Sunday, 29 April 2012

Chapter 2 (conclusion) Sanhedrin (#32 draft, excerpt, cont.)

Next installment of my new historical novel: Peter and Paul.

Shimon raised himself slowly to his feet. Then he sank back again. Another day, another failure. His chest heaved in protracted, silent sob. More like a whimper, really. He was who he was, no matter what Yeshûa had called him.
Why won’t you help me?
He got to his feet again and slowly made his way home. It was a long walk to the mud-brick hovel he and his band of men called. His mind drifted to that day, that Thursday, when Yeshûa was betrayed by Yehudi.
That whole period immediately preceding Yeshûa’s arrest, judgment and even the Crucifixion was heavily mixed in Shimon’s head. Perhaps it was necessary to protect his sanity. Too many things happened too quickly. He, whom Shimon considered invincible, suddenly allowed the lower forces to sweep Him in their current. None of this made sense. At least not then, not at the time. And even when He returned for those few days, forty short days during which he saw Him only a few times, did little to alleviate the painful longing he felt for his Master.
Yet now, but a few day before He left them again, the echoes of judgment returned to him with a force of a tornado. The court of the gentiles filled to the brim. No, not by the gentiles. By Jews. By Jews all waiting for the Sanhedrin to pass their judgment.
He saw bunch of old men, old tired men and their aspiring assistants who accomplished little in their lives, pass judgment over a man in the prime of his life, who taught, unflinchingly, the philosophy of love. A man, who’d never hurt a fly. One man against seventy-one. One man, His hands tided behind his back. And they dared to pass judgment?
In the name of what. Tradition?
Even Pontius Pilate absolved Him. Gave Him his dispensation from any wrongdoing. But not they. They demanded His blood.
Yes. This was a true Sanhedrin trial. The trial of death.
Shimon blinked as he saw, again, the image of Yeshûa standing relaxed, almost nonchalant, if perhaps with just a trace of compassion for those who judged Him.
None of this is real…
“None of this is real, Kepha. Do not be afraid.” The words lingered in his ears, his mind, his heart.
None of this is real? Then why can’t I, Shimon, go and face the judges and declare the Truth taught by you, Master?
Thursday night and then again on Friday morning. Once wasn’t enough. Not to sate their pride, to fill their cups with bitterness that would follow their lives to the end.
“We demand his death. He claims to be the King of Jews. In the name of Rome, you cannot allow this!”
They cried and the masses, the dumb, ignorant masses picking up the chant. Death… death… death…
Fools. His kingdom is not of this world.

Shimon shook his head. The images were becoming too real. It was as if he was about to face the same horrors once again. He quickened his pace. He hardly noticed that he left the Sanhedrin far behind.
Let the dead bury the dead, he whispered through clenched teeth.
It was getting dark. More dangerous. Not from the priests or the corrupt sages; not from the members of the council, but from ordinary, honest riffraff, who couldn’t make the ends meet. Yet, at the same time he knew that nothing would happen to him. Not now. Not yet. There were things he had to do first. Only… only he needed courage. And in that very moment, for the first time since Yeshûa had let, he felt, he knew, that that too would come. Soon.
He didn’t even know how very soon.

(Chapter 3 will follow)

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Chapter 2 Sanhedrin (#31 draft, excerpt, cont.)

Next installment of my next historical novel: Peter and Paul.

Nasi, the President, raised his hand. He had to do it three more times before the assembly came to order. He motioned the Chancellor to rise and present the  remaining Order of the Day to the Assembly.
Most listened.
But the moment the Chancellor sat down, at the two extremities of the semi-circles whispers resumed with rising ferocity.
“You can’t leave it to the old man.”
“You’re right, he’s much too gentle.”
“Not here, let’s go outside…”
“And if we let them continue with their preaching, people will begin to listen. They can be pretty convincing,” the younger Pharisee said, stroking his beard. He was an expert in Law, though his beard didn’t show any signs of gray. He looked more like a successful merchant, which he also was, then a member of the Sanhedrin.
“My men got rid of three of them. But it’s not easy. They cannot connect their actions with us…”
“Of course not.” His interlocutor leaned closer his colleague and lowered his voice. “I got the fellow who got Yehuda to sing for thirty shekels.”
“Judas Iscariot, you’ve heard of him?”
“Ah, yes… he’s pretty famous now…” the councilor confirmed sarcastically. He really meant ‘infamous’, although he’d served their purpose.
“Anyway, the man I have in mind is a truly low-life character. He can do a lot of harm to them, but he’s now asking for fifty.”
“Fifty?! For what?”
“For getting, ah… to get rid of three more. Maybe four, if I press him hard enough.”
“Couldn’t you threaten to expose him, to, ah… to us?”
“What, and let him recognize me?” 
“Hmmm. It’s never easy, is it…” His hand reached up to stroke his lengthy beard. “I’ll see if I can get you twenty five.”
“Fifty. I did the Yehuda thing all on my own.”
The younger councilor gave him a dirty look. After a short while, he replied. “Fifty it is.” And began turning away to put some distance between himself and his interlocutor. It didn’t pay to be seen talking to men who did the necessary but dirty work.
“In advance,” he heard behind his back.
He nodded without slowing his pace.

