2. Parnell 2 3 ONE: THE GIRL OF THE MOON Many years in the future, when he was lamenting the loss of his eighth truly significant woman, he fell to writing again. Her name was Marja, Finnish Marja, pronounced Marr-ya, with a rolled second r and an inflected “i” before the “y”. No one could say it properly, so all his friends called her Maria, and she answered their insufficiency. Finnish Marja would smile as she was addressed as English Maria. The eighth woman. All his life there had been a girl of the moon, someone to cry over in the high night of her increasing absences; then there would be an elegant older woman, who would drive her own sports car, and be good to him in bed, and who would want him totally; then there could be a wife of capacious gifts, an academic of great strength, who would eventually leave him. Then the cycle would be repeated - and he had gone through two complete cycles now, calling out the names of the moon girls in his married sleep, and with the advent of the third cycle there came certainly the sports car-driving woman, an aristocrat this time, and a moon girl of such astonishing beauty he prayed with all his heart that the cycles would stop and she, at last, would be the moon girl made wife, the eighth and last of the traumatic pageant of beauty. And anyway, for him, 8 was a holy number, written without beginning or end as two seamless circles that fed each other. Feed me Marja, he would whisper, pronunciation correct, under the moons of a long and only briefly answered year. When he was a child, just learning memory, the moon meant something entirely different. Instead of pretty pretty moon, the repetitive coo of New Zealand mothers, he got pretty light light, since he was, he remembered he was told, Chinese. And he was called Happy Occasion at a Grand Court. Since, later, he learned that his father‟s 4 name meant The Red Emperor, he was happy enough to be an occasion of any sort in his palace of dreams. There was a palace of dreams in Parnell, Auckland, on a hill that overlooked the harbour cranes, and his combined first memory was of poverty. Then his father would carry him out of the poverty-ridden shop, into the life of the sky, and they would watch richer sunsets than he ever saw again, and the cranes would burn, and the moon like an impossible goddess would rise from her land of snow and seep into the heavens till it filled his sky. Poverty, sunset, sky, this was the Parnell of his soul. There was a Parnell of his heart, and this was green. Green, because behind the shop, beyond a crescent that sloped away, a great domain of trees had jumped to giant life - taller, grown faster than in England - and these acres were called, presciently, the Domain. In the middle of the Domain, on a hill he would clearly see, there was a huge white museum, and it was called - simply, rather than presciently this time, since it looked like a Roman temple, and later he imagined it was a Roman temple - the Museum; and his father said all the past is contained in the Museum, and that was why, he thought, birds sang in the green Domain, to honour the past in the white Museum. But the green was in his heart because that was where his parents taught him love and laughter - even though they were poor and the world they had escaped grew older than belief. They taught him all the polite paths through the green - what they themselves were learning. Later, as a young man, he taught himself the hidden trails among the great trees, skipping over the heart-felt roots of heaven every night, as he cried tear- blind for the first moon girl of his canopy-obscuring life. 5 There was a Parnell of the body, and the body‟s early mind, and this was brown; brown because of the two brown panels that faced his cardigan as he grew, and among the first things that he knew was how much had been left behind, and how existence was a loss that could never be reclaimed. Living was to build a bridge over the chasm of perpetual loss, and the stronger you built the bridge the deeper you dug the chasm. Among the second things that he knew was that they were better off than other people who were browner. Each bright morning a Maori boy would pass the shop and his father would sell him, discounted, bruised fruit. Down the road there was another shop, and it was smaller, dingier, somehow irremediably poorer, and the couple who eked out their precarious margins in that compressed space were Indians. But what he loved as he learnt to know was the clatter of the passing trams, how trams had to stop if their magic masts disconnected from the wires overhead. There would be a blue flash sometimes as mast disconnected but then, in the laws of exact chances, laws that govern how you jump precisely, it would bounce back to its energy-feeding connection. The blue flash was the immutable law of life. Sometimes you had to, for no reason but having to, make a jump - and all freedom that the world allowed was contained in that blue flash, and then you were anchored again, and that was that, and being anchored was brown, but the blue was a momentary transfiguration of all the child‟s prayers he said, from his shop front, to the universal non-refugee sky. ******** 6 For what reasons are moon girls sent to the earth and cross that bridge of light? For years he has asked that question. They are sent to discipline the wants of youth, and the remembered