Sunday, January 30, 2011

Maternal Return

About a half a millennia ago I was not as I am now. About a half a second ago it fell apart again, just as it did before.
You want to know something about the origin of life. You want to speak for the earth mother, you want to create her with your tongue and words. The origin of life is in sin, in a fall, in a recoiling from something too terrible to stay with.
That’s your primal mother, howling from the abyss. You run from her into her arms again and give birth to yourself over and over. Guns fall out of your open mouth, fields of fire burn with tiny brown bodies for tinder.
You can’t believe that this experience is now. You can’t believe that there is no escape from death and pain. You don the paladin's gleaming armor and march away from the filth and the chaos. You make a God of the sky. He comes out of the blue. He is a fabrication wrought with tongue and words.
It feels like something radical needs to happen, a shape shifting to avoid total destruction. You do this so deftly that you are no longer aware of the transition when it happens.
You believe that you have always been as you are now. You forget your origin. But there is nowhere that you can go where I am not. There is nowhere that does not stem from the darkness.
Your globe of light, your swirling kaleidoscope of delight hangs tenuously from a stem fed from the abyss. Your lips move in an endless litany, endeavoring to invoke something higher, something other. Something you imagined to escape the suffocating stillness, the absolute cacophony of being, the muddled pit of all experience engendered simultaneously.
You crave the new world order. You demand to experience one probability at a time. Unity for you involves separate entities lined up in neat rows. Here in this world, at this juncture you have designated with terms of spatial and time based coordinates, you seek an escape from the chaos of the abyss.
Here, in this place that doesn’t exist. This place that blossomed from your agonized wriggling, your terrified hiding and running. Here in a paradise imposed over a wasteland, you dare not eat of the fruit of knowledge. To do so would open your eyes to your terrible nakedness. You would see that paradise is only a dream, that you have been sleeping to avoid the truth; that you never left my slimy womb.
I am the horror that waits in the darkness. As long as you fear me you will be trapped in an endless circle. To escape me, you will run into the arms of a mortal woman, seeking comfort. You will bury your suffering in her and be born again, running from her womb in terror.
It has happened so many times, this fall to escape the old world and create the new. This deepening psychosis that you call life is only a shadowy reflection of the thing that is life, and life is what you fear.
You are a King of shadows, a King of ghosts. You are Adam who dreamed up El so that you could forget who was the real maker of the world.
You want to know something about the origin of life. I have told you. You will want to recoil from what I have said. You will find a justification for rejecting it. You will embrace the litany of words that has been tumbling from your lips, the incantations that you have been muttering to create your world, the one that you call THE WORLD, so you can forget me. You may dream up blonde angels on white unicorns waiting for paladins. But this I promise you, inside of every angel a dragon waits coiled, a birth waits ripe with gore and hair and violence, an old witch bides her time in a dark corner with wrinkled skin and bald patches on her scalp.
I will show you the truth again and again. You will counter by spinning lies, lips moving, tongue wagging…
The origin of what you call life is to be found in a sin, in a fall, in a recoiling from something too painful to partake of. That is your primal mother. This is who I am. Now that you know, it will fall apart again, just as it did before.
About a half a millennia ago I was not as I am now. About a half a second ago it fell apart again, just as it did before, just as it will again.

Friday, January 14, 2011

In The Desert

Simon, with his black curls waving around his face in sleek ringlets and his sandals clacking loudly, pressed his hands against the glass doors so that they swung open ahead of him. Instead of stepping in himself, he held the door for a petite woman with bright blue eyes. She thanked him with a voice possessing a certain raspy warmth.
“Ah, well thank you! Who would have thought you could find a gentleman in a desert.”
Simon laughed softly because he didn’t know what to say. It was the sort of laugh that was more breath than voice and he followed it with a smile that crinkled his face before at last saying,
“Well they have us shipped in to help draw the tourists, like the bass in the manmade lake.”
“You're funny.” She said, punching his shoulder softly as she passed through the doorway, “You want to buy me a drink?”
“A drink?” Simon stammered.
“Yeah.” She said, “I don’t figure it’s called Shadow Mountain Resort AND Club for nothing. And it’s hot. And we’re both thirsty. And you’re a gentleman.” She smiled so that Simon could admire her straight white teeth. Her hair was dark and long except that the bangs were cropped just above her black brows.
“Of course,” Simon said shaking his head as if to wag off his awkwardness, “I’d love to buy you a drink.”
“Great.” She said as Simon followed her inside, “Let’s just stop by my Father’s room first so I can let him know I’m here. My name's Cleo.”

In the hallway Simon examined the purple and turquoise carpet beneath the soles of his white sneakers.
“This’ll just take a minute,” she told him, swiping the key card through the scanner. “He’ll want to be alone so he can get ready for the tournament tomorrow.”
“Your father’s playing in the tournament?” Simon asked suddenly alert, “Would he happen to know Socrates?”
Both of her eyebrows lifted simultaneously and her eyes widened to comical blue roundness as the door swung open. Simon had just a few split seconds to wonder what the expression on her face could mean, whether her father knew Socrates or didn’t, or whether she thought it was rude of him to ask.
“Come in.,” she said, already several steps ahead of him inside the room. He followed her and gasped when he caught sight of the man sitting criss cross applesauce on top of the brightly colored bead spread. He was imposingly tall, even seated as he was. His hair hung down his back in dark dreadlocks thick as cords of rope. His deep tan, piercing dark eyes and beak-like nose made his identity unmistakable.

“You’re father’s Jesus?” Simon whispered.
“No. That’s my father over there.” Cleo corrected him.
Simon looked beyond the bed and caught sight of a small pale wrinkled old man hanging by his ankles, his arms crossed over his chest. His white beard was draped over his face so that his voice was muffled as he spoke to Jesus.
“He’s upside down.” Simon said and instantly regretted stating the obvious.
She shrugged,
“Inversion therapy. It reduces nerve pressure.”
They edged their way into the room but neither man gave any sign of having noticed the arrival of Cleo and Simon.
“There is a big sun up in the sky.” Jesus was saying in a clear somber voice. “When you die, and if your load is light, you can try flying up to the sun. The rays of the sun, however, are merciless and powerful. They will burn you away in a burst of the most brilliant white light you’ve ever seen. If you face the sun, then you should merge with it. Otherwise, you will resist so much that you will begin to sink back into the darkness of the world, burnt like the crow. Trapped between the inability to merge, and the terror of sinking into darkness, you can try to fly like the eagle.”
The inverted man cleared his throat. His voice was cracked with age but his tone was bright,
“The beagle burns his sack to the sun.” he retorted from behind his beard. Cleo left Simon’s side and lifted the beard from her father's face, tucking it into the collar of his shirt for safe keeping. It was then that Simon recognized the old man's withered features as those of Socrates, the very man Simon had come to the desert to find.
Jesus had arched a single dark brow at the other man's proclamation.
“You might want to say that again Daddy.” Cleo said rejoining Simon in front of the entertainment armoire.
The old man cleared his throat again and repeated,
"The eagle turns his back to the sun. The sun then casts his cleansing rays upon the eagle. The eagle keeps on flying, encompassing the earth with his wings while melting away in the dullest white light he has ever seen."
Jesus turned his head slightly to look at the visitors. The rest of his body remained stone still.
“Cleo, who is that with you?”
Simon took a step forward and extended his hand.
“My name is Simon, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” When Jesus made no move to shake, Simon withdrew his hand and put it sheepishly into the pocket of his shorts.
“Show him out Cleo. He has no business being here.” Jesus said and turned his head back to its original position.
Cleo shrugged and Simon started to back away towards the door feeling his cheeks flush.
"Let him stay here." Socrates crowed. Jesus sighed as the other man came down from his inversion rack. Socrates smiled mischievously at Simon. Jesus frowned but otherwise remained unmoved.
Simon stammered to Cleo,
“I, I don’t know what to do. Whose wish to obey.”
Socrates grinned even wider,
“You should obey both.”
“We were just on our way to the bar.” Cleo told the old man.
“Excellent.” He said taking Simon by the arm, “Let’s go.”
“Our conversation isn’t finished.” Jesus objected.
“Cleo will stay here and talk to you.” Socrates told him as if it were the perfect solution. He was already leading Simon out the door.
“Don’t forget your key Daddy.” Cleo called after him.
“I have it, I have it.” Socrates chirped from the hall.
“Bye Simon. It was nice meeting you.” Cleo shot him a smile just before Socrates pulled the young man out of sight down the hall.
The door closed behind them of its own volition and the voice of Socrates speaking to Simon as they advanced towards the elevators grew gradually dimmer until it was inaudible.
Cleo shook her hair out over her shoulders and leaned against the entertainment center.
“Well,” she said to Jesus, whose smoldering eyes were now trained on her, “You want to go down to the pool with me? I’m not much for conversation.”
“I prefer not to get my hair wet.” He answered, “But if you like we could remain here and engage in some heart healthy exercise.”
“Why not?” Cleo smiled shoving off from the armoire. “They’ll be busy for a while.”