The river, still fed by the far distant mountain spring of Book 1 (Plough), approaches the ocean. It has sustained life all through the evolution of society along its banks and down through the centuries during the events of Book 2 (Growth) and Book 3 (Harvest), but by the time of Book 4 (Snow) the conscious connection between society and the river has almost been lost. According to legend, at one point the river split into two streams, one feminine and the other masculine, and where they will flow into the ocean they will re-unite, of necessity.
It is winter. Jade is making her way across country on foot as the snow steadily falls, obliterating the details and landmarks the eye takes for granted when finding the way. She is gifted as an actress, and, though born male, has devoted her life to performing female roles, with considerable success. As part of the sacrifice needed to perfect her art, she has also lived her daily life outside the theatre as a woman, in her nature as a woman and a single woman. Several years ago she founded an ensemble of which she is the director and principal actor, and has recently allowed women to perform female roles, the first time this has happened in this culture.
While she treks across country, her ensemble is rehearsing for a new production called The Temptation, for the first time having to work without Jade’s directions. She is making her way to an isolated hotel where she will direct a piece of spontaneous theatre with unsuspecting guests who have never consciously acted before.
MARCUS M. CORNELIUS: graduated from Exeter University (UK), was awarded a Creative Writing Scholarship at Syracuse University (USA), and for seven years was a professor at Hokuriku University (Japan). His other occupations have included many years as a bookseller, and some time as a singer - music has always been the most reliable of friends - and freelance writing and arts management in Australia. iUniverse published his first book, Out of Nowhere - the musical life of Warne Marsh, as well as the first three of eight completed volumes of Sopolyrimu (songs, poems and lyrics for music) and the first four books of the five-part Note for Note (Another Pentateuch). Marcus is now working on a prose work to be called D-tours, the last hundred years, and a book of poetic prose to be called keepers takers. He now lives in Triana (Sevilla) where he feels very much at home.
Further details of his work and responses to it can be found at www.marcusmcornelius.net.