Copyright © 2016 Yiannis Panagiotakis. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher. All works are protected by copyright law.
This short story is a work of Nonfiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events and persons are coincidental.
He says to Moses, I’ll have mercy on whomever I choose to have mercy, and I’ll show compassion to whomever I choose to show compassion. So then, it doesn’t depend on a person’s desire or effort. It depends entirely on God, who shows mercy. Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have put you in this position for this very thing: so I can show my power in you and so that my name can be spread through the entire earth. So then, God has mercy on whomever he wants to, but he makes resistant whomever he wants to.
It seems terrifyingly difficult to confute yourself and redefine him. Anyway,
the things that have happened are already bygones; yet in a strange way they remain, even If they are not perceivable.
This is neither some sort of cute modernism nor does it include anything mysterious, it is simply a multifaceted realization, which cannot be comprehended and therefore silence falls. A kind of silence that is worth as much as 13.000 prayers, yes! Silence is not gold as it is foolishly maintained. Nevertheless, it is a kind of scream or acceptance.
Free will tends towards failure, exactly because it does not exist, at least not the way we mean it. If free will did exist, it would have been an absolute existential fiasco and the world with all its dirt would have collapsed long ago into an eternal nothingness.
‘‘The sea is about to drown us!” shouted L and pushed me out of my brooding isolation.“Very well, let us try our luck,’‘ I replied and we both ended up in the water. I am dead sure that, If someone heard our little exchange of words, he would assume that both of us had suicidal tendencies. I smiled; I like it when people lose the meaning of words,just because they assume they are entitled to it.L. likes rambling along the beach, searching for something I am not sure of and presumably, neither is she. But she often returns with small shattered seashells in her palms and some fossilized starfish, which do not have the slightest appeal and yet she enjoys it like a child; hence the Kingdom of Heavens belongs to her and I feel glad about that and not so much about the seashells.She is rivetingly beautiful, but she either does not know it or she does not pay much attention; she praises Jahwe for everything that happens, even the slightest things.
When L. prays, she never wears that annoying headscarf. She always raises her arms to the sky as If she is waiting for a touch from the Holy Spirit and I think that it frequently happens! Her voice always feeble and her every request to the Holy One of Israel has a childlike quality. She hardly ever asks for anything: it sometimes seems she forgets about herself and that is why Jahwe never forgets her!Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, Amen and in between always only the others. I think to myself how God has Destined her in all ages for his kingdom, it is crystal clear! She is a vessel of election!
It was noon as I recall, some time ago, when I asked her If she really believed that faith can move mountains; and she replied in the most natural way “But of course, it definitely does move mountains!’‘
Then I said “Why don’t you try it as well?”
And L answered “I could, but Jahwe has placed everything so beautifully in order, that I hardly need to move a pebble!”I admired her; she meant it!
Remain in me
I know that one day I am going to die, yet it does not bother me at all because I know why I have lived. And If I ever forget, I gaze through my mind at those people with all who I was variously involved with and wonder what kind of direction their lives took, as well as mine. Everything according to the will of His greatness!
Acceptance of our inability is enough, I thought to myself, and then it is Grace that triumphs!
I made long journeys once, I sang about lost paradise, I experienced the parody of fame – such a traumatic experience! I charmed her and was charmed by her; then two minutes before midnight a violent gust of wind blew into my soul; the idols collapsed and I along with them. I remained in complete immobility and desolation, the hours became enemies and each destroyed idol strived to swallow even the last drop of vanity which had probably remained.
I heard your voice calling me, you demanded justice, purification, Acceptance and denial were options I did not have, there was only a road I had to take, dark and barren – a debt- but you told me you would be there; and there you were! When I asked “Why” you never replied and when I angrily kept saying during the first times, “May your word to me be fulfilled”, then you gave me all the answers I needed. I admired, but did not comprehend until I found myself in the last seats of your congregation. My soul rejoiced and I asked Thee “What good thing must I do to get life?”
“Nothing,” you replied.. “I am life, remain in me.”
The Vessel of Wrath
I have been sleeping very little lately, my body stays robust, but my heartbeat is irregular. As always, my mornings include all the wrong things, with some variations, from time to time. But such things barely matter anymore, because phenomena simply indicate the Divine imprint of survived things, an imprint which can be perceived only through His will.
There is quite a lot of dust in this house, I try to take care of it daily, I do not know, maybe I don’t manage it adequately, yet I try.
Once there was something more substantial around, but venom is a substance as well, hence it is wise to be careful.
For months I have been endeavoring to draw a painting, which would contravene every definition of art, a conscious holy disobedience. And I did it.
For hours, every day, I was adding and removing colours and shapes and behold, I reached something that really surpassed my initial expectations.
Well, I had painted “Nothingness”; I gave it eyes to see, ears to listen, a mind to perceive and a heart to Love; then I blew Truth into it, to give it life and movement. So it was done! But through its eyes it did not see what it should have seen, through its ears it did not want to hear the Truth and through its Mind it could not perceive, with its heart it did not love!
Thus the breath of Truth turned into a scorching flame, burned “Nothingness”, which never became “Something”, and that way entered eternal loss, according to His will, which determines straightforwardly and justly.
In the valley of your wails
When I love, something changes inside me, maybe it also changes the air that surrounds me, perhaps the landscape - that is, the roads I walk- even If I sometimes lose my steps or my balance, If you want to put it that way.
You know, several things do not have as much importance as we are accustomed to attributing to them, even If they appear precious. I do not underestimate anything though, but there, I see the moment and see it as eternity and I am certain I am not far from reality.
I loved Thee, in a way that does not idolize, but depicts what cannot be articulated, not because there is a weakness in verbal rendering, but every invention, even in the apogee of its power, is already finite and reaches almost always a limited climax.
