Anani's Story

Storytime with Anani (Class of 1998)

 There once lived a girl named Sweet Potato. She danced and sang and lived in a world that no one could understand. She loved and loved so much that she was often hurt by the closed hearts around her. She wished everyone would love, and love, the kind of love that doesn't hesitate, or expect, or reserve. She had many friends that were animals, but not many human friends, for they never wanted to play her favorite game: Truth. She tried to walk their walk for a while, but the shoes were too tight, and the clothes were too new, and the smile was all wrong. So she became sad. Very, very sad. And she longed for a community that lived with the earth. She longed for people that could understand essence. She longed for truth.

So Sweet Potato left one night all she had known to be the world, and flew into the darkness, into the unknown, onto a path that would eventually lead her back home, to the real home, inside her heart.

She traveled around, searching for rainbows, running into drainbows, following the call of her heart, which always took her to the earth and to gatherings of earth folks. After getting Giardia a few times, Lice 4 times, watching sick people infect one another, and learning about CALM, she had a dream. That she would gather from the land, medicines to heal the people, that she would dedicate her energy towards using earth's medicines to heal, to work magic, and empower others to connect with this ancient wisdom.

And so the dream was born. And the seed flew...

into the stars...

around the world.........

...And landed into someone's dream. It was a beautiful windy day in this dream. Damiana plants grew wild throughout the fields, and everyone around had loupes and Gleason and Cronquist books in their hands. Everyone was laughing, and playing and making fun of each other, but there was a sense of ending, of conclusion, of moving on. A tall, dark handsome man wearing a skirt and burdock leaves on his nipples was laying under a tree and watching the group. He was thinking to himself "Another year has gone by, students come and gone once more," and he floated into a daydream of what next year's class would be like - and then and there, his thoughts were so clear and his will was so strong and his heart's desires were so full, his dream shot out into the universe, where the wishes were granted, and the seeds were planted, and this is what they were:

He dreamed of a man, who wore a turban on his head and laughed a lot. He was like an elf, a Keebler elf, and he would be the one in the class to lighten hearts. There was a woman, recovering from a sickness, she was very very sweet, like a strawberry, and hot like Zingiber. She laughed like lightning, and she reminded him of an imp. Yes, he said to himself, this will help balance the elf and bring spice to the circle. Then he dreamed of a woman dressed in black, she moved like a cat and she felt like the night. This woman, he spoke aloud, shall bring strength to the class, and then she shall move on, back into the night. Then a laugh filled the air, and a woman soooo joyous and Satvic and sweet like a bright red cherry came into his vision and sat under an apple tree. She was to be the one to hold and embrace the class like a mother. All of a sudden a snake crossed his path and he knew something was to come. The sun broke through the clouds and heat filled the air. Fire and passion and Yang surrounded the sky and a man appeared, singing gospel from the depths of his soul, wearing tight red silk pants and holding a stethoscope - this man was to bring insight from other worlds into the class of herbs, and to be the passionate fire to warm the class' soul. Then he saw a woman like lightning on a bike, with leg warmers and a beret and a witch's cackle. She yelled to him loud and clear "My name is heaty woman, and my heaty flames of fire, and my heaty ways of wonder will be in your class!" And refreshing winds lingered as she passed, and this is her gift to the class.

And the wind slowed down, and the air was warm, and down the road came a big, smelly Winnebago. It parked next to the tree and a woman as gentle as a deer stood there, watching... like an owl... like the moon... and she would be the one to bring mystery to the class. And then he looked into his bag of herbs, looking for the herbs he had just gathered to make a tincture. And then he smelt them, coming from the meadow: someone was smoking them! And he grew angry at first that this sly, dreadheaded man had somehow sneaked the herbs away from him, but then he noticed the will of this man, this man that radiated a desire to know, and he would be the one to bring growth to the class.

The moon began to rise above the hills, the sun shone low within the western horizon, and from above, from the sky grew a crack, like a gateway, and down flew an owl with the mane of a lion, coming from the land of the gods. And techno music began to play, and a gay man's voice rose to the beat and the owl spoke:

I have just consulted my schedule
and the time is right, about now
to lend my wisdom and ancient knowings
to you silly mortals.