wants of youth. They are sent to accept as gifts the completed heart‟s of chosen men - for these men cannot choose, and their bodies learn to live with space in place of heart, and the space is called want, and want pulses to the timetable of the moon, and the timetable is the strictest tempo in the world of months and tides and wolves and hearts. And because want cannot replace the hearts own full beat, the body loves the moon girl as it slowly dies. Ah, from time to time, the men rebel. Gilgamesh, the great Sumerian king, four thousand years ago, drunkenly refused his fate. One desperate night, at the full-moon feast, he tore a leg from the sacrificial ox and tossed the charred and broken rump into the heavens with all the strength of sun-born kings. Ishtar, the goddess of the moon, thought it poor substitute for Gilgamesh‟s heart, and took away the single chance the king might have for everlasting life. Atop his bold ziggurat, Gilgamesh accepted that his life was costed out, and hearts were the only fare for the beautiful carnivores of love. ******** His grandmother told him stories of ancient heroes. One, with full beard, almost like a barbarian‟s, had also only one leg. He swung a fine sword meticulously balanced. But when he wanted to deliver a high side kick, a supporting leg would instantly grow and anchor hero to the earth. A man entire only when he kicked, and only past a certain height. There was a moral somewhere in that, perhaps; but he hoarded the 7 fairytales and learnt how, in sunset‟s blaze, the long-haired sword-armed messengers of justice would sometimes translate themselves into the high birds of the sky. And stories were the only hoard of gold in the poverty in which he grew. Poverty was brown. The electric light that shone on it was brown. The room in which he slept with his parents had no windows and he never recalled the dust being swept nor sunlight‟s shaft on dust dancing in the dawns. His father sought to turn this lack into an advantage of sorts. For an hour each day, between work‟s end and the child‟s time for sleep, he laid out the trays and second- hand equipment of a photographic darkroom. This moonlighting he called Happy Snaps, but most of the happy snaps he took were of the growing, smiling child - a child with hair that sprouted thick and long, and over whom strangers would make prophecies - few commissions came the father‟s way and the child reasoned early that the camera was not for business but his parent‟s one escape. The child hoarded stories, the father images of his life - appropriated for a golden dust-free future, when the past was both a record and something he could richly mock. The aspiration was great: to have a light-meter you must first have light, and the room should not be coloured like sleep before you even kissed the pillow and closed your eyes. Closed your eyes, then made a moon in your mind to illuminate the brown, reciting to yourself a favourite child‟s poem of the moon bright he had learnt from his mother. One day, when he learnt the rigours of speech, he thought, he would say this poem - not mother, nor father, but moon bright, after that the word for want. 8 ******** From the grandparents‟ room came each night a certain whine, a mechanically arbitrated whine that nevertheless suggested a higher, more courtly, more educated Cantonese than that with which he was addressed. Ah then, he thought, a hierarchy in language. It was a tape recorder, clumsily unwinding reel-to-reel a ritual opera with timed intonations, drum beats and cymbals clashing. In bed, the moon switched on, a brown music nevertheless intervened against that slippage to unconsciousness, and his dream of the moon and what was signalled by the acne on the moon‟s full face. The evening‟s progression would be from dinner, all seated on wooden crates, Chinese newspapers spread as table cloth, the table itself prefabricated from banana crates that were taller than the orange crates that served for chairs. A cat sat on one corner of the table, unable to eat except as a full person; chicken, blood pudding, fish would be served - particles of each to the cat as well. Afterwards, debris would be rolled up in the newspapers, and the apparatus of dining dismantled like magic. Magic is a rehearsed routine, he thought. Then bed, then moon, then the brown music. And the music would always be of love, love lost or love divided, death or near death, reclamation of love on earth or in heaven. The division of love, more specifically of lovers, would be accomplished in a court populated by corrupt magistrates, inquisitorial lawyers, and parents anxious to divide the anguished pair. A last hopeless cling, and they would be ripped asunder, the girl to be imprisoned in her parents‟ house, the boy to be sent off, a single cloth bag over his shoulder, to a distant 9 university. Years later, for the most part, he would return - perhaps on a white horse - to find her grave stone, marked by the incense of her broken heart. What the child marvelled at was how love could be subjected to inquisition. Grown, bearded men in the hats, stiffened belts and regalia of judges and lawyers would denounce, in those days, something merely aspirational, virginal, and flowering for a first and only time. Although all the operas had the same theme, he had a favourite - an aria in which the high notes were deliberately cracked, a