I contemplate…. That one must exceed words because they are a mismatched prison of celestial realities. During rainy days, I always sensed you closer, I do not know why. However, it is the summers that vibrate my existence, stirring up memories, sensations and flavours.
I smile as time passed by, but every smile does not presuppose a non negotiable happiness, maybe it entails something else within. Still, I smile.
Do you remember the colour of the sea? It was not the usual azure, it was something else, and perhaps not even the colour itself which shaped things! It was indeed something else! I guess that people call it serenity. There was some strange and blessed interaction, a real charm.
The noons and the transcendence of natural phenomena, the dryness of summer and the wet kisses, the afternoon stroll in the paved city roads, a few words, lots of promises, the radiance of meanings and someway along, unity; everything I call “The Ontology of Love”. And I reckon that it was there where everything changed, assuming another dynamic and force. Noons became afternoons and afternoons little cool nights and all bade you farewell. I think it was the wind that kept your promises… And once in a while twirls them deafeningly as a reminder, in the valley of your wails.
In the Shadow of His Grace
You said that a toad can fly and I replied that such a thing is impossible. Yet you insisted that when toads are born, they have small wings, which are well hidden for obvious reasons and when I looked at you a bit frustrated and said “But how come? Don’t you understand it is an amphibian being?”
You replied that it didn’t matter, even swore that you have seen them fly, so I responded “Well OK, toads can fly, you are right!” Then we both splitted our sides laughing and left!
It is not that I admire anything special or particular regarding human existence; just during the last years I remain stoically ecstatic every time I realize the height and depth of the Human Heart, but mainly its inconstancy.
I refrain from rendering meaning through words anymore, it is a mistaken means of communication. Never is the conception of things, literally or metaphorically, self evident or absolute for everyone. Beauty hides in Truth and now that I think of it, I would say it doesn’t even hide, it is there, it simply exists, it doesn’t swagger or act pretentiously, so the issues ends here.
I recalled a town with 39 residents, it was striking how such a large area included a mere number of 39 souls and… I remember it didn’t impress me at all. The paradox rested on the fact they didn’t know each other; 39 perfect strangers coexisted in the same town for years!
When we found ourselves in a clearing around 2 km and half a cigarrette away, we saw this self-illuminated tree with its thousands of colourful leaves. Then the Spirit informed us that each leaf had the ability to fulfill a wish, so simply, yet no one approached it to receive, to accomplish a desire or need or, damn it, to let the shadow of this generous Tree embrace his or her soul. No one ever. Thus years went by and the 39 residents became 38, then 35, 30 etc until all of them left this world without even knowing why they have lived. Nevertheless, the Tree stood there proud and willing, waiting for the next 39 residents that may probably accept the shadow of its Grace.
On the two shores or the letter to Birgit
The transformation, for which so much has been said, resembles one thousand deaths. I wish I had the ability to encapsulate reality in a way, any way, as long as I could. My God! Countless cold winters in stagnation and me here, always here.
My dear Birgit, this realm is really clad in a brightness of distant colours and other unique mental theories, but damn, it is so suffocating. And while I hear joyous voices, doxologies and praisings, I remain captured by something I do not comprehend. Everything is connection, everything is participation, but here these things are nowhere to be found.
Many names can be attributed to the land of my residence; I prefer expressing it as “non communion.”
As much I have searched, I didn’t find another living soul here, and now I wonder about all those moments, when I was summoned by an inner force, by a moral sense, aeons before I chose this side of the river.
My blissful Birgit, I don’t know If I acted well, but everything here is so dull. There is neither a companion nor a friend in this strange land. No voices, nothing to Love or worthy of being Loved but that Light, always close yet so far away, at least for me! Nothing more; only a deathly silence and these meaningless vivid colours pretending to adorn my prison!
My precious Birgit, I found out that you reside on the other side of the river and I am happy for you, as the suffocating silence that permeates every inch of this bizarre earth, and to which I rightfully belong, allows your singing to reach me, and this is my only consolation! I hear your voices, your laughter; I hear your Love in all its Glory.
Scent of Delusion
The Cry of the poet lets say, or the signified of a frequently abstract concept and other flamboyant oddities. Everything part of a failed attempt for realization, for an empirical or experienced certification of life. Something which demands effort and struggle because nothing, or almost nothing, is not and cannot be found in the heroic area of the self evident.
We call “Reality” everything that surrounds us or whatever includes our private world, even its ugliness!
We proceed with timid steps, with a fake humility, which is highly repulsive, exactly because it tries to formulate itself in a pompous way, with just the amount needed for self promotion, a pointless arrogance that reaches absurdity! Absolutism and a bitter taste of dissatisfaction, which will diligently pass in the realm of wordlessness, of the self prohibited, in order to justify the vanity of delusion, that we accepted as healing poison for every disease and stupidity, yes!
Those who are and will be… Unsatisfied are mainly the people who insatiably besmirch their ontological reality, which is expressed through an obsolete moralization and spent in various ways, but above all, through forced smiles and a kind of inner peace resembling benzodiazepine; definitely not heavenly granted!
Nevertheless, from Moralization to Ethic or Love, there is a huge gap. Needless to say that the second one demands a willing self surrender, an unconditional opening of unity, to the One, the Beloved, from here to afar, from now till death.
Free will tends towards failure, exactly because it does not exist, at least not the way we mean it. If free will did exist, it would have been an absolute existential fiasco and the world with all its dirt would have collapsed long ago into an eternal nothingness. ''The sea is about to drown us!â€ shouted L and pushed me out of my brooding isolation.â€œVery well, let us try our luck,'' I replied and we both ended up in the water. I am dead sure that, If someone heard our little exchange of words, he would assume that both of us had suicidal tendencies.