I would like to announce a personal creative milestone. I finished the draft of Book 2 in my novel, OneDerful World just at the end of the year. There will be three parts, my goal is a finished manuscript by the end of ’22. So the project I have been working on for a month is another pass at Book 1. One of the things you learn about in writing a fiction project that takes place over years is that your voice and your mission are constantly changing. Inspirations and influences of things you read sneak in and change the direction of your book. The result is that the place you thought you were going a long time ago is quite different then where you ended up. There have been a lot of scenes to rewrite in Book 1, a lot of characters to reshape. But I think I’d like to give you RFanatix a taste of what this novel I have been hammering at since 2015 is going to be like. Attached below is a draft copy of the first chapter of OneDerful World…
Respondent: G., Jakob
Re: 25 November 1948 CE
I consent with magnanimous joy to recount the story of Juanita [principally the human entity]. Annuit coeptis!
To my historian [imputed], I issued the following caveat: I have absolute and final editorial control over all content. This writ includes my choice of individual words.
To my consanguineous student readers, I gave two imperatives: 1.) I am not bequeathing a biography of Juanita. Despite whatever attempted commercialization accompanies my storytelling, and whatever people of limited imagination, intellectual depth, bravado, or faith say it is, on whatever sort of wrapper, this is my being’s conceptualization of another being’s being. Each of us is subject to the infinite storytelling of all the others among our college of thought. While I consent with magnanimous joy to tell Juanita’s story, I implore students to try understanding that none of us are what it says on our wrapper. 2.) Be certain to not slide incautiously over a word in this history you do not understand. The only limit of any person’s ability to comprehend a concept is based on one’s proclivity to stroll by a word confounded, determine the concept before them confusing, and then accept misunderstanding as inevitable. Be assured, students, I have selected each word before you with painstaking interest in regard to definition and nuance, and this care includes my placement of every adposition, diacritic, and punctuative. Ignore my guidance at your peril!
Quis erat Juanita? A mere introduction to learning about her contribution to our universe would required I write a factual recount of at least the last sixty trillion years. For the sake of specificity, I select to share from our underlying research, significantly condensed, the most germane components viz. Juanita as teenage coloratura soprano, Hollywood movie queen, extrasensory faith healer, and religious prelate (Her life as whatever evolved personality, phylum, or reincarnation called The Good Friend is beyond my field of interest and I will not discuss it in this history.).
Juanita De Mingo-Gudsang (posterus Good) was born astronomical year 1934 CE near Rancho De Mingo, California, Earth. Of course, born is a relative term. Species of mammalia may gestate between two weeks and two years, magma can crystalize to a pluton of rock in about ninety thousand chronozone (± 40 KA), and a typical grass seedling will emerge from planting in seven calendar days. Human beings (and other creatures of consciousness and universal awareness) are not truly born until the day they initiate self-realization, on this my panel of seven experts in Esoteric Ontologics unanimously agree. Ergo, this history begins with that critical day of Juanita’s human life, in medias res.
Juanita’s parents had observed signs of special abilities throughout her childhood, but until she was fourteen years old they had not yet witnessed her as extraordinary. The day in reference was the morning of the Thanksgiving holiday, 1948, inside Seventh Church of Christ Scientists, a recent construction in the then new and affluent Jefferson Park neighborhood, Los Angeles, California.
Order of Service that morning called for a special vocal performance by the Gudsang Trio, twins monozygotic Zoraida and Pedrosa and elder sister Juanita. The trio had been prepared in rehearsal by their father, Gun Gudsang, to perform Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy’s, “MY SOUL FOR HARVEST”and the Catholic hymn “BEHOLD, THE SOWER WENT FORTH SOWING.” The children’s mother, Consuelo De Mingo-Gudsang, was the service organist. Suelo, fond of sacred music, a vestige from her Catholic upbringing, had also requested Gun have the children perform “RÍU RÍU CHÍU”, a Spanish Christmas carol. This was entirely appropriate for a Christian Scientist service as the words, even in Spanish, articulated the errorless message of Christ without roaming into Romanist idolatry. Within Christian Scientist teachings of The Leader, Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, the religious import of Thanksgiving eclipsed even the meaning of Christmas. The theme of gratitude acknowledged God’s existing blessings, rather than what Suelo characterized as “oraciones for more greedy favors.”
