The eighth daughter of WOE
[ fiction - june 07 ]
I speak to the earth, saying: I am WOE’s eighth daughter. Do for me what you have done for others. Make me to be born, give me animal appearance. WOE will not create me, WOE refuses to create me, loneliness is making my death, oh god of my body which is not. Earth, let me abandon my non-state, give me life so that I can live and die. When you stamp my face in the sky, I will find my name, I will be dead, and I will praise you. Those were the remarks of the eighth daughter of WOE. She is WOE’s daughter who is not born. She said to me, How is it you see me? Nobody sees me, nobody hears me.
I told her this: Should I pretend I cannot see you, should I pretend I cannot hear you? You are strange to say so. You are as strange as your mother, you are as strange as your sisters.
I asked her to tell me why her mother WOE is going away, why she is sailing away.
She said: It is because she will do anything to play the flute.
Is it possible WOE is like that? What is a flute noise so worth?
She said: It has the same worth as any thing. It has the same worth as a person. It has the same worth as a god. A sound, a person, a god, all of them go away. All of them first fail, and then go away.
That was the reply of the eighth daughter of WOE.
WOE is taking her boat, she is floating away within her boat. When disease rained from the sky, WOE was the air. When orchids were discovered, she was the odor. When war began, she was the soldier. When a banquet of barley grass and nuts and every kind of food was begun, she was the flesh of the grain. When it was time to allow her daughters to die, she was the hand that withheld honey and milk from their mouths. When pictures appeared in the minds of sleeping persons, she was the face that told them they could fly. When air was blown through a flute, she was the hymn, she was the requiem.
When nothing appeared, when the rain did not fall, when the food did not grow, when all the boats sank, when the astronomer forgot his craft, when the painter’s hands shook, when there was no dream in sleep, when there was no sleep after the meal, when there was no food to eat, when copulation failed, when the child could not be born, when the names of the dead were forgotten, then she was there, she was the cause, hers was the blame.
She should depart, she should sail away.
She hangs the cloth on the mast, she ties it back. She blows through her flute. Her note is heard by all names, her note is heard by all objects, her note is heard by all the gods. Every thing she does is known by the three worlds. Every word she says is heard by the three worlds. She does not know it. Her hair is spread across the horizon, if she only knew. Her eyes cover the waters like silk, if she knew. If she knew, she has all power, she has all force, she has truth, she is the name, she is the god, if she knew.
She sails. She is gone from the sight of the island. She travels seven earshots away from the island. She is not disappeared, she is on her boat. She exists. She cannot vanish until she vanishes. She still sees herself.
We of the island have lost her to ourselves. Her name has changed. She became old and changed her name. Even the god WOE dies with the name.
We do not know her name now. We are the creation of a destroyed person. It is the same as if WOE were burnt in the flames, and her resulting bones were held overhead and thrown with both arms into the sea.
The new woman, her hair is white, from the loss of a name. The god departs and takes the color. She has sailed, her bones weigh nothing.
She says: I am on the boat.
I am alive. How does this be?
I am alive because I am not very afraid.
I have lost my name. My boat is becalmed.
The wind is stopped. The wind that carried words into our world is stopped. The wind that carried the thumb-sized souls into the heart of every name is stopped. The wind that pushed my name into my body, it is stopped. The wind that carried words out of my chest into the air, it is stopped. The wind that colors thoughts silver is stopped. The wind that makes all persons know the same things, that wind has stopped. The wind has stopped blowing, the wind has lost its name to “air,” the wind is only air.
The bottom of my boat holds me from death by drowning, the bottom of my small boat.
I cut my palm with the sharp black stone, but the blood on my hand does not dry. There is no wind, so the blood does not dry, therefore no omen is created and I do not know the truth.
I cut my face with the sharp black stone, but the blood on my face does not dry. There is no wind, so the blood does not dry, therefore no omen is created and I do not know the truth.
I cut my belly with the sharp black stone, but the blood on my belly does not dry. There is no wind, so the blood does not dry, therefore no omen is created and I do not know the truth.
When the truth comes, there will be blood everyplace.
The sky is atop me, the sky is atop WOE, the sky is atop the woman who was WOE.
The earth is bright, even if I call it the sea. The sea is filled with voices even if I call it fire.
I can see things without knowing their names. Words and names have left me, alongside of the word for me, the name for me.
When I go into the water, there will be no word for that.
When I swim down, there will be no word for that.
What will I be when I do not see, what will I be when I do not name things, what will I be when I do not make hymns? What will I be when the island I created is without me? What will I be when the island I created sinks in the ocean? I will be without a name, and my condition will be without a name.
These are remarks made by the old woman who was previously WOE.
The boat stops to move, the boat stays unmoving upon the water. The boat has not moved, because it has no wind, it has no impelling force of wind.
When the old woman was becalmed, her cry reached every region of the sky. Her voice carried fire, her voice carried creation, her voice made the grasses of the earth crouch in the dust, the crying of her voice made fire weep water.
