Tuesday, September 09, 2003

So there it is. So quick bright things come to confusion.

Original sin, some Christians call it. This knack for turning kindness into contempt, communion into loneliness. And it accounts for the facts, "saves the appearances" well enough, even if it doesn't explain them very satisfyingly. A perverse, inexplicable veer into evil.

So quick bright things come to confusion. A better line now, maybe, than when Shakespeare wrote it, when "confusion" had four syllables and made a fine satisfying iambic close. Now there are four beats where there should be five: the line falters. It ends lame, awkward, plaintive.

If you believe in God the creator, you have to believe something like that. That good things can come to evil spontaneously. If you're a Buddhist you can take it differently. You don't have to believe we have ever been innocent or unconfused. The confusion last night didn't start when Michael didn't see my hand, and my will veered to evil. The confusion was already concealed in how I clutched at the communion, how I wanted to own it, make it permanent, and make it mine.

The sadness lingers. So quick bright things come to confusion.

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