Perhaps because of busy Thanksgiving Day activities, Gun did not have opportunity to run through “RÍU RÍU CHÍU” with his children earlier back home at Rancho De Mingo. Fortunately, Gun and Suelo’s daughters were quick at musical study. Indeed, Juanita could produce unrehearsed the seven diatonic notes of the second soprano part all in perfect pitch. According to eyewitnesses of the day, many of whom were Hollywood notables, one of the church ushers had been beset in an automobile altercation, rendering the regular weekly contingent of eight men to seven. An oral reader completed the Golden Text from Revelations VII which signaled the church ushers to pass only seven brass offering plates among rows, which, in turn, cued Gun to cue The Gudsang Trio (N.B. the series of both purposeful and extrinsic sevens, or, as reiterated in Haftology, hierophanious zeta phenomena).
The Gudsang children had been positioned on the seven altar steps so that Zoraida and Pedrosa were one graduation below Juanita. Their mother, petitioning an overdue favor from Hollywood costumer Karine, had the two younger sisters wardrobed in round, autumn-hued skirts. Juanita’s dress was cinched at her young-miss hips and the print of falling poplar leaves was designed to pattern her cascading golden curls. I believe what was powerful and beckoning about Juanita as a performer was the contrast between the appearance of her immature adolescent body and the sound of her preternaturally mature soprano, i.e. she was a little girl with the big voice of a woman. Seventh Church’s membership was in love with the voice, and Hollywood community chatter attracted the attendance of many, including part time and non-believers. Juanita was always a reliable performer which is why certainly the shock intensified when during the second stanza of “RÍU RÍU CHÍU” she appeared to fall into a fit of psychodynamic glossolalia, and her singing of improvised and unholy words resounded across the audience, up to the church’s radially-split pine roofbeams.
A brief description of Seventh Church’s holy erection is necessary. The building’s exterior did not exhibit the stucco and tile roof of Spanish Mission revival, popular of church constructions in the first half of twentieth century California. Instead Gun Gudsang (transl. God’s Song), principal architect from the Norwegian-American firm Gudsang & Ødegård Arkitekter, had designed a long, rectangular structure, storied on a curved hull. The sides were built with lapstraked long planks from imported old-growth oak, fastened together with copper rivets and roves, then sealed and weatherproofed with tar. Along these long sides there were many small circular windows resembling ancient oar holes. On top the architect had elected the expressions of a tall oak mast and square flags rigged like sails, one with the print of a lantern, the other with a needle, symbolizing respectively the word of The Master and the promise of salvation. Wide mahogany entrance doors, detailed with iron strapwork, opened outwards like hatches, and above them a carved swooping dragon head recalled ornamentation once found on the prow of a Norse langskip. In effect, Gun Gudsang had built a church that on the exterior quite resembled a landlocked Viking warship.
The interior auditorium of Seventh Church was a long room lit by the many circular clerestory windows and pewed to seat as many as twelve hundred Christian Scientists. Gun Gudsang, being in a sense his own architectural client, seized the opportunity to build an acoustically infallible house for the performance of choral music, which he and his wife revered. Gudsang & Ødegård Arkitekter was an enterprise of international distinction building opera houses and theaters magnificent in their beauty, but by the mid-twentieth century they became most renowned in the United States for modern scientific acoustical engineering in new cosmopolitan concert odea, assembly halls, and restored cathedrals, largely due to the expertise of the firm’s scion. In previous demonstrations of his genius in interior acoustics, it was Gun Gudsang who inserted a wide, sound reflecting marble floor between the audience and orchestra at the Pasadena Philharmonia Hall. It was he who designed the legendary pyramid-shaped band shell at the La Jolla Amphitheater, acoustically far ahead of its time and brought down quickly due to its appearance being too avant-garde for conventionalist in San Diego County.
