Monday, January 4, 2010

Love I am that child (3 of 3)

What could anyone now do for Thurisa? Who could save Sisquewo?

"You have a furrow in your brow," says Osun. "With that place to plant your millet, you are already for the rains!"

"Ha ha! You darling," says Kulinah. "Tell me of your wedding some more. I like your thinking."

"You know, Kulinah, the wedding is a happy occasion, but the exciting part is soon, when we gather at the caves, and the three seeds and the four seeds, girl and boy, will be rubbed across my skin, and I will call to the baby we will have!" Osun squeezes Mary's hand as they come to the gnarled little tree beside Thomas' door.

"Maybe you will be there, praying with me. All these people, their loves and cares, chose to be here, to do all wrongs and sometimes, in spite of themselves, do right.

So much goes right, I suppose we must stay all right with whatever comes our way, so that we may continue receiving also the good that is our due, and continue to attract that, also!"

Did you read my mind? You read my heart.

"If you were fishing and caught an old shoe," Mary responds aloud, "you'd remember there's still fish to be had."

"And if the shoe's still useful," says Osun, vibrantly, "perhaps you'll catch the mate!"

They laugh, they touch each others' arms; each shares energy, as they stand before the antechamber of Thomas Gateway's, the small enclave added to a larger compound, a place to hold a few useful things.

“I wonder if he’s home,” Mary says, “Thomas gads about the village at any time.” Since the entire village is a good place to think, Thomas chooses not to confine himself for his mystical traveling. The village helped him quite incidentally make time for others. He suddenly appears without a knock.

“Osun! Mary Kulinah! Won’t you come inside?” He embraces them, exchanging a few rapid-fire phrases in Fulani
with Osun before pear-shaped Maura arrives, excitedly beckoning her elsewhere.

“Yell ka ye’ (no problems)!” says Osun. Behind her retreating figure, Mary observes Raoul and Johmay nearby,
closing a conversation for a casual moment of silence, as though the inspiration has quickly occurred to them both to acknowledge a pervasive, quieting force, momentarily exposing the simplicity of being.

The silences in being together are an everyday sight throughout the village, indubitably respecting the need for something like solitude without loneliness. Here, I felt, fit to burst, to spill sorrows to a completely receptive friend. Could it just be enough to know I could, and not add to the burdens others carry?
But what I want to ask---about this life, with the chance to catch that other shoe---it’s been---“

“Ooo, come inside, I need you if you please!” says Thomas, already pulling at her wrist.

The horror of what was done to her---the betrayal she felt she’d always feel from the justice system, the terminal reputation of the disease inhabiting her body---none of the things without redress could haunt this shared life for long, and memories of pain became too small and selfish a shell to contain the growth of her new form.

If this village could not shelter her from further disappointment, was not proof against all irresolution, still she could not find the fault within herself. She wonders, in the balance of things, if her life doesn’t belong to Thurisa---belong to
the dream. In what way?

“I have much to prepare today,” says Thomas, simultaneously plopping on the floor before his handmade wicker chair, suggesting Mary take it. “So if you please, take this shea butter and rub my feet! It is all in the world I need.

I will be so very strong for everyone, but I need to be served, too, thank you, that’s soo good! I’m recuperating
rapidly! But not too rapidly,” he adds with a cocked grin, “I want you to get all you need from my feet!”

If ever there was a man who was in this world but not of it, my friend qualifies.

And where I grew up, you’d only
laugh at the idea of a bisexual witch doctor---yet here is the most natural person I know.
She reapplies lotion,
awakening nerve endings in Thomas’ toes, thinking of these feet, their steps putting his wisdom and healthiness in the ways of those his soul intended. He had showed her how not to keep the raging storms of emotions pinned, nor
to allow them to rove the subconscious unacknowledged. When she sat in the ash circle and vented her bitterness---

however undeserving she felt about embracing her hurt initially---she lived a new way, open minded and open
hearted, as she had been before the Robinhood scam, but with greater self-respect, for choosing to bear the trials
with meaning and grace.

“The ancestors share our concerns over beings flowing into their new forms,” says Thomas, returning the favor now on her feet.

“Mary Kulinah, dear, take time to love the red clay with your hands as you do with your feet. With each step is a kiss,
an agreement to make a way for you, your own. Before you went inside your mother, before you
became a part of this world, without earthly expectations, you selected a life of your needs and your service. You decided on this foot rub, and the breakfast you’ve forgotten about, and every friend and every word, even if you
didn’t quite know them yet as they are! My namesake was executed at the hands of his best friend, whose justice was taking over the presidency.”
“I never knew that!”

“Yes! But in a fundamental way, they both made that choice—because of a lesson, an example towards which neither realized they were working in life---and then, there it was! And these lessons are worth our lives---even very
good lives of forgiveness are laid down---because these choices are for borrowed things.”
“All our time is borrowed,” she replies quietly.

“All time is made for borrowing,” he says, draping his right arm around her shoulders, he, a few inches shorter than
she. “All the experience is your own. Well, your water’s ready to share when you arrive home.” Did he mean the water boiling at the compound? A metaphor? He meant to send her on her way, gently, so signified with a kiss atop her head and a light squeeze on her shoulder.

“I’ve borrowed your time enough, Thomas,” she says, “but I’ll repay it everywhere.”

“I’m the one who’s borrowed you,” he replies, as she makes for the doorway. “See you!”

Much of her caar---her matrilineal clan---already had arrived. Many neighbors at rest outside the banco walls of the
hut sing or pray or handle stones or light the candle way.

I am that child. I feel as though I am that life.
Gather around me---we’re going to top ourselves!
Traveller, dear---chiekuo or whatever you are, we’re all travelers here---If you find it unnecessary to cause this pain
to your mother by leaving, please don’t. You’ve got to understand---you are where all understanding begins, and
you know, as you begin your life, you will mean so much to these people. We’re here for you, wherever in the
universe you go.
With you, I understand how everyone thinks and feels, and love them like Thagba, like Christ loves
them. From where you stand, in infinite mercy---from grace---everyone’s someone who is understood, who creates
themselve s. leaf masks swamp things Burkina Faso

This is a sample of ch. 8 of my novel
Current mood: blissful
Category: Writing and Poetry

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