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Sunday, March 04, 2007

A calling?

Crikey! The month of war. Boreas blows against Persephone and the Coop is a drafty shelter from their battle. Thank the Creator for Prometheus. More to the point however, the Coop is severely lacking in eggs. The last one was almost a month ago. Time to motivate the hens. Time to cattle prod the muse. Time to take the sledge to the writer's block and wring out the pen. In the words of the great television philosopher Hurley, "Time to look Death right in the face and say, 'whatever, dude.'" Time to put on the blues and hit the keys.

Only one problem, i got nothing all that particularly interesting to say.

It's not that i haven't been writing, Lord knows. No i mean that, the Lord knows. Cuz nearly all of my creative juices have been flowing into the Holy Grail of late. The good Reverend William Senyard or as i refer to him, P-Billy has been working through a four part sermon series on J.R.R. Tolkien's four key elements to good story telling and how the Bible has them all. Check them out Mp3 style at the getting Spirtual link. To help illustrate his point i have been taking certain familar bible stories and immersing myself in them. Like a travel writer, a journalist, a tourist, a seeker, a crazy uncle with more time to travel than you, i wander freely over the cobblestones, meet the locals, test the cuisine, feel the heat of the desert sun, snap my fingers out of time to the music and bring all that to the congregation through the medium of spoken word. Think a kid's Bible story book for adults. What the heck, let's throw in an example...

It was the seventh day of the siege. Not very long as sieges go, there was still plenty of food and water within the bolted walls of the city, the fighting men were still at their posts but hope had withered. Fighting spirit had all but wasted away. Rahab could see some of Jericho’s mighty men from her roof and the fists that clutched the spears trembled and worried the wooden shafts smooth. One that she recognized, a frequent customer of hers and a man she had always known to be fearless to the point of recklessness now sat hugging his knees and swaying like a lost child, his cheeks smeared with dust and tears. As she watched him, trying to recall his name the dread horns blew again.
Seven ram’s horns born by seven priests of the invaders. They weren’t even on this side of the city but that was the measure of the crushing pall that had closed over them: the silence of Jericho. On the first days the crowds had gathered at the walls to ogle these scruffy nomads that had wandered out of the great desert and miraculously crossed the Jordon river at its spring flood. They were such a ragtag mob of tent dwellers that the city atmosphere had become one of carnival and comedy. “How many Israelites does it take to change an oil lamp?” had become the question of the day with unnumbered demeaning answers. But the mocking and the jeering were never answered by the marching camp outside the walls. The entire population: fierce eyed fighting men, stern, somehow otherworldly priests in white, bearing an incongruous, ornate chest rumored to hold the relics of the one true God, their womenfolk, strangely hushed children, even the aged and infirm, some born on litters, all marched a single circuit of Jericho’s walls in a totality of silence. Like a company of ghosts they appeared every morning, as if revealed by dawn’s light and marched, the dust raised from their feet the only proof that the earth felt their sandals at all and they were not indeed forlorn specters of the night. That silence had crept like a living thing, a disease passed through the eyes for those first infected with it were those on the walls. But they slunk home they bore it to the heart of the city and now Jericho was ruled by the premature silence of the tomb. So that the threadbare bleat of seven ram’s horns could pierce walls of stone and rattle the bones of empty streets and make grown men whimper and hide their tear stained faces.

Just a slice off the whole but you get the idea.

Which brings me to the closest thing i have to a point...i had a blast doing this. People seemed to really respond to it. Maybe there's a need for just this, a Bible story book that assumes the reader has a pulse and an imagination. Said person may not even be a believer, the Bible is literature. If the story isn't written as a fable with the moral spelled out in italics at the end it could still be good narrative in it's own right. It's something to look into anyway.

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