Expanding the achievements of these remarkable previous projects into the construction of Seventh Church of Los Angeles, Gun used Sabine’s mathematical principle formulas to predict sound reverberation time and the coefficients of sound absorption in his building materials. He logged experiments using organ pipes, tuning forks and the singing voices of his three daughters as sound sources originating from all areas inside. Gun’s original blueprints [archive lot #16] diagramed for sub-contractors his call for a flat planked ceiling, braced with pine beams, to avoid the echoes of concave church domes and vaults, and for sound absorbing carpets, draperies, and thick upholstered pew cushions to reduce distortion and echo. He had the pew rows placed on a raked floor rising at the bottom to form an isacoustic curve, as first proposed by Russell’s study of soliton waves, and the church walls lined with thin plywood paneling which furred out from the masonry on battens to provide a resonating air cavity behind the timber surface. Lightweight bamboo wood on the floor created vibration and stretched long bands of spring steel wire along the ceiling crossbeams absorbed the sound energy being produced below, amplifying it as in the body a wooden-backed string instrument. In effect, the church, resembling a Viking warship on the exterior, was in the interior a vast and Christian-filled violin.
Was this attempt at turning a building into a musical instrument pure acoustical quackery? My special commission of acousticians concluded Gudsang’s Seventh Church project to have been somewhat naïve in regard to vibrational physics, but concurred that low cubic volume relative to the audience size, and consequent short reverberation time inside the church, would result in clear acoustics allowing ornamentations of human voices to be heard in exceptional effect.
Although Gun may have built the perfect church edifice, it might be said that as an individual he lacked the framework of a complex exterior personality. It was Suelo, his much more gregarious wife, who possessed the exceptional talents to accomplish both the campaign to finance construction of the church and to populate it with the correct people. In the first year of Seventh Church, 1948, on Thanksgiving, she personally invited many wealthy families, politicians and Hollywood luminaries to services. The foyer visitors registration book from that day [archive lot #34] includes signatures of such noted individuals as: Doris Day, Ginger Rogers, King Vidor, Theodore Dreiser, and Baseball Hall of Fame athlete George Sisler.
As with every service in Seventh Church, the Gudsangs directed the musical program. Gun conducted the choir and special vocal performance by the three daughters Gudsang, and Suelo arranged and played all music for the pipe organ. Suelo’s organ was located in the rear loft of the church, a level above the congregation, with Gun’s choir organized around it in pyramidal seating. The audio sensory effect of this orientation being that tonal voice colors of choir and anthemic organ timbres channeled together from rear to front and downward in an evenly flared profile toward their especially-invited congregation. The musical program presented that Thanksgiving morning reproduced the unisonous vocalizations and cantus firmi of Christian liturgies established long before Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy.
Students might be tempted to surmise, as did many members of Seventh Church congregation, that Juanita’s trance-like fit of disequilibrium on the Thanksgiving Day described was the result the adolescent’s bliss-like travel into the pleasantry of her own Christmas-colored performance. Others present in the church that morning expressed conflicting theories that perhaps under-rehearsal, over-rehearsal, or even nonchalance toward the ubiquitous Christmas message could have caused Juanita to wander mentally from the printed vocal score. I have stated conclusively that Juanita did not “lose her place” in the song. My hierological-musicologists believed that the repetitive Spanish villancico choral form encouraged Juanita’s seeming state of trance and produced a primal religious experience during the interpreted incoming contact from the spirit world, much in the way some Afro-Brazilian religions use percussive music to summon their deity Orixás. The particular rhythm and meter of “RÍU RÍU CHÍU”, when phonated in Juanita’s vocal vibrations, may have exacerbated a physical singularity, i.e. a fissure in time. The moment following this divide was that in which she began to sing out the names of persons in attendance followed by their current medical condition in English, Spanish, and Norwegian.
According to certified witnesses, Juanita beautifully vocalized at least some of the following in an improvised melody:
Mr. Arthur Fosbury. Small cell lung carcinoma! Lunge kreft!
Mrs. Ada Bea Gage. Gota! Gout! Gikt!
