is good but snow is bad. How horribly ironic.

Later, a limb of my family moved from the old world to the new.  An astonishing achievement when you think about it. Several cousins even made it to California. Need I say it was the wonderful sequoias? Perched on the upper-most branch of the park’s tallest tree with a hapless tree surgeon from Oregon one cousin met Tumult. It was spectacularly peachy.

I can see you are struggling to comprehend what we are and what defines us. Perhaps an analogy will help. Your sharks are an approximate aquatic parallel. For water and thus oxygen read verticality. Let me explain: sharks swim, and by this act, they oxygenate their blood. We climb, and by this act, we reach tumult.

We call ourselves ‘Tallers’. Does that help?

How did I get to be here with you? Now that is quite a story, and I am not sure you want to hear all of it. You seem, to say the least, a little preoccupied. Let us just say that my own talling began with a blade of grass and I was talled from there to a tree – fig I believe – to a sparrow that perched on the sill of an office window with an outstretched hand that fed an avian coterie, to a hand that rested casually on your shoulder - as your remarkable bonus was announced - to where we are now.

Canary Wharf Tower.

One foot from the edge.

I have a feeling my Tumult will be bright yellow with a hint of cinnamon.




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