Once upon a time there was a man who, when he spoke, poured forth gold and jewels from his mouth. These marvelous things seemed to be of great value, and those who saw praised him for his wealth of words.

Once there was a woman who was drawn to the gold and jewels. But she shied away often. She had seen the curse of gold.

“Trust, trust,” he told her. “I’m different from those others.” The wind swayed in the trees. And he whispered to her. “Trust me, trust me.” A late night message: “It’s important to me. I know what you’ve said, but it’s important to me.”

She examined the gold carefully. She examined the jewels. And she made her choice. Hadn’t he told her how much she meant to him?

She became a ghost.

She couldn’t measure up. She was too difficult. She cost too much. She couldn’t be controlled. She couldn’t be contained. She couldn’t be summoned. She would not bow. She wasn’t enough.

Her image faded. She became as nothing. Her gifts–affection and gentleness–were not precious anymore. They were as common as flowers of the field.

The gold withered and decayed. The jewels turned to ash. The castles in the sky came crashing down. Everything that had been built with the gold and jewels fell apart. The curse of gold had victory yet again.