The father never minced words. If we hadn’t gotten his intentions from what he said, we could gather them – like broken bricks off a wall – from his constant frown; his moustache which refused to bend with the wind or his callous wincing which could be heard from a mile as he raised his hands above his bald head. The knife glimmered as the sun winked at it and our eyes closed awaiting the divine blow. “To live, we must all die” he sang and we chorused at his back. When the wind stopped moving, his hands were down.
There was this unspoken yet mandatory method of cutting the skin off. It had to be done in silence, only the cry of the flesh was permitted and at which point, it was certain that what would kill the soul was dead. The many ways to immortality are bought first by mutilation and then by forgone mortal lusts. To live forever, we had been taught we must kill our eternal enemies starting with our flesh and then followed by ourselves, if need be.
For Father, it was his way to buy the heart of GOD, a ceremonious act of allegiance, ten days after a birth. Some times, we were so engrossed with the ceremony and how it was to be done that we forgot why we had begun this ceremony in the fist place. Most of it felt futile, after all, if we destroy the fore-skin, the rest of the flesh was still mightier than we could bear.
I chuckled at the sight of blood, innocent as it seemed and Ada nudged me several times to lower the volume my thoughts otherwise, everyone would hear them and far from it that I be heard thinking those thoughts on a day like this. It was sin, it was rebellion but, for a people like mine, what wasn’t?
“If you continue to smile like that every time, they’ll begin to think that you are a God-mocker” Ada said adjusting her skirt to fit. “Besides, what is there not to believe”? She asked with a smile. I felt trapped but it seemed worth my death – even if others eavesdropped.
“We shouldn’t stop at cutting the flesh. The flesh we can see…the physical burden is not enough liberation” I spoke softly, still sacred of my own voice, “where all the sins hide is in the heart, where we can’t see. Not even the owner of the heart can see where the sins are” I screwed up my nose.
“So we should cut the fore-skin of the heart”? She asked, battling not to burst out in laughter, “and what’s next for you, great theologian, the foreskin of the brain”?
“Maybe. But get my point, first” I said hurriedly hoping to speak before the spies left to tell of my blasphemy, “I think the best circumcision is that of the heart, we cut of the human acre of flesh and desire that covers where humanity ends and where divinity begins”
“What are you talking about”? She seemed angry, her laughter had been stolen by the wind.
“We cut off the skin covering the most sensitive potions. Good. We should equally do so to the heart. Anything which is our input that stops us from being sensitive to GOD should be cut off. All our evil secret desires should be cut off, our intentions that are not right should be cut off. Only GOD can truly circumcise our hearts to be pure for him”.
“You are silly. God is a spirit” she hissed and moved faster, hoping to gain ahead of me. “God doesn’t have time to cut out flesh” she said almost to herself.
“No, he does.” I disagreed before having a good thought at it. “I think, that’s where true redemption is, to take away everything that covers our vulnerability before him. I think GOD wants us to come naked before Him so he can cloth us with light, he wants us to come bleeding before him so he can heal us with love” I said and wondered what I even meant. She had stopped and now, I had gained ahead of her.
The bushes were swaying, some agreeing and other alarmed by what I said. “We can only be protected when we are kept away from anything that keep our filthy” I said and watched the sky grow red with anger. The sun was leaving, earlier, today and above us, the bags of cotton were moving in haste.
“It’s going to rain” she said, “blessings for your big mouth” she added and ran down the slope. I watched as my ankles ached for a run.