Saturday, July 11, 2015

How about dancing, and music, and wine?

Boy, are we ready for a change! Change would be a good slogan for us, and for the entire country. 
We clear the locals out of several buildings in the center of town, which we turn into our compound. I make a point of going around town brimming with confidence.
Oh, I own it!
Impressed by this, and knowing I am one of them, the elders of Judah come to greet me in Hebron. I wait for them in the compound, up in the tower, which is now mine. No wonder they are out of breath by the time they manage to clamber up the stairs. No one says a word. With heavy panting they anoint me king over the tribe of Judah. 
It is a minor honor, to be sure, akin to becoming a mini-royal. I make an effort not to think about the fact that the big prize—ruling over the entire nation—is still as illusive as ever.
Still, this is a long awaited victory. To celebrate it I have prepared a rough draft for a speech, and recited it in advance, “He said to me, You are my son… Today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron. You will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
Yes, I try my best to cherish the moment—but find myself disappointed by it. Problem is, a moment is too short. It goes by far too fast. I mean, what is a coronation ceremony with no drumroll, no trumpets, no fanfare? How about dancing, and music, and wine? And where are the crowds, the cheering, the joy? Alas, this place is provincial. It is too small on me. Really, this victory is nothing to write home about. 
I raise the crown to my head, and at the critical second—just as it starts weighing down on me—someone gives me a note: a messenger has arrived.

He scrambles up the stairs, and bows before the elders. They cry out, “Long live the king!” 
He turns to me. “Your majesty—“
Afraid that what he has to say may overshadow my moment of happiness—such as it it—I raise my hand with a well rehearsed, perfectly regal gesture, attempting to silence him.
“But, but—”
“No! Not now!” I shake my head, and at once I find myself having to adjust my posture, to keep the crown balanced. “Whatever the news, can’t it wait?”
“This,” he wheezes, “is important. I mean, really.

David Anointed King in Hebron 
Treasures of the Bible (United Kingdom)

King David by Antelami, Benedetto

ca. 1145, Limestone

Paris, Notre-Dame Cathedral, south portal of west façade (Saint Anne portal)
On January 17, 1793, during the vote on the fate of Louis XVI, a citizen approached Parisian Commune officials to report that there were kings represented on the portals of the cathedral. Over an extended period Paris and other cities and towns hired contractors to behead statues not only of kings and queens but also of religious figures. During the French Revolution, just as the king was subjected to the guillotine, the sculptures on the façade of Notre-Dame—seen as symbols of authority—were destroyed by government edict in a parallel act of vengeance.

My trilogy, The David Chronicles, is inspired by art of all ages--but at this moment of the story I chose to depart from the highly formal, dramatic manner in which his coronation is depicted in many art pieces. My David is a modern leader, who lives by his wits and understands the flow of history and what he must do to take his coronation over his own tribe, and propel himself forward to rule the entire country.

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