And so it was, God- incarnate as Beauty in Perpetuity- sat on His throne on the summit of Mount Aripo. He was looking on at all creation, reciting Mayan prophecy in the back of His mind, but thinking of that island which He loved above all others. The island had a Ritual to do and had not done it. They had instead performed a mockery of the Ritual, and the stench of it had risen even up to this Heaven… He looked out past the magnificent monument ‘The Inherent Nobility of Man’ which held pride of place in His Great Hall and wondered, “How far have they fallen…”
He summoned his arch-angel- the Orisha of his eye- Joy to the World Hallelujah- to His side. She came dancing through the hall, her white wings all aflutter. He could not intervene directly, so told His messenger, “Go to Washer Woman- that great Spirit- tell her that she must activate her Army of Light to complete this Ritual or the island will fall.” Joy to the World Hallelujah lept out the large window into the clouds and descended quickly to the lower plane where Washer Woman sat in her waterfall fortress. On the lower plane the war was still on, as everything done on Earth was at it is on that plane of Heaven. Her old nemesis Man Crab had been gaining ground for years and she had witnessed much destruction. Still she had hope in the-island-at-the-centre-of-the-world, that its people would wake up to their magic, do their duty, and save the world. But now here was Joy to the World Hallelujah appearing in front of her with word from on High.
Joy said, “Tell your son Callaloo to activate the Army of Light. The balance has been tipped. The island of Promise is close to falling. Tell your son, do what he must!” And then the arch-angel was gone, leaving only her warm glow of happiness behind… Washer Woman knew she must take time off now from her battles with the endlessly scheming Man Crab to get message to her son… It would take a long journey…
On El Tucuche, Callaloo woke up with a start. He had seen his deceased mother Washer Woman in a dream- but it was one of those dreams that felt like a message… His tall Dogon antenna which communicated with both the spirits and the stars was still humming, so he quickly knew which one it was. The message was simple, “Assemble the Army of Light. The island is falling…”
Meanwhile back in Heaven, in a chamber in the Hall of Ancestors, 12 of the island’s greatest champions sat around the long table… The room was filled with haloes. Around the table sat: CLR James; Lloyd Best; Andre Tanker; Kitchener; Beryl McBurnie; Sundar Popo; Ras Shorty I; George RL Bailey- leader of Lovey’s Band; Railway Douglas; Spoiler; Carlisle Chang; and Pat Bishop. It was Pat who spoke, “In the Land of Hummingbirds- Douens are multiplying…”
The Ancestors had been waiting for the Ritual. They all had contributed to preparing the island for it. They helped build the beauty of the island- the Ritual was what remained to complete their work. Railway Douglas- he who created the House for Calypso- spoke, “De boy from Toco do he job. He prepare all by heself with de coach from de Island of Revolution. All Christmas and New Year’s morning when others was eating cake he was training to channel lightning…”
The island had been in trouble for some time… Despite the glory and gifts of its people, for many years it was led by leaders with stomachs for heads. Two years before, a Chantwell told the headless ones they had the Ritual to do: it was 50 years since the island had been handed the keys to build on its own magic, 75 years since Butler- the father of the nation- raised the freedom flag, and 100 years since Lovey’s Band had brought the music down from Heaven to share it with the world. Now, on this sacred anniversary, the island had this most important Ritual to enact. The Ritual would stabilize the island, crown its Gifts, and take its Beauty into the world. Some of those-with-vision, who had seen the Ritual in dreams, met in Council to give the headless ones the instructions. But there was intrigue, and finally, a betrayal.
There were others sitting in the Council, with chairs as heads, who wanted to corrupt the Ritual. Disciples of Man-Crab, they wanted people to worship their heads… There was also another, a dark lord planning in the shadows…
That was the moment she chose to ascend… She stopped the betrayal. The instructions for the Ritual were delivered- but the instructions had not been followed… Now a fraudulent Ritual had been uttered and corruption was spreading. Douens were multiplying… The Dream was jeopardized… It was Pat. She who had committed that ultimate sacrifice in Council- spoke, “Callaloo will need some help…”