Once upon a time, I fell somewhere.
After that, I forgot everything I once knew, and my mind made way for new memories.
I could retell them as they come to me, in a small story riddled with opaque detail, of the first half of my life.
The tale begins in a tiny remote village that some historical figured deigned ‘Warh’kka’, which, in the region’s native language, meant ‘little grain’. One may have guessed it was but a simple description of the size and general obscurity of the location, but it was really a reflection on what we were known for: our rice crop.
The reason was that rice, like life, is a versatile food. It could be anything you wanted it to be—all you had to do was add effort. It could be boiled, fried, steamed, sautéed! Spiced, stir-fry, rice balls, soups; anything was possible, and it stayed as our outlook on life as my fellow people ate rice and drank rice liquor and sang to the many joys and the plentiful harvest our benevolent gods brought to us. The actual harvesting of the field was treated as a euphoric celebration, albeit I in particular wasn’t permitted to do rigorous outdoor work, for I was sickly. It mattered not to me in the long run; my abnormal tendency to faint in the most haphazard of places rendered me more of a detriment than a benefit.
Our village ran thick with rich and strict cultural tradition, a lot of which revolved around the many deities we venerated. I myself cannot remember all of the gods and goddesses we worshiped. I remember R’uio, the Sun; L’uio, the Moon; I’kka, the Spirit of Rice; and Qi’ill, the Organizer of Time. These as well as many more were the foundations and vital pieces that
formed the puzzle of the World itself, and each and every one of them had to be regarded with respect. Whenever milkweed seeds hovered dreamily in the air, it was prohibited that one disturb them, for the traveling seeds carried messages inside to be promptly delivered to the spirits of nature from the deities higher up the tier.
I remember once stepping out into the brilliant air of a particularly cool summer night, and promptly gazed at the luminescent glimmering of the brightest star I could find. The mysterious glowing was familiar to me. I pointed up to the sky and traced my finger around it, then outlined the constellation I sub-consciously discovered in the process. The shape I uncovered formed into what seemed to be an arrow, and that’s what I happened to name it: The Arrow Constellation. In my everlasting awe of the beautiful spirits in the sky, I began to pray to it. My mother soon found me shivering in the frigid yard and scolded me for it. I couldn’t have been more than nine years old at the time.