and so it begins … (aod)

When the battlefield torn by mines is all the school or playground in which to grow,
how can the children be taught to know, to understand a lexicon of peace?
Bitter hatred permeates mother’s milk and what there is of grain,
permeates the very rain, gathered in barrels since the wells ran red
with poisoned blood, since the holiest of sites became blackened
with pestilence and shame.
Rumors expand on who is to blame; not much else to go around..

I like to walk the dark empty streets.  Late at night, the city becomes its own.  The smells, the silence, the stark black and white, shadows and streetlamps, without the people the city can become comforting, peaceful.  But never for long.

It was a cold night, early in January.  It hadn’t snowed much, but there were icy patches where puddles refroze after the hours of the traffic’s warmth.  She was huddled in a threadbare shawl, moving at a pace some compromise between care for the ice and keeping blood from coagulating to avoid frostbite.  I don’t like to get involved.  In the end you can only lose.

Sure enough, a large, somewhat threatening looking, guy appears, yelling after her.

I keep to myself against the reassuring bricks and steel, and watch the drama ensue.

But maybe I’m not as sheltered as I thought, since the next thing I know I am waking with a monumental headache in a far different place.  Bright lights, loud noises, sterilized activity, I am propped up against a wall in an overcrowded ER, a place where my disheveled, disoriented presence is sure to cause no alarm.

Then, I see her on a gurney.  She is deathly pale, still.  I am starting to wonder if this is all a dream, or some superdrug hallucination, but the sensory qualities are all too real, and distasteful.  I hate when that happens.  Now I’ll have to deal with all this gross stupidity without the benefit of knowing what it’s all about.

A nurse’s aide comes over with a form for me to fill out about insurance and next of kin.  I motion, slur, get him to understand that I am concerned about the young woman on the gurney.  He probably thinks she’s my sister or girlfriend, and tells me she’s lost a lot of blood, but they will be transfusing as soon as the right blood type comes up from storage.  It may be touch and go, but she’s in good hands.  He tells me a physician’s assistant will be calling me shortly to examine my contusions and lacerations, and I should tell her what drugs I am on.

I see the guy from the street come in while we are talking.  Should I try to hide or get away?  Or is he just here because of her?  I was just an inconvenient by-passer, after all.  I can’t get my legs to work under me anyway.  May as well just let it play out.

Sure enough, he sidles over to her, whispering something in her ear as the life drains out of her.  Like I say, I don’t like to get involved.

I waited for my body to figure out how to cooperate, and got out of there.  Back home, I’m hammering this out on my antique manual typewriter.  There’s no electricity here in the hole.  Thankfully, there is a working fireplace, and places to scavenge wood.

The city’s got a million stories.  I like to squirrel them away in these recordings I keep typing and filing.  You can see them unfolding, refolding, just out there, everyday.  The hard part is not getting sucked in, becoming the story yourself.

 

from:  Acts of Desolation http://caelastory.blogspot.com/2009/03/acts-of-desolation-when-battlefield.html

from Persephone in Fall (Something Sacred)

Moon in Virgo

The chill in the air has become pronounced. I dig out and launder sweaters, long underwear for Celia’s and my daily walks in the park. Gold and red leaves, colors becoming muddied on the trees, ever more of them drift along the ground. Early morning walks are met by frost and lingering darkness. Darkness encroaches earlier on the day. Spooky sparsely leaved trees make an imprint against the faded light, chill and blowing a mournful tune.

We are building a collage of junk mail circular images glued onto cardboard at the kitchen table in lieu of travel. Celia is comforted by her familiar routines and surroundings; she enjoys playing this game of fantasy, like putting on a play without fuss or break in spontaneity. I also enjoy the simulated adventures, the sense of possibilities.

Tom misses us, wants me to come home. Mom wants me to stay in this home we are building, our fantasy bubble where she feels safe, able to express what is left in her that demands sharing.

I told Tom I will return to him in the Spring. Meanwhile we can play at building our winter fantasies, apart but shared. It is a different kind of intimacy, exploring alternative forms of language, of touching, discovering, with other kinds of senses. He is not happy about our separation, but is intrigued enough to give this game a chance to enthrall — because we both believe in magic. Good magic work requires discipline and will, and excellent skills of metaphoric translation, transformation through psychic manipulation of subtle energies. The journeyman wizard in Tom appreciates the challenge. The timeless romantic imp in me enjoys the adventure of our game. Isn’t that what life so excellently can be, a romantic adventure, much more than a game of chance — a game of chances to fly or drive or quietly walk through charming wonderland hand in hand with wild laughing love.

