Looking back on it now, I can remember it as though it was only yesterday. Some force freezes time at moments such as this, etching the memories on the map of our brains so that they will never be forgotten. . .
It was with great anticipation that I walked the trail that day to the place of the maker. I was eager to see what new creations she had wrought. All of her work was so tenuous, but they made up for it in beauty and more what they lacked in permanence. A caring hand had sculpted every intimate detail, and the progression was such that one piece flowed into the birth of the next.
I was not quite yet at the final bend in the trail to her house when I realized it: everything was gone. Her house, the crystal doorways, the tiny glittering lights, the sculptures, the sculptor. . . everything. I was overcome with something I had never experienced before – not there anyway. Cold hard fists wrestled beneath my ribs and I was doubled over with horror, anger, panic. In place of her beautiful works, the most exquisite art one could ever imagine, a dark pallor lay across the land. Those who had come to this place, witnesses to such imagination, had littered her home with everything they could carry. The list was long and varied, from plastic bags and coffee cups to cigarette butts, pop bottles, old carpets and rubber tires. How could they even consider such atrocity? To what depth of madness have we descended that we could come in appreciation and leave such an unfitting tribute? In her patience she had covered all of this with her beauty. And now she was gone.
Despair trembled from my eyes; in desperation I cried and tried to recreate even a shadow of what had been. From my memories, my dreams I pulled images of what had been, the before to this unholy after. My hands worked and clawed and formed until blood sprouted from my fingers, but it was no use. In my exhaustion I fell to my knees, letting salty tears make their way unhindered to the ground. I sensed such anguish, such frustration, and all at once it came to me – the story of how she had tried, tried and ultimately failed, for there was always more. From her own essence she had sculpted the patterns and statues and all she had made, desperate in her attempt to bring honour to such disgust. With her very body she had lain over it all, covering the ugliness beneath, but it had been too much. She had depleted her very self. And now the blood ran from my hands and soaked the ground – adding my matrix to hers.
I was seized with rage, crying my voice to the skies above. In my blindness I ran, footsteps eating mile after mile after mile, stumbling and falling and crashing down and rising again to run until I fell at last into a heap upon the forest floor. Above all else, I felt so very alone.
From all around I heard them, increasing, advancing until it seemed every branch on every tree carried their call. Small feathered angels, a study in black and white. They surrounded me, engulfed me in their presence. In their silence they spoke:
“Do not be afraid, for your friend, the maker has not left you forever. She was depleted and needed rest. Now she sleeps.” Thin wooden branches, arms of trees reached out from all sides to touch, to embrace, to offer solace. My hosts continued, “Sacred Mother Life is the beginning, the middle and the end of All. She has been before time. She exists in all places you can consider and in places far beyond those you can even imagine. She will always be. She chooses her students carefully, teaches them well, and sets them to task. Everything moves in the rhythms of Creation. You will see the maker again, when it is time for her to continue. For now, celebrate this day and know you can never be alone. Sacred Mother Life protects you.” Surrounded by the warmth, in the womb of Creation, I could see that was true.
And I carried on.
Mike Pedde 10/03/2002