And although the tall dark handsome man hesitated at this owl/lion's peculiar pronunciation, he knew this would be the man to create balance in the class. Now the air calmed, and the tall dark handsome man lay his head under the red flowers of the Centella plant, he sipped on some kava, amazed at this dream unfolding and began to play a song on his guitar. He was becoming quite Vata after the first quart of kava, and didn't realize the tune he was playing was a belly dancing song. It was like he was being seduced, or taken over by some wild woman from California... And there she stood, dancing with her belly, reciting information on Gout to the rhythm of the song. And he laughed to himself, and realized this woman would bring intellectual passion to the class. She slowly faded away, yet the music remained, and a flute began to play. Distant, very distant at first, then closer and closer he heard it. It was a song of Sadness, of Joy, of pain, of radiance. And it sang "Love love love love, People we are made of Love!" And the tall dark handsome man thought to himself, "Yes my friend, I wish it could be that easy - but it's a fucked up world we live in, and you can't trust a soul, so come sit with me and we start to heal within, and then work our way out," and the beauty of love lingered through the pessimism... and this was the flute player's gift to the class.

The tall dark handsome man was beginning to feel a bit hungry, and he smelled food cooking in a cabin nearby. He walked there and found an elegant woman - who was quite pretty - cooking a big pot of stew, and in it he could see and feel the destiny of this woman's place in the class. It was beautiful and enticing, and nourishing. Yet the depths and the mysteries that he found as he got closer to the bottom of the stew seemed overwhelming. But nevertheless, the stew was full of love and nourishing to the greatest circle, and many lessons lay in taking the chance to eat it (and anyway's, it smelled like the highest quality of essential oils around). So the woman was happy, and so was the tall dark handsome man, and they were happy because lessons of strengths and weaknesses would be taught by this woman's place in the class.

The tall dark handsome man was so nourished by the stew experience that he felt like taking a long hike. So he walked and walked through the Rolling Meadows until he came to a clearing with a large pond and an island in the middle. He heard a woman's screams coming from the island, and as he got closer he realized he could get no further, because the pond was surrounded with snapping Turtleheads! And so there he stood, and of course he had his binoculars with him, so he watched the island carefully. After an hour or so, the screams and moans from the island were becoming less and he realized what was taking place when he heard a newborn baby's cry. Then he saw someone emerge from the cluster of Elder trees: her skin was dark and she was tiny, and she began to sing to the land a birthing song. As he watched, the snapping Turtleheads were comforted and transformed into regular Chelone and he was able to walk to the shore to greet this midwife with amazing powers. He began to speak, and use his magical sarcastic charm, and after this woman called him a wise ass... he knew she would bring the child out of the class... like she brings children into the world.

He had walked a long way, and he decided to return to the tree where he began the journey, so he returned back through the forest. And as he was in the forest, he began to think of a woman from his class before, and after all this was a dream so she suddenly appeared, yet she had been transformed, and now she was a fairy singing wildly in the forest, chanting:

Sistervine! Sistervine!
You will get your proper name!
And when my Knight comes riding
I shall never be the same
For like a rose, I'm blooming
And within my womb I contain
The most beautiful ovaries
which then contain follicles
which when activated by FSH
causes the oocyte to become granulosa cells!

And before she could say more, he kept walking, very impressed by this knowledgeable fairy, yet knowing they would be spending a lot of time together, and that she would bring will to the class.

The tall dark handsome man arrived at the tree by sunset. He felt very good about this dream, yet he felt some elements missing. He hopped in his van, and drove down the road and realized he was out of gas. He stopped at a gas station, and walked through the cafe, where he was stopped by the wildest, funkiest beat he'd ever heard. He threw off his clothes and began to dance like a maniac on the dance floor. Now the D.J. in this little cafe was a smiley-faced, long-locked, woman named Trixie. She watched this man, admiring his braveness and his wildness, yet his OLD-FASHIONED dance moves were all wrong. So she got on the dance floor and decided to teach him some moves to get him up to date a little in the hip hop scene. After a couple hours of funk and groove he left, refreshed and knowing that this encounter with this funky, Jivin' mama was to bring exactly that to the class.

Now, back in Sweet Potato's world, things were really coming together. She had just found out about a school in the East to fulfill her dream of being an herbalist. After winter came and went, she journeyed out there and settled into Rolling Meadows and a beautiful spring. The time came for class to begin, and then finally the circle met.

And she was amazed, and it was like a dream, and so many other dreams came true. And the class began,

And that is a whole other story.
(And this is my gift to the class, and it's called Truth.)