The Orb

Heliopoli_Full_EX46Oh, the orb. If it didn’t sound so silly for the city of Heliopoli to have an official shape, it would be the orb — though it might run a close second to the circle.

Nevertheless, the orb dominates the forms of all lighting fixtures in Heliopoli. No one knows why for sure. Even the fiberoptic lamps with their rainbow sprays can’t match the orb.

The orb is a fixture in 1970s design. It produced┬ápleasurable effects in the movie Sleeper and festooned an entire planet in “Space: 1999.” And who remembers the set of “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour”? Even the chief archivist himself still owns an orb lamp from circa 1970 that to this day sits on his nightstand. The orb shade has had to be replaced twice due to accidental breakage, but it sits atop the original square of yellow plastic, secure in its orbic supremacy over all other lamps, however much a fire hazard it might now be. Measure your life in coffee spoons? This lamp has witnessed almost his entire life. The remnant of a Bicentennial sticker is still somewhere fixed upon it.

Wherefore the orb? Whither did it go? We may talk of zeitgeists and strange attractors, chaos theory and snowball effects, but it would come to nothing. It is not for us to speculate on. It is not of our time. And yet —

and yet —

could they each be a mini sun, after all?