duet between two men, the pale, love-lorn scholar praying for God‟s miracle - „if the peach blossoms open‟ - and his encouraging companion clasping his shoulders and singing sturdily, „of course God will let the preach blossoms open‟, but it is the middle of winter, under a stark moon, and the merciless magistrates of love had smirkingly delivered a judgement that the pale scholar and his beautiful love could marry if only, and only that winter‟s night, peach blossoms would open. In his child‟s dream, the sturdy friend would rush in at dawn, shake the hunched, slumbering shoulders of his friend, and point hard, like a communist poster, to a very great tree in ecstatic bloom. Only the child could see, flying up a sky-beam, the angel of God resheathing, as he grew smaller, the pure sword of winter flowers. This image of the angel, hair flowing, tiny in the distance, tiny against the immensity of the sky, infiltrated his later dreams. But, before then, the angel would fade out and a close-up of a peach blossom fade in and, in dreams alone, the forces of evil would be defeated. In dreams, music was not brown. 10 ******** He knew when moon girls came. Friends always said he was old enough to know better and, indeed, each time he was older and knew even better what was happening to him, and what was happening was that pure, aspirational flowering of the heart for an impossible, peach-fed love, as pure as the very first flowering of countless incarnations ago. One day, some life, he would marry all the moon girls but, by the time of Marja, he thought he had already once married her, them lost her tragically in the laws of the past, and this was the rediscovery, if never the reclamation, in the heaven of a millennium‟s end and the weariness-defeated start of all possibilities. He never wavered. When a moon girl appeared he fell in love instantly. ******** His father was strong. Years later, when the doctors diagnosed terminal cancer, he remembered - and the memory was of sinuous elegance, like Roberto Baggio playing football in the World Cup of the sky. Feet placed astride litter, the father would lift, turn at the waist, and stack shoulder-height rows of fruit-filled crates. Particularly the long banana crates, he recalled. It was the way he turned the waist. Even when the father had grown prosperous and fat, the shoulders, forearms and calves - lift, grip, and propulsion - were still evident; but he remembered only the waist. He had never seen his father naked, but he must have had abdominal muscles like the ridged washboards his mother used. 11 When they afforded a second-hand washing machine, he would sit for hours, or what seemed hours, watching the clothes fed into the wringer and emerge in an endless variety of flatness - mother‟s sleeves rolled up. Father‟s sleeves rolled up as he stirred with a long stick carrots in a huge vat of water, to take enough dirt off them for sale. Father‟s fingers as they peeled the outer layers of onions, mother‟s tears, so that the onion displays would not be ruined by flaking skin, onions as smooth as apples. There would be a whole room full of the detritus of onions, lined along the wall, all the way up, with father‟s stacked crates. He‟d once run face first into them in a childish panic, or enthusiasm. Learning to swerve would come later. Learning to turn the waist, adjust the feet, put out a palm to halt the forward rush. By the time he realised he would never have the chiselled features of the Roman epics, the Tarzan films, the Steve Reeves films, the Batman comics - that he was flatter than Hollywood allowed - he put it down to that childhood impact, face into father‟s strong-built stacks. 12 TWO: THE FLOWERS When he was three, the story goes, when he was free, his memory of the story went, sixteen years before his hair grew over his shoulders and was bleached a rusted red by the sun, which nevertheless conspired to look a glossy black by night, almost blue- black in dreams, he was taken to a graveyard, a memorial visit to his mother‟s mother, a sickly girl who, because sickly, could be married off only to the much older foreign- stained gold-miner returned from a land that was called, by the savages who lived in it, Heavens Cloud, and his hair was already white and she barely fourteen but even with his shovel and pistol-callused hands, he was gentle and had fallen in love with her on sight and called her Mirrored Moon, as if he had stared at her in a still stream whenever Heaven‟s Cloud had opened for his soft moment, rationed moment amidst savages and thugs, but the savages had been gentle to him, knowing from a distance why and how he longed whenever the moon was mirrored, and she thought at first marriage to someone so much older and who had become a stranger to his own land, his own people, must be punishment for sickliness, but his eyes were kind and she, impoverished at fourteen, had nowhere else to go, and when she fled to New Zealand years later to escape the arms of war, she brought up her three children in an iron- sheet shed, and then she died, and one of her daughters, the one who had stolen lychees and laughed in White Stone, was first taken as a ward and then sent in arranged marriage to an eighteen year-old boy with long muscles and a single pin- striped suit with Oxford bags, a floral tie and long hair that was Brylcreem-shaped into that Clark Gable look that