A Little Goat

Capricorn goat

I have always loved Greek mythology (or any mythology for that matter) because they taught me how each culture has tried to explain nature that they didn’t understand at the time. I could see the patterns as I conducted comparative studies among different cultures, showing what I would call the “human commonness” along the path of our growth/maturity as humanity.

I am a Capricorn. The stories of Capricorn have many versions. Some say Capricorn was a regular Pan, while others say he was a distinct Pan, a father of all Pans, one of the Sons of Zeus called Aegipan. Either way, one thing was sure, that the Capricorn is related to Pan, a god of the wild, a shepherd god, known for their love of music, and in modern times, at times symbolizing “sexuality”. I find it easy to imagine Pan/Aegipan as my friend.

I love Nature, I love singing, I love playing horns, I am so playful with practical jokes that my first desk drawers are filled with practical joke kits, and I’m a person with gender dysphoria. Capricorn right there, indeed!

I was involved in acting in my youthful days, the team was somewhat different from other Theatrical companies, because we were group of Bilingual/Multilingual actors. When we were on the stage, every line was said twice, first in English and the second time in another language. My debut play was a story about King Midas and his donkey ears. I was King Midas and my first line ever said on stage, which I still remember, was “No matter what anyone says, Pan is the winner!”

———————-

A Little Goat

Born in a big city nearby the beach
I never saw a live goat roaming about
I only saw them on television
But not through my own vision

Yet, somehow I felt connected
Perhaps it is because I’m a Capricorn
The book on constellations
Led me to Ancient Greece in imaginary play

The Pans singing, dancing, and playing their pipes
Nature around them loved Pans back
Birds chirping along with music singing soprano
Bugs in alto not too soft not too loud
Pans voices sing in tenor
As toads kept rhythm singing low base

Aegipan, the pan that stood out
One of the sons of Zeus, I heard
Sat on a rock, as he didn’t have hoofs
But a great big fin flapping along the music

“Why don’t you have hoofs?” I asked
Aegipan laughed and told me his story
He was fleeing from a monster of the darkness
in his haste he came to a river
As other Greek gods transformed themselves to fish and birds
He still hadn’t decided what to be
His instinct as Pan changed his body
to a goat
But as he dove into the wild current
His hoofs weren’t too efficient, he found
So he transformed to grow a fin
And That’s the story of a goat with a fin
The Pan of all Pans, the Capricorn, He said

I laughed and told him
“You are like me!”
I couldn’t decide on a single major
Because all seemed relevant
All were interconnected influencing one another
And All looked fun to learn
Biology didn’t have all the answers
And I loved Chemistry too
So I mixed & matched
Biochemistry it is, I thought
But that still remained only a piece of the pie
I needed to know psychology
And its effect was whipped cream on the pie
With 3 ingredients, I thought I’d be satisfied
Yet, I was still missing something
A cherry on top, to finish up the pie
A cherry that is called theology
Aegipan laughed and said
We Capricorns just can’t decide!

Departing from Ancient Greece
I read another story
Story about how a flock of sheep
are separated from goats
I felt a little sad
Because I felt like a goat
The one that was to be rejected
The one that others shunned as unclean
I went back to the beginning of the book
And my oh my,
The first section spoke profound
“God looked at everything he had made,
and God found it VERY GOOD”
Yet, I was still sad
Being a goat that doesn’t belong
Being Aegipan, different from other Pans

I went to a farm one day
First time in my life, I saw a goat
A young goat looked at me
Holding his head high
His tiny horns still yet to grow
Distancing himself from a flock of sheep
Bouncing freely and joyfully
Sheepdogs started to bark
As it was a time to move
One dog came up to the goat
Barking to get him in with the flock
A flock mixed with sheep and goats
The young goat lowered his head
And with a playful wink
He started to chase the dog

Brother Goat!
I shouted laughing
Still worried that he may be left out
Following alongside of my Brother Goat
Secretly hoping that he’d just follow
To belong in a flock
Brother Goat ignored my wish
Grazed around some more
Nudging to tell me which leaves
Are the ones to munch

Other flocks had all gone home
Behind the safety of wooden fence
The sun was setting, soon the night would come
We have to hurry! I kept on nudging
But brother goat just grazed some more
I saw the fence of the farm at far
The fence was already closed up for the night
I looked at my Brother Goat in sadness
Brother Goat silently gave me a glance
As if asking me “Why are you sad?”
“The fence is closed” I told Brother Goat
So it is, he agreed
Then he lowered his head
Just like the time when he chased
The sheepdog away
He gave me another glance
His hoof scratching the soil
He dashed and jumped, over the fence
He looked back with a playful look
Urging me to hop over the fence

Brother Goat trotted rhythmically
As he head down to the barn
To join with others of the flock
Brother Goat, he just knew
That he is loved
Even to his playful ways

I can hear the pipes of Pans
Singing joyfully around his friends
Singing of free roaming souls

Bishops had built fences around the altar
Telling me to refrain from the Eucharist
For I am unclean, just like the goats
Yet, I hear the profound voice
Different from those of bishops
The shepherd of all other shepherds
Saying “Take this ALL of you!”
The fences that bishops had built are still there
But I know I’m a goat
A loved goat and still being loved
Just like the Brother Goat of the farm
I jumped the fence
To receive the host

I can hear the Pans singing
This time, I heard the distinct voice
Not too low on tenor
Not too high to be alto
At times he is hitting high notes
Singing not to worry
For goats the fences are meant to be hopped over
As he playfully sang
I smiled back
Yup, I’m a goat, not a sheep
I will graze on my own pace
I am a Capricorn, the Aegipan,
Pan of all Pans, a Son of Zeus,
A creation that God thought “Very Good”
Just like God viewed others as “Very Good”

—————

I love the story of constellations, the very first coins from my own allowance were spent on a very thick book of constellations and space. Not only did the book explain about stars but also included how the constellations came to be. That naturally led my curiosity to Ancient Greek mythology, so the second book I bought for myself was a yet thicker book on Ancient Greece.

As a person who didn’t belong to the sex I was born to, I always felt like a goat that is going to be separated from the flock of sheep in the New Testament parable. The feeling of not being able to belong was experienced early on and I still experience it day to day.

The only place I felt I should be able to belong was the church, not the institutional Church, but the place to talk & pray to God. I just thought I should be loved unconditionally, just because I was one of God’s creations just like others. I don’t believe God would work on a merit system, because that’s what humans do, that’s what we judge others with and quite often that’s how humans decide who to extend their hands to. But God of all things, the God who is teaching us to love, shouldn’t be limited to human logic. God of love is called as such, because God loves all creations with a compassionate and forgiving heart that humans can’t wrap their heads around. I believe that’s how large God’s love is.

Yet, in Church, I hear Bishops saying to a group of people to refrain from the Eucharist, the most significant sign of sharing love. The reasons vary, but it quite often comes down to Bishops and Church officials deciding that a group of people didn’t fit into man-made dogma. A dogma that still has a lot of growth to do, yet. My heart was crushed and I was deeply wounded. That day, I opened my Bible randomly with closed eyes, crying to God desperately, and it happened. It opened to the page where Jesus was telling his disciples, “Take nothing with you, when you enter the house, greet them with peace. If they welcome you, you may stay there, if they do not, just dust off your sandals and go to the next”.

A goat, that wasn’t welcomed at the table of Eucharist, decided to go beyond the boundary of diocese, where their bishop had not built the fence of words around the altar, had not asked any of the seeking people to refrain from sharing the love of God.

So, I hopped, hopped beyond the boundary of diocese, to be fed, fed of love & to share the love of God.

Someday, I will say with a big smile, “Take this ALL of you!” Engaging fully to the profound prayer, making sure there’s no goats that are left out. Perhaps, I was born to a body that gave me a hard time to fit in, to learn to be sensitive, to care for those who are shunned, to be a shepherd that would go look for one lost “goat”.

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