confession is always, too, a creation

May 5, 2012 § 3 Comments

I’ve gone back and forth about posting this, for a variety of reasons, and decided finally to go ahead and do so. For some reason this passage took a lot out of me. It took a while to write, and I’ve not yet been able to return to my manuscript since finishing it. I’m hoping that the process of pasting it here, re-reading it, etc., the overall formality of posting it for five of you actually to read, will motivate me finally to finish the chapter in which it is set.

As always, context matters very little.

* * *

Confession, though, is a funny thing. Whether it be spoken by accident, through the slips of tongue or in the slump of shoulders, screamed under torturous duress, or handed over in print with the ink not yet dry, confession is always, too, a creation. For indeed, in the beginning, here in the weeds, R. created the sinner and the sin.

The sin was inarticulate and vague, more notion than idea, the babbling incoherence of unharnessed will. The curiosity of R. groped into the never ending depths of confession and said: Let there be pride. And pride was made. And R. saw the pride and that it was the root of all evil. And he called this pride life, and the fruit that it bore, death. This was the first sin.

Then R. said: Let there be a divide set within confession. He made the expanse, and so divided his confession from that of all others. He greedily called these confessions his alone. This was the second sin.

Then R. said: Gather now all my confessions and press them together as closely as possible: behold now the stage upon which they will be performed. And it was so. And R. called the stage, lust, and the gathered confessions became regret. And he said: May the newly created lust now write its own script and construct the imagined landscape of life itself, such that one need never confess again. And it was so. Lust closed itself to confession, preferring instead the language of repetition, tonguing not only the naughty bits and pieces, those depicted dicks and metaphoric mounds that flush the cheeks and ready the flesh, but the the frictional ins and outs, the hums and the moans muffled and screamed, of this, the third sin.

Then R. said: May all that lust lacks be exposed by the light of its desire. And it was so. R. made the two great desires: the greater desire to feed the flesh, and the lesser desire to sustain the soul. He made that these desires should never be satisfied, that their objects be always within reach but beyond grasp, and that the portion of those desires granted to another should be envied. He made that the envy of another should itself be an object of desire. And R. saw that he wanted more, the fourth sin.

Then R. said: Though the rapacious hunger of desire will never be sated, my its objects be gluttonously devoured. For it is not the objects one desires, girls or God, but desire itself, which nourishes lust, is protected by greed, and is grounded in pride. And R. saw that it, the fifth sin, was so. And if it was not necessarily good, it at least seemed realistic. And he agreed, saying: Increase and multiply, all that I lack, in order that I might too increase and multiply, and lack evermore.

Then R. said: From this gluttonous hunger comes forth vengeance. For these same objects of desire are also desirous objects—the seemingly contradictory keys to their increase and destruction. From the dumbest herds creeping to the wisest minds teaching, none are exempt the threat of wrath. And R. saw that it was so. For the abundance of some shall come from the stock and/or on the backs of another. This will be appropriately called natural and order, which will render the anger not acted upon fear, which will fester into resentment, which will explode into moments of rage. Rage smolders before and after its eruptions, such that its causes are ultimately as indistinct from its effects as the sixth sin is from the sinner.

The world of sin, R. saw, was thus created, and it was, he confessed, a wonder of indifferent efficiency. Programmed as it was to anticipate the outbursts of rage against its order, for it always to adapt in such a way as to maintain the pride of its self-sufficient creator, the confessor, and a maximum hunger for others, the confessed, R. could perhaps be forgiven for falling asleep on the seventh sin—for indeed in what other way is sloth created?—for surveying his confession as finished.

§ 3 Responses to confession is always, too, a creation

  • Guido Nius says:

    It took me a while to figure out why I got stuck in this but now I think I know. It is a lack of pride that is the root of all evil. Nature starts without pride, and that is exactly why God makes no sense.

    But maybe that is what you wanted to imply all along?

    • Brad Johnson says:

      Seeing your comment, it strikes me that perhaps I should change “root of all evil” simply to “root of all sin” — namely, the world of sin being created by the confession. “Evil” is perhaps too grand for what is happening. Nothing cosmic or grand is occurring here. And evil & sin need not have a special kinship.

      I am not consciously implying anything about the sensibility of God. God has very little to do with this particular confession, at least in the traditional sense of being aggrieved/offended, etc. In confessing, I want to say, the confessor becomes the creator. The pride I identify as the first sin is that of the self-sufficiency of Creator.

  • Guido Nius says:

    That would make sense, separating sin from evil seems to be a virtuous thing to do. Pride as original sin and source of creativity works for me, & confession as the act of creation even more.

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