I watch Celia across the room, stoic and cheerful, that intense underlying sadness acting as a restful foundation, where she has made her peace with disappointment and stale dreams. This place is filled with the products of her busy hands, beautiful needlework furnishings for human comfort, luscious growing green and flowering plants, some bearing fruit or savory herbal spices. Her self-contained world expresses her natural beauty. I understand her need to share, to be led by my acceptance into opening further to herself. I understand that she is wise, that I can be humbled and encouraged by her wisdom. These are lessons out of the everyday, yet lessons we can find everyday, any day, if we will to learn. Wise magic power is not about power over; it can be even more meaningful as power with intimate others. We exchange, merge, grow. Love, beauty, wisdom the will to magical life, isn’t that enough of a glorious game to engage with? Why all the petty bickerings and mean spirits? Is it that people think we are owed treasure we do not create together? Is the accepted myth of an omniscient dispenser of largess dividing us, each attempting to sacrifice the rest to find favor? Are these traps of DNA or cultural legend learned survival strategies? Are they a darker and far more clouded kind of magic?

 

http://caelastory.blogspot.com/2009/08/persephone-in-fall.html

the people divided self-defeat

Ice-breaking
*
*
Get people talking.
Minds engaged, relating.
Interchanges, connections
excite,
generate synergy.
Diversity finds flow unites;
warm colors array.
Create a day
unlike the past.
Choir’s harmonic magic
breaks frozen thrall, 
isolating spell
silence cast.
*
*
*
Recreation at the End of the World
*
*
The end of the world as we have told ourselves it is.
Widening eyes align with changed designs, underpinnings,
first causes, metaphors, stories of us.
Disruption, distorted transition, fear and distrust
wildly gallop to trample the field, cry out the call
“Just let me rest.  Just let us lie here, ashamed, afraid
to allow such blinding disarray.  So much safer
to fall, over the end of the world.”
*
Could we edit together songs, pleas,
harmonize with birds, bees, thunder, settling sighs,
meme shattering symphony, dilated eyes happy to see
randomized patterns coalesce, myths reassessed,
zest of surprise?
Would we recreate deity as an image more easily
caressing, Empathy for the 21st century?
*
*
*
At the Table
*
*
You want your fond place at the table
You want to be a fellow jolly good “so say we all.”
I tell you, the table is vastly laden with
layers of little memories, which
no two see the same.
We arrive at the feast
hungry for virtue, for love, for
forgiveness of our wanton ways;
willing to be merry, to partake of
ritual, merging through
transubstantiation.
Constellations, moving, shifting,
making waves in our collective
consciousness, appear to reveal
sparkling impulses of truth.
On that warm, wet evening
taking in the sweet, evocative air,
embracing untranslated joy,
something catches in our throats.
The song we need so desperately
to share can only emerge in shards.
The pain, sucked in with our breath,
becomes one with the bread and wine.
This is the blood, the body,
marinated in salty tears, preserving
what has not yet found
appropriate release.
*
Again, and yet again
meeting, to take sustenance.
Hungry battle wounds
courageously opening,
to imbibe the healing
of grace.
*
*
*
UNITE SONG
*
*
Desire
Inspires
Outmaneuvers inertia
catalyzes action, ideation,
attraction — magnetizes
elements of essence
toward true North —
fuels adventure
*
*
Unite Song
*
*
It’s not about
black or white
might is right
fuel to fight
*
It’s not about
East or West
who’s the best
forget the rest
*
It’s about
me and you,
if we choose,
what we can do
*
*

blood poems for an October Scorpio Moon

they bring on pain and want to share it all around, make one big hurt.
This is the pain of the sins of the forefathers,
the founding fathers,
the captains of industry,
the capitalist barons and kings.
It is the painful tightening of nooses and stirrups,
the calculating cackling of Nazgul riding high on misery.
Taste the pain.
Savor the flow of blood from damaged hearts,
wounds of battle,
beggars kicked into oblivion on darkened streets,
excessive violence.
Pain is, after all, the great motivator.
Grind them all into a massive meatball,
cover with condiments extracted from the Earth,
this is the wealth that is worth
every sacrifice.
 …
Early learning cast the play of we and they.
Blood, bone, face
is not man, soil intent on destiny.
Shadow marketeers sell swords, honour,
blessings to follow the faith as good fathers demand.
Soft blood dries — throes of maggots and microbes
cunningly feast on folly.
Can the wage of war pay to feed our habit?
Vegetation of these mythic forests grows
twisted, tinged in dark crimson layers.
Smell terror, violent death —
fresh meat, or fresh enough for remnant
gnashed snarls of teeth and salivation.
Lullabies drenched in sweet hope
snapped for a dream.
 …
Seeking for the power of wisdom
Multiple paths converge on star points
Pierced by light, taste of blood in darkness
Feed on what feeds your blossoming
 …
I am inspired by anger engorging my blood-brain barrier
by symphonies of guilt and shame and hope
by simple positionings glimpsed from roving eyes by lightening,
darkening, liminal desires,
by brave warriors who cope with more than could be required
and the songs my silent ear demands I hear
 …
It is foolishness to think that paradigm-wrecking change will not inflict pain. 
Perhaps it would be better if the shift would just Poof! —
all the trauma and bloodshed washed up at once
into it horrific tableau, then Enlightenment! 
I don’t think it can work that way. 
Mostly we seem to not be inclined to any major changes
without being so miserable that we see no other option. 
I am emphatically not “for” this; but it seems to be so,
beyond my ability to control.
 …
Do not struggle with anger, my son
Give in to the luxury of ire and woe
Dance to the music of bloodlust, fire, passion
Avenge the angst of life’s attractions
Get caught up in the lava flow,
burning to spend and leap without reserve
Then, in sweet afterglow, in mild day’s reflection,
take in the view of battlelands subdued.
In this fading light, this waning Sun,
aftermath of action,
take time and patience,
eye of storm,
tongue of meditation,
clear mind of wisdom to wish.
 .
.
.
Not a Lucid Dream
.
 .
She is not some willowy fragile damsel Queen
waiting for champions to compete
for her hand.
She is not grand, Imperious.
Not more than a child, yet strong of will,
of purpose.
She sings herself to sleep,
deep lullabies enticing
prophetic dreams.
Potent streams of consciousness
offer drenching
hydration.
To drown, to release all pretense,
to surrender to fate —
or collaborate in adventure.
It takes a Queen to drink
from the sacred cup, to
read the trails of sludge,
to answer.
She heeds the call,
heals her aching wound,
hears soft moisture mark her path.
Cracking ice, spelling runes,
guide, sprite luminous shades.
Wavery arms, blue ectoplasm,
trace salutations.
This is not lucid dreaming.
This is the sign promised.
Taste the frozen blood;
know its story, sharp, shining.
Live the legend,
even when
it is furthest from your mind.
 .
 .
 .
At the edge of the real
At the plummet of denial
At the summit of all we pretend
Re-echoing ecstasy crescendo
No where to discover again
Drunk on this neverending run
To the End
 .
 .
 .
Doorway into Scorpionic revelation — severe, profound, grabs from beneath the conscious realm.
.
 .
 .
Drunk on koolaid.
Sputter junkie cultural jargon —
a separate, unequal, reality
you choose.
Soggy comfort of misery.
Slobby, whiney;
lobbing fouled barbs to amuse.
Cheap deterioration,
failure explained:
Not mine!  The way of the world.
Ascertain blame by direction
in which orator’s stones are hurled.
Can’t look back, or around
to track the blood on the ground.
Life seeps in pain.
Drunk in a pool of despair.
Left to sleep, unaware,
drowning in caustic rain.
 .
 .
 .
Study War No More
 .
.
What lesson can be applied?
When imperialist troops crash down upon a people’s pride?
When might as right meets the instinct to survive?
When Midas greed lashes out to destroy?
We’ve been here before, o my brethren, o my children —
