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Vidmante Jasukaityte

Old Woman’s Spring.

That’s the name of a gas station between Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

A pump, a small supermarket, a flea market, some tiny motel with a bad restaurant and an Indian selling hot corn on the cob…

“The Old Woman’s Well” ” that’s the name of a small spring along a creek at the edge of the desert near mountains of red rock with ancient Indian petroglyphs.

Where are you, La Loba? I have returned. I knew that place right away. Where are you?

Oh, there you are… Behind the giant acacia. With long uncombed head of green hair unbraided and matted, desiccated and red like the earth, you go, your red feet furrowed by blue veins covered by horribly worn and faded Indian moccasins ” (how beautiful their design once was)…

You haven’t died. You haven’t died for a very long time… No one knew you are immortal.

We went off, left you by the water to talk to the eagles of the mountains, the possums, the spirits of other women who always used to bend down by the crystal current, thronging around it, and there were so many of them that you had to politely push through them in order to get your vessel to the water…

We went off, and I alone cried.

There were still no horses, Columbus wasn’t dreamt of by anyone… Then we walked briskly. We used to go with all our things, and there was something in each person’s vessel that produced our power, and always, when we left the old woman by the spring, we turned that power on full blast. And we went far away as if we were asleep ” only our legs moved and almost without touching the ground carried us into the distance…

The old woman remained by the spring alone, sitting in the shade… Looking back at the stone mountains

and to a barely visible creek right next to them. The faces of all were imperceptible, but I wept for you.

“When you get old and they leave you that way, don’t cry,” my mother said. “For here is the shortest path to the spirits of women… There they dance butterfly dances, they dance the dance of pregnant lamas there, there they dance fox dances, they collect the bones of wolves…

Wait a little while, Old One! First Principle! Knowing One, Wild One, Wolf Mother, Eternal, ” give up your secret ” from what spring do you drink? From what spring do you drink, with what do you wash your red body, how did you agree with the moon that night who lit up your wigwam, caught in the acacia branches, and you screwed up your eyes at him, lying on the red earth like a bark mat, and the celestial wigwam rose above you as if to the crying of a newly first-born?

What did he tell you and what did you tell him when you walked through the hole of the wigwam toward the silver current and then back again? Who taught you to leave and to return? Ooo, what a look you gave! ” our eyes met through the glass of the motel… Wolf mother, mother of mothers, mother of earth and water, mother of all ways… Ooooo…

You know the old woman’s spring, the lonely woman’s spring, the fissure of the eternal woman… The place decreed by nature for women and daughters, the mothers of animals and beasts, the mothers of men and stones…

I cried then and shouted I would return. I have returned. Now I will talk with eagles, possums, with wolves and young wolf bitches who give birth between the canyons. My unbraided hair will hang messy and long, but my age will be inscribed on the stick of no man. The host of the spirits of eternal women will destroy my enemies. My home will be a well under a well, a river under a river, footpaths under the asphalt, waters beneath lakes, seas and oceans and a wigwam under modern cities

Those whom I love my wigwam will accept, where an eternal acacia grows with the moon caught on its branches, and as they go forth from my white wigwam, dust-devils of the red bowl of my father and the wind from his groin will sing my name ” Lllllllaaaaallllllllloooobaaa!..

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