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Posts Tagged ‘prehistory’

Prompt: Joy | Word count: 1500 (Exactly) | Genre: A Prehistorical Essay

I am from a different realm.
A place of perpetual stillness.

Peace prevails.

Senses are obsolete.

Why could I not conform to this existence of content?
Why wish for emotions?

I was a restless spirit.
Wanting to learn about feelings.
Of the great pleasure and happiness of life in another dimension.
Joy was what I wanted to know.

 

“To Earth,” my guide said. “For that you need a Master and a Vehicle.”

 

I chose as my master a High Priestess.
She was the wisest amongst her Clan.
She was trained by spiritual guides through many generations.
Her tribe resonated with me.
A Priestess devoted to her gods.
A people that respected energies of the Earth.

 

In turn, she selected my vehicle.

 

First, she consulted the gods.
In isolation.
In meditation.
In humble acceptance of the outcome.

 

Ivory.
Virgin white.
Grown and used by alpha male energy of the tribe idol.
The mammoth bull.

 

Her priests made worthy offerings and their pleas joined the holy smoke.
Women prepared the sacred area. They gathered the abundance Mother Earth provided.
Men painted their bodies. They waited for the sign in the sky and went hunting when the shooting star faded.

 

The mammoth hunt was fierce, but successful.
Food enough for the ensuing festival.
Hide enough for winter cover.
Tusks undamaged and pure for the spiritual journey.

 

My earthly form was created during times when man believed in the spirit world.
When the powers of nature were revered.
When survival of the fittest meant the wellbeing of the whole tribe.
When prosperity depended on the transfer of knowledge from ancestors to next generations.

 

I hovered above the preparatory ritual.

 

Hunters presented the mammoth-tusk to Her.
She lifted the perfect piece towards the setting sun.
Her eyes closed, but her heart open.
Voiceless, she demanded my presence.
It was time.

 

I descended.

 

She knelt in front of the fire under the sudden weight of the curved tusk.
The dancing and singing amplified.
The sun left and the moon appeared.
She bowed her head and touched the smooth ivory with her forehead, waiting for my response.
“Your sculptor, Lion-Man.” Her whisper barely audible above the intensified chanting, “show me your creator.”

 

I knew my sculptor from before.
Flames played in shadows on his strong back.
He was resolute.
He was proud.
His hands, strong and slim; those of a hunter and an artist.
His heart pure.
I dropped from her hands and landed at his feet.
The music and dancing stopped. The clan inhaled as one, in awe.

 

My sculptor looked into the Priestess’ eyes with humble disbelief. Then he bent and picked me up with care. He knew this meant the end of his hunting days. The last of his interaction with the clan. Isolated and dedicated, this calling would be fulfilled. He bowed towards the hushed clan, they exhaled. He hugged me to his chest and followed her into the cave.

 

Through winding passages into the womb of Mother Earth.
Deeper and darker.
Until we enter the chamber of the Holiest.
A cavern prepared for this moment.
It was to be our home until I had the shape the gods demanded.
Until my sculpture possessed what our Priestess required.

 

My raw form rested on rock.
My sculptor prepared his working space. He organized our living area with purpose. A place of humble reverence for the days of his final work.
The honor of serving. The joy of belonging.

 

Carved with precision, the rock beneath me had purpose.

 

Every day I was closer to the joy of existence.
Every full moon our Priestess visited to pray.
“This ivory has the Spirit, Mother.” My sculptor answered, when she asked.
My shape came into being. Scraped with stone into ivory, my form appeared.
Polished with leather and spit my lustre gleamed.

 

Many moons later I was beheld.
My earthly shape complete.

 

I was placed on the familiar sculpting stone, to await our Priestess.
He sharpened his axe for the last time.
He chanted an ancient song. Learned through the ages.
He cleansed himself and anointed his head.
He prepared his drink of offering. The vessel discolored by use.
He touched me with care. I felt his pride and joy.

 

We waited.

 

She inspected the whole of me.
She praised my modest sculptor.
She stroked my belly and torso. “So perfect,” She murmured.
She blessed the drink of offering and shared it with him.
He closed his eyes.
It was time for my initiation.

