“Metamorphosis”

This is a short story I wrote several months ago, when I had only newly discovered the Orthodox doctrine of ‘theosis‘. I was so enchanted by it (it is a very powerful idea) that I translated my fascination into this little allegory. I hope you enjoy it. 

Metamorphosis

“Nothing is yet in its true form.” ~ CS Lewis

 

It was very dark, the pit that stretched out below me. I can’t really remember how I ended up hanging precariously above it, clinging to a couple of lonely branches which grew out of the sides of the well. It was large for a well – it must have been at least twenty metres across, and extended so far downwards that I could see only darkness below me. Daylight trickled in weakly from above, but it came from so far away that it was little more than a soft, grey glow. It was a miracle that I had been able to catch hold of the branches to stop my fall … I must have been falling so fast.

“It was no miracle.” A voice came.

I started and almost lost my footing. But then I remembered. It was only Him.

“Oh,” I said, “it was You?”

“Yes.

“So what happens now?”

“You need to get to the top. Back up to the daylight.” He said.

“Actually, I already knew that,” I said, “I was inquiring more as to howwe were going to make that happen.”

“Oh,” He said. “You have to let go.” He had no face, but I was sure I felt Him smile as He said it.

“Oh! You want me to let go!? It was You who designed gravity wasn’t it? You know which way it pulls don’t You?”

“Yes. That’s why you have to let go.”

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“Open your doors…” – inspired by the Coptic Easter Liturgy

This is a piece of prose inspired by the ‘Resurrection re-enactments’ of both the Coptic and Greek Orthodox Easter liturgies. You can see the Coptic resurrection play here, and the Greek one here. Both videos begin filming a church lit only by candles (or in the Coptic rite, a single candle held before the closed sanctuary) – and at the moment of the Resurrection, light is restored to the church (and the world).

The respective influences of both rites on the poem are fairly obvious should you make it to the end – there is a beautiful triumphalism to both. There is perhaps no moment which captures the theatricality of Orthodox worship better than Easter night.

Open your doors O kings

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” ~ St. Paul

This is the darkest of all nights,

And there are black whispers on the wind.

The dark wardens of this world

The gods of pain and misery

Destruction and death,

Have taken council.

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