In The Land Of Atrophy


In the blesséd land of Atrophy, where “Safety” is our dearest wish, and “Risk” a place regarded with unease, the air is always re-cycled to remove impurities and drinking-water boasting special properties is bottled in germ-proof containers, pleasingly displayed.

Nothing untoward occurs, as far as we are able to prevent it, and adventure is seen only on flat-screen TVs. Comfy in our air-conditioned rooms, we watch the struggles of ancient heroes from our culture’s past, or brave men in flying suits battling against green faced creatures from some other planet or dimension. We admire the combination of valour with selfless courage pitted against forbidding odds, as these brave souls secure the liberty we now spend so urgently on replacing furniture or trying out new leisure wear.

The frontier now, is lost in mythology, vanished from experience, apart from in ideas of course, although we view those warily. Manners are the triumph of our age or possibly just this city, but good behaviour, we understand, should define conduct at all times, acknowledged with due courtesy.

Routine is our blesséd friend, sanitising experience, and love a guarded territory, reserved for ourselves, our homes, and those considered family. For others whose problems we read of in the press, we offer up our empathy, expressed in measured tones of course, because to be respected in this place, we must behave predictably.

Still let us not despair just yet, the switch provides electricity, and taps the water for our baths with proven reliability. If we dream of another land where an unpredicted life is lead, we may go there once a year, tossing away our normal cares. We call that place our “Holiday.”  

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, Peter Wells, society and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to In The Land Of Atrophy

  1. Al says:

    You have shamed me out of my sanctuary this morning and I will seek some kind of adventure forthwith. Perhaps a trip to the salon for a manicure and trim.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed this post….It expresses so well the controlled conditioning so much of society has opted into. Moving away from the seduction and ‘security’ that convention is supposed to bring, does I believe take a huge leap of faith…..one well worth exploring. Thank you, Peter.

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  3. What an indictment against a society grown fat, and insensitive. Holiday or not, we could use a wider view.

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  4. Ah, the downside of normalcy, complacency, predictability, delegating our lives. Now I see it…

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  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    Indeed, we do tend to be an armchair society. Many of us talk big but do little. Thank goodness for the movers and shakers out there.

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  6. A vision of a Utopia? Interesting to consider.

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  7. Excellent observations, Peter, and a bit of a ‘kick in the pants’ to get us to leave our comfort zones on a personal level as well as to rouse our society from its slumber. A great read!

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  8. nelle says:

    You’ve really been rolling off some wonderful posts… reminds me in some fashion of one of my favourite songs, The Last Resort by The Eagles.

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  9. ksbeth says:

    step out of your comfort zone and right into life. barefoot. great piece.

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  10. Great piece Peter! I love normal and routine and always happier to be coming home than going away. I think Im a bit odd; my sister is exactly the same. 😊

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  11. I grew up with my grandmother saying, “There’s a big difference between someone who talks and someone who does.” This was a great piece Peter… as always but you know that already :). I don’t think you need me to tell you how great your pieces and how much I enjoy them.

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  12. Sylianna says:

    You have such a way with words! When I grow up, I want to be just like you! If I could write like this…I’d have countless bestselling novels out there! *hugs*

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  13. Oh dear. For these Atrophites, I’m afraid “change” would be a four-letter word. But, pray-tell, which letter would they remove to make it “change” four letters? 😉

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