‘About us now in the depth of the pit we found / a painted people, weary and defeated. / Slowly, in pain, they paced it round and round. / All wore great cloaks cut to as ample a size / as those worn by the Benedictines of Cluny. / The enormous hoods were drawn over their eyes. / The outside is all dazzle, golden and fair; / the inside, lead, so heavy that Frederick’s capes, / compared to these, would seem as light as air.’ –Dante’s Inferno 23.55-63
‘A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.’ –Prov. 16:28
This was written September 16, and given to 13 via ekkles’ sister. A contextual note: I never got a response to this. 13 claimed he was ready to discuss it while I was over in the US in October, but it didn’t happen while I was there, and after I’d left, though I tried numerous times to connect, I was ignored. I tried to verify email addresses through 14, but she didn’t reply either. Apparently, the friendship was over. I posted the wedding gift they gave my husband and me back to 13’s office in November 2015. I could no longer have it in my home. See photo below.
I don’t know what to say, or how to begin, but I’ll just let this all ‘spill out’. I can’t believe this has happened.
I look at pictures from my wedding, and see you in the pew, and with 14 at the reception; I see 14 and 15 at the organ and piano, 17 dancing during the ceilidh, 18 and me by the wedding cake. There’s another collection of photos from the first Thanksgiving my husband spent with us, all at your barn—14’s nephew was there too, that year, and read stories. My sister’s been very privileged to have gone on an Alabama trip with the girls; you and 14 had my husband and me over for a BBQ, while we stayed at your brother-in-law’s, on our honeymoon; my dad and sister went to Wisconsin for the graduation of one of your granddaughters earlier this summer; last week my sister had me pick up a little gift for another here in Bristol; 14 and 15 took my dad to some of his chemo appointments. Then there was your campaign a couple of years ago: my dad still has a t-shirt (did he ride in a truck with you in a parade or something while he was on chemo?), and my sister wrote a letter to the editor in your defense, after your opponent accused you of willfully withholding contact information on your campaign fliers. Finally, I don’t know how many times my husband and I have told the story about how we didn’t have a proof of address when we went into the county clerk’s to get our marriage license. You serendipitously came in while we were there, trying to figure out what to do, and you were so happy to vouch for us—we got our paperwork immediately.
How could it have come to this? I thought we all were friends.
With much sorrow and confusion,
Posted to the US on 9 November 2015:
The note reads: ’13–I hope you can understand why I can no longer have this in my home–it would be a constant reminder of a friendship–and truth and the integrity of the leadership of Christ’s bride–sacrificed for the sake of political expediency. I’m sending it to your office because I don’t want 14 to have to see it.’