Village of Voices

Spring does not surrender; it is a season that pushes and demands, beckons and confronts, stirs and solicits. Spring wants what winter left unfinished. The cool sunshine lifts birds from their stillness, ignites flight and finds pairs of two in trees, on telephone wires, and beneath eaves of brightly painted bay windows.

It is cold in San Francisco this 3rd day of May. Spring has taken away the long night and the evening streets are again filled with people finding one another. A marine layer cloaks the sun as it sneaks through the sky and sinks into the sea.

There will be eight seated at the long wooden table tonight.


The Maiden of Knowledge speaks up to say, “I know that I don’t know all there is to know and I long for this, for the experience of knowing, be it through my head or my heart or my belly. These are the ways through which we know.” And all the guests hmmm and hawww.

Then the Warrior of Action stands tall out of his seat and says, “I am a man of few words, so I’ll say only this, choose your words well for they set things in motion.” Again more nods and mumbles as everyone considered this contribution.

The Lady of Silence and All Things Sacred raises her glass, red wine-stained lips, and with a voice like a cool summer river flowing past warm sand says, “listen to the space between words, there lives the greatest gift of communication.” The room was quiet for the first time since all had arrived at the long table. It was a beautiful silence.

Quietly at first, then with gained confidence, the Prince of Pleasure speaks up, “Relax, exhale between sentences, taste the words on your tongue, watch closely as they land into the listening, then enjoy the tickle of delight from that well spoken moment.”

“Yes!” chimes in the Mistress of Passion, her thin cream voice suggesting sex and surrender, “and laugh, giggle, guffaw let the words leave you with a rush of freedom.” It was becoming quite a meal, a feast for the gathering of friends, who so revel in these discussions.

“Ah, hah” roars the King of Conundrums, his shoulders thick and broad, “I say play with these words as they coast through your thoughts, they are like gold sunlight filtered through dead trees still standing. What is compassion? Is it pain or pleasure? Can this be loved by that?” Quizzical looks crossed over several people’s faces as they crinkled their noses and scrunched their foreheads into new and curious expressions.

The Primal Priestess slowly, with a voice like silk tied closely around a woman’s throat, closed the evening with these words, “we have two ears and one mouth, I believe that they should be used proportionately.” Both laughter and chagrined coughing followed this remark, for some people were quite guilty of an imbalance in this matter. There was so much to be said, they thought, why must silence be always revered. But these people remained silent; they knew the wisdom in these words.

It was time to eat, everyone felt hungry. Food arrived steaming hot with thought. Plates overflowing with desires untold, unfinished inquiries, cups filled with wine from travels through time, and hors d’oeuvres made from reconsiderations of the past and hopes for the future. It was a mighty meal, inspiration brisk with every bite.

Yes! Spring has begun. Forgiveness becomes easy and forgetful we become of our grudges. Spring can change our mind. Winter’s wishes and wants begin to thaw, freeing these desires from cavernous nooks of heart and mind. However, the sun is not yet hot. The wild in us wants more time to warm up before we unleash, oh, but do prepare to unleash, the summer will want your fire.