Saturday, April 5, 2014

Who is Honi?

I’ve put off the writing today.  Not because I don’t want to write but because there have been other things calling louder.  It is a glorious day outside and chores that usual seem like… chores have the allure of warm sunshine and fresh air.

My wife picked up a book this week that grabbed my attention immediately.  It’s called, “The CircleMaker” by Pastor Mark Batterson.  Something tickled my memory.  Then she said it was about somebody named Honi.  I wrote a story about Honi in 2006.  I had never heard of him until I researched the story, nobody I talked to had heard of him, and I haven’t seen a reference to him since.

Until Mr. Batterson’s book.

The world is full of material for art – and odd connections.  Look everywhere.  Remember everything.  I’ve added the text of the story I wrote to this post.  If you read Batterson’s book you’ll find they have nothing in common except Honi.  There are still a million different stories to be told about Honi.  What's yours?

No Rain
by Jon Stark, 2006

I was blessed by Honi at my birth that no rain should fall upon me for the length of my days.  He drew a circle in the sand, took me in his arms and danced, whirled me above him and laughed.  The sky opened and rain came to the parched desert but I was not touched.  Once the Passover had come and he was killed, my mother took me and returned with the spice caravan to her own land far to the east.

The Poet told me rain is like a lover’s kiss.  Its gentle caress eases care and worry.  The cool touch of it upon your skin is a balm against the intrusion of the world.  He said that the rain would make things new, wash away the pain and sins of my past.

My mother chased me away whenever the rain would come and then stood in it, let the falling water soak her tiny form, shivering and shouting to the Naga that she was not cursed like her son.  She warned me that Honi had kept me from the Celestial Kingdom with his curse and that the Dragon would never come for me.

The Musician told me rain is like a symphony.  It is quiet and soothing.  It comes in a violent wave that crashes against the world and make a noise like the singing of angels.  It is percussion and strings, winds and voice.  He said that the opera of nature would reach into my very soul and I would be awash in the chords of life.

I have begged Tianlong my entire life, haunted by my mother’s prophesy of damnation, to let me know the touch of rain.  I have longed for the experience of it myself, for more than just lusting after it as a parched voyeur peering at Eden through lush shadows.  I have hungrily consumed the aromas of petrichor and geosmin, searching the world for the purest essence to feed my obsession.  I have wandered the earth inhaling the scent of that which I cannot feel and imagining the sensation of droplets running down my skin.

Now, as the rain falls gently upon my face I am disappointed.  Not with the rain which is all they said and more than I have ever dreamed it could be. I am disappointed with myself, with what I have not done with my life, what I’ve left unfinished.  I was blessed by Honi at my birth that no rain should fall upon me for the length of my days.

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