 

He understood.
It was fixed in the myths.
It was in the stories told around the fire.
It was known through the ages.
It was repeated by the elders.

 

He handed her the sacred axe, bowed and put his head on the sculpting stone.
She offered his soul to the gods and made the sacrifice clean and quick.
She picked me up, blew a warm breath over me.
Her prayer was passionate. Her soul devoted.

 

I was baptised in a fountain of his blood.
My lion-face changed from pure white to darker than red.

 

Spirit bound in ivory with the soul of a sculptor and the guidance of a Priestess.

 

The gods approved.

 

She carried my statue out of the chamber of creation, into the light.
Where shadows danced as the clan gathered around the fire.
Chanting.

 

The wise men in a close circle.

 

Clapping.

 

In a trance.

 

She lifted me above her head. The noise reached fever pitch.

 

Joy overwhelmed me.
I was born to Earth.
I was the symbol of prosperity for this clan.
I possessed their spirit.
I felt their happiness.

 

My priestess bestowed all glory on me.
It was my powers that made the rains come; that guided the men when the hunt was bountiful; that pleased the fertility gods when the women bore children and prepared the healers when diseases stayed away.
It was me.

 

Stories came alive.
The teller of a story spoke through me.
Worshipping hands held me as ancient myths fell from their lips.
Young ones learned.
Hunting strategies were passed on.
Healing potions were shared.
Truth was spoken by all that held me.

 

I lived a purposeful life.
I experienced joy.

 

My white body became yellow with time.
Generations came and went.
High Priestesses followed one another.
Wise men appeared and were gone after many moons.
And my surfaces polished smooth with much handling.
My joy was complete.

 

Until the big flood.

 

I tried to warn her.
But my latest High Priestess was too caught up in herself.
She was arrogant in the comfort of the clan.
Whenever she held me and had to speak the truth by the fire, she hesitated.

 

The visions scared her. Visions I selected to inform her. To help protect the clan.

 

She was the conveyer of messages between the spirit and the human world.

 

She ignored my messages.

She dismissed my powers.

 

So the great flood came.
When they were all asleep.
They were unprepared.
The big flood rushed across an angry Mother Earth.

 

It came when I was tucked away in my deep chamber.
Powerful waters rolled rocks into our cave. They bounced weightless on the fury of the water, filling the space.
Mud from seething streams covered all evidence of life.

 

I was buried under bodies.

 

Mud and stones came spilling in from the outside world.
Layers built up from floor to roof.
The fire was dead.
The cave was no more.

 

 

Darkness was never-ending.
Stillness was heavy.
Life was gone.
The world as it was known, changed forever.

 

Time passed.
Decay set in.
I crumbled.
Piece by piece, my vehicle dislodged from my being.
My soul energy dwindled.

 

Earth took her revenge.
Mountains shook and oceans welled over.

 

I crumbled more.

 

I left to return to the domain of spirit. Joy was brief.

 

I am back in the place of perpetual stillness.

——————————————————-

Notes:
Lion-man is real.
It is an ivory statue as big as one’s forearm.
The name Löwenmensch was given due to the shape and to curb the gender dispute –  half lion and half human.

The first pieces of mammoth tusk were found by explorers in a cave in Germany (1939), a week before the outbreak of WWII and left in a drawer in a museum to be examined after the war. There they were forgotten for thirty years.

These were assembled during 1969, to resemble a statue of a human. Rediscovered pieces were added in the 1990s and the final sculpture was disclosed in 2013. A major archaeological find – one of the oldest pieces of figurative art – the body of a man and head of a cave-lion.

After many tests and analysis the scientists concluded that the mammoth lived about 40,000 years ago and it took over 400 hours to carve this statue with a flint stone knife.

The recent discovery of organic substance (that resembles blood) in the mouth of the lion-face, is causing a stir among academics.

The purpose of this sculpture remains unknown.

 

Maybe it was created for pure JOY?