I will sweep everything away. That is the cry of the old woman.
I shall die, I shall be a stone, I shall be a vile plant, I shall be a fungus, I shall be scum on the water, I shall be residue. That is the cry of the old woman.
I will die without creating even a speck. I will die without creating even a nameless speck. What was this for?
I will live in the sky, in the place of orphans. The sky place of mute persons, the sky place of extraneous beings, the place of forgotten unnamed beings. What was this for?
This is what the old woman said.
She left the boat, she entered the water with her own body.
She can swim, if she knew. She can play songs on her flute, if she knew. She does not know, so that she will dive down until she stops. Let her death be death. Let there be no Briton heaven with musical harps. Let there be no Turkic hell with reciting of her errors, she knows her errors. Let there be no fame, no white-colored fame. Let the sea be dark and without sound, let the sea say nothing to her to remind her of the days she believed she was the creator of the universe. Wild sea with green thighs, rise up and take, rise up from the place of waiting, you who have always waited.
The sea said to the island, is this woman not WOE, is she not your priestess?
The island said, we are low, we are ignorant. Ask the Britons.
The sea said to the Britons, is this woman not WOE, creator of the greater world, namer of the sea and sky, creator of the three worlds?
The Britons answered, she is not known to us. She is not important. She is small.
The sea said to the Britons: Look, here is the great WOE, the creator WOE.
The Britons said, if she were the creator, would we not know it? Would we not feel fear at her name? Would we not be on our knees in the dust to her? Would we not propitiate her with gold and burnt cattle? Would we not carve her name and image onto our metal slabs? Would we not write her life in a thousand books? Then they said:
We have ignored her since the beginning of time. Should she not be bitterly angry, if she is the great one? Should she not fill our rivers with stones? Should she not strike our beautiful women with sores? If she is the creator, should she not cast down our multitudes, and salt our fields, and sink our island of Europa? Then they said:
Let her destroy us now, if she is great.
Let her show her power. Let her prove she is the god. Let her change our hearts. She is the creator, then let her change our hearts. Then they said:
She does not exist. Your goddess, she does not exist. Your creator, she is smaller than the smallest thing. Our friends do not know her. Our wise men do not mention her. Our politicians do not praise her. Our commoners do not reach out for her. Then they said:
We have not seen her in our gatherings. We have not seen her among the famous. We have not seen her among our images. She is not of our people. She is not interesting for us.
That is what the Britons said.
When she dives down, never to rise again, she will disappear from the world of names. She will not have a body to be “she,” she will not have a body to be a “body,” she will not have “have.” She will lie down under the water and will not rise again.
She who spoke will never speak again. She who created will never create again. She who destroys her self will never destroy more. She will lie under the water and never rise again.
She will be unable to swim, she will be unable to sing, she will be unable to flute, she will be unable to sigh and complain.
She will not feel neglected, she will not feel ignored, she will not feel un-worshipped, she will not be filled with bitterness. She will not bitterly watch images of persons in her mind. She will not watch images of persons doing chores and failing to bow to her, WOE. She will not hear images of persons talking and not talking about her, WOE. She will not imagine every surface of the world or island, and stare at each surface, and see that her name is not engraved there, WOE.
Instead she will be in the solitary place without images. She will be in the deer-trap, where no escape is possible. Her mind cannot escape and her voice cannot escape, her will cannot escape and her name cannot escape. Her seven daughters are dead, they cannot escape, they are only images, they live only within her, she is the trap, she will not escape.
Even under the water she will be wrong, she will be in error. She will lie still, yet she will think she is in penance, she will think she is in sacrifice. She will think: I will stay here for two years, and I will purify my heart, and I will not see the sky, and after that time, I will speak every word in the universe, and I will create the world from nothing, I will be present when the truth is created, I will create the truth, and this time I will put the words in the best order. So each god’s name is harmonious with the next god’s name. The gods are kind and calm. I will speak the names, the result will be calm and harmony.
That is what she will think. But after the two years, she will not move. The sea will be atop her, the sea is full of voices, but she will not speak. She will not create the truth, she will not create harmony, she will not move.
This will happen when she dives under the waves and swims down.
When she dives under the seas, all this will end.
She floats on the sea, looking at the sky. She waits for the time she will dive under and dive down.
She waits. She has failed in every moment of her life. She knows there is no sacrifice. She knows there is no harmony, she knows there is no era to come.
She floats on top of the water. We cannot die until we are killed by death. The clay flute is on her chest. Birds fly above her, they noise. She makes that same noise in her mouth.
She swims, she is unable to sink. She swims in the direction of flight of birds. She does not notice when her clay flute fell and sank and lay on the bottom of the sea and did not make any further music.
She swam, then she arrived on the bird island. She lay on the sand. She did not call it sand or bird island.
She is asleep. She is asleep.