That’s a lie though.  One of those good lies gone bad with age.  Gone bad with what she had to become to tell it.  Because I think she heard.  She heard God.  She just lost her way in listening.  And what she heard didn’t make her a child again.  What she was trying to tell me—what she heard—raw efforts making me into an adult…  That truth.  That truth a woman knows.  A woman a guardian of it—the truth.  That truth of the earth.  How it’s all one big lie—a veil over our eyes.  The practical truth of stone and water, grain and sand, life and death—their interaction, and synthesis.  What a woman becoming a woman knows.  About that urgency.  The urgency of a man.  And a woman’s response to it.  In communion with rivers pregnant of the sun drawn close.  The fallen leaves of many colors.  Cold eyes pondering naked trees in a storm of ice.  Those first green sprouts, those first flowers of spring.  A woman in cycle with the seasons—the calendar of the moon.  Our gravity—that gravity that puts here—grounded of the earth and its dirt.  Made of its laws—what nature speaks to us.  Why we have to lie to a man.  To cushion them from the truth they can’t handle in their blind courage entering into us.  Their illusions of the womb that their strength is a match for it—the earth’s giving and its taking away.

            I had a dream.  I dreamed of him just as he dreamed of me.  And he was my guide in forests.  A forest that would be dark if not for what he was—an artist, a singer of songs.  His mind a light to the past from which he came, foreshadowing his coming.  I was guided by his remembered childhood—he being the father of my children.  That seed which he contributed—their blind courage to the blood that awaited their right timing, their insistence.  And we ate of them—the meat of ribs.  We ate meat and drank milk.  Guided by a child—our children—and what they made us remember.  How we were free.  Not free from the earth’s laws, but free from our knowledge of them.  And we only knew good, the good that was our light in the darkness, the darkness of that forest we walked, each tree we passed an anchor to that evil that brought this world of ours to life.  Unafraid of it hiding from the light—un-existing in what we chose to exist.  A dream forest unknown to nightmares.  Where we had each other and all that we were.  Not ignorant of our capabilities, but enlightened by a will relearned in their usage.  How they were the mysterious tools of love and time…  And we were no longer angry, angry at God, angry at ourselves.  We were thankful.  Thankful for the gift of our life, and the peace we made with all its dark desires. Our beginnings…

And so Bethany listened.  She listened to the birds.  The sown seeds that were not their food—allowed to take root and not carried away by their wings.  She became the muse of these words, these songs.  Songs she listened to on Sissy Walker’s porch.  Black spirituals of cotton fields.  Primitive earth songs hiding their civilized depth.  But now we must try.  Try to speak of it.  The weeds grown-up that try to choke these seeds.  These seeds of songs.  We must invoke the goddess.  And sing her intonations.  We must talk about Bethany and not let her talk.  What comes next a representation, a discussion on a habit, and how it formed in her soul.  Bethany’s first love, her first lover.  I have to tell you about the first boy she loved, and her reverence, how she came to love smoking marijuana…

           

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