“Man is forced to suffer even after his sins are forgiven, though it was sin that brought down on him this penalty. For the punishment outlasts the guilt, lest the guilt should be thought slight if with its forgiveness the punishment also came to an end.” St. Augustine
I have learned in life that damaged people are more honest than those who have it all together, and there are people who’ve got it all together; I would know because I’m married to one. There have been very few times when I’ve felt like I had it “all together,” though the last time was actually quite recently, and when I began losing my grip on my brief togetherness, I desperately squeezed the little I could get out of it, and, like John Steinbeck’s Lennie, I killed it, quite unintentionally, then sadly waited for a loving friend to bravely shoot me out of my ingenuous misery.
No George Milton for me…
With death comes a different kind of life, an afterlife of sorts, where broken souls wander the shadowy halls of Purgatory trying to expiate the sins we have committed (or have yet to commit) but still failing to keep them under control. And so we digress into our tormented minds, spectral figures navigating in between realms, bone shards crunching beneath tentative steps, always yearning for purification in the purging fires of holiness that have become so intense we have, sadly, forgotten how to feel.