Search This Blog

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Flying in El Rio Debajo El Rio: The river beneath the river, part 5

taken from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés' Battlescars: women’s souls cannot be killed

Here is a beautiful story:

Golden Hair was her name; a woman so beautiful of soul and so gifted of spirit, with such a lovely singing voice, that all the villagers wanted to be near her, and all wanted to be like her. No one gathered to her out of deference, but out of true love. And that was returned to them by her a thousand fold.

Whereby some in the village were always pointing fingers at whomever they thought were sinners, she gave love and encouragement to the goodness in all, including those designated by scowlers as "sinners." Her way of being was to lead by singing of the ways of love, and by giving others time enough and reason to grow and develop and learn, through errors and through inspirations, both.

But a giant of a brute saw her lovely golden hair, heard her lovely singing, and noted her beautiful hands that wove cloth so fine it could be passed through a golden ring with ease, and he coveted her -- not just her body, but her mind, her spirit, her very soul for it was so filled with life and vision and love. In contrast, he had made his life self-important, darkened and harsh. He was given to punitive judgment, and he wanted to somehow devour the golden haired woman, as though by so doing, he could somehow take on her light inside his own dimmed self.
And so he courted her, but she refused, preferring to follow her own visions of weaving and being, of ministering to the people who flocked to her to just be near and hear her songs.
The brute became wildly jealous of the love others had so easily for this woman, for no one cared for his stern visage. He became enraged. Who did this woman think she was to turn him down, he who had pillaged gold and jewels unlawfully from others, he who lived in splendor but surrounded by a sterile land, he who was the biggest condemner, criticizer and fault finder in the valley. Shaming and blaming, blaming and shaming, those were his power madnesses.

And so, he laid in wait for her one night, and when she passed by alone on the road, he sprang out and killed her. Down to the road she fell, her blood soaking into the earth. He dragged her body into the forest and there grunting with sweat, buried her body, believing this would hide his crime.

The villagers grieved terribly, but as time went on, an uncanny event occurred: her golden hair continued to grow in the grave. It grew in the soil of the forest, a small field of golden reeds swaying in the dappled light and singing ever so softly in the wind. Upward and upward it grew until it pierced the earth overhead.

One day, along the road came women and men musicians. Upon seeing the golden reeds swaying near the road, they tramped into the forest and cut the beautiful reeds and fashioned them for pipes.

Thinking how fine a music these unusual reeds would make, they tied them together with raffia and cut their stops, but when they lifted the flutes to their lips, the oddest song came forth, the same song for each of the pipes and the only song the pipes would play, a song that told over and over again who had killed Golden Hair and why.

The brute and his horrible deed were revealed. And the villagers, now seeing the brute down to his cunning and rotten core, shut the brute away and gave away all his ill-made booty.

In our family, the old people say the only song the golden reeds would play, went something like this, my translation of a translation from the Magyar:

Here I am, woman golden hair,
killed by a brute who gave no care.
Lonely hatred is more base than lust.
And so he killed to still my holiness.
But kill me once
and 10 will rise to ring,
for I am not the singer of the song
I am the song the Singer sings.

Can you imagine it? The song that keeps on being song throughout the ages? Do you know of such songs? I think of We Shall Overcome and Battle Hymn of the Republic, but there are many others. Do you carry such a song in your heart? Do you dare sing it aloud?

No comments: