Audrey is on the volcanic ledge where the Castle rises from the sea's cold tides. With a staff she is stirring the waters where the fish come to feed. Tutor can see the speckled fish coming and going in schools, this way and that as Audrey muddles the waters with her stick. A kid alone on the rocks, tossed last year from her prep school. In the rooms where Trusted Advisors to Wealth come and go, discussing her case with Momma, discussing and rating her on her Capitals and Liabilities, it is said, "the jury is still out on Audrey; she could still go either way." A family therapist has a file on her so thick it bulges, and takes a thick rubber band to stay closed. Before Tutor came to the Castle, as Momma's last resort, Audrey walked the cold stone floors barefoot at night, in her white shift, eyes wide and fast asleep. Therapist said she is looking for her father, and no one even Momma can name his name, or say who or where he is.
Can this kid be fixed? If anyone could, it would be Tutor because he loves her and needs her as his connection to the future. "Hey, Audrey," he whispers, "how did fish form schools? Do you think their Momma made them?" Audrey knows his ways, a Silly Grownup among the Stupid Grownups, and holds a disdainful silence, agitating the waters and scaring off the fish. Yet the question sinks in. At bedtime she returns to it, "So why did the fish form schools?" "Same reason," says Tutor, "that lambs form flocks, the birds fly in formation, ants form mounds, and the whales come in pods." "Because their mommas make them?" "Yes," says Tutor, "thank God for Mommas! Your Momma loves you very much, and so do I." His little lamb falls asleep, with Tutor her teacher, pastor, Mentor, babysitter, enabler, straight man, fellow traveler, kindred spirit, and lost soul. What has love got to do with teaching? Child rearing? Giving? Faith? Poetry? Scripture? Schools of fish, or thought?
I was expressing my interpretation to Tutor, and he said, "What has hate got to do with it, Phil? Why do the schools humans form have teams that play against one another? Why do communities have boundaries, walls, gates, property lines? Why do fans of one faith, chant, "USA" and "Build that wall?" Why does one color lynch another? Why did Athens when sickness spread, burn a pharmakos, at the cross roads? Why in chapel at the altar where I give communion can you look up and see the Shepherd bleeding, like the lamb he might have fleeced and butchered? Why do we eat of his body and drink his blood like a bunch of barbarians? You mention art, and love. As for tragedy? Abraham and Isaac? The Book of Job? As for satire, and the blurred dance of the priest, the knife, and the goat? As for the bliss of conquest and subordination? As for pillage and what historians politely call 'rapine?'" Why do fish form schools? And why do dogs and wolves run in packs? Speaking of rapine, do you know the story of Audrey's conception on the killing floor at the Bank of Wealth Bondage, the night the traders and trusted advisors celebrated her mother's first world historical trade? So the capitals circulate, in the economy of wealth, love, rancor, and revenge."
Inspiration from below - that is really Tutor's problem. I wish he would admit he needs help. I am all for speaking truth, but it is revolting, all the same. We humans wear skirts or trousers for a reason. Our Mommas make us, and rightly so.