The Time Portal

I had spent many years journeying to find a gateway to another time and place. I found it in the Hudson Valley, in 2016.

When I climbed aboard their craft, I found the veil of time was torn. I could see backward through when many cultures met at these rivers shores. Natives, servants, slaves, squires, all met and danced as one. We danced to show our spirits free, that no one could ever stop us or hold us back.

I was the rainmaker, the one who brought the boon back to his grateful people. In terms of fertility, I thought I’d run my course. My wife was pregnant with our second child. But when I danced in this mysterious land, I jumped so high, I got myself a third kid the following year. No birth control could hold that Calvin back.

Fire raced above my head, curling the hairs on my forearms. Music I had never heard before stirred my heart, and I sang and rejoiced. I hope one day I can return, but I know it lives in me.

The Wound

The beginning wasn’t a beginning, it was an ending; just an endless circle. It was complete, nothing needed to happen.

Something did happen. What was it, the moment in the everything, the potential, that kicked over, infinite space, folded in on itself, creating a change, beginning time?

Time began when space was divisible into “is”and “is not.” Was it a sin, or a delusion, or an illusion? They’re all the same.

Needless to say, it hurt. We still hear that scream every day, every night, throughout eternity. In our head, it’s a high pitched whine, around 1600 Hz. It’s the sound of time, of incompleteness, of an aching need for something that we can’t even name.

We think we’ll find something to salve this burn, but we never do. It just festers and rots. Then we think that if we find another who hurts like we do, it won’t hurt so bad. But ultimately, there have never been any like us, so we go on limping, alone.

Still we hope. We search. We inquire. We persist. One day we’ll find him, or her, or them, and we’ll all speak our truth to each other, and we’ll have found the words that bring us back into our circle. We’ll be one again.

Time will cease, and we’ll rotate on our axis, harmonious and lovely, we’ll orbit.

Living Water

“I don’t want to jump.” Bruno wrapped his arms around his shoulders, and squeezed himself.

“It doesn’t matter what you want, man, it’s time to do it.” The Sigmas crowded around him, inches away from the cliff.

“I’ve never done this before. You’re sure it’s safe?” Bruno looked over the edge. At the edge of dusk, the water was black beneath him. He guessed the cliff was a hundred feet up, if not more.

“Time to start, pussy, let’s go!” Dan whooped. “We all jump off this cliff every year. It’s part of pledging.”

Ram pushed past Bruno and started stripping to his underwear. “If you’re not going, I am. You assholes better have my clothes at the bottom.” He broke into a quick sprint and leaped, raising his arms in the air like an orchestra conductor, hanging in the air for a moment before he disappeared from view.

“If you don’t do it, you’re walking home, and don’t bother coming back to the house,” Fahroud growled. He left his sandals, dropped his jeans and pulled his shirt over his head. Bruno looked away. Fahroud was his age, but had chest hair, abs, and could grow a full beard. Bruno still looked like he was fourteen, even at the end of his Freshman year at New Gilead. He watched the swarthy young man walk purposefully to the edge and disappear.

Dan turned to him. “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, but I think you can do it.” They were the final two at the edge of the cliff. Dan was the pledgemaster for Sigma. Bruno was there because he wanted to feel like part of something, for once in his life.

The wind blew a chill up his neck. They looked at the beach below them, and Ram was already running around in circles and miming obscene gestures up at them. The other brothers were dragging together logs to build a fire. As Fahroud emerged from the surf, Ram started pelting him with pebbles, “fuck you!” Bruno shut his mind off, and started undoing his belt. Daniel was acting like the house caretaker, gathering up all their clothes and phones and stuffing them into a big gym bag. “I think the other guys are going to go easier on you after this,” Daniel reassured as Bruno handed him his clothes in a stack.

“When’s it ever going to be enough, Dan? I pledged so I could be friends with you guys, I work my ass off all the time and they just give me shit for it. It’s all just a waste. You don’t respect me, and I feel more miserable than I was before it even started.” Bruno hung his head and stared off into the distance.

