This blog is about my writing and my reading: My published books and a novel in progress; a course I am teaching on drama and theater, and the adventures and challenges of sharing literature with students.
Some topics that interest me: parallel worlds; life after death; the human condition; concepts of heaven; Hungary; the human toll of the Cold War; Shakespeare's works; literature and life.
The hero, Jasper Wergild and his
wife Marguerite are hosting a party of old and new friends.Join the conversation as different topics
change the mood from bland to turbulent.
The guests are shocked witnesses
when Pete suffers a PTSD attack and tackles his brother Joe, punching him and forcing him to the ground.
After Joe and Pete left,
it was hard to pretend it was a party any more. But people did not want to
leave. Each person felt compelled to stay and prove something.
“You were saying we are
not natural killers? You could have fooled me,” Jim challenged Nancy.
“We are not,” she shot
back. “You saw how he was. He worked like a robot. That poor sucker has been
trained to kill. And who trained him? The army. And who trained the army? The leaders
of our country, that’s who. I tell you, we’d all get along fine without the
“Yes, but who trains the
politicians?” Jasper said.
“We do,” Jim said. “We
train them every November. Let’s face it. Human beings are all flawed.”
“For once I agree with
you,” Bob Smith said. “We are all in need of salvation before we can be
welcomed in heaven.”
Jim turned to Sr.
Estrella. “Sister, you’ve just come from the experts in Rome. What’s the view
of the Vatican? What’s wrong with human beings?”
Sr. Estrella was
perfectly poised in her faith. “What’s wrong? Nothing that a few hundred years
in purgatory can’t fix. Of course, some of us will need more work than others.”
“I bet.” Jim said. “How
long would you say our president will need to make him fit for heaven?”
“How long in our years,
or in God’s years?” Sr. Estrella asked.
“I didn’t know there was
a difference. This puts a whole new light on the Bible versus evolution
controversy.” Jasper remarked.
Jim refused to be
sidetracked. He found Sr. Estrella to be a competent sparring partner. “But
what exactly is supposed to happen in purgatory?”. . . .
. . . . “What I would
like to know is how the concept of purgatory would change the individual. Some
of my sins make me what I am. If God takes away my sins, will he make me into a
uniformly flawless creature, a member of the heavenly choir, singing his
praises? In other words, to get into heaven, would I have to give up my
Sr. Estrella listened
carefully, and then stayed quiet for a while. “Let me ask you this. Is there
only one way to be good?”
“Of course not, but I
still can’t help feeling that life in heaven would be rather bland for most of
us. Take me, for instance. I get things done by losing my temper. When I am
working on an important project, I slam doors and yell at people who hinder me.
The conflict makes victory sweet for me. If I had to give up anger and
fighting, I would no longer be the same person. I don’t think I would be very
happy in your heaven. I don’t think I would sign up for purgatory either.”
What do you think? What is wrong
with human beings? What solution does religion offer?What is your solution?