Whatever is Needed of Me

[short story, by Sha’Tara]
She knows the end has come.  Abandoning her crude, water-logged dugout canoe to float away with other logs down the muddy stream, she runs up a sandy,  wet grass-covered bank to the willow line.  There she stands quietly, looking in the stagnant waters of a woodland pond, the rusty grasses now barely standing and at the raspy curling leaves from dying trees all around.  The breeze carries the smell of death, the stench of a dying god somewhere beyond the hills where lie the remains of a city.
Taking a deep breath she casts off the rest of her ragged clothing and raising her arms to the rust-colored skies she cries out, “Whatever is needed of me I am willing to give.”
At the sound of her voice, or at the power of her words, the waters of the pond stir and rise in a dirty waterspout.  Several of the dying trees twist and turn to each other and morph into a dark form.  The spout and the dark entity merge and there, in front of the naked young human stands an enormous man, or rather a nature-being morphed to resemble a human male.  He changes his size until he stands only some two feet taller than the trembling girl.  The ground shakes as he walks to her.
In a voice that echoes far away across the river and into the hills he says, “Who awakens the Woda entering the great sleep of the world?” 
The silence following his words is even more deafening to the girl.  Yet she replies boldly, “It is I who calls.  I wish to continue. I do not choose for this to be the end.”
The nature giant moves closer to her and he pierces her with his eyes.  She does not flinch but waits, lowering her arms but raising her head, bringing her firm breasts up for him to look upon.  He reaches for her and embraces her.  She gasps as he takes her and feels herself being filled with new life.  Instantly she knows she is carrying his child, their child.  She offered, she accepts, she waits for him to explain.
“You now possess the redeemer body and within you are two beings: a man and a woman.  To these twins you will give birth and you shall care for them until they are of age to look after themselves, after which you shall be free again.  During this time of gestation and rearing you belong to us, to this world and to them.  You must remember this.”
He touches her nipples and again she feels that current of new life coursing through her. 
He speaks again: “I have given you the power to bring forth the sacred milk of the goddess.  Your breasts will never run dry as long as you feed the twins.  To the boy-man you must give your left breast and to the girl-woman your right.  Know now and always remember that these beings are not as you would think, brother and sister, but the parents of a new species of Earth humans.  Now go.  Do not return to your kind for they will sense this new life in you and in fear they will kill you and your unborn.  Go into the mountains, into the setting sun.  There you will find caves to live in.  Find water flowing from within the stones and it will be pure for you.  Food you will gather from the green things that grow around you.  Fear not.  You offered freely and without conditions.  This means you are a powerful woman of Earth.  We would not have listened to anyone else.  Now go.”
Though she senses it is hopeless to ask, she does anyway: “Will you not come with me and help me?  Shall I live alone in the mountains and among the rocks and give birth without help?  How can I possibly do this?  I am on the wrong side of the river.  How do I escape to the mountains?  And why can I not remember my name?”
“We are leaving; you chose to remain.  So we gave you the gift of continuing life in response to your offer.  Be thankful.  In your many lives here you learned how to do all the things now required of you.  Just remember.  The river you must swim as you have watched deer and coyote swim it for many years.  You know this.  Rocks you know how to climb.  Green things you understand.  Giving birth alone you have done.  You have no name because in accepting our gift to you, you became “Other.”  You are Mother and Redeemer.  Only when they give you a new name will you have a name.  Or when you are free of them you can return to your own names.
“Banish your fear as you cast off your ragged clothes, it is an old, useless shadow.  During this time do not seek company of anyone for any company that joins with you will die in your arms, adding to your burden and your sorrow.  You cannot help any of them except by completing this journey.
The rumbling of his final words were to her as the noise of a waterfall: “Remember this: at the end of this journey you shall find bliss.”

35 thoughts on “Whatever is Needed of Me

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Good point. In my view the “feminists” are missing a big part of the picture of being a woman. They remind me of anarchists, in a way. Conversely they push women to emulate men – not how it is meant to be, or will ever be. The ways of the one are not the ways of the other.

  1. jim-

    You’ve painted a vivid and interesting picture. Very cool story. Thank you. Write that in Latin and king James English and you have a world religion from your clever imagination.

  2. Woebegone but Hopeful

    Oh Sha’Tara you continue to rise in your power of imagery and message. Excellent saga.

  3. Lisa R. Palmer

    This touched me. Deeply. There IS hope…

    I wish to steal your words, Sha’Tara, to humbly present my self before the spirits of this planet, and speak…

    “Whatever is needed of me…”

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      When a woman utters those words to “Life” she is offering her own life in exchange. It means total surrender to Life. I have done that, Lisa, and if it was even possible to turn back I never would. No offer could ever be so good; no threat ever so frightening that it could make me change my mind.

  4. Phil Huston

    “Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby.. If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!”-Erick S.Gray

    1. wolfess

      “So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!”
      And I perceive that pile will arrive on November 6th!

      1. Phil Huston

        Possibly. In the 21st century what women can do with their bodies and keeping them second class citizens and denying them healthcare shouldn’t even be a topic of discussion. This is supposed to be a Democracy, not a patriarchal Theocracy. We’ll see. We’d all be better off if women ran things.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Thanks for commenting on that Phil. What I’ve learned over time is, we should “all” run things intelligently and compassionately. It matters not, men or women. If we were to replace the patriarchy with a matriarchy the roles would simply be reversed. We need to evolve mentally and see ourselves as responsible adults (exceptions like brain damage noted) and stop seeing gender as a measure for social interaction.

  5. wolfess

    You are both right — we shouldn’t be having to re-fight our right for control over our own bodies, and … if women were in complete control it would be nothing more than a “role reversal.” I have a couple of personal anecdotes for this discussion:
    1. 46 years ago right now our first child was born, and died 2 days later; the next time l got pregnant (in 1973) my doctor told me that if I wasn’t ready to have another child he ‘could take care of it” — I didn’t do it but I could have, and that shows me that women have always had a way to deal with ‘surprises’ if they have a good, caring family doctor.
    2. Back in a past life when I was student teaching all the women in the section of classrooms where I was all started their periods within 1 or 2 days of each other — that PMS phase was a KILLER, 😈😱 can you imagine what that phase would be like if the government was run by a-l-l-l-l-l-l women???? 😱😝

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      No, that definitely would not be good: too much like the Prictator, aka, DTrump, except that he does it all by himself… but of course, wouldn’t want to take the chance on being upstaged.

      1. wolfess

        Oh my Goddess, isn’t that the truth!?! The prictator is in a constant state of PMS, combined with perimenopause (my perimenopause phase was PMS on steroids)!

      2. wolfess

        Speaking of kitties — I know, no one was but now I am 😸 — when I took food out for the raccoons tonight there was a 3RD kitty out there, and I think she might be pregnant; I’ve only seen her once b4, so hopefully she has a family, but she was definitely checking out our front yard!

      3. Sha'Tara Post author

        Kitties are interesting creatures. I was doing some fence clearing on a farm yesterday and the neighbour’s kitty, a sleek, all grey thing, insisted on accompanying me through the bush and shrubs as if she was showing me the intended fence line. Obviously she was proud of her territory. Of course she expected payment of some serious petty, massaging and picking up and carrying when she wanted a higher view, especially in an unmowed hay field she had trails in but couldn’t see above. Good time, that, even if the job itself was more for mountain goats than human beings. This area tends to the vertical except in the valley proper where the river flows.

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