Monday, November 16, 2015


Far away, in the picture-book city of Prague, stands an old enduring Gothic house of prayer. Travelers and townspeople know it as The Alt-Neu Schule... the old-new 'schule.' Schule means school. Centuries ago synagogues in Central Europe were called that, for that's where the faithful went to learn the faith. The interior looks like what you'd find in a rustic Quaker Meeting House, though it dates from the mid twelve hundreds, four centuries prior to the founding of that creed. Like prayer houses everywhere, it has an angel.

Some chapels have grand angels with silvery wings and fine, shining robes spun from sun beams, moon beams and the occasional leftovers from fleecy, white clouds. They whisper in the ears of the congregants, reminding each one that they are God's Hands on Earth. Sometimes the rouse sleepers. Sometimes they let them sleep.

After services, after the morning call, the afternoon call and evening call, the angels flew free to visit other heavenly messengers all around the world. They sang hymns in the ornate temples of India and inspired monks on windy, Celtic shores to create vivid, illuminated texts.

But the angel of The Alt-Neu Schule could not do that, for he had no wings, nor any other way to fly. During the quiet times he watched the rabbi study and whispered ideas for sermons. Did the rabbi know they came from him? Well, not directly, but he certainly felt the inspiration.

On clear, cold nights, he'd pass through the timbers and shingles and sit on the pinnacle of the high, sloped roof watching the stars. Sometime another angel would pass over head. He'd say - How go your travels?.... They'd tell him of old, wood churches in Norway that creaked in the wind and the ornate calligraphy of blue domed, Turkish mosques. They spoke of enduring synagogues bright with intricate mosaics and pious little children with good hearts, lost in their dreams and studies.

But the little angel still could not fly. And so the centuries passed. He sat with the children as they prepared for their Assumption of The Faith (bar mitzvah), whispering scripture in their ears so that they could remember.

One spring, storks came to The Alt-Neu Schule and made their home on the roof. He watched them build the nest. How careful they were... How precise. They knew he was there. Animals are good that way. They just are. And how like dancers they were. Such graceful beings.

Our little angel sat with them. The mother let him see her eggs. How smooth and white they were. The father whoomt his great wings and soared off to find food, both for himself and his mate. When he came back, the mother had her turn. Prague was new to them. They're usual nesting site was in a country town a bit farther south. So she glided over the city, marveling at the red tiled roofs and intricate clock towers.

The angel watched their comings and goings. He wanted to fly so bad. Why was he flightless?... Who knows? No one ever told him.

One night, after the city was quiet, save for fussy babies crying here and there, or maybe barks from an agitated dog, he went up to the roof and sat by the nest. The majestic birds were sleeping... a yin and a yang over their trusting eggs. But the mother felt his presence (she's always on guard) and opened her eyes.... She saw him there and whispered - Tell me your dreams, angel..... He said - You know. I do so want to fly..... She said - Are you a good angel?..... He nodded.... She said - I knew that..... They sat in silence watching strangely bright clouds pass over an ivory-white moon.  Spring nights can be like that.... Then the stork mother said - One day, you shall have wings.... How? - asked the angel.... She said - One day my earthly life will be over and I shall come back and bear you on my spirit wings.

Then she fell back asleep. The angel sat and thought, before going back inside to sit in The Sanctuary and stare at The Eternal Light.....

< the conclusion comes tomorrow night. then back to newborn vampire, Danny and his problems>


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