It was one of those distastefully delicious English novels full of decorated heirs, lust, costumes, shameless wealth and immoral secrets saturated in religious guilt. There must’ve been love somewhere in the hastily written pages as the author, who’d recently fallen out of the sky, attempted to encounter grace. But who among us can actually say we recognize either love or grace these days?

Every morning we wake to yet another Tower, Devil or Wheel of unpromised Fortune. Hellish tellers scry our unpredictable futures in unholy waters, which consist of endless journeys through repetitive lessons none of asked for. It’s as if we embody a collective dowry; our soul in exchange for the chance to be wed, divorced and remarried to successive, unelected courses until we finally graduate back to wherever it is we’ve come from.

No one can fully prepare anyone for the wedding night; the music has stopped, the attendants are gone, everything’s covered in frosting and tears, and you’re standing there naked wondering what will happen next. Apparently there should be blood and kissing. We’re supposed to want this. There should also be years of unblemished, endearing, fruitfully enduring loyalty but according to the book it’s just a series of wars that ends in all the usual ways; abandonment, homelessness, personal ruin, sickness and death. I suppose it echoes the vows we take so we should hardly be surprised when we eventually find ourselves bleeding, kneeling, crying, praying, naked, alone and terrified. The end is just like the beginning. ~

4 thoughts on “Brideshead Revisited

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