Josephus Eats a Peach
April 26, 2012
Mammie Makes Some Tea
April 30, 2012

My dear Hohenstaufenin,

Does it not seem to you the kiss of spring is a traitorous one? Winter beats on us with her merciless winds, her belts of falling snow, her pure disinterest in the blue-black cold. Carrying on, as captives, we endure, lusting after brighter days. Is it any wonder that every year we reach to a fiery spring, the happy dance of leaves in insouciant bloom, and all the merriment of nature rousing? But things begun anew have their birthing pains, and none too gentle ones at that.

I have heard it said that spring bears us up and wipes us clean. It is, perhaps, not far from Nature’s three days in the tomb, finally resurrected. Who, after all, could imagine an April Easter without blossoming tulips craning over lush green grass? What feast celebrating Christ conquering the cold of death could be convened amid a congress of storms and ashen skies?

But this is the deep irony that dawns when we are old enough to recognize it. Ah, there will be blooming beauties strewn by God across our way, but only long enough for the kiss of the happiness it brings. For if it were all just flowers and sun, we would be happy every spring—children delighted by the simple miracles of Nature. But that is a happiness that dulls as spring drags on and life beside it; as flowers flood us with allergens; as spring-sprung loves shoot from giggles and a smile.

I mean to say, what has God prepared for us if not the cycle of existence, borne in Nature’s seasons? There is no simple season, state, or mind which counts on happiness and rolls along content. So complicated is our happiness, so curious our curiosity that good is sullied at the last with inquisition and the pangs of doubt. It rolls through us as the constant (if unbearably slow) river Styx.

We are like lovers, you and I—and sometimes you play the damsel in distress and I the hero, sometimes that is backwards and I wait for your strong hands to buoy me up. But it is a fantasy we play at, and no wonder: humanity is not becoming with imagination fitted to robes of reality. Let us face the season, and the facts of it: sweet kisses come, and sweet kisses go. If they are true, they last at most in memory. If they are false and against us, they mark the beginnings of the fall into that cold, unscrupulous season we know as winter.

I should think I have the strength and station to be honest with you about our games, but not so far as to tell you face-to-face. For at the least I may say I have the memory of spring intoxications, if not its lasting virtue. Should I come to you and lay my face upon the floor, confessing terrible truths, what happiness was once will be forever washed away.

Every spring, the Tiber rises and blots out its littoral existence for a new season. Perhaps it is tired of the charades that dance on her shores, the memory of schemes and plots concocted on her banks. And if it is so, can you blame her? Can we blame at all that supple season that so ungentle is?

You hear my point. We are not friends, you and I. We are not family, and though the fiction sometimes courts us, we are not paramours. I should rather rest in truth, and make my bed in her, than be a dandy in the wind and wish on things that are one day and not the next.

Be wary, then, the traitorous kiss of spring. If we are to bind our peoples up with hope, it must not be the product of a dalliance or pretty, perfidious deceit. Christ knew better; Judas did not.

I call on you to offer the next word, by your season and your time. May it consider peace, and be considerate in all the ways a man of God should be.

Faithfully of Christ and fallibly human, I remain yours,

Innocent

 

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