| Great Pan Lives!
The at the exchange school laughed at her because she wasn't
dating, and indeed it was difficult not to, with Greek of all
types and sizes, passive or pushy, all convinced that American were
the easiest in the world. But after what she had found, she couldnŐt even
look at them.
It had been wanderlust that had taken her outside the town, to get away
from school and social demands. It had been mere chance that she had gone
away from the sea, up the little hills into the groves of cypress and
olive. It had been downright accident -- she had gotten lost, and stumbled
into something stony while she was looking up to get her bearings from the
sun -- that she had found the abandoned shrine.
But since then, she had planned and worked, and now she was ready. For
half the year she had tended seedlings, carefully planted; her dorm room
had become almost a greenhouse. For three months she had studied coins,
ceramics, and texts -- which was ostensibly what she was here for in
the first place, but never had she been so dedicated. For the past two
weeks, when she could time away from schoolwork, she had bought
fabric and sewn -- by hand, because there were no machines. She hated
straight hand-seams, but she reminded herself why she was doing this, and
the time seemed to go a little faster. And now the break was here, and she
had gathered all that she needed.
She tucked everything in two suitcases, carefully shielding the plants,
and went up to the hills. Just inside the woods, she sat down to catch her
breath and recollect herself. When she got up again, her heart was still
beating fast. She knew she could find the shrine again, and what awaited
her there set her whole body vibrating like a reed.
Once there, she took a trowel out of one suitcase and cleared away dead
growth, making holes for her seedlings and piling the earth neatly beside
each hole. She scraped moss and earth from the stone in the centre of the
shrine, to reveal the god of the shrine: Great Pan. Piping, spiral-horned,
ithyphallic. But stone, blind, still, cold.
And then, she took all her things a little distance away. She took off
her school clothes and put on the chiton she had researched and made.
Fine, white linen, it almost floated around her, and she began to feel
changed. She took up her seedlings, grapes and a loaf of bread, a
tambourine, an amphora of wine, and came back into the clearing, singing,
"Come to this scented grove where burns the living fire, o son of Hermes,
dweller in dark and wild places. When first his cloven hoof trod the black
soil, the rich grape and royal olive spoke their song, hailing him, and the
wind that breathed in the reeds hailed him, and the echo that speaks from
the stone cried Pan! io Pan! O lord of the dance, come to your shrine and
caress with your hands this servant, your worshipper. O Pan return to your
temple, to your rightful place!"
She said, "See, Great Pan, I offer you no dead flowers, no cut green
things, but live plants!" and she set them gently in their holes, packing
the earth in with her hands.
She said, "See, Great Pan, I offer you food, and the wine that is your
delight!" and she set out the food around his statue, and poured wine over
the statue, bathing the stone and stroking it with her hands.
She said, "See, Great Pan, I offer you music and dance, which is your
And she danced, as she had seen the women dance on krater and kalyx,
leaping and slapping the jingling drum, tossing her head and letting her
hair fly wild around her face, treading down the earth around the new
plants. Around her, the wind was warm and breathed like the trees. She
felt that when her back was turned, the trees moved and nodded to one
another and faces appeared on them and their limbs became waving arms. She
whirled and stretched, and even the light linen was too much clothing; in
one motion, she loosed a bronze clasp and the whole garment whirled away.
Her head and heart and belly were warm, her loins throbbing. Her slapped rhythmically against her chest. She set the drum aside and
caressed her body, cupping her as if showing them, pressing on her
buttocks and pushing her mons toward him, stroking up her thighs and belly.
"See, Great Pan," she sang, "I offer you this body, these breasts, these
thighs, this mouth, this cunt!"
She ran up to the statue and kneeled, still panting from the dance,
gasping, "See, Great Pan, I worship you!" and she kissed the stone phallus,
and took it into her mouth, wrapping her lips around the perfect glans.
Now with both hands she caressed the statue. She kissed the hard lips
with soft, insistant lips, pushing past the stone syrinx. She brushed the
stone torso with her smooth skin. She rubbed the stone phallus between her
thighs. "See, Great Pan," she murmured, "I worship you!" And sweetly, as
though it were the most right thing in the world, she slid herself onto
that hardness. Head thrown back, she writhed with the stone phallus inside
her, and it was not cold. The stone was warm as she was warm, and she
embraced the stone and sought the stone lips and rode the stone phallus.
And suddenly, like Pygmalion's image of Paphaean Aphrodite, the stone
was not stone. Warm, soft, living lips sought hers, and a warm, living
tongue parted them. Warm, strong, living arms set aside the pipes and
wrapped around her. Warm, powerful, furred legs unbent and stepped down
from the pedestal, a real, living body bent over her to set her down in the
fresh earth, and a hot, hard, living phallus reached for her innermost
parts. First she was surprised, then afraid, then overwhelmed with
*See, Woman,* a voice spoke in her mind, *I am here!*
Cradled and cushioned in the soft dark earth, she moved under Him and
with Him. He suckled at her nipples, took little bites at her neck and
lips, brushed her ears with His beard. She arched her body to receive Him,
crying with joy. The sounds of their lovemaking became one sound, joining
with the sound of the trees' song, the booming of the sea, a voice like
distant music, a cry that rose in power and volume, and out on the sea,
people in a boat heard the cry that reversed the voice from the isle in the
ancient tale: GREAT PAN LIVES! GREAT PAN LIVES! IO PAN! IO PAN PAN!
The don't bother her anymore. They know she must be seeing
somebody, because she comes home from nights out with that satisfied look
on her face. But they don't know who she could be seeing -- and when they
try to sneak after her, they always get turned around and lost. But they
always hear laughter and music, leading them astray. It's getting to be
the end of the term, but they think she's probably not coming back to the