The brown mountains called, so great those mountains stretching nigh pole to pole of the earth. The earthiness unmistakable and crying of hunger. Varon was there pulling me to the cavern where lay the women and children of his village. His agony tore the rocks, defeat was unbearable.
Empty stomachs in an empty hole, left to die. If they could live but a little longer, would it save them? Varon was certain, but to live a few more days they must eat. Already they were near death. The cave was held by men with machine guns. There was no getting out until they left. Soon they would go, soon they would tire, but not soon enough. Varon could not feel sad for inciting the village to disobey these bullies. Was it not better to die free? All the other village men had been gunned down already. But he had lead rebellion and his punishment was to watch the women and children die slow of starvation.
Already he had given the ultimate sacrifice. He had impaled himself with a sharpened stick and told the older women to make soup of him. As he died, the mountains called me. There I found his body, in a bloody pool on the tarp, waiting to be butchered. Yet no one moved, the women were paralyzed in fear. To eat this flesh to live frightened them. The devil they feared would have their souls. So around him they stood, too weak and dehydrated to even cry for this last man’s suicide.
His agony at this defeat was unbearable. It shook the mountain itself in silent pain. I reached out and held him in his despair. Awkwardly, I patted his miserable head and told him he would be okay. His soul was safe for he had died in an act of love. He shook and wept for the village, please he begged, “save them not me.”
Slowly, I looked upon them, these people doomed to die. His love for them so strong. Was there anything I could do? That is when they saw me, first one then another of the village women. They saw my light, my aura, “It is alright I told them. There is no evil here.”
At last the women moved with a strength and certainty. They tore his flesh. Together we felt the pain of our flesh ripped from his bones. It was a strange mix of unbearable torture and rapturous ecstasy. They made a soup of his gift, bloody though it was. Scared to be the first to drink his blood, I communed with the most empathic woman, she was pregnant. Together we drank the broth of his body, together we felt his loving soul feed our hearts as his flesh fed her body. It was amazing. No eating was ever quite like that communion. To eat the flesh of him that gave his life so lovingly, was a gift of sight beyond this world. Love eternal, infinite filled us all. No more would fear of death be known to these people, this tiny village in the Andes Mountains. Would they die? Would they live? I do not know. My job was done. My gift was to know that there is a time and place for all things under heaven. Even cannibalism is not evil when the flesh eaten died with love for the eater.
Is this how the fruit of the plant feels that gives it’s body to life? Is this the gift of the prey that surrenders to the hunter? And what of meat that is violently taken, does the pain of wrongful death not taint its flesh? Varon loved life and freedom and that was part of the gift imparted to our hearts. He did not die, completely. His spirit lives on in those people, in those mountains and in my memory of this dream that took me to a place I never thought I would go.