The Road to Duwamish

4 08 2006

Date to be determined

I am astounded at how much time has elapsed from that night by Blind Springs until now. So much has happened. I have experienced many wonders; I hope my memory serves as I write.

I woke before dawn, in the between time, not yet day, but no longer night. Inanna stood before the rock where the spring spurted forth. She was dressed as a Queen and Goddess.

I had decided what I would bring before I slept, and quickly dressed. Jenny and Verdia are living creatures. I could not bring them into an unknown, so they must stay behind. I left Jenny unpacked and unfettered, free. I left tent and supplies, bedroll and extra clothes, toiletries protected in a cairn. Perhaps some other traveler to these springs might find them of use. I wore only my clothes and the symbols of the things I hold most dear, things which tether me to the people and things beloved to me. I joined Inanna at the rock face.

“I am ready.”

Inanna smiled gently. “In the holy words of the Christian Bible, you are told you must be born again. The metaphor of a seed dying and being buried in the ground speaks to this. The seed will germinate and grow, but first it must die. And so must we all.”

Inanna struck her rod on the ground. The earth trembled, a fissure breaking open at our feet. I clung to Inanna to keep from falling; she was immovable, solid as the earth itself. When the steam and rumbling stopped, I saw the hole opened to a winding stair, as if we were atop a buried tower of an ancient castle.

Inanna spoke again. “When you enter here you are leaving the world you know. If you return, nothing will be as you remember it.”

If I return. I looked behind me. Jenny looked at me with quiet eyes, and nodded. I unwound Verdia from my neck and put her on the ground.

Then I began my descent.

The winding steps into the earth seemed to have no end. Night had fallen in the world above, leaving us in darkness. In the dark I followed the wall with my hand, carefully seeking each step with my foot. It was impossible to measure time. Perhaps it was only minutes to descend, perhaps hours or days. Here, as elsewhere on this journey, time is irrelevant.

In due time we arrived at a gate. It was illuminated by torch light, revealing carvings of ancient stories. I ran my hand over the reliefs, wishing I could sketch them; learn their stories, and the meanings within the stories. Before the closed door stood the gatekeeper clothed in gold. Inanna was taller and more regal than the gatekeeper, but she bowed to her. I bowed as well.

“Who are you and why have you come?”

“I am Inanna, Queen of Heaven, Queen of Earth, Beloved of her People, sister to Ereshkigal, Queen of the Underworld. I have come to mourn with my sister the death of her husband.”

“Before you enter you must relinquish your crown. In the realm of Ereshkigal you are sovereign no longer. Not of others, not of yourself. To enter you must submit to the sovereignty of Ereshkigal.”

Inanna lifted the jeweled silver and gold crown from her head and gave it to the gate keeper. The gatekeeper opened the door and Inanna passed through. Then she turned to me. “Who are you and why have you come?”

I didn’t know how to answer. Who am I? Why was I following an ancient goddess into the Underworld?

“I don’t know who I am, and I hope I will find out as I journey through your realm.”

“Before you enter you must relinquish your crown. In the realm of Ereshkigal you are sovereign no longer. Not of others, not of yourself. To enter you must submit to the sovereignty of Ereshkigal.”

“But I am not a sovereign, I have no crown.”

“In your past you have ruled over yourself and over others. Your hair is your crown.”

I gasped. Relinquish my hair? My hair is my crowning glory. It is admired wherever I go. As I have aged it is the only thing that has retained its beauty and luster. And I have tried to rule my own destiny, I have had the privilege of choices women in other times and places do not have. As a mother and supervisor I have been in authority over others. I am ashamed to admit I have abused that authority, out of pride and ignorance.

I considered, is losing my hair worth the price of being reborn?

*

Here I am, naked with no identity. Simply a body, the shell of a human being. Inanna precedes me still, still poised and regal, every bit a goddess, even stripped of everything.

I try to follow her example, but my face burns red with shame. Inanna isn’t dumpy like I am. Her belly is a little pouchy. Her breasts do sag, but not nearly as much as mine. Her buttocks are firm. I am grateful I cannot see mine and have to face their existence. I am overweight, resplendent with stretch marks. I am ashamed of how I look.

At least Inanna has her hair. I recall the mirror visage of myself after my head was shaved. My humiliation is complete.

The worst is yet to come.

Ereshkigal.

*

Ereshkigal turned her attention to me. I cowered.

“What are you and why are you here?” I felt like a worm beneath a foot contemplating my destruction.

“I am a human being. I followed Inanna here to discover who I am.”

I cringed as she laughed uproariously.

“You are a fool on a fool’s errand.” She flowed to my side, circling me slowly, licking her lips like a predator circling its prey.

