Friday, July 17, 2009

12 The Unmaking of Jesus (cont.)

Let us continue with the story.

It was midnight when Iananna reached Great Palace below Earth and the door of the room known as The Heart of the Dead. When Ereshkigal saw Iananna, she exclaimed: “Ha, ha! Naked bitch! Just look at you! What a sorry sight!” Her tone was full of obvious shadenfreude.

There was some truth in what Ereshkigal said. Iananna stood not only naked, but also seemingly burnt out. What had been firm and pointed breasts in the morning, were now hanging long and spent. Moreover, Ereshkigal was dressed in Iananna’s attire. Though Ianannas clothes had lost their color and turned grey, Ereshkigal looked like a queen in them. “Did the Earth get you down during your travels, sister? Here, have a glass of Black John wine. You will feel better.”

Iananna drankthe wine and started for her room, but Ereshkigal blocked her way. “If you please, sister, I would like you to sleep in the barn with the geese tonight,” she said. “Tonight I am having a ball in the great hall of your apartment. All the great stars of the night will be there.”

Iananna was about to ask why Ereshkigal had not invited her, too, when she felt faint (the poison in the wine had taken effect) and she fell.

Ereshkigal’s servants dragged Iananna to the barn, tied her jaws shut as if she were dead, cut off her long braids, tied them as a rope around her waist, and then hung her corpse by this belt on the horns of an old moon. “Sweet dreams, sister,” said Erishkigal with a grin on her face. Then she left for Iananna’s apartment to join the revels of the stars.

When the morning came, the Sun did not rise. John, Iananna’s son, awoke in his earthly home, but when he did not see the Sun, he imagined that he had woken up too early and went back to sleep again. Thus, John slept the whole of the next day. Indeed, he had a strange dream. He dreamt that he awoke in a hole in the ground. He and his mother Iananna lay side by side. He lay with his face up and could see the night sky filled with stars. Iananna, his mother, lay (Oh horror of horrors!) beside him and—in an apparent reversal of roles—suckled on his nipple.

John awoke and understood that his mother was in trouble. However, what was he to do? There was not a sliver of light anywhere. John felt about to see if perhaps his mother really lay beside him, but his hands found nothing to touch. Great fear and anxiety overcame him. However, John was smart enough to take a deep breath. This allowed him to get his bearings and understand he should rise up, no matter how dark the hour, and try find his mother. After all, it was Iananna, who, if he, John, died, would rejuvenate him by giving birth to him again.

Meanwhile, in the barn with the sleeping geese, Iananna slid off the horns of the old Moon. She floated as if dead for three days through the abyss before she was then caught on the horns of the new Moon. As the new Moon rose, Iananna was bathed by the dew and came to life again.

Iananna rose into the sky and a song that resembled a roar greeted her. It was a shout of joy. During the three days of Iananna’s absence, her creation had taken fright. Everyone remembered the three days of darkness as days that sent chills to the bone and stuck in the eyes like glue. The was like a flower opening. People drew a knife across their palms, then pressed the palms against their door as a sign of how much the Sun, Iananna, had been missed and how much she was loved.

Iananna rose more quickly to the zenith that day or so it seemed. She was anxious to see her son John. Like him, she had dreamt a strange dream. In it, she had come to the gates of a cemetery and discovered John to be its gatekeeper. When she wanted to enter, he had blocked her way. “This is no place for you, mother,” he had said. “Not for a thousand lives.”

“By what right do you keep me from passing?” she had asked.

“That of my life,” John replied.

“But don’t you want to live?”

“Of course, I want to live, but if you die there will be no sunrises.”

Iananna had not understood and had tried go past John. John had raised his hands, his palms facing her. They were stained with blood.

Iananna awoke from her dream her heart pounding. She raced up the night sky toward the dawn and then higher toward the zenith from where she could overlook everything on Earth. it was too late. John had died. Though Iananna lifted her skirt and touched John’s crotch, John’s rooster did not crow.

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