Woyenji, Mother of Fate (Excerpt, AQUARIUS and RIETTA)
Note: In the Woyengi creation myth of the Ijo people of Nigeria, she is known as the goddess of fate or destiny, the one who created humans out of clay and gave them a choice to choose their gender, life paths, and occupations. She bestows their choices upon them, and their choices result in her sending them down either a clear, calm river – or a muddy, turbulent one…
I have dreams. I wake up, and I write them into this…and they become these –
Points to his book; REVEALING HIS ART, maybe large projections of his illustrations.
They have a story to tell. They don’t even come from me. They come from the ether.
The ether? You’re kidding me.
It doesn’t matter what you think. I couldn’t make these up if I tried.
Tell me one. Come on.
Why? You think they’re my imagination.
Imagination is a gift. A wondrous, incredible, gift. If they’re from your imagination, you shouldn’t consider that –
You sound just like him! He never believed ANYTHING I told him. I told him I saw things, knew things. He wouldn’t believe me. And look what happened!
What do you mean? The fire? You saw it? You told him about it?
Aquarius turns away from her.
I’m sorry. Please. I really want to hear one of your stories. Your art is exceptional. Please. Tell me one.
AQUARIUS takes a moment before thumbing through and stopping on one. He spreads out the book and lays it on the table, as if allowing her to look.
RIETTA sits and begins to read.
She, Woyenji, goddess of the Ijo people, once again accepted the assignment. Took the deep sleep, and crossed dimensions to return once more among humans.
She was nearly beyond childbearing when she fully woke up in a body she didn’t know, remembering her assignment:
Find your ancestors, the ancients said, tell one of them the truth, make sure they believe and understand. The right one will help change the nation.
Only then she could return home and once again shed the death flesh of human form.
WOYENJI climbs to the top of a block of stairs and stands looking out over the city.
I feel out of place in this time
Like a person from space in this time
But I agreed to the mission, it was all my decision
My own people I seek, in this time
She had the coordinates of several; but it was imperative she choose the right one. Telling the wrong one could cost her her life – or theirs. But the years passed, and each genetic match felt wrong. Time was running out. Her body wouldn’t age beyond four decades, but the trauma of the planet was multiplied, excruciating to her infinite soul.
I want to return to my own state — unbodied, a conscious mass of particles traveling as waves, together. This body hurts; I’m so weary of their separation, fear, unending pain. I want to leave this place…
She found and left her last progenitor and felt an unfamiliar dread – would she be caught forever in the web of earthly life?