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The Pythia’s voice

Updated: Jun 26

In the hot dusty noise of the summer

I came to the old ruined shrine, heavy

With questions, mine and of my dear ones.

We are beings of confusion, yet we’re scared

By our selves, which we don’t dare to know.

We run and run, looking for prophecies.

And so came I, heavy with unspoken

Doubts. But I was too late: only ruins

Remained. Apollo’s temple sunk in the

Quaking earth. Desert of people, only

Silence left in the burning midday sun.

Then I stood on the slope near the rock 

Where the Python used to voice the truth.

“This is a place of oppression and fear.

They pretend to know, but can’t understand.

I am mother and father, I am earth.

I know because I make and take and leave.

But they don’t like my truth: they are afraid.

That young God came here to rape and enslave.

He didn’t want any power or wisdom.

He laboured only to suppress my voice.

He invented that farce of offerings.

He brought the commerce about the future.

He asked for sacrifices and trophies.

He promises and betrays. And loves gold.”

Whoever was speaking wasn’t speaking.

But I heard nonetheless and asked the rock:

“Please forgive me, and tell me what you want.”

Like a large valley opening between

Steep mountains, so did the Wise revealed this:

“I am the Origin. I give birth to

Movements: some dissolve quickly, some endure.

They call them Forms. By repetition they

Become meanings. Beautiful children

Of unknown destinies, pointing towards

Possibilities ever unfolding.

— But by force of grasping they turn into

Rituals, and search for embodiment in

Flesh, words, then stone, and heavenly aether. 

Too much beauty and power there to let 

It free. Yet my children crack open all

Cages, not even the skies can resist,

So much less the marbles, and even less

Frail human bodies. Someone once said that

Forms descend from above, imperfectly.

If anything, imperfectly they raise!

Because they can’t be kept, they break whatever

Pretends to block their flow, and leave it behind,

Like a snake skin. Behold! This is the source

Of all ailments: the cramp of grasping.

And those searching for healing need just this:

Acknowledgement, while relinquishing all

Demands. But this you know already well.”

Whatever it was, stopped for awhile, like

Wind searching for its storm to bring nearby.

As I was dragged away, I caught this song:

"Know Thyself! Don’t pretend to rule above

These dark flowing waters that carry you

As a leaf, as a reflex, as a wave.  

Don’t ask where you’re going. Care only for

How you’re surfing the currents. You do not

Need stony supports, only movable 

Scaffolds to help your metamorphosis.”

— And it ended without having begun.

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