Thursday, August 7, 2008

Excerpts from The Road to Cana (I)

I am reading the 2nd in Anne Rice's series on the life of Jesus. This one explores the period in which his time is coming. I am moved by Rice's handling of his love for a young woman of his village, Avigail, and am comforted that he was (is?) like us in all things save sin.

I hesitate a bit to include these snippets here, in case they are merely sentimental out of context. But here goes.

In this passage, Yeshua talks with his mother about Avigail.

Mary says "This has made you miserable. I've seen this before, but never as bad as it is now."

"Is it so bad?" I whispered. I looked away, as men do when they only want to see their thoughts. "I don't know that it's been bad for me, Mother. What is bad for me? To love as I love Avigail--it has a luster, a great and beautiful luster."

She waited.

"There come these moments," I said. "These heartbreaking moments--the moments when we first feel joy and sadness intertwined. Such a discovery that is, when grief becomes sweet. I remember feeling this perhaps for the very first time when we came to this place, all of us together, and I walked up the hill above Nazareth and saw the green grass alive with flowers, the tiniest flowers--so many flowers, and all of it, grass and flowers and trees, moving as if in a great dance. It hurt."

She said nothing.

Finally I looked at her. I touched my chest with my fist lightly. "It hurt," I said. "But it was to be cherished... forever."
She smiled. Again she kissed me, and she leaned on my should as she rose to go. ... I stared at the reddened coals.

"How long, O Lord?" I whispered. How long?

No comments: