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2004-09-26 - 7:34 p.m.

So, as I mentioned, I have been working on a story. This time of year I always get to thinking about the donkeylady, la llorona ... I've been thinking about the idea that she is the last folk vestige of an Aztec goddess. And I've been thinking about divinities of resurrection, the whole death/rebirth thing. I guess because the seasons are turning.

All I have so far is description. It's a bastard combination of hard-boiled, supernatural, born again hymnal, Everyman, and folklore. Kind of like the world, I suppose.


La Llorona

The lamentation. The tears. The driving rain that defeats the windshield wipers, drives down in a gray curtain of light. The sadness that is a hole in your chest, only air where flesh should be. Your jade skirt sweeps the river like a palm skinning lightly over ticklish water. Prickly pear rings on your fingers catch the eddies and ripples as the water falls down to the gulf. I am wearing a mask of flowers so you will know me. Will you know me? Others feel the faint flick of fear, like a razor brushing away the top layer of skin, but all I feel is the depth of your sadness, hear your sad voice as it rises in dark air.

The weeping. Why do you weep, beautiful water goddess, beautiful lady of the lake? Where are you going, kneeling in the soft mud of the riverbank? You reach down and grasp the earth like a lover, shaking it awake into the darkness. Sweet forever. Loss. You reach down and your long hair falls from the silver comb. I don't know what to make of it.

The weeds on the riverbank are beaten down into the frothy water by the rain. Your shoes are wet, beloved. Lift up your foot and I will release you.

The weeping. The sobs that tear through the veil of the rain. You are the pearl of great price, half buried in the oyster flesh mud of the riverbank, as I walk back over the ground I have trod so many times. You are the pearl of great price. You are liquid moon resting in my muddy hand. Can I be the one to place the crown on your blessed head, anguished one? Crying the tears of my blood.

There's a land beyond the river can you see? Is that our holy grail? Or is your flesh my destiny? My pilgrimage. Changeling woman, sharp pointed fingers as you gesture to the sky, not knowing me and not caring to. Grief. Grief like a collapse on rough concrete. Grief like a sudden stop. Grief like falling, plunging headlong into a widening chasm. This world is a deeper canyon than any undersea or Martial abyss.

Fate's decree. Is that why I am here, beloved? When do I get to become you in the ecstatic unity I was promised by whirling poets? The blood pours through me, river. The air flows through me, river. The world rushes over me, river. Pour me into the celestial ocean so I can walk among the floating, convulsing jellies and the drifting clouds of fish.

Nevermore with anguish laden. Beloved. Your heart will break like mine or will you look up, see me, and never leave me? Emptiness hurts more than any other pain. Desolation is a wide expanse of empty desert, a barren salt sea crusting over. Despair; an empty span of hopelessness. Your embrace meant death, yet I reached for it. Did you put them in the water and watch them drift away?

Greek fire catapulting through the air, a terrestrial northern light in these southern skies. Meteors shining insolently in the auburn sky. Majesty. That magna carta is the chants the skies have listened to from the beginning of history. I peer into the mirror of the water in the large black bowl, and I wonder at the sight.

Sentimental journeys through sweet and soaring songs, the foreign words sliding endlessly up and down unfamiliar scales. Outside fireworks split the sky like those errant northern lights. I can see the music arching up and down and spiraling around to touch itself tag, even with my eyes open. For me, everything has always had a place.

And a price, of course. Everything has a price. O death, thou comest when I had thee least in mind. O death, I will be thy death.

I've got my bag, I've got my destination I'm going to the one place where no one will ever find me, no matter how far back they trace. I've spent each dime I could afford.

The goddess of the corn fields grows green and new every year, and dries brittle and shucked brown every fall. But winter always dies in the heat, as everything will one day die in the heat of the sun, the one she carries as a shield as she climbs up out of the ground leading poor Adonis by the hand. She is a green knight, not afraid of the sword, because she knows she will always rise again. Dance. Holly lord and holly lady, wrapped into one. Holy lord and holy lady. May queen and May king. Resurrected. Leaves grow from out of her mouth. Eternal circling. Speaking the language of the trees. The sacred groves where secrets are spoken. Wheels turning in the sky.

The hot springs bubble up from the loving fire of the earth, the sweet chemicals releasing their perfumes. An owl flies out of the moon, screaming. The prickly pears reach and succor and some seven snakes wind through her. She might turn her unearthly head and look into you.

These goddesses are scary, so it doesn't do to call them up for small reasons. You won't be able to turn them back. You'll shine where you stand.

Let us go and never come again.


***

Verona says I should finish something and sell it ... but I enjoy the journey and have no real expectation of reaching the end.

Opal

 

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