that's Heather

I saw this New Yorker cartoon and said "That's Heather!"

And she just started a blog (with a great opening entry). I loved this:

It was my senior year, the year the Meaning of Life became important to me. The year I read "The Hollow Men" and Waiting for Godot and yearned with all my soul to write a message of hope as powerful and sophisticated as that despair, but could only crank out stiff little poems about broken-winged birds who stood up and flew again...

It's at swallowfeather.blogspot.com

Also, my parents just sent me some pictures and disks that I had left with them. On the disks were old seminary papers and a couple stories I wrote while in the Dominican novitiate. Here's a scene from the short play I wrote, "Herod & John: The Common Good":


Scene 1

Herod, seated on his throne, appears troubled. John is brought before him. Herod is silent.

John: You summon me again. Am I to be your court jester?

The guard moves to strike John, but Herod motions to him. The guard withdraws, leaving them alone.

Herod: No, no... calm yourself. I have been thinking of your words; they perplex me. Please tell me again how I have “earned the wrath of Yahweh.”

John: It is unlawful for you to have your brother’s wife.

Herod: Yes. Though we are both legally divorced. The law you speak of... this is some law of the gods?

John: There is only one.

Herod: So the law of your god condemns me.

Yet I have acted for the good of your people, the people of the very god that rebukes me. I have strengthened the house that governs them and represents them in Rome.

John: You have become an adulterer for your own sake, because you desire wealth and power.

Herod: Power, yes. But not for my sake alone. A governor must have power for the sake of those he governs. What is a ruler without power? He is useless, his dominion falls into chaos, and all that is good in it is destroyed. And the people lose the order and prosperity that his hand--wielding power--could preserve for them.

John: The people lose much more when your hand crushes them. But their cries do not go unheard.

Herod: The only ones that are crushed are those who resist. I am sorry for those foolish ones, but I must always think of the greater good. I must protect order so that all can live and work in peace.

If I don’t, who will?

John: Yahweh watches over his people.

Herod: Your faith is inspiring.

I wish I could believe as you do. But my position does not allow it; and besides, I have seen too much. I have been to Rome. The peace we now enjoy is an incredible achievement; the barbarians do not give way easily, you know. But this was not accomplished by believing, it was accomplished by genius and strength. And it must be preserved by genius and strength.

(Sighs) I am not always confidant that I have the intelligence and strength of will to rule a people. I sometimes doubt my own decisions. And I am not without compassion, which often tempts me to hesitate.... I felt bad about sending my wife away, and I’ve felt bad for those who have died by my orders. But you must understand, whether I like it or not, I am a ruler. I have responsibilities to Rome and to the people--your people. Sometimes I must protect the people from themselves. And sometimes individuals must be sacrificed for the good of all.

John: “For the good of all....” A tree that is rotten does not produce good fruit. And every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Even now the ax is laid to the root.

Herod is silent, with eyes cast down. Then, with great effort, he looks at John.

Herod: I recognize that you are a good man. But this is not a good world we live in. I respect men like you; but they seldom succeed, and never live long--because they will not understand. They fling themselves against the hard reality of this world: that there is a difference between what is good and what is necessary. And they are broken. I hope that is not your fate.

(Pause, then calling out) Guard!