…prepared for subversion and danger.

And it had clearly escaped everyone’s notice that I had already been bull-whipped through the Psalms of David and The Book of Job, to say nothing of the arrogant and loving Isaiah, the doomed Ezekiel, and the helplessly paranoiac Saint Paul: such a forced march, designed to prepare my mind for conciliation and safety, can also prepare it for subversion and danger. For, I was on Job’s side, for example, though He slay me, yet I will trust Him, and I will maintain my own ways before Him – You will not talk to me from the safety of your whirlwind, never – and, yet, something in me, out of the unbelievable pride and sorrow and beauty of my father’s face, cause me to understand – I did not understand, perhaps I still do not understand, and never will – caused me to begin  to accept the fatality and the inexorability of that voice out of the whirlwind, for if one is not able to live with so crushing and continuing a mystery, one is not able to live.  – James Baldwin, The Devil Finds Work, 10.

 

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