The distance between action and call.
I can be mother, too! he offered, thinking of cameos and not the tedium of tending.
But I can weave! He insisted, stomping the last of the grass.
What about fire? I can make it! But there was no wood.
A sacrament, then, anything but penance!
Purification sounded lofty, so long as the means was anything but silence.
A song! ––His chest swelled to the imaginary chorus. But she had given those already, to deaf ears.
I will dance you to the moon! But her feet were bruised from carrying his weight.
He claimed to want a friend, some unifying vision. At last he arrived, the ever-faithful witness to the glory of his own reflection, and its deep pools went on and on.
Over time, people brought their pleas to the hero–––and more than a few grave concerns.
Is there a problem with appearances? The hero wanted to know.
Well, no. Not exactly, the people had to admit, unless you considered the way that these so often seemed distracting to the hero. No, they tried to explain–––delicately, of course, to protect the hero’s sense of himself–––it was more about nuts. They were tired of eating what was casually tossed from the high stage. Sometimes they longed for something prepared, nourishing. It was about bolts too, how everywhere you looked they needed tightening, and the people were feeling anxious with a sense that the fortress, shiny as it was, did not seem structurally sound.
The hero, long practiced in the art of turning deaf ears, heard nothing of significance in these concerns, and was immensely pleased. All really was good, after all. As he had been saying all along, except during moments of panic when his cape was noticeably rumpled. He checked the cape. It was smooth and would flow nicely in the wind, especially at entrances and exits.
All good, he said, and the triumph was one of confidence if not substance. But confidence and an iron were all you needed to wear your cape well, especially when it had been the people’s gift.