Love And The Lore of Aileena
In the beginning, God erected the Earth and heavens. He blew comets from his nose, carved river beds with his knuckles, and filled the oceans with giant drops of his own cobalt sweat. The work went on for days but when he finished all these tasks and more, he put his feet up and poured a cup of tea. When he finished and set the cup down, he created the angels.
This is the way
it was done: God went to each shore in the fresh world he had unrolled, and watched the waves travel up and back down to the vast waters he had poured. He used his great vision to spot a single grain of sand on each stretch of beach of the world that was different from all the rest. He gathered these unique grains and with them, wove a colorful tapestry in his palms. He then commanded his body to grow tall. Slowly, with his feet firmly on the Earth, he grew larger and larger.
When the smallest wart on his smallest toe was the size of a crushing boulder, each foot a mountain, his head the size of Saturn and all the stars shone through his eyes, he released the sand. As it tumbled and swooped through the firmament, its grains transformed into ten thousand beautiful blazing creatures.
Of these creatures
the most beautiful and blazing of all was the angel Aileena. She became known by many names as her wonder spread. The Greeks called her Aphrodite, the Sumerians knew her as Inanna and in some small cults they carved the name Mereditha on each other’s forehead with small sharp sticks.
Although many thought of her as a goddess, she was not. She was an angel who came to the Earth as an instrument of God’s hand, to spread her wet warmth into the chilly places of men’s hearts. A lucky man could wake up one morning to find glitter in his beard and know that he had been touched.
In his wisdom
God had chosen many different grains of sand: smooth, white, round, jagged, black, coarse, yellow, abrasive, hard, brown, and soft – as seed for the angels that now roamed from one side of Earth to the other end of heaven. Because their birth seed was so different, some angels had the temperament of fresh cream, others of spoiled milk.
One such spoiled angel
was Jarmacko who rose from the black swamp where he had fallen and opened his crocodile mouth. After the sludge had drained from his teeth, he went forth among the tribes spitting out the only sound he loved: the pronunciation of his own name.
Not all angels have wings. Yes, Aileena possessed a magnificent plumage that rose from her back and breasts in a graceful arc and carried her gliding into the rarified places between heaven and Earth – but Jarmacko had only one small bad-smelling stub protruding from his right armpit.
Since Jarmacko could not fly to the mountain that led to the white gates, he went web-footed through the flatlands blowing the same low note from his lips over and over, like a dead symphony.
But God had keen hearing
and a lot of time on his hands. He appeared before Jarmacko one day in the form of a black scorpion. “What do you want?” God asked. “I dislike bad trumpet sounds and have come to grant a single wish that you – my flawed creation – may learn to fly.”
But Jarmacko did not want to fly; he wanted other angels to come closer to the ground so he could grab them and pull them into his mouth.
Therefore, he said to God: “Let me touch the angel Aileena just once. With both hands, I will shove her into a wall! That way, when her legs are tangled and twisted and she stumbles about on aluminum crutches, I will become important!, and she will be brought down from the heaven you have denied me.”
God is not
an impassive statue who merely nods the world into place. God weeps too. And when he heard this request, a tremendous rain fell onto the Earth. It cascaded down every valley wall and gorge. It filled all of the largest rivers and streams to their throbbing and sobbing banks.
God replied. “I am a foolish God of my word and in my foolishness have offered my most foolish creation a wish that I am bound by my enormous integrity to grant. Will you not recant?”
But Jarmacko would not withdraw his wish. He raised his boot over the scorpion head of God. “Give me the wish you have promised,” he said “or I will crush you like a bad cigar!”
Of course, if had tried this, Jarmacko would have found his leg burned off up to his crotch. And certainly God was not afraid of threats. But he did want his creatures to love him and he did promise to grant a single wish – and so it came to pass that when the waters receded and the oceans had stopped their trembling, the angel Aileena lay on the Earth, her legs wrapped in thick bindings, her wings turned to crutches.
on the Earth, the quiet angel Daniel wandered from one desert to another searching for any grain of sand that had not sprouted into a heavenly creature when God had let go his giant hand. For this was Daniel’s gift: to see into cracks of stone, to find small seeds in the overlooked places.
Sometimes Daniel opened his wings and flew to God to say hello (and maybe have a beer if God was drinking that year), but mostly he spent his days living among men.
Daniel did not always have wings. When he first slid from the middle finger of God, and fell through the cloud cover, he had landed with his head on a rock and for many years could not even speak. But he used these years to listen to the rhythms of the Earth more closely, and the sound of hoofs as deer went invisibly through the forest. He learned to detect both the true and false patterns of speech among the patriarchs.
