Life After Betty: News from Not Two South

The work goes on.

All the fellow grievers have returned home, and here I am in this suddenly empty place. I have been alone most of my adult life –both my profession and vocation call for it, and my temperament eagerly answers– but it’s strange how different that quality feels when it comes to the place where it used to be the exception, when “alone” becomes “lonely.” I first noticed the difference yesterday in the writing studio when there were no lighthearted complaints as I switched from Jazz mode to Early 90s Alt-Rock. (My Cajun-Zydeco phases grew on Betty, but I doubt she would have ever come to appreciate the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine.)

I do hear Betty speaking to me, but her voice is blurry and not quite decipherable. Perhaps this is my lingering grief and desire to hear her with my ears. That grief will subside, displaced by time and curiosity to know what that voice is saying in the Now. Even while she was here, Betty seemed more Now than most people, and her ideas seemed to come from a future that is also Now– a paradox until you see that both are timeless. In a practical sense, it just means that her ideas have a presence that outlives her physical body, and it is my honor and duty to give them physical form that will outlive both of us.

So, to that end…”The Peasant and the King,” a tale so full of the work of Betty within me that she should at minimum be given co-authorship. It is currently being proofread by JP’s lovely partner, Asha Sanaker, and I’m in the process of cleaning up after her red pen with the hope that one last edit for clarity and accuracy will have the manuscript ready for submission.

JP created this image for Pez King promotions a while back, using a line from the book. It is a variation on what a Google search tells me is a Serbian proverb that is very popular in pantheist circles:

“Be humble for you are made of earth, be noble for you are made of stars.”

I’ve never understood the fascination with this idea. To me it says the same thing twice. Where else would the material of the earth come from if not some more durable material form? Yawn. What I want to know is what or Who made the stars.

So, with all due respect to the Serbs, I tweaked their proverb a little to better reflect the dual/non-dual nature of existence, that we are both Maker and made. The second line, “Be noble for you are the Maker of stars,” can be interpreted several different ways, and I endorse all of them.

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