Tiki brushes my back with a free hand as she walks by, still sulking from thinking of herself as condemned to gorok work. I smile, but not so she can see. The rain begins to pelt down but warm now in this world’s summer season. I want to stand in it and dance just as total darkness falls in the courtyard. That would be a sight indeed. The oldest crone in the compound dancing wildly in the rain. I know I could get away with it just this one time, but I cannot take the chance another woman would be punished for my actions. They do have a sense of justice here, however twisted! Somebody always has to pay or make up the difference.
End blog post #68
Begin blog post #69
Chapter 30 – The Gift – Doing ‘Right by Wrong’ (Compromised Morality)
Tiki finds me in the dark as we crowd inside the stone vault where the cages are mounted. She hugs me quietly and unerringly leads us to our cage. I can smell the fresh straw that she helped put in earlier in the day. I can immediately tell she managed to put extra layers in our section. It feels good to lay in it full length, let her lay on top of me as the young ones like to do and feel her warmth and slow movements. Dangerously arousing.
“Tiki, how you find me so quick in the dark?”
“I follow scent of you. I know it you. My nose, it knows.” She laughs low to hear herself say something funny. I laugh also.
“Thank you for the fresh straw, Tiki. You are very good, very strong worker. Now I know. Now I ask for you to train as fighter. Soon, no more gorok work for Tiki.” We both laugh as she throws herself into me and wraps her short arms around my skinny, bony torso.
“You say ‘thank you’ to me? To woman? Why it feel so good to hear, huh?” and before I can think of an answer she continues breathlessly, “I train for fighter now? Is true?”
“Yes is true. You begin training now. Hard, tough training. You swear you be best fighter, best ever fighter, Tiki? Better than me?”
I have awakened a deeper part of her. She weighs my words carefully.
“Tiki cannot say she better than you. Only when Tiki dying from blows in arena, when old, then she know if better. I say I swear to be best fighter. Then I work and I do my promise to you.”
“Listen Tiki. I teach you new words. You swear means you make ‘a vow’.”
“… a vow.”
“Yes. Now say this: I make a vow to fulfill my promise to you Anti.”
“I make a vow to fulfill my promise to you Anti.”
“Tiki, good words be power words. Speak new words and always you find new power in them. Power of expression. Expression is word that means how you talk, how you speak to me, how you communicate. Strong words – you know deep meaning, they make people listen. Even challenger listen, even enemy must listen to power word.”
“I make a vow to fulfill my promise to you Anti. I learn expre-shon to communicate.” She twists her lips with the sounds. She laughs quietly.
One small step for me, one giant step for the women of Malefactus, no, I must learn to use my new name for this world: T’Sing Tallala – Land of Freedom and Hope.
That is the happy part of our life here. I don’t carry the burden of ‘inloveness’ as I did with Deirdre, so have much more freedom to express myself and my compassionate heart constriction to suffering is easier to bear as it is now properly spread over the entire compound, to include all the women. In time I expect to be able to ‘push’ my compassion to include the planet and all the people on it, men, women, children. For now, that is not possible.
The thunder rumbles outside and lightning still flashes and lights the dark stones in our vault. It gives me a lightness of heart I enjoy. From somewhere an opening allows a draft to blow over us, giving us goose pimples. We bury deeper in the straw and giggle.
It is time to continue another line of teaching.
“Tiki, do you remember the other day when we spoke of love and I said I would teach you of a love that does not cause pain or hurt?”
“Huhmmm…” She had placed her hand under my right armpit and is twirling the hair growing profusely there. Long ago I learned that when any of these young ones share space with me, my body belongs to them. It is the body of the mother they never had. They can use it or explore it as they wish. There is so much freedom in just allowing the flesh to move with the surface feelings. I enjoy her physical company. Her silent way of seeking comfort and exploring all the feelings her body can give her by contact with mine.
“It called selfless love Tiki. It means you love to make other feel good, not you. Always you love for other, not for you.”
“I not Cholradil. I love if choose to love. If I not like, I not love. How can I be best fighter if love in my heart? It would hurt, make no sense.”
“I do not mean as a Cholradil. What they have be not love. Is called natural empathy. Is feeling. True love not feeling. As you say, you choose to love. But true love choose to love all people same. No one special in heart. All same.”
“Stupid Anti. You love Warmo? What happen if you do? He live, he go back to torture us. So, how you love us if no kill him. How you love him if kill him?”
“Tiki, you be sharp, girl. You win this round hands down.” She taps my arm to indicate she doesn’t understand me. “Is OK. This what I mean. I think about what you say. Is true what you say. I not know how I love Warmo, even if possible. Have to kill Warmo? Yes, have to. Have to hurt him very, very bad, long time before I kill. Hurt him much and men watching must see hurt. Maybe even feel hurt I give Warmo. Have to give him what he give us to teach him how we feel.”
Yes indeed, if I would not become a useless sacrificial victim to Warmo I must remain of a divided personality. I must exist this portion of my time within a compromised morality context. I must continue to do ‘right by wrong.’ Some choices are not in our hands, that is, we make certain choices not by our nature or personal code of conduct but of necessity when the ‘greater good’ is at stake. And what is the ‘greater good’ that forces me to compromise my own nature?
I have resolved this moral question in my mind thus. If I perform an evil act against another to prevent a greater evil, that is acceptable providing such an act, if successful, does not in any way benefit me personally. Ideally such an act would bring about the desired effect while I, like the Phoenix, would be sacrificed in its fiery wake. It is important to understand this when faced with all such moral dilemmas. If I survive the ‘doing right by wrong’ act, I must atone for my part in it. If it benefits me, I must divest myself entirely of any and all such gain.
Having reminded myself of this process in my mind, I continue explaining these difficult concepts.
End blog post #69