Dear God, I hate this sour food!
This I thought while chewing slowly the sausages these forest people love so naturally and dearly. They call themselves Tervingi and I'm trapped pretending I'm one of them. Or at least simpatico. To my eyes they are crude and uncivilized, young in this world and ignorant of the Word. It's over 400 years since the infamous death of Jesus and the world has tilted into chaos.
I've landed deep inside darkly entombing woods as vast as any ocean. If I'm never to see beyond them I fear I may go mad. But into darkness we've been plunged since the killing of our Savior. My heart hangs heavy at this gloomy and shrouded land filled with uninteresting people without yearn for travel or knowledge. But I'm stuck with the knowledge it didn't have to be this way. We snuffed out the light of the world so how can we expect anything but dark ages. Will this last forever? I wonder.
But what is Jesus to these happily unknowing villagers? Just the funny name of an unformed apparition in their minds. Time will come when that apparition takes both form and substance in every mind around the world and I won't feel so left out and alone. (Why is there a voice telling me it won't matter??) I try to speak of him, to teach of the Presence that touched me and the energy that marks you for the rest of your lives. But I fear to speak too boldly.
Where I unite with them is in hatred of the Romans. There our bond is strong and intimately understood. While my hatred predates theirs I'm hoping now they see the light of the inevitable treachery of the empire with the massacre of the 30,000 "barbarian" soldiers by their fellow "pure" Roman legions. The Romans are corrupt and have been allowed to rule for far too long.
In my heart I know revenge against Rome for the death of Jesus is pointless, leading nowhere. But it sticks in my craw and I cannot rest while Rome is still alive. Yes, it will not fix the ails of the world or even bring peace. But I can say it will bring peace to me. And when Rome is gone, then what? What direction do I turn to create good instead of just to decimate? Those are the real questions that bother me - questions I do not share with my temporal allies.
I also have misgivings on their persecution of the Jews, of course. I have not stood against the ring leaders but I cannot bring myself to join in their parroted denouncings, even if it kills me. Savages. Yes we all pass through a cruel and backwards phase on our journey but the key is to renounce violence so we don't do harm during that time. I look around and I see no thought of that even crossing their linear minds. And though I am a believer in Christ I cannot call myself Christian for it is they who do the most un-Christ like things to my people.
I'm stuck in the dark orange area. Oh, goody.
They know I am "special", not of their time. At first I tried to hide it but then I saw it became obvious when my delights did not match their delights. How revealing it is in what one takes as one's entertainment! I recognize a certain charm in some of their songs but it's so heavily buried in writhing war it's an effort to pluck it out. I keep an open mind and that is what saves me but I know in a pinch I'd be an easy target for scapegoating if the times turn bad.
On occasion I do honor my heritage. When they sit around nightly tables of misery looking to drown their fears in ale I hear the words turn angry in frustration. War and anger the only things to give any direction to a life. I remember those days. I remember that empty hole in my stomach as I once uttered those same words. Careful never to use the most forbidden word of all - "love" - I suggest perhaps their anger does not serve them well. This they like, it frees them from their chains and tension dissipates from the room. But it's rarely fully embraced.
Because of the youth of their culture they hold an innocence I do not. Dare I speak of the old days? Dare I speak of what we traded away on an idol hope? We were all special once upon a time, delivered by Moses and guided by God and the dream handed to us that lives in the soul of every child ever born unto this earth. Now we live in the shadows, hoping to escape the light of our dastardly deeds.
Yes, we slipped and slid and defamed and blasphemed and watched in horror as paradise slipped from our hands until finally we were dispersed and scattered to the winds, fragmented and without needed contact. What no one speaks of is the guilt of an undeserved love. I met another wandering Jew on his way to God knows where and we furtively reminisced of the beloved times lost while never speaking a word as to why. From that I knew he too felt the same guilt. Why did God ever pick us?
Is that the story of mankind: paradise lost? That there will be a time for salvation then time no more? We knew it would be bad, but we never suspected this. My spotted soul aches to be clean. How do I explain my weakness and the baseless anger that led me to serve Rome only to then stand by as the cruel and the lost and the wretched expressed their dire fate by sacrificing the lamb?
We made a nightmare from a dream. Yet the dream is so hard to believe! And yet I know it's true even as I fail it. That disconnect haunts me and humbles me as I consort with the villagers who beam so gratefully as I sometimes dump a nugget of wisdom on them to help in their daily lives. It's from no moral superiority, trust me. I've just been around longer, dear ones.
Do I even still believe the dream? Or a silver lining: that we are like bees pollinating the world in our scattered existence? Are we spreading seeds of truth? Is that why they persecute us because they know what the truth will bring and we are its carriers? I know this is so as I watch the futile efforts of authority in all its ugly forms, draped in robes of power and religion's lust.
But we could have done this a better way, without the near death experience of our piercing pain. What fools! What fools! The feeling is gone as we're driven now only by our memory. We wanted any way but the Way. The step too far to take to our disbelieving eyes. We could have had everything. We could have had love unwreckable. All we had to do was not wreck it ourselves.
After pulling this Roman thorn, where to next? I have a yearning to create, to build, to share my knowledge as a father does a child. Around the corner is not death and doom, my son, as men of the world would have you to believe. It's a scientific law: Love is the nature of life, making life the nature of love. Give me a newborn endeavor, God, and I'll teach them to love nature which will in the end lead them to You.
I heard rumor of an island country far to the east forming its own way. Is this true? I tremble to think so! You who are the Dispenser Of Dreams, I ask you: Is it real? Is there really a "Japans"?