During the session of the Sanhedrin men moved around a lot, exchanging opinions, arguing, before taking the vote. Three other exchanges similar to the one above took place concurrently on the other side of the steps. Similar deals have been made. There was an atmosphere of success in the air. The dozen murders wouldn’t put a stop to the Yeshûa followers’ ramblings, but it would scare them out of Jerusalem. No one wanted troublemakers on their own doorstep. Romans were problems enough. 

(to be continued)

Monday, 23 April 2012

Chapter 2 Sanhedrin (#30, draft, excerpt cont.)

 Next installment of my next historical novel: Peter and Paul.

Judge not that ye might not be judged…
Shimon was regarding the assembly from the courtyard of the gentiles, a misnomer, as usually only Jews could  get access to it. He recalled the Master exchanging words with the sages not so long ago. They had been stunned by his knowledge of the Law.  Have the Essences instilled such proficiency? He never said. He just knew. Perhaps the knowledge always resided within him?
Yet, He too has been found guilty.
On the way here Shimon played with the idea of challenging the Sanhedrin declaration that the believers were not true Jews. That they didn’t conform to the Hebrew Law. He approached the Council through the southern gate, keeping close to the sides of the pillared court, taking advantage of the shade offered by the red-roofed Royal Stoa.
He walked slowly, alone, unwilling to expose his brethren to the wrath of the Council. He’d spent the night in prayer, asking for the courage to intercede for the believers. No matter what.
Only he didn’t make it. His knees gave way as he slid down, his back against the column, his legs trembling, refusing to support his gaunt body.
Master, willst thou not help me?
Silence reverberated across the courtyard. It surrounded him and pushed him against the stone floor. He could actually hear the stillness. Intense absence of sound. An emptiness. Like in his heart.
Master, willst thou not help me?
Not yet…
Not yet?
The sounds he heard were not from outside. They were born inside his head. Or was it just vein hope? He knew that help was coming. It had to be soon. Shavu’ot. It had to be that. All his brethren were waiting for Shavu’ot to come. They were counting the days. They were holding their breath.
Shavu’ot. The day of hope. Of redemption.
Of help.
Sitting, his back against the column, Shimon shrugged. What could one man do against seventy-one? Even the Master couldn’t convince them of his righteousness.  They, the judges, were set in their ways. A thousand years of tradition was on their side.
Recently they were loosing more brethren. After Stephen was murdered, stoned to death, two other believers died in similar way. Seemingly in an act of robbery but Simon and his friends know better. You cannot be robbed when you have no possessions on you. No money, no silver, no gold. Not a single shekel. All their wealth was only in their heart. Yet they died.
The believers, still but few of them, were all leaving Jerusalem. Too close to the power of the Sanhedrin. Who knew what went on in their midst?

The Sanhedrin was in full session. They got through the usual complains about abuses against the Jews by the Romans about which they could do nothing about, and got down to the more pressing matters.
There were many sects springing in Judea, and even right here, in Jerusalem. They had to be dealt with. They knew what to expect from the established Pharisees, most of them were Pharisees themselves, but there were the, often difficult to deal with, Sadducees. Also the Essenes kept insisting to be heard with their prophetic bias, and the Zealots were raising their rebellious heads. Zealotry was mostly political, but its members were practically terrorists, inciting people to rise against the Roman occupation. Didn’t they realize how powerful Rome was? Didn’t Jerusalem suffer enough strife and mayhem in recent years?
And then there were the followers of Yeshûa. They were the most enigmatic, refusing to be categorized in any recognizable fashion. Yet, the council felt instinctively, they were the most dangerous. They were the most likely to upset the established ways. The ways dating back to Moses himself.
Their ways. Their power.

