The Ballad Of Odd Lily

Village People

Dearly Beloved,
We are gathered here today
To listen to
To bear witness to
The Ballad of the Village,

Which is actually

The Ballad of Odd Lily…
Or The Ballad of God, really…
Or the Ballad of Pachamama,
Of The Universal Consciousness,
The Flying Spaghetti Monster,
Any way you want her,

I’m not here to get frantic over semantics,
Over words that
Never could capture grandeur
What truly matters is that this is The Ballad of The Village
(But really, it’s The Ballad of Odd Lily)

Lily the Oddball
A nonstop bodyrock party of one.
She could never even have been “even,”
Even if she’d wanted to,
Which she didn’t.

Into the garden she had been awkwardly deposited,
Meant to be a matched set,
But she could never quite get the hang of it,
Never tuck into
Being the moon to another’s sun,
Only glowing upon further reflection.

She didn’t want to be put upon,
Climbed like a landgrab,
Not Odd Lily,
She wanted to dance unshackled by this
World of matter
To be unfettered,
Kinda reckless
And yet measured in the unfolding
Waltz of expansion and contraction
Which is the Dao of everything
From breathing to big-banging.

Really, she just wanted to be
Untethered,
Especially to anything
Remotely resembling
Gendered rules of identity.

So she called out to the sky,
She took a stand,
Listed her demands,
Said she wanted to be free,
Of the 1-2 punch of duality.

And God
Or Pachamama,
Or The Universal Consciousness,
Or The Flying Spaghetti Monster,
(Let’s not get caught up on something as dismissible
As a moniker,)

So GodMamaConsciousMonster
Heard Odd Lily’s yearning cries
He/She/It/They answered her prayer, and said,
Here’s an option,
Should you want one:
If you say my unsayable name,
I will trick fate and let you escape.

And Odd Lily really wanted it so she audibly pronounced it.
And GodMamaConsciousMonster kept her promise.
And Odd Lily walked straight out the flaming gates
And into the wilds of the Badlands,
But before she could even begin to understand
What had just happened,

ZOOM!
She was sucked into
And through an average lady-womb,
Into an average delivery room,

BOOM!
Welcome, Odd Lily, to your new life,
You’re newborn in Evenville,
Bigger than a hamlet, smaller than a town,
A village so average and pleasant
And repressive and aggressively uneventful
That its cream-colored beige-wearing
Bland inhabitants simply had no context
For chicks who had shone
Like dark-rainbowed oil-slicks since birth,
Who’d had wayward winding journeys back to life on earth,
Who’d shouted their way out the garden,
Who wanted to be loved just like everyone,
Yet were unwilling to dim their light
Simply to fit the limited spectrum of small minds.

But I digress.
Odd Lily’s life in Evenville
Was—at best—an onslaught of questions,
An unending interrogation,
A second-guessing of her every step,
A doubting of her way of being.
And the older she got, the hotter the heat,
The heavier the pressure, there was no lessening in intensity.

Why do you have a tutu on your head?
Why are you wearing roller skates inside?
Why do you have a boy haircut?
Why are you so weird?
Why are you laughing?
Why are you crying?
Why aren’t you listening?
Why won’t you play dumb?
Why aren’t you wearing make up?
Why are you wearing make up?
Why aren’t you wearing a bra?
Why are you wearing a bra?
Why are you failing math?
Why are you hiding?
Why are you angry?
Why are you lonely?
Odd Lily, why why why?
Why won’t you try to fit in?

They almost had her.
They almost broke her, like a trick pony.
They filled her up with well-intended junk
Until Odd Lily, who had had just about enough,
Started calling out for an exit route.

Some primal part of her DNA
Remembered her right-before life
And how she’d Abra Cadabra’d
Her way out the garden.

She called out to the sky again,
Asked GodMamaConsciousMonster why? again,
And it wasn’t until right then that she realized
How disconnected she’d been.
She said the magic word and

Zoom!
She slipped up and out,
But this time the tube was no womb,
It was her own flesh suit.
She slipped out of her literal body
And into a stopgap / eternal.

Dearly beloved—
I am telling you she melted into sparklebliss,
That infinite oneness ascended mistresses
Are all abuzz about,
The stuff you read of in hermetic texts,
Nirvana,
A full-bodied hallelujah.
Odd Lily was up in it.

GodMamaConsciousMonster,
(in case this isn’t already obvious,)
Was/is/will be no dummy.
He/She/It/They knew exactly what they were doing.

Odd Lily was in no-time.
And in no time,
There came a time when Odd Lily’s
Particular brand of radness and randomness
Was exactly what the planet
Was in abject need of.

There was a great silent ruckus of
Unnamable discomfort as
GodMamaConsciousMonster sucked Odd Lily
Back into the flesh tube of her body
Which had, at that very moment,
Been sleepwalking through a lost metropolis.

Odd Lily said, No! Why!
Not this unbearable ache of awakeness again!
Get me out of this place!

And GodMamaConsciousMonster said, No way, Jose!
Your services are needed,
These are your people.
All of you, look around at each other.
You are all right here, right now for good reason!

Dearly Beloved,
We are gathered here today
As the Village of Oddballs.
The tribe of glorious monsters.
We are the fat-souled inhabitants of this fabulous planet.
We do not fit the constrainments of the tiny-minded.
There is no more time for self-diminishment
To alleviate the discomfort of others.

We sing full-throated
And laugh loudly.
We are not threatened by human moonbeams
Shining their respective light.
In fact, we’d ignite it for them.
We delight in it.
We thrive in it.

Me personally?
This oddball?
I’d rather be ingathering.
This just might be go-time.
Dearly Beloved,
We are reunited and it feels so good.

***

Photo: “Anima Sola,” a vision and creation by my beloved collaborator, Tess. Lotta