As a child, I longed for God to speak to me. In lieu of this miracle, I went to church after church. Some, as the saying goes, were better than others. And it was here that I got my first writing assignment outside of school and proving that God does have a sense of humor, it was a play. I could pick any biblical story I wanted for the basis. So I dwelled and dwelled until I came up with the stoning of St. Stephen. Of course, I didn't know he was a saint because I didn't go to a Catholic church until I was an adult -- Catholics were verbotten in my evangelical circles. (They pray to saints! And worship Mary! It was two steps away from voodoo. No suprise that I should end up there as an adult.) It wasn't that I loved the story more than any other, but that I hated one particular boy in the church group and thought he would make an excellent Stephen. I argued that we should use real stones for verisimilitude. Small stones, I amended. But real. And we should really throw them. Not at him, but near him.
The play was a masterwork in a Big Chief notepad in pencil with lots of erasings. The stoning scene lasted a very long time. Too long, according to my youth minister. Why all the blood and wailing? he asked. The Bible is a bloody book, I argued. I thought I had already exercised great self-control by erasing the following -- You are an asshole, you person playing Stephen. I hate you, you mean little prick. Nobody knew of my secret loathing. His hanging offense? Watching a tick crawl on my neck and alerting everyone else in the bus except me. I'd been walking around the woods on some godforsaken nature hike (wholesome activities were stressed -- what they didn't know is that those would eventually become opportunities for getting bat-eyed drunk on Everclear in the woods). My play ended up getting performed, but the stoning scene was edited a bit. We got to throw some stones provided we didn't throw them hard. I picked up a few even though I knew I was acting in the flesh. But I didn't care - I was no saint in this play and never would be.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Every human perfection is linked to an error which it threatens to turn into. " Arthur Schopenhauer
Drinking movie suggestion: All About My Mother
Benedictions and Maledictions