There’s a swallow on the tree outside the hearth window. A band of light wrapped like ribbon on the branch. The morning is rising in a sea of deep blues and wispy little clouds. Gustav has gone to the town for a meeting. I will meet him there later, after I have completed my writings. For now, I am caught thinking about the crisis that has befallen my life. This dance between archetypes. This chasm in my personality.
The Whore and the Holy One. Parts at eternal odds. Distinct. Separated by a valley. The good girl. The poet. The book reader. The sweet soprano. The angel. The bad girl. The slut. The dirty nomad. The abomination. The demon. I am only ever one or the other. My feminine spirit remains cleaved by illusions, old world beliefs; it remains fractured by unseen shame in my heart. I am a child of this world of men, this world that is fearful of woman, fearful of sex and fertility, creation and passion; this world that fears the moon–that seeks to lasso her from the night sky–this world that fears the sea, her waves, her hidden depths, her capacity to swallow cities whole. And I am no different; I too live in fear of the powerful forces stirring within me.
I am filled with the sacral energy. It pours out of me unconsciously. And I wonder if, at night, I roam around the city streets looking for a good time in my sleep. I love Gustav. He takes care of me. He feeds me. Clothes me in the finest linens. He has given me the gift of language, made it possible for me to write elegant works of poetry. Without him, you would know nothing of my life. Yes, I have much to be grateful for with Gustav. But he wishes for me to renounce my whorish ways, to never return to my old life. He wishes for me, piety and purity, safety and health. And sees nothing of that in my past. Just a girl debasing herself to the lowest of the low. But I am finding something in my studies. I am learning of Isis and Ishtar, of Diana my namesake. I wonder where have gone these feminine idols? What world hath caged them in caves? And how, through such barbarism, have I come to find myself split? Trapped in between the Whore and the Holy One.
But now I wish to quit speaking in the abstract. For there is a life I have lived, and though it is far from over, though I am still young and by the accounts of many beautiful, there is much to tell of my past. Perhaps Gustav wants me to bury what I have done, to become his holy angel, but I cannot hope to evolve without first acknowledging the seed from which I have sprouted; this seed buried in the body of a little boy, somewhere near the Adriatic, living with an old whore in her elegantly adorned house. Without her, it is true I would be nothing; least of all the woman I am today.
So I shall tell you of this lost existence, which leads me here to Gustav and the stable hearth window; and I will give you the fragments of the life that must have come before all this, the string of broken memories stitched together in my imagination.
But first, I must be off to meet my husband. He awaits my arrival, no doubt with a placid smile on his aging face, and I wish not to upset him.