“I will grant your request. I will teach you who you are. Human being.” She spat at me.

I shuddered. The saliva on my cheek burned like acid.

Ereshkigal pointed her trident at the floor at my feet. Flames burst from it, scorching my body. The fires swirled themselves into a bowl.

Ereshkigal pointed her trident again, this time to the side of us. From the flames a scale appeared. She laid her feather on one pan.

“Let us weigh your deeds, your thoughts, the secrets of your heart against my feather.”

She pointed the trident at the flames at my feet. I looked down. In the fire scenes from my life played themselves in cruel clarity. From the first lie I told, the first time I hit my sibling, to the rebellious, self pitying thoughts as I traversed her domain, every wrong I ever committed was brought into the open. I groveled in shame as Ereshkigal cackled maliciously.

When I looked up at the scales, they touched the ground.

“Who are you, human being? You are revolting, self-absorbed, mean and ugly. If you had brains you would be dangerous. You are too stupid to live, too vile to be despised. You are no good to anyone. It would be better had you never been born.”

At those words I ceased to exist.

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Traveller’s departure from the Calabar Felonway and a new adventure starts

2 08 2006

My sudden arrival on the back of my flying donkey Ariel caused quite a stir aboard the Calabar Felonway. Indeed, I had hardly had time to install myself in my cabin and find some suitable accommodation for Ariel when I received word from Le Enchanteur that I should return to Riversleigh for the start of a new adventure.

I made my way along the deck to where Ariel was gazing gloomily into the depths of a deep green sea and counting the flying fishes. I greeted him as cheerily as I could for I was not sure whether I was the bringer of good news or bad. “Well, thank goodness for that” he said. “Thank goodness for what?” I asked. “That we are going back to Riversleigh. I wasn’t at all happy at the prospect of spending any time aboard this ship; I much prefer to have all four hooves safely on dry land”.  I could hardly contain my surprise, yet again he seemed to have read my thoughts. However, I shouldn’t really be surprised at anything that happens in this magic land. “Well, are you ready to go?” he asked. “I must just collect my things from my cabin and then we can go”. I hurriedly collected my scanty possessions and returned to the deck to find that Ariel had already found the highest point and was champing at the bit in anticipation of taking to the skies again. I climbed on to his bony back. “Ready” I said. He flexed at the knees as if he was about to jump and we were off. “I take it you know how to get back to Riversleigh?” I voiced my thoughts. “Well, of course I do” he snorted contemptuously. “You don’t think le Enchanteur would allow you to become lost, do you?” “No”, I thought to myself, she probably wouldn’t.

The Calabar had not been anchored far offshore so we soon flew over the rocky coastline and headed inland for Riversleigh Manor, flying over vast stretches of forest and moor land covered in purple-flowering heather and gorse.

We landed behind the manor and Ariel promptly took himself off to the stable in search of a well deserved nosebag of oats. There was no-one around downstairs so I made my way up to my room. Nothing had changed in my (short) absence but there was a vase of wild flowers on the table and the window had been opened to air the room. On the table was a note from le Enchanteur:

Dear Traveller,

I am so glad you have decided to join us on this journey. Now you have to think about what you will take with you, especially given that you will need this case to bring home the treasures you gather during our stay. I want you to find a small suitcase and quite literally pack in readiness for our descent. We have to travel light. Decide what you are going to leave behind this time.

Deep breath! Are you sure you still want to come?

love

le Enchanteur

This time I decided to take a belt which could carry a water bottle, a pair of binoculars, my journal and everlasting pens and my trusty camera with the everlasting batteries and the memory card with innumerable gigabytes (if only!). I decided to leave behind any regrets I might have for what had gone before as well as jealousy – yes, I have suffered that too on occasion. There was only room in my little bag for positive thoughts and a sense of humour.

With a last sniff at the wild flowers I bade a silent farewell to my room. “I will return, only I don’t know when. Don’t go away, please”. With tears pricking at my eyes I walked down the wide staircase and headed off towardsDuwamish
Bay where I was hoping to meet up with my fellow travellers at the Duwamish Inn.





THIS LITTLE GIRL`S GONE ROCKIN`

19 07 2006

 

 

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Anita Marie Moscoso

( Packing Bags )

 

Here I am, getting ready to start another writing project and getting ready to once again pray that the target I’m trying to hit is as big as the side of an Ocean Liner because I can promise you that no matter how clear and concise the instructions are for this “ Writing Journey” I’ll botch it up.

