April 16, 2013

Suspense



At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly." Jesus answered, "I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand. The Father and I are one." - John 10:22-30






That wonderful aching moment with crippled Jimmy Stewart

camera zooming through the rear window at Raymond Burr

the apartment door opening and the battle and the flash,

but then a quick resolve and denouement and credits and black



Hitchcock held us protracted in that anxious splendor in the

pause where it could go one way or the other and we wonder

longer than we expected or understood or even desired

but then not long enough once it ended and all was clear



How long will you keep us in suspense they asked

and Jesus knew better than Hitch or Kubrick not to answer clearly

but to hold them, suspend them, in the mystery of who

and what and when and how the divine would come through the door



and when it comes, would it knock down and overcome

would it accuse and accost and imprison on an island

or would it shepherd and guide slowly, keeping us in suspense

for such long-held agonizing ecstasy that we don’t care if it ever ends

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