Sunday, October 12, 2008

Trope, Trope, Trope

I can’t keep them straight. Tropes, figures, dreams, metaphors, stories, films, parables, proverbs, morals, aphorisms, similes, visions, simulacrums, analogs, avatars, paradigms, frameworks, plays, playacting, actors, agents, dramas, songs, singing, narratives, narratology, music, opera, musical scores, novels, poems, dance, painting, sculpture, symphonies, and so forth.

We are always making. We are always creating something to stand for the thing. For the idea. For the feeling. For the gesture. For the movement. For the change. For the sensibility. For the experience. For the opening onto understanding.

To stand apart from the living so that we can get some. Oh, I don’t know. Get some hope. Some faith. Some sense. Of what it is. What it may possibly be. Or mean. And how we may fit in. How we may fit it. How we may become someone who has a place in this possibility that is not us. But that is us.

And what I sometimes think is that words were given to us as the separateness. The God-made instrument for our setting up of these structures. These twice-made transformations. That we might get some distance from the rest of what the world is and we are. So that we might possibly know a bit about the original Making. The original Being. The original Knowing. And the consequent Living.

And the eventual Judgment. I’ve been writing about judgment. I’ve been writing about jurisprudence as a metaphor for Judgment. Something that does not belong to us. Something that is not ours to do. Something that is a metaphor or a trope or a figure for what. Well. May happen to us.

But it is not something for Jesus to do either. Even he is not charged with this. Not yet. Someday. But not yet.

God himself has not given himself this gesture. This possibility. This ability. This charge. This right. This responsibility. This authority. Not yet. So why would we? Why would we look for this? Why would we ever accept this? Why would we ever believe this is something we would be permitted? Allowed? Granted? Asked? Commanded? Why would we ever believe we have any business with this? Why would we ever believe we would not be struck down if we were to do this?

I’m thinking of the woman caught in adultery. Who is brought to Jesus. To God. To the son of Man. Who suspends judgment. Who suspends punishment. Who brings grace to the woman and to those who would stone her. Thank God. Who refuses to Judge. Who refuses to allow others to Judge.

No matter Paul. Set Paul aside for the moment. Listen to Jesus. Judgment is not his. It is not now. And it is never ours. Listen. Do not judge, lest you be judged at the appointed time. Do not seek this. Do not ever look for the opportunity. Because this. Of all things. Is certainly perdition. Is certainly torment and destruction. Is certainly hell both here and hereafter. Listen to Jesus. This is not tangential. This is not optional. This is central. He is quite clear on this point. Let us all. Everyone of us. Move on from here.

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