eluded all efforts by nature and, after they had a son, conceived in the brown room with no light, the family came to her grave, and the son 13 danced on the marble slabs and placed flowers for the grandmother he had never known and, of whom, one photograph existed and she was seated and a sheet of painted books was stretched behind her. ******** And, as the sun shone fitfully through Heavens‟ Cloud, and the boy danced from grave to grave, singing some nonsense to himself, the others began the memorial picnic, offering first the roasted meats to his grandmother, and then looked around for the first-born son in his brown beret, and almost rushed to stop him, but withdrew to watch, as he had found a grave unloved by flowers, unvisited by picknicking loved- ones, and the son was walking a circumference he had plotted in that mind of children who know circles, and he was, like the socialist commissar of the graves, collecting a single flower from each grave and, a sufficient bouquet collected by circle‟s end, brought them to the grave-unloved and placed them in the headstone‟s vase with such a studied tenderness that all the prophecies that had been intoned at his birth sprang to the parents‟ minds, the child of flowers who would limp in a muddied world of black people and wave a centuries-old sword of fire beneath the moon and the black soil of heaven‟s garden of stars. And had sought, before he was theirs, to wear sky in his hair, and had been returned, a refugee‟s son, to relearn the limits of life and of grace, and to give up his heart to the creatures of heaven. 14 THREE: THE SHOP AT THE END OF THE WORLD Because he was proud and had grown weary of the slights of his parents, particularly his dragon mother and, anyway, the bands of stomach muscles could not constrict the black hand, and the timetable of the hand gave him ambition, because the timetable might be short and he had to hurry and he wanted to look back on this time of life with contempt, and because he had fallen in love with Meil Wah, he was indignant with himself that he could not prevent his wife from being subjected to the indignities, commands and deprivations his dragon mother had first dealt out to him. But there was nothing he could do. They were poor. They lived in the shop with his parents. His wife had come without dowry and she redeemed this lack by accepting the home and the hegemony of the dragon. And if, in the stories, most dragons were the benign angels of God, messengers of glad tidings and playful in the heavens like dolphins, this mother-in-law she thought was the unlovely rogue of the skies who had been beached in the tree-fringed backwater of Parnell, and had the temper and scorn of an excluded creature, but her China of old, of warlords and slaves, was changing even then. The sickly mother of Meil Wah had died and her father with the heart of adventure before her and Meil Wah had accepted, because there was no choice, the marriage brokered around her, and the husband-to-be, she thought, could be loved, or something comfortable that usually grew in the wake of love might grow, even if love never did; but the in-laws were the hefty conditionals of the protocol she was imagining. That was in 1948, and in 1949 the Red Star Brigades swept China, and it seemed like marriage in Parnell forever, in the shop at the end of the world and, in 15 that tumultuous year, born under that star of tumult, came the son bruised black from her two days of labour, the long slippery savage of her womb, and his hair was long at birth, and she loved him like a sole gift. He was put, first in a pram, then a pushchair, tethered to a pillar near the double doors of the shop and, as his parents worked, he would silently, never crying, examine the world of trams, children in uniform returning from school, and an unfinished cathedral that shared, with the shop, the apex of a hill, and the sun set like a ball of fire at the horizon that stretched flat from the foot of the hill. ******** Tethered, he became the centre of attention, and a loving conspiracy. His first motor actions were to learn to shell the small and tender peas, since he was always parked by the bin of peas, eat the peas, replace the empty husks. For weeks, the customers happily bought the husks of peas and only when a stranger complained did the regulars laughingly confess that they had watched delighted at the child‟s delicate skill and sought no end to the opera of his fingers. But the grandfather, in order to chasten the child, would wait till night, when the family had eaten, and creep outside, and his hand would appear in the window shaking keys and intoning wrath, and the grandmother would say, „key key soll will come and get you‟, soll being the Chinese word for key, so the monster outside the window was clearly a hybrid, and he cared not for the efforts of grandfather hand, ate peas from time to time, and listened to his heart beat late at night to avoid the whine 16 of love-lorn music, like his father husbanded the insults borne by his mother, and, although he sat on the grandmothers‟ lap and heard the tales of heroes, waited for night when the heart beat like the heavy march of his army. ******** Tethered, he watched children return from school. He watched his father work. And life was a shuttle before his eyes and shuttle behind and beside him, and he knew his father hoarded his meagre