chapter 3 – beauty rides on mystery train

monet, the gate saint-lazare

The route to Arcadia was a painting of Georgia O’Keeffe, a famous landscape artist with an eye for authentic beauty: the restive naked beauty of vales and hills covered with rocks and reddish toil would make the flickering amber of any vapid spirit ablaze with prairie fires in the mind’s field. Looking at the panoply of the spectacular landscape from her seat on the train, Iris could not help but think that it resembled her. The untamed nature in its pristine condition looked a lot like her independent spirit, a unicorn whose wings were clipped by the needs of existential life. The nature without the landmarks of civilization betokened its uncorrupted virgin territory that no force could dare violate it. Nature was part of her, it was whole of her. It was wild and innocent and breathtaking, a mysterious reconciliation of ancient esoteric paganism with traditional orthodox Christianity in her. Iris was contemplating all of this, and she was taking all of it in.

When the train arrived at Arcadia Station, Iris was suddenly seized with her usual brooding premonition that misfortune might happen to her today. She wanted to ignore it, but it was bugging her like a mosquito in the middle of a sizzling summer night. She had to ignore it because today she would be read what the Fates had spun for her. She wanted to come to terms with it and face the Fates whom she wanted to defy and challenge with the help of the wise woman. ‘This will be the day,’ thought Iris as she walked into the sunlit streets of Arcadia. Going to a pagan witch was against her Christian teachings as though by going to Hellfire Club of unspeakable debauchery and ineffable blasphemy. And yet, Iris wanted to get things sorted out for her own clandestine future and humdrum present. When Iris arrived at the door of the pagan, she saw an adumbral shape of face lurking out of the opaque window stained with the debris of dust. It was the face of a beautiful woman smiling at her. She looked ageless as if age could not wither her away, nor could custom stale her magical power. Emboldened by her beautiful welcoming, Iris went into the bungalow and thought to herself that it was a good thing to take a trip to this place, even if the prophecy would be contrary to her already smoldering anticipation.

“So, you came all the way from Corinth to find a tapestry of your life. Welcome, I was expecting you.” Iris was flabbergasted. ‘How did she know I was coming? She must be genuine.’ Iris was even more gobsmacked when the woman continued. “Iris, the Fates had already told me in my dream a fortnight ago that you would become. And your grandmother Elaine appeared in my dream yesterday to tell me I should be attentive to your needs. Therefore, my dear Iris, do not worry about anything. You were not alone, you have never been alone, and you will never be alone.” Those kind words, those thousand comforts, all flew from her graceful lips and Amethyst crystal eyes that looked deeper than Sea of Jewel. She was irresistible not to answer, she was impossible to be real. Yet she was there, before Iris the doubtful who would not trade the moment of mystic beauty incarnate in this beautiful mystic for anything now. She was already bewitched by the witch, or was she become already one? Or even more so, Iris would be a changeling born of fairy, bred by a human. All this would be known to the unknown today. Iris could not wait any longer.

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Stephanie Suh

I write stuff of my interest that does not interest anyone in my blog. No grammarians, no copy editors, no marketers, no cynics are welcome.

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