March 26, 2016Dear Readers,
Happy Equinox, Purim, Holi...
I wanted to share with you all this tiny excerpt from my novel in progress. Think of it as a chocolate egg found in the grass.
Florence had stopped reading the newspapers Zeke bought. New glasses hadn’t helped. She could see the letters, unscramble the words, but it all felt like too much trouble, too much concentration. And the news distressed her. She tried not to be in the room anymore when it came on television, another war or outrage, another president saying America would take the high road, that America never did anything wrong. Florence was tired of it. She’d listened to every president since Calvin Coolidge. America was just a country. Her country, because she’d lived here all her life, but not the only country in the world.
Because reading was a trouble, she increasingly relied on her memory, a slippery thing. She had trouble remembering small or recent things, she could no longer hide that, but there were Bible verses and whole Psalms embedded in her brain like hard little nuts, that she could unearth after hibernation since she’d buried them years before. When she was forced to hear the news, see distressing pictures of prisoners or people who were killed, Florence thought about the kingdoms of the earth, how they were destined to fall, one after another, like Babylon or the Eternal City of Rome. Kings of the earth were pawns. What people were going through on earth was as nothing compared with the coming of the Lord.
This might not have been a comforting thought to everyone, but Florence found it enormously so. That every one of the powers that be could be knocked over like a house of cards. That the Lord would deliver out of the hands of the powerful. She might not have been sure about hell, but she was quite sure about heaven; not what it looked like, but that it was, that there was some context great enough to absorb all the burdens of life, some plane on which everything would make sense. Florence didn’t need to make sense of things herself, in fact she’d never had the patience for a crossword puzzle. She just needed to know, and knew, that the sense was there.