Daniel walked over and clapped his hand on Bruno’s shoulder. “Listen, what do you want me to tell you here? That it’s all in your head? That you’re just like everybody else, and that you just imagine that you’re persecuted? The truth is, you’re weak. You’re a sissy boy who’s been taken care of by your momma your whole life. Now you’re here and you want to be strong, so you hang around with us, and we feel sorry for you and don’t kick you out. We do all make fun of you. You are worthless. It’s never going to get any better. Jump off that fucking rock or walk home in your underwear, I don’t really give a shit.”

Bruno stumbled back as if Daniel had spit in his face. “Fuck you, Daniel,” he mumbled, as he lurched toward the edge of the cliff and tumbled into nothing. The air swallowed him; he closed his eyes and tucked his head down.

He hit the water, and his vision darkened. He sank down, down, down, and didn’t fight at all. The hopes and dreams he had, of finding his way in college, of finding a different life, they all rushed away from him. He began to feel peaceful. He prepared for the end to all of it. His mind cleared. He floated in a green void. He gradually reacquired his body, with a feeling of intense tingling in his lips and fingers, like pixelation. He could shift his consciousness from that intense sensation elsewhere, but it didn’t diminish. Then gradually, his body calmed. Everything was silent, and he opened his eyes. Everything was dark around him, but he could see.

He felt calm, strong and warm, like he had always been here. This was natural. Around him, the water was absolutely clear. He turned and saw large wooden beams at the channel base, among the rocks. He let the air out of his lungs, and sank to the bottom to stand on one of the beams. The sand was dark, and he could see the bar at the end of the surf area, leading to the sea. He stood up and stretched him arms.

He walked to the bar, and a chatter of clicks, whistles, and moans came to him. A pod of dolphins was coming to him. The sounds grew louder, and he knew what they were asking him: “are you a man? You look like a man, but you don’t move like a man.”

He opened his mouth, and clicks and whistles came from his mouth and nose, intelligible to him.   “I’m a man.”

The dolphin at the front turned to him, “I am Ketti. What is your name, man?” She had scars on both sides of her back, and her fin leaned to the right.

“I’m Bruno.’” He looked at the dolphins swimming around them. Ketti remained still in the water, as if she were standing. Only her tail twitched.

“Bruno, we know you. From long ago. Come with us.” Ketti said, straightening up and tilting her head to the side.

“You… know me? How? I’ve never swam here before.”

“You are from the water. Your mother and father carried you when you were a babe. Neither have we seen them for many years.”

“My parents are both dead.”

“Not possible, man. We would know if such as they died. Come with us and we will show you all.” Ketti turned toward her pod. Bruno swam next to her.

“Wait, my friends will worry about me. They’ll think I drowned. I can’t just follow you.”

“Man, I promise you, none up above are friends to you. How could they be? They are clay, and you are water and spirit.”

Bruno kept pace with her as she gained speed, joining her pod. He remembered Daniel’s words, their harshness, and how alone he’d always been. Ketti promised that there were others like him, a family. He knew it must exist, for how could he have a longing if there was no way for it to be satisfied? He swam on into the dark sea.

Aeolian

I learned how to see

Auras this week. Not read them;

I see clear haloes

Of shimmering flux

Above people’s heads. Today,

We operated

On a very sick

Woman. Her aura clung to

Her, and after she

Had anesthesia,

It rose to fill the ceiling

Of the OR. When

We waited to start

The surgery, I implored

Her silently to

Stay, just a little

Longer, not to leave us here

On earth alone. I

Hope she listened. She

Will awaken soon; my heart

Cannot bear more death.

Man In Black

Can I have this dance?

Please don’t mind my feet, they are

Basically hooves.

Sure, I have a beak

For a nose. Yes, my eyes burn

Red in the moonlight.

I am so cold, my

Dear, even with all this fur.

Warm me, take me home.

Just do a tiny

Favor for me: renounce your

Baptism. No big

Deal. Make me your new

God, and I’ll be so good to

You, you’ll never doubt.

The Messiah is a Beverage

I had been reading John’s Gospel for weeks, stuck on the symbolism of Jesus and water. Jesus says “I’ll give you living water, that you’ll never thirst again.” He says, “my belly is full of pure water.” On the cross, he’s poked with a spear, and blood and water gush from his side.”