repeating the fouled lessons poured into our thirsty minds,
pushing back the horror before our eyes with blinding rage
forged into weapons by mortal foes
who hide in plain sight.
The only thing I know —
The lesson repeating agony in all our souls,
Haunted by the pleading eyes and bloody hearts
Of the slaughtered sacrifices to malignant gods —
There is something vital here to learn.
 .
 .
 .
unsound
.
.
I have no words
no Earthly limitations
imploded aggravation applies
bloody bolts of magma impale my eyes
you wisely sidle past, mouth aghast,
while my presence lasts
I never doubted
your indifference
Out here, in space beyond
no one listens
 .
 .
 .
sickly, fever vision
slow to remember action
whining in a corner
never seeing the Archer
guiding or the rainbow
calling from that window
We once called to vision
cry to see your anger
pitiful and collared
primped in cold and silver
Who are we to mourn you?
So reviled and tattered
that our vision barely sees us
We hope as if that mattered
retreat in pleasant manners
and expect you to believe
in some envisioned chance of promise
not destined to lie broken
trod upon by wrathful demons
drunk on hate and blood
 .
 .
 .
maybe this is the fantasy world where businesses become our greedy robot overlords, squeezing out our blood and guts and leaving the excrement for our sustenance.
.
 .
 .
Cross Purpose
 .
 .
At time’s crossroads, Reason drowns
in rage, pain,
radiated rain, treasonous air.
Weary of care, of punishing,
bottomless anger, of sobbing men
robbed of their right to give birth.
Taken from Mama’s warmth, from
the cave, to play brave.
And it’s ladies’ choice as you squirm
in fool’s corner.
Such a chore — kissing at this
and that for a chance to score
the shame, the blame from stuck-out
tongues, the bloody laughter
“I could bite off that little thing — make
you squat to pee.”
Wired to fight, at any cost,
because, of course, the Cross proclaims
“We’re right.  They are inherently wrong.”
“Those below must be taught to obey
our superior tools, to be broken,
that we may ride.”
Against our better fate, our race divided
along strict lines, by difference
nature instilled to make us strong
 .
 .
 .
Nature Cure
 .
 .
The wild has been bred out of us.
We are city creatures now.
Citizens of common culture
down graded along the main stream,
abraded to fit
today’s fashion,
to fit the form.
Wild dreams tug deep,
feed bloodlines unappeased,
misnamed disease.
 .
 .
.
Spring Fever
 .
 .
Such a psychotic mess
Such a mood slave
Prickly dendrites, echoes of abandoned lives.
Voiceless words compel, demand hearing.
Why do they beg at my door, cloying, whining,
grabbing at my eyes with scarring claws?
I who possess only obsessed carvings of dried blood,
only curdled nightmares where I’ve lost my way,
lost the thread that was to sew me whole.
Shiny coins twinkle, fit so comfortingly in
cyborg skin’s mechanical slot.
Brite tinkly musical phrases effervesce.
Beautiful, hungry dancers consume,
piranhic bliss.
No magical kiss, no fated lover to heal
and carry me home.
My gifts spurned or derided for their
inexcusable tackiness, stinking with mold
and decay, cannot pay any price.
Mock, if you must for warmth.
I curl against entropy into a trashed
cardboard box of stale air.
 .
 .
 .
metawakening
.
 .
Sharal the Hunter runs from the Warrior of Destruction. 
She has lost all honor, all reason, all possessions but the skins that cover her.
Her village burns, all she has known forever ashes.
This ought to be a nightmare.
Here, now, it is horribly … overwhelming.
Heart, blood, breath, these are what matter understands.
Mind is elsewhere.  It has screamed into submission, reptilian —
Heart, blood, breath.
 .
Terror reverberates
shakes tree limbs, wavers
vision.  Terror waits ahead.
Grabbing strength enough to veer,
steer clear,
running thoughtless through loss,
unafraid of the unexpected, uncharted,
new.
Unencumbered by old terrors,
expectations.
Ready by necessity to make do,
to start from simplest principles.
Who am I, today?
Tomorrow will take care
of itself.
 .
 .
 .
oracle
 .
 .
Dusty bones
buried in sand of ages
carried from days when sacrifice was still fresh,
still blood.
I carried you, sank into shifting sand,
drank your blood, or you mine
to keep us, to bind in eternal compromise
scythe of death, scythe of fulfillment.
Bones shatter,
scatter into oracular arrangement.
The days don’t end.
They carry into Sunset
oracular bones, dust, coagulating blood
possibilities not yet desired.
 …

