(Are you coming or going from unfamiliarplace.com ?)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Sun said to the Tempest, Be Still; I Will Remove the Jacket

 to be read quickly aloud

We knew, some time ago, a man who thought himself a writer
and a poet and a servant of the Lord and tried to show it, but
we all knew it wasn’t true; we thought it was not good for him
to lead himself astray, and so we asked the angels and some other
rather shady folk to send a thousand tests his way until he either saw
what we was not—or, if he overcame, became
the things he thought he’d always been.

But the results were unforeseen. He neither failed the tests nor could
we really say in fairness that he’d borne the harness and succeeded;
he never recognized the tests or realized their significance.
Indeed he took the hook each time we looked and put it in his pocket
and forgot it, putting it aside and saving it for later. Then since
the man absorbed our every test, unloading every night the things
he’d stuffed into his pocket—coins and string and all manner of whatnot
besides the tests themselves—on his dresser, we gave it up at last,
abandoning the thought that he could be corrected. He thanked God
each night for the various odd phenomena which “faith hath brought”
(he didn’t know of our existence) “from the rich and blessing hand
of God”. The latter rarely said a thing in answer; we assume He didn’t
know any better than the man did of the tests and how we planned them.

However, one of us one day got the idea to make a test of will,
namely that the test itself would be, whether he should take the test at all;
that is to say, we laid a lovely trial on the ground to judge him whether
he would pick it up when he had found it; would he put it in his pocket—
you see, he’d vowed when he was young to take whatever God would
give him, graciously; but now we took that vow and turned it round,
delivering for once, instead of pain and suffering which he ignored,
a gift, too lovely to be true, disguised as being from his Lord. We’d see
if he would take the bait and only know it was temptation once it was
too late. And thusly, said the craftiest among us, we will wait.

He came upon it while he went from one place to another.
It caught his eye and gave him pause and contemplation.
“Normally my God delivers unto me the simple things,”
he mused, “unprecious things—or so it’s been since my salvation—
which I have borne and borne and borne; perhaps He’s bored
by this; or else perhaps he’s satisfied? Perhaps this new thing’s a reward?”
And so he justified its taking, as if given by the Lord,
instead of us.

And instantly he fell in love, the moment he had picked it up.
Exactly as we’d thought, it took him over, grabbed his soul
and made him worship it instead of God; and we were pleased,
and gave him, for our sport, the gift of writing, and of poetry, and of
considering himself a righteous person and a servant of the Lord.
And there was joy on earth, and peace, and everything that mankind
has inherently adored; and there was happiness in Hell.

No comments:

Post a Comment