Ethiopian slave girl
Accustomed to recognition and honor
now eating off others’ plates and keeping generally small, though her voice inside raged at the shock of being taken.
Once entitled to respect on the basis of birthright, respected in her community for the sake of the family lineage.
Nothing remains of that entitlement. No more community, no more family. No one who looks like her, who speaks her language. Her language now voiceless, her tongue itself taken.
She takes in everything. No need for speech, only spoken to in commands requiring immediate obedience, she is a reflexive, taut-stringed wire of attuned energy, focused on the dynamics in the room dominated by those men of consequence.
This cat-like poise at all times, even while sleeping, displaces her ego. She is a servant and finds it relaxing not to be required to think, only to come when called and do as you are told.
Her ego was ever too proud and haughty to be displaced as easily as that! She compartmentalizes, of course, her body becoming the lapdog of the master, jumping when he calls (jumping out of the way when he is intemperate). Her mind watches, notices, records and counts every weakness and strength of all-male bonds. Her mind loses its own language and lets the rhythm and noise of this other language they speak, how they pause, how they gallop, how they slow walk back and forth, the music of their language without meaning.
I insert the captive slave girl into the room where Aristotle taught Alexander and see her as a silent–mute, in fact, her tongue cut out–witness, and a sponge for all they discuss, except for her pure outrage at the fact of them carrying on discourse of that nature anyway, while she worked as their pet, their little robot programmed to flinch at their slightest glance. The conversation she witnesses is the equivalent of an Aristotle tuturing an Alexander, in another lifetime, in the not so distant future, on a spaceship, learning the rules of commerce in the Greater Community.
I share with a friend who also peers deeply into story and legend for heroic archetypes. We ask, who is she? Who will she become as the centuries go by?
Greater relationships yet undiscovered
While the mute slave-girl Maia takes in the wisdom from the objectivist’s school, she is unaware that her thoughts are not contained within her own little head. She is aware how they churn relentlessly, not merely whirling but working, working, working, mostly reactively to what she hears and experiences from the two men and her position as their servant.
Her thoughts are shared by other women, other places, also captive and contemplative:
a queen who watches from her prison tower as her countrymen are defeated against a cunning army.
- daughter of decadence at a time of revolution, also in prison
- the Cassandras of today seeing all things in revolution now