The altar is a jumble of iconic authors and texts: Peter Brown’s majestic tome on Augustine, Three by Flannery O’Connor, a recent copy of the Christian Century. And a Macbook. In the presence of these giants, six brave authors grieve those things written that have already been forgotten, their precious ideas that have floated wistfully into the ether.
The ceremony is archaic. Words are solemnly read and spoken under the soft glow of candles. The language is faintly Christian.
The ritual, like the works lamented, is ephemeral. The moment the words are expressed they are forgotten. The candles too, shining as gentle, hopeful beacons, are extinguished. Wisps of smoke from smoldering wicks slowly dissipate.
The vaguely Christian God remains invisible. Those offering their elegies dare not even mention the name. God too has passed; the sweet stench of the decaying Word made flesh barely lingers.
It is a fine line between lament and nihilism.