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Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess; she in the dust
of whose feet are the hosts of heaven,
and whose body encircles the universe:
"I who am the beauty of the green earth,
and the white moon among the stars,
and the mystery of the waters,
call unto thy soul: Arise, and come unto me.
For I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe.
From Me all things proceed, and unto Me all things must return;
and before My face, beloved of gods and of men,
let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite.
Let My worship be within the heart that rejoices;
for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.
And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion,
honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.
And thou who thinkest to seek Me,
know that thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not
unless thou knowest the Mystery:
that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee,
thou wilt never find it without.
For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning;
and I am that which is attained at the end of desire."
- from Doreen Valiente's "Charge of the Goddess"
How They Broke Away to Go to the Rootabaga Country
Gimme the Ax lived in a house where everything is the same as it always was.
"The chimney sits on top of the house and lets the smoke out," said Gimme the Ax.
"The doorknobs open the doors. The windows are always either open or shut.
We are always either upstairs or downstairs in this house. Everything is the same as it always was."
So he decided to let his children name themselves. . . .
Both of the children had the shadows of valleys by night in their eyes
and the lights of early morning, when the sun is coming up, on their foreheads.
And the hair on top of their heads was a dark wild grass.
And they loved to turn the doorknobs, open the doors,
and run out to have the wind comb their hair and touch their eyes
and put its six soft fingers on their foreheads. . . .
Please Gimme grew up and his ears got longer.
Ax Me No Questions grew up and her ears got longer. . . .
After a while they began asking each other in the cool of the evening
after they had eggs for breakfast in the morning,
"Who's who? How much? And what's the answer?"
"It is too much to be too long anywhere," said the tough old man, Gimme the Ax. . . .
So they sold everything they had, pigs, pastures, pepper pickers, pitchforks,
everything except their ragbags and a few extras.
When their neighbors saw them selling everything they had, the different neighbors said,
"They are going to Kansas, to Kokomo, to Canada,
to Kankakee, to Kalamazoo, to Kamchatka, to the Charahoochee."
One little sniffer, with his eyes half shut and a mitten on his nose,
laughed in his hat five ways and said,
"They are going to the moon and when they get there they will find everything is the same as it always was."
All the spot cash money he got for selling everything, pigs, pastures, pepper pickers, pitchforks,
Gimme the Ax put in a ragbag and slung on his back like a rag picker going home.
Then he took Please Gimme, his oldest and youngest and only son,
and Ax Me No Questions, his oldest and youngest and only daughter,
and went to the railroad station.
The ticket agent was sitting at the window selling railroad tickets the same as always.
"Do you wish a ticket to go away and come back
or do you wish a ticket to go away and <never> come back?"
the ticket agent asked wiping sleep out of his eyes.
"We wish a ticket to ride where the railroad tracks run off into the sky and never come back --
send us far as the railroad rails go and then forty ways farther yet," was the reply of Gimme the Ax.
"So far? So early? So soon?" asked the ticket agent wiping more sleep out of his eyes.
"Then I will give you a new ticket. It blew in.
It is a long slick yellow leather slab ticket with a blue spanch across it."
And so if you are going to the Rootabaga country you will know when you get there
because the railroad tracks change from straight to zigzag, the pigs have bibs on and it is the fathers and mothers who fix it.
And if you start to go to that country remember first you must sell everything you have,
pigs, pastures, pepper pickers, pitchforks, put the spot cash money in a ragbag and go to the railroad station
and ask the ticket agent for a long slick yellow leather slab ticket with a blue spanch across it.
And you mustn't be surprised if the ticket agent wipes sleep from his eyes and asks, "So far? So early? So soon?"
FROM: November 18, 2008