Other people knew my father. I never did. From them I know what he valued, what he did, things. I don't know. He lived an entire life hidden from me. As I guess mine has been from him, as much as possible anyway.
I wrote about Elijah again today. Elijah is sort of my new boyfriend. I'm a little bit obsessed with him. You can read all about it here. Early in the week I noticed the chiasmus, the two questions are the tip off, at least they were for me, but I didn't put the whole thing together until rather early this morning. It goes like this:
A - Elijah flees
B - Eat and Drink
C - What are you doing here?
D - Got Tells E to GO and STAND
E - God passes by
D - E GOES and STANDS
C - What are you doing here?
B - Go and Return
A - Elijah gets sent back
C - D - E was easy enough, but I got a little bogged down around B. I felt that Elijah's coming and Elijah's going were connected, but it took me awhile to put eat and drink together with go and return. It wasn't a big part of the essay, though, if you read carefully you can see that I made sort of a chiasmus in the essay itself. It's too subtle to even mention, but I rather like that part.
But what I want to talk to you about is that man in the tombs. There he is, opposite Galilee. And he is tormented. The story tells us that he was tormented by demons. Hum. In a universe of possibilities we can't rule that out. But it seems to me like something else might be going on. \
I have a small class I teach on the side. Five little girls, and they are all five years old. Four of them are a complete delight. The other one is kind of hard headed. My life as a teacher would be easier if she were more like the other children. But I see the spark of genius in her. She's a non-conforming girl living in one of the most conform-valuing societies in the world. There are times when I'd like to drive her out of the classroom for her non-conformity. Of course, I do not. We have to work with this kind of spirit, not against it. Some other teacher will probably come along and crush the spirit out of her, or beat it out. But it won't be me. When she displays her hard-headedness I do not try to overpower her, even though I easily could. I could physically force her to do what I want her to do, or I could just use the force of my will like I do with the high schoolers. She's only five, after all. But what would that achieve? She would just dig in. And when she was old enough, and strong enough, she'd break the bonds of my strength anyway. Physical and mental. And people would say that she's crazy. Maybe even demon possessed. But, she's not. She's just not a conformer.
And so I was thinking about my little hard-headed student this week in relation to the man in the tombs. Maybe the legion of "demons" were really just a million creative ideas, a thousand ways to live differently. Or, maybe, as a pal of mine suggested, he refused to conform to Roman expectations and that is what caused the others to be afraid of him.
I don't know. He is one of the many Bible characters we meet and then don't hear about again. I would like to know what happened to him.
Tomorrow is the first day of a very special week. It's the last week of school. I only have the faintest outline of a plan for my summer. Mainly I am just relieved that for eight weeks I will not have to go to that horrible place. Hope your week is as happy as mine.