Innana Engaged, Enraged … Enjoyed

inanna1Then I saw her sitting in the center of temple steps, where people would assemble, now young and nimble; no longer an old woman to resemble, but in truer form with no weave-task to perform. Innana, with storm in her eyes and nothing warm. She glared at me, and flared, “Do you share the pain of my people, or only stare at the ruins to share your judgment upon my own affair with Uruk? How dare you air your thoughts and swear against Dyēus, against any of us?” Innana stood then, “I declare, you’re easy to ensnare; you’d pair well, indeed, with the bitch-witch Bast!”

“Enough!” Kheba demanded and reprimanded, “What are you, god or worthless sod?” And with nod at Nuh, “And see how you behave before this brave child! And this man would gladly lave your feet and hands, slave to help rebuild, and waive any offer to save him the trouble!”

Innana spiritedly lept down to us and kept her eyes on me, except one quick glance at Nuh, then slapped her sister, and grabbed my throat. “Will you, but flesh-and-blood, gloat over all deity? Then you’ll float on stream of darkness in boat of death!” Kheba knocked away her handhold on my neck and blocked another coming hit from the fit of rage into which Innana had fallen. “I’m no doddling old woman now, am I? You should bow and beg, cower before me, and pray I have some mercy left in store!” And at that Nuh deftly left for safe dome of kindly home.

“What? Have you become some dæmonic mutt?” Kheba asked aghast, then suddenly changed toward her seemingly deranged sister. “Ah, so, not slow to reach pitch of terror-bitch to teach? But why must each lesson taught be bought by student at price beyond what is prudent? You provoke fear to invoke reverence enough for suppliant to learn, but then compliant they nevertheless burn against you, and may even in anger turn from what is true.”

Innana blew softly on my face, and pace of my heart somewhat slowed. Bewilderment took hold of mind to bind in confusion. “I’m not like you, Kheba, yet am I you, too; and you knew I flew into rage even while appearing in old age. Yes, my smiling was beguiling, but was I lying? My smile came from both pity and humor o’er the witty critique of your boy-lover of such mystique; so, too, did I wink at the stink of ignorance, which caused him to blink in reply because deep inside keep of his soul, he knew he was singing the wrong song. And how far along have you led him, anyway? You have lofty ideas, but truly you are too softly, Kheba! You have no ambition, or even cognition, of strict discipline, which is more than complimentary to instruction, but necessary accessory … if it be done right in the sight of Dyēus.”

inanna_by_michelmandurino“And what in hand have you to correct me; I’ll not flee your wisdom,” Kheba stood straight and tall. “Tell what wrong have I done; will you sing that song?” Passersby casually looked our way with seeming apathy, but ne’er stopped to stay, nor did they say anything; Innana and Kheba may as well have been hired hands in harvest bands. Here divinity stood among them, but it mattered little more than the flung of dung. Did they even know? If so, it surely didn’t show! “Do you even know what my Soylu has been through? Do you know of his trek through hell, hearing death’s bell? About the fire and funeral pyre? About our brother, the One Son, and Mother Love saving him? About Dyēus blessing him, and caressing him through Şifalâhe? Ah! Surprised…? But you’ve already sized up dear Soylu, and despise him because he is sometimes still unwise. Oh! But he still tries, and flies higher and grows more than you seem to know.”

Innana now drew close enough to skew me, if she so desired, but it seemed her anger had expired … thank Dyēus and whomever else! “We shall see,” Inanna patted me on the cheek. “We shall see…”

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Note: Second painting, “St. Ishtar,” (recast here as Innana) by terez_bellydancer; also, please do take my little poll in my previous post, Keep Playing Tweety Bird?  And thank you! 

Kheba: In the Crumbled Rubble of Uruk

warriorwomanhAnd there she lay in splay of ruin — Uruk — as if torn apart by evil bruin and, indeed, she had been; only the splendorous Temple of Innana stood in radiance in bright light of new sun rising on newly begun day, yet in complete disarray. People could be seen like ants running to and fro and in between half-eaten buildings, bitten by the Watchers. The great city had been hard smitten by foul attack, but evidently in no lack of defense… Uruk did, after all, survive, and she would revive.

Some sizeable clouds rolled across high-sky, teasing of rain without appeasing, proud they could partly shroud war-torn land without answering demand for much-needed water. As I drew nearer, the slaughter was unimaginable; the day hotter than usual, which only worsened matters for the  rotters. And where was the Mater, Innana, in all this? She may as well have been little more than squatter! How many lives had been lost, tossed into netherworld, to defend her precious parental temple?

“A bit harsh, don’t you think?” came familiar voice. “In blink of an eye, you shrink from grace and lace your thoughts with condemnation.”

I turned. My heart burned. No better sound could have entered my ear, and no dearer sight could have met my eyes than the one I beheld: Kheba. Battle weary but alive, she revived this weary man, smiled and piled on kiss after kiss. “Did you think I wouldn’t miss you? That I wouldn’t worry that you had to leave in such a hurry, to scurry through wasteland filled with haunting band of ghosts and wraiths?” And I made most of the moment and held her tightly, pressing lips to lips again. And all doubt about what had happened left as I breathed out with one great heave. Leave such foolishness and believe, I told myself. If Kheba fought, she brought sister with her, too! This much I suddenly knew.

“And Metuşelah and Lemek?” I asked as we continued our trek back into Uruk, or what was left after being horrifically ransacked.

“No death toll has rung for those two. Except for a few wounds, they do well,” Kheba answered. “But you? Tell me what happened to you? I knew your journey would be hard and fraught with danger, perhaps even bought at the price of your life… Yet here you are alive, and though worn you somehow seem to thrive.” She took pause to consider the cause. “Ah … you met Şifalâhe … after being saved from blight of Ddiafol and set aright again … and you sank into crystalline lake, and drank freely sweet honey of heaven. Am I right in my divine hindsight?” She swung me around off my feet and began to beat in laughter.

“Oh, the gods! The gods! Never did human trod this earth as mysterious as the gods!” I had to laugh, as well, but then chaff from the ruins floated round about. “But how can you be so joyous and buoyant in chorus of mirth amid such death and dearth?”

“Well, we finally won by the rise of yesterday’s sun; at great cost, for  many, many were lost. We scorned and cursed the Watchers even as we mourned family and friends fallen … but in that hour victory was ours.” Kheba looked at me squarely, barely able to continue. “Even still, I had no joy, no thrill in having bested the enemy, especially having invested so much blood to do so… Oh, no. No … my joy comes in seeing you, and being here, right where I am now … after all, even the goddess knows true love.”

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