A few moments ago, Urd was intertwined, hooked into a passion
conversation with a woman of high feelings, feelings so high that she
would compare them with energy from the edge of moonlight.
Now, he is almost on his knees, a gentle sob breaking like a
seaweed-loaded wavelet in his belly.
He preferred to use pen and pad instead of a processor, so the pen was
in his left hand and the pad rested on the firm mattress which formed
He looked around. For one moment he felt the presence of someone. But
there was no one.
There emerged a weight above his right shoulder. He practically turned
because of the presence-feeling of that weight. It shifted to his left
side, but still, there was no physical form.
He needed to write this cause. What was it about breastfeeding and
recollections of his mother that caused him to break inside.
Could Zeen know? What about his sister Rosetta? It was already eleven
thirty in the night. The moon’s resplendence was already being
interrupted by clouds shaped in the image of messengers, but he did not
feel hermeneutic tonight.
He lifted his pen again. He waited. A silence rose in the room. He felt
that presence again, but he was listening too intensely to care. He
released his doubts in that place and took to writing almost
effortlessly, allowing his hand to move as if by fiat.
‘Breasts. Mother. Thoughts. Sobbing. Mama is on her bed after I was
delivered. I have not yet been brought to her. She awaits me, her first
baby. The baby is brought to her, but she refuses to put the baby to her
breast. The nurse tells her she should feed her baby. She resists the
infants natural reach for the nipple’.
The sobbing breaks again. His tears flow now to weeping.
He drops the pen on the bed an bends on his knees, his face to the
ground like a Muslim in prayer.
He holds his belly as the gushes rush, as the river’s tide rises and
falls in microcosm. It felt like a cleansing.
It was not painful in the physical sense. It had to be allowed in order
for it to be abated. It could not be resisted. The flow was uncontrollable.
As the minutes passed by with his face to his knees now, the weeping
ceased little by little. It did not matter who was looking — the moon,
Zeen or that invisible image that preceded his weeping. He felt
cleansed, drawn to another paragraph.
Lifting his body which incidentally, had become pretty heavier, he
pressed his palms against the floor. He was not an old man. He was one
in his thirties, athletic, even fit, but he realized that these
experiences did not respect muscle.
He walked to his small kitchen to pour a glass of water only to see the
moon breaking forth from behind a cloud shaped like a rose, except that
it was black.
A black rose. It was a dark cloud from behind which the moon had just
shot up from the top with a quality of majesty. It emerged stridently as
if it had been set free.
What a night, he heard himself say. I do not want to speak with anyone.
For one moment he understood Zeen’s wanting to be alone. Even the elder
was alone, save for her cane maybe.
From his kitchen window, he watched the moon climb while he sipped. He
too, had transcended to meet its overwhelming light.
Suddenly, he felt his stomach grip again. Something was moving in his
belly. He moved to the pen and paper this time knowing the course of
that emotional river. He was about to surrender to the night’s process.
His fingers moved. His thoughts flowed warmly and did not pause.
They moved in tandem, in rhythm with him and he with them. Harmony. He
wrote again from the same spot from which he had left off.
The story refused to let him go. Tugging from within, he surrendered to
find himself. He observed.
‘At one point the baby finds it and she allows, but after a minute or
so, she moves the infant’s head away. She looks uncomfortable’.
He jumps out of the vision. It felt like he was being drawn to write
Who was telling him the story? Where in his memory did he go to find
this? Was this baby really him? Did his mother really not feed him?
Would Rosetta know?
The flow took to trickling again. Then it gushed.
‘Body. Brain, spine, heart. Child being formed. Breath. Without breath,
there’s no life. Take away breath, there’s no life. Dead. Breath comes
from the four winds and God made the winds. Breath is just one of the
many forms that lives in life in animals and humans. There are other
forms of life that do not use breath’.
He stopped. There are other forms of life that do not use breath? Then
what do they use?
His phone rang. “Hi Urd, it’s Rosetta,” the intelligence rang through
“Hi Sis. What are you doing up so late?” he asked playing big brother.
“Well, couldn’t sleep. Was having thoughts of mother. Thought I’d call you.”
“That’s all? You had no other thoughts?”
“What do you mean? Was there something I was supposed to think about?”
she asked curiously.
“Not really. You know, your space stuff and so on. It’s interesting,” he
“Wow! Look at that,” she shouted.
“What?” he asked anxiously.
“Just the moon bursting from behind a cloud that looked red and shaped
like a rose,” she responded confidently —sh.