wages for a shop of his own and he knew the shuttle would be more frenetic, even more urgent then, and pride and richness would make the father love his shop as he already loved his dream of it. And the child thought of schooling and of the white tower; he wanted to own the tower so that, somehow, he would learn its secret; and he measured out the days of school until in his mind he reached the tower; and he knew, one day, though sick and wrapped in a shadow, his father would insist upon entering his shop, for the last day at the last shop, and serving a magically-coloured stone to a customer, would turn from the green emeralds and look at the sapphire dome of the sky. 17 FOUR: THE WHITE HORSE Years later, in the last days of illness, the Patient Heart sent again the white horse. He did it like this: sitting in meditation posture, facing his garden through the french doors, facing an English summer that was as yet still green and the roses climbed, and the ash trees rose over all. The walled garden of the English dream, although he‟d been trying to sell this dream for a year, ever since his wife, Penny, had left and the moon girl, Marja, had spent too little time with him there. Yet, exactly there, where the sun came through the french doors, entered from the garden exactly framed, he had made love many times to Marja, and she did not fly off to the moon, and he felt very briefly a normal scholar amidst his books and paintings, and the outside world was ordered though luxuriant, and the outside world met the inside world in a shaft of sunlight on the carpet where the girl of his dreams lay for him and the high birds watched. Now he knelt there, loosening his knees for the lotus to come, regularising and sinking his breath. And in the weeks just past it had snowed on him in Johannesburg and he had shivered sleeplessly on the high veld nights, it had shone reliably on him in Durban, and it had rained reliably on him in Cape Town, and by day he had been the designer-suited lecturer of authority - cited by many South African PhDs - and by night he had been the white-suited karate master, the long-haired magazine cover made flesh. The effort of switching identities smoothly made him stand up one winter‟s day in Johannesburg, then faint, and when he came to he was soaked in the coldest sweat he could remember, having fallen well even though unconscious. Now he was sinking his breath, he had completed some hundreds of push-ups and sit-ups 18 for the sake of his father‟s sight of him, and had tied the hair in the glossy tail of the dream heroes, and he was naked facing his summer-lit garden, and on the other side of the world it was night and a life was coming to its end, and he had read how hard it is for souls to escape the body‟s fitful ways of dying. Those shot in war, as he had seen, had an easier time of it than those in the last bed of their lives. So he was preparing now, the soul-master who had jumped several lessons in the lexicon on meditation, out of grief, love, and because he knew he could do it, the crippled soul-master of the Kentish walled garden, to escort his father across the bridge of life and to say farewells to him on the edge of the honey-rich plain where, as his father‟s father had said before him on his own death-bed, the souls of the dead begin their journies to heaven where they are embalmed in the new bodies of their next lives. And the Patient Heart, a.k.a. the White Warrior, knelt somewhere in summer Kent and some part of that well-trained heart of his was bitter like unsmoothed gravel and yet he had, in order to do what he proposed to do, to take out the heart‟s rake and soothe the gravel into the tall roses and the green chamber of a garden like the one that faced him, to make heart and garden one, so his soul could fly in the summer blue and cross the bridge of the world and take his father‟s hand on that walk across the bridge of life, and the neighbours heard the first great sigh breathe out from the garden since a beautiful Finnish girl had lain briefly there, but this sigh, measuring itself away from bitterness, was of the resignation a warrior feels when he stands amidst the last hundred of his fallen companions and wraps some dreamt-of Roman commander in his final red and red-stained cloak. ******** 19 Because when he had left for his five week tour of southern Africa his father had sounded strong - for the brief sentences he voiced on the telephone - but when he returned the voice was pathetically weak and limited to a lone sentence, and even his mother, topping and tailing the father‟s words as usual, no longer concealed the gravity of his sudden decline. And the son knew even before he phoned since, on his return, he found the plaque his father had given him fallen, face down on the floor and, the next day, visiting his office, every one of his paintings hung limply on the walls with broken cords. And, he said to himself, he may have been misreading the signs of late, for a full year in fact when it came to the Finnish girl, but there was no doubt someone was sending him signs, and their range of reading was, he thought, sucking in breath, bitterly narrow and he exhaled the taste of it in a bubble over the grubby complex of the LSE and it pulsated like a child‟s blown bubble, a child‟s breath, over the thunder of Aldwych and Holborn, and became one with the exhaust of one thousand slow-moving summer cars. ******** And this was how he did it on that Saturday afternoon before his garden, having composed himself and entered himself and summoned the White Warrior and made him pristine and sent him off around the world. It was hard to reach the other side, it was hard to reach the father, harder still to enter him, and he could not construct the necessary narrative, and in Kent his injured knees were hurting and when he finally entered the father, he could only play three images and he played them over and over 20 and they intercut and he thought these were the last strobe-light visions of his father, the living linking parts were being excised. 