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Just before dawn

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Isaiah 7:14
The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Cave dark it is.

This dark tears at my eyes and hurts me. There is no getting away from it. I would sit down and rest but there is no room to sit. We crowd every corner of the cave and jostle each other, talking a thousand different languages, understanding nothing.

The weather outside is frightful. It won't stop snowing. For a hundred years the skies have opened and just don't close. A visitor might expect us to have learned patience and tolerance in these tight quarters. But we have not. Someone steps on my toes, and I slam out in anger with both my elbows. A fist hits my mouth.

We cry out in groans that words cannot express. Not these words. Not the words of a generation separated by babel, babbling into the beer we no longer drink but still imagine, crying tears long since dried and bitter on our cheeks, alone together. The worst kind of alone of all.

Only faint memories of flickering candles. I don't wait anymore; I've got just this moment, this thought, just this breath. Hope and expectation and desire all died out. No more light, not even in my dreams. This cattle car of a cave takes me nowhere, rattling on a blind steel track, into always more dark. Our captors don't need their threats of gas and death anymore; we try nothing.

I have heard of dawn. When light breaks out in rays over earth's rim. Nobody talks about it anymore. I don't think it's possible, really. No experience of dawn in this cave. Just another figment, illusion, invention of desperate men and women to give shape and hope where there is none.

Dawn must wait yet one more day.

God, oh God, be with us. Come soon. Come soon. Come soon.

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