Howard Carter widening a crack, pushing a light through it, blinded by gold – it is one of the authentic dreams of our age, that the earth is not dead, only sleeping. In wooden chairs, gilt and horsehair, rock hewn chambers, lives a dream of limitlessness, a seductive whispering of untold power. Wisdom in scrolls, wisdom in sand paintings, astral wisdom in colorful disguises, pulsing powerfully, it draws you in. For this, a man could leave his home, abandon his wife and children, commit crimes that thin him and dry up in the desert sun till he leaves only a husk like a beetle.
But remember what Carter found in the innermost chamber – the Verdant Osiris. Stone Osiris, lined with linen, filled with the soil of the Nile and sprinkled with seeds of grass. Pulsing life, waking in spring like grass -
- pulsing in green and yellow, like handsome Mondamin, the corn god, at Hiawatha’s door at sunset, commanding him to rise from his fast. Hiawatha complies.
They wrestle and the warrior feels like life is pounding and laughing in him, flowing like a mighty river. The next day, Mondamin returns to Hiawatha who is wasting away, and again challenges him to wrestle. They lock as the sun goes down, a burning cinder, and again Hiawatha feels the river rise in him. Then, Mondamin tells him that he will come again the next day, and Hiawatha must kill him and then bury him, sweep the loose packed earth over his face, close his clear eyes.
Woods - Death Rattles - 2010
And Hiawatha waits, gaunt and wretched, bloodless. Mondamin comes. They wrestle in the pink and golden light, their muscles rounding, breath ragged and then the god is no more. Hiawatha pulls his green and yellow husks off him, pushes him into the loam, lets it roll across his body till he is gone from sight. He sprinkles the mound with water.
Nobody is gone long, it is only the means of return that concern us.