A CROW TRIED TO GO IN OUR CLASSROOM AND HE HAD A PEN
he just wanted to learn
I learned at some point that people make up their minds about things with the fewest impressions. With literature, it’s supposed to happen within the first few pages for some, and the first few sentences for others.This is how the beginning of a novel I have held onto for ten years starts. I hope you enjoy:
Long before the age of Genesis: the birth of worlds, waves, and living things, there was the timeless age of darkness. It was the kind of darkness that lived before eyes were born to inspect it. It was the kind of darkness that inspired the loud thuds of terrified heartbeats. That curious kind of darkness that seduces with whispers and howls. It permeated all things and was endless for there were no lights then to breach its vastness and no sounds to disrupt its silence. Yet silence diminished as darkness multiplied. Its virility manifested in angry black billowy mass, constantly stretching through the vacuum, like black ink crawls through water.
Terrifying repugnant offspring crawled their way forth new born from within the raging storm, like outstretched arms of many spiders. They emerged wild and sensual from a cloudy mad amorphous womb. All of the children fused together, all of the children eternally bound. The same instincts and fate linked all of the great night parade, except Silence, which took its leave. In diminishing, the great vacuum receded into one being and it was the everlasting wonder called Death.
Into the world the beautiful scourge danced—with its many colored arms of black and red and white and blue, and its serpentine torso, and its face of many faces—it danced, forever enamored of the living and already betrothed to its own sacred dominion of many lands not yet populated with unappreciative paramours. Separated from existence, like a pocket of air stands separate from the sea of an underwater cave, Death waited. It waited for new desperate lungs to breathe it back into the world with deep instinctual breaths. It watched then from its empty kingdom, still, contemplating its unmet hunger, but now no longer.
So mighty darkness, vast and beautiful, chaotic and cruel, begot its children of limitless whispers. Their songs stirred the emptiness as a sorrowful chorus. Endless darkness knew of nothing before and of nothing after. They are always of their mother, the flowing veil, the harsh shield. She is always of them; lazily extending herself in her borderless piercing of all. They were a sea. They were a sea of darkest purpled ichor, of writhing tissue. Between the secret of all things and the ruin of all things, these were beings of incomprehensible beauty. Blessed the children were, so blessed with their long supple limbs and smooth symmetrical faces, hook talons and fanning fins, beautiful, terrifying, and glorious. Some were angelic, with wings feathered plenty. Some wore the ashen oval face of the barn owl. Some saw through moon round eyes that shined forth a false dead light. Some were angelic with overflowing scales and fur and sometimes delicate bat wings, and sometimes tentacles.
No matter their beauty, no matter their monstrous forms, all squirmed with abysmal hunger and carnal passions. All emitted in ceaseless slithers the colors of bountiful night. They glowed various hues: the scarlet of haloed blood moon’s shine, the blue, the green, the chartreuse of auroras rippling along a frigid purple sky. They glowed the whiteness of snow that falls at night. They glowed the yellow of the lightning bugs that swarm in the mating hour.
These great demons, these great angels, lived all the colors of pitch-black darkness in undying dance. They danced incessantly with the rhythms of their natures, and as they danced they knew each other in mad embrace. Caring not with their abominable lust, their forms, equally atrocious as queerly beautiful, further refined themselves through the boundless oceans of their malice and torment. And always reverberating in the nothing, as every sound, great and small, and every echo, was their mantra of despair,
“We are and we will be. I am and we are. All flesh is my flesh, all flesh, the endless veil. We are the first and only. We know all the dark because we are the dark. Our souls are separate, yet one, the collective voice of all things, and the face of love and suffering. We are the world and the world is us, extending infinitely, concentrically, as song, as ruin, with voices of oblivion, airs of disgust, arias of contempt, and wails of the bereaved. We sing and the world sings. We rage and the world rages.”
"It really wasn’t my intent to make a film that reminisced about this grand old time back in the 1970’s," he said. "I just wanted to tell the story of this young girl who was coming of age during that time. And also to show an African-American family that was not dysfunctional; that was headed by two parents. The mother and the father were there and none of the children were on drugs or rapists or murderers, whatever. And despite the fact there’s a lot of conflict amongst the siblings, there’s a great amount of love in this family for each other."-Spike Lee
A young Kenyan woman holds her pet deer in Mombassa, March 1909.Photograph by Underwood and Underwood