Blood Poems for an October Evening (day one)

I sip of the rolling world
drunken rhythms
burning my throat like acrid
firestorms.
Bleeding into my eyes
bits of paper, random electrons,
news of the world.
 .
 .
Lovers Meeting
 .
Carry her with love
Always, in your deepest places
She is a woman upon the Earth
in an land of briar and weeds
It is so easy to fall
to fail to thrive
set upon by slavering beasts
and prophets
You know she yearns to serve
so well
that none could find fault
Yet every agonizing step
like angry knives
cutting from below
hobbles her further, deeper
leaving less to give
Bloody prints mark her
dusty trail
Thirsting for the cooling warmth
of love
Carry her into your
sacred caverns
secreted wellsprings
journey’s end
 .
I too have stories
unbelievable as fiction
creeping through dream imagery
holding dripping red candles
broken bits of mirror
tiny rips in red, red fabric
bleeding
I cannot breathe this story
I cannot hold a heartbeat
or a cogent thought
or pulse to a level
bearable
Beaten into rubble
crazed in simple sunlit
afternoon as if a moon
were racing in
stolen arteries
We all have known this story
 .
 .
Dammed
 .
I am thinking of a brick wall,
hiding dangerous imagery.
Walls upon walls.
High, low, immoderately
profuse,
bearing illusory murals,
scorched out graffiti
wicked symbols
unclean, unpurified.
Trauma reverberates
messes with circuitry
irreverent irreconcilable
discrepancies
in cellular reproduction,
glitches and stammers
in data processing.
A wall. I am building,
brick by painful brick
cemented with blood and pus,
tall, thick, obscuring
day and night
laughter and warm embrace
secret words of consolation
hidden in humor and homilies.
The walls stand
ready for bombardment
awaiting a destiny of chaotic rubble
when reverberation reaches
critical mass.
 .
 .
I hold a ball of fire
in my palm
behind my eyes
consuming me
engulfed in flaming pain
crackling frame-dissolving
into ember
into sparks
igniting hair and lashes
Yet out of ash
always renewed
ready to burn again
I can’t sleep for the light
find respite from agony
I am consumed
atom by atom
then realigned to play again
at disintegration
Towers fall carrying
their servant’s blood
and sinew stripped from angry life,
terror, torture.
Imagine burning stars
fire sprites twisting, evolving,
given form and awareness
low-wage jobs, small talk;
they woo and reproduce,
fall into regulated line.
Over millennia memories lose shape;
days lose their charm, become mundane.
Consumption means something different
from disease or connection.
Embers rearrange, form scary bits
of insight, inspiration,
pinpoint bright,
urgently burning.
 .
 .
Sorrow, numbing ice, inconsolate
pain too profound to acknowledge.
Vultures circle, maggots feast.
Blood-sucking parasites
imbibe sacrificial delight,
leering, sneering, snarling, slavering.
Your servants so eager for your favor
fatten themselves for slaughter.
 .
 .
Bitter Dregs
 .
You don’t get it.
You don’t want to.
It would be too much to bear
if you let yourself.
Briefly unconscious, awakened to
hard concrete ground surrounded
by heels and toes, amazing
they don’t crush me, but no,
like lockstep they walk around
though occasionally a(n unmeaning?)
shove — I’m not a someone,
just a minor obstacle
unnoted in their day.
No worries.
Not like shoved down under
hard muscle and bone
stinking of beer and rage
or waking from brief unconsciousness
to broken pain, bleeding
tears, torn, bruised, a
colorful toy
made for pleasure.
Then there are the voices, echoes
Harpies and Sirens, Furies
and sad old women, fingers
shaking in disapprobation.
The voices tell me I am beautiful,
in the way that ugly things are.
So bad, so pitiful, it gives me
status among the neverweres,
struggling shadows, whispering
curses demurely lest anyone
notice and throw them further
down.
Never easy, confessing to degradation.
The sin adheres. No one wants to know.
 .
Empire
Standing askew as the inexorable boot commands
squeezing out gems, polished and pure.
Paid in bread and circuses.
Bathed in raw entitlement
dreaming of ravaging, raping at will
drinking bright blood doped with
ecstatic thrill
casting lot that promised reward
be assured.
Cold, this world.
Shadow sans Sun.
Listless lapping at sparkling carbonation.
Sinking below matter and form
into terror stories;
taking warmth from smoldering coals.
As tomorrow continues today
your dissolving heart
dispersing pearls of wisdom.
 .
 .

Harvest Moon (excerpt from Manifesting Destiny: Pages from Persephone’s Notebook)

Moon in Pisces

Harvest Moon, too overcast to see your resplendent glory. We’ve been dancing to, if not exactly under you. The weather should be clearer tomorrow night for the full Full Moon effect. Or will another hurricane come up the coast to drown you? Unsettled weather. Unsettling times. Uranus conjunct the Full Moon at the time of harvest.

