Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Indeterminacy #427

One of the missing legends of archaeology is that of the Mauktika Niila, Pearl that is Black, an indestructible statue carved from material unknown with a technique equally mysterious, and an origin lost to recorded history. The statue is so named for a chain of pearls adorning the neck in the inexplicable unity of sculpture. The pearls shine like black suns against the whiteness of the stone body, though there is no clue as to how these two opposing hues could originate in one instance of any natural substance. The hair, too, is black and the eyes retain a vivid color no one can define, as if a living woman were photographed in stone. She may have decorated the Garden of Eden, or earlier gardens beyond the grasp of memory. We gave her a Sanskrit name because it would be profane to describe her with words familiar to modern times. Only primal syllables were worthy of her conception. Many times she lay buried in the rubble of destructive wars, herself unmarred, only to be uncovered again by new civilizations sifting the ashes of earlier eras. She survived earthquakes, fires and the subtle erosions of time. In this manner she forged a path through history, appearing, then vanishing in the daze of some cataclysmic event, as her undisclosed destiny designed.

We deduced all this by looking in her eyes. In fact, there is no known mention of the Mauktika Niila in oral or written communication. No poems of passion. No paintings on temple walls. No evidence of her substance, except for the Mauktika Niila herself. Ancient Greece knew her, banning her from its mythology out of fear. Of this we were certain. We concluded the same of the ancient pharaohs, and of conjectured civilizations even before the pharaohs' time. There was reason for this. To gaze on the statue in solitude is to press one's face through the fragile film separating reality from the supernatural. The pale, white stone floods with the warm tones of flesh, as if blood had suddenly condensed in her stone veins. Her breasts reflect the scarcely perceptible motion of living lungs beneath and her eyes turn to the gazer to subsume his reason into her biology. The gazer is found later, if found at all, wandering, no memory, his identity irretrievably lost. And the Mauktika Niila, undocumented archetype of that which cannot be understood, submerges again into the unobserved chaos of time.

But I am not afraid. We know now, if two or more souls are present, the statue presents itself only as an artistic wonder. It is safe to stare, to study the form, to explore the surface with the touch of one's fingers. To assure that the unspeakable would not occur to us, we approached her over the past few weeks, my colleague and I, in tandem presence. Many fascinating clues emerged, written meticulously in our journals, clues scratching dust from the window of divinity. Our record of her would be the first the continuity of mankind had produced. We studied the pearls under magnification, excited about a nuance we detected as the spotlight shone upon her. Then, without warning, my colleague slumped to the floor, seized by a sudden asphyxiation. It is sometimes natural to die. I am sure it was natural, the death that descended upon him. What else could this have been? I stand alone at her side, appraising her eyes, unable to relax my gaze, unable to attend to his rigid form already seconds beyond the threshold of rescue. Her form glows into life, her inanimacy dissolving like a moon flaring into a sun. I cannot turn away. I dictate these words to my hands to write, but my hands do not respond. I see them hanging limp at my side, see them through her eyes. I perceive my facial features surrender to an eternity blacker than the blackest pearl. As my colleague and I had counted the pearls, a subsequent inventory, however many generations later, will show their number increased by one.

Story #427

Anyone wishing to contribute their own story inspiration to the photo, please feel welcome!


Unknown said...

That was written in language equal to the subject. I'm wondering if a new key was added to your keyboard.

My story:
"Shhhh. I'm trying not to attract attention."

Indeterminacy said...

Thank you Doug - I'm using a Teutonic keyboard. There are at least four letters on it that you don't have. I like your story.

The Mushroom said...

My story:
This year for Halloween, some friends and I are gonna be a white picket fence.

They say you can't be too rich or too thin. There's always a challenge to this. You can be too light-skinned, it turns out, but you can never be too naked.

Rev. Kimberly Rich said...

Once again a wonderful story. Sounds like Lilith has surfaced once more.

Love and Light.

Indeterminacy said...

Mushroom: When I saw the image I fell in love with light skin. ;-)

Lady: Thank you, because now I understand my story better.

Anonymous said...

Good one, Indie. Reminded me of Borges at times.

Raúl said...

me gusta mucho tu blog lo visito a diario visita el mio y si t gustadeja un comentario de si t gusta o nos enlazamos los blogs

masterymistery said...

The Young Person stood at the entrance to Hell. Lacking wisdom and being well-schooled in folly ze audaciously demanded an audience with Satan, the First of the Fallen. To zir amazement, ze was instantaneously apported into the presence of the Great Imposter zirself.

Exploiting the unprecedented opportunity, the Young Person addressed the luciferous one thusly: “What's the purpose of life? What does it all mean? Is it all good and bad, black and white, on or off? Tell me now--Yes or no!"