In my study of Joseph in Genesis, I found that he seemed to represent the mandrake plant (duda’im, דדאם, atropa mandragora), and wrote about it in “The Mandrake Man.”

I think a similar dynamic is at work in John’s gospel. Jesus is the Messiah. The Messiah is, among other things, a drink, or an oil. Like an elixir of life, immortality. You hear it in our modern day usage of “Christen” for baptism as dedication to Christ, and see it when you “Christen” a ship before it leaves the harbor by cracking a champagne bottle on its bow.

A major information source I’ve just discovered is the Peshitta, the Aramaic text of the New Testament. While the scholarly consensus is that the NT was originally written in Koine Greek by Aramaic speakers, the Aramaic text reads in a much more organic, natural fashion, and many cryptic passages are quite clear in the Aramaic. For example, I’ve always puzzled over “the eye is the window to the soul,” which in Aramaic is “the eye is the lamp of the body;” to me, this is a far more intuitive metaphor.

One of the most significant discrepancies I’ve come across is miltha, מלתה, which is rendered as “logos” in Greek, and the Word in English. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Miltha can mean “Word,” but it has several meanings. The gematria number is 475, which is also “Drink,” as seen in Genesis 24:

“Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink.”

Which is precisely what Jesus says to the woman at the well in John Chapter 4. You also see this in 1 Corinthians 10:4, which in Aramaic says something like, “In the wilderness, the Israelites ate the food of the spirit and drank the Messiah.” Our English translation from the Greek renders it as “they drank from the rock, which was Jesus,” which doesn’t really capture the liquidity inherent within Messiah.

The Messiah likely corresponded to an elixir they used in their rituals. That’s not to say that Jesus’ death and rebirth was all about the drink, but to say that it’s a unifying metaphor that had ritual significance, and may have been represented by an earthly plant cultivated at Qumran.

A parallel to this narrative is found in the Hindu Veda 9, of Soma, the drink of the gods, particularly Varuna and Mitra. Soma is not only an elixir, but also is personified in some stories, coming down to earth and performing miracles.

Researchers have spent years trying to attribute this Soma to a psychoactive plant, which is fine, but not really my interest. Likewise, an argument could be made that psychoactive mushrooms or other plants were cultivated at Qumran, and that’s what was represented by Miltha and Messiah. John Allegro wrote The Cross and the Mushroom about this very theme.

While I find these inquiries intriguing, finding real world historical contexts for ancient mystical scriptures is not really my interest. I’m interested in archetypes, and the symbols inherent in the texts that make them into coherent narratives. That’s been my major qualm with the Bible, as much as I love it: it’s made incomprehensible by the translation, because the translators want to shy away from anything that doesn’t fit the narrative: anything that smacks of sexual imagery or polytheism is buried syntactically.

I say, let the texts speak for themselves, even if they’re weird and suggestive and difficult. What I appreciate about Miltha is that it captures the generative aspect of the incarnation, the phallic male energy, the … semen of G-d, without being too literal. Just as the divine feminine is buried by the church, the divine masculine is as well. The text comes across as alien and sexless, which does not capture the narratives of the Holy Marriage John’s Gospel describes.

Twenty Eight

Inputted my first

Name to Chaldean numbers,

Got twenty eight. Was

Told this meant I was

Unlucky, unwanted. I

Start strong, then hit so

Many roadblocks, it

All dries up; I have to start

Again. Losses are

Inexorable.

Well, fuck. That’s my life to a

Tee when I’m on a

Depression jag. But,

Here’s why that’s bullshit. Netzach

Is twenty eight, is

Victory, power.

It’s four seven times, it’s Gad,

Warrior tribe, the

Strongest brother of

Israel, and there’s four of

Him. G-d named as He

Is seen in Venus,

Adonai ha-Aretz, I

Am beloved of

The Lord, times four. With

These prophecies in conflict,

I derive union:

Strength and power must

Not grow complacent, but must

Practice the strictest

Discipline. For a

Kingdom neglected goes to

Ruin, is torn by

War without end. The

Beloved provokes envy,

Leads to malice, so

Must my splendor be

Veiled, disclosed with time and care;

I am a pearl,

Not to be cast to

Swine. Material things I

Will lose; gold remains.