But following the old pattern, that of the Old Testament, the Prophets, the Gospels, for a writer was the best way around the interference pattern of those parts of the mind I could not condition nor control as well as I wanted to. For a writer it was indeed like getting rid of the many unclean spirits that did you no good when you had that time to write. It helped you get over that sense that there was something else you should be doing, a better way to conduct and protect yourself.
You wake with the familiar sadness. That's about all you can call it. You cannot know if anyone else experiences the same thing, but by a general sense, a way of reading the people you encounter.
Where does it come from? Why are you its custodian, its flag bearer...
But He would have been of the sadness too. For knowing everything. The virgin birth, the whole story of His parents... The way things would unfold for Him, because of His knowledge, His complete understanding..
How can you and I even face up to that? What an admission it would seem to be.
Yes, you could go to a doctor with your health insurance your employment allows you, "Doctor. what can you do for this?" And you could take some form of treatment.
But ask yourself, would that really be helping me? Would that really be helping other people?
And the answer is, no. Because there is the pain of living, the fact of suffering. Like any marriage is supposed to be, the acceptance of the bad with the good, in sickness as well as health. And any partnership, any work you must undertake, it will be steeped in the same, the suffering, the misery, the pain, the condition of being left alone and to suffer in the garden with sorrow. There will be the effect of those people around you who, believing it should all be about happiness and forward progress and activities that are culturally or professionally enriching, will go about business with a much lower body of knowledge and understanding. They come, they go, they come, punch in, do what they feel is their job, allowing themselves the things of happiness, and then they get tired and leave the master to close the shop down, all on his lonesome. They have an economic understanding, of what to give, shy of all, in order to receive the sustaining compensation, and it is no deeper than that.
But the wise cannot escape from the deep mysteries, the body of pain and unhappiness and great uncertainty. What balm, what anointing oil, is there for that, and such things? That is the burden of knowledge, if one would truly be a teacher, a good shepherd for the Lord's sheep.
The relationships that are real are acknowledgments, in their acts, of that pain, in each act. As if sorrow itself were the truer form of happiness, contentment, pleasure, whatever a culture might put up as a term for that which is comfort for the tested mind.
Sin is a word, as sorrow is. Waking up, yes, there are your sins right there.
Mother Angelica intones the Holy Rosary in the background as you have your tea.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Glory be to the father, and to the son, and to the holy spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O, my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope, to thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears; turn, then most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered unto Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.
And then, to relief, the Mass comes on the television, as I write, sitting over on my father's old brown chair, next to the chair of Madam Korbonski's home next door.
There was a wedding I went to, that of my brother's. The ceremony was beautiful, and fun, of Jewish custom. Then the wedding party departed to the memorial to Thomas Jefferson, where the sun came out and pictures were taken on the steps. And then we went back to the Mellon Auditorium, and it had been transformed into the place of the wedding feast. I was dreading my toast, as I had no clear idea of how to say what I felt. The night before my toast at the Rehearsal dinner had gone decently well, reconstructing how Jack and Bobby might have talked, grunting to each other in perfect understanding and love.
But this night, the other part of life in Washington, the figure of Lincoln, alone, on a horse, in the rain, as we all come upon our reality here alone and without cause for great direct happiness, and this I mixed in the scene from The Brothers Karamazov, The Wedding at Cana, Dostoevsky's recreation of the first miracle of the wine, for human joy... I was almost cut off, and the wedding director woman seemed to find my effort laughable, though my girlfriend, Sasha, hugged me, proud and pleased.
Later I would find that the Catholic spirit would approve, of my attempt to interject the spiritual into the fine celebrations...