The Towers were struck by lightning, manmade lightning. Fire and brimstone. I wonder about the Christ and anti-Christ quoting scriptures, using prophecy to further causes of today. If Christians wonder why I mock them, or more likely take offense (turn that other cheek, guys), how would they feel about castigations of being Satan Worshippers, evil heathens, unbelievers in the One True Church (splintered as it may be). They leave no room for me. I, on the other (left?) hand honor them by taking their creed seriously. There’s room enough for all of us. Why don’t they want to see that? They’ve only been around for a couple thousand years. In the beginning was way before any of us can remember. At the end we all die, onward to whatever afterlife does or does not await us. The Bokononists, in Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle” believed the world ended when they died. Their world did. Of course, their world was a fictional one created by a human author. So like a god, the artist, creator of worlds.

Don’t worship me! I don’t want the responsibility. Why would a god? Why would a President? Why do these politicians want to be President of The World Power? What kind of power does it really give them? Well, if we the people and our other representatives aren’t looking, paying attention, expressing our minding, who knows? Maybe it’s not some mythical anti-Christ and Beast we need to be concerned about. Maybe the threat is much more mundane and RealPolitik. Beware of politicians on a mission from God.

So, dear Goddess, tomorrow night belongs to you, under the Harvest Moon. My intention for supplication to your wisdom will be brought with holy honor. What is the nature of my harvest and my sacrifice? The Vestal Virgins were not physically intact, but free of the domination of any man. Perhaps I am in that sense a virgin as well. Though the bonds of love — but are bonds of love a domination if it is a love between free equals with no expectations, no demands? What am I willing to sacrifice? It’s not like I’ve got much. Maybe I can sacrifice my ignorance, my unfounded fears, my ill-advised temptations, self-imposed limitations. I sacrifice my weakness in the service of my strength. Sounds lovely. The thing with magick — be oh so careful when wishing that you are ready for the consequent reality after tweaking to magick’s demand. Be careful what you will for; it may become your destiny. I could be such a well-adjusted coward. Well, part of me would be. I am opening myself to destiny, not out of bravery, but necessity. What else have I got? It’s far too late in the game to switch over to a “normal” lifestyle. I have the candles, the incense, the herbs, the wine, the spell. Wish me luck. I am a daughter of Jupiter. Luck is my Ace in the hole, my guardian talisman, my banner and armor.

http://caelastory.blogspot.com/2009/08/manifesting-destiny-pages-from.html

from Caela’s (sacred) Story

Back at the beginning of her people’s history, Caela’s ancestors were bred according to parameters not interested in reproduction. This genetic weapons project had to be closely controlled. There was no room for rogue breeding. These human weapons were not produced sexually, but technologically. To make sure they were fed chemicals that prevented sexual viability.

Once they became free to live as human beings, they discovered issues with natural methods of achieving parenthood. For many it was difficult or even impossible to conceive. In their captivity both women and men were used to lives of hard work, service, not subject to childcare responsibilities; in freedom they tended toward producing as a community small numbers of children who were cherished by all. Over time these people assimilated with the greater population and took on the more normalized nuclear family patterns. Still a large percentage of these families were career couples without children. Even if a couple were fertile, women who decided they were not ready to take on a pregnancy had the ability to convince the newly forming life to dislodge before any sentience became a possibility. When that embryonic sentience did emerge, the gestating mother found herself suddenly a pair-bond, in total empathy with her developing child.

Caela had assisted with difficult births, calming mother and child as she helped them to separate. It wasn’t until she experienced pregnancy with Felicity that she was able to understand, finally and too late, the answer to her mother Letta’s undoing.
You are Letta. You have known all your life that you have an exceptionally strong sensitivity, even among people for whom hyper-sensitivity to others’ emotions is the norm. You have learned a kind of control, an ability to use reason and rules developed of experience to make of this what had sometimes seemed a curse a gift. You have made a good career for yourself as an admired and respected healer. You have made a good marriage with a man you love and respect who loves and respects you. You have a wonderful, adorable little child and another on the way.

You are forced from your happy secure home into total chaos. You are forced to endure months of hardship when physical hardship is something you had never known. You are afraid; the fetus is terrified. You try to find calm, but instead the terror keeps escalating in perpetual feedback. There is terror all around, within and without. This goes on and on as if it will never change. When it does change, it is a tragedy. The baby dies, despairingly panicked mom trying desperately to protect, give comfort, to that little dying life falls down, down, beyond recall. The march is over. She doesn’t notice. Life is over. There is nothing left of her to return. Some physical form that was once Letta goes through what to her have become arcane motions, when bidden. She swallows food, processes air and nutrients, doesn’t actually sleep because she is no longer actually awake. It’s not that she meant to desert her loving daughter, sever that bond. It’s just that there’s nothing left of her to bond with. There are wounds that never heal, never even have the consciousness to try.