Presented With No Explanation
Here is arcane wisdom from years gone by, innocent times when feminism was naught but a tiny cloud on the horizon hardly worth thinking about. Sadly, there is textual degradation in the scroll, where the elements have eaten away sections of papyrus:
The Ryegrass Summit took place in the Spring of [ . . . . ] Church reckoning, year 19 of the 50K plan.
Notables [. . . . .] arrived from far and wide, since the word had gone out in its usual mysterious way. The venue of this meeting was a certain high point along the interstate auto route between Ellensburg and the Columbia river. This high point is called “Ryegrass Summit”, and we just had to give the identical name to our meeting!
The Ryegrass Summit was a bit more crowded than some of our other Church gatherings; I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many distinguished Shudaic luminaries in one place at one time. Even the subprophet Luigi Logan was there in his weatherbeaten Ford Econoline van, looking completely unchanged since I had last seen him.
The meeting was unheralded in the mainstream media, as is fitting. The initial staging point was a popular highway rest area in the midst of this classic western American landscape in what are called the Northern Marches of Shudaea. When I arrived in the early grey of dawn, a number of vehicles were present, along with an assortment of bicycles chained to various posts. Yet being of such inconspicuous makes, models and colors, they were practically invisible.
I parked, I locked, and I hefted my rucksack. The locale was deserted at this hour, and the small barbed-wire fence was a minor obstacle. Directly, I was striding across the open range toward a distant ridge crest -- which lay to the northward. The familiar and well-loved fragrance of sagebrush enveloped me, and as I inhaled this, I reflected upon the classic line, “consider the sagebrush of the arid plains.”
Not a trace of wind was present. Apart from the highway traffic, sparse this [illegible. . .]
I ambled and shambled up the slope, and the crest grew near. I paused to look back at the roadside rest area. This had dwindled to tiny dot by the highway, [which was] itself a thin grey line away down yonder. The amplitude of these Shudaic spaces ruled, and I didn’t mind the lingering presence of that other world, now so dwarfed and distant, because I knew I had the power (physical or otherwise) to banish or recall it at will.
“This sure quite a church I belong to”, said I out loud to myself. And I [. . . . .].
Shortly, I stood atop the crest. The moment was well-timed, for no sooner had I reached the summit than the first stray finger of sunlight broke loose [. . . .] the [. . . .] sun's full disk topped the horizon as ragged clouds gave place to widening patches of blue.
“How sweet to be to be a cloud, right against the eastern gate, where the great sun begins his state.”
From quite nearby came twittering birdsong -- a horned lark, if I am not mistaken, and a spiralling trill it was! I sat down on a small boulder and cinched up my shoelaces.
Dead ahead, the slope descended once again. A hollow lay before me, carpeted with the usual ryegrass [. . .] sagebrush.
Five of us marched back to the highway, while three of us ascended a neighboring ridge. The first five milled about, walked due south for ten miles, then returned to the original meeting spot by hopping on one foot for the entire distance, an expedient [. . .] understood as a kind of test upon the reader’s whimsical threshhold, [. . .] literary artifice [. . .] mental keyhole exercise inducing a paradoxical mind state [. . . .] not entirely serious, yet not entirely playful. For some [. . .] irritation, for others an inclination to giggle and then turn to other occupations [. . . ] One in a thousand would stride gracefully through that keyhole to the rolling hills and rivers valleys of that transcendentally [. . .] New Life. But in this case [. . . ] customary sagebrush -- which isn’t half bad, either!
We conversed, as Shuhites customarily do. And we rambled -- another venerable Shudaic custom. Over hill and over dale. Apollo’s chariot, having issued from the coachyard, mounted the upward highway. The morning grew warmer; all clouds were gone but for a wisp here, a wisp there.
“ Aw, shucks! It hardly matters where you begin: When you stand in Smithic Shoes, all roads lead to......YAKIMA. And if you don’ t
These words were spoken by a young Shuhite, a recent arrival to the Church. I remembered seeing him a time or three before...but maybe not. His face was distinct, and yet non-descript. Unforgettable, and yet I find it hopeless now to call it to my memory. But I got the feeling that I “remembered” him from somewhere. I suppose he was one of the Nameless Ones, yet I shall give him a name. I shall call him “the New Shoe”.
“You make it sound as if there are two different Yakimas,” remarked one of the others present, with sage and ryegrass in his voice.
