Magnificent Uruk lay in impotent ruin, but survivors were stout with no doubt the grandiloquent city would be rebuilt, and just as great, even more so; taunting bait for fleeing Watchers. Kheba led me through ruined streets to the beat of hammers and other tools already steady at work in reconstruction — no, more than this, complete resurrection — and she seemed undaunted by the surrounding destruction; it was little more than an ageless function of life.
I chanced a glance at the Temple of Innana and wondered would she so much as rain manna from heaven to feed her devotees in such apparent need … or was there such sin as divine greed? “Ah, so evil seed was planted by the witch-bitch, and despite your redemption and respite, there it remains to be uprooted ere it grows to stain your newly washed soul,” Kheba firmly answered my thought as she brought me closer. “Do not be caught by foul lies that fly around you and abound in this world, dear one; not all is as it seems, and the light still streams in and through the dark, stark though it may be… But come; see.”
Kheba led me past many workers, some of whom so recently bled, and pointed to an old woman with folds of cloth, weaving and patching, retrieving from tattered and blood-splattered shreds blankets for beds, shrouds for heads, cloaks and coats. “There is my sister, Cybele, minister to her people, who honor her under yon steeple as Innana.”
I had to wonder in amazement and, yes, express my blunder: “Cybele? Working cloth? Is she god or moth?” Kheba laughed, while the old woman winked; I blinked. “But so much more could be done! Why has she not begun? Before sets the sun, she could have the whole of this work done! Or does Dyēus shun the desperate cries of his people reaching high into his heavenly skies?”
Kheba continued steering me on while peering into my eyes. “What surprise how you turn so quickly from my sister, Cybele, to blister our father with such ignorant accusations… No matter for now; perhaps you should wait for more persuasion; I have occasion to show you more, for much more is in store to show with no evasion. Come.” And what else could I do but heed her lead; I followed my lover under cover of mystery and profusion of confusion, still questioning why gods would trod the earth doing no more to restore embattled and oft-trampled humanity.
“In every age you’ll find the self-styled sage, who doubts and causes others to bout with doubt,” Kheba continued as we passed through the rubble and shambles of the marketplace at an eerie pace, as if taking some leisurely walk among placid flock of bleating sheep, in plains of grain… “Yes, precisely where we are going, and quite nicely.” She smiled knowing without showing any disdain. “It is in the midst of life you find Life, and this Life is wife of Dyēus and mother of us all — even his daughters, the Tri-Mater — and this Life is that bright Light that blight of darkness cannot overcome nor even begin to plumb.”
And we existed the East Gate for me to feast my eyes of fields of gold untold. Kheba urged me forward into field to purge my soul in beauty once again. “We begin again … and again and again, we begin; yet never in dominance. Dyēus determined to give humanity prominence, you see, and he will be true to his word.” She held me close to her side, this time as gently as a rose. “Here is life… Life in life, from Life herself, for Life is life-giving, and this Life is Light and Love from above.” She looked deep into my soul to keep me whole, and I was suddenly fully awake for her sake alone.
“You see the readied harvest to farthest distance; this is the work of my Cybele, my treasure and pleasure beyond measure.” Kheba smiled in obvious pride as we eyed the gently swaying gold that would feed numbers untold. “Yet there are skeptics here, too; spiritual epileptics, mental derelicts.” She slightly buckled in light chuckle. “They say, ‘Prove! Prove! Prove!’ And no, but we reprove.” Kheba laughed again. “They ask for proof; we give reproof… After all, they have eyes but do not see, ears but do not hear, and minds they bind in prideful thread from spool of fools. Look around!” She shouted. “And you are bound to see the tree! Listen, and hear the cheer of Life! Ah! They are faced with the divine every moment, but too debased to know what Dyēus is content to show every moment for their sheer enjoyment! Is this not so?”