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Prompt 7: The Club |  Word Count: 750 (EXACTLY as per Google Docs) | Genre: So Ancient, it’s almost Fantasy

 

Chosen

The warm wood feels smooth in his grip. He weighs the club in both hands. The handle is not for comfort, but for effect. The bulbous head sparkles as sunlight catches the obsidian blade inlays. He swings it with precision.

At last he can handle the treasure – Macuahuitl.

Tomorrow is The Gods’ Day, when The Sun meets The Moon.

Preparation for this time began long ago. When he thrashed his peers on Quecha stair-tracks. When he out-scaled the hunters in pursuit of Condor nests. When he stunned the elders with his understanding of the Stars.

He was chosen.

Training was relentless. Physical, mental and spiritual rituals and challenges increased in intensity. Each victory meant greater isolation. Until the past many moons where he could only interact with his Master.

Macuahuitl perfects him.   Together they will serve well tomorrow.

He returns the heavy club. It fits in the ornate rack next to a fashioned and blemished stone – a green jaguar with a flattened spine. In front of it stands a deep wooden bowl; decorated with intricate carvings. He recognizes phrases of worship, but before he can decipher the rest, Master bids.

One last night of solitude before the ultimate show for the Gods.

He is ready.

—————–

She is ready.

Maidens and Mother were her attendants and tutors since the day of her birth. Attached to her mother’s breast they arrived at the Temple. The Elders fetched them, her mother told her. The Stars guided the wise Ones to their humble home.

She was chosen.

For many equinoxes she was readied.

First by Mother then by handmaidens.  The preceding few moons by the High Priestessherself. Her preparation was intense and absolute.  Tonight, the moon shines in almostfull glory and tomorrow comes the fulfillment of her destiny.

The Gods’ Day, when The Sun meets The Moon.

She is pure.

———-

In the West the Sun spreads his bright colors, chasing the shadows to the deepest corners. In the East the Moon bids farewell in soft pastels of promise.

The Gods’ Day is here.

The drone of voices filters through the window. He is glad he did his meditations earlier. The crowds’ excitement is palpable. It takes focus to shut that out – as he is trained.

Solitary, he repeats the familiar steps and the rules.  Wavering with the clothes to wear for the ceremony. That is new.

The hushed chatter of the handmaidens doesn’t interfere with the soothing pan-flute. She turns as instructed; to be dressed, anointed, coiffured and bejeweled by fluttering hands.

Going through the ritual with her eyes closed and her mind focused.  She knows what to do.  Except about the crowds, they tried to immune her against these hordes. She doesn’t know crowds.

————————

The ball-court fills with peasants. The temple groans with nobility. Still the streets writhe like captured snakes. Nobody wants to miss the festivities after the holiest of ceremonies.

He stands next to the jade jaguar, in the right position opposite the club. Back proud. His hands in calm anticipation behind his back. He beholds the Sun with closed eyes as coached. He hears the crowds but can’t see. Specks of The Light of all Lights dances in front of him. This doesn’t hinder his confidence.

He waits.

She walks through unfamiliar passages, surrounded by handmaidens. She looks at the delicate offering in her hands – fresh flowers from the Sacred Garden. Steadying her elbows either side, she won’t stumble. They help her through the crowds into the Light. Her eyes averted as trained. They guide her to her destiny. Proud and feminine.

She trusts.

He strains his ears. There’s the change in the beating drums. Next the trumpet. He shifts.

She hears the clear notes from a single trumpet. She expects and recognises the High Priestess’ voice, announcing the start of the ceremony.

He faces The Sun. He knows what to do. The moment the High Priestess speaks, he opens his eyes. His blindness is swift. His hands secure around Macuahuitl.  He takes the measured step.

He senses the altar.  His back arches as he lifts the magnificent weapon above his head. Five counts…

He is The Sun.

She can’t see, she is surrounded. When the maiden-circle opens in front of her, she sees the Jaguar. That’s where her destiny awaits. She offers the posy as the maidens help her to kneel. She looks towards the sky.  The Sun summons thousands of lights from Macuahuitl, so high and so blinding in its final blow….

She is The Moon.

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