“Indeed I do. This is savoured and salted Smithic Doctrine, is it not?”
“Friend, you speak truly. For it is written here......” And the speaker rummaged in a rucksack for a moment and produced an old black leather binder that held a goodly sheaf of papers . I think we all had such binders in our backpacks on that day.
The New Shoe chuckled: “It is good to see that we come prepared with Smithword! As do I. And I shall anticipate the passage in question.” The New Shoe brought forth his own black binder and flipped through the pages.He appeared to adjust his spectacles fussily upon his nose...although I can’t recall that his lynx-like eyes were encumbered by any spectacles whatever.
The New Shoe was the very soule of Classical High Shudaism. He spoke in a clear, calm, [. . . ] refined voice. There was no snobbish insecurity about him; [ . . .] true natural aristocrat [. . . . ] life energy [ . . .]of the New Shoe.
“Properly speaking,” he read aloud to the assembled apostles, “it is not Yakima that we revere, but rather, our own private Yakima, a place which is in fact closely indexed and cross-layered with the Yakima of Actuality˝ and even identical with it at various points of contact. “
A meaningful murmur and a shared smile made the rounds. Someone declared; “Yes, that was indeed the passage in question.” The New Shoe waggled his slightly bushy eyebrows and continued reading:
“”Yes, our own private Yakima. Here, the operative word is ‘our’. Yakima is a place that we KNOW. This knowing is a thing that we SHARE. And this sharing helps us to index and cross-layer ourselves with each other, in the sanctitude of our own heads.”
The New Shoe paused again and looked around. “Yes,” he said slowly, “There are indeed two Yakimas. And all roads lead to one or the other of them.”
One of the soules chimed in: “I know Yakima well enough. I was THERE only 5 hours ago. It’s a gritty little grey armpit and no mistake!”
“And that”, the New Shoe rejoined smoothly, “is the Yakima of Actuality. It is a place that we all know....well enough! For indeed we are STUCK there, like it or not. Superficially, it is the city of Yakima, but more esoterically, it is the city of this world!”
No thunder followed that last phrase. The sky was serene, the sagebrush dead silent. And yet, we all heard the thunder anyway. Ah, the city of this world....
Somebody spoke: “Tell it like it is, Augustine!” And a chuckle rippled its way around.
The New Shoe smiled like one not about to be thrown off his stride -- a poised smile.
And he responded: “Your reference to St. Augustine is just a tad ambiguous. Your tone, sir, could be taken as either encouragement or sly mockery. Knowing [. . . . . . . . . . ] both.
The New Shoe stepped up to a small natural platform in the hillside -- a rocky bench with more densely packed sagebrush all around it. He stood for a minute or two, gazing skyward....and nobody said a word.
The New Shoe broke his silence abruptly: “St. Augustine”, he said, “was quite a hell-raiser in his day. But one day, he did a complete flip-flop and became a... Man of God. As for myself; I have never been a hell raiser, nor [. . . . . ] be noted.”
“This is getting good,” someone said. “I am interested to see where you’ll go with this line of thought.”
“You shall see indeed. As for St. Augustine, well, he was something [. . . ] a very different cult from ours, [. . . . . .] points of similarity.
“No [ . . . . ] this crowd, I don’t think.” Everybody seemed to concur with that, including the New Shoe, who grinned and carried on.
“No, I reject any personal comparison with St. Augustine, even though I concur with his ‘two cities’ doctrine up to a point. And that brings me once again to the two Yakimas. Have you ever wondered why this Church is so keen upon the concrete particularity of the actual city of Yakima, Washington, as such? “”One may well chuckle at such a quizzical doctrine. Yakima? Why Yakima? Is there some magical quality in the air above the city? Is there some occult meaning embedded in the asphalt of its very streets? Is there some ancient manuscript of awesome power, squirreled away in the cobweb-festooned crawl space above bales of cardboard or fiberglass insulation [. . . . . ] railroad tracks [. . . . ] grotto on the yonder slope of Yakima Ridge just north of Mt. Delectable? Yakima? Why Yakima??”
Someone spoke: “The conventional answer is simple enough.”
“Ah, the conventional answer. How well I know it! Let me rattle it off: Yakima is special and unique because [ . . . . . . ] conducted his ministry there! Because the Panlogos, in an odd display of particularity, commanded [. . . . ] to go there! Because the first Arctureans touched ground there! Because the mighty Shudakii of Ancient Days tended their three-horned flocks of proto-sheep within the reaches of the Vale before the Diaspora struck them! And most of all...because the Precise Mathematical Center of the Universe lurks only a few short miles outside the present city limits.”