Mrs. Lilian Galarneau-Graham. Androgenic alopecia! Calvo! Balding! Calvo!
Miss Rose Greener. Embarazada! Gravid! Pregnant! A boy on May 25th!
Prior to investigation, Juanita’s exclamations were misunderstood utterances rebounding from the corners of the auditorium. Gun Gudsang, perhaps as alarmed by his eldest daughter’s bizarre behavior as by the failure of his perfect acoustical design to contain an echo, was heard to utter the word, “Uffda.” He motioned a rehearsed hand signal to Suelo at the organ who, in a hasteful manner, and an apparent preemption of the reader’s benediction referenced in the Order of Service, played down the recessional hymn, Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy’s “FEED MY SHEEP.”
Later that Thanksgiving Day in the choir rehearsal room of Seventh Church, Juanita, looking perplexed, sat at the middle of a carpet-topped table while the parents came at her from both ends.
Gun said to Juanita, per transcription of interviews with the Gudsang family, “Hoppeføll [Norwegian nickname], people of the church are quite cross. Miss Greener, and your mother too.” Gun was described as a man who frequently wore short suit jacket sleeves, revealing forearms of white-blond hair. Despite being of downy body, when Gun conducted music from the rail up in the choir gallery, his Norwegian-born paleness made him appear to congregants like a lanky baby in a man’s suit. However, paraphrasing one testimonial, Gun was more dedicated to impressing people with the successes of his architectural and musical projects than with his personal appearance. Although he had come late in life to fatherhood, he was also dedicated to the crafting of his three children.
“It’s an infamante on our family, Mija,” Suelo said. According to photographs in my archive, Suelo was below average female height and an endomorphic body type, but she also appeared to have been gifted with unusually large hands. A discovered audio recording, made a decade after the era of this study, provided evidence that Suelo’s long fingers could improvise a twelfth-span piano hand position like a postulant Rachmaninoff.
The parents had Juanita in tears. “Gosh, I didn’t mean to say all those goofy things, Far,” she explained to her father. “It was in the middle of singing that hymn, Ríu Ríu Chíu? That’s when I saw the blue light. It came through the ceiling, bright as a giant blue glow worm.”
“Light? You mean, the high windows.”
“No, Far. It was a queer light that came through the ceiling above the choir in back. Then it sort of floated like a cloud towards us kids singing in front, and it lingered just over the heads of the congregation. Oh, didn’t you see it? How beautiful and bright it was? I felt like I was being lifted up from the floor, like I was light as a feather.”
What Juanita described, scholars of Hindu worship may recognize as similar to a vision of Darśana, also called auspicious light.
“There was no such light, Mija,” Suelo instructed her daughter.
Gun poured himself a dram of aquavit from a personal flask and Suelo sighed disapproval on behalf of Christian Science, which considered pleasures from alcohol a deadly illusion. Then there was a knock on the doors of the rehearsal room and Suelo stood up from the table. She rolled open the sliding door and ushered into the room a weary-looking female valet [identity unverified] plus noted film-musical actress Rose Greener, one of the people whose name Juanita had sung out along with the word “pregnant.”
Despite a validated measure of mild weather conditions that November afternoon in Southern California, Rose Greener was said to have dressed herself for church in a large coat of golden dyed nutria pelts with ankle-length panels that obscured her iconic willowy figure.
“Is it alright to smoke in here, Suelo, dear?” Rose Greener asked, while in the motion of lighting a cigarette. “I mean, the Lord only bums around the big room, right?”
“The Lord and I prefer you quit smoking, Rose. Por favor.”
“I quit smoking these damn snipes last night, dearie, but I’m a bundle of nerves since this morning in church, no thanks to your little crooning fink.”
“You shouldn’t call her that,” Gun defended his daughter. “She’s only a teenage girl, and she’s just as confused as we all are.”
“What I wanna know is the name of the snitch who told her I’m incubating. Was it one of the two-faced reporters who follow me into Ciro’s? Was it any of those jealous doughnuts from the studio publicity department? I mean, I got a lot of uncles. Not even the real Zagnut knows about his baby yet. So, how did this myna bird find out?”
