It was the prototype of all cosmic marriage festivals, and no one was certain precisely how to behave, it being in fact the prototype of behavior itself. All the Forms and Forces attended, before all other reasons, in search of their own defining boundaries. No wonder that the principle celebrants, man and wife, god and godlet, manifested first in the shapeless shape of shining water, then that of a tree, a mist, a ghoul, a fish, a mountain, and finally grew reasonable and took on the forms of two red lions, with blonde flaxen mains, their marriage vows echoing forth from the vast organic cavities within them, more rumble than roar, as if matter itself were hollow and covered great echoing regions, as if red fire were no more than an instrument to render matter malleable, as if gods were storms or spaces, tendencies, energies adrift or at play in emptiness, as if form were soft swatches of color seeking space or entity to qualify the surface of.

The legend in fact does not quite indicate whether the male member of the favored dyad were god or mortal, whether he sprang from the earth or from a river, or whether some previously constituted deities were his progenitors. While the bride, in contradistinction, were the only child of Aphrodite and her famous bedmate, the god of war, and took the unlikely appellation, never thought to be nom de guerre-fair Harmonia.

History, like behavior, before formation, were poised on the brink of its innumerably apportioned disasters, the stars a-swarm in primordial nebulous vortices of dust and gas, and the words that solemnized the union were the original fiat lux, uttered not so much to separate the waters, but to articulate the forms of inversion and establish the conditions of attention under which they might interpenetrate, annihilate, and swirl. Hostilities and ambiguities among the guests were in suspension. A happy time it was, enjoyed by all.


Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 10.07.08

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