My mood, and thoughts, have been far from erotica these last few days. Focus has been elusive, concentration impossible. So, as I’ve learned is necessary, I’ve let my mind roam. It’s wandered far and wide, and has yet to settle.
Yesterday I read a very powerful post by Remittance Girl. Her words hit me somewhere deep, sunk in, and clung tenaciously. They stuck with me all afternoon and night. The following piece was written in direct response to the voice of hers, composed as I lay trying to fall asleep, haunting my mind until I rose and scrawled it out longhand in my atrocious cursive. It’s part truth, part legend, part terrifying dream.
Your letter struck me with it’s power, and I cannot help but respond. Half the world away my mind turned to my night spent among ghosts. It was no human construct that leeched the energy from my body though, but the very earth itself.
I sat on a hillside. The intention had been to camp in the valley below, where a small stream played musically over rocks into a deep pool before dancing its way into the forest. The moon examined her reflection in the pool’s mirror before ducking, shy, behind the trees once more.
No. I couldn’t stay down there.
It wasn’t until I returned to the safety of my own home that I learned the shapes of the memories that ground had tried to share with me. The midwife drowned in the pool, accused of witchcraft when she wouldn’t hide the minister’s infidelity. The maidens, eyes sunken, clinging to each other, broken and traumatized. They were what chased me up the hill, each trying to share the rape, the ravage, they suffered. Native indians, white women, black slaves, they all were damaged here, in this valley, over the years. The tortures, atrocities, visited by indian upon white man and white man upon indian.
You don’t have to be sensitive to the fringes of our world there, the shaman told me. The valley belonged to the tribe, they allowed no one to dwell within those narrow walls. It’s called the Valley of the Torture Tree. He warned me I was lucky I had spent the night as far from that tree as I had.
I still shudder, remembering the way the witchlights wove through the trunks, searching for something. I think they seek an exit, a portal, from this plane.