1. He saw the White Warrior face to face with his father. The father‟s back was to his camera and the shot was framed from the upper back rising, and the father had in his soul not lost weight and was the hearty father of his memory and the Warrior was looking into that part where his father‟s eyes would have faced him and they could not yet have been death eyes for the Warrior was speaking to him with his eyes and the two men would bring their right forearms together over and over and, in Kent, he was thinking „this is the edge of the honey plain, but the Warrior cannot cross to this side of the bridge,‟ but it was not the honey plain, merely its precursor as the dying soul imagines where it is shortly to go. 2. The camera has moved back now. We see more of the precursor plain. The warrior son is bowing and sweeping his arm - strange, it is his useless left arm - in the direction of an unseen bridge. Then the image cuts and plays again, then cuts again, then the two men are in close-up once more reading words in each other‟s eyes and making arms clash in that futile last gesture that says love has the strength of well bodies. It is a muscular farewell, the poetry is what they say with their eyes and the camera cannot record something so reserved. 3. The son holds the reins of the white horse. When he strokes its nuzzle, reins disappear. In the mouth of the last blue cavern of life‟s fountain they are standing. There is an upwards curving hewn-stone bridge across a chasm in the stars and some full moon is in the great heaven, and the bridge lead to a small land of stone and from 21 there the bridges lead across the outcrops of the honey plain until they come to the well-lit sunlit plain itself. The image of the moon and the mouth of the last cavern and the white horse plays over and over. In Kent, the Patient Heart embraces summer air the shape of his father. In the long cloud-strewn islands of the south the father, back still to the camera, faces the White Warrior who gestures towards the horse and the white horse by the white moon walks slowly towards the bridge and if you walk behind, no longer turning towards the Warrior who cannot cross with you, you can do it smoothly and death will not rattle in your throat because air and soul have escaped clean. 22 ******** Back in Kent he comes to. He is shaking. He does not know if ever the white horse can return to him, and how can a soul fight if it cannot ride? He makes tea and it shakes in his hand and he is crying now and the sun is shining on the downs and the five ports, and wind stirs the ash trees but no wind enters the walled garden, but it makes him look up. On his wall, holding his wide belt of office, bearded, not thin at all, is the Red Emperor, and he looks like his father and also like the Emperors in all his grandmother‟s fairy tales and, as he watches, the Red Emperor slowly rises into the sky and, looking down at him always, takes half an hour to disappear like a kite released by the heart towards the sun. 23 FIVE: THE FLYING FOX AND THE MUD WORLD There was a mud world. Wound sleepless in sheets, five years of age, the master of speech and two words in English, and for five years to come, he had every night the same dream. There was a mud world, flat under grey skies, a land of neither blue nor green, but brown, grey. Irrigation canals kept the mud what it was destined always to be, mud; and if a man of the living world, or even an angel of heaven stood upon the mud he would sink. But there were people of the mud world who begged release from passers-by. If you passed by, arms would plead and eyes would plead and mouths, encaked, would seek to plead. There was no sound in the mud world. This is how you passed by. Only in the repetition of dreams could you see a single cable in the sky. It grew across with not a pylon of support. Half way between man and angel you sped across the sky, both arms holding fast to the pulley of a flying fox. If you lost your grip... And you would, feet held forward, fly over acres and miles of the world of mud, and you flew urgently for the storm of the world‟s end was massing out of your sight, far from the horizon to which you sped, but you knew the storm for this was the dream of destiny. 24 Even the people of the mud world did not want to die in the storm. You flew, the silent roar of terrible lives seeking to live. Suddenly the dream pitches you there. The flying fox has gone. For the brief moment of futility you fly unaided. Against a grey tidal wave the size of a mountain you are the dreamt silhouette that flies sword in hand against the last wave of time and you are, forever, that man who came too late to save a single crab in his hopeless hole.