Monday, April 16, 2007

The Return of "Thus Spoke the Platypus" Part V

One morning, the disciple of Utnipishtim came to him and said: "Oh my master, last night I had a dream; while I was on my bed, a vision came to me! I saw your animals, the raven and the dove, descend from heaven and lift you up and they bore you away. Then a voice came from the clouds and proclaimed: 'My words shall not be hidden! Speak Utnipishtim! Speak from the wisdom that I have given you!'"

When Utnipishtim heard this he raised his face toward heaven and cried out: "It is Time! It is Time! It is indeed Time!"

Then Utnipishtim turned to his disciple and spoke, saying: "Oh my faithful follower, I must leave you. Who knows whether you will see Utnipishtim again? But fear not! My animals will care for you. They will bring you food from afar. For drink, there is the stream that runs from the mountain to my lake."

When he had said these words, Utnipishtim departed. After many days and nights, he came to a great crossroads, where the road from the mountain, and the road from the plain, and the road from the sea, and the road from the city, and the road from the waste all met.

And Utnipishtim took his stand at the crossroads and called out in a loud voice: "Oh my brothers! I, Utnipishtim, have come down. Wisdom has sent me to you to preach to you the Great Return! You have found yourselves, but you have not found Beauty. You have found yourselves, but you have not found Wisdom. You have found yourselves, but you have not found Joy. Seek now for the ancient paths. Oh my brothers, let us begin the Great Return. Wisdom speaks to us: "As a man may go forward, so too can he go back!"

Thus Spoke Utnipishtim.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Strange Platypus(es) Part XI

In my dream, we came to another part of the wood where the trees grew thinner and the path broadened into a paved way. From further up the road, the sound of groaning came to meet my ears. We hastened on, and soon discovered it source.

In the ditch that flanked the road lay a woman in the throws of a terrible illness. Her muddied garments were soaked in sweat and soars and lesions of all sorts covered her skin. In the ditch she lay, covered by the filth that ran down it, but there was no strength in her to move.

I turned to my guide and asked him how it was that no one helped the woman out of the ditch and brought her to a place where her sickness might be mended.

My guide, who held in his hand an object that was now a scroll, and now a sharp sword, pointed across the road to where a great dragon was slithering out of the trees. Its body was covered in slime and filth, but its face was that of a woman, and upon its flanks and side were written blasphemous names. A great host of lesser creatures followed it and sought succor from its teats; but they were dry.

Then my guide spoke, and his voice was the sound of clashing swords: "The woman's sisters have come and tried time and again to rescue her from the ditch, but each time the serpent drives them back. She has other relatives too, but she broke from her mother's house long ago and scorned her own children so that many of them are loath to help."

"Is there no hope for her then?" I asked.

"Her Father has not forgotten her, and he will send his servant who is mightier than the dragon to drive it off. Her Husband has not forgotten her, and he will come and take her up out of the ditch with his own hands and bind her soars. Her Advocate has not forgotten her, and he will come and plead for the healing of her sickness."

"But what of the dragon," I asked. "If it is driven off and not slain, will it not find another to waylay?"

"The serpent hopes that it shall devour the woman when her sickness is complete and all hope has failed. Only thus can it provide for it brood, who are many, and feed its husband when he comes seeking meat. With its prey removed, the serpent shall be devoured by it own family in their hunger."

I took hope at what he said, but we staid not to prove it true.