Shortly after veering off course and unexpectedly crash landing into an unknown world, a spaceship's captain instructs his surviving crew to abandon their sinking vessel. They board an inflatable raft and watch their only ride home disappear into the water.
"Ok," the captain says as they paddle away from the wreckage "we're here for good." "Here" ends up being an "upside-down" world where apes rule over humans.
The original Planet of the Apes movie premiered in 1968 when I was seven years old. Then and now, the power of the story is not only its speculative stunt of talking apes in charge of mute humans, but the dislocation of landing in any world so unrecognizable and alien that almost everything you thought you knew and believed to be true is suddenly useless or wrong.
There have been more than a few days that I have felt this way in the years since the end of my long marriage and the end of my even longer association with organized religion.
More than anything else, a long marriage and a faith tradition identify how the world works and where you belong in it. They are like maps to how things are, to certainty, to what may be counted on, known, fixed, and true. A map is the first thing that Taylor, the stranded astronaut played by Charleton Heston in Planet of the Apes, asks his captors for.
Taylor's search for the truth about his new world also answers his captor's questions of him: "How did you get here? Why are you here?"
In my world, those questions have led me right to bread, and that's what pennybun is about.