“Those sound like, uh, pretty darn good reasons,” someone else said, with a twinkle in his voice.
He continued: “Yes, they are excellent reasons, but are they believable? I mean, would any reasonably intelligent person actually take such stories seriously? And while I’m at it, does anybody HERE take them seriously?”
Here, somebody roared: “BLASPHEMY!!”. But it sounded like a stage roar.
The New Shoe took it in stride. “Yes, you’re damn straight it’s blasphemy. And yet I say it anyway. But, getting back to my own question: Would anybody take such stories seriously? Or would they treat the whole thing playfully? Would they take it as a cool, sardonic jest?”
Somebody spoke: “Everything I say is a lie, including the present statement.”
“BINGO!!” The New Shoe said this. Then he paused for a few seconds.All at once, with no apparent transition, he was holding up a sprig of sagebrush. Nobody saw him grab it -- he was just holding it.
The moment was [. . . ] magical, one might say -- electrical. We knew exactly where he was coming from. Not just one of us, but all of us.
A brief yet animated discusssion followed among the auditors. Then somebody spoke again: “Yakima, Washington, is NOT a fantasy. It is real; too real, you might say. It is archetypally dessicate. And yet we drink it, paradoxically, without truly imbibing it. Even as [. . . ] so much else the world foists upon us.........”.
As I listened to these prose-like words, I reflected that Shuhites from everywhere on earth occupy their heads, to some degree, with Yakimaica -- even if they have no “earthly” reason for doing so. And they are persistently amused by this very procedure! Such is the serioplayful discipline of our faith.......
What the New Shoe said next clinched it all. He said: “We are IN this world, but not OF it [. . . . . ] Yakima [ . . . . . ] found in a publically shared timespace matrix that few would question. And it holds no romantic appeal in the customary sense, therefore, it issues a clear challenge to our powers of transcendence!”
Here a voice rang out: “Yes, but why Yakima?”
The New Shoe replied: “Why not Yakima?” At this, everybody roared with laughter -- I had never heard anything like it in my whole life! When the laughter settled, the New Shoe continued.
“Let the Others call it what they will, but face [ . . . . ] where great mytho-historical events occured....but THAT is almost an afterthought!.......”
The New Shoe took a drink from his water bottle. He smacked his lips contentedly and replaced the cap.
“Well, after all, this is pretty dry stuff I’m talking about. Just like the Shudaic homeland, and the Shudaic situation on earth. Truly, we are desert nomads, navigators of outer darkness....yet we are tough, and we will outlast them all! But anyway, about Yakima: It is a gritty grey little armpit, a trou perdu as they would say in France...and it might as well serve as [ . . . . ] symbol [. . . ] way of 'facing reality’ is to be extremely objective -- so much so, that we turn their entire game inside out! They deny us our subjectivity? Fine! We deny them theirs. OUR Yakima conjoins THEIR Yakima only at the level of visual inventories, legalistic protocols, courteous driving, and an honest day’s work. Beyond that, it is verily a different universe. Yes, we aim to to eviscerate their reality, and leave only the hollow shell of commonplace fact. Such commonplace fact is the sole foundation for our co-existence with them-- no more, and no less. And into this hollow shell, this... vacuum, we might thereafter introduce words for their edification.But only if we have nothing better to do!”
Somebody spoke: “So what about the Two Yakimas then?” ****
“Yes? What about the Two Yakimas? Isn’t that clear enough already? We reverence our own private Yakima, and our own private Yakima resembles their [ . . . . .] already a dark cloud grows, unnoticed today, but in a few short years[. . . . .]
A further pause.
“Hey, let’s make it simple. They have a certain group mind, and we are NOT a part of it! I repeat, we are not a part of it!!”
Someone called out:”You mean, that we are conscious of their collective unconscious [. . . .] not part of it?"
The New Shoe replied: “Well said, my friend! Well said!”
Then he took another swig from his water bottle. “This water, by the way, comes from the very same rain that fell upon the head of the THE PROPHET in August of 1981, at the moment when he channeled the Seminal Sentence.”
Then the New Shoe grinned toothily and said:
"It's holy water!"