But early habits are hard to break and Daniel was never voluble, especially when he went to God’s tent and lay down on the mat. It was there he took the lid off the bucket of his ear and let God pour any measure of knowledge in.
after Aileena was pulled from the skies, Daniel came upon her nursing her bruised breasts and untying the knots in her legs. The moment he saw her, he felt a javelin land squarely between his first and his second true ribs. It seemed to pierce the center of his heart as a great gush of forgotten affection flooded his chest. His eyes blurred for a moment as he sensed his lonely wandering days fall behind him.
At first Aileena did not trust Daniel. She had been betrayed by the smallness of Jarmacko and was uncertain if her beauty had stumbled over the same precipice as her legs. She brandished a small pink rose at him: “Would I not be the last on anybody’s list?”, she asked, then sighed. “I could have been a contender.”
Daniel had seen that movie too and knew the right thing to do was stay silent and gently stoke her cheek and hair.
was saddened too, and wanted to find a way to help Aileena. She was just as strong, robust and beautiful as she had ever been, but she had suffered a blow. And even angels are mortal, although they measure their days not by the calendars of men but by the number of grains of sand upon the beach from which they were born.
So Daniel went to God one day and tapped him on the shoulder.
“God, why did you do this?”, he asked.
“I fell into a trap of my own making”, said God. “You may not know it but I answer to a higher power, too. Somewhere far above even me, perhaps one thousand layers removed from this place is the outer skin of the universe.”
Daniel mulled this for a moment. “Is there nothing I can do?”, he asked.
“I’ll crunch some numbers”, God said. “Come back next week”.
is much longer to those upon the Earth than God, and so Daniel kept on doing what he could for the world, for Aileena, and for his own troubled heart. He polished Aileena’s crutches to a brilliant shine. He rubbed her back. He maintained a low cholesterol diet. And every day, he went to the quiet pond to see if God had yet signaled him with a pebble.
One day there were ripples, and Daniel hurried to the Jackalberry tree where God was hanging by his toenails from a branch.
“Hello Daniel”, he said, and flipped himself around, landing on the ground. “Walk with me.”
In the jungle, many monkeys chattered. Some threw feces at God but it did not stick.
“Do you know them?” God asked.
“Only as the distant cousins of man, who themselves can barely see me” Daniel replied. “To these noisy creatures, God is a slobbering wet mouth that licks their genitals and their ruby red anuses. It’s the master moon that stokes the tiny furnace of their primitive hearts.”
“Yes. They have a very long way to go and I must keep the balance among the angels, Daniel. So if you want Aileena to rise again…” God glanced up at a passing bird and then nodded at the monkeys. “…as counterweight, you must descend. You must join them, become primitive.”
Daniel thought this over for a moment and then agreed to the exchange. He plucked a feather from his left wing and handed it to God.
“Hold this for me, God. If Darwin was right, I’ll see you again in seventy million years. Otherwise, this is good-bye.”
that Daniel disappeared into the trees, squawking and slapping his behind, God released Aileena from her bindings. He turned her crutches back into wings. She rushed to taste the lips of the sky.
Once again, the world was aroused by her beauty. Men dropped their hammers. Excited children pointed. Leg-sore travelers sent their eyes upward toward this extraordinary feature of creation. Even the world-weary, tired of their tongues, were inspired to recite the words a sage had long ago made immortal:
A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for.
Hello Dear Readers
This one has been on the shelf for a long time, inspired by people and events from what seems like another lifetime. I thought it would make a good counterweight (there’s that word again, Daniel) to last week’s Punishment which was a bit on the noble harsh side. This week’s is a little longer than most pieces I’ve published here. I hope you enjoyed it.
As I mentioned, I’m working on putting together a book. It’s coming along nicely. And I’m very excited. More info later, but for now it’s Marketing Me Make Buzz at the mic.
Thanks so much for reading Dynamic Creed. I’ll be back next week with another selection as yet unknown. If you like, reach out via the comments or you can reach me by email, too. All the best. Victor David
A fat lot of good that low cholesteral diet did for poor Daniel. Might as well eat white sugar. Fun tale, Inventive and pretty.
Love God's inclusiveness: "God had chosen many different grains of sand: smooth, white, round, jagged, black, coarse, yellow, abrasive, hard, brown, and soft – as seed for the angels that now roamed from one side of Earth to the other end of heaven."
My constant smile was broken up a couple of times by out loud chuckles. (That is a compliment, Victor). More specifically, I celebrate your inventiveness. I resonate with what Mike and Edward have written.