The Cathedral of Learning

The following is a collaborative story created by Geoff and I yesterday, while walking around Pittsburgh and in the long car trip back to Swat. If you’re familiar with Pittsburgh, you may know the inspiration of the story, but it is otherwise completely fictional. It is also as yet unfinished.

I’ll explain how this all came about in my upcoming post about the trip to Pittsburgh. The story really loses something in being written down, but if you ask me about it, I can try my best to perform it, with voices. Geoff and I, at the very least, think it’s hilarious. No comment from the other engineers.


In search of Answers, we followed the Path of Enlightenment to the Cathedral of Learning. Its mighty Doors were opened, and we entered into the sepulchral Cathedral. Light filtered through the stained-glass windows as Dust fell slowly onto the empty pews. There was no Sound but that of the Footsteps of a lone figure, robed and hooded, approaching us from the far end of the room. When the Monk reached us, he threw off his Hood and revealed his Deformity. He spoke: “Welcome to the Cathedral of Learning! To find the answers you seek, you must cross the Desert of Ignorance and enter the Library of Knowledge…” There was a Camel.

The doors to the Library of Knowledge swung open. Within was an Expanse of impossibly long bookshelves. A single being flitted about the Library, arranging and rearranging the Books in a manner incomprehensible to our small, simple Minds. We stared quizzically at the man’s machinations, our Mouths agape. The Monk informed us thusly: “This is the Librarian of Knowledge. He is incapable of Speech.” We turned around to question him, but the Monk was gone. The only sound was the whirring of the Librarian’s fez.

We found ourselves without a Guide, with only the Librarian for company. We set out down an aisle, not knowing where our Journey would lead us. The Librarian followed stoically, rearranging Books in our wake, as if to correct the Disturbance our Presence had caused. After many tiring hours of Travel, we found ourselves again at the Entrance to the Library. We opened the doors, expecting to be confronted by the endless Sea of Sand that was the Desert of Ignorance, but found something else entirely. It was as if the Library itself had moved.

A long Corridor stretched out before us. Carved on its Walls, in a script unknown to us, was some incomprehensible Message. The Monk walked between us, passing though the Doorway. He said: “Before you may walk the Path of Understanding, first you must Learn.” Under their own Accord, the doors slammed Shut with a thunderous clap. We spun around to find the Librarian standing before us, immobile, and offering us an Agéd Tome.

If it made no sense to you, everything is going as planned. Geoff and I will probably continue adding to it.

Nature Boy” from Moulin Rouge by David Bowie

One comment on “The Cathedral of Learning

Nurd Up!