I did not die, not this time. I continued to live and grow quickly, but the yellow and black and white striped creature also continued to live and grow quickly, completely at my expense. It is both a humbling and infuriating position to be in because there is nothing that can be done about it. I did my best to focus on myself, as always.
After my initial disgust with her, we began to talk at times. It is sometimes lonely to be a green-ribboned being in a field full of other green-ribboned beings. We were all alone together. I had not ventured to speak with any of them, and they did not try to speak with me either. Most of us silently swayed in the wind that caressed the field daily, our heads turned upward toward Him. Most of us were in a state of rapture.
|Monarch butterfly on milk weed.|
But I was lonely and we talked. I asked her what it was like to move wherever she wanted to go, to be in control of her whereabouts. She would incline her head in a way I had become accustomed to and say, “I hadn’t considered that.” Then she told me what it was like. I asked her many, many questions, and if she could answer me, she would.
Sometimes she would need a full meal to “consider” my question. It was a painful price I had to pay because I was the meal. She ate many of my beautiful leaves, and it was a good thing I was so very good at making more of them. It was the magic of the King, of course, that I used to make them, and that was powerful magic, indeed.
Once she asked me what it was like to be with the King, and I began to cry. I tried to explain His magnificence, but my words fell desperately short. For once, she was enthralled with what I had to say. After I finished telling her of the communion with His gold, she said, “I hadn’t considered that.”
Shortly afterward, I saw her no more. This made me very sad because I missed our talks, but one day I noticed a green pod attached under one of my broad leaves. In the pod was my friend, I just knew it. I was confused and also a little irritated because I knew how she got that green hue. It was me. I had become a part of my friend, or perhaps she had become a part of me. But in any case, I sadly feared she was dead now. She did not move.
How strange. She had caused me so much pain and difficulty, but when she was gone and nothing was devouring my leaves anymore, she left a great void in her wake. Oh, how I longed for her torture again. Surely it was worth it to give up some of the liquid gold to have such a friend. All life requires sacrifice, I thought, and without sacrifice, there is no life.
So now I turned my thoughts to life itself. How beautiful it was! I turned my face up toward the King and decided that I wanted to give Him a gift back. It was the first time I had thought of willingly giving anything to anyone. It would mean I would have less. Sacrifice is blissfully painful, it seems. So I created beautiful pink little things. I didn’t know what they were. They hung all about me like pink little fronds and wispy locks. I delighted in them and fell in love with myself.
Imagine my surprise when I looked around the field and saw that all of my green-ribboned brethren had also created pink little wisps. Together we swayed back and forth in the field as the wind played a melody that haunted me. I knew I had heard the song before, but I could not remember where or when. But what did it matter? We all danced together. I didn’t know I loved them before, but now I knew I did. I longed to embrace them, but I could not move. They acknowledged the same to me. What were we to do?
And then I heard a tiny voice beside me, and I saw a magnificent winged creature. She was black and white and orange and so very, very beautiful. But I was confused. I knew that voice. It was the voice of my dead friend. It was unmistakable. I was absolutely certain it was my friend’s voice. But this creature was not my old friend. My old friend was green and yellow and black, and she crawled on tiny legs. She did not have beautiful orange wings like this amazing creature did.
“Yes, it is me!” she laughed.
“But, how….” I began, but I could not voice my thoughts.
She just laughed at me, though, and told me I was still so silly and young. There she was, poking fun at me again, but it was all good because I had missed her so. I offered her a leaf, but she wrinkled up her nose in distaste and refused.
“Where have you been??!” I asked.
“I had a meeting with the Great Alchemist,” she explained, which made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. She went on. “Of all the creatures who abide by the Law, I am the only one who can have a direct audience and still be able to return. This is why you see me now as I am and not as I was.”
She flitted about playfully among all of the pink little wisps that we had made for the King, sipping nectar and laughing gaily. We swayed back and forth in the field, longing to touch one another, reaching out.
Suddenly, she stopped flying. She looked at us all in amazement as we swayed back and forth in rhythm. Then she laughed at us all the more.
“Silly things! Know ye not that ye are gods??” she asked in astonishment. And she flew away forever.
Her words echoed in my ears and in the ears of my friends in the field for a long time. We swayed back and forth in the wind. And then I knew, and this knowledge is the Second Blasphemy of the seed. Know ye not, she had said, that ye are gods? Then my eyes were blinded by the Light, by the brilliance of understanding, the veil having been finally removed from them.
[Click here for Part VII, the final part.]