In another world, everyone lives in the mountains where time falls more slowly. To boast in this world is to speak of the heights you knew, have known, will soon attain. The elites put their houses on stilts.
Only the careless leave the peaks for the valleys, to feel the soft grasses and the waters of the streams and lakes. The people of the heights watch them and scoff at the waste, but sound is denser in the lowlands, so the swimmers cannot hear them––not with the all of the birds and the crickets and the lowland creatures in the grasses and not with the water in their ears. It took them by surprise at first, the noises spilling out of these lowlands.
What’s that? They wondered at first. Later, they knew it was time. The creatures released it. The visitors caught what they could and threw it back. They began to make their own and it was music.
Inspired by one of the worlds described in Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams, (“26 April 1905”).