Nothing to nothing is nothing no time none at all no events no vestiges of remember when and then this happened and that’s how Dulcinea thinks upon it now her childhood when she was daddy’s little girl to the way her mother Bethany raised her up to be a Christian what she instilled in her own sons Solomon and Abe and that time the time between Solomon’s birth and Abe’s birth to this time now all the thirty-three years that have passed perhaps remarked in her hair like Spanish moss how it sways as the trees to the wind’s whisper and folks sayin’, “What a person does is always done right according to their abilities to their rational capacity because we all do what we know is advantageous to us and if there weren’t no evil what would the poets do for without evil there weren’t be no tragedy… I can’t believe he wrote a book.”

“Yes’m he rightly did. He says it ain’t ’bout us his family but I can see his life in it. What else does the boy know. He ain’t even turned twenty-three yet. He is not yet in that time of his life where it is easy easy to say yes and not rage against it those words which say I am the Vine and you are the branches…”

“You just be proud of the boy, Dulcy. Abe’s turned into a mighty fine young man you sufferin’ so raisin’ Sol his half-brother his bein’ David’s and Bethany’s own boy for suspectin’ folks for outsiders.”

Yes and some bring the gods down to us and some raise themselves up to be as gods but only one man brings us up to where God is to where God can touch us and that’s Jesus that ain’t no enlightenment because the Lord put roads for travelling put’em flat on the earth when He aims for somethin’ to be movin’ from this place to that but when He aims for somethin’ to stay put He makes it up and down like a tree or a man Yes peace is in my heart now and not none of the sorrow for the tree of knowledge ain’t not that of life and with the ancient wisdom comes the most profound knowledge of the world the integrity of justice and not just dealing with your own feelings as if they constituted the fundamental nature of humanity because we all know if I say, “Do not cross this line…” you will want to cross it and this is sin this is sin in me.

And so Dulcinea thinks to herself Pleasure in itself ain’t good or bad Used to be the opinion the world was a sum of conscious and willing beings an immensity of complex volitions that Man is the rule and Nature the ruleless but now I recognize in nature the great means of repose for the soul like the swayin’ of them trees the breath in the Spanish moss and therein the conflict of imposing law on nature a if I but have a doll made of this I could acquire control like the one Mama had which Benjy stole which Solomon looked into tryin’ to find that ring of his the ring from a Cracker Jack box which a fish swallowed the Sabine having it again Yes the corporeal affords the handle by which the spiritual can be laid hold of as if we could but eat the bread and drink of the cup and arrive first at the enjoyment of oneself… but nothin’ from nothin’ ain’t nothin’ and here too I arrive back again at myself. Like a road dead-ended… And so they will fish just like when they were boys. When that white man came and made them a bet. The Lord willin’ it will be like no time at all and he will say, “I love you. I love you Mama…”

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