Saturday, August 8, 2009

Princess Dress

[Click to see all installments of the Legend of Fowl Feng. If you are reading this in a reader, you'll have to come to the blogsite.]

You remember hurtling through space. That’s what you’d say if there were someone to tell. Hurtling through space with great purpose and destiny, only there was no way to tell really that you were moving at all. No air to blow against you, the stars so distant they never moved day after day. At first, you really didn’t think about going anywhere.

Slowly the darkness grew gray and thin, and even more slowly you realized this must be light. Then you spent some time hovering or hurtling through the light until you started feeling that maybe your were going somewhere. As if your thought conjured it, a faint breeze began to press against your cheeks, if you had cheeks, which is about as certain as the day.

The wind, however, doesn’t seem to care if it’s blowing against a cheek, or a meteor, or a wave of energy, or any of the other things you imagined you might have or be. The wind just blows stronger and stronger, pushing against your every contour like a hand pressing back and you get the idea that you have spent something like time imagining all the things that hand might be touching.

You are really moving now. You are getting someplace. And now the idea of a destination comes to you, a place where this hurtling will stop and this idea in you head makes the whole light around you shift so that you are no longer hurtling though space but are falling towards some ground. Just as you realize you are falling way too fast to stop, you hit something.

You look down and see you are wearing a long dress. “Princess dress,” you think wistfully.

“Oh bloody hell! We’re rescuing a princess?” exclaimed a horrified Rubeus. Sophie gave an exasperated sigh at the interruption. Hydra kept silent, turning her long beak from one side to the other. Chalydrus rolled his giant dragon eyes.

“You will not be rescuing anyone, Rubeus. You have other duties.”

“Then why am I here?” Rubeus stuck out his chin and Fowl Feng thought Chalydrus was going to blast him right there, but instead he just held Rubeus' gaze for a moment and then turned to Sophie. “Continue, dear maiden.”

Sophie was silent for a moment. Feng wanted her to continue because it seemed so important to her. He put his paw on her leg and said, “I’ve never rescued a princess. Might be fun?”

She reached out and rubbed Feng's ear. “Oh you are a sweetie, aren’t you Fowl Feng.”

“Um, no, actually I’m not. Bit of a bastard really.” He nosed around in the dirt for a moment and then said under his breath so no could hear. “I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten puppies.”

Sophie just smiled and turned back to the fire to continue her story.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

G*d (Whatever That Is)

Gods are those parts of existence that are bigger than we can understand as individuals. They are like mountains. We can see them in their wholeness only at a great distance. From the other side of the valley we can look across to the far horizon and see the triangle shape of the mountain. We can point and say, "Mountain," or "Amaterasu," or "Desire."

But to come into any relationship with the mountain, we must move in close, come into direct contact with the mountain, with the god. As we move closer to the mountain, the god looms and then disappears, breaks apart into meadows and lakes and forests and the innumerable details of its actual existence. We may identify the god in its entirety only at a great distance; we can only know the god a piece at a time. We must walk in this meadow, aware of these flowers and that ground squirrel and remembering the ridges and peaks and other places, as we smell the heather around us.

G*d (whatever that is) is whatever the sum of everything plus the knowledge of that sum and the ability to comprehend both the sum of the parts and the whole. It may or may not be what we were expecting. G*d (whatever that is) is represented in our minds by figures of old men, or women with a thousand arms, or a giant winged snake with the head of a dog that shoots lightening out of its eyes. (It could happen.) We may see g*d (whatever that is) as a force we call compassion or creativity. But whatever we point to when we say g*d is just a mountain at a distance. We cannot predict what the old man is going to look like up close. She may look much younger in places. We cannot yet know what g*d is until we walk through her meadows and breathe his air. And we can’t begin to do that until we are willing to let go of our nice perfect view of the mountain.