Melancholy


In one of my regular communications with my daughter, I mentioned that I was finishing up Volume Seven of the Bible project. At that moment, there were just a few pages remaining to complete the Acts of the Apostles. I told her that I had only one thin volume left until I was completely finished with all the writing. She sheepishly confessed that she felt overwhelmed with a sense of melancholy at that news.

She was experiencing guilt because she thought she should be receiving the report with glee. I was as understanding as I could be across three time zones at 1:00 a.m. However, I was able to share with her that I’d had a similar experience a few months ago when I crossed over from the Old Testament into the New Testament. Oddly enough, Laura, the Photographer, was also feeling off- balanced once she realized that the end of the work was practically in plain sight. It makes me wonder if others who follow “The Serenity of Knowing” on blogs, and on Facebook, and in this Newsletter, are taking big melancholy gulps as well. Drop me a line.

I’ve read a number of great authors over time. Among my favorites, are John Steinbeck and Victor Hugo. The Grapes of Wrath, and Les Miserable have always ended way too soon for me. So…I simply read them over and over again. I can’t tell you if it’s the magnitude of the stories with their cinematic prose, or the meaty numbers of pages that make me feel so accomplished, or so invested as one can feel with an important relationship. “The King James” is doubtless a writing that I will repeat again and again – notwithstanding the six years it takes to make only one pass. As it turns out, it too is both cinematic and meaty. How can you expect me to resist that?

Perhaps there is something unfathomable in being changed by a monumental tome, or by a remarkable love. Perhaps they’re too often the same, even if they shouldn’t be. What I do know, is that each new and challenging mote in the universe of my good days and bad days, through Genesis and beyond, has helped me to grow in exponential joy. And in the brilliance of that joy, I am the snapshot of a man who has been dramatically altered.

In the meantime I need to complete the Epistles etc., as well as Revelations. Then, of course, comes the trimming, and the binding, and the jacket design. So not to fear, there’s still a lot of paper and cardboard to be wrangled long before we can even think about shedding our melancholy tears together at the “after party.”

As published in the February 2013 issue of "St. Peter's Press," the monthly newsletter of St. Peter's Presbyterian Church in Spencertown, New York. He is now in the writings of Paul.