“Hoppeføll, you have to be honest and tell Miss Greener. Someone must have told you about a baby. Who?”
“Gosh, it wasn’t a thing someone walked up on Melrose Avenue and just told me, Far.” Juanita tried her most earnest to explain. “There was the blue light, and in the middle was a tiny purple egg. It looked just like the embryos I saw in a microscope at school. Then the embryo used the blue light to speak through me.”
“The egg spoke through you?” Rose Greener said. She sat down next to Juanita. “Are you saying it was some kind of ventriloquist bullarky?”
“I swear it was the embryo who said the words…those secret things about you Miss Greener, and all the other church members. The words popped out of my mouth like bubbles in the funny papers, while I was singing. I couldn’t stop it. That’s The Master’s honest truth, you know? You all heard my singing voice, but it was the voice of the man I heard.”
Gun looked back across the table to his wife. “A man?” he asked.
Suelo clarified, “She means, just a fantasma…a stranger…I think.”
“No, the embryo had a man’s voice, Mamá.”
“Alright, I’ll play along with the gag,” Rose Greener said. “Did this man sound like an old fellow or younger?”
Young, I guess,” Lydia said. “Maybe an older boy.”
“Do you think he was wearing little square shaped eyeglasses by chance?” Rose Greener badgered Juanita. “Did he sound like a scrawny itch who always wears plaid bowtie?”
“No, he just sounded like something I can’t describe. Something else. And the else said he came–or is coming, maybe–in answer to my prayer.”
“Uh, huh. Now which kind of prayer is that, dearie?” Rose Greener asked.
“Well, every morning I pray for help. I ask The Master to heal anybody I’ve heard is sick or suffering, and for all sick people in the world I don’t know yet. That’s what The Jesus preached in scripture. ‘He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.’ The else voice told me, ‘Remain faithful. Be true to yourself, Juanita, and I will lead you to what you want most, to help all the afflicted.’”
“Oh, Jiminy Cricket,” Miss Rose Greener said. “Ain’t she sweet. I tell you I don’t get the joke.”
“There’s another thing, Mamá. I could feel Jameigh in the light, my invisible friend from when I was little.”
Suelo aimed an oath across to her husband, “Santo cielo! The spirit of the twin has returned.”
Gun Gudsang swallowed again from his steal flask and an idea struck him. “Ríu Ríu Chíu.” Play it again, Suelo, with all the girls singing.”
Suelo opened the double doors to the rehearsal room wide to the narthex where the twins Zoraida and Pedrosa had been sitting since the end of the Thanksgiving service with their elderly niñera, Señora Antigua. Suelo brought the children into the choir room and arranged Juanita and her sisters next to the practice piano into their replicate trio positions. Once postured again at the piano bench, Suelo played the hymn material to the family’s concern. Juanita’s singing was reported to be beautiful, if somewhat behind the rhythm and lacking enthusiasm. The sustain pedal on the practice piano apparently squeaked as well. Suelo looked annoyed but nothing unusual happened. Gun, sat at the carpet-topped table and stared at Juanita.
“Do you hear the stranger’s voice, Hoppeføll?” Gun asked her. Juanita shook her head negative and appeared to feel responsible for disappointing her father. Gun asked Rose Greener’s valet to step out to the narthex and bring in Señora Antigua. “Nobody else move from where you are right now,” he said.
A moment later the valet walked back into the choral room with the old woman at her arm. Señora Antigua, had lived at Rancho de Mingo for decades, employed in the assistive upbringing of Suelo and all six of her older sisters, and then Suelo’s own children. On Sundays one of the rancheros from the family house would drive her to Catholic mass, but this Thanksgiving Thursday Suelo had invited her to ride with the family in the Rolls Royce Silver Wraith convertible down to Los Angeles to hear the Gudsang girls sing. Señora Antigua wore an old silk mantilla over her head, a gift once from the belated Don Mingo, Seulo’s father, and likely her most valuable possession. As the valet escorted the woman in through the choir room doors, Gun shouted for the benefit of Señora’s weak hearing, “We thought you would enjoy hearing the entire performance of the girls!”