The Parent of Lies shrugged. Then replied: "It's not either or, nor neither nor," replied the Devil. "It's Yes AND no. Now AND then. Black AND white "

The Young Person was confused. Accustomed to and familiar with quantum bipolarity, ie involving discreet (vs continuous), digital (vs analog), and/or black-and-white (vs greyscale) qualities, ze tabled zer agenda item, as followeth: "What in the name of all that is good and holy, and by ‘holy’ let me assure you I mean unholy...

But Satan had heard enough and in less time than the blink of a dragon's eyelid had rendered the puny human to a pile of soulless ash.

Anonymous said...

That was splendid Indie.
The image is startling and you did it proud with this story.

Indeterminacy said...

Mrs. Weirsdo: Thank you for the very kind words.

Raul: Gracias!

Masterymistery: it seems the young person got a very clear answer. But a very mean thing to do to such a lovely young person.

Cooper: I'm glad the story turned out worthy of the image - it's indeed a stunningly beautiful photograph.

Hannah Moon said...

Thank you for your recent comment on The Twelve Gates. This story is very beautiful indeed, a lovely way to image(I have to agree with The Lady)Lilith.

Mindful Mimi said...

She is to meet the painter. He has paid for her to model. They say he is an old, grouchy man who likes thin, white skinned, dark haired girls. She is told he wants to paint a nude. She is a bit selfconscious of her body, but she cannot be picky; she needs the money. She is standing in a dark, woodpaneled room surrounded by red velvet furniture. There are dead animal heads on the wall. He must be a hunter too. She hangs her clothes over the chair which stands in front of the old makeup table and looks at herself in the speckled mirror. The table is covered with dust. She picks up a strand of black pearls and lets it run through her fingers. The necklace is cold and smooth. She tries it on. Will he notice? Will he get angry at her for taking it? Who does it belong to?
Shhh - here he comes...

D.T. Holt said...

I haven't dropped by your blog in awhile (although I know you've been keeping up with mine a bit, thanks for that!). As always, this is a great story. I really love the language of it. It's filled with grace and mystery, much like the photo I guess. I'll try to stop by more often.

DT Holt


chook said...

They told me to hang her with her pearls but they kept breaking and the old hag would fall cackling to the ground. So I finished her off with a piece of wire.
Now this nightmare comes to me at night of a pure, innocent girl with knowing eyes and a red aura offering me pearls.

Diane Dehler said...

Well, I just wrote what I thought was a nice comment and "zap" it disappeared suddenly.

As I was saying; this photo and story are among my favorites. The writing is excellent and evokes the mysteries of the feminine.

I have returned to my landscapes of the spirit after being sidelines (unfortunately) into political issues. It is time for a breather. I am hoping to escape for a bit into a surreal flower zone. And I have plans to post a long dream if I can find it. You know how dreams are; you wake up and they vanish also, like glitchy posts and such.

Hope all is well with you, Indy. I always enjoy visiting your creative blog.

Indeterminacy said...

Mindful Mimi: I enjoyed your story, and I'm glad I finally found a photo to inspire you!

D.T. Holt: Thank you for the generous words about the story - it's how I feel about the image.

Chook: But it doesn't look like a nightmare - what will happen if the dreamer takes the pearls?

Princess Haiku: I always copy my comments before sending, just in case, because that happens so often. Hope all is well with you, and I'm very happy my story could speak to you as it did.

I will try to post more often in the future - I have had a lot of interesting things to do in connection with work.

Diane Dehler said...

It was a solstice party and the pale girl in the doorway between this season and that, promised all and nothing.

How do you celebrate Halloween where you are, Indy?

transanima said...

fantastic image

DeLi said...

quite late but allow me to share..

" naked but with the black beads, she felt far, she felt at home...this is where i want to be, no rules, just me and my art...i am not going back."

Diane Dehler said...

I have a memorial post for a young artist; Phoebe Washer and perhaps you might like one of her paintings for a future story sequence. There is something in them that evokes the mysterious quality you like in photos.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Indecency!!!!!!!!!!!!
Are you behined THIS????!!!!!

Indeterminacy said...

Princess Haiku: Halloween and trick or treating is becoming more of a thing in Germany - 20 years ago it wasn't so popular. In German trick or treat is translated as "Süßes oder Saures" (something sweet or something sour).

Transanima: it's more than fantastic.

DeLi: yes, that's the essence.

Princess Haiku: Her paintings are lvely and haunting. It's a tragic story, what happened to her. I will think about your idea.

Pansi: I can't cook at all. I probably would have just left her in the oven.

Hobbes said...

Happy Thanksgiving anyway, Indie.

An_Altered_State_of_Consciousness said...

Mila must be very proud of her beautiful statue. It looks just like a statue from the Greek or Roman era. I cannot decide which is better the statue or the story. It is a wondrous statue. Where can I get one?