My Christmas Novel. ‘Try to read it every yuletide.
—Starting this one.
He was writing what he should have written long ago and had always wished to write but never could. Now it came to him quite easily, he wrote eagerly and said exactly what he wanted to say. Only now and then a boy got in his way, a boy with narrow Kirghiz eyes, in an unbuttoned reindeer coat worn fur-side out, as in the Urals or Siberia.
He knew for certain that this boy was the spirit of his death or, to put it quite plainly, that he was his death. Yet how could he be his death if he was helping him to write a poem? How could death be useful, how was it possible for death to be a help?
The subject of his poem was neither the entombment nor the resurrection but the days between; the title was “Turmoil.”
He had always wanted to describe how for three days the black, raging, worm-filled earth had assailed the deathless incarnation of love, storming it with rocks and rubble—- as waves fly and leap at the seacoast, cover and submerge it— how for three days the black hurricane of earth raged, advancing and retreating.
Two lines kept coming into his head:
“We are glad to be near you,” and “Time to wake up.”
Near him, touching him, were hell, dissolution, corruption, death, and equally near him were the spring and Mary Magdalene, and life. And it was time to awake. Time to wake up and to get up. Time to arise, time for resurrection.