Love Stories. Love is the Path toward Freedom by Dewey Edward Chester. An amazing story that you will enjoy!
“A place in thy memory, Dear One
Is all that I claim…”
The woman’s driveling song continued it seemed, forever… until I woke at the sound, stretched myself luxuriously, and got out of bed. “I’m hungry; let’s make hot chocolate… damn!” I complained, “The stove’s gone out.”
I picked it up and shook it. There was no oil. “We can get some from the landlord, I expect.”
Laura got up then walked toward the window, listening to the indomitable woman’s voice sing on:
“A place in thy memory, Dear One
Is all that I claim,
To pause and look back when thou hearest
The sound of my name—!”
The sun must have gone down behind the forest because it was not shining into the courtyard any longer. The cobblestones were wet, as though they had just been washed, and Laura had the feeling the sky had been washed too. So fresh and pale was the blue between the trees.
Tirelessly, the woman marched to and fro, corking and uncorking herself, singing and falling silent and pegging out more diapers, and more and yet more of them. Laura wondered whether this woman took in washing for a living or was merely the slave of thirty grandchildren.
I came across to Laura’s side, and together we gazed with fascination at the sturdy figure down below.
As Laura peered at this woman (the powerful mare-like buttocks protruding) it struck her for the very first time that the woman was beautiful. It had never occurred to her that the body of a seventy-year old Black woman, blown up to monstrous dimensions by child-bearing, hardened, roughened by work ‘til it was coarse in the grain, like an overripe turnip, could be beautiful.
But it was so, and after all, Laura thought —– Why not? The solid, contour-less body bore the same relation to the body of a girl as the rose-hip to the rose. Why should the fruit be held inferior to the flower?
“She’s beautiful,” Laura murmured.
“But she’s a yard across at the hips,” I laughed.
“It’s her style,” answered Laura, softly.
I held Laura’s supple waist, encircled by my arm. From the hip to the knee, her flank pressed against mine. Out of our bodies no child would ever come. We would never do that, together. Only by word of mouth, from mind to mind, would we pass on the nature of our secret.
That old woman down there, Laura thought, had no clue to what was hidden. That woman had strong arms, a warm heart and a once fertile belly.
Laura wondered how many children she had given birth to. It might easily be fifteen. She had her momentary flowering, a year perhaps, of wild-rose beauty, and then she had swollen like fertilized fruit and grown hard and rasping and coarse, and then her life had become laundering, scrubbing —– first for children, then for grandchildren…. over thirty unbroken years of this.
But at the end of it all, she was still singing.
The reverence Laura felt for her was mixed up with the pale, cloudless sky, stretching away behind the forest of trees, into interminable distance.
It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody. And the people under it were really all the same —– thousands…. millions of people just like this old woman; held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet they were exactly the same!
They were storing in their hearts and bellies and muscles, the power to change the world. The future belonged to them!
Sooner or later it would happen. The unconscious would change into the conscious. The cry for freedom was immortal.
Laura could not doubt this when she looked down on that valiant old woman in the courtyard. Awakening would come. But until then, it might take a thousand years! Conscious people, Laura reasoned, would stay alive against all odds, like birds passing secrets of survival from body to body, the vitality of life which could not be murdered by Authority.
“Do you remember…?” she suddenly spoke aloud to me….”Do you remember that skylark in the woods of Panther Hollow?”
“That bird wasn’t singing to us,” I answered solemnly; not even that. He was just singing.”
Yet birds sang, Laura thought, as this woman sang. The sort of freedom the rules discouraged. Brown, Yellow, Black and White people —– in London and New York, in Africa and Brazil, in the streets of Paris and Berlin, in the villages of endless Russian plains, in the bazaars of China and Japan —– everywhere stood that unconquerable symbol: a woman made monstrous by work and childbearing, toiling from birth to death…yet still singing —– and out of whose loins a race of conscious beings would surely one day come.
Laura felt she could share in that future by keeping alive her mind. She could pass her secret to others: that Love is the path toward freedom.