Like I did this writing exercise at the Soul Food Café where I was suppose to write about bottled emotions and I wrote about bottles  (so far so good) that were in a Curio shop and inside of the bottles were tumors and three headed cats and I think a baby alligator with a human face. ( https://anita64.wordpress.com/2006/06/18/the-witch-of-white-ash-mountain/)

What…you wouldn’t have some feeling about seeing that?

Myself, I love that kind of thing. Other people…well, you know most people have delicate sensibilities and wouldn’t like seeing organs on display for fun and profit.

But you’d feel something.

Wouldn’t you?

Oh, and this other time we were suppose to write about taking a journey with a Ferry Woman and learning some kind of truth or wisdom on the trip and I wrote about a woman who killed her husband because of the way he buttered his toast.   https://anita64.wordpress.com/2006/06/18/datura-manzanillo-walks-alone/

I justified that one by writing my friend into the beginning of the story (she really does work on a ferry boat). So I thought, “hey it works”.

So before you write me off as a total brain dead idiot I want to assure you I did learn something on that particular ‘journey’.

I learned on that ‘journey’ that life is indeed cheap and that as lame and cliché as this story sounds it’s one of the most popular on my blog so there!

Now, back to the project at hand; as I pack my ‘bags’ for my “Journey” I’m going into it stress free. In real life I will only travel if I can do it with a smile on my lips…I see no reason to change horses midstream and start this journey with a bag full of worries.

I won’t be hearing myself say, “ what if I’m not good enough to write?” (Ha, ask me if I care about that. I happen to READ A LOT and I’m here to tell you that hasn’t stopped about a gazillion books and articles in magazines from being published on any given day of the month)

And I’m determined to be myself; I’m going to write any story that is dumb enough to wander into the black abyss that is my imagination. I’m like one of those predatory animals that weeds out the sick and old and anything not strong enough to run to save it’s own life.

I mean it, if I can catch that sucker…dude that story is MINE.

I know my stories might be lame and they are most definitely weird and some of my nearest and dearest  have this look on their faces when they visit me and I know just KNOW they’ve read something I’ve written.

I don’t care because when I write I happen to have a very good time.

I laugh at the gross parts, the bad parts, the titles…you name it. I laugh when I write because I happen to enjoy what I’m doing. I also happen to take what I do very seriously.

Yes, I can hear it now ” sure you do Anita, sure you take writing seriously” Well, it’s true…so there.

There it is in all it’s glory…my travel list.

So I’m set.

What am I taking with me on this journey? What am I packing?

A sense of humor, that’s what I’m packing…and now here’s the ‘note’ I’m leaving on my door.

In the words of the magnificent Ruth Brown:

 THIS LITTLE GIRL`S GONE ROCKIN` – Lyrics


I WROTE MY MOM A LETTER AND THIS IS WHAT I SAID…

WELLA WELLA WELLA WELLA WASHED ALL THE DISHES AND I DID A LOT MORE,

 I EVEN BOUGHT THE DINNER AT THE GROCERY STORE.

AND NOW, MOM, YOU`LL FIND THE KEY NEXT DOOR,

 THIS LITTLE GIRL`S GONE ROCKIN`.

 I LEFT SOME BISCUITS FOR THE PUP, I PUT FRESH WATER IN HIS CUP.

AND NOW I`M OFF, I`M GONNA LIVE IT UP, THIS LITTLE GIRL`S GONE ROCKIN`.

WELL, I`LL BE HOME ABOUT TWELVE TONIGHT, AND NOT A MINUTE, MINUTE LATER,

DON`T FORGET THE FRONT DOOR LIGHT, THAT`S ALL FOR NOW, I`LL SEE YOU LATER, GATOR.

YOU`LL FIND EACH THING THAT YOU WANTED DONE, I`M OFF TO MEET THAT SPECIAL ONE.

AND BOY OH BOY WILL WE HAVE FUN,

`CAUSE THIS LITTLE GIRL`S GONE ROCKIN`.





Phoenix Child

17 07 2006

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Journey of Fire.

Satchel full of things

to take, flint and

paper, apple and quill,

notes for the way.

Travellers all,

gathering,

excitement crowd.

A page of history

disintegrates in the flames.

(copyright Imogen Crest 2006.)





Tao, The Way

17 07 2006

Before I leave on the Journey, I am leaving behind everything but barest essentials for good hygiene, my journal, and this image. The calligraphy in the center is Tao, The Way.

taobrocade.jpg

I think it is appropriate to focus on finding The Way when when embarks on a journey. What is important to remember is that The Way is not merely finding a path, or following a path, but most importantly it is HOW we follow a path. It is the Way of Right Action.

I zip up my duffle and I walk out the Abbey door.

Digital Construction: Lori Gloyd (c) July 16, 2006