The Radiant Beginning
by Brittany Goss
I never volunteered to be the sun, but they all said I gave off the most heat. With your reddish temper and your fire-blonde hair, you’re a natural at it, they said. Someone else had already volunteered to be wind in any case, and another was the rain, and the moon was a diaphanous goddess of a girl named Moira, so I became the sun by default. I felt all wrong for it. It should have been someone huge and strong and confident and loud, but it was scrawny little me, formerly Ricky, now the sun. I practiced generating heat from the fire in my belly. I practiced shining, becoming brilliant, so brilliant the others had to look away. It was inner work, you understand, the kind that can’t be taught, only done. For reasons of concentration we decided on an absence of language while we became. There was movement; there was sound and song. There was a slow turning of our bodies. It was a new world, one with humans instead of elements, more like a stage than a world. Unless we created our own fire and heat and light, our own cool importance, and wetness and thirst and chill and relief, it was just darkness, a black box theater. Like the first people, we remade what we could remember from the last universe, and slowly we created ourselves. Somehow, much later, our becomings overcame us; our efforts created palpable matter: the fresh scent of water; the rush of air; the gravitous pull of planets; the warmth of light. I realized, if a realization was possible for the body of the sun, that I was in the making, was the making; I was large and burning and full of myself. All around me the new moon and the new wind and the new rain were turning in the most current fabrication of the universe, and at the center of everything was this, the radiant beginning.
Brittany Goss has published fiction and poetry in Joyland Magazine, The Writing Disorder, The How-To Issue, Bellingham Review, and Grasslimb Journal. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Colorado State University and has received support for her work from the Vermont Studio Center. You can find out more about her at brittanygoss.com.