Jenia’s tragic miscarriage helped to sever her bond with Toriv, separate their lives. There was no fault, no blame. She turned to her more fortunate sister, by now mother of both a bright, caring, naturally responsible and mature little boy and a younger precious precocious marvelously charming little girl. Jenia enjoyed her niece and nephew, the comfort of her sister and brother-in-law’s home, being family. Not enough, but enough for now, along with her if hectic and often frustrating inherently fulfilling work. It was a deep solace to her, sharing her knowledge and love of learning with the amazing children it was her privilege to teach.
“Not just food and a roof,” Sira was explaining. “People need dignity, respect, a feeling like we matter. We want something to believe in, to belong to, to hold sacred. It’s not enough to have the basic biological necessities. That’s only a small nugget of being alive, like an embryo. Unless that innate potential has its chance to be realized, there’s not much reason to be born at all.” She was working out these ideas, this logical progression, almost a political platform. It felt compelling, this desire to figure out what was wrong and how to right it. All these broken people, day after day, it was her job to help find strength to move forward. She often thought of it as working through the knots binding their potentials. More and more she could see so clearly that this was not a matter of individual failings to thrive, but systemic disease. If she kept working at the equations, cause and effect rationales, common denominators, kinks in the social fabric, perhaps she could discover appropriate treatments to apply. Her children, Lukin and Tela, touchstones and joys that anchored and expanded her life, were so young and vulnerable. Increasingly, every day, a deep and growing part of her demanded a better world for their future, as well as for hers and for everyone she loved.
Love can be such an infinitely gentle and suffering thing. It can demand more than simpler emotions, much more than would make sense from a standpoint of survival. Sira stealthily plants within herself, without her conscious knowledge, a seed of political ambition. For politics at its core and best is the art and science of moving the vectors of social change.
Meanwhile, back at the Harmonic Academy, small stage social evolution moved at a different pace. The school was no longer seen so much as an experimental answer for parents of nontraditional learners. It had become a well-loved learning community for students of expressive and performing arts. As such, a certain amount of social experimentation was expected, and therefore accepted. What a bunch of crazy artists do in their sheltered little school out, away from everyday decent living was just a colorful footnote to real life. Let the creative kids sow their oats and have their petite revolutions of the mind. They’ll get straightened out by real responsibilities soon enough.