Saturday, February 25, 2006

Read about Kate Horsley:

From The Changeling of Finnistuath

As was the tradition on the pilgrimage to Lough Derg, Colin lay down inside the tomblike cave. He made himself into a corpse with his arms folded over his chest. There the pilgrim was to experience his own death, dwell in it, pass through the terror, and try to find the vast and benevolent state of grace in which God allayed all fears. Colin wept, not certain if what he was feeling was God or a surrender to not knowing and perhaps never knowing. But there was calm and relief in the purging. And when he stepped out of the cave, all the world was gray, the lake, the sky, the trees, everything shrouded in gray mist. He knew that the place was holy, that it had been holy all along, before Saint Patrick, before any human, and that perhaps everything, including Saint Patrick, was holy. Holiness was something that could not be contained in one creed or one hero. The words in the box he carried and the words that would be written to dispute those words, they weren’t the truth. They were symbols of symbols, ideas about ideas, threads in a great net in which a man could get entangled and ensnared until he died exhausted from his struggle. And during such a struggle, he missed the fact of a morning’s mist, the taste of cooked fish in his hungry mouth, the ability of his arms to embrace and his feet to dance.

Pelagian Heresay; from the Humanist side:

Then the Abbot heard in his head, perhaps in one of those subtle ways that God communicates, that reconciliation, that peace and grace were not a matter of men being forgiven by God but instead a matter of God being forgiven by men. He felt in his gut that he had to forgive God—for the plague, for the suffering, for the silence. He also had to forgive Jesus. Yes, perhaps Jesus had made a mistake in bargaining with the Devil, but he descended into Hell before taking his place in Heaven, and he had lived as holy a life as he could and endured as much suffering as he could, as few men could. Men, even saviors, had to make minor bargains in order to endure and transform suffering. God waited, ready to embrace those who forgave themselves and others.

Grey floated onsleep with her namelss child. She felt it’s confusion at coming into the world, saw its eyes try to make out what kind of a world it ws, and what it was supposed to do in it. She knew it was her duty to protect the child’s body while its sould grew independent and strong. No damage must be done, no lies told. She pressed her cheek against the infant’s warm forehead and smelled his skin. It was the smell that imprinted itself on every mother who smelled her child’s warm, sweated hair when it slept. Without words, without any document or seal or proclamation, she had been given a solid identity that saturated her and shaped her, put milk in her breasts: she was mother. Awed at the thoroughness of her transformation, she was desperate for the Abbot to help her, for in this role she was not willing to make any error. The child’s needs frightened her, because she could not dismiss them, but she also could not be certain of her ability to fulfill them.

Sometimes she was a warrior, though she still didn’t know what her true cause as a warrior was. Perhaps it was simply living each day without succumbing to bitter sorrow over the pain of being human; perhaps it was fighting to savor what one has and to honor what one has lost.


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