Post #18.7, Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Historical setting: Sixth Century Bordeaux

         Darkness impedes our tour of the work on the basilica, and August is anxious to go on to see his family. I’m looking for a way to be the silver cup in Benjamin’s bag who helps the reunion become something joyful and not a tirade of remembrances of envy and guilt.

         “August” I stop him from going directly to the house. “There is something to consider here before you go to that door.”

         “What?”

         “I met your brothers Shollo and Kairn.”

         “You met them?”

         “They were looking at the sculpture, and they recognized who the artist is.”

         “Oh yes!  Did they admit to its wonder?”

         “August, you told us your art is your prayer. So was the prayer in your heart, ‘Dear God, let me teach my brothers I’m really good after all?’ or was it, ‘Dear God, Let my hammer and chisel take away the stone that hides the family love’?”

         “Lazarus, You’ve met my brothers, but you don’t know them.”

         Again, August rubs his hand along the new wood of the crane arm. “I believe my brothers are the exact people who are complicit in this construction atrocity. If it wasn’t them who set this thing here, they’ve found others with no standard of workmanship either, and they are all just basking here in the ease of shoddy work.”

         “I hear what you are saying, August. But I have to tell you I heard something else this evening when Nic and I were putting the animals in for the night and Shollo and Kairn were looking at the sculpture. Yes, it was as you say, they did take careful notice of the skill and perfection and they recognized your hand in the art. It could be maybe they were humiliated by its quality as you wish them to be. But I heard them recalling their brother August as a sour memory and a hurt to them. They defended themselves with a criticism that your work lacks symmetry. They may have a valid criticism.”

         “Of course it is not perfect symmetry! It’s inspired by God! The Greeks and the Pagans have symmetry! Creation is mysteriously random.  It is my gift to see that and to show that with the image of a mother and child having no symmetry!”

         “Their criticism is not really of the art. But, like your own argument, it is wrought in envy which is the fear of loosing yours and their father’s respect.”

         “You don’t know, Laz. You don’t know what it’s like.”

         (Continues tomorrow)

Published by J.K. Marlin

Retired church playwright learning new art forms-- fiction writing, in historical context and now blogging these stories. The Lazarus Pages have a recurring character -- best friend of Jesus -- repeatedly waking to life in various periods of church history and spirituality.

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