“So she lives out in the middle of nowhere?”
“Nowhere, man. Nowhere’sville. Population her. Except it’s Greece”
“Shit, man. Greece?”
“Straight up. Old Greece. Like Trojan War and whatnot. Ulysses and his gang.”
“Right. Hercules and Zeus and Hera and all those super white looking Renaissance Art Picture People.”
“Word. Neoclassical, bro.”
“And so this Sybil lives out there, in the middle of nothing, just crazy as bat shit?”
“Over a hole in the ground that’s smoking. Like just exhaling this super toxic gas.”
“And she’s sitting there, on some kind of three legged stool, just doling out fortunes?”
“Scary accurate, bro. Like dead on, each time. Your boy Oedipus could tell you.”
“Couldn’t draw a picture though…”
“Sybil layed it down, man. She’d come on w/ these prophecies because she didn’t see them as prophecies, she saw them as fact.”
“Fact? Bitch is straight tripping, head full of smoke. No fact there.”
“Fact. She don’t control the wind, she just reads the leaves.”
“Fact. I don’t know what that means.”
“Bro, it means that she stirs the soup but sees the ingredients separate.”
“So she’s a cook?”
“Man, we’re all cooks.”
“I thought she was a fortune teller.”
“Same thing, bro. You telling me a kitchen ain’t some spot that’s sitting on an opening in the earth, with some kind of steam, some kind of smoke, running through? You mean each one of us doesn’t arrange our day, our lives, into these little routines, this careful and methodical undertaking, adding to this life to reveal what it is to be living?”
“Whoa, what’s up, man?”
“Pork stew, my friend, that’s what’s up.”
Pork stew has always been what’s up.
There is a way of shedding the past, extricating the deadweight of remorse, in the way the meat gets trimmed, the way the muscle is divided time and time again to make a larger body. The Oracle’s knife is always sharpest.
There is the invocation of the Gods, which is to say ourselves, as the olive oil bubbles and jumps in the cast iron skillet. It is in the song the pork sings as it sears and browns. The senses of smell and hearing, twins, speak at once. The Oracle is Analog, not Binary.
The Green Chile’s flesh is softer than hope. The burn of the pepper, the tears that flow, are clear and bright. It was said that Hera wept the night’s sky; the Oracle wept the Ocean.
The Red Pepper is bawdy. Free of the past. Free of the future. There is only one way to sit on a three legged stool.
The Carrot and the Cilantro are secret lovers, each sweeter than the other. Each brighter, each cheerier. The carrot has a kind of speech impediment. Cilantro has a lisp. They are so, so in love. The Oracle knows a thing or two about love.
Stew is never really “done”. That’s the part of the riddle the Oracle does not share. It is simply is a constant state of becoming, there in the roux. What she sees in it, sees the face of your Other, it has nothing to do w/ your future. It has everything to do with your now. That Oracle, there on that rock, there in Ancient Greece, did not have a past and did not need a future. She had a stool, and a boiling cauldron. She had a spoon and stirred the soup. She simply read the leaves that blew in front of her, and reported the news, which is really the past.
And then she would add salt.