delanceyplace.com 11/23/07 - a christmas memory

In today's encore excerpt - seven-year-old Truman Capote, abandoned by his parents and raised by dirt-poor relatives in Alabama, with his closest friend a distant cousin, an elderly, simple-minded and slightly crippled woman named Sook. On a cold, bleak and empty Christmas afternoon, with the two of them alone together, she exclaims to him:

"'My, how foolish I am!' my friend cries, suddenly alert, like a woman remembering too late she has biscuits in the oven. 'You know what I've always thought?' she asks in a tone of discovery, and not smiling at me but a point beyond. 'I've always thought a body would have to be sick and dying before they saw the Lord. And I imagined that when He came it would be like looking at the Baptist window: pretty as colored glass with the sun shining through, such a shine you don't know it's getting dark. And it's been a comfort: to think of that shine takes away all the spooky feeling.

"But I'll wager it never happens. I'll wager at the very end a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are'—her hand circles in a gesture that gathers clouds and kites and grass and Queenie pawing earth over her bone—'just what they've always seen, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes.' "


author:

Truman Capote

title:

A Christmas Memory

publisher:

Modern Library

date:

1956, 1996

pages:

26-27
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