Sunday, November 05, 2006

A bit of what I'm working on

The Age of the Earth:

First there was the void. And from the void were born the primal things: the earth and the pit below the earth, and gloom to fill the pit, and love (also known as desire), and night.

Night was the world’s first mother. She lay with Gloom and gave birth to Day.

Next Earth brought forth from herself Uranus, the sky, to cover her. And Uranus lay down upon the Earth, and they had many children.

The Principle of Intrusive Relationships:

When an igneous intrusion cuts across a formation of sedimentary rock, it can be determined that the igneous intrusion is younger than the sedimentary rock.

First came triplets, the Hecatonchires, all boys. They were strong and wild, and Earth laughed as she watched them, each hundred-armed and fifty headed, as they gadded clumsily about, stumbling and interrupting and doing many-handed somersaults, which is really the only way to do things when you have one hundred hands. And Earth was happy. She soon gave birth again to three more: the Cyclopes. They were loud and clever, and so she named them Lightening, Thunder and Bright.

Uranus lay with her again, and in time she gave birth to a dozen children: six boys and six girls. These children were beautiful, well-formed. They moved freely between their mother and father. Some guided the sun, and planets in their courses; others were more conceptual, and embodied fertility and memory.

Uranus loved these handsome children, but despised their siblings. He hated to see the hundred-armed boys crawling on their mother, their rough flesh an affront to her purity. He hated the flash of the Cyclopes’ hammers, hated their alien rumbling cries.

So he exiled them from his sight. The Hecatonchires he cast into Tartarus, beneath the bed where their mother Earth lay, and the Cyclopes he forced beneath Earth’s mountains. There they scrabbled amongst the hot, fractured rocks, living only on sulfate minerals and hydrogen split from water by uranium’s radioactivity.

The Principle of Cross-cutting Relationships:

Faults are younger than the rocks they cut.

Earth loved all her children, and could not forgive their father’s cruelty. She sang lullabies in the dark, pressing her lips against the rough mattress, and could hear her hundred armed boys clap and moan. When the Cyclopes lit their forge, she would cry out in pain, and Thunder would echo back a rumbling cry.

The universe in those days was a bedroom. It was small and dusty and all that was in there was an old bed and a wardrobe with a door that stuck in hot weather. Earth lay in the bed, broad-breasted, the secure foundation of all forever. She smelled like copper and wore a flannel nightgown.

She mourned her exiled children, and could not bear to look at the sky, her husband. Finally she went to her free children, the Titans, with a sickle she had forged from her own flinty flesh.

“Take this,” she said, “and end your father’s cruelty; set your brothers free.” The elder five Titans trembled, fearing their father, the distant lord of stars. Only the youngest, Chronus, dared take up the scythe against his father, for he, of all his brothers and sisters had no calling, and embodied nothing but himself.

He secreted himself behind his mother’s bedroom door waited in ambush. When his father was distracted, he leapt forth from behind the door, swinging wildly. So Uranus was unmanned, and his castrated flesh sunk into the sea. And where his blood and semen hit the Earth, giants and nymphs and the goddesses of vengeance were born.

Earth took the ancient ocean as her second husband, and life began: trees and flowers springing forth, and animals, and the first men creeping from the folds of her nightgown.


momeester said...

i am overwhelmed by this, the new scriptures of the ancient myths. As an anosmic, tell me about the copper smell.

Nora said...

Mother, I am not going to tell you anything about copper until you accept Jesus Christ as your personal lord and saviour.

Oh, wait. Anosmic. Sorry. It smells a lot like it looks, sort of bright and wet at the same time. Plus metal.