The Strait : Epilogue
(1934 - 1985)
Fredy Perlman (August 20, 1934 – July 26, 1985) was an American author, publisher, professor, and activist. His most popular work, the book Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!, details the rise of state domination with a retelling of history through the Hobbesian metaphor of the Leviathan. Though Perlman detested ideology and claimed that the only "-ist" he would respond to was "cellist," his work as an author and publisher has been influential on modern anarchist thought. (From : Wikipedia.org.)
I kept on staring, waiting for the face to turn smooth, to take on the features I remembered so well. But the longer I stared, the less did that face look like Udatonte’s. My head swam as I slowly grasped that I was staring at an unfamiliar, old, blind woman, and I started to fall. An old man rose from the broken circle; his powerful hand gripped my arm and kept me from falling. He asked if I needed a sweat, a swim or an herbal potion; he called me nephew. I told him my dizziness had already passed. I studied his face but failed to recognize him. He saw my confusion and told me he was Wakaya, my uncle Meteya’s brother. He said he had not recognized me either; he had recognized the arrowhead that dangled from my neck.
Leading me slowly away from the councilground, he told me he had come to the Leaning Tree gathering, as he guessed that I had, in order to throw water on the fire, in order to cool down the warriors. He said our warriors had been too few at the field of fallen trees, too few at the river fork in the Morningland, and they were even fewer now. But he had not sat on Shabeni’s side of the circle. He said he too was Lamina’s descendant, he too was made of red earth and if the council had resolved to stand and fight until the last warrior fell, he had been ready to stand with them.
The council had not resolved to fight, and Wakaya was relieved. He had weathered sixty winters and he longed to return to his children and grandchildren. As we walked along Mishigami’s shore, I asked him if a young woman had returned to his village after the last battle in the Morningland, a woman with straight black hair and fierce eyes.
Wakaya remembered that she had been one of the Turtlefolk from Sandusky. He told me she had not returned. But when he looked into my eyes he became excited, as if he had seen something in them. His own eyes told me he was remembering things he had not thought about. He said that just before he had found me on the battlefield by the fork, he had hurried to the Brethren’s village to urge its inhabitants to evacuate.
His cousin Pamoko was holding a newborn child given to her by a young Turtlewoman who was unknown to Pamoko; the child’s mother had rushed to the battlefield armed with a rifle. The child was taken to Karontaen, lodged and nursed by Pamoko. Wakaya had considered the child Pamoko’s daughter and had not given the child much thought.
The girl befriended my sister Wabnokwe’s daughters, moved in with them, and eventually left the Strait altogether, so that Wakaya lost all contact with her. He remembered the girl’s wavy black hair, something uncommon in Karontaen. But he said her eyes were not fierce. Wakaya remembered having looked into her eyes once, and having thought that the girl’s sorrowful, distant eyes were not like those of anyone in Karontaen; they were like the eyes of the nephew Wakaya had nursed in the Morningland infirmary.
I gratefully placed my hand on Wakaya’s. I now knew that I had not been looking into Udatonte’s fierce eyes when I had seen the four gushing streams of black rain that regenerated the trees, the fliers, the crawlers and the walkers. I had been looking into the tortured eyes of. . .
The old man’s voice was so weak that I barely heard his last words. His eyes were still open, but he no longer saw me or anything else in the hospital room. I was exhausted from keeping my ear next to his moving lips listening to sounds so faint they seemed to come from the land of the dead.
From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org
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