Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A glimpse at my novel

As I've mentioned I'm writing a novel (other than Days in the Cold, my online novel), entitled Gnosis. I started on chapter 3 this morning and thought what I have so far is something particularily appropriate for this blog. I think it well exemplifies my experience of both teaching, and being taught at, Sunday school/confirmation.
I would like feedback if you get a chance.

Chapter 3
For three weeks after the Pilgrimage things were normal for Ali. He attended a children’s class by P. Arius in the morning and stayed with his family in the afternoon and evening.
"What is Yas-Ba’al’s nature?" P. Arius asked on that fateful day. Gunther and Gregory said nothing, and did not raise their hands. Instead they looked away from the Padre’s eyes. Gunther at his crotch, Gregory out the window to their left.
Ali waved his hand, P. Arius nodded to him, "Yas-Ba’al is physical," he said, putting his hand down.
"Yes," P. Arius agreed, "and?" He sat from his stool, high above the students.
The classroom was in fact P. Arius’ house. Ali would take morning walks through the orchard, sometimes alone, to get to class.
"And subordinate to El Naptol, and authoritative to mortal kind," Ali recited, "especially to those that live within his province."
"Now why is this important?" P. Arius asked, getting up off his stool and walking around the small room. Something outside the window caught Ali’s eye. He tried to concentrate on P. Arius’ words. No one had raised their hand, so he had launched into one of his well rehearsed monologue.
He stressed the heavy implications of heresy, and the superiority of Renewalism to other forms of religion. He also talked of the ordering of the world into spheres of Authority, and how they interlocked with one another. "If the dictates of El El Yon are followed by El Naptol, and by Ba’al, and by me, and even by you guys here, then the world itself will be in a perfect harmony."
All this was interesting to Ali, it really was. Yet he paid less attention to Padre Arius than even Gunther, who was sniffing his own arm pits while the Padre talked. Ali’s eyes were out the window, observing something truly strange. Outside it seemed to him that a camel, lime green with a single hump, was trotting about Darius’ orchard. While the body was properly proportioned the head appeared quite different from the head of Ali’s plush. It was round, humanlike.
Ali squirmed in his wooden chair, straining his neck as the creature galloped behind a grove of apple trees.
"Ali," P. Arius said, his prize pupil seemed distant, "why is the world out of harmony."
"Uh," he paused, turning back to the present world, "because there are those who ‘hide from the truth’ and ‘hold fanciful thoughts’ in their heart." The first was a quote from his father, who had been quoting one of Yas Si’ak’s scribes, the second one was from P. Arius’ teaching the previous week. He had been quoting Padre Glenwood.
"Yes. There are those who prefer ‘fanciful stories, or strong impossibilities, to the self evident truth set up for us by the Pantheon.’ And because of these few errant fellows we are suffering disharmony."
Again the camel was in sight. It was coming closer. Ali looked to his fellow pupils, oft caught window gazing. Gunther was still smelling himself, although he had moved on from his under arm to the inside of his shirt collar. Gregory’s eyes were scanning the room, seeing nothing, and hearing the Padre’s words even less.
"Sometimes though," P. Arius was saying, "it is not only those outsiders that create disharmony. We ourselves also ignore the laws of the Yas. We ourselves," the Padre’s voice faded as Ali looked more frantically at his companions for some sign upon their faces, some sign that they saw the bright camel, with its unmistakably human face, that was approaching the Padre’s house. No though, they all sat there, Gregory even looked out the window from time to time, his gaze would go right through or passed the still approaching abomination. It’s face was the same green color as it’s body, but human. It wore short-cropped black hair, a well-groomed goatee, all set off by the green skin that became lumpy green camel fur as it reached the bottom of the neck.
He, it… the Camel-man, was right at the window, looking in, its eyes green, but a natural green, not the green of its skin. It looked down at Ali. Ali looked up, frightened.
Padre Arius continued, "so really, listening to your parents, especially your father, is on par with listening to El El Yon. Now that does not mean…"
Ali trembled, the camel-man was saying something, and the boy actually thought he could hear it, but shut the unsounded noise out of his mind, gripping hard to the wooden chair beneath him. The Padre continued on, not noticing Ali’s wincing, or Gregory’s glazed over look, or Gunther’s fascination with his armpits.
The Camel-man looked at Ali who opened his eyes after shutting them tight in hope that the apparition would disappear, hoping it was some disturbing play of the light, or dreadful hallucination. The Camel-man looked unsure at Ali. It seemed to question if the boy had heard it. It quirked its head to the side. The head balanced strangely on the long camel neck and body.
"Later. Soon," the Camel-man voiced through the glass window. Its voice came as much from Ali’s mind as from the physical lips of the Camel-man. The voice was deep and heavily accented, yet at the same time completely understandable to the young boy.
A small groan left Ali’s lips. The Camel-man turned and left, galloping off like a horse.
"Any questions?" P. Arius asked, coming out of a bit of a stupor himself, though his was self-induced. He finally looked at those for whom his words were meant.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Church back home has opened a Daycare center

"CHEYENNE - A longtime dream of Christ Lutheran Church's congregation will open today.
After a fresh coat of paint and a new playground, the church will be opening its on-site, non-profit, faith-inspired day care, Little Ones of Tomorrow.
Mary Scherden, director of Little Ones of Tomorrow, said this is a faith-inspired center, not faith based.
"We're not here to raise little Christians," she said. "We're here to outreach to the community and welcome anyone from any walk of life."
The Rev. Sarah Moening, pastor at Christ Lutheran Church, said the term "faith inspired," simply means to "do like Jesus did.""

I'm very happy for them!