Christ's Journal Part 7

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When I came to the blind man in his home I pressed my fingers over his eyes and spoke to him. I wet clay and placed it over his eyes. I allowed the cool clay to comfort him as I spoke; his wife watched with an expression of doubt; as I removed the clay she stepped aside.

He made a curious noise, pushed me aside, stood.

Walking, he asked:

"Is this my that my garden out there? Are you the man called Jesus of Nazareth? That must be a tree out there..." He was walking into the garden of his home. "Is that a bird...who are the people watching me...and that, is that a flower?"

I write and the evening sun s.h.i.+nes on my table and on my hands and it seems to me that I have lived many years in a short span; it seems to me I am very much alone; it seems to me I hear voices: Deuteronomy voices, Jeremiah voices. I hear and yet I am alone. Today is my birthday. I am thirty-three.

Shevat 8


s a boy I respected Greek-such a rich vocabulary, I found; I thought the language overly concise. Hebrew is the city man's tongue, best suited to argument. I prefer my Aramaic. It is more gracious and agreeable for public speaking.

Haran believed in learning three languages: he was the most intelligent rabbi I have met. To him I owe my background; his years of tutoring gave me freedom to think. Morning after morning we sat facing each other at his home.

"We have to think, not memorize and then force memories to evolve into patterns of original thought. Yes, memory and thought are brothers. But, make no mistake, thousands repeat the law and the scriptures and only a handful think."

I see his spa.r.s.ely bearded, wan face. He was a man who ate sparingly yet lived to be eighty. A great walker, he was as restless in body as in mind.

Haran was proud of two ancient scrolls-one of them on copper. The library at Qumran had greater rarities of course.

Haran said:

"Something lives in you...your mother has called my attention to it, an inner voice. When I heard you declaim in the synagogue I perceived it."

So, it is my privilege to help, merge dream and fulfillment: I believe it is a privilege no other man has had: I am the husbandman.

Come unto me ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest...suffer the little children to come...

Tonight I see the world s.h.i.+ning in their eyes; I hear hope in their prattle.


Shevat 12

Years ago I experienced the greatness of the Sinai desert, its crags and dunes, the heat and cold. I came to understand its desolation, its loneliness, its calm and fury. Now, during these troubled times, I long to return to the Sinai...have a lizard sit beside me, my straw-covered basket filled with golden dates.

In the Sinai I perfected my Greek to a greater extent and studied the cla.s.sical Hebrew until it came easily. The history of man became an important part of my meditations. Silence and the simoom became part of those devotions.

A tiny plant sprouted outside my tent and withstood the heat, cold and winds. It was my companion and incentive, a little calendar in leaves.

I found the same plant growing at Qumran, behind the monastery. While I studied there it survived several sand storms.

Locusts, dates, bread, honey-the wilderness taught me the true taste of food. During the months since the wilderness I have eaten well, too well, but the taste is lacking.

I have not thought as clearly as I thought when unenc.u.mbered by men.

There, each morning was mine, each evening was mine. Wors.h.i.+p was as natural as breathing.

My tent flaps billowed. They were pinned back every night by the stars. Heat and thirst were often there yet a sense of praise was foremost. Wonderment was on top of a dune. As I slept a mirage might come and bathe me in its cool water.

I slept on my boyhood blanket, one woven by my mother. She wove it when I was ten.


Shevat 15

I am leaving Nazareth-leaving home.

It is farewell to friends and places, all I have loved. Only in memory will I walk along the orchard creek and hunt for crayfish, think and stare as a boy thinks and stares. I had several pals... We had niches in cliffs where we often hid. We had an old fig we liked to climb; there was a cave where we lit fires. We found menhirs and dolmen-strange, strange things! In Galilee we had a stout little boat and we'd drift, drop anchor, fish for chromis and watch the pelicans.

There's a feeling to my Nazareth: the stars are brighter there, the sun seems a little bigger, the wind a little cooler. How good it was to turn a corner and think: Mama's home...supper is almost ready...Papa's working in his shop.


Shevat 20

Today was cool and windy.

I visited Simeon. I visited Mark. I visited Jude. I called on the captain, who has been transferred to Nazareth. His son sat in my lap a while. I did not say good-bye although I lingered at each place. I wanted to feel the peace of each place and keep it with me. I did not need to talk much. Being with friends was all I asked.

Oh, how the wind blew me along, flapping my cloak, flapping the olive branches, the weeds and the papyrus.

How hard it is to write.


Before I left home Father displayed the gifts of the Magi on his work bench, first removing his tools and shavings. He locked the door and lit two candles. Mother-so excited-seemed to be seeing the star as she handled the gifts.

Christ's Journal Part 7

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Christ's Journal Part 7 summary

You're reading Christ's Journal Part 7. This novel has been translated by Updating. Author: Paul Alexander Bartlett already has 373 views.

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