Thursday, November 3, 2016

Before. (A Letter)

Dear Ciara,

The memories of it, they are different for me.  Our kind, our species, we don't remember well.  But for me, I remember.

I bear his memories.  The memories of all those who followed him.  And her.  And them.  A hundred, thousand generations of bipedal apes who walked this earth.

I remember how it happened before.  It always has happened before.  You think this, this is your great disaster.  That those on the other side, they must be your greatest foe.

"Why, they are fools," you tell yourself.  You and those on your side agree with you!  What more do you need to know?

The earliest memories I have are of a young boy lost in a snow-covered wood.  Naked.  Alone.

Cold, the boy shivered.  Lost, he thought himself dead.  Worse, he was come upon by a pack of wolves.  White creatures with hungry eyes.  Sharp teeth.

But the boy survived.  I have his memories, from over a hundred thousand years ago.

Rome had such brutality to it.  But there was an egalitarian air there.  You and your people would've thought it like Boston or New York.  The scheming, the manipulations.  But there was a day where one man took a step forward that some couldn't stand for.  Shakespeare wrote of it.  But there were angry people then too.

I remember them, those people who chanted Caesar's name.  They didn't care about principle.  They weren't rational.  But they weren't fools.  People are never fools, just incapable of wisdom at times.

My ancestor, that boy, survived the wolves.  Not by dominating them.  His fear subsided by a deeper urge.  Where beasts growled, the boy growled back.  Wolves don't have opposing political parties.

He learned what a community was from them.  That one pays a price so that the whole can be better.  And sometimes, you can't see that price.  Sometimes that price is something you can't stand to pay.  Yet one pays it.

The night Andrew Jackson won his election, I have memories of that too.  You think of the trail of tears, and the other countless things Jackson heralded, don't you?  The rise of slavery to something industrial.  A violent man who rose from angry populists.

But, he still won an election.  An election that your people had opened up to more than before.  Many still lacked a voice.  But those with new voices screamed his name that night.  And I remember how dangerous their celebration had been.  Even in getting what they wanted, the people can become monstrous rather than satisfied.

Wolves are a community.  The boy did something that perhaps is what many tales come from.  He learned how to be a wolf.  He fashioned a pack of his own around him.  He mastered politics, magick and more.  He took on a name and a mask.  A mask that would carry the lesson learned that cold winter through the centuries.

Community.  After all the politics and anger and violence and everything else, you still must be part of it.  It isn't forgiveness.  One must still work with those they must, even if they revile them.  Because it is necessary.  Because it is right.

We have done this before.  History repeats itself.  Make sure not to drown in the storm.


C.L. or, as they call me, the Wolf God.