Sunday, May 8, 2011


The life-eater couple left the warm room with the velvet chairs. They had eaten well. Human fare, mortal human fare. And it still tasted good. Jonathon had not so indulged for almost one thousand years. For Sarah the time was shorter. As they walked through the streets of this Other Worldly city, the buildings took on a rich, golden hue and the rooftops all shone red with natural, baked clay tiles. Fine, black iron lamp posts punctualed the gloaming with nebulous clouds of light. Music flowed out from the dwellings. And ornate broughams pulled by matching white horses progressed along the thoroughfares. Then, bit by bit, their physical bodies began to evaporate, til they were naught but moonbeams dancing in the night. Did this thing scare them? No, it felt quite natural. They were still together. They could still communicate. And if the vehicle for their thoughts was more ephemeral than before, the clarity of the conversation, never the less, improved. They spoke soul to soul and that was very pleasant indeed.

Jonathon said - I know this place. I was here........Where are we? - asked Sarah.......In the great, imperial, Hapsburg City of Prague. - said her companion.......She asked if this was the real Prague, or just a spiritual fabrication.....Jonathon laughed and said - I will find out.....So he called to a passing coachman, who saw nothing strange in responding to a disembodied spirit. And when that spirit inquired as to the provenance of the place, just laughed and said - Does it matter?.....The two ghostly life-eaters realized that it did not. They continued on their way...passed a church with a choir chanting beautiful songs....passed a palace lit for a ball...passed a pair of lovers kissing in the shadows...and a tiny tribe of pigeons nibbling pumpernickle crumbs from the cobbles. The streets grew narrow. The path more twisting. The sights more ancient, in a moldering, charming way. And then Jonathon stopped. For he saw it straight ahead, the dark stone Alt-Neu Schule. The Old-New School, the venerable synagogue of Bohemian Jews, a faithful bastion of belief..

He whispered, or rather his soul did, - It was just a genertation or two before my crossing to the New World, an excursion made from London, a chance to clear my head of all that frou-frou Restoration (or practically Restoration) nonsense. For yappy lap dogs and shoulder length wigs of persian lamb can grow exceedingly tiresome. So I drifted over here and learned important things.

The heavy oak door to this place of prayer cracked open, allowing a thin, trickle of light to flicker out beyond. A man stood in the entrance, an old man with a gray beard. He held a square, glass and copper lantern and wore the black robes (such as a judge might wear) of the Hebrew  clergy, his head covered by a dark, satin prayer cap.....And who is that man? - asked Sarah. Did you learn anything from him?.....Yes, I did. - said Jonathon. That worthy, old rabbi  taught me a lot.......

If you are unaccustomed to these tales, search out histories of the Golem. For we venture into Kabbalistic waters and there are certain things you must know.....Go on. I'll wait. You won't get lost.............

No comments: