Sunday, August 24, 2008

reading through the tears

yes, it's been an emotional week. and that could be what i mean by the title... but it isn't. i've finished reading lamb...even though i was pretty sure i knew how it would end (i mean, can a fictional book about christ's life really go that far?..), it was hard to finish. but it was a brilliant book. i really loved reading it. and whether i was laughing so hard or caught so off guard by some way mr. moore would state things, or some insight, or just the beauty of some of what he wrote...i cried a lot while reading it. i highly recommend it.

here are some of my favorites...

[christ/josh to biff]
"How are we doing on the Beatitudes?"
"Pardon me?"
"The blesseds."
"We've got: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness; blessed are the poor in spirit, the pure in heart, the whiners, the meek, the--"
"Wait, what are we giving the meek?"
"Let's see, uh, here: Blessed are the meek, for to them we shall say, 'attaboy.'"
"A little weak."

"Let's let the meek inherit the earth."
"Can't. You gave the earth to the whiners?"
"Well then, cut the whiners and give the earth to the meek."
"Okay. Earth to the meek. Here we go. Blessed are the peacemakers, the mourners, and that's it."
"How many is that?"
"Not enough. We need one more. How about the dumbfucks?"
"No, Josh, not the dumbfucks. You've done enough for the dumbfucks. Nathaniel, Thomas--"
"Blessed are the dumbfucks for they, uh--I don't know--they shall never be disappointed."
"No, I'm drawing the line at dumbfucks. Come on, Josh, why can't we have any powerful guys on our team? Why do we have to have the meek, and the poor, the oppressed, and the pissed on? Why can't we, for once, have blessed are the big powerful rich guys with swords?"
"Because they don't need us."
"Okay, but no 'Blessed are the dumbfucks.'"
"Who then?"
"How about the wankers? I can think of five or six disciples that would be really blessed."
"No wankers. I've got it: Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake."
"Okay, better. What are you going to give them?"
"A fruit basket."
"You can't give the meek the whole earth and these guys a fruit basket."
"Give them the kingdom of heaven."
"The poor in spirit got that."
"Everybody gets some."

"Okay then, 'share the Kingdom of Heaven.'" I wrote it down.
"We could give the fruit basket to the dumbfucks."
"Sorry, I just feel for them."
"You feel for everyone, Josh. It's your job."

"Oh yeah. I forgot."

[maggie/mary magdalene talking to josh and biff after they've gotten frustrated that the disciples don't understand what josh means by the kingdom]

"You two are the ninnies. You both rail on them about their intelligence, when that doesn't have anything to do with why they're here. Have either one of you heard them preach? I have. Peter can heal the sick now. I've seen it. I've seen James make the lame walk. Faith isn't an act of intelligence, it's an act of imagination. Every time you give them a new metaphor for the kingdom they see the metaphor, a mustard seed, a field, a garden, a vineyard, it's like pointing something out to a cat--the cat looks at your finger, not at what you're pointing at. They don't need to understand it, they only need to believe, and they do. They imagine the kingdom as they need it to be, they don't need to grasp it, it's there already, they can let it be. Imagination, not intellect."

[biff speaking to maggie]
"When we were in India, we saw a festival in the city of their goddess Kali. She's a goddess of destruction, Maggie. It was the bloodiest thing I've ever seen, thousands of animals slaughtered, hundreds of men beheaded. The whole world seemed slick with blood. Joshua and I saved some children from being flayed alive, but when it was over, Joshua kept saying, no more sacrifices. No more."
Maggie looked at me as if she expected more. "So? It was horrible, what did you expect him to say?"
"He wasn't talking to me, Maggie. He was talking to God. And I don't think he was making a request."
"Are you saying that he thinks his father wants to kill him for trying to change things, so he can't avoid it because it's the will of God?"
"No, I'm saying that he's going to allow himself to be killed to show his father that things need to be changed. He's not going to try to avoid it at all."

(emphasis my own)

1 comment:

JO said...

Chris isn't just brilliant, he's also a genuinely nice guy. I <3 him. So, get to reading King Lear because Fool comes out on Feb. 10th.