Historical setting: 589 C.E. The cottage in the mountains
I’ve always imagined finding Anatase and it would be a happy reunion, abundant gratitude and endless hopes fulfilled. I’ve done nothing here but stare into the deep sky and I feel like she’s blaming me for all her hurt just because of my gender.
“Sorry Laz, I didn’t mean all men seek to own and manage women; its just the ones I know of – I mean in these times.”
“It’s okay Ana, I understand I’m a lot of trouble for you and I bring only bad news. I’ve come here shattering your hopes.
I yammer on, “For me it’s so good to see you strong and well, grown to be such a beautiful and wise woman.” I can see this was another wrong thing to say but I have no idea why. “What did I say, Ana?”
“Beautiful and wise you say as though you caught a glimpse of sea at sunset. Wise and beautiful is my anathema!” It’s always these conspicuous holy gifts that cost me any possibility of a good life with a trusted and loving family. Wise as a small child, my own mother feared me because I was longing for learning. She sent me away and it was only by God’s grace that Daniel borrowed me from the pagans so I could taste the virtues of family in my teacher’s service.
“And beautiful you say, so the men I would loathe most lust after my breasts and ravage and rage to find a place to plant the phallus without the slightest nod to my nature and even to their own natures, as God’s good creation. So for that gift of beauty my teacher never even saw, she was slain and I was taken from that one loving home. These perfections I was born into seem to be my curse.”
My answer now is a long and hungry silence of words. It is my unspoken prayer of thanksgiving for Ana and her beauty, and for the healing I’ve been granted here by her wisdom. Maybe it’s the spirit of her teacher that pangs my longing to be her trusted and loving family. Or maybe I’m excusing my own lust for her lips and her breasts by thinking of my own virtue.
Dear God, I find here that my own sexual desires could be an earthly metaphor for holy love. But it is a complicated maze. Is that by holy design? Probably it isn’t my place to know. May I receive your own rule, as Ana already knows the rule for women just by her very nature.