(to be continued)

Friday, 20 April 2012

P&P Chapter 2. Sanhedrin (#29)

Continued research for my next historical novel: Peter and Paul.

Etymologically, Sanhedrin is a late Hebrew representation of the Greek word synedrion, meaning ‘sitting together’. In several aspects is it similar to the U.S. Senate, including the semi-circle seating of the senators. It resembles both the U.S. Senate and the Supreme Court. It represented the legislative body in Judea during the Roman period. Who knows what shenanigans go on in the “back-benches” of the U.S. Senate?
PS. This is the last commentary. Henceforth I’ll let you enjoy the novel in peace.

Sanhedrin (draft, excerpt)

You could tell how important they were by the grayness of their beards—never cut, cultivated as though adding legitimacy to the tasks they performed. Their job was but one: to maintain status quo. To maintain tradition they’ve built up over the years, ever since Moses led them to the Promised Land. An ancient, proud assembly.
They sat in a semicircle, mostly straight, some with a pronounced stoop as the hair got grayer. There was no perceptible expression on their faces. It was as if they were frozen in time, perhaps ready to be reawakened when the time was ripe.
They where the Sanhedrin. The wisest of the wise.
The Sanhedrin met in the Lishkat Ha-Gazith, known to the Greeks and other gentiles as the Hall of Hewn Stones. The vast chamber was built into the north wall of the Temple Mount. Half of the hall was inside the sanctuary, the other half projected outside. Access to the chamber was both from outside courtyard of the gentiles and from the Temple. As its location suggested, the Sanhedrin dealt with civil and sacred matters alike.
Usually twenty-three elders met to deal with everyday affairs. On such occasions, behind the columns there was ample space for the members stretch their stiff bones, before resuming their deliberations. On special occasions, to deal with matters of particular importance the Great Sanhedrin would swell to seventy-one members.
When the session called for full complement of sages, they often spilled down the broad steps onto the courtyard to discuss matters, before resuming their seats for the vote.
At the head of the Council, exactly in the geometric centre of the semicircle, sat the President, or Nasi, with the Chancellor, Av beis din, sitting on his right hand. When in session, the other sixty-nine general members took their place on either side, embracing the inner space with two long, curved arms. The number seventy-one precluded the possibility of a tie in their judgment. Usually one of guilty. The innocent had no reason for being here.
The members of the Sanhedrin were not elected.  Anyone proving superior scholarship of Jewish Law could displace any current member of the assembly. The Greeks found it a strangely democratic notion.

No one, not one sane man or woman would want to stand facing the semicircle of judges. Only one Man dared, and He is dead now. No matter, the Sanhedrin continued to sit together. Their eyes were cool, indifferent, without feeling. The Law was supreme—or their interpretation of it. The Law descending directly from Yahweh. Neither love nor mercy entered into their deliberations. Just justice. The old, traditional, heartless, absolute justice.
(to be continued)

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Dark Days, conclusion of Chapter 1 (#28)

Continued research for my next historical novel: Peter and Paul.

And then, of course, there was the tradition of completely distorted Hebraic or Mosaic teaching, which not only the sacerdotal classes but the man of the street practiced. While Yeshûa’s teaching was intended to change all that, in those early days only the “believers” made an effort to love one’s neighbour, let alone one’s enemy. As for defenseless women, they didn’t seem to matter at all.

Chapter ONE (draft, continued)
The Dark Days (excerpt)

It was a quiet late afternoon, hardly a breeze in the air. He was crossing the square, keeping close to the wall to take advantage of the shade. Half-dozen children were playing hide and seek, in the side street, using the merchants carts as hiding places. Nothing much happened. It was too hot for adults to take even a leisurely stroll along the dusty streets. And then they came.
Instinctively, Peter backed up into the penumbra of a doorway. Two men were dragging a woman, perhaps no more than twenty years old, by both arms. Five other men followed, grim smiles on their faces. Her bare feet were rubbing against the hard-beaten sand. Must have been sore, skinless, by now. It wouldnt be long now.
Two of the men tied her arms, then legs, then pushed her against the stone wall, which was already splattered with blood from previous occasions. The other men watched, their smiles getting wider. Then one of the men picked up a stone and threw it at her. He didnt have a good aimit missed her by a handbreadth. She didnt utter a sound. Resignation? The other men were better. Perhaps they had more practice? By the tenth stone she lay crumpled, unconsciousby twentieth, probably dead. Nobody cared. The men wiped their hands on their coats and walked away. No one even stayed behind to bury her body. She was left there as an example.
The children played on.
He would have forgiven her, whatever the transgression. The body doesnt sin, Hed said, only the mind. Or, He would have stopped the men from doing anything. He had that power.
And I just stand here, cowering, Peter thought. A deep, tearing, silent sob heaved his chest. Oh Master, please give me strength. Give me courage. You called me Kepha, a Rock, yet my heart is like putty.
Yeshûa was never afraid. Never. It was as though He was immortal. It was as if He could never come to harm. And yet
It all seems so very short time ago.  

(to be continued in Chapter 2)

Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Dark Days, continued (#27)

 Continued research for my next historical novel: Peter and Paul.

While the challenges facing all the apostles, particularly whose of Peter, were extraordinary, life had to go on. Nevertheless, to reconcile the Teaching with everyday life was more than, at the time, than Peter could handle. His effort must have been directed at staying reasonably sane…

Chapter ONE (draft, continued)
The Dark Days (excerpt)

He made a point of going out, every day, alone, even if just for an hour or so. He hated this commitment to himself, but knew that if he didnt hed crawl into a hole and pull the lid over him. He was afraid. He couldnt even define of what he was afraid of. Not precisely. Perhaps just of not being able to conquer his fear. He almost smiled at the thought. Could it have be that simple?
Yeshûa was never afraid. He walked into crowds, hordes of total strangers, often showing signs of anything but friendly disposition. Yet, He was never afraid. How did He do it, Peter asked himself many a time. How on earth did his do it?
Its not real, Shimon, Hed said. None of it is real, Hed often repeated, a mysterious smile lighting up His face, his sky-blue eyes piecing Shimons to his soul.
Its not real
He was always like that. Nothing seemed to matter much. Not really. Except loving one another. How on earth can one love a total stranger?
It was real to Peter. It was real and, most of the time, scary. That was why Peter went out every day. Since Hed gone, Peter had to conquer his reticence of meeting other people. Especially meeting strangers. His band of men went out to preach, daily, but not he. They understood. He was in charge. He had to hold the fort. Fort? What fort. A mud hut just big enough to hold a dozen people. Yet he did go out. Once a day. Hed never met anyone whod given him a glad eye. Not since hed left Bethsaida. His home. His lake. His family. Now?
Even surrounded by ten of his best friends he felt alone.

He looked left and right, and breathed easier. The street was empty. Yesterday he turned left; today hed go right, wherever it led him. He promised himself that hed stop stealing glances over his shoulder. At least for twenty paces at a time. It wasnt easy.
He imagined that He was walking with himthat made him feel better. Much better. If he really concentrated he almost heard His stepsright there, besides him.
Im always with you, Hed once said. Seems like so long ago. Just a few days had past since He left them.
I am always with you
This time Peter was sure hed heard His voice. He nearly spun on his heal to see His face. Then he remembered the twenty steps. Six remained. He smiled to his own thoughts. If only, he thought. If only my faith were stronger.

(to be continued)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Dark Days, cont. (#26)

Continued research for my next historical novel: Peter and Paul.

Undoubtedly the conditions in which the early followers of Yeshûa lived must have been considerably more barbaric than we are used to today. While Rome was spreading its victorious legions across the Middle East, at local level riffraff must have held their own. Also, the Pharisees and the henchmen of the priests were a constant threat. Under such conditions implementation of Yeshûa’s teaching had to present a virtually impossible challenge.

Chapter ONE (draft, continued)
The Dark Days (excerpt)

You could never be sure, these days. The roads, such as they were, seemed the favorite haunt of the bandits in search of easy money, Shimon murmured. He ought to know.  Hed been beaten up, twice, by total strangers.
Love thy enemies
Again Shimons lips widened in a wistful smile. His thought seemed almost like a joke; a joke that was painful and not at all funny. Yet, Yeshûad insisted.
Im sorry, I though hed already arrived, Shimon replied, another sigh escaping his parched lips. He still had time. Andrew would look after things. Shimon didnt want to treat his brother badly, nor to ignore him. He loved his younger brother. And, after all, it had been Andrew who recognized the Master first. Back then, at the shores of Gennesareth. Before anyone even began to suspect who Yeshûa was.
Ah, yes. Back then, by the Lake. But now it was time for Shimons daily walk. The time he hated but promised himself to do no matter what.

