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  • My mother always said to me
    "Look out the window little dear, precious thing, see the shifting web of windows rise and fall"

    We lived in a city. A complex spider's web of intricate pathways and alleyways and steps. Leading upwards, leading outwards, leading inwards. Linking one to another. The City was universal. It was everyone's. It had no owner. No mayor. No creator. Every house was built by every face that chose to inhabit its ever-expanding city walls. As soon as there was someone new to build their own home with their fingertips; the city walls grew. Flexible, ever-changing, ever-growing, always welcoming. My world. Wide and a web. My city.

    My mother always said to me
    "See this special world which we love. It is beautiful because"

    and here she would stop and throw small stones out the window and before they hit the ground, they'd dive and spin. They'd come shooting back upwards again

    "there is no gravity my little dear, precious thing. There is no gravity, for nothing is fixed. Flexible, ever-changing, ever-growing, always welcoming"

    I smiled.
    "Our mutable city"

    But one day I noticed a dark shadow in the sky. Looming like a great black cloud. And from the great black cloud came down a great black staircase. Funny how the staircase fell, like gravity was pulling it towards the ground. And out stepped a man with a scroll. And unravelling the scroll, he spoke in a voice as loud as thunder. He had no tool to amplify his voice. But of course we know, in this here city, everyone can hear a voice as soon as it has spoken. And forever the sounds bounce and resonate and echo off the walls of the city streets. Because our city is a web. Wide and a web.

    "He's come to take our freedom"

    The funny lady said as she crossed the road shaking her head. She works in the flower shop below our apartment window. She has a moustache. I wonder if she notices.

    "He's come to take our freedom. Put us in a cage"

    She said again. Click clicking and tck tcking strangely with her tongue against the roof of her mouth.

    Then in a voice louder than before. The man with the scroll spoke.

    "As you may have noticed, the City has changed dramatically. New trees have grown. New streets have been paved. New walls have been built. It shall no longer be called the Web. It shall be called, the Web II"

    My mother laughed softly and shook her head.

    "It will always be the Web"

    She said it again

    "It will always be the Web we first knew. Because it has always been mutable. There's no point naming an inherently mutable thing now, is there? Little dear, precious thing."

    Then she held me in her arms and we watched the stairs fold back up into the clouds. As the black cloud moved across the sky and away; far away.

    A while later. I can't quite remember how long. The man with the scroll came back. By this time I had grown a little. He arrived in a similar manner. Spoke in a similar voice and said

    "As you may have noticed, the City has changed dramatically.Trees have grown higher. Streets have decayed and been mended. New walls have been built. It shall no longer be called the Web. It shall be called, the Web III"

    The funny moustached florist was at this moment, descending the spiral staircase down the hall. She called up to me as her brown leather boots clack clacked against the concrete floor.

    "Here to take out freedom. Put us in a cage. Take away the beauty of an unattainable, intangible, unnameable thing"

    She tck tcked and click clicked her tongues, as her shoes clack clacked down the stairs. All those sounds echoing. His thunderous voice booming. The black dark cloud looming. I began to feel a little scared.

    But my mother took me to the window and said

    "Look out at our City little thing, precious child. It ebbs and flows. It moves and bends with the wind. It fades, it grows. The man with the scroll may think he's our owner, our mayor. But who can own an uncontainable thing?"

    And it was at that moment that I understood.

    The City. My City. My World. Wide and a web. It cannot be named. Because it cannot be tamed. It bows to no one, for it is not one singular form. It is a web, of faces and places, words and sounds...without which it could not exist. Without which, it would not exist.

    So I will happily accept the mayor with his scroll. He can name this City the Web One, Web Two, Web Three, Web Four. But we all know that he is just another part of this strange, mutable, ever-expanding, ever-changing, sempiternal, eternally-present, Web. My home.

    My mother always said to me
    "Look out the window little dear, precious thing, see the shifting web of windows rise and fall"
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