26.3.09

kitab al-a'rad: burrow-nests

It is common to find a cairn of fieldstones at the points of intersection between plowed fields, or in undrained wetlands, and at the center there are often stones taller than a man. It was the practice in decades past to capture a burrow-fish from the deepest pits of the river channel and place it in a small vase filled with water at the highest point of these stones: when the water had dried, the burrow-fish would eat through the bottom of the vase and through the rock into the soil, where it would nest in the mud until it was placed back in the river by grateful farmers or until the fields flooded. Such large stones would thus become hollow on the inside, creating an alcove large enough to place offerings, painted mirror-shards and, later, looped audiotapes of prayers. Many burrow-nests have engravings on the outside, or on the surrounding rocks, stating which spirits visited the nest, and as the nest was used by different visitors new definitions would be added. For instance, in the culverts beside interstate on and off ramps construction crews would build burrow-nests from stones unearthed by excavation equipment, and truckdrivers would leave each other gifts of marijuana and pills and ask the highway spirits for meterological and legal boons before sleeping in their rigs along the ramps.

3 comments:

ihavesynth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
murmurists said...

Fantastic stuff.

kek-w said...

Awesome, D, just awesome.

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