(urth) Slow Children at Play

JBarach at aol.com JBarach at aol.com
Wed Sep 12 10:15:12 PDT 2007

In a message dated 9/12/2007 9:56:15 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
JBarach at aol.com writes:

The cherubim tells the three that he will bring them again to the sun,  but 
that it will not be for Gene's sake and certainly not for Mark's (and he  looks 
disdainfully at Mark, which again suggests to me that he may be  a fallen 
angel), and not even for Joe's (and he speaks to Joe "more  kindly," which again 
suggests to me that Joe isn't human or angelic  and may therefore be ... an 
animal?).    It appears  to me that Joe and Mark get to enter the Garden and 
play, but Gene, seeing the  cherubim's other faces, flees.  He is not (yet) 
allowed to enter  into the Garden.  You have to become like a little child in order 
to  enter the kingdom, Jesus says.

In this connection, I should also point out that the narrator, Gene, is  
reminded of the three Magi following a star and coming to Christ, which (I  should 
think) is a pretty good hint about the meaning of their quest.  
Note, too, that Joe's attempt to dive through the window (i.e., commit  
suicide) is an attempt to reach Paradise, but that it's not the right way, and  so 
Mark rescues him.  
It's interesting to me, too, to see how Wolfe has grouped the stories in  
Innocents Aboard.  Like "Slow Children at Play," "The Old Woman Whose  Rolling 
Pin Is the Sun" is also about the winter solstice, the darkest time of  the year.
And like "The Friendship Light, "Slow Children at Play" was, according  to 
Wolfe's Introduction, "based in part on an actual light -- a mysterious  light, 
in this case -- which I saw once and have never seen again."  It  sounds from 
that statement that both of them were based in part on the same  light.  At 
any rate, they have the light theme in common, except that in  "The Friendship 
Light" the light's flickering seems to attract demons and  results in evil, 
whereas the beacon in "Slow Children" draws men, angels, and  ... whatever Joe 
is, in a way that is intended to be good (though not understood  as such by 
John Barach   (541) 531-2906
Pastor, Reformation Covenant Church (CREC)
706 Beekman Avenue
Medford, OR   97501
_http://barach.us_ (http://barach.us/) 
_http://rccso.com_ (http://rccso.com/) 

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