I think I’m one of the handful of our species who still carry a few Neanderthal genes in their DNA (another fantasy, or it could be truth?) I withdraw to my inner cave for comfort, also when frightened by the antics of my universe.
The entrance to my cave is narrow, if not hidden, and its roof everpresent, overhead and revealed by the spirits of the night. Inside I most often experience protection and shelter, but then unpredictably, for no reason, the sky is rent and the displeasure of the spirits falls through. In 1971, without warning, joy morphed into fear as my precious wombling appeared, both mongoloid and terminal. Fear had pelted from my sky, so long protecting.
The sins of the fathers, surely not mine? I watched the rent in the sky, distrusting its false reassurance. .
Years passed, propitiation helping maintain the fabric of the sky, until the sky was rent again and again and the size of my haven shrank. After years of succor by the cave spirits, fear moved in, and the floor of my cave became unstable. Retribution was upon both me and the few family and clan mates who also had sought succor.
Expatiation for what? As we look on, age, disease and a mysterious silence fills the cave. A shepherd’s crook reaches down and snuffs out its own. Finally, overhead, rocks begin to fall from the sky of my refuge and we crawl out to discover a frighteningly similar world.
The scene in this sprawling land of mountain crags of cautious and fearful humans creeping out from their places of temporary refuge feels somehow archetypal. I look up and wonder, is this a new day or a new night?