A motley gathering at dockside

In A post to keep afloat, Hautvoir, Irish Mist, Local projects, Revision, Sanford Meisner, Scene Prep on December 11, 2014 at 7:53 am

Theological discussions are fraught events in the best of circumstances. With a fourteen-year old boy who claims to know the Bible (current Catholic version) better than I do, and who dismisses what he doesn’t like by calling it a lie? The fraughtness rises several notches. Young Billy (shall we call him) claims homosexuality is abhorrent in the eyes of God; this is the reason why he will have nothing to do with the woman who gave him birth.

Interesting, I say. Did you know the Catholic church allowed same-sex marriages during the Middle Ages? Who told you that, he asks with a hard squint. I offer to bring in evidentiary material. No surprise: he declines the opportunity.  At any rate, we’re not there for a theological debate but to see if young Billy can rise on a tide of self-generated expectations. As things stand at the moment, said tide reminds me of the opening pages in Joyce Carey’s The Horse’s Mouth. Sloshing, murky, awaiting… something.

In other words, not all the kids I see in a week inspire feelings of deep empathy. Doesn’t matter. If I see any room for an extra shove, I’m willing to shove. At least for another while.

On my way to the coaching sessions yesterday, I happened upon a group of girls. Three of them recognized me and ran over, all smiles. There’s a whole subsection of this town’s younger citizens who will remember me as their teacher. Add to the list of identities over time.

Stories build the same way; over time. Extra detail here; niggling question there. Missed connection a bit further on.

Dark grey sky. More rain. Thames at low tide. Kepler by John Banville. Joyce Carey’s painter. Plus a pimply, lazy and opinionated fourteen-year old boy. How those dots connect, I have no idea.


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