Tuesday, October 13, 2015

An Elephant Bears Witness by Susannah Gregan

Painting by Arna Baartz


A beautiful elephant. Serene, she stands silently, patiently, in a room. She is old, she is wise. A daughter, a sister, a niece, an aunt, a mother, a grandmother, a lover. She is an earthling. She is descended from an ancient, ancient matrifocal line. She is biophilic. Here in this strange room, she is pondering what she is hearing from a group of hysterical, raging, murderous and sometimes weeping, sometimes sobbing, predominantly male, humans. There are some female humans present also. Hysterical, screaming, wailing, raging. Murderous, also, but mostly weeping, mostly sobbing. They are arguing and fighting over the "right to ownership" of an area of land on the planet. They are all surrounded by the latest technological paraphernalia of the early 21st Century. And plastic bottles of French spring water. The elephant listens to an extraordinary tale, set almost 4000 years ago. This tale tells of a strange, terrifying, psychotic male thing called yahweh, and a man from Ur in ancient Mesopotamia (current day Iraq), called Abraham, and his begettings and his begattings. The elephant hears of a promise to Abraham by the thing called yahweh, of a special covenant. She hears the words, "it is written", over and over again. "It is written." Evidently, it is written, she hears, that this Abraham man was a very distant descendant of a man who built a really big heterosexist floating zoo, a very, very long time ago. She hears the term "The Patriarchs". They are apparently, Abraham, his son Isaac and Isaac's son Jacob. The epic story got a bit blurry by the time she heard about a guy from ancient Egypt called Joshua. The shit got real with Josh.…"This entire, excruciatingly convoluted tale is one of immense barbarity and strange, strange fantastical notions," she thought to herself, when finally, achingly, the story came upon the present day, there, in the room where she stood with these humans. She feels disdain, disgust, anger and utter bewilderment…but mostly she feels great pity and such profound grief, such profound sorrow. She has been silent until this moment. She looks around the room. Slowly. Then she says, "Partiarchy is one evil motherfucker. One evil, evil motherfucker." Then she walks out of the room, slowly, gracefully. And she never returns.

By Susannah Gregan. An excerpt from the upcoming Girl God Anthology, Jesus, Mohammad and the Goddess.

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