I have a story in my book Pieces Like Pottery—”The Gravesite: The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery”—in which I experimented with a number of different literary devices. More and more readers have begun to notice one of the devices more regularly.
In addition to breaking the story up into ten sections, each of which follows one of the themes from the fifth sorrowful mystery, each section in the story also has a song that is paired with it. Yes, you read that right. I paired a song with each section. Like a fine wine paired with a good meal, the song’s lyrics are intended not only to add another layer of meaning to the words, but can also be listened along with that section of the story.
While more and more readers have been picking up on this, it’s certainly not an easy task for the casual reader, especially not one reading the print version of the book. I’ve promised to do this for quite awhile, so here you go. In ten parts, here is “The Gravesite: The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery” paired with each song. Enjoy!
(For those of you that might be interested in how this section ties into the fifth sorrowful mystery, the fifth sorrowful mystery is The Crucifixion and the “spiritual fruit” is the Pardoning of Injuries. Part 10 reflects Jesus’ words to one of the criminals hanging on the cross next to him, “This day you will be with Me in paradise.”)
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery
Mike knelt at the gravesite and kissed his fingers. The sun continued to shine brightly. It had been a year since Chris’ passing. It had felt like a lifetime. He placed two fingers on the stone and whispered, “I love you.”
As he rose to his feet, Lisa handed him the handkerchief she was holding. Mike wiped his tears away and thanked her.
“You think that’s it?” Lisa asked, putting the handkerchief back into her purse.
“Do you think this is the last one?” She pulled the folded blog back out of her purse.
Mike stood in silence for a minute, pondering as if Lisa had asked the meaning of life, or the meaning of death, for that matter.
“I’m afraid so,” Mike finally replied. “It’s finished. That’s it. Isn’t that what the last blog said?” Lisa unfolded the blog and read the last paragraph aloud again.
So as I am stuck in traffic that’s moving slower than I can walk, I realize that how I react to unforeseen problems, what I do each moment, what I even spend my time thinking about, they all greatly impact my character and my life’s direction. Life’s simple moments are not wasted and unimportant. They are the foundations that shape our lives. They are the formational moments, one added upon another. At least that’s how I see things. But what do I know? One thing’s for sure, I guess—it’s finished. That’s all I have to say. Thanks for reading.
She finished the final sentence with a question mark that wasn’t on the paper as if to question whether Chris actually cared if anyone read his blog or to question whether she could accept they were finished.
“It is finished, isn’t it?” she exhaled.
“It looks that way. I hope so at least. I don’t know if I can handle any more. Constantly checking back to the website. The disappointment that comes when there’s nothing new posted. Not to mention the range of emotions I face when reading those blogs.”
Mike would have previously hesitated to say this, fearing that his words would hurt Lisa or that she would think it meant he didn’t love their son. He no longer found himself able to worry about those things. He thought what he thought. He didn’t want to read the esoteric words of his deceased son any longer.
“I’ll miss them,” was Lisa’s response. “I found them cathartic.”
Mike reached over to give Lisa a hug. They embraced at their son’s grave for a minute. Then, with all the love and sorrow and time the two of them had experienced together, Mike kissed her on the cheek.
“I’ll always love you both.”
He turned and walked back down the path from where he came. Lisa watched him follow the path as it curved out of sight behind a grove of trees.
Lisa sat down on the grass. She took her son’s final blog and put it underneath the candle, which continued to burn protected from the wind and elements by its glass casing.
“Me too,” she repeated.
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