Saturday, 11 March 2017

On the baptismal destiny of the unevangelised

My name is Heraclitus. I've quit my job at the intellectual property office. I am walking across the town square. I feel good. It's a nice morning. On the other side of the square, I see the new witch outside the witch dwelling. There is a high turnover in witches. They quit, get fired, disappear or die, but any way you look at it, life is precarious caught in the knot of other people's desires. By way of introducing myself, I do what I always do when there is a new witch in town. I go to the witch's well and I throw myself in. I do it as a sort of challenge to their abilities. This time, I throw myself into the well but I do not hit the water. I am falling, and still falling. It is not dark, it is not green. I look closely at the stones in the wall of the well as I pass them. It is like the wall of a mountain, or a great fortress. I fall so far that I am no longer moving. I feel the embrace of a clear abyss. The light is icy, the air is sharp. This is not Ephesus. I am falling into the wintry stillness of the far North. I do not feel the urge to breathe, but the air is so cool and beautiful that I want to take it in. I inhale a deep draft of it. The air is not air, it is water. I am choking. I see the witch's arm plunging down towards me. It catches hold of me by the nape of my neck and I feel myself hauled upwards. I am thrown out of the well onto the banks of the world, like a newborn, or a gasping fish.