“Mi propia ópera!” Señora Antigua shouted back at Gun.
Gun stepped in to assist Señora to a large Morris chair in the corner of the chorus room.
The girls still in their staged trio arrangement watched for Suelo’s cue as she played “RÍU RÍU CHÍU” again on the piano. At approximately the sixteenth bar, Juanita began to fall into a state of semi-consciousness. Her eyes rolled up and instead of singing the second soprano part she commenced singing random words in full resonance.
“Pocosordos!” Juanita sung out.
Gun frantically dug into his shirtfront withdrawing a pocket-sized, spiraled sketch pad and an architect’s drafting pencil.
“Catarata!” Juanita sang fortissimo and Gun jotted down the word.
At the end of “RÍU RÍU CHÍU”, Señora Antigua clapped for the girls and Gun directed the twins to escort their niñera back to the narthex [Referencing Gun’s recovered sketchpad, archive lot #7036, his note: Señ Antigua walked w/livelihood. more than she displayed coming into room.]. Then he ushered Juanita to lie on a sofa and she began to rouse to consciousness from her trance.
Gun sat next to Suelo on the piano bench and sounded out loud his own phonetic Spanish scribblings. “Po co sore dose?” Gun asked Suelo.
“Slightly deaf in the ear,” Suelo replied, her long fingers making a pinching gesture near her ear. Gun wrote that down in English next to his notation.
“How about, cat…arada?”
“It means…,” Suelo tried to think of an English word and pointed at her eye, “her eyes are cloudy.”
“Oh…cataracts!” Gun wrote that down in the notebook and seemed to be having an odd fun with the translations. Suelo pointed at the next item on Gun’s list. “Oh, svak ryggrad,” he read. “Now that is Norwegian. Degenerative…spine pain. But I do not know ‘infer may vegee da?’”
“Spanish again, Far,” Juanita said from the sofa. “Enfermedad vegiga.”
Suelo pointed at Gun’s notations with her pencil-like fingers. “The old vieja’s bladder is falling.”
Gun’s bushy, pipe-cleaner eyebrows popped up. “No joking?” he asked the notes. “Is falling bladder common? Will Señora Antigua die? ”
Suelo slapped Gun lightly on his cheek. “That poor old pájaro has been dying of everything for centum years. The important thing is why our Juanita knows all these mysteries about Señora, just like she knew the illnesses of people in church, just like she knew that Rose is…full.”
“Yeah, but how does she know?” Rose Greener asked the Gudsangs. They all turned to Juanita.
Juanita shrugged. “It was the embryo in the blue light talking,” she said.
Gun wagged a finger in the air. “The secrets came to her from The Master during the Christmas song. She went into a trance, and God told her what’s going on inside a person. That is what I figured when she sung out that Miss Greener is…full.”
“Say,” Rose Greener offered, “that’s a pretty neat trick. Maybe your little swami really is patched straight through to Heaven.”
Gun believed he had identified a God-given gift in Juanita, an ability–in a state of mental trance–to empathically perceive another person’s bodily conditions and/or illnesses. My students learned that Gudsang was mistaken in part, that the data declaimed in Juanita’s hypnogogic hallucination was not excogitated from the presence of subjects bodily among their ministry at all. Juanita was, in fact, experiencing anamnestic-inversion, a fore-channeling of medical history information about the subjects residing in the reservoir of records held currently by my Haftological Institute. The questions of with whom was she communicating?, what entity was represented by the purple embryo?, what was the primary source of information? become matters of continuous scholarship. My students know these cosmological quandaries well from their studies in Haftology and the nature of Series Current.
At fourteen years old Juanita had her first encounter with the light representing her leadership of mankind to the theoretical center of origin. Exactly how mankind should prepare and come together was, to this point in the chronicle, unknown, however articulating the way became her life’s mission. I must also stress, adapting from the Zen Buddhist concept of understanding one’s own enlightenment, that Juanita’s true consciousness as a facet of whole consciousness was reborn on the Thanksgiving Day previously discussed, the day she began self-realizing the primary source of her perceptions.