Sunday, May 16, 2010


My sister was there when I was born. She helped me remove the shell that encased me when I felt complete in my beingness. I flexed my legs and scratched at the walls from the inside until the sheath trembled and shook with my efforts. Then my sister took notice and came to my assistance. When enough surface had been torn away, her antenna touched mine and I was soothed knowing that I was cherished. We shared knowing. Together we removed the white husk that had held me since a time before I was me.
I had been other than I was now. That time was lost to me, except the vague memory of my sister’s touch. We had shared knowing even before my transformation. She had always cared for me, and I was glad now that I was as she. We were now fully sisters.
When I had completely emerged, my sister and I touched feelers again. There was much that needed to be shared with me. Even while we communed this away another of my sisters came and carried away the birthing husk. My sister showed me the nursery where there were others who were as I once had been. They were so different than I was now. My long slender legs were now so quick and agile. Once I had none. Once I had lain blind and wriggling.
My sister showed me how she cared for these others. The understanding had already been transmitted to me in the knowing when we touched, but now I watched as she helped the blind ones, grabbing them with her mandibles and dragging them to the center of the chamber where they could roll and wriggle together. There were other sisters here, all assisting the blind ones who were as I had been and as my sisters themselves once were. I joined them in herding the blind ones together and saw to it that they were cherished and helped to nurture them so they could grow fat in preparation for their long confinement in transformation.
Some of the blind ones were ready. They were now busy cocooning themselves in fresh birthing sheaths. They would sleep the sleep that I had slept and would awaken anew when their own transformation was complete.
I was shown the eggs from which the blind ones had emerged. My sister touched feelers with me and asked me to help her move the eggs up to another chamber where there was warmth. We worked, letting the rhythm of work fill us with delight, carrying eggs from one chamber to the next through the tunnels. We were filled with pleasure assisting our unborn sisters, helping them to grow into blind ones so that they would one day undergo the great transformation and be as we were.
When our mandibles were empty we occasionally paused to touch feelers sharing the knowing. Our communion warmed us. We were also warmed by our work. Later when the upper chambers cooled, we moved the eggs back to the protected depths of the nursery.
We took a moment from our work and feasted on what our warrior sisters had killed. It was a fantastic beast that they had slain, huge and alien. Its mammoth size was a testament to our sisters’ courage and strength. We touched and sang their praise in the knowing.
When I was satiated I watched as one of my sisters carried away the body of another sister who had ceased to know us. This was all right. We still knew her. Down in the nursery, eggs were hatching and the blind ones were being fed and were spinning cocoons and soon they would join us in the knowing.
The knowing was shared before we were born and it would continue to be shared after we died. Our constant work ensured this. We rejoiced in the never ending flow of activity that was our communal beingness; carrying eggs, tending the blind ones, removing the dead, tunneling new passages, maintaining the old, exploring the world beyond, and hunting and killing, and scavenging and always, always sharing in the knowing.
My sister was there when I was born, and I was there when she was born, helping her to emerge from her cocoon, showing her all that she must know so that she could be there when her sister was born again.

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