The Small lie



a study in greys with gouache – TH

The vaulted ceiling is heavy with plaster and ornamentation. Chandeliers of weathered brass and milk-glass are unsettling to eyes raised upward; covert glances look for angels. My slight, seven-year old frame carries the full length of the mandatory, green, wool uniform, dense with the weight of uncharted heavenly canopies. Feet tread lightly against the cold tile floors to muffle echoes. Afraid to disturb the gods. Reverence is assumed, but it is reluctance.

The dark walnut doorway is designed to meld into the walls lined with bas-relief stages of the Crucifixion. Suffering and sacrifice. I accept this story, but, it is the art that arouses my curiosity. Already, I am firm in my own world view. Sin, the black mark on the milk bottle of countless catechism does not enter the ideology of the young. It has no place. Not here.

I slip into the confessional with comfort embracing the darkness; breathe in the lingering scents of frankincense and myrrh. The air is still.  Knees are bent and my small hands are gently folded. The screen’s slight scraping sound alerts my body. In a sotto voice I begin” “Bless me father, for I have sinned.” As it is, as I know this to be true – I have not.

The lie spills off my tongue, vowels and syllables tripping over each other without hesitation, I declare unashamedly, “I fought with my sister.” I know little of outright duplicity, but my performance is a fine one. Witness to lies, or more generously, untruths, of adults, I mimic sincerity if not remorse. In this sacred space I lie – a sin of commission – to this man who knows nothing of me. Yet, I know this. He is not my God.


One Response to “The Small lie”

  1. […] some of my favorite art.  So too, it is with Beth Kephart’s proffered “Exercises”; I am writing beyond my former […]


Share a thought

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: