Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

A Sorrowful Prayer

Before there were churches on the island, it was sacred. Whoever the French equivalent of Druids were would take tiny wooden boats out to the sweet potato-shaped piece of land in the middle of the Seine, eat some mushrooms, take off their paleoberets, dance around a little bit. Build a fire, get into some sex magick. Get up the next morning and head home.

Before there were churches, the island was martial. What was the river but a moat? Stock the larder and drop a well and build some walls and burn the bridges behind you. Boom: fortress. Vercingetorix and the Gauls hid out there when the Romans marched into town, and then the Romans did the same when the Huns rode in. Even the legions, with their cataphracts and war dogs, kept their heads down when the Huns raped the horizon. Make sure you sacrifice enough chickens in the Temple of Apollo.

Christ came. He does that. The sun-god was replaced by God’s son.

The city is now Paris, but not yet the City of Lights because the kind of lights the nickname refers to had not been invented. Rich, though. Trade comes up and down the Seine, and overland from Germany to Spain. World-class city needs a world-class cathedral. First shovel was turned in 1163, and construction never quite ended. Every hundred years or so, a new piece would get slapped on or replaced or wedged in.

You will believe a buttress can fly.

Kings and queens got crowned there. Napoleon crowned himself. Christ–you remember Christ; it’s a story about Christ–left his crown here, or so the stories go. Tied Jacques de Molay to a stake and torched his blasphemous ass right outside the front door. The Huguenots trashed the place; 200 years later, so did the Revolutionaries; 200 years after that was the Communards’ turn. There could be no other location for De Gaulle’s funeral, could there? NonC’est imposible.

And it housed the poor, occasionally, so babies were born there; and it sheltered the sick, sometimes, so beggars and whores died there. Nine centuries worth of priests’ favorite spots to hide from the bishop so they could nap or goof off; nine centuries of mothers hushing their children during Mass. There were dice games, and hand-jobs. There is no building so esteemed that humans will not shoot crap and tug each other off in it. We do that.

A spark. They’re doing reconstruction. (They were. Not anymore.) A blown fuse, a hot connection, something like that. An ignition point. No one’s fault. An act of God. He so often chooses fire as His medium.

Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus tecum, Virgo serena.

Ave cujus conceptio,
solemni plena gaudio,
celestia, terrestria,
nova replet letitia.

Ave cujus nativitas,
nostra fuit solemnitas,
ut lucifer lux oriens
verum solem preveniens.

Ave pia humilitas,
sine viro fecunditas,
cuius annunciatio
nostra fuit salvatio.

Ave vera virginitas,
immaculata castitas,
cuius purificatio
nostra fuit purgatio.

Ave preclara omnibus
angelicis virtutibus,
cujus fuit assumptio 
nostra glorificatio.

O Mater Dei, 
memento mei.

1 Comment

  1. Amen.

Leave a Reply