Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Margaret


                                               Brother Rabbit, William Morris.


“You live, you flourish, you bloom.” The refrain her mother used to sing when she was still a child. In retrospect those words seemed to belie an admonition of imminent danger- there was no guarantee that everyone could smoothly ascend from “live” to “flourish,” and rarely, she thought, could one’s blooming maturity last well after the tail-end of summer. Musingly she stared out of a dormer window and stretched her tired back. Ladylike elegance made every woman look like a wooden crane. Her listless gaze landed on a tree overladen with burnished leaves; so plastic they seemed that one had the illusion of time finally ticked away to its finality- life only lived on as a pure artificial image. If so, she refused to become anything but a piece of cherished memory.

The scenery from the window remained largely unchanged even years ago. But the difference of her feeling rendered the scenery throbbed and sizzled, constantly very restless. Obsession made one’s life a baffling play. Her theatricality was at that time the most inimitable: hiding behind the façade of complete imperviousness, she harboured secrets, loved a certain one obsessively yet secretly, all various extreme emotions forced her to a point of sporadic bursts of anger and sudden lust for vengeance. But all they could hear was a short, sardonic laugh, escaped itself swiftly out of her throat like black fume out of the furnace. He was lured towards her as if hypnotised by the witch’s incantation. There was no past between them, he knew her not, nor did he recover his mind to think about the future. His life became from then on a protracted Present.

They buried her mother under a tree that they deemed the least noticeable, and he felt liberated. She was liberated, from the parental yoke that was centuries-old and ever-tenacious, from the old provincial world that long ago had already deserted her. Obsession was a mask that was always laughing but never happy. Things were no longer as they were but obsession underscored the normal aspects of a changed life. For instance, bathing her hands in a bucket of ice water, something she would wont to do when her senses appeared inert. How she resented and dreaded the idea of reliving the commonplaces over and over again! Her steely flames in her eyes wavered as she recalled the refrain her mother loved to sing: “You live, you flourish, you bloom.” To live was to break the bondage of everything; to live was to undermine the potency of remembrance, because remembrance only brought remorse and pain, and one did not live to suffer. Yes, life should be a protracted present.

He looked so beautiful in his death as if life had never touched him. She stared up at heaven in mock affliction, addressing her original Father in a tone resounded with histrionic anger: “Why Father? Look what a grand joke you played on him!” Rarely did her express herself with such unbridled vehemence. The flame blossomed from her chest a voluminous rose, folds of petals worming their way towards his body, lavishly licking his wounds with their inflammable tongues. But he budged not nor let out a faintest moan of agony. Impatiently she waved the rose away.


Morality was the universal identity although dredging up unwittingly those yesterdays did make her sigh sometimes. But she would tell herself that the mysteries of those yesterdays always remained unaccounted for. Staring continuously out of the window, beholding a scene that never changed, she was suddenly checked by an onslaught of conflicting emotions but she quickly closed her eyes, trying to get pass the phase. No. No fear before impulsion, and shame always came too late. She volumed aloud her mental voice just to assure herself. Then she spotted something that trembled beneath the heavy leaves: a bird, seeming to bring a belated salve. As usual she tried to ward it off with menace but the bird chirped: “I have nothing to unlearn, I have nothing to fear, because I’m ever-docile.”

Monday, 10 March 2014

Birth





She still lied restless on the ground days after she was created and sent forth to this unknown land. The land that seemed to her bristle with unnamed objects whose sharpness oftentimes rubbed her skin from pink to scarlet red. When it happened, some ineffable feeling scudded throughout her body like a little creature with spiky teeth that were liable to gnaw. And gnawed, and continuously gnawed until she wanted to rid the little creature of her body, insofar as she howled, a voice so ugly and thunderous that every other living thing bowed down and humbled in astonishment. She did feel prickings, both from within her body and outside it, after making such a shameless exhibition of her nature. Hunger was yet another “ineffable feeling,” but something less intolerant. There were periods when the feeling rendered her so euphoric that she guffawed. For days she fed on nothing but light and air.

The age of Unknowing and Savagery lasted only a few winks of sleeps. She proved to be, despite of all, the daughter of her Father, heir to all senses. All feelings were welcomed, as long as they entered her virginal body like birds piercing with their beaks berries that were yet ripened. She was still disdainful of giving them names. More precisely still, she disdained the need of communication or language. A snake attempted to allure her with serpentine incantations. Unmoved and baffled by the snake’s amorous overture, she riveted her attention on its speckled skin, which stripes of colours vibrate when the snake wormed its precarious way to her. So beautiful a sight it was that no sooner she was plagued by a feeling which disintegrated into myriads little ants traversing every part of her body until she shrieked and laughed. She hacked the snake off into half with the largest rock at her disposal. Her eyes sparkled with the menacing light one would have when one finally conquered beauty.

Sin was the first sign of her inchoate mortality. Sin simply enveloped her, blessed her with golden dusts. She scoured this yet barren earth- though some vegetation had started rearing their heads tentatively- with serpent’s eyes. But Evil was still miles away. In a more civilised and advanced age they would finally realise that Evil was not the seed of God’s bitter resentment, but, found its way in mostly when mortality was tainted with diverse Experiences, it was the result of numerous futile expeditions to search for an unnamed something that one so lusting after since one was created.

This unnamed something gnawed her heart without warning and incessantly like every other mortal feeling did when she was brought to the Earth. She now had the propensity of simulation, which accounted for her endeavour to blending herself into whatever she had beheld, so her Ugliness or Beauty could be pardoned and made less conspicuous. Biting off her often unmitigated urge to shriek, she hushed herself up and remained immobile like a forbidding rock. Therefore this unnamed something she as well swallowed it down into the pit of her stomach and let it rock and writhe about like a recalcitrant baby. Everything she sensed, she felt, was now in a topsy-turvy. The more she restrained those little invisible monsters from hammering the walls of her body, the lure of a wholesale annihilation hastened.


Symptoms like that knew no remedy, and no sooner got better of her sanity. She let out a long and, what they would allege years later, triumphant, call, and, sparing you details so graphic and gristly, gave herself single-handedly back to her Father. The last blow that struck her before she levitated struck awake what was long thought to be in everlasting hibernation- this was the moment they said Knowledge was born. The myth remained undisclosed of her knowledge of her last moments, or whether during the very brief respite between pain and unfeeling the unnamed something was finally endowed its title. Because for the God, His Grand Plan always had its great ends but the mortals were never its criterion.