Stephen Berer
the Eternal Jew's biographer

The Eternal Jew’s Tale, #105, Ascent

Layers of Reality; image composed by the author from prior images he has created.
Layers of Reality; image composed by the author from prior images he has created.
In this episode, a journey outside the normal shell of consciousness.

The Eternal Jew’s Tale
Sixteenth Era, Part 6, 1320 C.E., Chelm

This I seen; yours to appraise….
I, the Eternal Jew am a trope in the streamin’ world a-coilin’ you; a recurrin’ face, a recurrin’ place, unknown, familiar, a recurrin’ embrace. Hate me and I will fill you with hate. Fear me and I will dog your steps. Love me and I will ignite a desire that consumes but can’t be satisfied. Study my books and you may untwist the occulted threads that tangle your soul in the animal grip of this Adam* shell. Look to me as the Prophet of God and I can compose divine scales that reverberate music of the spheres, coilin’ you in infinities.
* others say, here and elsewhere: atom
Blink and look into your mirror, and I am behind you; blink again and I am you. Was it always so? Blink. I am gone. Was I ever there? Blink. You stand in a room well known. Blink. You are lost, and no way home. Blink. I’m with you leadin’ the way. Blink. A stranger leads you astray. Blink. You walk with your father instead. Blink. You awake. Your father is dead.
I walk with you wherever you go, but turn to me and I disappear. I am the face of the Lor you despise, and I am the face of the Lor you revere. Mine is the voice of the Lor you seek, and mine is the voice of the Lor you fear, and mine is the voice you refuse to hear.
Each moment the world is created anew. And I, sub-Adam, am an orbit of you. Where I am and where I will be you cannot determine the course of me. Whoever I was and who I can be, you cannot discern the continuity. Accept me. Is this how you mean to be free?
I am in you but I am not you. I am a shimmer at the door of your soul. When you open that door and invite me in, you mystics stammer, awash in my seas –
“Oh oneness, oh goodness, oh divine harmonies!”
When that door opens all by itself, across your wastelands I shout at you, exposing some of your absurdities. Tremble, as wonder shakes your ground. You can’t stand in my up and down; you can’t comprehend the yes of my no; you can’t imagine the tides of my sea; you can’t distinguish Adam from me.
For the dyin’ I look like the Angel of Death. Weak ones say I stole their strength. I’m a savior to them that fear the Lor. The priests in the Temple call me khuvaer*. To sheep in the Temple, I’m the High Priest. I lead you in prayer but you find no peace.
* Hebrew: friend, partner
I, the Eternal Jew am attuned to you and the temper your body maintains, all untuned by your soul’s dance, the mis-step, push-step, fear-step rants, the bruisy, kissy, grabby touch, the crowded room, the street a-rush.
Or out upon the windy heights I push my way, I climb and slip. Hear the hills. They sing the song; the lanky pines they sigh and sway like a Grecian chorus, arm in arm, hand in hand, cheek to cheek. Cheek and lip, breast and thigh, the shuddering needles, fir and pine, of meadow dancing bumble bees, of larkspur and the shooting stars, hair blown in the windy heights, delicate over our winding hearts, quick to cling and quick to ache, quick to darken, quick to break.
How the bison herds stampede and trample down the prairie grass, and scar the earth and deep the gash. And like the herd, the human crowd, the prairie women like the grass, tramped and stripped, their beauties scorned, their privy heart and soul are torn. And then the brutish herd moves on. Done their wormy rotten deeds, and gruntin’, look another way,
“Nothin’ harmed. Soon forgot. These bovine ones again will moo. Just a cow of little worth.”
But I, the ‘Turnin’ Jew, I hear the silence in the trampled hills. The crow is fat, and bold the rat; the injured hawks that cannot fly, they follow men like beaten dogs. Trauma scars the countryside.
I, the witness, with my quill. And you, the bodies, are my eyes. You see, you hear, you tell me all. What you want me to know, what you try to hide. Your lusts, your hates, your secret crimes, the holy truths that you deny.
You be dancin’, wild, surreal, clueless of what’s driving you, and here I am inside your soul assayin’ everything you do.
In the next episode… back to drama in Chelm.
About the Author
I am a writer, educator, artist, and artisan. My poetry is devoted to composing long narrative poems that explore the clash between the real and the ideal, in the lives of historical figures and people I have known. Some of the titles of my books are: The Song uv Elmallahz Kumming A Pilgimmage tu Jerusalem The Pardaes Dokkumen The Atternen Juez Talen You can listen to podcasts of my Eternal Jew posts on my personal blog, Textures and Shadows, which can be found on my website, or directly, at: I live just outside Washington, DC with my bashert, and we have two remarkable sons. Those three light my life.
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