(to be continued)

Monday, 9 April 2012

The Dark Days, cont. (#25)

 Continued research for my next historical novel: Peter and Paul.

It seems evident that Andrew, Peter’s younger brother, would have to take over the role of Peter’s protector. Peter, or Shimon as he was then known, was trying to find his footing in the role of a leader of… of a bunch of men with an absurd, revolutionary idea left them by Yeshûa.

Chapter ONE (draft, continued)
The Dark Days (excerpt)

Shimon! This time Andrews voice was more insistent. It no longer sounded like the Master. Andrew didnt like Shimon drifting off, so often lately, when there were decisions to be made. As the younger brother he felt the need to look after Shimon. Funny how roles change. Until the Master left them, Shimon was the one who looked after all of them.
He hasnt left us, Shimon murmured. Hes still within us.
Whats that?
Andrew looked concerned. He was really worried about his brother since Hed left. Since Hed left them alone. It seems, Shimon missed Him the most. Still, they had to cope. And Shimon had a lot on his mind. The Master had left his brother in charge.
Shimon was really not himself, lately. Not since the Masters departure or even before. He seems to have lost all confidence ever since that night hed spent on the courtyard. Even now he seemed to grow weak and agitated each time some cockerel sang; even during his sleep.
Actually its been a while. Apart from Andrew, the others didnt really know what had happened. Shimon had no inclination to tell them. Three times three times the cockerel sang. Three times
Never mind.
Shimon was tired of explaining it to his friends. He blinked a few times to shake off the images of Gennesareth. For a while they wouldnt let go. Then he thought of the others, and the boat dissolved in the water. The others wouldnt understand. Theyd spend just as many years with the Master as he had, yet they didnt seem to understand his teaching at all. Why cant they understand my words? Hed asked them, many a time. Ah, yes, many a time. Why cant they understand my words?
To understand that none of this is real?
My kingdom is not of this world
Andrew drew back from his brother recognizing the signs when Shimon was in a morose mood.
I suppose Stephen arrived? Simon asked without looking up.
Not yet, Shimon. We expect him shortly.
Andrew just didnt have the heart to tell Shimon that Stephen had been murdered. Stoned to death. In the days that followed the Believers have scattered throughout Samaria, yet preaching the Word as they went.  
 (to be continued)

Saturday, 7 April 2012

The Dark Days, cont. (#24)

 Continued research for my next historical novel: Peter and Paul.

It is hard to imagine how a group of men who never faced any challenges other than keeping “body and soul” together, were suddenly thrust into an existence well beyond their means to comprehend. I repeat, those early followers of Yeshûa were simple, (with one exception) uneducated men, who must have felt completely out of their depth.

Chapter ONE (draft, continued)
The Dark Days (excerpt)

Andrew was worried about his elder brother. Hed aged, fast, during just these last few years. Already his short trimmed beard was showing signs of gray hair. Andrew suspected that since the Masters departure Shimon felt great weight pressing him down to earth. Literally, down to earth. Perhaps he was trying to reconcile heaven and earth into a single entity, like two sides of a single coin. Perhaps it was all the decisions he had to make. Everyone wanted his opinion, his advise.
Im a simple fisherman, Andrew heard him say. Many a time. A simple fisherman
But no one believed him. He really had to be Kepha, a rock; strong; unbending; not to cave in under all the expectations.
Shimon looked up for an instant. The next moment his eyes lost focus and drifted back, to the world of his own. Then, a gentle smile broadened his mouth. Andrew wondered if his brother would ever share his daydreams with him.
The wind was rising
Just sitting there, amidships, on the rough-hewn board spanning from side to side, his two friends stretching abaft. A gentle sway of the dying wind then silence, darkness, the sky punctured only by the stars of Yahweh. We cast our nets and waited, he recalled, catching a few hours of sleep.
Not I. Id sit silent, listening to the stars, he murmured, hardly aware of Andrews presence. And then he repeated softly, I miss fishing. 
I miss fishing It really did sound like a mantra.
The waters rose with restrained anger and instantly he began drowning. Have faith, He said. Have faith. Trust me. The power lies within you.
Yeshûa was standing, seemingly on the water. He watched the Master walk towards him hardly touching the waves. Almost floating.
Come to me, Yeshûa tempted, his voice relaxed, encouraging him with a smile. Dont be afraid…”
 (to be continued)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Dark Days, cont. (#23)

Continued research for my next historical novel: Peter and Paul.

