acedia and then

This is the thirty-second (last) part of a thirty-two play series – What A Stranger May Know, for Virginia Tech. This takes us to the end of this arc’ next up are seven of eight plays for Cho, the shooter (the first is written).


The asset of a beautiful day (it is a beautiful day here) – more strength for love, which is detachment – more space for memorial. Spring is very large right now.


This is for Nichole White. She was raised in Smithfield, near Newport News; she liked Marley, Janis Joplin, Outkast… She was a lifeguard; EMT; loved horses; took care of the pets of battered women temporarily relocated to a shelter. Long red hair. A regular at Nansemond Baptist Church. She died in German class, clutching another student’s ID. 20 years old.


River rescuer reunion Nansemond.

The vigil of her strength: the arm of the river.

Her red energy the leading edge of covenant, joy structured into aftermath, surviving. In the house, in the sound of the bird, the name of her house, her horse: our wound is a type of our animal.

A language of only vowels – open.

You go to your heat and spit and dirt –


We are open, open, open.

Light, teach me patience,

Love me like the bees love the hive,

Hold me like the burr loves the hem –

Could you please just be here?


To forgive, pull aside, not outside-of, but as a curtain, and climb deeper in, a new space where you forgo teleology, your use of the next; patience as an ecstasy, leaguing yourself with power not yours; riding a horse. The name of her horse, her house: Patience. A type of agapé. The animal of the earth, the animal of the day.


Remember, meme-bird, remembered in Christ, at last plural; we tell stories so that what has been breathed into us makes us breath, makes us atmosphere, identity in the nature of giving; heaven: that case of simultaneous, irrevocable, universal living. A tree grows by thinning.


The sound of a luffing sail the only list working in the marina.

Three o’clock. Acedia. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.

My heart has turned to wax; melted within me. My mouth is dry like a broken pot.

Taste sweat; salt-light off the bay.

A radio batteried up, live, implicit signal, thirsty for relay.

The first sense of forgiving, to offer it or receive, is to be forsaken, foregoing –

A way to admit you are going away.


We are each other’s child. We don’t see what catches us; we know by the option of our prayer that we are caught up, saved again.


Save my language, restore me to the word – you, seeming silent, are fluent.


Lord, despite my will, my history, that which my understanding so powerfully claims, may I be open.


Rise up this mornin’,

Smiled with the risin’ sun,

Three little birds

Pitch by my doorstep

Singin’ sweet songs

Of melodies pure and true,

Sayin’, “This is my message to you-ou-ou:”

Singin’: “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing,

‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”

Singin’: “Don’t worry (don’t worry) ‘bout a thing,

‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!”


Be with me.

I’m with you.

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