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24 The Well

hexagram-24-well‘LOOK, A WOMAN at the well in the noonday sun! The other villagers must hate her,
no doubt for immorality.’

Big glacial stones underneath might prohibit driving a point in the yard.
A driven point seeks its own course: it would either wallop into a boulder
and stop dead or else bend till the drive pipe broke or friction prevented
further progress. A bent pipe, in any case, makes it impossible to install a
suction pump. Many wells need to be drilled, and to hell with the outlay.

1st – The Well of Sufficiency
Enough of survival is tautology – erratic rains, crops, food, comfort.
Abundance we give back for this. Our overlapping petals, like tiles on
a roof, dress six wells in memory of lost cattle, burnt corn and hay,
with thanks for fatigued resilience: our undaunted Bethlehem of births.

2nd – The Well of Purity
Any water looks special in an auteur bottle. The sociable inspector lingers
over his meze. Down in the cellar loyal artisans pump filtered, carbonated
tap water into flagons with engraved armorial cartouches. Municipal
quality standards justify certification; even, just possibly, acclaim.

3rd – The Well of Loneliness
That distant hole of sky is choked with pitch – a locus: mere geometry.
Friends will have their own monoculars. A conversation about the view
could never change the view. Self-evident? Only if you lack the strength to
learn about a working well, purer, somewhere in some nearby village.

4th – The Well on the Western Front
Conceding energy to mapping minds, the land between trenches reverts
to abstraction. Yet in no man’s land, where a broken well is choked with
weeds, infantrymen see tiny parachutes floating between drifting clouds
of dust and smoke, a telegram: there might be water still at the bottom.

5th – The Closed Well
Self-help culture has crept from the page to the big outdoors: Discover;
Enjoy; Imagine – you have to, since the ancient well is closed, a grassy
throat of earth with a plank across its mouth. An old-timer knows better:
‘How can you close a well – even in our bankrupt Age of Aquarius?’

6th – The Well of Gravity
A fragment of a planet, goddess of sight and the earthly sky, which
collided with earth to create the moon, sits at rest in its space pocket.
Likewise, her engagement ring, thrown into a well, has nowhere else to
go, its rare glint of moonlight not seen by a soul, eternally unpromising.

All six – The Wishing Well
A coin is best, though a letter might work: it has to be something that
might have enriched you a little. From that loss you draw the energy of
luck, rubbing until it shines like an affirmation. Think of your wish, not
as a souvenir from a place you’ll never visit, but as a first instalment.

Introduction to Six-Way Mirror | The Index of Hexagrams and Cantos



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