Julia can be an hysteric.
He's quite right. They know all about it... All in one word - one little flat word that covers a lifetime. "Living in sin". Not just "doing wrong", as I did when I went to America, doing wrong, knowing it's wrong, stopping doing it, forgetting it. That's not what they mean...And -
He means just what it says. Living in sin - every hour, every day, year in, year out. It's always the same. It's like an idiot child, carefully nursed, guarded from the world.
"Poor Julia," they say, "She can't go out. She's got to take care of her little sin. It's a pity it ever lived, but it's so strong. Children like that always are. Julia's so good to her little mad sin."
All those years when I was trying to be a good wife, in the cigar smoke, when I was trying to bear his child, torn in pieces by something already dead. Putting him away, forgetting him. Finding you - the past two years with you, all the future with you or without you.
It's a word from so long ago - Nanny Hawkins stitching by the hearth and the nightlight burning before the Sacred Heart.
Me and Cordelia with the Catechism in Mummy's room before luncheon on Sundays.
Mummy carrying my sin with her to church, bowed under it. Mummy dying with my sin, eating her more cruelly than her own deadly illness.
Mummy dying with it.
Christ dying with it nailed hand and foot, high among the crowds and soldiers. No comfort except a sponge of vinegar and the kind words of a thief. Hanging forever, over the bed in the night-nursery. There's no way back - the gate's barred. All the saints and angels posted along the wall. Thrown away, scrapped, rotting down. Nameless and dead.
How can I tell what I shall do? You know the whole of me. You know I'm not one for a life of mourning. I've always been bad. Probably I'll be bad again - punished again. But the worse I am, the more I need God. I can't shut myself out from His mercy. That is what it would mean, starting a life with you - without Him. One can only see one step ahead.But I think the Synod fathers would have made a much better go of it if they had just watched the last two episodes of the grandest, finest mini-series of all time.
But I saw today there's one thing unforgivable, like things in the school-room, so bad they're unpunishable, that only Mummy could deal with.
The bad thing I was on the point of doing that I'm not quite bad enough to do - to set up a rival God to God.
It may be because of Mummy, Nanny, Sebastian, Cordelia, perhaps Bridey and Mrs Muspratt - keeping my name in their prayers.
Or it may be a private bargain between me and God.
That if I give up this one thing I want so much, how ever bad I am He won't quite despair of me in the end. Now we shall both be alone. And I shall have no way of making you understand.
Yes, I've been thinking way too much, or at least too disjointedly, about sin.
The Catholic blogosphere is full of hysterics right now. And some of them, even when they are right, are so hate-filled I am ashamed for them.
And that goes for both Ratzingerites and Kasperites, which division of the Body of Christ doesn't exist, of course, Cdl Marx, sorry to have brought it up!