Sunday, December 30, 2012
Fear has cost me years of my life, it has been at the root of my depression, and it has inflicted a lot of real pain on me and, by association, on others. I have found that – for me – the only thing that truly relieves that fear, that allows me the liberation to try to live and to work and to be the person that I want to be – the person that I am – is to have some kind of connection and relationship with “God”, or, as I often rebelliously address Him – “fuckin’ God.”
I don’t want God in my life. At all. Ever. Trust me. And I don’t know what God is. But, what I grudgingly – very grudgingly – admit, is that I need Him. You may read this play and love it. Or maybe you’ll hate it. Maybe you’ll skip over it entirely, or skim it and get bored. I don’t know. But I need to say that, in the end, in the pathetic, sad hours, after all the cigarettes have been smoked and every tool of procrastination exploited, what got this play written was me getting on my knees on the linoleum floor of my kitchen and begging God for an ounce of daylight. And those ounces came despite my best efforts to ignore them. Maybe this only proves that God can help you write a shitty play, I don’t know. I’m not here to sell God. I’m the kid who stole money out of the church collection plate to buy nickel bags and play pinball – and I wouldn’t put it past me to try it again. But, this God stuff is true. For me.
Stephen Adly Guirgis
author of Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
in "Best Plays of 2000: New Playwrights' Series"
photo: Rob Olguin in Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train
Sunday, December 23, 2012
from "Delight," chapter 4
Friday, December 21, 2012
I find it galling that each and every blessed year when Christmas is glimpsed on the distant horizon, killjoy Christians start trying to instill guilt about a fundamental, sacramental part of the celebration of Jesus' coming - the giving of gifts. It's a birthday party, for God's sake! You bring presents!
The wise men knew it, and behaved accordingly. Children know it, and glory in it - and except ye become as little children, ye shall not enter in. George Bailey's neighbours knew it, and brought all they could spare.
To heck with the unreformed Scrooges of the world and their workhouses and poor laws, skipping Christmas parties and turning the portly gentlemen from their doors! To heck with the Grinches of the world, stealing the presents from all the Whos down in Whoville!
Tell those humbuggers it's the heart of the bleak midwinter, and if we want to cheer the people we love by bringing them gold, or frankincence, or myrrh, or Tickle Me Elmo or a box of chocolates or a 52 inch flat screen plasma tv, or playing our drum for them, or pouring expensive perfume all over their feet, then we'll damn well do it!
This is not the time to measure out our love, or our cheer, or life itself, with coffee spoons – all the ladles, serving spoons, gravy boats, pitchers, punch bowls, roasting pans and bathtubs in the whole house shouldn't be enough to contain it! Full measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, poured into laps!
For with the measure we use it will be measured unto us.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
"Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift."
2 Corinthians 9:15
What's so good as getting?
The anticipation, snow
in the air, people with lists,
voices that drop when you
enter the room, the pine-wood
fire smell and the smell of pine needles from the trimmed tree
by the window – it all narrows down
to the heft of the package in the
hands, the wondering, the unwrapping
(Careful – the paper's too pretty
to tear), the oh, the ah. What's
so good as getting
if not giving?
The covert questions, the catalogs
with corners turned back, the love
that overlooks cost, the hiding place
in the hamper, the card whose
colored words can't say it all,
the glee of linking want/wish
with have/hold, the handing over,
fingers burshing, the thing
revealed, the spark as the eyes
meet, and the hug. What's
so good as giving?
Sleep now, little one.
I will watch while you and your mother sleep.
I wish I could do more.
This straw is not good enough for you.
Back in Nazareth I'll make a proper bed for you
of seasoned wood, smooth, strong, well‑pegged.
A bed fit for a carpenter's son.
Just wait till we get back to Nazareth.
I'll teach you everything I know.
You'll learn to choose the cedarwood, eucalyptus, and fir.
You'll learn to use the drawshave, ax, and saw.
Your arms will grow strong, your hands rough ‑‑ like these.
You will bear the pungent smell of new wood
and wear shavings and sawdust in your hair.
You'll be a man whose life centers
on hammer and nails and wood.
But for now,
sleep, little Jesus, sleep.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
for Marya Gjorgiev
The Third week, and about now
Mary is heavy with God, her first
and the Father’s only, with a journey
to plan for, going south. Anxiety
is in the air. It is so dark and cold
and kind Joseph is only a man, not
a midwife. She feels answerable
for the welfare of the heaving life
in her belly.
Let us feel with Mary in her
waiting and knowing. And not
knowing. Today I try to remember
all the world’s mothers and every
new child yet to arrive, made
in the same God-likeness. Pray
for more than a cave in the hill town
when their time comes. Though that
will do if there is love enough.