Friday, 8 February 2019

Meet The Goddess 1


Dragon stories

Update: the question of appropriation sat heavy. I went away and did some research and some long hard staring at colonialism in particular. Because this story arrived as a dream I had let it be, as though one's unconscious mind would be free of all complicity. What an idiot! But consequently wiser, rewriting the whole book, and finding the plot to be revising itself. I have three invented (admittedly similar, but this repetition of types is common to most mythologies) Goddesses now, one for chaos, one for order, one for compassion. Currently leaving this post up because mistakes and misfootings happen, it feels wrong to pretend they don't. And I loved Makari so much! He's a lizard now, still grumpy, and unnamed. Original post: Another excerpt and another cry for attention here: firstly, how's my writing? This is first draft stuff and can take a hit, please be honest! Secondly I am drawing on existing deities, so I am using their names and while there are precedents for this, am I appropriating? These goddesses (there are three of them) turned up with the story - one to sit with you in times of pain, one to say how to put things right, and one to bring the compassion and love to endure all karmic trials - so I could make up names. Maybe I am overthinking/over caffeinated. Anyway - here is the introduction to our first goddess and I need to go sort out compost.

Over the broad domes of their temple a vast sun is rising, creating a shadow temple that ripples across the river. Through shadow palm trees swims a sinewy, shaggy headed dragon, smoothing out limbs, eyes half shut, a hint of red at the edge of each pointed tooth which is just the sun’s fire reflecting. It breathes in and out deeply, slowly, blowing bubbles in the muddied water, smiling, stirring the mist that lingers on the riverbank. Birdsong shrills. Large flowers, heavy with colour, begin to open; bright birds seem bee-sized next to those bold petals. Night colours roll away to a vignette.

In their temple, the first to stir is Akhilanda. Her name means She-Who-Is-Never-Not-Broken. She has been waking and un-waking all night, as she does every night; hearing every scuttle of the mice, every stir of night wind, every cry of every creature.
Her scarce sleep when it came would come to her as though she had dissolved, and waking would be like swimming up through ink.
When she is lying awake, every pain you have ever felt, she feels. It breaks her, over and over. This is why her skin is dark volcanic rock, finely cracked. Inside she is made of light, a shifting bloom of compassion: a quality of light more than a colour or level of intensity.
Akhilanda looks at her hands.
A light that makes them feel whatever it is they need to heal the wounds without the scars making them brittle; she thinks this sentence every morning, it stops the pain from driving her to madness. It does not stop her being tired or grouchy, she adds, to herself, so it would be best to get up and get some coffee brewing.
Her crocodile, Makari, is grumpy too: Makari is always this way.
She pushes her arms up to the sun’s warmth, rolling her thin cover to the floor where Mak is lurking. He grunts and snaps. She stands and sets her cover back on the flat sandstone of which her bed is made. Every morning she must stretch and realign her limbs.
‘Ugh,’ she says. ‘It isn’t easy, Makari, being like this. I am like a loose jigsaw puzzle.’ She takes up her broom and sweeps the floor, as best she can with a crocodile shuffling about. ‘It isn’t easy, with you being in the way either!’
He sneezes the dust pile into a cloud.
‘Out!’
Makari’s fat haunches sway indignantly towards the yard, taking her irritation with him. Akhilanda watches his progress, eyes shining. From her doorway she can see the shaded yard, the low wall, the palm tops, the sky. She hears the birdsong, feels the cool of the river in the air. She can smell dust and a rise of humidity.

7 comments:

  1. Great to see Oak Dragon! I usually glimpse only snippets and flashes of him over the rain clouds he herds. Lisa, I sure like your writing.

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    1. He was bound to find his way into a book :-) Thank you :-) xx

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  2. Hey! No need to even ASK me about your writing. It sings, lady! Keep going. :)

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    1. Thank you Susan xx This project is feeling unstoppable - if anything I need to slow it down!

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  3. Lovely imagery. My advice: less is more. Comb through for "which," "that" and the like. They rob your writing of its natural elegance.

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    1. The robbers will be booted out! Thank you :-)

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  4. Extra thank yous here for all the editing advice - this chapter is progressing healthily :-)

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