'That is the road we all have to take - over
the Bridge of Sighs into eternity.'
On the street corner he peddled bread and clemency. His friend, on the
other hand, worked in a circus. The circus was always in town. It was no
longer a risky business. Whereas forgiveness.
They waited in the antechamber until their moment came. He forgave her.
She forgave him. And it came to pass; she left the circus behind.
Roses, he sent her autumn roses, but she didn't receive them. They wilted
in the post office, unclaimed.
In the kitchen confusion reigned. She found the heat as challenging as
flying the wire. The chef was as domineering as any ringmaster. His
acolytes were as accident prone as Punchinellos. She was coming to some
After a while he returned to his corner and business boomed although it
was forgiveness rather than fresh bread that was in demand.
He was in the right zone to attract attention, yet he still mourned the
loss of his friend from the circus.
The trend for mercy proved a fad and he was left, once again, with stale
She returned to the circus, too old for the trapeze. She cleaned out the
lions' cage until one day she was mauled.
Until he read these words he had no knowledge of her fate.
Tear stained bread and blood.
'My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk.'
- John Keats
He spent far too much time alone. Hardly surprising since he'd been
sentenced to solitary.
The path of both murderer and monk leads to a cell.
Cell: a small compartment or bounded space, the limit inside
we are locked.
Escape dominated his every conversation but his listeners, the jailers,
were unlikely to allow him to wing free.
He saw eyes in the night where eyes shouldn't be. And, of course,
there was the incessant whispering of his neighbours.
His crime was tattooed on his left arm midway between elbow
and broken shoulder. ăMother' inscribed within a rough-drawn heart.
He remembered the pain caused by the insertion of pigment under skin:
the production of scars.
At night mice toyed with his dreams in the way he had before he was forced
How many years is life?
Life: a mode or manner of existence
Sentence: the punishment itself.
The monastery was full of holy men who understood their position
and were willing to pay for guilt.
He heard his confession and then he heard theirs and then he heard his
confession again. Endless confession within the eternal life they shared.
Confession: a formal acknowledgment of guilt. A formal profession of belief.
He was guilty. they believed.
They were guilty, he believed.
They embarked upon an impossible project. It was the only way to find
Freedom is silent and solitary like the moment of death, he thought,
as he swam towards the light, no longer imprisoned.
'Consciousness of self is the "gravity" that burdens the spirit; the
surpassing of self is "grace", or spiritual lightness.'
Sontag, 'Spiritual Style in the Films of Robert Bresson'
Gravitas: Weight of meaning. Then there is sound, then light.
Gravitas is a quality of substance or depth of personality.
Beasts of burden, we carry weight.
Consciousness of the self; there is no other consciousness.
Dense; sans grace.
Locked within consciousness, as described by those sans amour.
Agape: Open wide, in surprise or wonder.
Astonished, amazed, open-mouthed, you turn to the harbour where I dock.
Agape: Love wholly selfless, spiritual.
Astonished, amazed, open mouthed you eat the bread and drink the wine.
I am seasick from my journey. My heart is hollowed. And you are close,
but not here.
Down the crooked steps she comes keeping her balance hoping to arrive
without incident. The wind is still.
Her thoughts are pure yet there is no solution on the rippling waves. She
sees the sea and nothing else. He is the sea and no one else.
She is the bright rider bearing a message of hope.
Eros: Sexual love or desire.
The sadness of love; grace in the hills and gardens.
The songs of love are many and they echo in our days, she says.
We are carrying the burden of the consciousness of ourselves and have
forgotten the grace of every moment.
Grace: The divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.
They embrace, become one. They eat a meal and remember the day
and the days to come. He will fish and she will weave for evermore.
And the full moon will glow and be reflected in deep water.
© Colin Campbell Robinson 2012