If the sun never sets on the British Empire, let me be of the realms of the moon.
Nothing new has been said under the sun, but when I speak I find my words imbued with the same old systems that I would let die. As am I. In the dead of silence I cast for new words, old ones from the time before this one, anything that might not breathe life into the suffocating dread that poisons us all.
These are the things my garden tells me.
The garden speaks to me of love. A love so generous and full that I almost cannot bear it. I wonder if it is just me, who cannot tolerate being so abundantly loved? Then I listen to the rhetoric of lack. I taste the bitterness of insatiable desire, thwarted libido warped into bottomless want. I remember the unnecessary cruelties imposed in the guise of ignorant care. And I look at all the calls to tidy and control her – to rein her in! – while we spiral endlessly out of control. I feel the fear of our wildness as a fear of love.
Don’t we all know it, all of us people of the never setting sun? The boys separated from their mothers because too much love would make them weak, trained to be masters of empire. The boys separated from their mothers because too little love would keep them weak, chained to be makers of empire. The mothers who birthed and nursed and suckled and fed and were consumed by the evils wrought of their flesh. The invisible perversions of the mother fester in the realm before language and time, while motherless ones dehumanise others as they were made subhuman themselves.
When we have drunk such tainted mother’s milk, how do we come to love this fertile womb that holds us? What do we know as love when all that we know, we think, we act is steeped in the miasma of this wounding? Our knowledge septic. Our love blood poison.
The garden lives in the realm outside language and time. It shows me a poultice of rich, black soil, the juice of fresh, green leaves. It packs the wound that tears me, strong roots to bind it, dresses my oozing flesh with slugs wrapped in flowers. Fungi invade my nerves, control my brain. My eyes shine jewel black beetles. I open my mouth and speak the babble of the stream, the song of the robin, the barely felt flutter of a butterfly wing.
The first frost comes and it kills me. It reins in all that grows in the endless sun of summer. I shimmer in the silvery light while another season of growth reigns unseen in the dark moon realms beneath my feet. Ice crystals etch the hoof prints of the deer, deep in the soft soil of the veg patch. A heart of chard lies exposed, bleeds ice. I eat the body of the chard and the deer and the gaping maw of the garden consumes the flakes of my discarded flesh. This love is natural and humane. This yearning is monstrous.
Monstrous? Origins: a divine omen, a warning, to help us think.
These are the things my garden tells me. My retelling is diabolical. These unspeakable truths of inhuman love.