Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Excerpt and New Title

O.K., so I've decided I hated "Sins of the Fathers" almost as much as "To Walk in Newness of Life" for the second book. I still want some sort of Episcopal/Anglican reference, though, so now, tentatively, it's "Grievous Unto Us." This is taken from the Rite I form of the general confession in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. The entire text is as follows:

Almighty God,

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
maker of all things, judge of all men:
We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins
 and wickedness,
which we from time to time most grievously have committed,
by thought, word, and deed, against thy divine Majesty,
provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us.
We do earnestly repent,
and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings;
the remembrance of them is grievous unto us,
the burden of them is intolerable.
Have mercy upon us,
have mercy upon us, most merciful Father;
for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake,
forgive us all that is past;
and grant that we may ever hereafter
serve and please thee in newness of life,
to the honor and glory of thy Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

There is no question that Neal, and a few others in the book, find the remembrances of their "misdoings" grievous indeed, so for the moment, at least, this new title seems the most appropriate so far.

I've also got a new excerpt to share. It's a flashback sequence from the second book, and I actually posted it a few weeks ago, then forgot to post a link here. Music is an excellent trigger for all sorts of writing, and this excerpt was triggered by one of the best: Olivier Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony. I was actually in attendance at the concert documented, and Messiaen himself was sitting a few rows in front of me in the audience. He had just turned (or was about to turn) 80, and I was astounded when he was invited to take a bow, and there he was, suddenly, almost within touching distance! Neal is blown away by the same movement of the symphony as I was: the fifth. I was weeping openly by the end of it. Why? I'm not sure. It was simply overwhelming, and utterly beautiful on more levels than I can count. Listening to it on a record, CD, or mp3 is not the same, but one hears glimmers of it.

All that said, Messiaen is an acquired taste. I did not appreciate or understand the symphony half so well in 1988 as I do now. I expect I may understand it still more deeply in twenty years' time, if I live that long.

I have to say, it was a really exciting moment when I happened to remember the time frame and realized that Neal could easily have been part of it, and I an unknowing witness to that. Google helped fill in the gaps in my memory, and I began to write in earnest.

Here's the result: Turangalila. Hope you enjoy it, and if you feel inclined to comment, please do. E-mail is also welcome.