I am trying to visualize how a simple fisherman from a village in the middle of nowhere, who’d since proven a man of relatively weak character, perhaps even with a yellow streak, would handle himself when tremendous responsibility has been thrust upon his shoulders. Surely, he’d take time to adjust… For a while, I suspect, he’d escape into his memories of innocence and youths.

Chapter ONE (draft, continued)
The Dark Days (excerpt)

Shimon used to enjoy over-night fishing the most. Heaving off with the last rays of the sun dying over Mount Tabor, just missing the peek on the south side. Even from the shore the view was breathtaking. From the shore of Bethsaidathe Place of Nets; little more than a village. Soon after they cast of, theyd watch the night fires beginning to twinkle, afar, long, long ago, before Tiberias grew into a city.
He missed the western breeze carrying them to the middle of the Lake on a broad reach. Just a small sail, knit by his mother and sisters, was enough. They were in no hurry. They had all night. They didnt have far to go.
His friends, in their prouder moments, liked to call it the Sea of Galilee. It sounded more important. Some seafrom every place on its near-lustrous surface you could see the shore, and not very distant, at that. But it was their lake. Theirs for generations. Sweet water where his father, and his father before him, fished for fresh-water fish.
He was a fisherman then. Carefree.
And then He came. Quiet, unimposing. Just his eyes. There was heaven in those eyes. Infinity? Andrew had seen him first. You couldnt escape those eyes
Shimon, He called him, long before Hed changed his name to Kepha. All too soon the Romans began to refer to him as Petrus taking their translation from pietra. The Greeks would give him their own version, naming his Petros, from their own rock or petra. Later, much later, some Gentiles coming from afar would call him Peter. Wherever hed go, people would give him names of their own. Yes, he sensed the future and he was afraid.
Yet it all happened in just three short years. Just three
When did He first call me Kepha?
What? Shimon, you must eat!
Andrew proffered a wooden bowl of steaming soup.
Later? It all happened in just a few years. Just a few
 He didnt feel like a rock. He felt weak, fragile, inadequate, scared like that night on the boat when 
Shimon? the sound of his name reached him from afarperhaps the other shore? He ignored whoever tried to invade his memories. It was good to remember, even knowing what followed. After all, He did come back. He was real
Shimon? this time the voice was louder.
It must have been Andrew with something of no importance. It could wait. Back then he was happy. So happy. No decisions, few responsibilities His mind drifted back, again, far, far back
Shimon, you havent eaten for three days…” 

                                                                                                                 (to be cont.) 

Monday, 2 April 2012

It is time to start… (#22 Chapter One)

 Continued research for my next historical novel: Peter and Paul.

Ready or not, a time comes to start writing. Not that I have all the answers, but I think I exposed most of the questions; at least enough of them to start the story.
I will continue with research; I usually do while I write. Below a short sample how the story could (but not necessarily will) start.

Chapter ONE (draft)

“I miss fishing,” he said out loud to no one in particular, his mind drifting back, far, far back to a different life, a different reality. His eyes wandered aimlessly, reaching beyond today, beyond the immediate, a wistful smile barely widening his mouth.
“I miss fishing,” he repeated, seemingly to himself.
They were all gathered, still together, in Bethany, were the Master had left them. Only one week ago. He didn’t say goodbye. No, not goodbye, just so long. In fact He’d said that He’d never leave them. Never.
It didn’t feel like it.
"I miss fishing,” Shimon said, once again, his tone filled with longing. It was beginning to sound like a far-eastern mantra the Master once told him about.
Then he sighed deeply. He always sighed when he thought of the Mount of Olives. That is where he escaped into memories of way-back-when. When he’d first met the Yeshûa. Then he relaxed and allowed his mind to retreat even further back. Back to when he’d cast nets in the Lake Gennesareth. The Lake of his childhood.
“I’ll make you fisher of men,” He’d said.
Only He didn’t. And now, He’d left. And I am still here. Alone. Quite alone. Why do they look up to me? I am nobody. I’m ignorant. I know nothing. I am a fisherman. A fisherman of fish, in my lake.
His eyes reached far from shore, fishing for memories.

(to be continued)