The Book of The Wounded Healers
(a study in perception)

Chapter 5 – The Russians Have Landed

You can read the backstory on The Book of the Wounded Healers in The Book of The Wounded Healers/(a study in perception)/Frame and Chapter 1 – The First Communication, and it may help understanding the story’s universe a bit.

Read previous chapters:

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The Book of The Wounded Healers
(a study in perception)
Chapter 5 – The Russians Have Landed

Fourth grade, now a student in Mrs. Woodbury’s class, and we are talking about a recent Russian cosmonaut landing. One of the kids in class asked why the Russians always landed on land and we always landed in an ocean. I remember Mrs. Woodbury dismissing the question, “We could land on land if we wanted to…” I don’t remember the rest of her answer. What I do remember is knowing, knowing even then, that Mrs. Woodbury was lying, that we couldn’t land on land and that water was safer for us. What I remember most was knowing in that sacred unspeakable way only a child can know, even as Jiminy would know, that Mrs. Woodbury was afraid of the truth, afraid to admit that the Russians could do something we couldn’t.

***

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Concern for Hecate

Sometimes The Wild isn’t kind.

It’s not so much a matter of kindness as it is…well, it is what it is.

We’ve known Hecate for quite a while in raccoon years. This Hecate, anyway. There have been others, long gone and passed into memory.

“Hecate” seems to be a favored name among them. Perhaps a family name.

We think “family” because raccoons share traits through generations. Some like to sit on their butt, some like to dunk their food, some like to hold a conversation, some like to nibble toes, …

Okay, that last part, the toe nibbling, usually only when they’re kits.

This time Hecate returned to us with a significant chunk of fur missing from her back. The missing piece had a distinct “V” shape.

I can’t imagine what caused it. An animal bite wouldn’t leave such a mark, and my mind goes to something man-made.

Only humans could be so cruel to The Wild.

After all, have you noticed how cruel we are to ourselves and each other?

 

The Book of The Wounded Healers
(a study in perception)

Chapter 4 – Hello?

You can read the backstory on The Book of the Wounded Healers in The Book of The Wounded Healers/(a study in perception)/Frame and Chapter 1 – The First Communication, and it may help understanding the story’s universe a bit.

Read previous chapters:

Let me know what you think.


The Book of The Wounded Healers
(a study in perception)
CHAPTER 4 – HELLO?

Have you ever noticed that your sock can drive you crazy? If the seam makes a little ball or wads up under your toes, it can drive you crazy?
Spontaneous language. Esperanto, Interlingua, Novial, Interglossa, and Glossa, this last a language conceived during WWII and developed by two women through the middle to late 20th century. It was suggested as a single language alternative to the various European languages when the EC became a reality in 1991-92. It is based on Latin and Greek words, has no syntax or grammar rules, and only 1000 words. Supposedly it is very easy to learn. These are scientific attempts at spontaneous language.
Mrs. Woodbury, grammar school fourth grade, taught us Esperanto. None of us learned it. I guess that was a success.

***

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A Young Lad, Alaisdair Fraser, and Oil Rigs

A Tom on his own.

Perhaps he’s scouting the territory, getting a lay of the land, deciding the optimal place to look for babes.

Oh Hens.

Yeah, most likely Hens.

I’ll bet he’d rather we had some real happenin’ music on the jivebox.

Something he could jitter to, give him a chance to practice his strut.

A release for his raging hormones.

Hmm…

I guess Susan‘s not his type.

Probably a good thing.

For him.

 

The Book of The Wounded Healers
(a study in perception)

Chapter 3 – How Do We Choose? How Are We Chosen?

You can read the backstory on The Book of the Wounded Healers in The Book of The Wounded Healers/(a study in perception)/Frame and Chapter 1 – The First Communication, and it may help understanding the story’s universe a bit.

Read previous chapters:

Let me know what you think.


The Book of The Wounded Healers
(a study in perception)
CHAPTER 3 – HOW DO WE CHOOSE? HOW ARE WE CHOSEN?

There was a Ted Schreringer, a Dean of Christian Life at Baltic College, a small evangelical college in Michigan. I came to him with some questions, he told me to kneel and pray.
He smiled and nodded, his head bobbing like a plastic cat’s in the rear window of a car, as I tried to articulate what I wanted to ask.
The only problem was I had trouble articulating the questions I wanted to ask and he had trouble giving answers other than those he’d learned from a book. I went into his office, I remember, because it was at the end of the hall and either I turned into his office or I went up the stairs to the cafeteria. The food wasn’t that good and there were some things I wanted to know.
Simple, no?
Ted Schreringer was an fundamental evangelical Anglican. From New Zealand. He was the first man I’d ever seen who had a single eyebrow running over his left eye straight to his right, a single bush so thick that if he was from Australia I would have expected to see a joey in it. It was also my first experience with a New Zealand accent. I didn’t know until then that a New Zealand accent sounds exactly like patronizing.
This is why we go to college, to learn things.
When not kneeling and praying he saw to the spiritual needs of the campus. This meant making sure the bookstore didn’t stock any Rolling Stones, Beatles, Frampton, CSN&Y, Joni Mitchell, Harrison, Procul Harem, Harry Chapin, Billy Joel, Elton John, Wings, and is this cross-stylistic enough so you get the idea? Gospels and Christian Rock were okay.
Have you ever listened to Christian Rock? As Ted defined it? There is none, I’ll make it easy for you.
The only magazines allowed, aside from spiritual publications, were the likes of Good Housekeeping and Modern Bride. All the spiritual publications were evangelical fundamentalist in nature and scope.
This should not be a surprise. Remember this. People went to Baltic for this.
Dean Ted believed that his role was to monitor the Christian life of each student, regardless if that student wanted said monitoring or not. I know this and will explain how in a moment.
I went to Dean Ted because I was confused about who I was and who was god and what was happening in my life.
I wasn’t a “Christian” back then. Evidently Baltic admitted a select number of non-Christian students each year so the students could practice their evangelism.
Imagine being invited to go somewhere and discovering the only reason you’re invited is to be someone else’s experiment?
Ah, the joys of being Black in America.
I explained things to Dean Ted the best I could. He smiled and nodded and checked his watch and picked up a well worn Bible and opened it for me and told me what to read.
“The only thing which will save you, Ben” he said in that interesting New Zealand twang, “is accepting Christ into your heart as your personal God and Savior. See, right there.” He pointed into a gospel. “You shall know the truth and truth shall set you free.”
He rolled his “r”‘s so nice.
“Satan and God are fighting for your soul and you must help God to win, Ben.” He checked his watch again. “There is no choice other than Heaven or Hell. Endicott and that Jewish girl you see there, Ben, that’s Hell. Your friends here are Heaven, Ben. Now you must decide.”
{Either-or. Never both-and. Black or white is only available in the quantum infinitesimal slices of a moment, if even then.
Or the racial prejudices of majority America.
Which you choose is based on what you study. Take your pick.}

First, if God is so strong, why does he need help? Second, I’d never mentioned going to Endicott or dating anyone there. How did he know?
“Kneel down here with me, Ben, and we’ll pray together for your soul.” He checked his watch.
Which I did because I had learned the lessons of the playground well; young black men do what patronizing white men say.
Besides, God seemed to be on a clock. Either that, or Dean Ted had a quota to fulfill.

***

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